Bee Hive, December 9, 2022

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Bee Hive

December 9, 2022



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News from HES

Dates to Remember:

December 1-16: Herndon's 12 Days of December! (weekends not included)

December 14: PTA Chick-fil-A Spirit Night, 4-8 pm

December 16: Last day before winter break, regular day of school

December 19 - January 2: NO SCHOOL, Winter Break

January 3, 2022: School resumes

January 16: NO SCHOOL, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

4 kids at air and space museum

6th graders were fascinated by the aircraft on their field trip to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

Administrator Avenue

Dear Bee Families,

One more week until winter break. We are so proud of the academic growth shown by our bees this first half of the year. We are thankful for our family-school partnerships and wish every family a wonderful winter break.

There have been some busy bees around the building. Ms. Estornell was awarded a grant by Educate Fairfax. Ms. Pualoa was also awarded a grant to help our bees stay active. Thank you Ms. Estornell and Ms. Pualoa for going above and beyond. Also, our bees were able to view the World Cup. We strive to make real-world connections for our students to make learning more meaningful as we embark on the attributes of a Portrait of a Graduate. Learn more about POG here. We offered teachers resources about the history of the World Cup so they could connect this exciting event with the curriculum. The Math team created math problems using soccer player names based on things you would see if you visited the World Cup, such as concession stand experiences and time-lapse problems that involved playing minutes. A reading teacher shared videos they created as an overview of the World Cup. As POG global citizens, they learned about history and geography and how the tournament brings countries together. We are looking forward to our next school-wide event, an annual tradition our winter sing along. Then after winter break our generous PTA has arranged an author’s visit. We can’t wait for this exciting event. 

Thank you to the families who came out for our December Principals Coffee.  We learned about substance abuse in our communities and how to educate our bees about substance abuse prevention. Our next Principals Coffee will be in January when we will hear from the FCPS office of the Ombuds. Learn more about their office here. We look forward to seeing you in January! 

Lastly, we are super excited to share that we have hired a new Administrative Assistant. Mr. Jose Miranda will start on Monday, December 19th. He is coming to us from the personal banking world and is bilingual in Spanish. Please stop by and say “Hi” to him when you come into the office after the start of the year.

Please take a brief moment to express your gratitude to our amazing staff by submitting an FCPS Cares. Your words of appreciation make a great impact on our school culture and climate.

As always, we are a team. Please let us know what questions, concerns or compliments you might have. 


Candace J. Hunstad           Elizabeth Baxter              Greg Brotemarkle

Proud Principal                  Assistant Principal            Assistant Principal   

Herndon's 12 Days of December is Back!

December 1 is when we begin the countdown of school days until winter break on December 16.  Please help your children join in the fun!
*Weekends not included.

12 days of december

¡Los 12 días de diciembre de Herndon están de regreso!

El 1 de diciembre es cuando comenzamos la cuenta regresiva de los días escolares hasta el 16 deciembre de las vacaciones de invierno.  ¡Ayude a sus hijos a unirse a la diversión! 
* Los fines de semana no están incluidos.

12 Days of December in Spanish

Herndon ES Level IV Referral Deadline December 15

calendar and 15 circled

If you would like to refer your student for Full Time Advanced Academic Services the due date for parent referrals is December 15, 2022. The referral form can be found on by searching AAP Forms then clicking the Full Time (Level IV tab).  The referral form may be submitted to your student’s homeroom teacher or can be filled out and emailed to Katie Anderson

Meet our newest Bees 🐝

Roxana Serrano

PTA News

Chick-Fil-A spirit night 12.14.22 4-8pm

holiday cookie buffet


We are in urgent need of  cookie donations for our annual cookie buffet for our HES teachers and staff.

Sign-Up Genius for Herndon ES Staff Holiday Cookie Buffet

in search of

PTA Board Volunteers

We're urgently searching for someone to fill the secretary role starting January 2023. We're also hoping one of you lovely, energetic people out there will come join us as President Elect. You will learn the ropes from our current (amazing) president, Sara, before she departs from the board this summer. If it's a position you've been thinking about, it is a great opportunity to get the feel of it now, while Sara prepares to step down.

Contact Sara at


Preparing for Winter Weather

snowy school bus

In case you missed it last week, here’s a reminder of FCPS’ inclement weather procedures. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional “snow days” with no school activities. After those five days, we will hold virtual learning days, whenever possible, to maintain continuity of learning. Virtual learning on these days will be synchronous (live) instruction following the inclement weather virtual learning day schedule which includes a two-hour delay.

Consider bookmarking FCPS' Weather Cancellation Procedures to stay informed in case of winter weather or other emergency situations.

Mental Health, Coping & Addiction

One in four Americans suffers from a mental illness. Almost 3 in 5 people with mental illness will receive no treatment or medication. In 2019, an estimated 47.6 million adults (19% of the country) had a mental illness, but only 43% received any kind of mental health care (Johns Hopkins). There are many reasons why a person may turn to drugs or alcohol initially, including using these mind-altering substances as a coping mechanism for stress, difficult emotions, physical ailments, and other issues. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary respite from reality and everyday life. They can enhance pleasure and decrease inhibitions and anxiety.  Drug use can be an unhealthy coping mechanism. Coping mechanisms are habits formed over time that serve to help a person manage situations or stress levels. Not all coping mechanisms are maladaptive or destructive; however, addiction is both.

Before using drugs as a coping strategy, here are some recommendations for a healthier mindset. The goal is to identify the “void” or issue and work towards healing. In the meantime, experts recommend diet and exercise as great places to start. See your Primary Care Physician and a therapist if needed. Quality sleep is also a major factor in a healthy mind. Surround yourself with good people and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.


Substance Use Disorder info

FCPS Social Work

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) Community Conversation on Tuesday, December 13

Watch the video above to see how Poe Middle School used ESSER funds to support positive behavior interventions, and how fun and games support values of respect, accountability, and positivity. 

An ESSER Community Conversation will be hosted on Tuesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m. ESSER provides federal funds to FCPS, and schools across the country, to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. The event will be hybrid, offered both on Zoom and in-person at the Gatehouse Administration Center in the café on the first floor. All are welcome. Please register to attend.

Learn more about the ESSER III grant.

Upcoming School Bus Driver Job Fairs

Join one of our school bus driver job fairs and learn how to become part of the FCPS team! The job fairs will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on: 

In addition to a $3,000 signing bonus for all new drivers, FCPS also offers competitive pay, excellent retirement plans, health and dental plans, paid training, and other benefits.

Learn more about upcoming school bus driver job fairs. If you have questions, please call 571-423-3000 or email

Hiring Now! Food and Nutrition Services

From Food Services van drivers to managers-in-training, FCPS has many job opportunities related to food and nutrition. Benefits include paid training and school holidays off, and some positions offer full-time benefits for part-time work. See Food and Nutrition Services job opportunities to apply. Call 703-813-4800 with any questions. 

View all current job openings.

Academic Matters

During the Academic Matters segment of last week’s School Board meeting, Dr. Rich Pollio, Director of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Services, shared data around our English Learner students versus students who speak English and another language. 

Forty-nine percent of our students speak English and at least one other language. Twenty percent of our students are receiving English language development services. Pollio talked about the value of community in supporting our English Learners in their journey.

Free, On-Demand, Online Tutoring

online tutoring

FCPS students who’ve used have provided positive feedback:

  • “This tutor was very helpful! She didn't tell me the answers. When needed, she helped me solve them! She was very kind and she really helped me!” –Elementary Math Student
  • “This was an awesome tutor! She explained why I needed to do specific steps, and she gave me practice problems! Best tutor I have had!” –IB Chemistry Student

Unless they’ve been opted out, students can access through Schoology. Every session is personalized to meet students’ needs from remedial to advanced levels. Sessions focus on conceptual learning and critical thinking—not quick answers.

Learn more on FCPS’ webpage.

Save the Date: Strategic Planning Community Forums

Beginning in late January 2023, FCPS will host a series of community forums as part of our Strategic Plan development process. View the schedule on FCPS' Strategic Planning webpage. We will add more details as they become available.

First Strategic Planning Family Team Meeting

Last Saturday, the Family Team gathered at Marshall High School for their first strategic planning meeting. All parents/caregivers who were nominated or expressed interest in joining the Family Team were invited to attend. Participants engaged in thoughtful conversations about student achievement data and began crafting a collective vision for the school division. The Family Team will have three more sessions between January and February. 

Learn more about the strategic planning process on the FCPS website or email  

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

Every year, absences increase in the weeks before and after winter break. Give your child the gift of education and help build a habit of attendance. Visit our website for more attendance resources.

Calendar Reminders


Chanukah (December 18-26)

Happy Chanukah to all in our community who celebrate! This Festival of Lights is an 8-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple, and the miracle of a small quantity of oil that lit the Temple's menorah for 8 days. Learn more about Chanukah in National Geographic Kids.


Christmas (December 25)

 A very Merry Christmas to those in our community who celebrate! Christmas is an annual holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is celebrated in many unique ways across the U.S. and the world.

Winter Break: December 19 - January 2

As a reminder, winter break will be held December 19 to January 2. To help make sure school-based staff and students have a restful break, we have asked that no homework be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments will be due immediately following the break. We look forward to welcoming students back in the new year. 

Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar

A Safe, Welcome, and Inclusive Space at FCPS

FCPS’ Trust Policy confirms our commitment to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive space, where all students and families can access FCPS benefits and services without fear of having their data disclosed to federal immigration officials. Read more about the Trust Policy.

Service Animals Permitted in FCPS Buildings

FCPS permits service animals access in all public areas, including schools, in accordance with federal and state law. A service animal has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. A service animal is not a pet, and the work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability. 

Generally, therapy animals are not considered service animals and are therefore not permitted. The ongoing use of a service animal by staff members, parents, or members of the community must be coordinated through the Office of Equity and Employee Relations. Contact to submit an accommodation request. To coordinate a student’s use of a service animal, contact the Due Process and Eligibility section of the Office of Special Education Procedural Support at 571-423-4290. If you have any questions regarding service animals in FCPS buildings, contact the Office of Equity and Employee Relations at 571-423-3070.

FCPS Parent Resource Center

The FCPS Parent Resource Center offers a welcoming and engaging environment for families, educators, and community members. It provides access to information and resources to support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities.

To join the PRC email list and receive notices of upcoming webinars, sign up for their News You Choose newsletter

Community News

Herndon High School Winter Fest, December 9

winter fest at Herndon High school

Winter Fest at Herndon High in Spanish

Herndon Winter Markt, December 10

Herndon Winter Mrkt

Girl Scout Camp for a Day, December 22

girl scout day in english

girl scout day in spanish

positivity project

Week of December 5-9

OPM Supporting Others when they Struggle

WHAT DOES OPM Supporting Others when they Struggle mean? When other people are struggling, I do my best to help them out.

We will continue to be a Positivity Project Partner School. Learn more about it here.

Click here for the full explanation of OPM Supporting Others when they Struggle  and what it means in terms of P2 in the classroom.

Herndon ES Amazon Wish List

This wish list was created to help provide needed supplies and clothing for our students at Herndon ES.  Please feel free to share this link with friends and family who may want to support our amazing bees!

amazon wish list

Volunteer help needed in the Library

Please reach out to the PTA if you have any spare time you can donate to the library to help our lovely Ms. Sarah re-shelve book returns. Even 30 minutes or an hour can be such a ginormous help. Reach out to Monica, our VP of Volunteers, for details

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all the up-to-the-minute happenings with our hive. 

2 people with a nutcracker

Guess what 3rd grade is listening to in Ms. Chaapel's music class?  Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker!

FCPS Cares

FCPS Cares

Do you know a Herndon Elementary employee who does ordinary things in an extraordinary way or goes beyond what is expected? If so, then click here to share with everyone.


The vision of Herndon Elementary School is to provide students with a safe, nurturing learning environment where all students will work to their full potential.

The mission of Herndon Elementary is to develop children to their full potential by ensuring a high level of success for all students. Teachers will work to differentiate instruction, provide a safe environment, and develop goals with students. Parents and teachers will work together as a community to prepare students to become productive citizens.

Our vision for the 2022-2023 school year is…

  • Strong relationships with each other and our bees will drive all that we do.
  • We will know our bees as scholars.
  • Every student will know #YouBeelonghere

Important Contact Information

Herndon Elementary Phone Numbers:

  • Health Room 703-326-3110
  • Cafeteria 703-326-3121

Administration e-mail addresses: