Belvedere News and Announcements - April 14, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Family:

Our first week back after spring break was a short one with lots of sunny weather.  We hope you had a wonderful time with your child(ren) during the week off. 

We are entering the last part of the school year with only a couple of months of school left.  Please note that SOL testing for grades three through five will take place during the first two weeks of May.  We ask that to the greatest extent possible you avoid scheduling out of school appointments for your child during this time.  It is also very helpful to ensure students have a good night sleep and come rested for a day of testing.

We are looking for parent volunteers to support during SOL testing. We need hallway monitors to help students transition to and from bathrooms and classrooms.  Here is a link where you can sign up for a time slot when you may be able to help.

Thank you for all that you do! 

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal, & Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal

SOL Testing and Attendance

We wanted to remind you of our upcoming SOL testing schedule. As you know, these tests are an important measure of our students' progress and are required by the state. Please make sure that your child attends school on the day of their test.

We kindly ask that you avoid scheduling any appointments or vacations on these testing days. We understand that unexpected circumstances may arise, but it is essential that your child is present for their test. If your child is absent on the day of their test, they will have to make up the test on a different day.

Please refer to the schedule below for the testing dates for your child's grade level:

May 1: 5th Grade Science

May 2: 4th Grade Reading

May 4: 3rd Grade Reading

May 5: 5th Grade Reading

May 9: 4th Grade Math

May 10: 3rd Grade Math

May 11: 5th Grade Math

Week of May 15: Makeups

Week of May 22 and 30: Retakes

Thank you for your cooperation and continued support in ensuring our students' academic success.

Kindergarten Orientation - April 27

Kindergarten Orientation for the 2023-2024 school year will be held on Thursday April 27th at 6 – 7:30pm in the Belvedere Cafeteria.  Registration is now open and we encourage parents to bring their paperwork in as soon as possible.  No appointment is necessary.

Registration forms can be found at or you can stop by the office and we can give you a packet.  Please contact our registrar, Mandy Belcher at 703-916-6804 or by email at,  if you have any questions. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Belvedere ES!

kinder orientaiton

Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) Available at Kindergarten Registration with Low-cost Medical Resources

Belvedere ES will hold Kindergarten Registration on April 27, 2023 from 6pm-7:30pm. The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) Family Assistance Workers will be onsite at the Kindergarten event and can connect families with medical care resources. FCHD has free or low-cost options to suit your needs and will help families enroll.

A Health Department nurse will be onsite to review immunization records for kindergarten students and assist with scheduling an appointment at a health clinic. Learn more at

Eid al-Fitr (½ O Day on April 20, Student holiday April 21)

Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. Read more at

FCPS has designated Eid al-Fitr as a religious and cultural observance day designed to allow students the opportunity to miss school for observances not already designated as school holidays. Eid al-Fitr is from sunset April 20 to sunset April 21. Thursday, April 20, is a half O Day, and Friday, April  21, is a holiday (only 12 month employees report).


2nd Annual Belvedere Field Day

Mark your calendars! Friday June 2nd is our 2nd Annual Belvedere Field Day. Stay tuned for a sign up genius for parent volunteers to help with field day. Field day for 3rd- 5th graders will be in the morning and field day for K-2 will be In the afternoon. If you have any questions please email Abby Novak or Dan Bowles Thank you, we appreciate your support!

From the Counselors

Spring Newsletter

Please check out the latest newsletter from our school counselors!

Parent Workshop in Spanish

There will be a parent workshop in Spanish on May 2nd from 5:30-7:30 pm in the school cafeteria to address effective parental involvement in education for academic success through graduation.  Check out the details and register!

Belvedere Career Day

Our 4th and 5th grade students will attend Career Day on Wednesday, May 31 from 940-1140 a.m. Career Day consists of students rotating to four different 20-minute sessions during the morning.

Our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades will have a speaker come in during their classroom school counseling lessons in May.

How can you help? We are seeking parents, family members or neighbors of students from any grade level who are interested in sharing with students about their careers. Those who are interested in participating should be prepared to give a short presentation (15-20 minutes) with time for questions. We hope to gather speakers from a wide variety of careers, to provide students an opportunity to get a closer look at occupations and to learn how the skills they learn every day in school relate to real life.

Download, complete, and return this form if you are interested in presenting!

Reach out to Tracy Ballard: with any questions. 

Advanced Academic Program Updates

AAP Orientation

We will host our orientation for families who were found eligible to receive full-time services (Level 4) here at Belvedere on Tuesday, April 25th from 6:00-7:00 in the gym.

Spring Newsletter

Fairfax County Public Schools AAP offers levels of services to foster and develop the academic and cognitive needs of each child.  Screening for Subject-Specific Advanced Differentiation (Level II) and Part-Time (Level III) Services will happen later this spring for students in kindergarten through fourth grade.  If you have any questions about FCPS AAP or the Young Scholars program, please contact our Advanced Academic Resource Teacher, Preshion Lynch, at 

Please check out the latest newsletter from the AAP Office!

PTA Volunteer Opportunities

Celebrate Spring & Earth Day by Supporting Belvedere’s Annual Plant Sale & Work Party on Earth Day, April 22! Pre-orders due this Sunday!

Buy Plants for your garden to support Belvedere's PTA, volunteer to work in Belvedere’s gardens, or donate directly to the Belvedere PTA! Just click here: Proceeds support important PTA initiatives like field trips, enrichment scholarships for low-income students, and Belvedere’s environmental curriculum. This academic year, we provided over 100 scholarships, several field trips, and STEAM initiatives. 

Pre-orders for plants are due by this Sunday, April 16.  Plants must be picked up at Belvedere Saturday, April 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  If you do not wish to pre-order plants, there will be additional plants for sale on April 22. Belvedere is located on Columbia Pike and Whispering Lane.

Celebrate Earth Day by giving back to the bees and butterflies. Sign up to join our work party to spruce up Belvedere's Pollinator Garden! Come for an hour or stay the whole time. All ages and community members are welcome!! (Children must be supervised.) No green thumbs or tools required.  Find the sign up here:

Questions? Contact

Silent Auction this April!

Please join us in making this year's silent auction the best yet!  We are looking for people to help us get donations, set up the website, and even help organize an in person portion.  If you can help with anything, even have some suggestions for some auction items- LET US KNOW!  Join us in bringing in some funds to help our incredible school and hopefully have some fun too.  I am hoping to have a "party" during the last hours of the auction for all volunteers so we can enjoy our hard work together.  If interested in joining Maddie and Theresa please email at or  

Costume Jewelry Donations Needed

The Belvedere PTA will be hosting its annual “Jewelry Shop” in early May. Every Belvedere student will be able to earn a ticket to “shop” for one free piece of costume jewelry for their mother, stepmother, grandmother, or other special person in their life.

We’re collecting donations of gently used:
• necklaces
• bracelets
• pins
• pierced or clip earrings

If you have any costume jewelry you no longer wear, we’d be grateful to have it. The jewelry doesn’t have to be fancy – just something in good condition that might make a student and his or her chosen recipient smile.

We need about 1,000 pieces of jewelry to give the students a wide selection to choose from. We’re also accepting monetary donations to help pay for supplies – tissue paper, gift bags and card tags. Checks can be made payable to “Belvedere PTA” with “jewelry shop” in the memo line.

There’s a donation box in the Belvedere front office or you can contact Ann Sisson at 703-945-0228 or to arrange a pick up.

Please submit all donations by May 1st!


April 16-22 - Public School Volunteer Week

Public School Volunteer Week provides a yearly opportunity for schools and families to honor and highlight the powerful contributions parents and caregivers provide at school and home to support student success. Schools are encouraged to host a new event on or move an existing event to Public School Volunteer Week, to honor volunteers.

Purple Up! Day

To show our support for all our military-connected families, 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.

E-IFTA Summer Program Registration is Open

Elementary Institute for the Arts, (E-IFTA), is a weekly arts camp for elementary-aged students who love to sing, dance, act, perform, make, and create! Students take part in four classes every day related to dance, music, theatre, and visual art. They work with FCPS fine arts teachers who create classes that are fun and engaging.

  • Lake Braddock Secondary School, transportation provided.
  • E-IFTA grades 2-5, during the 2022-23 school year.
  • 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • July 5-28, 2023, Register for each week.
  • No Tuition for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Download the flyer for all the details and registration information

Belvedere is on Facebook!

We are thrilled to announce that we have officially launched our Facebook page! This is an exciting step for us as we look to strengthen our connection with families and the wider community.

Our Facebook page will be a hub for all the latest news, events, and activities happening at our school. We will keep you informed about everything from upcoming events to amazing things happening in our classrooms. We'll also be sharing helpful tips and resources to support your child's learning and development.

We're looking forward to engaging with you all on Facebook and keeping you updated on everything that's happening at our school. So be sure to follow our page, and keep an eye out for our upcoming posts. We can't wait to connect with you!

Thank you for your continued support!

Dads @ Belvedere

Dads at Belvedere (formerly Watch D.O.G.S.) is a program to help our school be positively impacted by the committed involvement of fathers and father-figures in their student’s life.  Our goal is to have you spend at least one day this year at the school to be a positive male role-model. Dads this is your chance to get involved in a fun atmosphere at school!

Dads will volunteer at the school for one full day. School will provide the schedule to include activities such as: recess, lunch, specials, classroom time, etc.

Our kids love seeing the grown-ups in their life at school! Additionally, Dads are demonstrating through their presence that education is important.

Sign up for a day on our calendar using the Signup Genius below:

Forum on Draft Goals for FCPS’ New Strategic Plan

Join us for our final virtual community forum on Monday, April 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and see how your feedback has helped shape the latest draft of the new FCPS Strategic Plan. The community forum is open to staff, students, parents/caregivers, and community members. (Please register by clicking on the date above.)

We appreciate your continued involvement throughout every step of this important process. Together, we will help ensure a thriving future for each and every FCPS student. Visit our Strategic Planning webpage.

Strategic Planning graphic with students

Community Meeting on the Dangers of Fentanyl

Opioid overdoses are on the rise across the country, including in Fairfax County. Most fatal overdoses in Fairfax County in recent years involved fentanyl.

Last month, FCPS hosted a conversation on the dangers of fentanyl. During this impactful event, audience members heard testimonials from individuals affected by the opioid epidemic and learned facts from medical experts and law enforcement representatives. 

The conversation will continue on Monday, April 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Woodson High School. FCPS principals and staff will share what is happening in our schools and update the work to prevent substance misuse and educate our students.  

Transportation will be available from select schools throughout the county. Transportation information can be found once you begin the registration process

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 get help for yourself or loved ones.

Upcoming Webinars and Events for Caregivers

FCPS’ Parent Resource Center (PRC) is dedicated to helping adults support the success of all students. Upcoming PRC webinars include:

Presented by School Social Work Services, students in grades 2-6 will be able to share sibling experiences, receive peer support, play games, and more. This event takes place at Providence Community Center.

Presented by Career and Transition Services, students with disabilities seeking a standard or advanced diploma and their families are invited to this event that provides an introduction to options available after high school. This event takes place at Woodson High School.

  • Neurodiversity at High School, Friday, April 28, at 10 a.m.Kristen Haynor, a neurodiversity specialist, will share strategies on setting your child up for success (no matter how their brain functions), advocating for your child, and collaborating with your child’s school. This event is virtual.

Click on the titles above to register.

Medicaid Enrollment Underway

If you have Medicaid/FAMIS/CHIP health insurance, the Medicaid Enrollment Processes began in March. The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) (Virginia Medicaid) has started to review Medicaid members’ health coverage to determine whether members are eligible for coverage. DMAS will not cancel or reduce coverage for members without asking for updated information, but they need your help to make this a smooth process. Make sure your current mailing address, email, and phone numbers are up-to-date so that important information about your coverage gets to you. Update your contact information today online at, or by calling Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282 or your local Department of Social Services .If you need any assistance or have any questions, contact Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282 or your local Department of Social Services.

Buses and Delays

If a student’s bus is delayed, parents may access the Bus Delay Notification System or use the Here Comes the Bus mobile app to receive the delayed bus report.  Use code 28982 when registering for Here Comes the Bus. 

PTA News

Join the PTA!

To purchase a membership or make a direct donation, please go to and choose your membership type (Staff $5 or Parent $10) and/or select Direct Donation to make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you again for supporting the Belvedere PTA!  

Questions or concerns? Email

Support the Belvedere PTA

Our PTA supports Belvedere in myriad ways: organizing school events, enrichment and outreach activities; providing funding for field trips, library books, and technology in the classroom; and building a school community outside the classroom.  

There are several ways to support the PTA:

Upcoming Dates

  • Friday, April 14 - Student Holiday (Teacher Workday)
  • Friday, April 21 - No School (Eid al Fitr)
  • Monday, May 29 - No School (Memorial Day)
  • Friday, June 16 - Last Day of School!

Keep in Touch

Daily Health Screening Questionnaire

Health and Safety Guidance Webpage

Visit the Belvedere website

Report student absences

Bus Delay Website

Follow Belvedere on Twitter

Follow our PTA on Facebook

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FCPS Calendar: 2022-2023