April 2023: Spring Newsletter

Dear Dranesville Families:

Photo of bluebells

Bluebells at River Bend Park

Our Dranesville students have been busy the past weeks. We have students doing impressive work in science and taking home prizes from the science fair, winning literature and journalism awards, winning peace awards, and singing their hearts out with the sixth grade all county chorus—and that just names a few of the opportunities our students have been involved in. I loved attending some of the events to honor this work. Seeing our students so engaged is always inspirational for me. The sixth grade chorus had us all swinging in our seats to the wide array of music they performed.

I was able to attend the Portrait of a Graduate Presentations of Learning expo last week where a number of our Dranesville schools presented the work they are doing to move this work forward with our students. Thank you to Langley HS, TJ, Chesterbrook ES, Lemon Road ES, Herndon MS and Marshall Academy for being leaders in this work and for being willing to share with others across the county. It was wonderful to see this work applied at all grade levels, in special education, and in specialty courses. I have been making a point to ask about this work at many of our schools and have seen students very proud of the work they are doing and super proud of the growth they are seeing over this past academic year. I’m planning to share some photos and stories in a future newsletter. 

I have now shadowed a sophomore at each of our high schools including Thomas Jefferson and look forward to sharing that experience with you too. Let’s just say for now that between the math, chemistry, world history and theater classes, etc. I am thoroughly impressed at the academics our students are dealing with and the diversity of teaching techniques our teachers can fit into a class period.

I am happy to say that our Kent Gardens families can look forward to some big facilities changes coming soon, and we will engage in our scoping meeting to look at future ways to alleviate the overcrowding at the school on April 26 at 6:30 pm. This is the next step in engaging the community in discussion on this issue. See below for more information the school sent out. 

I was able to attend the Fairfax County Environmental Awards and was happy to see the Great Falls Citizens Association honored for all of the work they are doing to increase awareness of the importance of tree canopy in our area.  They have been a wonderful partner too in getting our students engaged in environmental service projects. We also had 5 schools recognized for their work with the Urban Forestry Division to plant trees on school grounds.

Karl Frisch and I heard from FCPS and county environmental staff about progress around the Joint Environmental Task Force goals. I was happy to follow that with a Facilities Planning Advisory Committee retreat at Oakton HS where we toured the recent renovation and listened to an architecture group speak about designs for future learning. We had a robust discussion and was happy to get a copy of their book “The Third Teacher." It highlights how important the learning environment can be for students and staff. Then, I attended the Green School National Convention and as always was inspired to hear what work is being done across the country in this area. In many ways, FCPS is on the forefront of this work, but there are many areas where we can improve. 

I recently took the Community Services Board REVIVE course to learn more about opioids and the use of Narcan. It is easy to sign up. I encourage you to learn as much about this issue as you can. The course is available for anyone 16 and up.  

I was happy to take Dr. Reid to Hutchison ES this week to see the work they are doing on literacy in all grades. They jumped right into this almost three years ago and have implemented this with fidelity across all classrooms. Hutchison is one of our largest elementary schools with a large English learner population so this is no small feat. They are seeing the payback for this in incredible positive gains in reading across the board.

We then went to Coates ES and heard groups of students present ideas for new clubs and classes at the end of a PBL exercise. Some were very creative and very plausible. I am looking forward to seeing what gets implemented. I saw how those students felt so empowered to know their advocacy and hard work was listened to.  

Thank you Dr. Reid for getting out to share these wonderful experiences with me. I am constantly amazed at the hours Dr. Reid spends in schools, Town Halls, and attending school related events.  

Enjoy your spring break. I hope your family has some valuable rest and family time. If you haven’t been out to see the cherry blossoms or the bluebells along the Potomac River, make sure to see those spring phenomena.


Photo of Cherry trees

Cherry trees at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

In this newsletter:


POG POL and Herndon ES collage

Photos from the Chesterbrook ES, Langley HS and Herndon MS's POG POL teams and Herndon ES's Steam classroom

Spring Break graphic

Calendar Reminders

Schools and school offices will be closed through Friday, April 7. Students will return to school on Monday, April 10.

Quarter End: Early Release, Student Holiday, Teacher Work Day

Reminder, Thursday, April 13, is the quarter end and students will be released two hours early. There will be no classes for students on Friday, April 14, a student holiday and teacher work day. SY 2022-23 Calendar

Kent Gardens ES Update

April 26: 6:30pm- Community Meeting

Dear Kent Gardens Families:

We have some good news to share regarding the facilities at Kent Gardens Elementary School. We want to thank you once again for your feedback and your care for the school community, and we appreciate all your input. A summary of key topics and answers to common questions have been added to the Kent Gardens Elementary School Capacity Challenges webpage.

We are now moving forward with short and long-term approaches to alleviate overcrowding at the school. Since any program changes or boundary adjustments will likely be phased in, we will not solve the overcrowding issue overnight. Phasing will potentially require a multi-year time frame before any change we decide on will be in full effect. Given this fact, we must deal with the capacity challenges in two phases.


The short-term plans for facility improvements will take place before school starts in the fall of 2023, they include:

  1. Removal of seven old trailers behind the school. 
  2. Refurbishment of the back area where the trailers are currently located into an outdoor classroom space (this will take planning and time over the next year or two).
  3. Installation of a quad trailer with four classrooms to the left of the playground and a duplex trailer with two classrooms next to the existing duplex trailer. 
  4. In addition, maintenance will be done on the existing bathrooms to ensure that all plumbing features (toilets, faucets, etc.) are in proper working order for the 2023-24 school year. 
Kent Gardens ES map of coming new temporary classrooms

You will begin to see staging for this process as soon as next week during spring break. We want to begin trailer removal and construction of the new classroom spaces as soon as school ends this year to make sure we are ready for school to start in the fall. 


We will continue discussions about the best way to alleviate the overcrowding at the school at a community meeting on April 26, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at McLean High School. This meeting will inform the community about the scope of possible program and boundary changes. The public will have the opportunity to provide input about the schools and communities that could be involved in the boundary study.

FCPS staff will present recommendations on the schools and communities to be involved in the boundary study to the School Board for approval, with any changes to be implemented for the 2024-25 school year. At this time, a date has not been scheduled for the boundary study to be presented to the School Board.

Our process will follow Regulation 8130: This regulation guides any closing or consolidation of school facilities, as well as all adjustments of school attendance areas, special program service areas, and special program locations affecting 15 percent or more of a school's membership. Our meeting on April 26 is a step in Task 2: engaging affected communities.  

At this meeting, staff will provide a brief background on the capacity challenges and actions taken since the last meeting with the Kent Gardens community in October 2022. Upon conclusion of the presentation, the community will provide input via participant-led breakout groups on what schools and communities should be involved in the study. Staff and facilitators will be available to answer questions as groups work together. Staff will review this input to develop a recommendation to the School Board on the scope of the boundary study.

After the School Board approves the list of schools/programs to be included in the study, FCPS Facilities Planning staff will create various scenarios, and their impact on capacity, for presentation to public community meetings in the fall of 2023. There will not be any further community meetings this school year (SY 2022-23). 

Community meetings will take place this fall to gather public input on the scenarios. A final recommendation will be presented to the School Board, followed by a public hearing, and then a vote by the School Board in fall 2023. 

We were hopeful we would finish this process for implementation in the 2023-24 school year.  However, to provide adequate time for analysis and school planning, implementation will take place in the 2024-25 school year.   

Please keep informed about new developments in this process by monitoring our newsletters and the webpage on this topic. We hope to see you at the meeting on April 26th at McLean High School. 


Holly McGuigan, Principal 

Fabio Zuluaga, Region 2 Assistant Superintendent

Register for Virtual Strategic Planning Community Forums

We invite parents/caregivers, students, employees, and community members to join us for a virtual community forum to discuss the first draft of proposed goals for the new Strategic Plan. Get more information on our Strategic Planning webpage. Forums are scheduled for:

Monday, April 10, at noon

Tuesday, April 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (in Spanish)

Monday, April 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Click on the date to register for the event.

Proposed Updates to Student Rights and Responsibilities Meeting

The Department of Special Services will host a virtual meeting for the FCPS community regarding proposed updates to the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) regulation on Monday, April 10, from 6 to 7 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about the suggested updates and ask questions via Zoom Chat. Language interpretation will be available in Spanish. A certified deaf interpreter will be available as well. Please register online.

Actualizaciones Propuestas a los Derechos y Responsabilidades del Estudiante

El Departamento de Servicios Especiales tendrá una reunión virtual para la comunidad de FCPS acerca de las actualizaciones propuestas a la regulación de Derechos y Responsabilidades del Estudiante (SR&R) el lunes, 10 de abril de 6 a 7 p.m. Los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de aprender sobre las actualizaciones sugeridas y hacer preguntas vía Zoom Chat. Habrá interpretación en español. También habrá disponible un intérprete certificado para sordos. Inscríbase en línea.

March 30 School Board Meeting Key Vote

FY 2023 Third Quarter Budget Review

The School Board approved FY 2023 Third Quarter Budget Review.

Watch the full meeting on the FCPS YouTube channel.

Academic Matters 

Family-Facing Curriculum for Core Content Being Added to Public FCPS Website-The curriculum overviews and unit standards from the planning and pacing guides have been posted on the FCPS public web and shared with the School Board.  The goal is to provide families a comprehensive overview of what students are learning and when they are learning it. Information will be updated at the start of each school year to reflect curriculum updates. To access the grade level and/or course web pages directly, first search for the level within the Academics page, select grade level or content, and click on Year at a Glance. See Dr. Reid's March 30th presentation here.

AAP Spring Update

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is committed to challenging all students through talent development and differentiated instruction to meet the needs of advanced learners. 

Screening for Subject Specific (Level II) and Part-Time (Level III) Services Students can be screened for subject specific and part time AAP services at any time in the school year. In the spring, schools review data on all students to determine services for the start of the next school year. Learn more about Advanced Academic Programs here.

Photo collage at Chesterbrook ES visit

My visit to Chesterbrook ES: With Principal Kirkpatrick by the School-Zone Camera; 4th Grade team; a strings class

School-Zone Camera Pilot Program 

Fairfax County has launched a speed camera pilot program targeting several school zones where speeding is common. Speed cameras have been installed at Chesterbrook ES and 7 other schools. Thank you to Fairfax County for helping to ensure we are all more safe as we travel to and from school!

Safety Measures in FCPS

Fairfax County Public Schools' main goal is to keep students and staff  safe at school. Our crisis and emergency response plans have been cited as a national model. We continually work with county, state, and federal health, safety, and emergency personnel leaders to ensure coordinated responses to potential threats.

FCPS Tipline

FCPS Tipline

As part of Fairfax County Public Schools' continuing efforts to maintain safe schools, a confidential and anonymous Tip Line is available to students, parents, staff, and other members of the FCPS community. To learn more about the tipline, click the photo or go to the link below.

Online: https://www.fcps.edu/tipline

Text: 888777 Keyword TIP FCPS

Call: 571-423-2020

Student on her laptop

No-Cost Mental Health Teletherapy for HS Students

Starting Monday, April 10, parents/caregivers who have been struggling to find a therapist for their child or who notice changes in their child’s behavior will be able to connect them virtually with a licensed therapist. 

FCPS has partnered with Hazel Health to begin offering virtual mental health services to high school students via live video sessions. The first step for parents/caregivers is to provide information through an opt-in form. Visit FCPS’ Teletherapy webpage for details.

Hazel Health’s licensed therapists can help students who are experiencing:

  • Mood/behavior changes, lack of motivation, grief/loss.
  • Anxiety, worry, fears.
  • Bullying, sexual identity challenges, challenging peer and family relationships.
  • Academic stress.

Crisis phone numbers graphic

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, text HOME to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor, call 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, or call 911 to reach local emergency services.

Schoology: Upcoming Survey on Division-wide Usage

The Instructional Services Department will be conducting surveys on the use of Schoology Monday, April 10, to Friday, April 21. Instructional Services will also be reaching out to families through focus groups. Your feedback will inform our overall use of Schoology and help us improve our processes, communication, and professional learning. Please don't hesitate to email schoology@fcps.edu with any questions.

School Board Approves Collective Bargaining Resolution

At their March 9 meeting, the Fairfax County School Board voted to approve the FCPS Collective Bargaining Resolution. Collective bargaining is a process by which an employer (such as FCPS) negotiates with a group of employees (a bargaining unit) that is represented by a bargaining agent (such as a union or association) over terms and conditions of employment. Visit the Collective Bargaining webpage to learn more.

Upcoming School Bus Driver Job Fairs

Each bus driver job fair will be held between 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. No pre-event registration is needed to attend. Learn more about the job fairs here.

Site-Based Substitutes Needed

FCPS is looking for talented individuals with strong academic backgrounds to become site-based substitutes. These substitutes will work primarily at one specific school and report to that school daily. Starting pay is $24.86, and health insurance benefits are available. To learn more about the position and which schools have vacancies, visit the Site-Based Substitute webpage.

FCPS Named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year

Fairfax County Public Schools has been selected as a 2023 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year winner for Sustained Excellence. Recent accomplishments that helped earn this sustained excellence award include achieving energy savings greater than 21% and $65 million since 2014, and winning the “Best Project in the Major Renovation” category of the ENERGY STAR Decarbonize Your Design Challenge for the renovation of Crossfield Elementary School.

Multilingual podcast logo

Multilingual Family Podcast

On the latest issue of the Multilingual Family Podcast, Superintendent Dr. Reid reflects on what she has learned in the last year as superintendent and how thankful she is for the students, staff, and families. She discusses the importance of family contributions to education and her vision for the future. The podcast is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Korean.

TJHSST Transcript Update

Great News!  TJ Transcripts will be altered after summer 2023 to show all Honors and AP courses–thank you to Dr. Zuluaga in Region 2 for spearheading this change so that all of our TJ students will have their best face shown to any college admissions staff getting transcripts and paperwork from TJ.  A huge thank you to a Dranesville parent for her diligent research to help us highlight this issue and to come to this solution. 

FCPS Stance on Proposed History and Social Science Standards

The Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) is required to review the Standards of Learning (SOL) in all subjects at least once every seven years. The History and Social Science SOL—which seeks to build students’ understanding and skills in history, geography, civics, and economics—is currently up for review. 

Multiple history and social science experts prepared a comprehensive analysis of the January 6 draft standards outlining significant concerns about the proposed standards. The Fairfax County School Board and Dr. Reid submitted a letter to VBOE’s president and the Virginia Department of Education’s acting superintendent of public instruction. Read their letters on our website.

Findings Regarding the NMSC Commended Student Notifications

Dr. Reid shared this letter on the independent third-party investigation into the notification of students designated Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). 

Upcoming School Board Meetings

  • Tuesday, April 11, 11am: Forum; 12:30pm: Work Session
  • Thursday, April 13, 7pm: Regular Meeting

Please note, times and topics are subject to change. 

How to watch meetings and to sign up to speak

En Espanol YouTube Channel QR code


FCPS en Español

For Spanish speakers: You can scan the QR code to watch recorded School Board meetings or watch Regular Meetings live on YouTube.

Community News

Supervisor Foust's Newsletter

Please go here to sign up for Supervisor Foust's informative newsletter for Dranesville and Fairfax County news and events.

Town of Herndon Proposed FY 2024 Budget Public Comment

The council will hold two public hearings on the proposed budget, on Tuesday April 11 and Tuesday April 25, both beginning at 7pm in the Ingram Council Chambers. Comments may also be submitted online or via email at budget@herndon-va.gov.

Budget Public Hearings

Tuesday April 11 - 7pm

Tuesday April 25 - 7pm

Ingram Council Chambers (765 Lynn Street, Herndon)


REVIVE! is a program that makes naloxone available to lay rescuers to reverse opioid overdoses. REVIVE! trains individuals on what to do and not do in an overdose situation, how to administer naloxone, and what to do afterwards.  Learn more and register for REVIVE here.

MCC Governing Board Election

McLean Community Center (MCC) has certified 15 Dranesville Small District 1A residents, five adults and 10 teens, to run for seats on the McLean Community Center Governing Board. The all-volunteer Board sets goals and aligns strategies for MCC programs and facilities, which include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Center. Learn more on voting and the candidates here.

Traffic Updates

Please be aware of the major roadway construction projects in Dranesville. Travelers are encouraged to visit 511virginia.org for current information on travel conditions and work zones in Virginia. 

George Washington Memorial Parkway Construction

This month, temporary roadway installation continued between I-495 and Route 123. Crews also continued select tree removal at the outfalls along the parkway.  

New Traffic Pattern Coming April 15 

Once the temporary lane is installed from I-495 to Route 123, crews will shift all traffic to the northbound lanes in a three-lane configuration on  April 15. Drivers should observe traffic signs, respect the 40-mph speed limit, expect delays through narrow travel lanes and plan alternate routes. The NPS expects this three-lane traffic pattern to be in effect through late 2025

GW Parkway lane changes collage

GW parkway Lane changes Coming 4/15/2023

Route 7 Update

Construction activities will continue along Route 7 through the spring and summer months. Please see the project website for information on upcoming lane shifts and other roadway impacts. 

495 NEXT Project

Please be aware there are multiple lane closures in the 495-Georgetown Pike area.

Upcoming 495 Work

  • Daytime and nighttime single lane closures on I-495 North and South
  • Nighttime multi-lane closures on I-495 North and South, including triple left lane closures throughout the project corridor
  • Daytime and nighttime single lane closures on Georgetown Pike
  • Daytime flagging operations on Live Oak Drive and Lewinsville Road

If you have any questions, please visit the 495 NEXT website, or send an email to 495NorthernExtension@VDOT.Virginia.gov; or call the Project Inquiry Line: 703-592-6430.

Coates ES photo collage

My visit with Dr. Reid to Coates ES

FCPS Early Childhood and PreK Programs

Fairfax County Public Schools offers programs for the youngest learners:

Community liaisons are available to assist families with the registration process and answer questions. For more information, visit the Early Childhood Registration webpage. 

Kindergarten Registration: Easy as 1-2-3!

There is an easy five-step process outlined for parents looking to register their child for kindergarten:

  1. Determine eligibility.
  2. Identify local school.
  3. Gather documents.
  4. Fill out forms.
  5. Schedule an appointment.

After the appointment at your local school (the student and one caregiver must be present), the student will be ready for orientation, Bridge to Kindergarten, or any other introductory events each school may host. Read more about the registration process. 

Save the Date

Military Month of the Child graphic

Purple Up! Day- April 19

To show our support, we are inviting all Fairfax County students, families, school employees, and community members to “Purple Up!” on April 19 for military children. Why purple? Purple symbolizes all branches of the military as a combination of Army green, Marine Corps red, and Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Space Force blue.

Support the 2nd Annual FCPS Hall of Fame- 4/19

Educate Fairfax invites you to the 2nd Annual FCPS Hall of Fame ceremony to honor distinguished alumni from around the district. The event will be held on Wednesday April 19, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Tower Club in Tysons. Twelve (12) amazing graduates will be inducted. You can read about them here.

Earth Day Fairfax- April 22

Fairfax County Park Authority will host an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Sully Historic Site. Celebrate Healthy People—Healthy Planet with a fun day of entertainment, food vendors, touch-a-truck, prizes, and activities! For more information, visit the Earth Day Fairfax website.

Mount Vernon District Environment Expo- 4/22

Come out to Fort Hunt Park on Saturday, April 22  10 a.m. - 2 p.m. for the 5th Annual Mount Vernon District Environment Expo. This FREE family-friendly festival will feature workshops, live music, live reptile and owl demonstrations, nature walks, giveaways, solar cooking, CCTV Robot Camera, touch-a-truck and more. Learn more online and mark your calendar for this fantastic event!

Children's Business Fair Information

Children's Business Fair- April 22

Have a young entrepreneur in your home? Sign up for the Children's Business FairSaturday, April 22, 2 - 5 pm at Forestville ES, Basketball Courts  (1085 Utterback Store Road, Great Falls). This opportunity allows children to launch their very own startup businesses. We have 50 booths for children to showcase their businesses. Sponsored by Acton Academy, the Acton School of Business, and our donors and volunteers.

dangers of fentanyl

Community Meeting on the Dangers of Fentanyl- 4/24

Monday, April 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Last month, FCPS hosted a conversation on the dangers of fentanyl. The conversation will continue on Monday, April 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Woodson High School. Transportation will be available from select schools throughout the county. View the registration page for details. 

Visit our Opioid Awareness webpage for more information. Visit the Fairfax County Government webpage on opioids for information on how you can take action and how to get help for yourself or loved ones.

Reunión Comunitaria sobre los Peligros del Fentanilo

El mes pasado, la división organizó una reunión sobre los peligros del fentanilo. La conversación continuará el lunes 24 de abril, de 6:30 a 8 p.m. en la Escuela Secundaria Woodson. Habrá transporte disponible desde algunas escuelas del condado. Vea la página de inscripción para más detalles. 

Visite nuestra página de Concienciación sobre los Opioides para obtener más información. Visite la página web del Gobierno del Condado de Fairfax sobre opioides para obtener información sobre cómo puede actuar y cómo obtener ayuda para usted o sus seres queridos.


Register for Special Education Conference- April 29

The FCPS Special Education Conference will take place on Saturday, April 29. Registration is  open for this virtual event.  Interpretation can be requested during registration. Registrants who need language assistance can contact the Parent Information Phone Lines. 

Multiple Language Parent Lines

TJ Techstravaganza- May 13

TJ Techstravaganza, a free STEM activity fair that provides fun, hands-on labs and demonstrations for K-8 students will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 10am- 4pm at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology(6560 Braddock Rd, Alexandria) Students can register online.

Hutchison ES photocollage

My visit with Dr. Reid to Hutchison ES

School and Student News

6th Grade All-County Chorus

My visit to the 6th Grade All County Chorus Performance

Regional Science and Engineering Fair: 10 Grand Prize Projects

The 68th annual Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair showcased more than 300 high school science projects. Over 400 students presented their research projects in a wide variety of science and engineering fields. Projects were judged by more than 150 professionals and 40 professional organizations and businesses. 

The Grand Prize Winners are eligible to compete in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in May, and many others are eligible to compete in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair to be held in April. See the list of winners on our webpage. Congratulations to all the Dranesville participants and winners!

Here are the Dranesville Grand Prize and first place category winners:

Herndon HS

  • First Place: Tina Jose- The Effect of Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) on the Regeneration Rate of Planaria: The Magic Behind a Green Tea Antioxidant

Langley HS

  • First Place: Anderson Hoang, Arnav Ketineni- Catalase's Caffeine Kick: Optimizing Catalase Activity on Hydrogen Peroxide for Cancer Therapy Using Caffeine
  • First Place: Shriya Jaddu- Investigating Racial Bias in Convolutional Neural Networks Trained with Mammograms for Breast Cancer Prediction
  • First Place: Kevin and Sean Lee- An Innovative Alternative to Plastic Straws with Bacterial Cellulose
  • First Place: Joshua Skeen- The Effect of Wing Aspect Ratio on the Range of a Glider

Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology

  • Grand Prize and First Place: Omkar Kovvali, Sritan Motati- OtoScan: A Novel, Inexpensive System for Comprehensive Diagnosis of Middle Ear Infections with an Intelligent Mobile Otoscope
  • Grand Prize and First Place: Ronit Kapur- The Effect of Gravity Darkening on the Atmospheric Dynamics of KELT-9b
  • First Place: Kiran Donnelly, Manav Gagvani- A Novel Methodology for Safer Hard Gold Deposition
  • First Place: William Zhang- A Polarization-Based Approach to Reduce Glare of Vehicles at Night
  • First Place: Dhruv Anurag, Steven Lu, Sathvik Redrouthu- A Photonic Hardware Accelerator for Ultrafast Tensor Algebra Computations and Neural Network Inference
  • First Place: David Cao, Khoi Dinh- Leveraging Quantum Computing to Simulate Ising Model Hamiltonians and its Implications on Material Sciences

FCPS Students Earn 33 National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

FCPS students received 33 national awards through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Students were recognized for original art and writing with one American Visions Medal, 10 Gold Medals, one Silver Medal with Distinction, and 21 Silver Medals. Read more about the winners here. Congratulations to the Dranesville winners!

Cooper MS

  • Art Silver Medal: Renee Shi- American Dream

Langley HS

  • Art Silver Medal: Tiffany Li- Over Years

McLean HS

  • Art Gold Medal: Catherine Kang- The Plague
  • Art Gold Medal: Seoin Lee- Eyes of Water
  • Art Gold Medal: Aliya Lu- Self Portrait
  • Art Silver Medal: Alexia Bodet- Subversion of the Effected
  • Art Silver Medal: Ally Chen- Glass Heart
  • Art Silver Medal: Emma Chen- Puzzled Pieces
  • Writing Gold Medal: Aileen Zhao- Second Genesis

Thomas Jefferson for Science and Technology

  • Art Gold Medal: Elina Liu- For Sale

2023 Student Peace Awards

The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County began in 2006, encouraging students to think about peace as both a means and an end, and to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. Twenty-seven schools chose a recipient for the 2022-2023 award. The student projects are impressive and inspiring. A complete list of student profiles is available on the Student Peace Awards webpage

Here are the Dranesville area Awardees:

  • Herndon HS: Amanda Green
  • Langley HS: Bree Yagana
  • Marshall HS: No Place for Hate
  • McLean HS: Saehee Perez
  • TJHSST: Social Change Club
  • Westfield HS: Cameron Kasper

Six Teams, 40 Individuals Honored as Winter Sports Winners

Congratulations to all the FCPS student-athletes who participated in the 2022-23 winter sports season. This year, six teams and 40 individuals won the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Class 6 championship in their respective sports, and three teams and 38 individuals were the state runners-up. Four teams were repeat champions. See the list of winners. Congratulations to the Dranesville teams and students who won and were runner-ups in their VHSL State Championships!


Students from 15 FCPS High Schools Win DECA Awards

Congratulations to the two hundred three students from 15 Fairfax County public high schools were recognized as competitive event winners at the Virginia DECA State Leadership Conference. These students earned the right to compete at the DECA International Career Development Conference from April 22 to 25. See the list of winners. 

McLean HS and TJHSST Win Columbia Scholastic Press Association Honors 

McLean High School’s The Highlander news magazine and website earned a Gold Crown in high school hybrid news. They were one of only 16 schools in the nation and the only school in Virginia to earn this top honor. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s tjTODAY news magazine and website won a Silver Crown. Read more about the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Honors here.

McLean HS

McLean HS Student Places in Top 10 of Regeneron Science Talent Search

Ethan Zhou, a student at McLean High School, has placed 7th in the national 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Read more here.

McLean HS Music Program Field Trip

The McLean High School music department, including band, orchestra and choir, participated in the Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival in sunny Orlando, Florida. McLean HS received the Adjudicator's Award given to the school orchestra/band/choir program that received the highest combined performance scores throughout the festival.

Band-  won Sweepstakes Award and Grand Champions.

Orchestra- won the Outstanding Orchestra Group Trophy for receiving the highest performance scores throughout the festival.

Choir- second overall.

Langley HS

Langley Saxon Service photo collage

March Langley Saxon Service

Langley Speech and Debate 

Three students competed in the VHSL State Forensics Championships and two brought home medals with top-three finishes.

The Langley Debaters' five debaters advanced from Class 6 CD SuperRegionals to the State Finals. This is the first time in the last 15 years that Langley has advanced multiple teams to states! Good luck to the debaters at the State Finals.

Congratulations to Science Olympiad

The Langley Science Olympiad Team won second place at the 2023 Virginia Science Olympiad State Tournament (Division C).

Herndon HS

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Pride of Herndon Band

Herndon Pyramid Concert

April 11, 7 pm at Herndon MS Auditorium (901 Locust St, Herndon)

To mark the 75th Anniversary of the Pride of Herndon band, a special composition has been commissioned by the HHSBPA, which is being performed for the first time with the elementary and middle school students at the Pyramid Concert. This event is free for all. 

Cooper MS

National Kids Lit Quiz Champions

Congratulations to Cooper MS's Kids Lit Quiz team! They beat out Sedgwick Middle School and King Philip Middle School winning the United States 2023 Kids’ Lit Quiz. In July, they will travel to New Zealand to represent the United States in the world final against other international teams.

Longfellow MS

Science Olympiad State Champs

Congratulations to our Science Olympiad Team who attended the VASO State Championship at the University of Virginia on Saturday and placed 1st as a team.

Herndon ES

Looking for Presenters to Share their Career

The planning has begun for our 26th annual CAREER DAY!  We are currently looking for presenters to share their careers. The date is Wednesday, April 19th and we have 2 sessions: 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.  This day is full of information and excitement for our school community – with special visitors and interactions with a variety of careers for our students. Please contact counselor, Tiffany Bryant, at tabryant@fcps.edu.

Colvin Run ES Dragonversary information

Colvin Run ES

Colvin Run Elementary School 20 Year “Dragonversary”

May 20

Are you a Colvin Run alum?  CRES PTO invites you to their 20 year Dragonversary Fundraiser and Gala. You can learn more about the Dragonversary here.

April is...

National Arab American Heritage Month

FCPS is proud to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month in April. This special month provides an opportunity to recognize the remarkable history and valuable contributions of Arab Americans. Arab Americans have ancestry in one of the world’s 22 Arab nations, which are located from northern Africa through western Asia. The people of these nations are ethnically, politically, and religiously diverse but share a common cultural and linguistic heritage. Learn more about National Arab American Heritage Month here.

Month of the Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child! Every year we take the opportunity to recognize military-connected youth for their service and contribution to our community. Fairfax County Public Schools is proud to have over 14,000 military-connected youth as a part of our student body. We appreciate the varied life experiences they bring to our school community, and recognize their strength and resilience. Learn more about Month of the Military Child and FCPS’ resources for military families

Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month. One in 44 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to the CDC. Our schools and staff play a vital role in creating and ensuring inclusive environments that accommodate and affirm autistic students. 

Earth Month

It's a time to raise environmental awareness and create consciousness around the issues that affect mother nature. April 22 is the official day we observe Earth Day, but FCPS will be spending the week leading up to Earth Day doing our part to become better environmental stewards. See your school's communications to learn about events. Remember, if we all take little steps forward we can make a big difference.

School Library Month

In FCPS libraries, students develop knowledge and skills, experience a sense of belonging, find inspiration and support, and have the ability to freely pursue their personal interests and academic growth. Watch this video to learn how FCPS librarians make a difference.


Help Erase Meal Debt

Herndon MS Teacher- Gabe Segal

Read more about Mr. Segal's efforts in this Connection article.

For the past few months, I have been working to find ways to erase the school meal debt at Herndon Middle. As a teacher, I see first-hand the impact school meal debt can have on a student and his or her family. My goal has been to have free, universal school meals within our county or state. After raising over $18,000, I see the momentum we have and opportunity that exists in front of us. Constituents can donate by using the links below with the Herndon MS link to donate to HMS's meal debt or the Educate Fairfax link to help any school with meal debt:

Special Education First-Class Award Nominations

First-Class Awards are presented each year at the Special Education Conference to individuals who support, design, and/or implement inclusion activities that result in positive outcomes for students. The Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities is seeking nominations for these awards, which recognize and celebrate the inclusion efforts of educators, administrators, and students in all facets of education. Please complete this form to nominate an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to inclusive practices in FCPS. Nominations will close Friday, April 14, 2023. Award winners will be recognized virtually at the Special Education Conference on Saturday, April 29. Email SpecialEdConf@fcps.edu with questions.

NoVA Magazine Teacher of the Year

Northern Virginia Magazine established this award to recognize the very best educators in our region, and we need your help finding those deserving teachers. The teacher selected as Teacher of the Year will be awarded with a $10,000 prize and featured in the October issue. The survey runs through April 14, and we welcome nominations from school administrators, teachers, parents, students, former students, and the general public.

Great Falls Garden Club Student Grant

To further the idea of planting native habitat gardens that provide shelter and food for animals, birds, and insects, the Great Falls Garden Club is offering a Youth Native Habitat Garden Grant.  The $150 grant will be awarded to a student in Grades 5 – 11 who lives in the 22066 ZIP Code to create their own Native Habitat Garden. Learn more about the grant and find the application here. Grant applications must be post-marked by April 15, 2023. 

MCA logo

MCA Outstanding Teen Character Award

The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) is again sponsoring Teen Character Awards to recognize teens with exceptional ethical and compassionate character. Learn more and apply here.

Teens who have, on their own and without compensation or formal recognition, cared for elderly relatives or younger siblings, or who have helped out in their neighborhood or community (the Greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area), deserve to be recognized not only for themselves but as examples to others. The award will be presented on the outdoor stage at McLean Day- Saturday, May 20, 2023.  Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, April 21 via email to  e-y_committee@mcleancitizens.org 

WETA writing contest

Youth Conservation Camp for HS Students

Applications are now open for Youth Conservation Camp, held July 9-15 on the Virginia Tech campus. The program brings together 70 students for a week of learning about Virginia's natural resources from hands-on experience with conservation professionals and faculty from Virginia Tech. Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to apply and may receive a partial scholarship from NVSWCD. Applications are due Friday, April 28. Learn more about Youth Conservation Camp, including how to obtain an application and contact NVSWCD with questions.

NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge

NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge will close on April 28. The judges will choose winners in two categories: grades five through eight and grades nine through 12. Entries must be submitted by an educator or a student leader who's 18 years old or olderAnd don't forget all the tips, advice and lesson plans we've compiled over the years and read more here.

Student Member FC Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC)

EQAC is seeking a student member to join the council for the July 2023 - June 2024 term. EQAC’s primary function is to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for improving environmental protection and enhancement, including preparing an annual report on the state of the physical environment in Fairfax County. The council generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month, starting at 7:15 p.m. 

The student member application is open to all interested Fairfax County high school sophomores and juniors who are in good standing. To apply, students should complete and submit the student application form. All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3.


Parent Resource Center

Upcoming Webinars

Bluebell and Wild Flower Walks

Take advantage of the opportunity to get out, during this limited time, to see many of our native ephemeral blooms including bluebells, toad lilies, spring beauties, may apples and more! Join Riverbend Park for the Bluebell Festival April 8, 10am-2pm Sign up for the bluebell festival and these walks here.

Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge: April 15

The Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge will be held Saturday, April 15, at Robinson Secondary School. The event includes a public tasting of student dishes and demonstrations from Chef Ryan Moore of Sababa and Chef Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit. The student challenge is to create healthy, delicious, and culturally diverse school menu items that meet United States Department of Agriculture guidelines.The public is invited to vote for their favorite dish. Winning dishes have been featured in FCPS and other area school districts. For more information or to register, visit the Real Food for Kids website.

Alden Theatre

McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean)

"(A)Way Out of My Body" Friday, April 14, 7 p.m.

Age 13+- Dancers propel themselves through space and time, attempting to pass the barrier of reality and plight into the realm of resilience and joy.

“Hiccup!” Sunday, April 23, 4 p.m.

Family friendly-The three embark on an epic journey frantically eating, singing and inventing their way towards a cure before the sun comes up. “Hiccup” is a hilarious rocking musical extravaganza about working together, finding friendship and how to, once and for all, stop the hiccups.

FCPS Cares

FCPS Cares

The FCPS CARES Program is an opportunity for parents/caregivers, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. Please submit your story, so we can all acknowledge the good work of FCPS employees

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.

© 2023 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia