Wednesday Word - 4/26/23




  • Wednesday, 4/26 - FES PTA Restaurant Night  at La Fiamma
  • Wednesday, 4/26 - Talent Show Permission Slips Due
  • Thursday, 4/26 and Friday, 4/28 - Lion King Kids Musical 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, 5/3 - Bike to School Day
  • Friday, 5/5 - School Lunch Hero Day
  • Friday, 5/5 - FES PTA Bingo Night 6:00 pm
  • Monday, 5/8 - Friday 5/12 - Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week
  • Thursday, 5/11 -  FES PTA General Membership Meeting 7:00 pm
  • Monday 5/29 - Memorial Day Holiday, NO SCHOOL




La Fiamma Restaurant Night Tonight

Support your Franconia PTA and make dinner easy! Dine in or carry out at La Fiamma 6124 Franconia Rd. Alexandria, VA 22310 for dinner  TONIGHT, and a portion of proceeds will be donated to the PTA for events and activities that support all students.

You MUST indicate that you are dining with Franconia PTA Restaurant Night when placing your order either in person or via phone.

La Fiamma's famous children's dining room will be staffed and available on a first-come, first served basis.




Lion King Kids Musical

Last Call For Tickets


LAST CALL to Reserve your Lion King Tickets NOW! Come see these amazing Penguin Performers showcase their various talents in our long-anticipated musical!  Doors open BOTH NIGHTS at 6:15. Click the links below to reserve your FREE tickets to the performances!


HERE is the link to reserve your seats for Thursday April 27th at 6:30

HERE is the link to reserve your seats for Friday April 28th at 6:30






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.


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Franconia Elementary is a Purple Star designated school.  Purple Star schools have a shared goal of supporting and celebrating military connected students (MCS) of the United States Armed Forces.  These students endure much change in their lives, and FCPS has a shared mission to contribute to these students’ education, connection and resiliency while enrolled with our schools.

During the week of April 17, Franconia celebrated our Military Connected Students with videos on the news show, as well as popsicles on the blacktop on Purple Up Day, Thursday, April 20th.  It was a great opportunity for our Kindergarten through sixth grade MC students to see that there are others in their school community experiencing the same challenges and adventures.  The pictures below reflect the event on April 20th, and the event on April 25th, including our third-grade students that could not attend the event on the 17th due to a poetry celebration.  Thank you to our sixth-grade students, Valentina and Jack (MCS) for helping distribute popsicles for third grade. 

All of us at Franconia’s embrace these students and their families for all that is sacrificed in service to our country and the world! 









For Field Day Shirts!

If you haven't ordered your field Day shirt, the time is now!  This is your last opportunity to order your 2023 Super Franconia World T-shirts.  While we don’t yet have a specific date for field day, the PE team is well into planning the event! We have decided on a ‘Super Franconia World’ / video game theme! Below you can find the link to order shirts for field day! The shirts will arrive around the end of April/beginning of May. Plan for field day in May or June and we’re excited to get out more details once we have them!

-Miss Borsos and Mr. Harris






Pet Food Drive Benefiting HART

The Franconia Student Council Association is calling all Penguins!  


We need your help!  We will be collecting donations of canned dog food and canned cat food to benefit the animals of  HART.  This organization helps abandoned and stray animals by getting the medical care they need, and finding them a loving home.  Please consider donating.

  • They are accepting all types of canned dog food
  • They have requested donations of Nutro Natural Choice Kitten food and Nutro Natural Choice Adult Cat food



If we reach our goal, students will enjoy a school-wide Donuts and Dance Party!

(alternate treats will be provided for students with food allergies)

Collection bins will be located by the main office, and in the kindergarten/SACC hallway


Collection dates are April 26 - May 26


To make a monetary donation to HART, click here.





Bingo Night is BACK!

Save the Date- Friday May 5, 2023


Join your fellow Penguins for a family-friendly night of fun and prizes.

Prizes for Bingo winners as well as raffle drawings for fantastic prize packages


Thank you to our donors:

Plants N More

Mary Bowen, Long and Foster Real Estate

Harry Bowen, Long and Foster Real Estate

Your Perfect Massage and Spa

Nalls Produce

Fat City Kitchen



Counselor's Corner

Mindfulness at Franconia Update


At Franconia, we have the unique opportunity of creating a mindfulness lab using our  wellness ESSER funds. Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. In the lab, we have created opportunities for students to be in the present moment by creating mindfulness centers. Students can explore different mindfulness centers such as reading, breathing, art, affirmations, games and mindful movement. This space has provided an opportunity for student wellness by causing students to relax mentally, emotionally and physically. Also in the lab, as special treat to our students, we have a comfort dog named Charlie who visits with classes in the lab!

Take a look at one of our spotlighted classes in the mindfulness lab:

Ms. Johnson’s Class! Students had fun participating in mindfulness centers.


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Guidance Topics for April


K-2- How to be a responsible citizen by showing kindness.

3rd grade- We will learn different test taking tips and how to stay mindful throughout testing.


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Character Trait for the Month


April's character trait is Responsibility-doing what is expected and taking ownership of your actions/behavior.


March's Character Trait was Patience-to wait calmly without complaining. Check out this video with our student highlights for patience:




Brownie Troop 53110 Plant a Garden




Two weeks ago, our own Brownie Troop 53110 took on a community beautification project and planted a garden around our Franconia sign.  Next time you are passing by school, take a look and enjoy the results of their hard work and green thumbs!




Advanced Academic Programs (AAP)


Screening for Subject Specific (Level II) and Part-Time (Level III) Services


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 school-based (level II-III) AAP services at any time in the school year. In the spring, local schools review data on all students to determine services for the start of the next school year.  


Screening Process for Subject Specific (Level II) and Part-Time (Level III) Services

Multiple criteria are reviewed holistically to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services.  Committees consider student work from opportunities with AAP lessons, examples of student reasoning or gifted behaviors from class discussions and activities, progress reports, achievement and ability scores, and parent or guardian input. Committees consider whether students have access to a group of students with similar academic needs to support academic conversations and growth in the classroom.


Appeals Process for Subject Specific (Level II) and Part-Time (Level III) Services

If a parent or guardian wishes to appeal an ineligible decision, they may submit an appeal with new data for consideration by the local school screening committee. This new information should be submitted to the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher, Jo-Anne Fouad or Assistant Principal.


Subject Specific and Part-Time Services Overview


Subject Specific and Part-Time Services in Elementary School

FCPS offers a continuum of advanced academic services for all students in Grades K-12. The continuum of services approach allows for a focus on matching services to students’ needs rather than labeling students.  Students have:

  • Multiple entry points for deeper learning opportunities in specific areas of need as they develop.
  • A cluster group of students with similar academic needs to support student learning and growth.

Teachers, administrators, and Advanced Academic Resource Teachers (AARTs) work together to provide the following levels of school-based services at the elementary level: Updated 3/13/2023


Access to Rigor, Grades K-6 (Level I), Grades K-6 (Level I)

All students have opportunities to think critically, reason, and problem-solve.

  • All teachers use critical and creative thinking strategies in their lessons
  • Classroom teachers provide opportunities using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework a minimum of once per quarter.

Because Access to Rigor services are for all FCPS students, there is not a screening process.


Subject Specific Advanced Differentiation, Grades K-6 (Level II)

Some students require differentiation beyond the needs of age-level peers in their class in at least one specific subject area. Classroom teachers may adjust instruction for students in these areas by:

• Providing different assignments and resources in those subjects,

• Grouping students by their strengths, interests, and readiness, and

• Providing additional challenges using materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework.

Student needs for subject specific differentiation are re-evaluated each year at the local school.


Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6 (Level III)

Some students have advanced academic abilities in multiple subject areas and require differentiation beyond the needs of age-level peers in their class in multiple content areas.

  • Students work with other students that have similar academic needs through weekly pull-out classes or weekly co-taught lessons with the AART and classroom teacher.
  • Teachers provide frequent opportunities to use materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework in Language Arts, science, social studies, and/or mathematics.

Part-time services continue through Grade 6. Students do not need to be evaluated each year.


Screening for Full-Time (Level IV) Services


Screening Timeline for Level IV

Screening for level IV AAP services happens at the district/central level rather than by local schools. For your planning for next school year, please know that screening for Level IV services occurs during two specific screening cycles:

  • Fall screening is available for students who are new to FCPS since January.  Fall referrals are due October 15, annually. 
  • Spring screening is available for any Grade 2-7 FCPS-enrolled student. The referral window is from the first day of school - December 15, annually.

For more information, please visit the AAP website at:


Full-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-8 (Level IV)

Some advanced learners need a full-time advanced academic program with differentiated instruction in all four core content areas (Language Arts, mathematics, social studies, and science). 

Students eligible for full-time AAP services are cluster grouped on a full-time basis and receive:

  • Full-time use of materials from the AAP Curriculum Framework in Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, and
  •  Curriculum that is differentiated through acceleration, depth, and complexity of content.

Full-time services continue through Grade 8. Students do not need to be evaluated each year.


Still have Questions?

Feel free to contact our Advanced Academics Resource Teacher (AART),     Jo-Anne Fouad at




School Lunch Hero Day

Friday, May 5th 


The first Friday in May is School Lunch Hero Day, dedicated to those men and women who make the cafeterias and the schools a better place to be! What was your favorite school lunch? Do you remember the smiling face who served it to you?

For many children, the cafeteria is the first place they enter on a school day. From the first time through the cafeteria line, the lunch hero has more than nutrition on their minds.  The well-being of every child is important to them.  Keeping them safe, happy, and providing them with good and delicious food is also a priority.

Often they see entire families grow up, and sometimes, they are family. The celebration provides students and communities an opportunity to create ways to recognize their school heroes.

How to Observe #SchoolLunchHeroDay

Organize a lunch for your lunch hero! Make a card or bring a flower. Decorate a banner telling your heroes all the ways they are super! Tell your hero, thank you.

School Lunch Hero Day History

Inspired by children’s author and illustrator, Jarrett Krosoczka created School Lunch Hero Day to honor the foodservice employees after returning to his old school, and finding his childhood lunch lady remained and remembered him.




Save the Date!

Safety and Security Town Hall


On Monday, May 8, FCPS will hold a town hall to discuss our approach to safety and security and the work we do every day to keep our schools safe. FCPS staff and experts will review our risk assessment processes, the physical measures we already have in place to protect our students and staff, pilot programs to detect vaping, and how we communicate and collaborate with our partners when there is an incident at our schools. Please stay tuned for additional details. 




How Do YOU Practice Wellness?

Sign up to share on the morning news


Penguins, we want to know how you practice wellness in your life. Use the link below to sign up for a Wednesday to share a video showing your wellness journey with your fellow Franconia Penguins. Videos should be 3 minutes or less. Be sure to include yourself talking about why the wellness practice is important to you, and how it helps you. (if you need to include 2 shorter videos, one showing the activity and one of the student discussing the activity, that is fine and I can combine them for you. They should be no more than 3 minutes when combined.) 


You can show yourself practicing wellness by:

- a sport you play (for example soccer, gymnastics, martial arts training, etc)

- practicing a skill you're learning (for example dance, playing an instrument, or any other artistic/creative expessions)

- showing activities your family enjoys together (for example, taking walks together, cooking meals together, family game time, etc)

- showing activities you enjoy doing when enjoying alone time (for example reading or drawing)


Use this link to sign up:


Ms. Octaviano will contact you the week before your video will air on the morning news with additional information about how to submit your video.


If you have any questions, please email Ms. Octaviano at:



 Edison Tennis Camp 

Learn How to Play Tennis!


Lessons are open to students in Grades 3 - 12

June 20th - 24th

9am- Noon

at the Edison HS tennis courts, 5801 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310


**Beginner Friendly**


Weekly Rate: $150 for beginners | $200 for advanced
Daily Rate: $40/day for beginners | $50/day for advanced


Hurry Space is Limited!
Contact Coach W at to sign up!

Sponsored by the Edison Booster Club




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


 Calendar Reminders


May 3 - Bike to School Day

 Bike Month has been celebrated since 1956 to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to give biking a try. Fairfax County has an extensive network of both paved and natural surface bike trails. You can access a map to all the trails in Fairfax county online. Wednesday, May 3, is the official Bike to School Day. You can register as a school, family, or neighborhood. Plan your ride whether you ride to school, to a park, or just within your neighborhood. Register for Bike to School Day.


May 8-12 - Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week


May 29 - Memorial Day Holiday

As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, May 29, for the Memorial Day holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, May 30.


See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.




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