Employee News 5/24/22

Condemnation of Gun Violence in Schools

Yesterday, Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, experienced a horrifying act of violence which resulted in the tragic loss of 21 innocent lives; 19 children and two teachers. Many more were injured. We share in the grief and frustration that follows these far too common events. Read our complete statement.

Gun violence and school shootings are complicated topics that affect each of us in different ways. The following resources may be helpful as we all process yesterday’s events:

Because of the potential for both intended and unintended threats to our schools, FCPS has focused a great deal of attention to emergency procedures and is vigilant about protecting the safety of its students and employees. The school division has spent considerable time and effort in planning and practicing day-to-day safety and security measures, as well as addressing the response to a major critical incident. Among these measures are:

Building Safety

  • Physical security (Locked doors, intrusion alarms, electronic door access, CCTV).
  • Visitor Management System and Procedures (Deployed system-wide).
  • Emergency planning coordination with police, fire, and emergency management offices.
  • Uniformed school security patrols (24/7).
  • SROs at all middle and high schools.
  • FCPS security personnel at all middle and high schools.
  • Comprehensive division-wide crisis management plan.
  • Individual school crisis plans-updated annually.

Safety Training

  • Lockdown, Fire, and Tornado Drills.
  • Safety training and Table Top exercises at all schools.
  • Critical incident terms awareness and training (Lockdown, Secure the Building, Shelter in Place, Stay Put Stay Tuned).
  • Employee training in crisis management and communication. (Lockdown, Evacuation, and “Run, Hide, Fight”).
  • Mandatory annual safety training for all students and staff.

Safety Procedures

  • Threat assessment process.
  • Confidential tip, text, and email programs.
  • Systemwide emergency alert systems.

Safety and security is everyone’s job. Staff, students, parents, and the community at large are reminded to incorporate safety and security awareness as routine, and to immediately report any unusual activity to the authorities. Know that we take the safety and security of all students very seriously, and additional information regarding our programs can be found on our Safety and Security website

Staff with the book The Day You Begin


The Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE) donated the book, The Day You Begin, each with the name of a different OPFLE staff member listed on the book plate, as a gift to all elementary schools for Staff Appreciation Week.

Webinar on Opioid Use Trends and Support Set for June 7

Opioid overdoses are on the rise in the Fairfax Health District, which is consistent with national and state trends. 

Fairfax County Public Schools is partnering with Fairfax County Government to provide an educational webinar on substance use trends and supports June 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Register for the June 7 webinar

The webinar will cover topics including:

  • Most Commonly Used Substances.
  • In Depth Opioid Information.
  • Reasons Why Youth Use Substances.
  • Ways Parents Can Support their Children.
  • Available FCPS and Fairfax County Resources.
  • How to connect with Support Providers.

Language interpretation will be available in Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and Korean. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting by an ASL/Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) Team will also be provided.

Learn more about what you can do to help and prevent overdoses in our Healthy Minds blog.


Do Your Part: Vax Up!

Do your part! for yourself, for others, for our schools. Vax Up! For more information, visit vaccine.gov.


FCPS has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases recently as the county has transitioned to the medium community level. Schools continue to apply layered prevention strategies to maintain a healthy work and learning environment. However, each of us has a responsibility to do our part to help keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues safe.

Easy ways to “Do Your Part” include: staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, considering when and where to choose to mask up, practicing good hygiene, and monitoring symptoms daily. 

A single booster dose is now authorized for children ages 5-11, at least five months after completing a primary series with the Pfizer vaccine. Learn more about scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment or find a walk-in option on the Fairfax County Health Department’s website


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 May 16 included:

  • Virtual Cybersecurity Fundamentals Training to Be Held on July 15.
  • Thank you Retirees!
  • Do Your Part: Stay Home When Sick
  • FCPS Online Classifieds Free for Employees.

New Tuition Reimbursement Portal Opens July 1

Tuition Reimbursement

The portal to apply for reimbursement of spring 2022 courses will open July 1. This is a change from the previous June 1 planned opening and was needed to improve processes in the system. 

These changes will allow for faster approvals for Priority 1 and Priority 2 requests. It will also be easier for operational employees to submit reimbursement requests for continuing education credits they need to obtain or maintain certification. The FY23 priority list reflects the division’s support of employee career growth opportunities and the retention of an educated and talented workforce. View the updated priority list online.

Further details will be provided in Employee News in June along with updates on the Hub. For additional information or to contact the Tuition Reimbursement team, visit the Tuition Reimbursement Hub page.

Interested in Becoming a Special Education Teacher?

Masked teacher holds white board that says love

Virtual Information Meeting to Be Held on May 25 

FCPS is excited to announce a new tuition sharing benefit as a part of a Grow Your Own (GYO) initiative to recruit, hire, and retain special education teachers. The GYO program includes 50-50 tuition sharing through a partnership with James Madison University (JMU). This program is designed for those wishing to achieve a bachelor’s degree and is targeted to paraprofessional candidates with either an associate’s degree or with 60+ college credits, and leads to dual licensure in Accessing the General Curriculum and Accessing the Adapted Curriculum.

JMU representatives will hold a virtual meeting on May 25  from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. to share program information along with much more on eligibility and application details. Interested employees should submit this Google Form to  register for the information session (FCPS Google log-in required).

JMU will also review transcripts before the information session for any interested candidates. Candidates are encouraged to submit this Google form if you would like to request a transcript review (FCPS Google log-in required).

Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Registration Open for Summer Academy Courses

FCPS is committed to continuous, sustained professional development through the summer Academy Course Program. Courses include a variety of virtual offerings based on teacher feedback and FCPS priorities, such as: 

  • Supporting Students' Social Emotional Needs.
  • Addressing Unfinished Learning.
  • Literacy (K-2).
  • Adopting Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices.
  • English Learner Instruction.
  • Engaging Families and Communities.
  • Developing Students' Portrait of a Graduate (POG) Skills.
  • Leadership/Career Development. 

All courses are designed to enhance teacher knowledge and skills. 

To promote equitable access and to minimize potential summer program conflicts, most of the Academy courses will be offered from late June until early August and will start at 3:30 p.m. or later. 

Details including course syllabus, outcomes, and assignments are available in MyPDE

Visit the Academy Hub page for more information or email Academy@fcps.edu for questions.


Register for the 2022 Summer Equity Symposium

Equity Reimagined: Pursuing Transformative Change


The 2022 Summer Equity Symposium, Equity Reimagined: Pursuing Transformative Change, will take place on Tuesday, July 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Lewis High School. 

The event will promote growth, reflection, and continuous improvement as we seek a culture of inclusivity, equity, diversity, and belonging. This professional learning experience will include speakers and deeper learning sessions to increase participants' awareness and understanding of equitable and culturally responsive practices.

Registration is open in MyPDE through July 1.


Sideburn Center Holding Blood Drive on June 2

Blood Donation Drive


Sideburn Support Center is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, June 2 from 6 to 10 a.m. Please consider donating as there is a nationwide shortage of blood.    

For all who donate or attempt to donate, there will be breakfast provided.    

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, which will be drawn on Thursday, June 2, after the blood drive. 

To donate please follow the links below to schedule your appointment:  

For more information, contact Jackie Roseman at JMRoseman@fcps.edu


Congratulations to the April FCPS CARES of the Month Winners

FCPS Cares


The following employees were recognized as April FCPS CARES of the Month winners. Read about why these employees are being honored and recognize a colleague who goes above and beyond.

  • Central Office: Candace Davis, Lorton Center, Department of Facilities and Transportation. “Upon arriving at school, it was noticed that a student with a device to support hearing did not have it on. Thankfully the device was found on the bus after a thorough search and Ms. Davis made sure to communicate this and get it to the family. This was a stressful situation that Ms. Davis handled calmly, proactively, and effectively.” 
  • Region 1: Jay O’Rourke, Langley High School. “Mr. O’Rourke has changed the math for my daughter. His amazing sense of humor and open and inviting demeanor draws her in each day. We hear story after story of how he uses math jokes, puns, or even Tik Tok trends to engage his students with the incredibly challenging curriculum he presents.”  
  • Region 2: Ariel Miller, Justice High School. “Ariel Miller has gone out of her way throughout the months of February and March, coming to school on Saturdays, so students can work through their chemical internal assessments (IA). Due to her work, the first students at Justice High School got a 7 on their chemical IA, so it's clear she brings value to the school and passion to her work."
  • Region 3: Stephanie Seadeek, Fort Hunt Elementary School. “Stephanie Seadeek is an incredible force for awesomeness at Fort Hunt Elementary School. There is NOTHING at our school that hasn’t benefited from her personal touch: community outreach and engagement, summer reading program, after-school enrichment programs, reading buddies, staff social committee, PTA fundraisers, Care and Share, and on and on and on.”
  • Region 4: Jenna McCabe, Lake Braddock Secondary School. “Jenna is truly the most genuine and caring teacher I have witnessed when interacting with students. She is tough on them because she has high expectations and goals for them, but is also incredibly understanding and able to make true connections with them.” 
  • Region 5: Kevin Deans, Katherine Johnson Middle School. “We’ve had 3 kids attend FCPS and have never experienced a teacher as dedicated to student success as Mr. Kevin Deans. We were first introduced to him over the summer of 2021 when he personally called me to push for my daughter to enter his higher-level math class. … I am thrilled to say that she has not only excelled in his classroom but has become a much more positive person.”

Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on May 30 for Memorial Day Holiday

Calendar Reminder


As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 30, for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 31. See the complete 2021-22 school year calendar.


Reminder: School Board Meeting on May 26 at 7 p.m.

School Board seal and gavel.


The School Board will hold a regular business meeting on Thursday, May 26, 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:

  • Adoption of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Approved Budget. 
  • Approval of Policy 4750 - Deferred Compensation Retirement Savings Program.

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 action items 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!