Employee News - 4/12/22

Ellen O’Hearn

On March 30,
Cunningham Park Elementary School celebrated its art teacher, Ellen O’Hearn (pictured with her daughter), for turning the sidewalk that leads from the school to the playground into a giant game board. The mural was a part of a school-wide Project-Based Learning (PBL) initiative, in which every grade level created plans to improve the play spaces at CPES.

FCPS COVID-19 Testing Ends April 22 

Negative COVID test

To limit the spread of COVID-19 and to keep schools open safely, Fairfax County Public Schools has been providing a COVID-19 screening and diagnostic testing program to staff as part of its layered prevention strategies

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the community level for Fairfax County is currently classified as low; this classification has continued for the past month. In addition, Fairfax Health District COVID-19 Vaccination Status indicates that more than 70% of all Fairfax Health Districts residents have been fully vaccinated (defined by receiving two of a two-dose vaccine or one of a single-dose vaccine) and more than 80% of residents have received one dose. COVID-19 Vaccinations are free and available at various locations in our community.  

Based on these metrics and CDC guidance, FCPS will discontinue the following prevention strategies on April 22:

If employees have symptoms and need to get tested, COVID-19 Testing is available at various sites throughout Fairfax County, and at-home test kits are readily available in stores.

All FCPS employees should continue to update the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form (click the blue link to update) with their latest vaccine dose, including boosters. Also, please continue to do your part to maintain a healthy learning environment by self-administering the daily health screening questionnaire and using layered prevention strategies including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, monitoring for illness, and staying home when sick. Employees should still report positive test results to their supervisor. 

Tutor.com Launches April 14

Tutor.com graphic

Beginning April 14, FCPS students will have unlimited access to online tutoring support services through Tutor.com at no cost to families. Student participation is optional and parents/guardians can opt their student(s) out of accessing the services. Detailed information and FAQs are available on the Tutor.com Online Tutoring Services website.

Students will be able to access Tutor.com via a link in Schoology. Additional information about how to log in and access a tutor is provided to families via the following instructional videos:  

Resources for staff are available on the Tutor.com - Online Tutoring Services Employee Hub Site. Questions not answered in the posted resources may be sent to onlinetutoring@fcps.edu.

FCPS Summer Learning Job Opportunities

Teacher and student looking at a computer.

Positions are now available for you to join the fun and excitement of FCPS Summer Learning. 

Elementary School and Middle School Positions

  • Bridge to Kindergarten: Help pre-Kindergarten students build executive functioning skills and routines for a smooth transition to school in the fall. 
  • Young Scholars (Elementary and Middle School): Guide FCPS Young Scholars in project-based learning (PBL) as they create and present innovative products to address real-world problems. 
  • Summer Olympians Aspire and Reach (SOAR): Coach students as they strengthen math and language arts skills while developing Portrait of a Graduate attributes. (Grades K-6.)
  • IMAGINE: Coach students as they strengthen math and language arts skills while developing Portrait of a Graduate attributes. (Grades 7-8.)

To apply, contact your school’s Summer Site Director. 

High School Positions

  • Credit Recovery Academy: The Instructional Services Department provides an opportunity for students to recover high school course credits and prepare for select SOL or WorkKeys tests. Be a part of this collaborative and transformative student-centered learning program. Apply here.

Extended School Year (ESY) Employment Opportunities

Special education summer positions are still available for Extended School Year (ESY) teachers and operational staff. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply online. Hourly summer contracts for teachers and support positions are available at all grade levels. Special education teachers and professionals on the teacher pay scale employed for the ESY Program will be compensated at a flat rate of $68 per hour.  

Homebound and Consult teachers will be paid a flat rate of $50 per hour. Positions will be open until filled. For more information, go to the Summer Learning and Extended School Year (ESY) Employment Opportunities web page.

To apply, go to the Teacher Employment Opportunities and Paraprofessional and Operational Employment Opportunities web pages.

Note: ESY contracts are contingent upon student enrollment.

Please contact Ellen Agosta at esy@fcps.edu or 571-423-4190 with any questions.

Honor Your Colleagues: Excellence Award Nomination Materials Are Now Available

Excellence Awards graphic

Peer-to-peer recognition inspires a positive workplace culture and empowers employees to motivate each other. Employees know best about the hard work, dedication and collaborative efforts that go on behind the scenes on many projects. Therefore, nominations for the annual Excellence Awards can only come from current contracted FCPS employees (per principal or program manager’s approval). 

The Excellence Awards, hosted each fall, celebrate both teams and individuals exceeding expectations in supporting FCPS strategic initiatives. Award categories include Growth, Impact on Others, Innovation and Student Achievement. Winners do receive a cash award for their achievement.   

If you know an FCPS employee or team that should be recognized for their efforts over the past year, visit the Excellence Awards Hub webpage, and submit a nomination by Monday, May 16.

Apply Now for the Fall Instructional Coach Learning Cohort

Female teacher sitting in front of a computer.

Applications are being accepted for the Fall Instructional Coach Learning Cohort (replaces the Foundational Skills of an Instructional Coach Academy course). Teacher leaders interested in becoming an Instructional Coach for the 2023-24 school year should apply. 

The Instructional Coach Learning Cohort is designed to prepare a diverse group of candidates for the role of an instructional coach through the course content, experiences leading in their schools, self-directed learning and reflection, and observations, coaching, and feedback. There are a total of ten synchronous sessions. Six sessions will be held in person. Four sessions will be held virtually. 

To learn more about the cohort, register for a virtual information session on April 19 from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m., or April 21 from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. Additional information and application materials can be found online. 

For more information, contact Michelle Lis, coordinator of instructional coaching, at Mllis@fcps.edu, or Erika Williams, education specialist, at ejwilliams@fcps.edu.  

Register for Upcoming EAP Webinars and Win Wellness Prizes

Better health graphic

April is Stress Awareness Month. Learn how to cope with your stress and find healthy ways to deal with these situations through upcoming webinars hosted by our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Guidance Resources. Join us for the following interactive topics with a raffle drawing for wellness prizes:

Additional EAP webinar recordings on a variety of topics, from mindfulness and resiliency to communication and finances, can be accessed on the Hub EAP page.

For more information, visit our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Guidance Resources online, and use Web ID: FCPS, or call our EAP at 1-855-355-9097. Sign up for the EAP-Wellness Newsletter to get monthly updates and announcements of our Employee Wellness offerings.

Libraries Are the Heart of School Communities

Young students reading a book together.

In FCPS libraries, students develop knowledge and skills, experience a sense of belonging, find inspiration and support, and have the ability to freely pursue their personal interests and academic growth. Watch this video to learn how FCPS librarians make a difference.

Retirement Ceremony RSVPs Due by April 18

We Honor You - Retirement Ceremony Signage

The annual retirement ceremony, We Honor You—Celebrating Your Service to FCPS, will be held on May 11 at 6 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The evening features an hors d’oeuvre reception for retirees, their family and friends, followed by a recognition ceremony with the Superintendent, Leadership Team, and the School Board.

Print invitations were sent to the homes of those who have retired since the Spring 2021 retirement recognition and those that have submitted their Notification of Resignation-Retirement form (HR-2) with a retirement date prior to December 31, 2022. The online RSVP for this ceremony is due by Monday, April 18.

More information on this year’s retirement ceremony, as well as previous events, is available online. For questions, send an email to WeHonorYou@fcps.edu

Support Services Employees’ Advisory Council (SSEAC) Election Results

Congratulations to the unopposed candidates in the following job groups who will serve as new SSEAC representatives from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024:

  • Group 1: Bus Drivers and Attendants, Brian DeQuittner, bus driver, Stonecroft Transportation Center.
  • Group 3: Food and Nutrition Services, Andrea O’Shea, kitchen manager, Edison High School.
  • Group 4: Custodial and Plant Operations, Mario Canales, building supervisor, Hayfield Secondary School.

At-Large Group

Congratulations to the unopposed candidate for the At-Large group, Nabil Ibrahim. Ibrahim is a business operations assistant in the Office of Professional Growth and Career Development.  The At-Large term is a three-year term from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025.

Group 7–Management and Administration and Group 8–Educational Support

Neither of these groups received any election petitions. Group 7 and Group 8 will remain vacant until an interim representative is placed.

More information regarding all of the Superintendent’s Support Employee Advisory Councils is available online.

Spring and End-of-Year Considerations for Muslim Students and Families During Ramadan

This year, Ramadan will be celebrated from April 2 to May 1, which coincides with many spring and end-of-year events, such as SOL testing, prom, athletic events, and other student recognition ceremonies across all grade levels.  

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is marked by personal and community prayer, as well as fasting from dawn to sunset. As you prepare for these end-of-year events, please visit this web page for a list of best practices. 

For more information, contact Iona Spikes in the Equity, Family Engagement and Title I Office at oplfe@fcps.edu, or Armando Peri in the Office of the Ombudsman at ombudsman@fcps.edu.

Arab American Heritage Month Resources

Arab American Heritage Month graphic.

People across the country are celebrating Arab American Heritage Month. Students deserve meaningful, sustained opportunities to learn about the diverse perspectives, experiences, and contributions of Arab Americans. To that end, FCPS Social Studies, in collaboration with a group of community stakeholders and educators across subject areas, developed a Google site, Planning for Arab American Heritage Month

We encourage teachers and school leaders to visit the website for ideas for classroom learning experiences across content areas and grade levels, as well as details on upcoming virtual events. A recorded information session about the site’s offerings is viewable on the site’s homepage and is accessible online. Teachers, teams, or leaders who seek additional support or information may contact Deborah March, culturally responsive pedagogy specialist, at dmmarch@fcps.edu.

Celebrate Earth Week with Get2Green Resources

Recycling symbol

All students and staff are encouraged to join FCPS Get2Green in celebrating our division-wide Earth Week 2022 from April 18-22. Earth Week is an engaging way to foster conversation and learning about environmental topics that are essential in developing students as environmental stewards and ethical and global citizens.

Visit the Get2Green Earth Week webpage for this year’s Earth Week “Bingo” boards, daily themes, driving questions, joke of the day, and fun facts. Engage students with FCPS Earth Week Bingo boards for an opportunity to receive water bottle decals for staff and students. 

Earth Week 2022 Themes

Students and staff can wear the color matching each day’s theme to show their Earth Week spirit!

  • Monday, April 18, Watershed Day (blue)
  • Tuesday, April 19, Zero Waste Day (purple)
  • Wednesday, April 20, Climate Change Day (red)
  • Thursday, April 21, Energy Day (yellow)
  • Friday, April 22, Earth Day (green)

For more information, contact Donna Volkmann at dovolkmann@fcps.edu

Autism Acceptance Month Calendar of Events

Autism Acceptance Month calendar.

April is Autism Acceptance Month. One in 44 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to the CDC. Our schools and staff play a vital role in creating and ensuring inclusive environments that accommodate and affirm autistic students. In order to do this, we continuously need to listen to our autistic students and the autistic community. 

The FCPS Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) team has developed a month-long virtual calendar of self-paced learning opportunities for Autism Acceptance Month. The calendar supports and brings awareness to the neurodiversity movement, amplifies autistic voices, and explores neurodivergent-affirming practices when supporting autistic students. Two of the autistic voices featured in the calendar include FCPS students. 

To view the Autism Acceptance Calendar, go to the ABA Program accessible website or Google calendar.

School Board Meeting on April 14 at 7 p.m.

School Board logo with gavel.

The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. See the complete regular meeting agenda. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website. Agenda highlights include:

  • Bi-Annual Public Hearing (6 p.m.) 
  • Introduction of new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources 
  • Presentation on Elementary School Language Arts Instructional Materials 
  • Proposed changes to the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) 

If you need language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on any School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

Staff Staples

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Please email EmployeeNews@fcps.edu with potential submissions or questions. Submissions are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Thank you!