FCPS this Week e-newsletter - April 13, 2022

Fairfax County School Board To Announce Final Candidate For Superintendent

The Fairfax County School Board will be announcing the final candidate for the next Superintendent of Schools at tomorrow night’s School Board meeting. The Board will also vote on the candidate’s appointment. The meeting can be viewed on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, and on the FCPS website.

Online Tutoring Service Begins April 14

Get free homework help with Tutor.com (small)

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: 

Questions not answered in the posted resources may be sent to onlinetutoring@fcps.edu.

April Is Month of the Military Child; Purple Up! Day Is April 20

Purple Up! Day - Month of the Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child! Every year we take the opportunity to recognize military-connected youth for their service and contribution to our community. Fairfax County Public Schools is proud to have over 14,000 military-connected youth as a part of our student body. We appreciate the varied life experiences they bring to our school community, and recognize their strength and resilience. 

To show our support, we are inviting all Fairfax County students, families, school employees, and community members to “Purple Up!” on April 20 for military children

Why purple? Purple symbolizes all branches of the military as a combination of Army green, Marine Corps red, and Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Space Force blue. 

Learn more about Month of the Military Child and FCPS’ resources for military families

Video: FCPS Celebrates Military-Connected Youth–Meet Abby

Two children jumping in the air next to fighter jets.

Abby is a junior at Woodson High School and a proud member of their crew team. Her father serves in the United States Air Force, and she has moved with her family numerous times, attending many different schools. Abby shares stories and her perspectives around being a military-connected student in Fairfax County Public Schools. Watch the video.

April Is Arab American Heritage Month  

Arab American Heritage Month graphic.

FCPS is proud to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month in April. This special month provides an opportunity to recognize the remarkable history and valuable contributions of Arab Americans. 

Arab Americans have ancestry in one of the world’s 22 Arab nations, which are located from northern Africa through western Asia. The people of these nations are ethnically, politically, and religiously diverse but share a common cultural and linguistic heritage. There are approximately 3.7 million Arab Americans in the U.S.

FCPS Student Artists Earn 30 National Scholastic Art Awards

Student work with bottles and glass stones.

Original works of art by students from Fairfax County Public Schools earned 30 national medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program

National medalists will be celebrated at an award ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June. Select national award-winning work will be included in an exhibition in New York, and a traveling exhibition over the coming year. 

See who received an award.

2022 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools student writers won 50 Gold Key awards in the 2022 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards competition. In all, 226 Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions were earned by FCPS students.

Thanisha Chowdury, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), was named an American Voices Nominee for her flash fiction, “Heavenbound,” and Trini Rogando, also a student at TJHSST, was named an American Voices Nominee for her personal essay and memoir, “The Effect of First Loves on Religious Decay.”

Winners in the regional competition came from 24 Fairfax County middle and high schools.

FCPS Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities Announces 2021-22 First Class Award Winners

The Fairfax County Public Schools Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) presented their First Class Awards at the 17th Annual Special Education Conference on Saturday, March 26. Each year, the ACSD celebrates and recognizes the inclusion efforts of educators, administrators, and students in Fairfax County Public Schools. Winners of a First Class Award demonstrate the following skills:

  • Positive impacts on student(s) due to inclusion activities.
  • Commitment to creating an inclusive environment. 
  • Promotion of diversity and a culture of inclusion.
  • Raising awareness of the benefits of inclusion for students with and without disabilities.

See who received this year’s awards.

FCPS COVID-19 Testing Ends April 22 

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 students and 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% have received one dose. Vaccination rates by age group indicate that more than 50% of students ages 5-11 and more than 90% of students ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 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 students have symptoms and need to get tested, the following options are available:

  • COVID-19 Testing is available at various sites throughout Fairfax County and the state.
  • At-Home Test Kits—Students leaving the school CARE Room with symptoms of illness are provided an at-home test kit. 
  • Test-To-Stay Program—In partnership with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), FCPS is providing access to the Test-To-Stay program for students who have been identified as a close contact when an outbreak has been declared. This program is available to any student who meets eligibility criteria and whose parent/legal guardian has provided consent for their participation. 

While we are encouraged by the continued decline in COVID-19 cases in our community, we are also committed to keeping our schools safe for all to learn and work in person. Please continue to do your part to maintain a healthy learning environment by using layered prevention strategies including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, monitoring for illness, and staying home when sick. 

Update on Student Field Trips

Park ranger talking to students on a field trip.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated health guidance and COVID-19 Community levels. As of March 3, more than 90% of the U.S. population is in a location with low or medium COVID-19 Community Level. Based on the new metrics, Fairfax County Public Schools is revising the current field trip guidelines:

  • Routine field trips may be scheduled at the discretion of the principal or program manager. Before scheduling a trip, the organizing teacher must determine the vaccination requirements for all visitors including minors and chaperones at the venue.  As FCPS is not mandating student and/or chaperone vaccinations, this may eliminate visiting certain venues. Also:
    • In-state overnight stays will be allowed.
    • Out-of-state overnight trips will be allowed.  
    • All field trip participants must comply with mask/face covering and vaccination requirements of the commercial carrier transporting participants and any venues included on the itinerary.
  • Unusual field trips (involving water activities and/or other activities that present higher levels of risk than in a classroom environment) may now be scheduled.
  • International field trips and exchange programs remain on pause. This decision will be revisited in August.

For all field trips, FCPS will not be responsible for reimbursement of money lost or deposits (such as tickets, transportation, or hotels) for trips suddenly canceled due to safety or public health concerns. School staff and parents should be aware of any non-refundable deposits related to these trips.

Sixth Grade All-County Choral Festival to Air on FCPS Cable TV Channel Red Apple 21

Sixth grade students singing at a choir concert.

The sixth Grade All-County Choral Festival Concert, which includes selected 6th grade students from schools across the division, will be broadcast on FCPS cable TV channel Red Apple 21 (available via cable providers Cox, Verizon, and Comcast) and will stream online on the FCPS website. See the schedule of when the concert will air. The concert is also available on YouTube

It's Never Too Late: Parent Orchestra Teaches New Skills and Brings Families Closer

Band teacher Annie Ray playing the violin for a class of parents.

The Parent Orchestra is the brainchild of Annandale High School orchestra teacher Annie Ray, who started the group four years ago. It’s grown every year, and it’s now so popular there’s a waitlist to join. The idea is to give parents an experience that will help them relate to their children's musical schoolwork and experience. Watch the video.

Tip Sheet for Parents: Use the PNP Method When Giving Your Child Feedback

Cutout of an adult hand holding a child's hand.

Your child brings you a draft of a report for school. The first thing you see is a misspelled word. If you start by pointing that out, your child may become immediately discouraged and resistant. Instead, use the PNP method to make it easier for your child to hear your constructive comments

© 2022 The Parent Institute, a Division of PaperClip Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources.

Reminder: 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.

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