Wednesday Word - 5/03/23




  • 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
  • Thursday, 5/18 - FES Spring Concert 6:00 pm
  • Monday 5/29 - Memorial Day Holiday, NO SCHOOL




SOL Assessments

Grades 3-6


Please ensure your child gets a good night's sleep the night before and eats a healthy breakfast.


5/4 VAAP

5/6 VAAP

5/8 - 6th Grade, Reading

5/9 - 5th Grade, Reading

5/10 -  VAAP

5/11 -  Makeups

5/12 - 3rd Grade, Reading

5/15 -  Makeups

5/16 - 4th Grade, Reading

5/17 - 5th Grade, Science

5/18 - VAAP

5/19 - Makeups

5/22 - 3rd Grade Math

5/23 - 4th Grade Math

5/24 - 5th Grade Math

5/25 - 6th Grade Math

5/26 - Makeups

5/23 - 5/27 - Expedited retakes




BRAVO Lion King Kids!

The Lion King was a HUGE success!! Thank you EVERYONE for your support both behind the scenes and at the performance!!! Ms. Lucius couldn’t be more proud of everyone who participated!!

Donations for next year’s musical are well under way and we appreciate all who donated so far!! At this time, we have raised enough to purchase next year’s musical but would love to raise more so that we may provide costumes, scenery and props. Please share this link with your family and friends so we can put on another wonderful show!!

Thanks again and ON WITH THE SHOW!! – Ms. Lucius






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.




Bingo Night is BACK!

Friday May 5, 2023



Fun prizes for Bingo winners as well as raffle drawings for fantastic themed prize baskets.

CASH Sales

$2 per Bingo card/ $5 for 4 cards

$2 per raffle ticket/ $5 for 5 tickets

Concession sales (including pizza by the slice) by Edison Class of 2024


Thank you to our donors:

Plants N More (Franconia Rd. and Villa St.)

Mary Bowen, Long and Foster Real Estate

Harry Bowen, Long and Foster Real Estate

Your Perfect Massage and Spa

Nalls Produce

Fat City Kitchen




Field Day is Coming!

Super Franconia World

Gr K-2: Monday, June 5th, 2023 8:30 AM-Noon

Gr 3-6 Monday, June 5th, 2023 12:00-3:00PM

Rain Date (Same Times) June 6th


Here is our Super Franconia Field Day Signup form.  Please sign up for volunteer days for either one or both sessions and if you’d like to donate any materials or props for field day





Staff Appreciation Week

May 8-12


Please show your appreciation to the Staff and Teachers at Franconia by helping the PTA spoil them during Staff Appreciation Week!


Monday - Flower Day - Students bring in a flower, drawn , made, or real for their teacher.

Tuesday - Snack Day - Students bring teacher a favorite snack

Wednesday - Specialist Day - Students bring a treat or gift for specials teachers

Thursday - Thank You Day - Kids bring in notes, cards, poems to thank their teachers.

Friday - Wish List Day - Kids bring in items from teacher's wish lists.


Click HERE to Sign Up to bring a dessert item next Wednesday, May 10.

Click HERE to Sign Up to bring a breakfast item next Friday, May 12.

Click HERE to access the spreadsheet of individual teacher/staff favorites.




Volunteers Needed-Tiger Night 2023 

Friday, May 12


Every spring, Mark Twain Middle School looks forward to the PTA’s popular Tiger Night – a filled event with games, food, and music. This year, we’re teaming up with Create the Change®  to include community service-learning.


To make the event successful, we need some more volunteers! Shifts are one hour so that families the evening together. If you know a high school student who needs service hours, this event counts!!  We will provide service hour verification on-site. SIGN UP


In the week leading up, students will be collecting much-needed donations for:


ECHO – Ecumenical Community Helping Others

Children's clothing – sizes for kindergarten through 8th grade – good condition, please.


Good Shepard Housing & Family Services

School supplies.



Food pantry items and feminine products.


During the event, students will sort and organize the donations and prepare them for transport to each nonprofit. Our service-learning model goes beyond the donation boxes by including staff and volunteers from each nonprofit on site. They will educate students and families about the issue they address and why it’s essential to help our community.


WHEN:           Friday, May 12, 2023 

                        6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.


WHERE:         Mark Twain Middle School

                        4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310


WHO:       Current Mark Twain Middle School students and families

Rising seventh graders and their families from the Edison Pyramid feeder schools:

Bush Hill Elementary School

Cameron Elementary School

Clermont Elementary School

Franconia Elementary School

Mount Eagle Elementary School

Rose Hill Elementary School




Franconia Spring Concert

Thursday, May 18, 2023, 2:00 PM & 6:30 PM.


The spring concert will feature all band, strings and chorus students. All students in these groups are expected to participate in both the school concert and the evening concert.

Students should report to the gym at 6:00 PM to prepare for the concert.  Parents and other guests are encouraged to come to the evening concert.

Parents may come up to take pictures between 6:20 and 6:25, but not during the concert. Video for personal use is acceptable.

For the evening concert, we will dress up and wear WHITE top (button-down & collar preferred, ties are optional) and BLACK bottom (pants or knee-length or lower skirts, socks/stockings and shoes).

For more information, please ask your child’s music teacher: Mr. Jakes (band), Mr. Johnson (strings) or Ms. Lucius (chorus).




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.




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:

Mrs. Pina's Class! Students had fun participating in mindfulness centers.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Character Trait for the Month

May's character trait is Resilience-When things are hard, you don't give up, but bounce back.

April's character trait was Responsibility-doing what is expected and taking ownership of your actions/behavior. Here is a video of our Responsibility award winners.




Franconia Celebrates Our Military Families


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! 







Elementary Institute for The Arts

Students in all FCPS schools can enroll in the Elementary Institute for the Arts (EIFTA). EIFTA is a weekly arts enrichment program for students in rising 3rd through 6th grades and will be held during the month of July.  Students take classes in art, music, theatre, and dance every day.   Transportation is provided from around the county. Tuition assistance is available for students who qualify. Check out the website for more information or email



Twain Parent Coffee

Thursday, June 1st at 9:00 am


Attention Parents of Rising 7th grade students:


There will be a Principal's Coffee for parents at Twain Middle in the cafeteria on Thursday, June 1st at 9:00am. The outcomes of the meeting will be an overview of what to expect in middle school, upcoming dates, and allow time for a Q & A.




Girl Scouts Camp Mariposa


Join Girl Scouts Nation's Capital for Camp Mariposa! Experience outdoor fun, arts, and crafts, STEM, and learn what being a Girl Scout is about!


For girl grades PreK-5 (girl must be 5 years old by camp time) who are NOT currently Girl Scouts. Monday, June 26th - Thursday, June 29th, 2023, 9am-4pm at Sydenstricker United Methodist Church in Springfield, VA.


$50 for all four days - financial assistance is available. Bus included from Franconia ES. 


Space is limited. Register at

For more information contact Cheryl Osborne: or 703.372.4341





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




Safety and Security Town Hall

at South Lakes High School


FCPS will host a community conversation to discuss our approach to safety and security, and the work we do every day to keep our schools safe. Join us Monday, May 8, 6:30-7:30 p.m., at South Lakes High School. Registration information will be available soon.. 

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.




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:




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


May Calendar Reminders


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