Bush Hill Updates - Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A Note From Mrs. Duffy

Dear Bush Hill Families,

We need your help! During arrival and dismissal, we have noticed an increase of cars that are not following established procedures and traffic laws on Westchester. This is leading to unsafe conditions for our students and staff. While Bush Hill staff cannot enforce the traffic laws on public streets we do want you to be aware that violations below could be ticketed by Fairfax County Police. We want to remind everyone that there is a no parking sign to the right of our Kiss and Ride exit. When cars park here during arrival and dismissal, this makes it impossible for other cars and our busses to exit our property safely as they cannot see oncoming traffic – or make the turn to the right.  Please be aware of the following rules and traffic laws when dropping off or picking up your student each day:

  • County Code: 82-5-1(a)(3) prohibits parking within 20’ of an intersection.
  • County Code: 82-5-20 No Stopping on a Highway
  • Virginia Code: 46.2-893 Prohibits stopping on highways to discharge cargo or passengers.
  • Virginia Code: 46.2-845 Places limitations on U-turns. The driver of a vehicle within cities, towns or business districts of counties shall not turn his vehicle so as to proceed in the opposite direction except at an intersection.

Each school year, I reach out to the Franconia Station Commander of the Fairfax County Police Department regarding our concerns on Westchester. I have done so again this week. You may see an increase of police and FCPS Safety and Security personnel during arrival and dismissal in order to help us address these concerns. Additionally, our Bush Hill PTA is creating a subcommittee to involve families in the effort to improve safe routes to our school. Please see the information below regarding how to sign up for this committee.

Safe Routes to School Committee Seeking Volunteers

The Bush Hill PTA has approved a new subcommittee with the goal of promoting safe walking, biking, and driving habits in and around the school. The board is now seeking volunteers to serve on this subcommittee and to plan educational or informational campaigns on the topic in the months ahead. The committee will mainly communicate via email with meetings virtually 1x/month through the end of the school year. Interested volunteers should contact the PTA at PTABushHillElementary@gmail.com.

Happy New Year

January 12th  Fall Picture Make-up Day

January 16th  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. HOLIDAY

January 25th  End of the 2nd QTR & 2 HOUR EARLY RELEASE DAY.  Bush Hill will dismiss at 1:55 PM.

January 26th  Student HOLIDAY

January 27th  Student HOLIDAY

New Year's Resolutions

In December, many people will head to their local Target or Michaels to find a new planner. The crisp, fresh feeling of new paper to write new and improved goals gets some of us excited. When thinking of your goals consider making them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound), this method breaks your goals down into specific objectives and makes it easier for you to track your progress. What goals would you like to share with your child, to show them examples of healthy adult introspection? Introspection, looking within, is necessary to learn how to manage stress in a healthy manner. What regular coping skills can be implemented into your daily/ weekly routine? Some goals may be physical, spiritual, financial, or emotional. Would it be easier to have serious conversations over a family dinner? Or maybe regular family dinners, spark joy and connection that’s often missing.

Research has shown that family therapy is the best treatment option for young people who misuse drugs and alcohol (SAMHSA). Many people use drugs to manage life’s hardships when they feel disconnected from themselves or others. The opposite of addiction is connection, and young people benefit from connection with their families. Families who have a common mission based on autonomy and openness instead of secrecy and silence thrive. Families teach young people how to manage stress when they communicate honestly and openly with one another. Learning how to manage stress early in life could be a major factor in whether or not a young person decides to use drugs.

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

Sources & Resources

Why Small Conversations Make a Big Difference

SMART Goals Quick Overview

Knowing the Signs: Substance Abuse & Today’s Youth

For further Information & support:

Shawn Elliott, BS, QMHP-C

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist


Tomorrow Is Work Out Wednesday

Work Out Wednesday!

To promote movement and wellness we have Workout Wednesday’s the 2nd Wednesday of the month. 

On these days Staff and students can wear workout wear or a team jersey. We usually share some movement activities to do in the classroom.

Work it out Bush Hill Panthers!

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

SEL Screener

All schools in FCPS administer a screener assessment to measure students’ social emotional learning (SEL) skills.  The screener provides FCPS with actionable data, allowing staff to partner with families to prioritize next steps in a student’s social-emotional learning needs.  The screener helps us measure and improve SEL in three domains: skills and competencies, supports and environments, and well-being.  Scores from our fall assessment have been mailed home in January.  FCPS has created this resource to help understand your student’s SEL screener outcomes. Another resource with how to talk to your student(s) about the SEL screener with general reminders and conversation starters is available here.  Additionally,  there will be more information about understanding your students’ results as well as our school’s results during the next PTA meeting January 19th at 7:00pm.

Picture Make-Up & Re-Take Day Is January 12th


PTA News

Safe Routes to School Committee Seeking Volunteers

The Bush Hill PTA has approved a new subcommittee with the goal of promoting safe walking, biking, and driving habits in and around the school. The board is now seeking volunteers to serve on this subcommittee and to plan educational or informational campaigns on the topic in the months ahead. The committee will mainly communicate via email with meetings virtually 1x/month through the end of the school year. Interested volunteers should contact the PTA at PTABushHillElementary@gmail.com.

Immersion Program SY 23-25

Dual Language Immersion Program Registration

hand graphic

Registration for the countywide lottery for Dual Language Immersion (DLI) programs will open on Monday, January 23. Current pre-K students may apply for the kindergarten immersion program, and current kindergarten students may apply for the first grade immersion programs for the 2023-24 school year. 

Programs are available in French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Visit the DLI registration page for more information.

Parents who are interested in the DLI programs in FCPS are encouraged to attend an informational meeting at their school site. Meetings will begin on Wednesday, January 11. Details regarding access to virtual meetings will be available on the Dual Language Immersion registration page by the meeting date. Get more information on DLI programs and registration.

Parent Resource Center

Webinars in January for Parents/Caregivers

The Parent Resource Center will present the following webinars in January:

Click on the links above for more information or to register.

FCPS Family Math Week

The Parent Resource Center will host Family Math Week January 9-13. Families can log in from home for stories, games, and math activities in English and Spanish. Math week offers families an opportunity to experience math, literacy, history, and geography in a positive way.

Volunteer Fairfax

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service Opportunities

FCPS students continue to find incredible ways to serve their community while building Portrait of a Graduate skills such as becoming an ethical and global citizen. FCPS is excited to collaborate again with Volunteer Fairfax for the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend of Service, Saturday, January 14, to Monday, January 16. This service opportunity helps empower individuals and strengthens communities while honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Volunteer Fairfax will host several ways for the community to get involved including volunteer activities for students and adults of all ages. To learn more about the MLK Jr. Weekend of Service and the specific service activities, visit Volunteer Fairfax’s website.

Calendar Reminder: Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

As a reminder, schools and offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Learn more about Martin Luther King Jr. See the complete 2022-23 School Year Calendar.


Tech Adventure Camp (TAC)

Tech Adventure Camp (TAC) is a weekly exploratory camp designed to give students the opportunity to explore STEAM, culinary, health, trades, business and marketing areas. The camp is open to students in grades K-6 during the 2022-23 school year.

Tech Adventure Camp Program Information


NEW TO 2023: Current Kindergarten and 1st graders are eligible for camp. Students must be at least six years old by the first day of camp.

Open to students in grades K-6 during the 2022-23 school year. Students currently in grades 7-11 may participate in CTE Summer Academy. Space is limited and registration is on a first-come basis until seats are filled.

All students are welcome:

  • FCPS students.
  • Students enrolled in private schools.
  • Students who are homeschooled.
  • Non-Fairfax County residents.


  • July 10 - 14, 2023
  • July 17 - 21, 2023
  • July 24 - 28, 2023


  • 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Early drop off begins at 7:30 a.m.




  • $275 per week
    • Students eligible for free and reduced lunch: No tuition.*

*To be eligible, students must apply on Free and Reduced Meals website. You must allow your benefits to be shared or submit the Consent to Share Information Form.

Classes and Daily Schedule

Students are divided into groups based on their grade level during the time of registration. Students in kindergarten - 2nd grade will focus on STEAM, coding, health, and family and consumer sciences (FCS). Students in grades K - 6 will rotate through 5 classes every day. Their classes are STEAM, health, trade and industrial, FCS, and computer science.

2023 Themes and Course Descriptions

  • Week 1: All Fun and Games We’re all about having fun and playing games this week! Come join us for an exciting week of making games, playing games, and having a hoopla!
  • Week 2: Crazy Cool Careers Learn about exciting careers related to Career and Technical Education! We’re exploring uncommon careers and performing tasks related to these unique career opportunities.
  • Week 3: CTE Safari Are you wild about animals?! We are too! This week we’re exploring the animal kingdom, building habitats, and learning more about caring for animals. Bold Weeks


Students will have a 30-minute lunch break every day. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.


There is bus transportation from select FCPS high schools and middle schools. Transportation to and from these schools is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Transportation information will be communicated to families prior to the start of the program.


More information coming soon!

Required Forms

Camp Agreement Form: As part of the registration process, parents and students must agree to the following lab safety rules, use of digital resources, and food guidelines.

Tech Adventure Camp at Home

Explore Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses from home at your own pace! This FREE resource includes activity guides and supply lists needed to create several fun projects in STEAM, cooking, health, trades, business and marketing areas. 

Students can access these guides by visiting the Enrichment Activities Google Site. Students must log in using their FCPS G Suite account (a student's ID number followed by @fcpsschools.net).


For more information about Tech Adventure Camp, contact Beth Mehr at bgmehr@fcps.edu.

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