October 2022 Newsletter

Mason District Community,

It has been a very busy month since my last newsletter. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to meet with the Glasgow parent community regarding the recommendations from the independent investigation which was commissioned by the Superintendent. During the meeting, Dr. Reid presented a summary of the areas of improvement and actions being taken as a result of the investigation’s findings.

The case raised several widespread, systemic issues regarding how Virginia handles information-sharing on the arrest and/or conviction of school employees. The Board is advocating for the availability of the FBI Rap Back program through the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Superintendent has committed to take corrective action to address the systemic issues noted in the summary and to actively foster restoration of the trust of the community.

I had the opportunity to participate in the Falls Church Homecoming earlier this month. The Jaguars showed their best as they paraded in the neighborhood tossing out candy to the onlookers. 



I also had the honor of working with community advocates to bring forward a resolution, the Truthful Education in FCPS: Support for Educators and School-Based Administrators Resolution, which requested the Board to voice support to teachers and staff in their work of addressing systemic injustices and bias via an equity based, anti-racist and justice based approach. I am appreciative of the three school board members who supported this important declaration to our staff and community. It is my continued hope that the full Board can boldly and unapologetically re-engage to provide comprehensive and intentional support to teachers and staff as they navigate the teaching of complex topics in a truthful and historically accurate manner.

"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela.

In this newsletter, you will find information about the following:

• Custodian Appreciation

• Special Education Handbook

• Principal Appreciation Month

• Text and Translation Platform

• New Luther Jackson MS Principal

• FCPS Messages in Other Languages

• Beech Tree’s New Principal

• Career and Technical Education

• Governor’s Model Policy

• Digital Citizenship Week

• TJHSST Admissions - Class of 2027

• Survey for Federal Impact Aid

• 2023 Graduation Dates

• 2023 National Merit Semifinalists

• Sixth Grade Art Museum Tour

• Community Conversations

• Opening of Schools Report

• Community Fall Fest/Trunk or Treat


• Theatre in the Mason District

• Strategic Planning Process 2022-23

• Auditor General Update

• Parent Resource Center

• Facilities Update

• 2022 Fairfax County Youth Survey

• Upcoming School Board Meetings

• Special Education Comprehensive Review

I value the input I receive from the Mason Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at rjanderson@fcps.edu. If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at cmcoffey@fcps.edu to arrange a time.


Custodian Appreciation

Custodian Appreciation week was celebrated on October 3 - 8. Thanks to our custodians, our students and staff have a clean, safe place to learn, teach, and work. Across the division, Fairfax County Public Schools employs more than 1,300 building custodians, field custodians, and building supervisors. 

Please join me in thanking all of our hard working custodians who are doing so much behind the scenes to keep our facilities clean and safe.


October is National Principal Appreciation Month!

This may appear biased, but I think Mason District has the best leaders in the county and I am excited to ask our community to celebrate our principals! Thank you for your continued devotion to student success, building community and leadership.



New Luther Jackson MS Principal

Ms. Raven Jones has been named the new principal at Luther Jackson Middle School, effective September 19, 2022. 

Ms. Jones has 14 years of experience in public school education and over nine years of administration experience, most recently as the administrator at Montrose Alternative Learning Center. 

Welcome to Luther Jackson Middle School, Ms. Jones!

Meet Beech Tree's New Principal


Ms. Taiia Clarke has been named the new principal of Beech Tree Elementary School, effective November 14, 2022. Ms. Clarke is currently the assistant principal at Glen Forest Elementary, with 19 years of experience in public education, and eight years as a school administrator. Ms. Clarke will bring a collaborative approach to Beech Tree Elementary as she seeks to engage the community, staff, and students. Welcome, Ms. Clarke!

Governor's Model Policy

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recently released the 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools document to replace the 2021 Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools document, effective October 27, 2022. 

Public comments were accepted for one month at the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall webpage. Both documents are available for review on this same page.

Following the release of the proposed Model Policies document, the School Board released a statement of continued support for transgender and gender-expansive students, staff, and families. Protecting, supporting, and affirming our transgender and gender-expansive students is critical to achieving a safe and respectful learning environment for all students, and providing them with equal access to educational programs, services, and activities. The School Board's full statement was read at the October 6th School Board meeting.

TJHSST Admissions - Class of 2027

Applications for current 8th grade students interested in applying for Thomas Jefferson High School For Science and Technology (TJHSST) are available now until November 16th at 4 p.m. The application deadline is November 18th at 4 p.m.

550 seats will be offered for the Class of 2027 following a holistic review of applications. Students will be evaluated on their grade point average (GPA); the student portrait sheet in which they should demonstrate Portrait of a Graduate attributes and 21st century skills; a problem-solving essay; and experience factors, including students who are economically disadvantaged, English language learners, or special education students.

Visit the TJHSST Admissions website for more information.

2023 Graduation Dates


Date / Time


Annandale HS



Edison HS

June 6, 2023, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Falls Church HS

June 8, 2023, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Thomas Jefferson HSST

June 10, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Justice HS

June 7, 2023, 9:30 a.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

Woodson HS

June 6, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

Eagle Bank Arena

*The Annandale HS graduation date/time and location will be determined by the results of the community survey which is still ongoing.

Sixth Grade Art Museum Tour

All FCPS sixth grade students will have an opportunity to visit a Washington, D.C. art museum this year. Schools have been scheduled to visit one of four museums: the National Gallery of Art East Building, the National Gallery of Art West Building, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, or the National Portrait Gallery. Contact your child’s school with any questions or for more information.

Superintendent’s Opening of Schools Report

On September 15, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid presented the Opening of Schools Report to the School Board. The presentation reviews the status of FCPS schools, programs, and projects for the 2022-2023 year. 



In the fall of 2021, FCPS received $188.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to support the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on students. 

ESSER III focus areas have included resources for prevention and mitigation of COVID, academic services, multilingual engagement, support for students’ social emotional needs, and professional development. Visit the ESSER III website to learn more. 

On October 6th, the School Board voted to approve the reallocation of funds to support Project 9 Academic Intervention and Project 27 COVID Case Managers/Supervision Monitors.

The School Board will hear public comments on ESSER funding at a hearing scheduled for Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School. Registration for the speaker list opened on October 21, 2022.

Strategic Planning Process for 2022-2023

FCPS is developing a Strategic Plan that will serve as a future roadmap for the division. Every parent/caregiver, student, employee, and community member is encouraged to participate in this important work. 

The first engagement opportunity will be an optional survey which will be open to students in grades 3-12. Schools will administer the survey between November 2 and 18. Parents who prefer that their child not participate may opt out. The final strategic plan is scheduled for completion by June 2023. 

For a more detailed overview, visit FCPS’ Strategic Planning 2023 webpage

Parent Resource Center

The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) provides resources, confidential consultations, and workshops for all families, school staff, and the community. The Center offers parents access to information and resources to support the success of students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities. Informational flyers are available in eight languages

Examples of assistance and resources available through the PRC include:

  • Free lending library on topics related to parenting and educating children;
  • Webinars on various topics including discipline, digital wellness, eating disorders, and ADHD; and
  • Lists of current FCPS employee tutors.

The PRC can be reached  at 703-204-3941 or by email at prc@fcps.edu. The Center is open and available to assist and support FCPS families from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Friday.

2022 Fairfax County Youth Survey

The online 2022 Fairfax County Youth Survey is scheduled to be administered between November 7 and November 22, 2022 to students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12. Parents/guardians have the opportunity to review the survey prior to its administration by either making arrangements with their child’s school counselor or accessing the youth survey online.

The Fairfax County Youth Survey provides a wealth of information about a variety of topics related to youth that influence their physical and mental well-being, from sleep and nutritional habits to substance abuse behaviors to symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts. The results provide a snapshot of the youth in Fairfax County but also serve as a barometer of the effectiveness of the community in fostering healthy choices by young people.

Data from the Fairfax County Youth Survey is used as a measurement tool in the FCPS Strategic Plan Goal 2 - Caring Culture - Healthy Life Choices. The results of the 2021 survey have been posted by the Board of Supervisors on the Youth Survey Results webpage

Special Education Comprehensive Review

Prior to the pandemic, FCPS contracted with the American Institutes of Research (AIR) to complete a comprehensive review of our special education programs. AIR has released the final report with actionable, evidence-based recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services for FCPS students with disabilities and their families. 

The School Board held a work session on October 4th to review AIR’s report. The three-year independent study of FCPS’ special education services has been completed and the final report is available for review.

Recommendations in the report were divided into six areas. Examples of some of the recommendations in each area are listed below. Visit the full report to see a complete list of recommendations.

Area 1: Data-Driven IEP Development

  • Create a standardized process and guidance for how staff should gather and document parent input during the eligibility determination and IEP development process.
  • Establish guidance for staff to collect and report data more consistently to develop and monitor IEPs.

Area 2: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

  • Clarify the relationships among MTSS, local screening, and special education.
  • Ensure fidelity of school-level implementation of MTSS.

Area 3: Instructional Supports and Resources 

  • Ensure equity and consistency in school-level programming, especially the availability and use of evidence-based strategies and programs for SWDs.
  • Ensure quality of instruction in inclusive settings.

Area 4: Staff Supports and Resources  

  • Disseminate guidance on special education caseloads and class sizes.
  • Establish strategies to reduce special education teacher workload.

Area 5: Professional Learning Systems

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, division-wide professional development plan with differentiated offerings targeted to the needs of special education teachers, instructional support staff, general education teachers, and administrators.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive support plan for novice and/or provisionally licensed teachers to include instructional coaching, mentorship, and professional development.

Area 6: Communications and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Promote equitable access to translation services across FCPS.
  • Provide district-wide guidance on procedures for communication between schools and parents.

The School Board will hold a second Work Session to discuss a framework for the Special Education Enhancement Plan on November 15th.

For more information on the Special Education Review, visit FCPS’ Office of Auditor General webpage.

FCPS Special Education Handbook for Families

The Special Education Handbook for Parents includes details of the special education process. This process occurs sequentially, over a period of time, with each step building upon the previous step(s).

It is important for families to understand how the special education process works to effectively participate and collaborate with school staff members in making appropriate decisions regarding their child’s educational needs. Families are an integral of part of the decision-making team.

The Special Education Handbook for Parents is available in Arabic, English, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese. Contact the Parent Resource Center (PRC) at 703-204-3941 or prc@fcps.edu with any questions.

Schools Adopt Text and Translation Platform

FCPS has recently approved the use of TalkingPoints, a two-way messaging app that allows parents and caregivers to communicate with teachers and schools. Look for messages from your child’s school on how they will be using the app. For more information, visit the FCPS TalkingPoints webpage.

The app translates messages, so teachers can input messages in English, and parents can respond in their preferred language. TalkingPoints supports 125 languages, making it easier and faster for our FCPS families to connect with their schools. If you need to update your preferred correspondence language, contact the front office at your child’s school and ask for the registrar.


How to Receive FCPS Messages in Other Languages 

There are several ways community members can receive or view FCPS messages and communications in a different language.

FCPS This Week is distributed in other languages to parents/caregivers who have filled out the Home Language Survey form and selected a language supported by FCPS as their preferred language for communication. Home Language Survey forms are available in the following languages: Amharic | Arabic (العربية) | Chinese (中文) | Farsi (فارسی) | Korean (한국어) | Spanish (español) | Urdu (اردو) | Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt).

Learn more about receiving other FCPS communications in other languages.


Career and Technical Education

FCPS’ Career and Technical Education Program offers a variety of career and technical programs to all students at the middle and high school levels. The program areas include the following:

For more information about Career and Technical Education, please call 571-423-4526 or visit the Career and Technical Education website. 

Digital Citizenship Week

Digital Citizenship Week 2022 was recognized during the week of October 17-21. Ten years ago, Common Sense Education started Digital Citizenship week to highlight the importance of helping students, families, and teachers navigate our 24/7 digital world. Over those years, media and technology have changed dramatically. There have also been significant shifts in the ways teaching is delivered in today’s classrooms.

Watch for the many ways your child's school may have celebrated Digital Citizenship Week through learning opportunities, spirit weeks, and community engagement events.

Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid

FCPS is 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. Watch this video to learn more

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 4th. All responses are confidential.

2023 National Merit Semifinalists

Two hundred thirty-seven students from 18 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are among the semifinalists named by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for 2023. 

All semifinalists are eligible to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth nearly $28 million, to be awarded in spring 2023. Semifinalists advance to finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and other requirements including a recommendation from a high school official.

Congratulations to Mason District resident Benoy Sen, a senior at TJHSST, for being selected as a semifinalist!

Merit Scholarship winners will be announced next spring.

Review a complete listing of Fairfax County Public Schools 2023 National Merit semifinalists online

Dr. Reid talks to community members

Superintendent Community Conversations

As previously shared, Dr. Reid  has been hosting Community Conversations across the division to learn more about FCPS communities and hear the priorities and concerns of our families. Each Community Conversation is held in-person, allowing Dr. Reid an opportunity to connect with participants. Interested attendees can view the schedule and register on the website or through the links below. All events will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Interpretation services, child care, and light refreshments will be provided.

Below are the remaining dates for the Mason District pyramids:

Date Pyramid Location Registration
November 21 Justice Justice HS Register
November 29 Annandale Annandale HS Register



Community members are invited to attend the yearly Fall Fest/Trunk or Treat at Bailey’s Community Center to gather various resources.  

Bailey’s Community Center

Friday, October 28, 2022

3:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Upcoming Theatre in the Mason District


Poe Middle School Raven Theatre
Alice in Wonderland
November 3-5

Jackson Middle School
The Brothers Grimm Spectacularthon
November 17-19

Edison Theatre Company 
November 3-5 & 11-12

Woodson Drama 
One Man, Two Guvnors
November 4-5 & 11-12

Justice Wolfpack Theatre
November 10-12

Annandale Theatre Company
Nov 17-20

Falls Church High School Spotlight Theatre 
Chicago: Teen Edition
December 1-4

Thomas Jefferson Theater Arts
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
December 1-3


Auditor General

The October 2022 Issue of Audit Buzz is now available. This issue includes updates on current engagements, a case scenario on conflicts of interest, and a training opportunity for FCPS employees.


Facilities Update

At the School Board meeting on October 6, 2022, the School Board approved the contract for the rooftop unit and make-up unit replacements at Parklawn Elementary School.

The following items were listed as New Business at the School Board meeting on October 20th:

Solar Power Purchase Agreement for Annandale High School. This item is scheduled for action by the Board on November 3, 2022.

Peace Valley Lane – Acquisition to confirm the School Board’s title and ownership of a 25-foot strip of land along the southern property boundary of Justice High School. The School Board will hear public comments on this topic at a hearing scheduled for Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School. Registration for the speaker list opened on October 21, 2022. This item is scheduled for action by the Board during the regular meeting on November 3, 2022.


Reuniones de la Junta Escolar de FCPS en Español

Para ver las reuniones de la Junta Escolar grabadas o para ver en vivo durante las reuniones regulares en YouTube, por favor vaya al canal de YouTube de FCPS en Español o escanee el código QR.

We are cognizant of the significant language needs of the Mason District and I will continue to advocate for their availability and inclusion.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • November 3, 2022 at 7 p.m.
  • November 14, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • November 1, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
  • November 15, 2022 at 11 a.m.
  • November 29, 2022 at 11 a.m.

Public Hearing (Luther Jackson Middle School)

Topics: ESSER funding and Peace Valley Lane acquisition

  • November 3, 2022 at 6 p.m.

All meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meetings are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Visit the community participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

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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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