Wednesday Word - 3/8/23



  • Wednesday, 3/8 - PEP Meeting, TONIGHT 6pm in the FES Library
  • Thursday, 3/16 - FES World Showcase Day Festival 6:00pm-8:00pm
  • Friday, 3/24 - Deadline to order Yearbook
  • Monday, 4/3-Friday 4/7- Spring Break, No School
  • Thursday, 4/13 - End of Third Quarter - 2-hour Early Release
  • Friday 4/14 - Student Holiday - Orthodox Good Friday
  • Wednesday, 4/19 - Kindergarten Orientation 5:30pm-6:30pm
  • Friday, 4/21 -  Holiday - Eid al Fitr




Parents as Educational Partners


Please join us for our seventh Parents as Educational Partners (PEP) meeting TONIGHT at 6 pm in Franconia's Library. We will learn about upcoming events at Franconia Elementary including our International Festival and SOL Assessments. 


WHAT:  PEP is a parent-teacher organization for parents of students from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade of any language or cultural background.  


WHY:  The mission of PEP is to increase the academic achievement of students by developing and maintaining strong school-home partnerships tied to improved student achievement. 


HOW:  During our meetings, we will create a safe, informed space through which we can empower families to seek information to best support their children's educational journeys.


WHEN:  We plan to meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.  Our next session will take place Wednesday, March 8th .  


WHERE:  We will meet in the library at Franconia Elementary School.  


Your PEP teachers are specifically prepared to provide you with accurate information about Franconia Elementary.  Some of the topics that we may cover during our meetings include:

  • School Personnel and the School Day
  • School Procedures
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Report Cards and Curriculum
  • Special Education and Advanced Academics
  • Study skills/Homework
  • School Health Procedures
  • Other school-specific topics that are of interest and benefit to the group 


Questions?  Please email




 Friday, March 10th


Get those smiles ready! Spring picture day is this Friday, March 10th

Victor O'Neill Studios will be on site to take the following pictures:

  • student individual (full-length)
  • class group
  • 6th grade panoramic

All orders (with the exception of panoramic pre-order) will be placed AFTER picture day.

You will be able to view and order your child’s photos in their online gallery approximately ten days after picture day.

If you have any questions leading up to picture day, please reach out to Victor O’Neill Studios by emailing



Franconia’s World Showcase Day

(Formerly International Day)


When: Thursday, March 16th

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

We would love for our parents and community to be a part of this memorable event.

If you are interested, please return the form to your child’s teacher OR visit this link:




Musical Circuits Club!

Franconia ES (sponsored by the PTA)

Mr Nawrot will be offering a 5-week club on Tuesdays, 3:35-4:35.

CLASS DATES: 4/11, 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9

The club will take place at school, is open to students Grades 4-6, at a total cost of $60/student.

 Register HERE by March 17th

Contact Matt at with questions.

Students grades 4 through 6 will explore the history and science behind electronic music through the creation of their own instrument. Each member will construct a breadboard theremin, the original electric instrument, utilizing Microkits.  Additionally, students will explore conductivity with a synthesizer and even try to jam out with an electric guitar.  Best of all, the inventor of Microkits, Mr David Levi, will be our guest one of the days to assist with our build.  Parents are encouraged to read the Microkit theremin instruction manual with their child prior to signing up to see if they are comfortable with the build.  Please note that students will need to bring in found conductive materials and that the club fees reflect the cost of purchasing the Microkits.   



Yearbooks are Now on Sale

Don’t miss out on the chance to get your child a yearbook. 2022-23 Yearbooks are $18.00 and the deadline to order is March 24th. No yearbook orders will be taken after that date. So, make plans to order yours today!

Yearbooks are only sold/purchased online. Start your purchase by going  to:, typing in 21927 or searching for Franconia Elementary, Alexandria VA, will take you to our ordering site.



Counselor's Corner

Character Trait for the Month


March's Character Trait:

Patience- to wait calmly without complaining.

February's Character Trait was empathy- A feeling or understanding of what someone else is feeling.  Check out this video with our student highlights for empathy:


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Message to 6th Grade Parents/Guardians:


In the month of March, sixth-grade students will receive two lessons on the topic of sexual harassment.  These lessons seek to provide students with the necessary information, resources, and strategies to help prevent occurrences of sexual harassment as well as outline the steps to take if they feel they or their peers are targets of these behaviors.  In addition, the lessons share how schools support targeted students so that they can continue to focus on learning in an environment that feels comfortable and secure.  Parents/guardians may request to view these two lessons prior to deciding whether to opt their child(ren) out of the lessons. Please reach out to the school counselor for instructions on where to preview the lessons.

Parents/guardians may choose to opt their child out of the two sixth-grade lessons on the topic of sexual harassment.  Letters and opt-out forms will be given to your child in the upcoming week. It will provide more information on how to opt your sixth-grade child out of the lessons about sexual harassment.  If you do not receive the letter or opt-out form or have any additional questions, please contact Veronica Guillion, School Counselor at 703-822-2200.



Cruisers Navy Band Assembly 

Thursday, March 30th


The Cruisers, an ensemble from the U.S. Navy Band, will be performing at Franconia.  We are excited to once again welcome this talented and entertaining group of musicians back to our school!

 A student only assembly will be held on March 30th for the students to enjoy the band's music.

To read more about The Cruisers, please go to:



Register Now for Kindergarten

We look forward to welcoming our newest Penguins to Franconia ES for the 2023-2024 school year. Registration packets are available in the Franconia ES Main Office or you may download the forms using the link below.

The registration requirements are as follows:

For incoming Kindergarten students – please visit

It is important that you have filled out all of the paperwork, and bring with you the following:

  1. Photo ID
  2. Original Birth Certificate
  3. Proof of Residency (Deed or Lease to your home)
  4. Virginia Physical and Immunization Record (due prior to school starting in August)

When you are ready, and have gathered most of your documentation, please call to make a registration appointment.  All registrations are done by appointment only.

For further information, the Fairfax County Public Schools website is and the Franconia Elementary website is

To keep in touch with Franconia ES Community, please consider signing up for News You Choose – our e-newsletter  Subscribe to Franconia's Wednesday Word here

Please contact Patrick Pacak, our Registrar, at or 703-822-2203 with any questions. 

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 A Note From Our K Team

Do you have a child who will be 5 years of age by September 30, 2023, and do you plan on sending them to kindergarten at Franconia for the 2023-2024 school year?

We are in the process of preparing for our kindergarten registration and orientation.  If your child is ready for kindergarten, call the school at 703-822-2200 so we may add you to our list of rising kindergarten students.

Please consider joining us at the school with your future kindergartener for our Kindergarten Orientation on Wednesday, April 19, from 5:30-6:30pm.  During this presentation, we will provide information about the kindergarten program at Franconia Elementary, while the future kindergarteners get to explore the classroom, participate in fun kindergarten activities, and take a ride on a school bus around the neighborhood. 

❤ Kindergarten Team



Immunization Requirements for Rising 7th Graders

The Code of Virginia requires all students to be immunized against certain communicable diseases prior to entrance into Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

All students entering 7th grade will be required to receive one dose of each of the following immunizations prior to the beginning of school: Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis booster (Tdap), Meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

●     To meet the Meningococcal (MenACWY) requirement, the vaccination must be administered at age 10 or older.      

●     As a parent/guardian, you may decide that your child not receive the HPV vaccination. The school does not require documentation if a parent/guardian elects for their student not to receive the HPV vaccination.

ACTION REQUESTED: Please provide one of the following immunization documents to the Student Information Assistant (SIA) or Registrar at your child’s school as soon as possible:

  1. An immunization record showing that the child has received at least one dose of each of the required immunizations listed above.
  2. A note on a healthcare provider’s letterhead stating the date the vaccine(s) was given.
  3. A healthcare provider’s written statement of a permanent or temporary medical exemption.

4.    A notarized Religious Exemption Form, which is available online at:

Immunizations are available from your child’s healthcare provider, the Fairfax County Health Department, or other community resources.

Questions?  Please contact our Registrar, Patrick Pacak, at or 703-822-2203  



Help Needed in the Library

Do you have a spare moment in the day to lend Mrs. Vandersande a hand?

The library needs volunteers to help scan in returns and shelve books any time during the school day.


Calendar Reminder

March Calendar Reminders


 March 12 - Daylight Saving Begins (Spring Forward)

Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m., daylight saving time begins. Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead one hour! As a result of the time change, many students will be walking to school or to bus stops in the dark. Help your child stay safe by having them wear reflective clothing and bright or light colors, or add reflective items to their backpacks or clothes. Also, encourage your child to be especially alert for cars that are turning or backing up and not to run into the street or cross between parked cars.

March 22- April 21 - Ramadan

This year, the first day of Ramadan is March 22. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year, a time for spiritual discipline for Muslims, who believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Mohammed. Read more about Ramadan in National Geographic Kids.


See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.



Find Free COVID-19 Testing in Your Community

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a COVID-19 Testing Locator website, which can help families find no-cost COVID-19 testing sites.  Testing is available at pharmacies and other locations and is provided at no cost to individuals with or without health insurance. Results are typically provided within 24-48 hours. 




Please remember to notify the school office of any of the following changes that come up for your child.

Notification should be made by 9:00am on the day of the change.

  • Absence
  • Late arrival
  • Planned early pick-up or mid-day appointment (pick-up and return)
    • If your child needs to be picked up unexpectedly, please call the office (703-822-2200) in advance of your arrival
    • This allows the office to contact your child’s teacher to prepare your child for their departure
    • For early pick-ups after 3:00pm, please park on Kathmoor as the school buses start to arrive for dismissal at that time and the front parking lot will be off limits
  • Changes in dismissal mode (

Below are the 3 options by which to notify the school office (choose one option):

Please do this IN ADDITION to contacting your child's teacher.  There could be times when the teacher is absent and, by also contacting the office, the information will be properly noted.

To email your child’s teacher, click HERE.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.





Recognize FCPS Employees

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care.

The start of the school year is a great time to acknowledge someone who has helped to make your child's return to school amazing.

Learn how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee for their great work.

FCPS Parent Resource Center

Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services

2334 Gallows Road, Entrance 1, Room 105

Dunn Loring, VA


The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) offers a welcoming and engaging environment for families, educators, and community members.




Phone: 703-204-3941


Twitter: @prc_fcps






  • The PRC offers free, confidential in-person, videoconference, and phone consultations for families and FCPS staff.
  • Appointments are highly encouraged.
  • They can brainstorm strategies and possible solutions to help you address your concerns by drawing upon resources and support from FCPS, as well as community, state, and national centers.


  • The PRC maintains a list of current FCPS employees who hold a valid and current teaching license in VA and want to tutor after their contracted school day.
  • Contact the PRC at 703-204-3941 or for more information.


  • Come explore the library for families and staff, 8:00am-4:00pm
  • The library contains over 10,000 books, eBooks, DVDs, and CDs on topics related to parenting and educating all children, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities.
  • Check out up to 6 items and keep them for 3 weeks.  Renewals are easy - just call or email us.
  • Find library resources to support your child with help from the Parent Resource Center staff.
  • Call us and we can have library materials ready for you to pick up.
  • Return library materials to us 24/7 in our book return or use the FCPS inter-office mail.  Contact us for details.



  • Register here -
  • Watch recorded webinars - https://bit.ly3rpPl3Q
    1. To turn videos into preferred languages, open a video - choose any video on YouTube and follow these directions to have closed-captioning in your preferred language:
    2. Click the CC button - make sure it is underlined in red.
    3. Click the settings button - it looks like a gear.
    4. Click subtitles.
    5. Click auto-translate.
    6. Choose a language.


Penguin Points

Click on a link for information

Franconia Elementary School website