FCPS This Week - October 13: College Fair, Community Conversations, COVID testing

Mr. Ron, Shea Megale, and Mr. Bill in front of a school bus.

Next week marks School Bus Safety Week. In this moving video, learn how an FCPS bus driver and attendant, Mr. Ron (above, left) and Mr. Bill (above, right), made an impact on Shea Megale (above, center), a 2013 graduate of Westfield High School.

Fairfax County SAT Scores Continue to Surpass Averages

FCPS seniors in the class of 2022 performed well above state and global averages on the SAT, according to results released by the College Board. The FCPS total mean score of 1185 surpassed both the state average (1124) and the global average (1050) for the class of 2022. Read more about the 2022 SAT scores.

College Fair and Post-Secondary Week

College pennants hang on a wall

The annual FCPS College Fair will feature admissions representatives from more than 250 colleges and universities from across the United States and abroad, at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena on Sunday, October 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. 

Post-Secondary Week will be held virtually Monday, October 17, to Thursday, October 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. Post-Secondary Week will feature virtual workshops related to the college admissions process, financial aid, and other post-secondary educational opportunities.  

Students are highly encouraged to register in advance for these events. 

2023 FAFSA Open—College Access Fairfax Is Here to Help

Parents of current high school seniors, did you know that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on October 1? Parents are encouraged to work with their students to complete the FAFSA as early as possible—definitely before March 1, 2023—as you prepare for your child to begin college in the fall of 2023. Some schools have even earlier priority deadlines, so check the individual college’s financial aid office website for deadlines and forms. Then, create an FSA ID and fill out the FAFSA.

The Virginia Alternative State Aid (VASA) application is available for students who are unable to complete the FAFSA. To help determine which aid option is right for you, visit the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia website.

Over the next two months, our partners at College Access Fairfax will be offering a number of programs on completing the FAFSA/VASA, and finding and applying for scholarships. Get information on these programs and how to access them on the College Access Fairfax website.

In addition, College Access Fairfax staff are available for virtual one-on-one help sessions to complete the FAFSA/VASA. Interested families should email appointments@collegeaccessfairfax.org to request an appointment. 

Community Conversations Continue

Dr. Reid talks to community members

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid has been hosting Community Conversations across the division since August to get to know our school communities. The events continue through November. We invite you to register to attend your school pyramid event or, if you have been unable to attend a previous event in your pyramid, register for a location and date that is convenient for you. See the schedule and register for an event.

Dr. Reid is also hosting a Community Conversation for military-connected families today, Thursday, October 13, at the Gatehouse Administration Center. If you are a military-connected family and would like to attend, please email occr@fcps.edu

All events are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Language interpretation, childcare, and light refreshments will be provided. 

Watch your email, the FCPS website, and our weekly newsletter for information on future events, which may include virtual and/or multilingual events. Keep up with Dr. Reid’s work and visits around the county by reading her Weekly Reflections and following her Instagram page.

COVID Diagnostic Testing

Student getting a covid test

COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS students, teachers, and staff at five locations across the county on October 17, 18, and 19. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information.

Special Education Review Final Report 

A student works with a teacher


FCPS is committed to providing excellence for all students, and continues to seek ways to improve and ensure the highest quality of special education and related services for students and families. At the request of the School Board, the FCPS Office of Auditor General engaged a consultant to conduct an independent, third-party review of FCPS’ special education program in October 2020. 

American Institutes for Research® (AIR) presented their final report during the School Board’s October 4 work session. Watch the video of AIR’s presentation and visit FCPS’ Office of Auditor General webpage for more information.

The School Board will hold a second session to discuss a framework for the Special Education Enhancement Plan at their Tuesday, November 15 work session.

Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid

Dr Reid stands next to Fort Belvoir Garrison Commander

Beginning October 18, FCPS will be asking all families to fill out a Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid. 

Returning this form is important, because information from this survey results in an additional $3 million in grants each year from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are used to support all Fairfax County public schools and centers.

For each school-aged child in your household, please complete, sign, date, and return the survey to your child's school. If Sections 1 and 2 of the survey do not apply to you, just check the box in Section 3. All forms must be signed, dated, and returned by November 4. All responses are confidential. 

Watch the video to learn more about this process.

Newsletter for Military-Connected Families

A father in military uniform stands with two sons.

Did you know that the Office of Family and School Partnerships sends out a newsletter around the 15th of each month for military-connected families? Sign up for that newsletter (under “Division Administration News and Updates” then “Professional Learning & Family Engagement”) or other topics on our website.

Calendar Reminder: Diwali


Happy Diwali to all those who celebrate this day and the victory of light over darkness. Monday, October 24, is a holiday for teachers and students (only 12-month employees report). Learn more about Diwali. 

See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.

Bullying Prevention Month

National Bullying Prevention Month - October

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying in FCPS’ Students Rights and Responsibilities is defined as: “Any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. Bullying includes cyberbullying. It does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument, or peer conflict.”

For more information on how FCPS handles a bullying situation, please visit the FCPS Bullying Prevention and Intervention webpage. Our goal is to ensure all students feel safe and welcome at school. If you have questions and/or concerns about something going on at school, please contact the front office, so they can support you, and most importantly, your student.  

Parent Resource Center Webinars Address Bullying

On October 27, at 7 p.m., the Parent Resource Center (PRC) will host a “Meet the Author” event with Nalani and Leila Butler, graduates of Hayfield Secondary School, who will read their book Paige Saves the Day. The book addresses overcoming bullying. Register online for this webinar. Adults and children are welcome. 

The PRC will also host a webinar on Bullying Prevention on November 18, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Register online.

What Is an Ombuds?

Ombuds Office Staff

FCPS’ Office of the Ombuds is excited to celebrate Ombuds Day on October 13. An ombuds is someone who helps resolve conflict by facilitating communications and sharing available resources. The FCPS Office of the Ombuds works as an independent confidential resource to help students, families, community members, and employees get questions answered, resolve concerns, and voice complaints regarding FCPS matters.  

The ombuds is available to: 

  • Share strategies for parents to improve communication with, and between, school and home.
  • Help to resolve disagreements between parents and schools or disagreements involving employees in the workplace.
  • Provide ideas to foster parent participation in Individual Education Plan (IEP) and 504 Plan meetings.

They do not change or make decisions, policies, or regulations; take sides; or provide legal advice.

Anyone with concerns, questions, or complaints to share with the Office of the Ombuds may call 571-423-4014, email ombuds@fcps.edu, or visit their webpage, where you may Submit a Question.

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