FCPS This Week - August 12, 2022 - Counting Down to the First Day of School

Community Conversations with Dr. Reid

Dr. Reid shaking hands with a student in a classroom

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid will be hosting Superintendent Community Conversations across the division this fall to get to know our communities. Events will be scheduled at high schools in each pyramid. Dates, times, and more details will be shared with staff, students and families soon.

Update Your Emergency Care Information Through weCare@school

A large group of young students outside, standing in front of a fire truck

Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to ensuring that the climate in all FCPS facilities is safe and secure. In support of this goal, FCPS provides weCare@school (weCare), an emergency care information system, available to FCPS parents and guardians who have registered for their own Parent account. 

weCare helps manage emergency medical information by enabling parents to go online to enter and update their children’s medical data at their convenience. Contact information provided automatically enrolls parents to receive eNotify communications from the district and their child’s school. eNotify is the communications tool for FCPS emergency, transportation, attendance, weather closings and delays, and essential outreach messages. Messages are sent via email and text messages. Occasional phone messages are sent as well

Get more information about updating your emergency care information.

Be on the Lookout for Your School’s Request for Parental Permission to Use Digital Resources

child's hand pointing at a computer screen

Fairfax County Public Schools provides access to digital resources to maximize learning opportunities and protect student privacy. Each FCPS digital resource has had an instructional and technical review. Information about the educational technology tools approved for use within FCPS can be found in the online Digital Ecosystem Library

Some FCPS-approved resources require parental consent. Parents will receive more information from their child’s school before the first day of school. This will include the list of educational technology tools used and explain the process for providing permission. It is critical that parents respond to the request for parental permission so teachers can plan to use the best technology tools with students this school year.

Parents can find more information about FCPS-approved digital resources on the Digital Resources in FCPS webpage.

2022 Student Rights & Responsibilities Includes Cell Phone Usage Update

child's hand holding a cell phone

The Student Rights and Responsibilities document (SR&R) explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. Read the Letter from the Superintendent on the 2022-23 Student Rights and Responsibilities: A Guide for Families.Key changes to the document for the 2022-23 school year include: 

  • Adding rights to protect citizenship and immigration status from unauthorized sharing.
  • Changes to FCPS’ Acceptable Use Policy Regulation for Technology.
  • A new section on cell phones.

The new section on cell phones prohibits cell phone use in classrooms. We recognize that this new policy will be a shift for many students and families this year, but research shows that managing phone use during class time will support students’ attention and ability to fully engage in their learning. Schools are partnering with parents to have students understand the importance of putting their phones away to minimize distractions during class.

  • Students in K-8 must keep phones silenced and in backpacks for the duration of the school day unless there is a medical need or emergency, or teachers have allowed the usage of cell phones for instructional activities where they are the most appropriate tool. Cell phones may only be used on campus before and after school. (Except in secondary schools where students in grades 7 and 8 may use phones during passing periods.)
  • Students in grades 9-12 must keep phones silenced and put away during all instructional periods unless there is a medical need or emergency, or teachers have allowed the usage of cell phones for instructional activities where they are the most appropriate tool. Cell phones may be used on campus before the first bell, after the last bell, during passing periods, and lunches. 

If a parent or guardian believes their child requires access to a personally owned device(s) as an accommodation, they should contact child’s school team—i.e., 504 Committee, Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team, English Language Committee, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Team—to schedule a meeting to have their request considered. 

Parents should talk to their child(ren) before the start of the school year about these expectations for this upcoming school year. Families may also review the parental controls available for all iPhone and Android users. More information about the SR&R is available online.


Preparing Your Student for Meals at School

several salads and pieces of fruit in a lunch line

As of July 1, the US Department of Agriculture pandemic program to provide no-cost meals to all public school students has ended. This school year, parents will either need to provide their students with money to purchase meals at school, send them with a packed lunch, or apply (and be approved) for free and reduced-price meals benefits.  

Paying for Meals

child entering their lunch account number in a lunch line

Prices for meals are the same as they were before the pandemic in 2020. School breakfast for students costs $1.75. Lunch is $3.25 for elementary students and $3.50 for middle, secondary, and high school students. 

The best way to purchase meals (and additional food items) is to use MySchoolBucks. Set up your student’s MySchoolBucks account online. If you have questions about MySchoolBucks, your school’s front office staff can help. Purchases made with MySchoolBucks keep cafeteria lines moving more quickly. Be ready on day one by setting up your child’s MySchoolBucks account, looking over the menus, and helping them learn their pin. You will receive an email from Food and Nutrition Services that includes your child’s pin.

Superintendent Staffing Update

We are excited to let you know that we are very close to being fully staffed for the first day of school. Join Dr. Michelle Reid for a live update Wednesday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m. or Thursday August 18 at noon. Look out for details in your email early next week.

Want to Teach? Residency Program Helps Get Qualified Educators in the Classroom

teacher sitting on a desk

Catherine Coulter seems like the perfect hire for any Fairfax County Public School community looking to bring on a new teacher. Coulter, who has a master’s degree in education, six years of classroom teaching experience, and is an FCPS grad herself, had long wanted to teach in the community where she grew up.

Amid headlines about national and regional teacher shortages, Coulter was eager to stay in the classroom. There was just one hiccup—Coulter has a middle school teaching certification, and she hoped to pivot to teaching elementary students.

A new FCPS teacher residency program is helping Coulter, and others like her, bridge the gap to start teaching this fall while finishing up requirements to become fully licensed in Virginia. 

Jobs in Special Education

teacher and student in the hallway looking at a picture taped to a window

A Special Education hiring event will be held virtually on Wednesday, August 17, from 5 to 6 p.m. Register for the Special Education Job Fair online

View all available jobs with FCPS. For more information, contact HR Connection online, or at 571-423-3000. 

FCPS Seeking Outstanding Substitutes!

teacher sitting at a desk talking to a student

Are you or somebody you know interested in working as a substitute with FCPS? FCPS is looking for individuals to serve as substitute teachers, instructional assistants, public health training assistants, and public health attendants! You will find information about the application process online. You can also attend one of our Wednesday information sessions to learn more about the application and hiring process. To sign up for an information session, please visit our substitute information page.

VDOE Wants Your Feedback on History and Social Science Curriculum Review

Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) robust history and social studies programs prepare all students to be positive contributors to their communities. FCPS aligns curriculum to the History and Social Science Standards of Learning provided by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). 

VDOE is conducting a routine review of current History and Social Science Standards of Learning. This process began in 2020 and is expected to be complete by November 2022. Public engagement is an important component of the review process and VDOE will consider all public comments received by September 25, 2022. 

FCPS encourages families, students, staff, and community members to provide feedback to VDOE and participate in district discussions and feedback opportunities. Learn more and offer public comment on the VDOE website. Keep reading FCPS This Week for more information and opportunities to share feedback.

Lake Braddock Chamber Orchestra to perform during National Music Education Conference

Each year, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) selects high level elementary, middle, high school, and university groups to perform at its national conference. The Lake Braddock Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Clayton Allen, has been selected to perform during the 2022 NAfME National Conference. Ensembles are chosen based on unmarked recordings submitted. 

The Lake Braddock Chamber Orchestra will be performing at The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., on November 4 at 4 p.m. on the Outside Main Stage. Congratulations to the Lake Braddock Middle School Chamber Orchestra for your selection to this prestigious national music conference!

Celebrating our Spring Sports Champions

A lane on a track that has the number 1 spray painted on it

Congratulations to all the FCPS student-athletes who participated in the 2022 spring sports season. This year seven teams and 16 individuals won the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 6 championship in their respective sports, and one team and 25 individuals were the state runners-up. Read about our top teams and athletes online.

Congratulations to Our May FCPS CARES Winners

teacher standing in front of a bulletin board

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. All FCPS Cares submissions were reviewed, and six winners were selected for the month of June—one for each region and the central office—to receive extra recognition for their work. 

One of the winners is Efrosini Stavros, gifted education teacher at Willow Springs Elementary School. The parent who nominated her wrote: "My son has been fortunate enough to not only be a student in her classroom this year, but a thriving, valued member of her COMMUNITY. He has repeatedly come home telling various stories about his "community," instead of his ‘class.’ Just a simple change of wording and mindset on the teacher's part has completely overhauled his outlook about what school means. He feels important, heard, and recognized for who he is.”

Other winners in May include:

  • Pedro Forbes, ERFC, Central Office
  • Laura Lee Couch, Great Falls Elementary School
  • Amanda Dey, Aly McCarty, and Sara Kugler, Woodburn Elementary School
  • Samantha Hartwell, Saratoga Elementary School
  • Robyn Ridpath, Fairview Elementary School

Get more information about all the winners and how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee who has gone above and beyond.

Calendar Reminders

First Day of School

graphic that says First Day of School

As a reminder, the first day of the 2022-23 school year is Monday, August 22. FCPS parents, students, and staff members are invited to share their favorite pictures or videos from the first day of school on social media using the hashtag #FirstDayFairfax. We will share some of the photos on the FCPS Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages. 

Labor Day Holiday

Friday, Sept, 2, and Monday, Sept. 5, are Labor Day holidays for all FCPS employees and students. We hope everyone takes the long weekend to celebrate a strong start to the school year and enjoy time with family and friends. 

See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.

2023 Eid al Fitr Date Determination

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

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. Eid al Fitr is currently slated to begin at sunset on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Friday, April 21, 2023 will be a student holiday.   

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. 

Back-to-School Nights, Newsletters, and More!

Image that says "Welcome Back!"

Our schools and staff are preparing for the return of our students and to welcome any new students to our school communities. If you have not already, be sure to sign up for your school’s newsletter and social media channels.

Find the sign up links and information on back-to-school events on each school’s website. The schedule for back-to-school nights are also available online by region: Region 1, Region 2, Region 3, Region 4, Region 5. Don’t know your school’s region? Do a search for your school in the Schools and Centers Directory, then click on the school name.

Be Wise, Immunize! Required Immunizations for 2022-23 School Year

four children with their sleeves rolled up showing off a bandage on their arm

Immunizations are required for public school entry and help keep students protected from serious diseases. Many children missed their well check-ups and their recommended childhood vaccinations over recent years because of disruptions from COVID-19. It is critical to catch up now to keep children healthy and ready for school. 

While COVID-19 vaccinations are not required, many other immunizations are. Check with your students’ health care providers now to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations.

Visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for a schedule of clinics or schedule with your family’s health care provider. Appointments are required for most clinics.  

Remember to request documentation of your child’s immunizations to provide to their school. More information on immunization requirements and the necessary documentation is available online.

Donate to the Collect for Kids School Supply Drive

child facing away from the camera with a backpack on their back

To ensure that every child in the school district is prepared for school, Fairfax County Public Schools and Educate Fairfax are once again leading the Collect for Kids effort, a consortium of not-for-profit, for-profit, and government entities providing school supplies to benefit FCPS students who otherwise might go without them. More than 56,000 (31%) FCPS students qualify for free or reduced-price meals and struggle to afford basic necessities. Your donation will help provide the school supplies these students need to be successful at school. Contributions can be made online through Educate Fairfax. Donations will be used to purchase bulk school supply kits at highly discounted pricing. For more information, visit the Educate Fairfax website.

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