November 2022 Newsletter

Mason District Community,

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in “Take Your Legislator to School Month” by visiting Annandale High School with Senator Dave Marsden. Mr. Jepson and Mr. Converse allowed us into their US Government class where students had the opportunity to learn about the Dillon Rule from our state senator. Mr. DeRose also scheduled an opportunity for us to observe “second chance” breakfast, which is an opportunity for students to grab some breakfast at three different areas of the school during a 15-minute morning break.  


We visited an African American History class with Ms. Ruffin, and I was excited to observe targeted small group instruction through literature circles in several English 9 classrooms. 

Thank you to Principal DeRose and all of the teachers, staff and students who showed us the wonderful things occurring at Annandale High School!!

I would like to recognize the Poe Bella Voces for their terrific performance at the November 3rd School Board meeting. Thank you for sharing your talent!


Poe Middle School Bella Voces performing at the School Board meeting on November 3, 2022.

Please be sure to register for the community conversations taking place in the Mason District in the coming weeks. Superintendent Reid will be meeting with the Justice High School pyramid community on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 6:30 pm. 

As we head into Thanksgiving, I wish the Mason District a joyful time with their families and loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!


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

Community Conversations National Demonstration School
Calendar Survey Educate Fairfax Grant Awards
Recent School Board Action OrthoVirginia Recognition
Annandale Graduation Date Virginia Music Honors
Strategic Planning Process Post-Thanksgiving COVID Testing
Academic Matters Office of Auditor General
Upcoming SEPTA Event Thanksgiving Calendar Reminder
Language Basal Resources Upcoming School Board Meetings

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:





November 21


Justice HS


November 29


Annandale HS


The Superintendent has added a Community Conversation to be held at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center on November 30th at 7:45 p.m. Register here for this opportunity.


Calendar Survey

During the annual planning process, Fairfax County Public Schools uses feedback from the community to develop the calendar for the following school year. The Calendar Survey was sent to parents/caregivers, FCPS employees, and students in grades 7-12 this week. Please complete the survey by December 1st. Visit the calendar website for more information or for assistance in completing the survey. The framework for creating the calendar is also available on that page.   

Recent School Board Action


Annandale Solar Panels

Since June, FCPS has worked with IpSun Solar to develop a proposal as part of a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Fairfax County, FCPS, Housing & Community Development, and the Park Authority. Earlier this month, the School Board approved the implementation of the solar power purchase program

Annandale High School will serve as the pilot project for FCPS to develop a working knowledge of these installations. The installation at Annandale is scheduled to begin in late 2023 or early 2024. 

Secondary Course Offerings

The School Board recently voted to approve changes to the list of middle and high school course offerings for the 2023-2024 school year as recommended by the Course Review Committee and detailed in the agenda item.

New Offerings Dual Enrollment Additions
•Athletic & Sports Leadership 4 •Art Appreciation
•Film Study II •Food and Hospitality Management
•Forensic Science •Network Basics


Course Designation Changes to Add Additional Grade Weight
•Advanced Accounting •Cyber: Security + Capstone
•Advanced Band •Technical Theatre 3 & 4
•Advanced Chorus •Theatre Arts 3 & 4
•Advanced Orchestra  


Fairfax County School Board State and Federal Legislative Agenda

The School Board adopted the 2023 Fairfax County School Board State and Federal Legislative Program and Priorities. The complete listing can be viewed in Board Docs.

Peace Valley Lane

On November 3rd, the School Board approved a resolution to acquire a 25-foot strip of land along the southern property boundary of Justice High School. The strip has been used continuously by school faculty, staff and students for educational purposes for over half a century and is necessary in connection with much-needed improvements at Justice High School. In addition, the County has requested that the School Board grant an easement to construct a sidewalk on the south side of Peace Valley Lane. The resolution will clarify that the School Board owns the property so an easement may be provided.

Grading Policy

On November 15th, staff presented an update from a workgroup focused on research-based revisions to the division’s middle and high school grading and assessment practices. The workgroup is slated to present its final recommendations to the Board in the spring of 2023. The presentation can be viewed here.

Special Education Enhancement Plan

At the request of the School Board, the FCPS Office of the Auditor General engaged American Institutes for Research® (AIR) to conduct an independent, third-party review of FCPS’ special education program. AIR presented the final report during the School Board’s October 4th Work Session. View their key findings

At the November 15th Work Session, staff presented a framework for the development of a comprehensive Special Education Enhancement Plan to address areas of need outlined in the report. Details can be found here.


Purple Star Schools Recognition

At the November 14th School Board Business Meeting, the Board recognized 40 Fairfax County public schools recently identified by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children as 2022 Purple Star Schools. The Purple Star designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the needs of military-connected students and their families. 

Woodson High School was recognized for its second award.

See the full list of FCPS 2022 Purple Star Schools.


Annandale Graduation Date

After an additional survey of Annandale High School students and families, the graduation date has been confirmed for Monday, June 5, 2023 at the Annandale High School Stadium.


Strategic Planning Process

The strategic planning process is a community-wide endeavor. Over the next few months, there will be regular updates and many opportunities for involvement. The School Board will discuss the Strategic Plan at the November 29th Work Session. More information can be found on the Divisionwide Strategic Planning Process webpage

Student Survey: As a reminder, the Strategic Plan Student Survey  for students in grades 3-12 opened on November 2nd will close this Friday, November 18th. Please encourage your students to participate so that their input is reflected in the development of the strategic plan.   

Principal Led Focus Groups: Principal led focus group sessions will take place through December 2nd at all school sites. Consent forms to opt students into the process are provided to families by their school. All responses will remain anonymous.

Community Key Communicators: Members of community organizations or groups are able to participate in the strategic planning process. Participants are asked to share the information received with their networks in a timely manner and encourage participation in engagement and feedback opportunities.   

Interested individuals should complete and submit the Key Communicator Interest Form by Monday, November 28th.

Family Teams: FCPS is currently seeking nominations for parents/caregivers interested in contributing to the Strategic Plan development as part of the Family Team. This team will focus on identifying engagement and outreach practices to improve school/home partnerships. 

Interested individuals should complete the Family Team Nomination Form by Tuesday, November 22nd

Instructional Focus Teams: Instructional Focus Teams are being formed based on the nominations received earlier this month. The Instructional Focus Team will lead in identifying professional practices to enhance instructional effectiveness. 

Academic Matters

During the November 3rd School Board Business Meeting, the Superintendent shared additional data in order to evaluate the NAEP results in greater context. The chart below outlines student participation and proficiency rates on the NAEP and SOL.


Upcoming SEPTA Event

SEPTA is launching Inclusive Schools Week 2022 with an in-person event on December 3rd from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. designed to help families and staff learn more about critical aspects of the IEP process. Attendees will experience a simulated IEP meeting and learn more about various parts of the IEP process in breakout rooms (ex: writing goals, accommodations, prior written notice). FCPS will provide continuing education credits to staff and will coordinate language interpretation services as needed. Register for IEP Palooza.

Languages Basal Resources

FCPS will adopt new Secondary (grades 6-12) World Languages Basal Resources for the 2023-2024 school year. Basal resources are the primary instructional resources used to teach a given subject. The process for selecting new resources includes an opportunity for the public to review the instructional materials under consideration. Public review is now open and will run through Thursday, December 8th. A review committee of community members, administrators and teachers will meet in November and December to evaluate the materials under consideration as well as feedback from the community. Find more information on FCPS’ website


National Demonstration School

Justice High School has been named a National Demonstration School by the National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE). The honor is in recognition of the school’s instructional achievements. Justice is one of a select group of majority-minority schools invited to present strategies, systems and practices that the school has implemented. Principal Narcisse will be presenting at the NABSE Annual Conference later this month. Congratulations!!

Educate Fairfax 2022-2023 Grant Awards

From garden projects, to 3-D printing, to visiting colleges and exploring new careers, the Educate Fairfax 2022-2023 grant winners are present in many areas. Funding was awarded to 52 projects - which totals to over $82,000 in investments from Educate Fairfax to help students and teachers unlock new skills, expand their horizons and find future success.

Congratulations all of the grant recipients, especially those projects affecting Mason District students:

• Annandale High School (2)
• Belvedere Elementary
• Braddock Elementary
• Edison High School
• Holmes Middle School
• Justice High School
• Sleepy Hollow Elementary
• Woodson High School
• Woodburn Elementary


A full list of winners and their projects can be found on the Educate Fairfax website

Thank You, OrthoVirginia! 


The 2022 Governor’s Awards on Volunteerism and Community Service were presented earlier this month. OrthoVirginia was recognized as the Outstanding Corporate Volunteer Group, honored for decades of service providing medical services to school athletic teams.

OrthoVirginia has been supporting FCPS for over 40 years! In addition to health services, OrthoVirginia physicians have provided educational seminars, assisted with developing safety protocols, and provided pre-participation physicals as an annual fundraising event for many FCPS schools. OrthoVirginia also provides support to student-athletes that may not have ready access to health care.

A big “thank you” also goes to John Ellenberger, Annandale High School’s now-retired director of student activities, for submitting the nomination for this well-deserved recognition!


Virginia Music Educators Association Conference

Forty-six students from FCPS will perform in three honor groups at the Virginia Music Educators Association state music conference November 17-19 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Students throughout the Commonwealth went through a rigorous audition process to compete for a position in these groups. 

Congratulations to the Mason District students selected to participate!

2022 All-Virginia Jazz Band

Benji Loeffler, Justice HS

Kyle Wilson, Justice HS

2022 Virginia Senior Honors Choir

Mariela Palencia, Falls Church HS

Ramzy Tabbah, Annandale HS

Learn more about the honor groups


Post-Thanksgiving COVID Diagnostic Testing

COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county November 28-30 from 5 to 8 p.m. 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.


Office of Auditor General

The November 2022 Issue of Audit Buzz is now available. This issue includes updates on current engagements, information promoting a “speak-up” culture at FCPS, and a training opportunity for FCPS employees.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Calendar Reminder

Schools and offices will be closed November 23-25. Have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 28th.


 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)

  • December 1, 2022 at 7 p.m.
  • December 15, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • November 29, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.
  • December 6, 2022 at 11 a.m.
  • December 13, 2022 at 11 a.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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