August News: Welcome Back to School, Return to School Information, Student Opportunities, and More!

Hello, Springfield District!

Welcome back to school! I am beyond excited to begin the 2022-2023 school year. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to visit with many of our staff members, including getting to attend the FCPS leadership kick-off, the Region 4 kick-off and our first ever Spark conference for our IT staff. It has been so wonderful to get to reconnect with our incredible staff. They are beyond excited to welcome back our students on Monday. Everyone is working like crazy to make sure our students have a successful start! I’ve also had the opportunity to attend open house events and will be visiting several schools on opening day. I can’t wait!

Please reach out to me to let me know how your child’s first day goes. As many of you know, we will have a high school senior in our house this year, so I’ll gratefully accept any and all guidance in that department. 🙂

We’re so glad to have you back!

All my very best-

Laura Jane

Springfield District School Board Member Laura Jane Cohen


This newsletter includes information on the following issues:

February 10, 2022 Picture of FCPS Board

Upcoming School Board Meetings

  • August 30 at 11:00 a.m. - Work Session: Goal 4 Report and Strategic Plan Initial Discussion
  • September 1 at 7:00 p.m. - FY22 Year End Budget Review, School Board Liaison and Committee Assignments, Advisory Committee Appointments, Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee Appointments, etc.
  • September 13 at 11:00 a.m. - Work Session: Family Engagement Survey Results and Educational Employees’ Supplementary Retirement System of Fairfax County Annual Report
  • September 15 at 7:00 p.m. - Challenged Material Interdepartmental Review Committee, Fairfax County Purchasing Resolution, State Technology Grant Resolution, etc.
  • September 20 at 11:00 a.m. - Strategic Plan/Governance

Please note, that 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 channel.

For Spanish speakers, watch recorded School Board meetings or to watch live during the Regular Meetings on YouTube, you may visit the FCPS en Espanol YouTube channel or scan the below QR code.

QR Code for Spanish speakers

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

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

Back to School Information

FCPS 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. View the 2022-23 school year calendar.


Providing a Safe and Welcoming Space This School Year and Beyond

FCPS is proud of its caring culture and strives to provide a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space for all students and families. The Fairfax County School Board recently approved a Trust Policy that solidifies our commitment. It aligns with Fairfax County Government’s Public Trust and Confidentiality Policy to 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. Please visit our Trust Policy webpage to learn more about the policy and regulation in multiple languages.


Health and Safety

While we had hoped that the pandemic would be behind us, it seems that COVID will be something we must manage as a community for the foreseeable future. FCPS will continue to follow the guidance of national, state, and local health experts when determining the layered prevention strategies that are needed to keep our schools safe and open for learning. It is important that we all work together towards this goal.

Below are important updates to this year’s layered prevention strategies. More detailed information can be found in the Health and Safety Guidance Document on our website.

Staying Home When Sick

FCPS continues to require families to review the Daily Health Screening before sending students to school. The 5 Day Isolation Period will also continue for COVID-positive students and staff.

Supports for Students in Isolation (StreamIn/CheckIn)

Our StreamIn/CheckIn continues for students who are in isolation due to COVID-19. No later than day three of the isolation, students will be able to access:

  • Recording or Live Streaming of direct instruction for core classes 
  • Asynchronous class assignments via Schoology 
  • Interactive check-ins with teachers


The CDC recommends the COVID vaccine as a safe and effective way of significantly lowering your risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death if you get infected. Vaccines are now available for our youngest students. However, COVID vaccines are not part of the required immunizations for school entry. 


FCPS requires all students to wear a face covering when indoors (except while actively eating/drinking) on school property (to include the buildings, school buses, and other school-provided vehicles) when the CDC COVID-19 Community Level for Fairfax County is high. The current level for Fairfax County is medium. The Code of Virginia allows parents/legal guardians to elect for their child not to wear a face covering while on school property.


FCPS will continue to optimize ventilation and improve indoor air quality. The Virginia Department of Health is providing nearly $400,000 to FCPS for ventilation repairs, upgrades, and/or replacements for this school year.

Testing Options

Diagnostic testing begins today, August 16, for FCPS students and staff who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Diagnostic testing will only be available during specific dates when FCPS has previously experienced an increase in testing requests. Information on diagnostic testing will continue to be updated on our website.

Screening testing is being developed on a limited basis for our students at the greatest risk. Specific schools will share that information with their eligible families.

COVID Case Notifications

FCPS will no longer send a daily or weekly COVID case update. Parents/Guardians will only receive an email from their child’s school when several cases of COVID-19 occur in a single classroom, sports team, or extracurricular activity within a 14-day period. Individual case reports will be available on the FCPS COVID-19 Dashboard on our website.

To stay up to date, please continue to review our Health and Safety Guidance on our website.


Superintendent Staffing Update and Engagement

Our classrooms are now close to 99% staffed and we are anticipating that we should have an instructor in every classroom who is either currently licensed, or working to attain their licensure through our innovative Teacher Residency program. The program allows teachers to start teaching this fall while finishing up requirements to become fully licensed in Virginia. It supports teachers with licensure in other states, grade levels, or content areas. You can learn more about this innovative program on our website.

Dr. Reid will be hosting two virtual information sessions this week to share additional updates specifically on staffing. Click on the links below to log in:


Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) Updates Cell Phone Use at Schools

Following Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) School Board approval in June 2022, the FCPS 2022-23 Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) includes new expectations for cell phone use that are specific to each school level: elementary, middle, high, and secondary. The new cell phone expectations were established to help foster a learning environment that is conducive to learning.

Students in grades K-6

Phones must be silenced and in backpacks for the duration of the school day. Smartwatches that serve a dual purpose may be worn, but the phone features (texting, Internet viewing, and calls) are to be off when phone use is prohibited. Students are prohibited from using phones, tablets, and other mobile devices in restrooms and locker rooms unless there is a medical necessity or emergency. Teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities when appropriate. Cell phones may be used on campus before and after school only.

Students in grades 7-8

Phones must be silenced and kept put away for the duration of the school day. Students are prohibited from using phones, tablets, and other mobile devices in restrooms and locker rooms unless there is a medical necessity or emergency. Phones can be stored in a locker or backpack during the day. Smartwatches that serve a dual purpose may be worn, but the phone features (texting, Internet viewing, and calls) are to be off when phone use is prohibited. Teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities when appropriate. Cell phones may be used on campus only before the first bell and after the last bell. Note: Secondary schools (i.e., Robinson Secondary, Lake Braddock Secondary, and Hayfield Secondary) have the ability to permit cell phone usage during passing periods because the three schools support students in grades 7-12 who frequently use the same halls for class change.

Students in grades 9-12

Phones must be silenced and put away during all instructional periods. Phone accessories are also to be silenced and away when phone use is prohibited. Smartwatches that serve a dual purpose may be worn, but the phone features (texting, Internet viewing, and calls) are to be off when phone use is prohibited. Phones can be stored in a locker or backpack during the day. Students are prohibited from using phones, tablets, and other mobile devices in restrooms and locker rooms unless there is a medical necessity or emergency.  Teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities when appropriate. Cell phones may be used on campus before the first bell, after the last bell, during passing periods, and during lunches.

FCPS understands that students may need to access a cell phone or other personally owned device as an accommodation to access the curriculum, make progress toward their individualized goals, or address medical or other needs.

If you believe your child requires access to a personally owned device as an accommodation, please contact your 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 so that the team can consider your request.

The Updates to FCPS’ Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) web page outlines changes to cell phone use for the 2022-2023 school year. Visit the SR&R web page to learn more and to log on to your SIS ParentVue account and sign to acknowledge the review of this document OR print, sign, and return this form to your child’s school by September 30, 2022.


Electronic Opt-Outs Available in ParentVUE

The following opt-outs are available in SIS ParentVUE

  • Access
  • SEL Screener Participation
  • Counseling Opt Out
  • Transportation Intent
  • Home Internet Access
  • Paperless Option

Any parent/guardian that is associated with a student, and has a SIS ParentVUE account, can update these opt-outs, as needed, by going to the “Student Information” tab and clicking “Edit Information”.  Parents that do not have SIS ParentVUE accounts can continue to use paper forms.


Preparing Your Student for Meals at School

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 meal benefits.

Paying for Meals

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.

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Applications

Fairfax County Public Schools announced its policy for providing free or reduced-price meals for children served under the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast programs.  Each school and central school nutrition office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

Schools With Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

Some schools in the division will be participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) as implemented under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  All students enrolled at these schools will be provided a nutritious meal for breakfast and lunch each day at no charge.  Households with students attending these schools will not be required to submit a meal application form for these students to receive meals at no charge.  Each household with students attending these schools will receive communication about CEP, including contact information for any questions. Participating schools in the Springfield District include the following:

  • Bailey’s Upper Elementary
  • Beech Tree Elementary
  • Key Middle

All Other Schools

In all other schools, household size and income will be used to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits.  Children from households whose income is at or below the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines, shown in the chart below, may be eligible for either free or reduced-price meals. 

Children who are members of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) or who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may be automatically eligible for free meals. 

Children who are homeless, migrant, or runaway may also be automatically eligible for free meals. 

Foster children, who are the legal responsibility of a welfare agency or court, are eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household with whom they reside. 

Children who are members of households participating in WIC may also be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on the household’s income.

Application Forms

Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing households of the availability of free or reduced-price meals for their children. Applications are available online, at the principal's office in each school, and at the central office. 

To apply for free or reduced-price meals, households must only fill out one application per household and return it to the school division.  Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year.  The information households provide on the application will be used for determining eligibility and verification of data.  Applications may be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials. 

For more information read the August 2, 2022 news release.


Changes to Medication Administration Management

This school year, FCPS is changing our medication protocols to help ensure the safety of our medication administration management in Fairfax County Public Schools. These changes include:

  • Any time you drop off or pick up a medication in the health room, a Medication Delivery/Pick Up Form will be completed and signed by both the parent/guardian and the School Health Aide or FCPS staff member. This form will document that all required authorizations are complete, and the number of pills or amount of medication accepted/returned. A copy of the form will be given to the parent/guardian and school administrator.
  • Medications received will be verified to ensure the description of the medication on the container/packaging matches the medication in the container.
  • All medications must be in the original pharmacy container. Over the counter (OTC) medications must be in an unopened original container. It will no longer be acceptable for parents/guardians to bring in refills from home and place them into the container currently in the health room.
  • Only a 30-day supply of medications should be brought to school. No more than 100 tablets or pills of OTC medication should be brought to school.
  • All requirements outlined in FCPS Regulation 2102, First Aid, Emergency Treatment and Administration of Medication for Students, continue to apply.  

Please contact your school's Health Room to learn when it will be open for drop-off of emergency and daily prescription medications before school starts.

FCPS and Community News

Community Conversations with Dr. Reid

Dr. Reid shaking a student's hand

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. Please see your school's communications for dates, times, and more details as they become available.


Jobs in Special Education

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

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.


2021 FCPS Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report

 FCPS has been performing an inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions since school Board Policy 8542 was adopted in 2008. This year marks the 14th year of inventory calculation. The consistent theme is that FCPS has continued to grow in size (both physically and in the student population) but has effectively reduced our carbon footprint and lowered greenhouse gas emissions despite this growth. This is the result of disciplined people making disciplined decisions regarding facility and transportation asset operations. Through investments in education that lead to improved conservation as well as investments in efficiencies that allow the needs of the division to be met while using fewer resources, the school division has been able to make clear progress toward carbon neutrality. There is a long way to go, but there is much to celebrate as well. We invite you to please read the report in the July 29, 2022 Board Briefing in the BoardDocs Library Updates to the School Board for further details.


Educate Fairfax logo

"Collect for Kids" Helps Students Start Strong

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.


Do you know a high school senior interested in leadership and global issues?

Global Leaders of Fairfax County Fellowship

The Global Leaders program seeks to prepare its fellows to be global citizens and change agents in their communities and the world. The program will provide fellows with regular opportunities during their senior year of high school to engage with national and global leaders virtually and advance their understanding of international affairs and global issues. Applications are due September 5, 2022.


Get into your sanctuary.

2022 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest

Calling all photographers! Submit your responsibly photographed adventures in National Marine Sanctuaries to the 2022 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest! The contest ends on September 5, 2022. Details may be found on the National Marine Sanctuaries website. #ILoveMySanctuary



Student Video Contest

The Virginia School Boards Association is once again asking Virginia high school students to create a video that expresses their thoughts and ideas about public education. The theme for the 11th annual competition is “Rising Above” Students are invited to submit a 30-second video that conveys the contest theme. The top 3 videos, along with those identified by the judges as honorable mentions, will be posted on VSBA’s YouTube site, and winners will be honored at the VSBA Annual Convention in November. 

For more information on how to submit video entries, please see the attached document. Information is also available on the VSBA website. PLEASE NOTE: Only ONE submission per school division will be accepted. 

The submission deadline is October 3, 2022

**Each student participant listed must complete a Release Form** 

If you have any questions, please contact Tom Brewster, assistant executive director, at or 434-295-8722 ext. 139.

View the 2022 Student Video Contest Guide.

View the release form


Congressional App Challenge

2022 Congressional App Challenge

The  Congressional App Challenge offers middle and high school students who are interested in coding a chance to develop and demonstrate their skills and interests in computer science and STEM. Students may register as individuals or in teams of up to four. No more than four students are allowed to form a team.  Each district has its own challenge.  The Congressional App Challenge also has compiled a Learn To Code list of resources to assist participants in their efforts. 

The deadline to enter the Congressional App Competition is November 1, 2022. See additional details and register


GrandInvolve: Changing the World, One Child at a Time

Would you like to have a unique and interesting volunteer experience while making a difference in a school, classroom, family, or in one child’s life? Join in at GrandInvolve, a nonprofit program that facilitates volunteer opportunities in 25 of Fairfax County’s Title I Elementary Schools!

GrandInvolve is currently recruiting adult volunteers who are interested to provide classroom assistance with math, reading, and other simple educational tasks that the teacher requests. For a rewarding experience with flexible hours and various responsibilities, consider volunteering. For additional information, contact us at or go to the GrandInvolve website to learn more.


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.

Springfield District Scene

Asha-Jyothi 5K + 1K

Springfield District schools, Centreville HS, Chantilly HS, Fairfax Villa ES, Franklin MS, Frost MS, Greenbriar East ES, Greenbriar West ES, Katherine Johnson MS, Liberty MS, Poplar Tree ES, Rachel Carson MS, Rocky Run MS, Willow Springs ES, and Woodson HS, will be participating in the Asha-Jyothi 5K at Fairfax Corner on September 18. To participate, staff, students, and/or families may visit the Asha-Jyothi 14th Annual 5K Run and Kids Fun Run webpage. Simply enter the code “aj4schools” and select your school from the drop-down menu. Schools get 100% of the money if you use the school coupon code! Asha-Jyothi, a volunteer-based global nonprofit organization based in Chantilly, is dedicated to supporting the community through health care and education initiatives and has given over $250,000 to Fairfax County Public Schools.

Register now for FREE using promo code SCHOOL!


Lake Braddock Bruins logo

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!


Robinson Secondary School logo

Congratulations to Robinson Secondary School’s Robert Kucharczk on his second-place finish at the Israeli National Freestyle Wrestling Competition!

Kudos also go to Robinson’s Caden Smith as he became a USA Wrestling Junior National double All-American for team Virginia in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling in Fargo, ND! 

Family and Student Resources

Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center

Register for Free Webinars from the Parent Resource Center

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


"I Can't Focus!" When ADHD Impacts Your Child's Math and Writing Performance: A Webinar for Families

Math and writing are often difficult subjects for students with ADHD because both require extensive working memory. But with the right study hacks and strategies, almost anyone can master writing and math! Unfortunately, most students don't learn these important skills at school.

This academic year is just getting started, and effective strategies can make a difference between success and frustration. In this webinar, educator, author, and Educational Connections Founder Ann Dolin, M.Ed., will share with parents:

  • Research-based math study skills and strategies to use at home and in class
  • How to help your child get organized and get their thoughts down on paper
  • Tech tools to help students get started on assignments (and finish them!)
  • How virtual classes during the pandemic deepened math and writing learning gaps for many students with ADHD and what you can do to help your child get back on track this year

Choose from 2 sessions: 

September 8, 2022, 6:30 - 8 p.m. and September 9, 2022, 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for "I Can't Focus!" When ADHD Impacts Your Child's Math and Writing Performance: A Webinar for Families


Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders: What Families and Schools Need to Know

Join Katie Maki as she shares her experiences highlighting the following topics:

  • Signs and symptoms of eating disorders and how they differ in age groups
  • Facts and myths about eating disorders 
  • How to avoid negative messaging on body image and food in education
  • What parents need from school staff to support families fighting eating disorders

September 16, 2022, 10 -11:30 a.m.

Register for: Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders: What Families and Schools Need to Know


Prevención de Pandillas: Un Seminario web para Familias y Miembros de la Comunidad (Presentado en Español)

Gang Prevention: A Webinar for Families and Community Members (Presented in Spanish)

Los temas incluyen: 

  • ¿Qué es una pandilla y por qué los jóvenes se unen a las pandillas?
  • Actividades comunes de las pandillas
  • Factores de riesgo asociados con la participación en pandillas
  • Factores protectores que reducen la participación en pandillas
  • Soportes disponibles en el Condado de Fairfax y FCPS

Topics Include:

  • What is a gang and why do youth join gangs?
  • Common gang activities
  • Risk factors associated with gang involvement
  • Protective factors that reduce gang involvement
  • Supports available in Fairfax County and FCPS

Presentado por:

  • Stefan Mascoll: Coordinator Student Safety and Wellness, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Liliana Janssen-Checa: Program Manager of Youth Initiatives, Northern Virginia Family Service
  • Francisco Klockner Gonzalez: Gang Prevention Coordinator, Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court

 Martes, 27 de Septiembre de 2022, 6-7:30 p.m.

Regístrese para la prevención de pandillas: un seminario web para familias y miembros de la comunidad 

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 Sangster Elementary School’s name.

Sangster Branch

Click above to learn more about the history of Sangster Elementary School's name.

Quick Links

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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