April News: Our new Superintendent, Upcoming Board Meetings, School Board Updates, Student Opportunities, Springfield recognitions, and More

Hello, Springfield District!

April has come and gone so quickly! It’s hard to believe that we are about to begin May and the beginning of our graduation season. At every school I visit, while I do see students and staff hard at work, getting ready for SOLs, AP, IB, end of the year testing, and POLs, I also still see so many smiles. Students are happily playing on the playground, rehearsing for school concerts, celebrating successes, and putting the finishing touches on a project. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get to spend time with your students as they make their journey through FCPS. It has certainly been the highlight of the last two+ years!

This month, I was so pleased to be able to celebrate with the All-County Chorus participants at Cherry Run ES (thanks for the glamorous red carpet moment :), I was so excited to show off all of the amazing students and staff at Sangster ES to our new Superintendent, Dr. Reid, and I was so grateful to have the opportunity to share Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) with advisory classes at West Springfield High School with freshman student, Jacqui Drobnis and Ms. Marsha Tishler who shared her incredible story of surviving the Holocaust. I also had the chance to meet with Boy Scout Troop 2016 and Boy Scouts Ryan Medgyessy and Ryan Angersbach to help them earn their “Citizenship in the Community” badge (thanks so much for all the great questions and ideas, guys!). I also got to meet and speak with many of you this month as we began the Principal selection process at South County HS, Fairview ES, Laurel Ridge ES, Union Mill ES, and Lake Braddock SS. Thank you to all who have volunteered their time to participate in these meetings and the selection panels. Your input on the right fit for your school is invaluable and I look forward to working together to welcome and help transition our new principals!

I hope that all who observe had a happy Easter, a lovely Passover, and a meaningful Ramadan.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing you at graduations and end of the year events in the weeks to come!

All my very best regards-

Laura Jane

Picture collage of Ms. Cohen's school visits


This newsletter includes information on the following issues:

  • Upcoming School Board Meetings
  • School Board Work
    • Appointment of new Superintendent
    • Appointment of Assistant Superintendent, Department of Human Resources
    • Middle School Recess
  • FCPS and Community News
    • FCPS News
    • Community News
  • Springfield District Scene
  • Family Resources
    • Resources for Parents
    • Resources for Students
  • Health and Safety News
  • What’s in a Name?
  • Quick Links

February 10, 2022 Picture of FCPS Board

Upcoming School Board Meetings

  • April 28 at 7 p.m. - Regular Meeting: Trust Policy, Special Education Annual Plan, Elementary School Language Arts Basal Resources, etc.
  • May 5 at 6 p.m. - Public Hearing: Budget
  • May 10 at 10 a.m. - Work Session: Fiscal Year (FY)23 Approved Budget and Family Life Education Updates
  • May 12 at 7 p.m. - Regular Meeting: Student Rights & Responsibilities, Policy 4750 Tax Deferred Programs
  • May 24 at 6 p.m. - Work Session: Early Childhood Report, Foundation for Applied Technical Education (FATE), and Facilities Planning Advisory Council (FPAC) Committee Reports
  • May 26 at 7 p.m. - Regular Meeting: FY23 Approved Budget, Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Excellence in Workforce Readiness Awards, etc.

Please note, times and topics are subject to change.

The work sessions and regular meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and the FCPS website. Both will be recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube page.

Visit the Community Participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting. Visit BoardDocs for more meeting logistics, agendas, and handouts.

School Board Work

Picture of Dr. Michelle Reid

Appointment of Division Superintendent

The School Board voted to authorize the execution and delivery of an agreement appointing Dr. Michelle Reid to serve as the division superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools for the period beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2026. Dr. Reid is known regionally and nationally for strong instructional leadership. She was named AASA National Superintendent of the Year in 2021 for exemplary communications, her work in closing achievement gaps, and leading her previous school system in uncharted territory at the start of the pandemic.

She has been praised for her early pandemic response; her creativity in successfully meeting the needs of students; her equity work; strength in both personal and organizational communication; and understanding of regional, national, and international issues. Dr. Reid is also known for leading robust community engagement to ensure all stakeholders, including students, have a voice. “Everyone has a lived experience,” said Dr. Reid. “When you walk by inequity you have lost the moral authority to lead. I am committed to listening and learning from this community so, together, we can build on the strengths of Fairfax County Public Schools while developing schools of the future, not the past.”

Read the news release and watch this short video to get to know Dr. Reid.


Picture of Dr. Sherry Wilson

Appointment of Assistant Superintendent, Department of Human Resources

The School Board voted to appoint Dr. Sherry Wilson as assistant superintendent of human resources, effective June 1, 2022.

“Dr. Wilson brings a wealth of experience to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), not just in HR, but also as a former teacher and school administrator. Throughout her career, she has made a measurable impact in expanding recruitment and retention initiatives and improving diversity in hiring,” said Brabrand. “We look forward to her leadership in continuing our efforts to attract world-class educators and support staff to FCPS.”

Read the press release.


School Board Policy 2100 - Student and Staff Health and Wellness

I was pleased to put forth the motion to approve School Board Policy 2100, Student and Staff Health and Wellness. Changes to this policy were made based on the Virginia Department of Education's (VDOE) review of the Local School Wellness Policy.

For a complete list of all the changes, including a 15-minute break for Middle School students, please review Policy 2100.


FY 2022 Third Quarter Budget Review

The School Board approved revenue and expenditure adjustments as reflected in the FY 2022 Third Quarter Budget Review. 

FCPS and Community News

Save The Date: Meet the Incoming Superintendent

Dr. Michelle Reid, our incoming superintendent, is visiting FCPS next week to learn more about our schools and community. During her visit, there will be a special, in-person event for staff, families, and students on Tuesday, May 3, starting at 7 p.m. More details, including how to register and submit questions, will be shared with you directly via email in the coming days. Other language interpreters will be available upon request during the registration process. A sign-language interpreter will also be supporting the event.

On Tuesday, May 17, Dr. Reid will join staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall, starting at 7 p.m. More details about this event will be shared in next week’s FCPS This Week and directly via email.

Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date this summer.

Learn more about Dr. Reid.


Tutor.com graphic

Free Online Tutoring Service

We are pleased to announce that students now have unlimited access to online tutoring support services through Tutor.com at no cost to families. Tutor.com is available 24/7, through online voice or text chat, and in your student’s preferred language. Student participation is optional and parents/guardians can opt their students out of accessing the service. You can learn more about Tutor.com 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: elementary video and secondary video. Questions not answered in the posted resources may be sent to onlinetutoring@fcps.edu.

We hope FCPS families will find this new resource a helpful tool to support student success.


Instructional Job Fair

Instructional Job Fair information


FCPS wants you to be a part of our team!  We are searching for educators with a strong academic background and a passion to make a difference. To meet hiring needs in instructional areas, we are hosting a job fair on Saturday, April 30, 2022, during which networking and interviewing opportunities with representatives from various FCPS schools will be available. This job fair will be held both in-person (9 a.m. - 2 p.m.) and virtually (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.). Learn more about the fair, as well as how to apply, prepare, register, and attend.

More information is available online.


2023 Eid al Fitr Date Determination 

When religious observances, such as Eid, begin at sundown, FCPS designates that evening and the following day as religious and cultural observance time. 

When the school year calendar for 2022-23 was developed, Eid was projected to begin on the evening of Friday, April 21, 2023, alleviating the need for a student holiday (the first full day would be on a Saturday). After the calendar was approved by the School Board, the Adams Center adjusted Eid to begin at sunset on Thursday, April 20, 2023. This requires Friday, April 21, 2023, to be a student holiday under our new calendar structure

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and the start of each month coincides with the birth of a new moon. These dates are regionally decided, which can lead to unexpected date changes.  

2022-23 School Calendar 

In an effort to avoid drastically changing student and employee calendars, Friday, April 21, 2023, will be designated a student holiday. This will reduce the student calendar from 180 days to 179 days. April 21, 2023, will be a professional work day for all less than 12-month employees (including bus drivers, food service workers, school-based office support staff, and instructional assistants) and a regular work day for 12-month employees. Regulation 2234 will be in effect for professional development guidelines; Regulation 4817 will be in effect for employees requesting religious leave. 

The School Board has already committed to recognizing Eid as a student holiday so this administerial calendar change will not require a vote. 

A 179-day student calendar with five scheduled early release days, 15-minute required recess at the middle school, and no changes to the elementary bell schedule provides up to 12 built-in snow days for the year; therefore, this change will still meet VDOE requirements based on instructional hours instead of days. 

Future Eid Observances

If the date of Eid changes before the school year begins, the school year calendar will be revised as follows:

  • A student holiday will be observed
  • Less-than-12-month employees will report for a professional work day
  • 12-month employees will report for a regular work day

If the day for Eid changes after the school year begins, Eid will be designed as a Religious and Cultural Observance Day (“O” day) for students and all staff.


Building Teacher Knowledge to Support Student Literacy

Fairfax County Public School’s Equitable Access to Literacy Plan is a long-term commitment to align literacy instruction with science-based reading research, giving all students the opportunity to gain the reading skills necessary for life-long success. To support this work, the division is investing in the continued development of teacher expertise by launching five LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) Region Cohorts.

These cohorts, which launched in March, include 200 literacy leaders, reading specialists, literacy coaches, literacy resource teachers, ESOL teachers, special education teachers, and classroom teachers. 

Learn more about the LETRS Region Cohorts.


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

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


Move for Mental Health graphic

FCPS and Our Minds Matter Partner To Host Mental Wellness Event 

Our Minds Matter(OMM) is an innovative and grassroots effort to change school culture around mental health through student-led clubs. OMM and FCPS have worked together since 2012 on mental wellness initiatives for teens. When the OMM club-model was launched in 2016, FCPS served as the first pilot site – with four school clubs. Today, there are 27 clubs in FCPS high schools and middle schools.

The Move For Mental Health event, co-hosted by FCPS and OMM will be held on May 1 to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month. This event is open to the public and will feature a dedicated route to walk, run, bike or wheel - and will include other movement & self-care stations. The goal is to unite the Fairfax County community around mental health and wellbeing. Register at https://ourmindsmatter.networkforgood.com/events/40699-move-for-mental-health


FCPS Hall of Fame graphic

FCPS Hall of Fame

Educate Fairfax is delighted to announce the inaugural FCPS Hall of Fame, established to honor distinguished alumni of Fairfax County Public Schools.

Educate Fairfax, its staff and board, believes that our vibrant and successful school system contributes to a great quality of life here in Fairfax County. By highlighting its amazing graduates, we are drawing the connection that tomorrow’s stellar community leaders, business owners, and servant leaders are currently students in our schools right now.

Educate Fairfax is here to make sure all of them have a path to success.

This year’s class of Hall of Fame inductees include a life-long diplomat, a war hero, entrepreneurs, a lawyer and inventor, a young published author and filmmaker, an Olympic athlete, and one of FCPS’s leadership team!

The celebration will be May 4, and tickets are available. To find out more information about the winners and how to purchase tickets, please visit the Educate Fairfax website. 


Audit News

Current Engagement Update

  • At the April 20 Audit Committee meeting, OAG presented on the following agenda items (full agenda and meeting documents can be found on BoardDocs):
    • Introduction & Staff Recognition
    • FY22 Business Process Audits 
      • Annandale HS
      • Hughes MS
      • Justice HS
      • Key MS
      • Lake Braddock SS
      • Oakton HS
      • South County MS
      • Spring Hill ES
      • Westbriar ES
    • FY22 Q2 Continuous Monitoring Results
    • FY23 Risk Assessment and Proposed Audit Plan
  • In addition to the ongoing Continuous Monitoring engagement, both the Information Technology (IT) Platform Implementation and Hardware Acquisition & Management audit and Legal audit are in process. OAG also continues to perform other OAG duties including both school and non-school based Business Process Audits.

OAG continues to serve as the project liaison for a comprehensive program review of FCPS’ special education, which American Institutes for Research (AIR) was contracted to perform.  AIR currently is conducting focus groups and classroom observations, as well as extant data analysis, per the approved scope of work.  The final (Year 2) report is scheduled to be presented to the School Board between September and November 2022. 

Editions of Audit Buzz are archived here on OAG's website.

The next Audit Committee meeting is scheduled for May 25, 2022 at 4:00 PM.  Please refer to BoardDocs for meeting information once it becomes available. 

Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Hotline:

(571) 423-1333 (anonymous voicemail)

InternalAudit@fcps.edu (email is not anonymous)


Leading Ladies Initiative

Global Inheritance, Inc. is on a mission is to create a pathway for under served high school females to reach their potential through STEM education,internships, and leadership development training.

The Leading Ladies Initiative provides students between 10th -12th grades an opportunity to break the barriers of women entering the STEM industry through a work-based learning program. During the program students will experience first-hand how STEM is applied in various careers and gain an understanding of how both high school course selection and college preparedness equips you for a STEM career. The work-based learning program will take place between June 17 - July 1, 2022 and includes an internship opportunity at a local business on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's.

Apply for the Leading Ladies Initiative 2022 Summer Cohort by April 29, 2022.


Youth Conservation Camp Applications due April 29

Applications are now open for Youth Conservation Camp, held July 10-16 on the Virginia Tech campus. The program brings together 70 students for a week of learning about Virginia's natural resources from hands-on experience with conservation professionals and faculty from Virginia Tech. Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to apply and may receive a partial scholarship from NVSWCD. Learn more about Youth Conservation Camp, including how to obtain an application. Contact NVSWCD with questions.


Apply to be the Next EQAC Student Representative

The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) is accepting applications for its student member term running from July 2022 through June 2023. EQAC’s primary function is to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for improving environmental protection and enhancement. The student member application is open to all interested high school sophomores and juniors who are in good standing. Interested students should apply by May 4. Learn more and apply to be the next EQAC student member.


Congressional Art Competition - Entries due May 6

The Annual Congressional Art Competition provides Members of Congress with the unique opportunity to showcase the artistic creativity and talent of high school students from across the United States. 

This competition is open to all high school students who are residents of the 11th Congressional District regardless of where they attend school; public, private and home-schooled students are invited to participate and Congressman Connolly encourages all who are interested to submit an entry. Due to space limitations, students may not submit more than two pieces of art.

Learn more about the 11th Congressional District of Virginia's art competition.


FCPS IT Internship Program is now Accepting Applicants for the 2022-2023 School Year

Interested students should visit the FCPS IT Internship website to learn more about these positions before applying. Resumes and cover letters must be submitted by the deadline on Monday, May 9, 2022.

  • Who Qualifies? Rising FCPS Juniors and Seniors and pending/recent FCPS graduates who plan to stay in the area.
  • How many openings are there? There are five different paid positions students can apply for and serve as official FCPS employees.


Chesapeake Bay Foundation Leadership Expeditions for High School Students

Registration for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2022 Student Leadership Summer Expeditions is now open! Do you know a motivated high school student who wants to get involved with environmental education, advocacy, or leadership? This program is open to students in grades 9-12 and financial aid is available. The Virginia expedition will take place July 11-15, the watershed-wide expedition will take place July 25-29, and the orientation for both expeditions will take place May 25. Learn more and spread the word about CBF's 2022 Student Leadership Summer Expeditions!


BioCode Competition

Are you interested in biology or computer science? Do you enjoy competing and working with other students? TJHSST Bioinformatics Society is hosting its annual BioCode competition, with over $1000 in prizes! To register, sign up at this link using your FCPS Google Account. For more information, please check out their website.


Month of the Military Child

Picture of FCPS military families

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. 

I want to thank all our military families in the Springfield District. I value the dedication and service you bring to our community.

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


Autism Acceptance Month graphic

Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month. One in 44 children is diagnosed with an 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. Please visit the FCPS ABA Service webpage, for more information.

Summer Resources


Sexual Assault Awareness Month graphic

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1 in 4 females, and 1 in 6 males, have been sexually assaulted before the age of 18. LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience sexual violence than heterosexual youth. Sexual violence (harassment, assault, and abuse) happens in every community and affects people of all genders and ages. Sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact. This includes words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will and without their consent. A person may use force, threats, manipulation, or coercion to commit sexual violence. Sexual violence can happen anywhere, including in online spaces. 1 in 8 people has had someone threaten to post and/or post sexually explicit images of them without their consent. For too long harassment, cyberbullying, and sexual abuse and exploitation have come to be expected as typical and unavoidable behaviors online. Building Safe Online Spaces Together is possible when we practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content and behaviors, and promote online communities that value respect, inclusion, and safety. As Lake Braddock Bruins, we can hold each other accountable through speaking up when we witness harassment online and in school, asking for consent, and accepting “no” as an answer. Because sexual violence is a community problem that deserves a community response, there is a role for everyone to play. 

National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones: https://www.rainn.org/national-resources-sexual-assault-survivors-and-their-loved-ones

FCPS Title IX: https://www.fcps.edu/title-ix 


Arab American Heritage Month

Arab American Heritage Month

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.

For over a century, Arab Americans have been making valuable contributions to every aspect of American society—in medicine, law, business, technology, civic engagement, government, and culture. From cryptography, to the artificial heart, to the iPod, here are a few examples of some of the major advancements by Arab Americans. Here is a list of books for children, tweens, and teens to continue to recognize and celebrate Arab American Heritage Month in April.


Ramadan graphic


This year, the Ramadan is observed from April 3 - May 1. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims, who believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam's sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as "The Night of Power." During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline—of deep contemplation of one's relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran. Ramadan Mubarak to those in our community who celebrate! 

Springfield District Scene

Franklin Falcons logo

Cheers to Franklin Middle School’s Songhang Lin and Marisa Rubano for their second and third-place respective finishes in the AMC 8 Math Competition!


Chantilly High School logo

Congratulations to Chantilly High School Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Symphonic Winds on their performances at the VBODA Concert Band Assessment! The success of their performances coupled with the Mighty Marching Chargers' performance at the Fall Marching Assessment has earned their program recognition as a Virginia Honor Band for the 2021-22 school year

Shout out to Chantilly’s Chess Team! Rithwik Erabelly and Rahul Ponugoti! Their team was the runners-up in the 2022 Virginia Scholastic Chess Championship! In addition, Rahul and his team won the Blitz Chess Championship! Way to go! 

Chantilly Academy’s Chef Clay Doubleday was honored at the 2022 Culinary Challenge, "Real Food for Kids, “ as the only teacher who has brought a team to the Culinary Challenge every year since it began ten  years ago. Way to go Chef Doubleday!


Fairfax High School lions logo

Congrats to Fairfax High School’s Winter Drumline for placing second in their class at the Atlantic Indoor Association North Championships! In addition, Fairfax Winter Guard placed fifth in their class at the Championships!


Lake Braddock Bruins logo

Congratulations to Lake Braddock Secondary School Counselor, Jacquie Naughton, for receiving the National Life Changer Award! This award celebrates individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. Read more about Jacquie and her award!

Shout out to the following Lake Braddock Debate Team for finishing in 6th place at the VHSL State Debate Championships! Individual winners include:


  • Aidan Chomicki: 3rd place, Student Congress Debate Division
  • Kaley Nee: 11th place, Student Congress Debate Division
  • Sean Burdett: 6th place, Lincoln Douglas Debate Division
  • Caleb Sharman: University of Kentucky Tournament of Champions, advanced to quarter finals


Mount Vernon High School logo

The “Superior” ratings earned by Mount Vernon High School’s Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Winds, and Madrigal Singers enabled Mount Vernon to win the “Blue Ribbon Award” from the Virginia Music Educators Association. The distinction of a “Blue Ribbon School” is only presented to high school music programs in the Commonwealth whose top groups from all three disciplines (band, orchestra, and chorus) earn overall Superior Rankings at district concert assessment. Congratulations!

Way to go Mount Vernon’s Winter Guard for earning a silver medal at the 2022 Atlantic Indoor Asoociation Championships! 


Oakton Cougars logo

Oakton High School has been recognized by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) as a model program and was awarded the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation for 2022 for successfully demonstrating how their comprehensive school counseling programs benefit all students. 

Learn more about the RAMP designation.  


Robinson Rams logo

Wow! Robinson Secondary School wrestler, Sammy Gerard, was named the 2022 5A/6A Student-Athlete of the Year by the Virginia Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame! Congratulations Sammy! Read more in this Fairfax Times article.




Congratulations to TJHSST’s Chess Club for winning the 2022 Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships for its 20th straight year! Way to go!



Springfield District Student Artists Recognized in 2022 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) student writers won 26 Gold Key awards in the 2021 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards competition.  In all, 137 Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions were earned by FCPS students. Winners in the regional competition came from 23 Fairfax County middle and high schools.  

Congratulations to the following Springfield District students:

  • Lake Braddock Secondary School: Bianca Blancaflor, Stephanie Groves, and Michelle Wang
  • Oakton High School: Nicole Deng and Cindy Li
  • Rocky Run Middle School: Ella Hartman
  • South County High School: Aeryn Dahm
  • TJHSST: Aishwarya Chakravarthy, Sara Elanchezhian, Sagar Gupta, Jessica May, and Isra Satiar
  • West Springfield High School: Leah Abraham, Ben Bradfield, Eunice Choe, Olivia Gondek, Grace Kang, Jiitu Kuffa, and Dennis Ngo

Read the full news release.


Springfield District Student Artists Recognized in 2022 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Original works of art and writing by students from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) 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.

Congratulations to the following Springfield District students:

  • Chantilly High School: Victoria Phinizy and Michelle Wang
  • Lake Braddock Secondary School: Tahanni Robinson

Find more information and the full list of winners


Oakton and Woodson Robotics Head to World Championships

Congratulations to Oakton and Woodson High Schools' FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Teams who competed in the World Championships in Houston April 20-22. All three schools competed at the regional championship held recently in Hampton Roads.

FIRST® Robotics Competition teams (which include adult mentors) are given six weeks to design, program, and build a robot starting with a standard kit of parts and common set of rules to play in a themed head-to-head challenge. This year's challenges included having the robot climb ascending monkey bars. 

In addition to learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), students that participate in the FIRST competition learn financial management, teamwork, conflict resolution, leadership, and communication. 


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.

Congratulations to the following Springfield District winners:

  • TJHSST: Catherine Nguyen, member of the Assistive Technology Club
  • Rolling Valley Elementary School: Amy LaCrosse, enhanced autism teacher
  • Oakton High School: Victoria Robinson, multiple disabilities teacher

Read the full news release to more information and to view the entire list of winners.

Family Resources

FCPS and Fairfax County Government Partnering to Provide Substance Abuse Webinars on April 28

Due to the rise in opioid overdoses in the Fairfax Health District (which is consistent with national and state trends), Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Fairfax County Government to provide educational webinars on youth substance use trends and supports. The free webinars are scheduled for April 28, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 

The following topics will be discussed:

  • Most commonly used substances.
  • In-depth opioid information.
  • Reasons why youth use substances.
  • How parents can support their children.
  • Available FCPS and Fairfax County Resources.
  • How students, parents, and community members can connect with support providers.

Registration for the webinars is available online.


FCPS Parent Resource Center logo

New Resources from the Parent Resource Center

Listed below are resources from FCPS and the community on a wide variety of topics to help families and educators support student success. 

Our staff is available by phone 703-204-3941 or email prc@fcps.edu.  We’re here to help and can send materials to your local school or FCPS office.

  1. Resource Guides: Please email the PRC for copies of these guides.
  • Parent Support Resource Guide: This is a list of service providers and support and information organizations to help families support their children with special needs.
  • Respite Care: This is a list of public and private organizations helping families locate respite and crisis care services in their communities. 
  • Adapted Recreation: This is a list of activities with opportunities for all children especially those with special needs. 
  • Special Education Summer Camps: This is a list of camps with opportunities for all children especially those with special needs.  
  1. Videos added to our Youtube Channel
  1. New Materials added to Library


Register for Free Webinars from the Parent Resource Center

The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) is offering free parent webinars. They are:

Supporting Early Learners: Growing the Caregiver’s Toolbox: A Webinar for PreK-2 Families

  • 5/20/22: Growing through Tough Moments in Early Learners

There are so many ways children learn and develop throughout early childhood. Relationships, habits, and even challenges can become rich opportunities to teach and foster lifelong learning and skills for our children. Learn more about how self-regulation, executive functioning, and routines can help your children learn and develop.

  • Laura Thieman, LCSW, MPH, RPT- FCPS Social Worker Supervisor, Region 3
  • Amy Sheldon, MEd, MSW, LCSW - FCPS Preschool Mental Health Clinician, Early Childhood Assessment Team
  • Lori Kraden, FCPS Educational Specialist, Behavior Intervention Services

Fridays 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Supporting Early Learners: Growing the Caregiver’s Toolbox: A Webinar for PreK-2 Families


Worry and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: Using Evidence-based Strategies to Help Kids and Caregivers Cope During Tough Times

Join us for this important webinar to help caregivers and families learn strategies to support children during tough times.

Topics include:

  • Science and biological roots of anxiety in children
    • Identifying an anxious child
    • Changing anxious thinking
    • Computer technology and the understanding of anxiety
  • Current treatment options (medications & CBT: cognitive behavioral therapy)
    • Different coping strategies needed for the current pandemic

Presented by Dr. Ramaris E. German, a clinical psychologist in the Neuroscience and Novel Therapeutics Unit of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

May 6, 2022 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Register for Worry and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: Using Evidence-based Strategies to Help Kids and Caregivers Cope During Tough Times


Managing Fighting and Aggression: A Webinar for Families

Ever wonder how to manage difficult behavior like fighting and aggression between your children?

Join Karen Coad, LCSW,  local Clinical Social Worker and Therapist, for this important webinar as we discuss some of the reasons why children fight, and the skills that children need to cooperate and get along well with others.

May 13, 2022, 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Managing Fighting and Aggression: A webinar for Families


SIBSHOPS: An Exciting, In-Person Workshop for Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs!

The Sibshop workshops are for children in grades 2-6 enrolled in Fairfax County Public Schools who have siblings with special needs to:

  • Meet other siblings in a relaxed, virtual setting.
  • Celebrate the many contributions made by brothers and sisters of children with special needs.
  • Share sibling experiences and receive peer support.
  • Play games and have fun!

Presented by FCPS School Social Work Services.

Registration is free, however, donations are accepted to support the cost of future Sibshops: Donate Here

Saturday, May 14, 2022, 9 a.m-noon in-person Providence Community Center.

Register for SIBSHOPS: An Exciting, In-person, and Virtual Workshop for Brothers and Sisters of Children with Special Needs!


Supporting Early Learners: Growing the Caregiver’s Toolbox: A Webinar for PreK-2 Families

  • 5/20/22: Growing through Tough Moments in Early Learners

There are so many ways children learn and develop throughout early childhood. Relationships, habits, and even challenges can become rich opportunities to teach and foster lifelong learning and skills for our children. Learn more about how self-regulation, executive functioning, and routines can help your children learn and develop.

  • Laura Thieman, LCSW, MPH, RPT- FCPS Social Worker Supervisor, Region 3
  • Amy Sheldon, MEd, MSW, LCSW - FCPS Preschool Mental Health Clinician, Early Childhood Assessment Team
  • Lori Kraden, FCPS Educational Specialist, Behavior Intervention Services

Fridays 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Supporting Early Learners: Growing the Caregiver’s Toolbox: A Webinar for PreK-2 Families


Building Resilient Communities: Understanding ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

How does adversity affect us as individuals and as a community? Learn how adversity during childhood affects the developing brain and body, and the impacts later in life. The presentation will present an overview of the original ACE public health study and how it can guide and inform us today to create communities that support resiliency for all. Join Fairfax County Council PTA Board Member and ACE Interface presenter, Jenna White on Tuesday, May 3 from 7 - 8:30 p.m. for this free webinar open to all in the community. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Pre-register here.


Building Resiliency and Managing Anxiety in Teens - Recording 

In case you missed the webinar, “Building Resiliency and Managing Anxiety in Teens” with Dr. Jonathan Dalton from the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Change, you may view recording here. Dr. Dalton defined anxiety and offered practical tools to manage anxiety as well as how parents can help build resilience in their teens.


FCPS Multilingual Family Podcasts

FCPS Multilingual Podcasts logo

Listen and subscribe to an FCPS multilingual family podcast to hear timely, important information related to school news. The podcasts are produced in conjunction with the Office for English as a Second Language (ESOL) Services and the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement.

n this episode, meet Armando Peri, FCPS ombudsman, and Dawn Clements, assistant ombudsman for special education. They explain their roles and responsibilities, how they help parents navigate difficult situations, and what parents can expect when they contact the ombudsman. To contact them, call 571-423-4014 or email ombudsman@fcps.edu. 

Listen and subscribe:


FCPS Healthy Minds logo

Teaching Children How to Accept Mistakes and Disappointment

We all want to see our children succeed. However, making mistakes and learning how to handle disappointment are valuable experiences for children. Here are some strategies from the Healthy Minds Blog for parents on teaching children how to deal with their mistakes in a healthy way.  


Helpful tips graphic

Tip Sheets for Parents

Offer Schoolwork Support, Not Answers

Assignments can be a link between home and school. Teachers give them to help children strengthen skills and review class work. At the same time, families can find out what their children are learning by being involved in homework.

Being involved does not mean doing schoolwork for your child. That will give the teacher a false reading of your student's progress. Plus, you'll prevent your child from feeling capable of doing the work alone. Instead, offer support as your child does the work.

Try these tips to support your child’s success with homework.

Copyright 2022, The Parent Institute, a Division of PaperClip Media Inc. All rights reserved. Get more tips for parents and other family engagement resources


Prevent Setbacks From Derailing Your Child

Setbacks can cause self-doubt for even the most positive kids. Their self-esteem plummets because of a bad grade. Or they compare themselves to others and see themselves coming up short. Learn how to help your child overcome setbacks and feel more positive

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


Keep Your Child Safe from Substance Abuse

FCPS and Fairfax County would like everyone to remember that the Fairfax community continues to be profoundly impacted by the opioid epidemic. Consistent with national and state trends, local data on fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses in the Fairfax Health District has been trending higher in 2022. 

People of all ages, in all parts of the Fairfax community, continue to be impacted by the opioid epidemic. In addition to opioids, data shows the most used substances amongst youth include nicotine, marijuana, alcohol, and prescription pills outside of a doctor’s recommendation. 

To help keep our children safe, here are some suggested tips for parents.


Use the PNP Method When Giving Your Child Feedback

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.


Free School Physicals for Uninsured Children

Together with Inova Cares Clinic for Families, Partnership for Healthier Communities is scheduling free school physicals for students who are uninsured or have Virginia Medicaid. This will take place at Inova Cares Clinic for Families in Manassas, VA and occur until August. Partnership for Healthier Communities will be on-site to screen and enroll qualifying families in Medicaid.

English flyer for free school physicals
Spanish flyer for free school physicals


Scholarship Opportunities

Horatio Alger Career & Technical Scholarship

The Career & Technical Scholarship Program is funded through the generosity of Horatio Alger Association Members and awards 500 scholarships at up to $2,500 each. Scholarships are awarded to students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their lives and who wish to pursue a career or technical education at an accredited community college or technical school in the United States. Apply by June 15, 2022.


Legere Legends Scholarship - Apply by May 1

For eight years, John Legere was known as the outspoken, radical CEO of T-Mobile. As a true visionary, Legere brought fun, common sense, and relatability to his role and masterminded one of the most impressive turnarounds in corporate history. John has always advocated for access to education, encouraging everyone to continue learning and to mentor those following in his path whenever possible. This year, he’s decided to create and award the first Legere’s Legends $100,000 Scholarship to one incoming college freshman – allowing them an opportunity to succeed without the financial burden oftentimes associated with college. Heading off to school should be a cause for celebration, excitement, transition (and fun!) – yet seemingly

insurmountable loans and student debt continue to surge for millions in America. While John doesn’t have all the answers to solve the root of the debt crisis, he’s decided to do what he can to lighten the load for one lucky student. Through Legere Legends, John hopes to extend the gift of education to one student who shares his passion for learning, humility, and personal growth in all aspects of life.

Applications are due by May 1, 2022. For more information and to apply visit www.LegereLegends.com

Health and Safety News

Updated Isolation Procedures for Students Effective May 1

Since the start of the pandemic, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has regularly reviewed and adjusted our health and safety guidance in alignment with recommendations from local, state and national health experts.

As a result, FCPS will be changing current isolation procedures for students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Beginning May 1, 2022, your child may return to in-person instruction and activities, including athletics, after at least five (5) days of isolation when your child has met the following criteria:

  • Student is fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication; AND
  • Student’s symptoms have improved or resolved; AND
  • Student wears a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days (day six through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance

If students are unable to wear a mask when around others, they are to continue to isolate for a full 10 days at home.

Children who are in isolation will continue to have access to our StreamIn/CheckIn during this time. 

The new procedure aligns with the timeline recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD). It also follows improving vaccination rates in the Fairfax Health District, as well as a continued community level of low in Fairfax County.

We continue to balance the need for students to have a high-quality in-person learning experience with student and staff safety. By adhering to our layered prevention strategies and increasing vaccination rates, we are all doing our part to keep schools safe.


FCPS COVID-19 Testing Ended April 22 

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 discontinued 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

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.


Important Immunization Requirement for Students Entering Seventh Grade or Twelfth Grade This Fall

While the COVID-19 vaccination is NOT required by schools for the 2022-23 school year, many other vaccinations are.

Seventh-grade students need:

  • One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) given at age 7 or older.
  • One dose of Meningococcal Vaccine (MenACWY, Menactra, or Menveo) given at age 10 or older.

Twelfth-grade students need:

  • One dose of Meningococcal Vaccine (MenACWY, Menactra, or Menveo) given at age 16 or older.

More information on immunization requirements is available online

What’s in a Name?

Each month I will feature a different Springfield District school from the What’s in a Name video series. This month let’s learn about the history behind Katherine Johnson Middle School's name.

Picture of Katherine Johnson

Click above to learn more about the history of Katherine Johnson Middle School's name.

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The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

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