Employee News - 5/4/22

Bernadine Futrell, director of the Office of Head Start, with teacher Katrina Garrett and Douglas Tyson, region 1 assistant superintendent

Dogwood Elementary School hosted Dr. Bernadine Futrell, the director of the Office of Head Start in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on Friday, April 29. Dr. Futrell visited with students along with teacher Katrina Garrett and Douglas Tyson, assistant superintendent for Region 1.

Teacher Appreciation Week - students heading into school with flowers.

May 2-6 is Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. We are so thankful for all the hard work our teachers and staff members do every day to make our schools a great place to learn and work! 

Some of our students took the time to share video messages of appreciation to teachers. Join us in celebrating FCPS' amazing, creative, and caring educators who inspire our students each day.

Video: Damien Ettere, Armstrong Elementary School Math Teacher: “Math Is All Around Us”

Damien Ettere video screen shot

As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we could share countless stories of FCPS teachers who are dedicated to student success. This week, we’re excited to tell you about Damien Ettere, a math teacher at Armstrong Elementary School, who is one of three finalists from Virginia for the Presidential Math and Science Teaching Awards. 

The award, regarded as the nation's top honor for math and science teachers, recognizes educators who develop and implement high-quality instructional programs that improve student learning in mathematics and science.

Watch this video to see how Ettere builds community and context in his classroom.

Meet the Incoming Superintendent: Dr. Michelle Reid Answers Staff, Student, and Community Questions at Live Event

MIchelle Reid video screenshot

Students, families, and staff gathered for an opportunity to get to know Dr. Michelle Reid, incoming superintendent, on Tuesday, May, 4 at Annandale High School. Dr. Reid answered audience questions on a variety of topics including equity, technology, learning loss, social/emotional health, and students with disabilities. Earlier that day, Dr. Reid met with roughly 200 FCPS students during a forum held at Thoreau Middle School.

These were the first of many opportunities for the FCPS community and Dr. Reid to engage with each other over the coming weeks. Watch a recording of Tuesday’s community event to hear what Dr. Reid had to say.

Save the Date: Dr. Reid Virtual Town Hall on May 17

MIchelle Reid speaking in front of a group of students.

On Tuesday, May 17, Dr. Reid will join staff, families, and students for a multilingual virtual town hall, from 7 to 8 p.m.

Dr. Reid will be hosting additional engagement sessions throughout the county after her official start date on July 1.

What’s on the Employee News Blog?

Employee News blog graphic

Catch up on employee news anytime, anywhere on the Employee News Blog. The Employee News weekly email newsletter will include a recap of what's on the blog so you won’t miss anything you need to know.

In case you missed it, the Employee News Blog for the week of April 25 included:

  • Draft 2022-23 Employee Calendar Now Available.
  • Lead by Example—Be a Champion of Recognition!

Virtual Community Forum on Proposed Updates to SR&R Regulation

The Department of Special Services will be hosting a virtual meeting for FCPS families, employees, and community members regarding proposed updates to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Regulation (SR&R, R2601). Please join us via the Zoom platform virtually on Thursday, May 5, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Register now.

Language interpretation will be available in Spanish. American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting will be available by an ASL/Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Team. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about suggested updates to the SR&R and ask questions via Zoom Chat. An online feedback form will be posted to the FCPS website later this week. We look forward to your participation—your voice matters!

More information on the virtual forum is available online.

School Board Approves FCPS Trust Policy

On Thursday, April 28, the Fairfax County School Board approved the Trust Policy. The policy confirms the School Board’s commitment to providing a safe and welcoming space for all students and their families by aligning Fairfax County Public Schools with Fairfax County’s Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy. This will ensure that FCPS students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear that information will be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to federal immigration officials. 

The Trust Policy directs the superintendent to conduct all necessary preparations so that it is fully in effect for the start of the 2022-23 school year, and as much as possible for the 2022 summer school session. See the complete policy.

Video: School Board Welcomes Sherry Wilson to FCPS

Sherry Wilson video screenshot

Sherry Wilson, incoming assistant superintendent of Human Resources, was introduced to the FCPS community at the School Board meeting on April 28. Wilson is currently the director of Human Resources in Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools and will begin working with FCPS on June 1. 

In her remarks to the School Board, Wilson stated, “I love the fact that FCPS embraces creative thinking, a culture of caring, equity, inclusion, innovation and a diverse workforce. Each of these factors combine to create and support the premier workforce for which Fairfax County Public Schools is known. Having worked alongside members of the Human Resources team at recruiting events, I have seen the zeal and commitment to recruiting the best and brightest to join the FCPS workforce and I am thrilled to now join such dedicated staff.” Watch her complete remarks.

You’ve Got Mail: How One FCPS Elementary School is Reviving Letter Writing to Help Improve Literacy Rates

Stratford Landing reading specialist Jill Norris.


When reading specialist Jill Norris joined the staff of Stratford Landing Elementary School last August, she brought with her a love of letter writing developed from her childhood days exchanging mail with her grandmother. So when she sat down to consider ways to engage students in reading and writing, she drew inspiration from those memories.

She now has a mailbox outside her office for children to drop off hand-written letters each day, sharing everything from what they did over the weekend to their struggles with school. Learn how the letter writing activity has increased literacy rates at Stratford Landing

Monitor COVID-19 Symptoms and Stay Home When Sick

Woman in a yellow shirt wearing a mask holding her hand up to make a stop sign.

Fairfax County Public Schools continues to monitor cases and report COVID-19 outbreaks, as outlined by the Virginia Department of Health. Currently,  Fairfax County's Community Level remains low as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our layered prevention strategies are being implemented based on our COVID-19 Community Level, as recommended by the CDC.

However, FCPS has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks and parents/legal guardians are reminded of the daily health screening requirement to check their students for mild, cold-like symptoms each day, such as fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath. Parents and guardians are advised to keep their students home if sick and get them tested to stop further spread from occurring. 


We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated or boosted as soon as they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccination keeps children safely in school and childcare settings, and also while participating in sports, playdates, extracurricular activities, and other group activities. Strong community vaccination rates help keep our schools safe for in-person learning. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine or find a vaccine provider, visit the Fairfax County Health Department website.


As a reminder, students may return to school after five days of isolation if they are fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and symptoms are improving. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of the 5-day isolation period. If individuals are unable to wear a mask when around others, they should continue to isolate for a full 10 days at home. 

While not required, wearing a mask while indoors is still considered an important way to protect yourself and others. Families are encouraged to discuss mask wearing as an additional layered prevention strategy.

Additional recommendations to prevent COVID-19 are available online.

Ducchi Quan Named ERFC Trustee

Picture of ERFC logo

Notice 4771 states that voting for the election of a trustee for the Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County (ERFC) is waived when there is only one candidate.

Ducchi Quan, mathematics teacher for Annandale High School, was the unopposed candidate and will serve as an ERFC trustee for three years beginning July 1, 2022. 

As a reminder, only full-time, monthly-paid instructional, administrative, and educational support employees are automatically enrolled in ERFC. Learn more about ERFC.

Fairfax County Employee Retirement System Election Petitions Due by May 18 

More than 6,000 FCPS employees receive their retirement benefits from the Fairfax County Employee Retirement System (FCERS). This includes transportation, food service, trades and maintenance, custodial, and part-time teaching staff. An electronic special election of one (FCERS) trustee will be held May 24-26. FCPS employees who are FCERS members are eligible to be nominated and to vote for the vacant trustee position. The term for the newly elected FCPS trustee is July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.

The FCERS petition outlines the election process and requires:

  • Electronic nomination petitions.
  • A candidate statement of contribution.  

Electronic petitions and candidate statements must be received by the Office of Equity and Employee Relations, via email to Skburris@fcps.edu by May 18. If you have questions, please contact Sherri Burris at 571-423-3252 or Skburris@fcps.edu

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!