Weekly Newsletter 1/24/2023

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

Reminder: End of Second Quarter

calendar reminder

All FCPS schools have a 2 Hour Early Release Day tomorrow Wednesday, January 25 for the End of 2nd Quarter progress report work.  Dismissal is 11:50am for students. On Thursday, January 26, schools are closed for students as staff engage in a staff development day and Friday, January 27, schools are closed for students due to the teacher workday. 

Key Center PTA Information


Thank you to all who were able to join us last week for the PTA and Pizza event.  It was a successful evening.  Not only were we able to elect a slate of officers for the 2022-2023 school year, it was also a time to meet fellow Key Center stakeholders form collaborative relationships.

PTA Representatives:
President: Cecilia Allen
Vice President:  Lalin Courtney
Treasurer:  Dena Sonneborn
Secretary: Beth Curtis
Special Projects Chair: Sophia Harris

Not yet a member of our PTA?  We would love to have you join!  Find the membership form on the PTA page of our school website.  

Key Center’s Animal Assisted Instruction program to be featured by FCPS


Animal Assisted Instruction (AAI) is a popular student activity at Key Center School.  This unique program has been chosen to be featured by Fairfax County Public Schools.  At our last AAI session, members of the FCPS Media Relations Team, Office of Communication & Community Relations visited to gather material for a feature story.  Stay tuned for more details about when this feature will be available.

Staff Spotlight- Patricia (Patti) Alexander

Patti A

This week’s Key Center Staff Spotlight is on Patti Alexander.  Patti began working at Key Center in 1994 as a classroom paraprofessional.  She is now in an administrative role and one of the first friendly faces that you encounter as you enter our front office.  Visit the Staff Spotlight on our school website to learn more about Patti Alexander.

FCPS Strategic Plan

strategic Plan

Key Center wants to highly encourage our family members to offer input into programming for students who attend Key Center School.  Your input is needed to ensure the breadth of FCPS student population is represented in the conversations around this important process.  For more information, visit the FCPS Strategic Planning webpage.

2023 Family & Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) Survey


Caregivers of people with disabilities have unique experiences. The Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey seeks to understand these perspectives. The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with The Arc of the United States, is conducting a survey of caregivers. This survey seeks information from caregivers to answer the following questions: What are the life experiences of caregivers and their family members with IDD? What are the most difficult or stressful aspects of caregiving? What is most rewarding about it? What would make life easier or better for caregivers, their families, and people with IDD they support across the life course? Help create a future of better supports and opportunities. Take the survey here.

Sensory-Friendly Pool Time


When:  February 11, 2023 | 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Where: Prince William Aquatic Center 

13833 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA 20112

Sensory-friendly Open Pool Time, sponsored by Paragon Autism Services, is a free event for children and adults with disabilities and their families. The leisure pool and shallow pool are open for this event. The waterslide will be available for those past height (48 inches). Siblings are welcome! This event is hosted by Evan's Voice Community Center.

Transition Planning for Elementary and Middle School Students

Career and Transition



Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Willow Oaks Administrative Center – Room 1000 A&B, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

It’s never too early or too late to start planning for a successful transition from school to life as a young adult. Please join CTS and other support service personnel for an evening of transition-focused workshops. Sessions will cover a range of transition topics: CTS programming and services for students with disabilities, short- and long-term postsecondary supports, employment and postsecondary education considerations, Supported Decision-Making, and student self-determination. This event also includes a student/parent panel where members describe their firsthand experiences as they navigated Fairfax County Public Schools and the transition process. Attendees also can visit a CTS courses, programs, and services exhibitor fair.

School Board Reviews Draft School Year Calendar Options

School Year Calendar


At their January 17 work session, the School Board discussed draft calendars that were created for the 2023-24, 2024-25, and 2025-26 school years. Draft calendars were developed using the following criteria as a framework:

  • Federal, state, and Virginia Department of Education guidance.
  • Superintendent’s priorities.
  • School Board input.
  • Student absentee data.
  • Staff absentee data.
  • Surrounding jurisdictions’ calendars.
  • Survey results.
  • Calendar Feedback Committee input.

You may view the draft calendars and other related documents in Boarddocs. The calendars will be presented as new business during the School Board meeting on Thursday, January 26. The Board is scheduled to vote on the calendars during their meeting on Thursday, February 9. 

Watch a recording of the school board’s Work Session. Get information on FCPS' calendar development process.

FY 2023-24 Proposed Budget Highlights

2024 budget


At the January 12 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid proposed a budget for FY 2024 that focuses on attracting and retaining teachers and staff, initiatives aimed at closing the achievement gap for all students, and gives our youngest learners a strong start, including investments for special education students impacted during the pandemic.

The FY 2024 Proposed Budget totals $3.5 billion—a net increase of $249.6 million or 7.6% over the FY 2023 Approved Budget. Nearly 86% of the budget is targeted at instruction. The Proposed Budget focuses on several key areas:

  • Innovative investments that close the achievement gap for all students:
    • Equitable access to literacy.
    • Increased access to PreK programming.
    • Supports for students with special education needs. 
    • Funding for students in Advanced Academic Programs.
    • Changing student enrollment needs.
    • Increase in student and family supports, including access to middle school athletic opportunities that support student well-being. 
  • Continuation of green investments.
  • Increased security measures.
  • Proposed increases in employee compensation.

Watch Dr. Reid’s presentation to the board. Access the presentation slides on Boarddocs.


Upcoming Dates:

January 25     End of 2nd Quarter - 2 Hour Early Release - 11:50am

January 26     Staff Development Day - Student Holiday

January 27     Teacher Workday - Student Holiday

February 20    Presidents’ Day -   Holiday

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar