Community Update - Welcome to May!

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

ይህንን ዜና መፅሄት በሌሎች ቋንቋዎች ለማንበብ፤ እባክዎን ድረ ገፃችንን ይጎብኙ

이 소식지를 다른 언어로 읽으려면, 우리 웹사이트를 방문하시기 바랍니다.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

Hello Community Members!

Final Feedback Opportunity - Strategic Plan Survey 

FCPS Strategic Plan

FCPS has almost completed the process of drafting a new Strategic Plan, which will guide our school division in the years ahead.

Please participate in a brief survey regarding final input on the Strategic Plan’s draft goals, measures, and pillars. The goals are what we want for all students, and the measures are how we will determine our progress in reaching those goals. The pillars are the things that FCPS must do well to reach our goals. Your voice matters! Take the survey (by May 17).

Thank you for being a part of this important work!

Safety and Security Updates & Community Conversation

Safety and Security Presentation Intro Slide

During the April 27 School Board Meeting, Dr. Reid provided an informative Safety and Security presentation to the Board and community. View the full presentation here.  

On May 8, from 6:30-7:30, at South Lakes High School, FCPS will host a community conversation to discuss the division's approach to safety and security. Register here

FCPS staff and experts will review the division's risk assessment processes, the physical measures already in place to protect our students and staff, pilot programs to detect vaping, and how FCPS communicates and collaborates with partners when there is an incident at our schools. 

The safety and security audit currently being conducted by a third party is expected to come to the School Board in late July.

School Board Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Public Hearing

Colorful hands reaching up

The School Board will hear public comment on the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Budget on Tuesday, May 16, at 6 p.m., in the auditorium of Luther Jackson Middle School. Registration for 25 speakers will open at 6 a.m., Friday, May 5. Registered speakers will have two minutes to address the Board regarding FY24 Budget.

ESSER III Funding and 2023-24 Budget Proposal

In the fall of 2021, FCPS received $188.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to support the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on students. 

Last week, Sloan Presidio, FCPS’ Chief Academic Officer, presented the proposed ESSER expenditures for the 2023-24 school year, the last year of ESSER funding. This funding is in addition to the FCPS operating budget and is specifically targeting the impacts of COVID-19. 

The proposed plan is intended to maximize the dollars remaining in FCPS' funding. At least 20% of ESSER funding must be spent toward unfinished learning. FCPS' proposed plan has nearly 40% of ESSER funds allocated to unfinished learning. 

Upcoming School Board Meetings 

  • Tuesday, May 9, 10am: Retreat
  • Thursday, May 11, 7pm: Regular Meeting
    • Student Rights and Responsibilities
    • Fiscal Year 24 Approved Budget
  • Tuesday, May 16, 6pm: Public Hearing
    • Budget
  • Thursday, May 1810am: Work Session
    • Budget
  • Tuesday, May 23, 5pm: Work Session
    • PreK and Early Head Start Parent Policy Committee
    • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Thursday, May 25, 7pm: Regular Meeting
    • Strategic Plan
    • Office of the Auditor General Risk Assessment and Audit Plan

Please note, times and topics are subject to change. 

Accessing Board Meetings

View this link for a comprehensive list of upcoming meetings and associated information.

Click here for meeting logistics, agendas and handouts (to view the slides and materials, scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Regular Meetings and Work Sessions are live-streamed on the FCPS website and televised on FCPS Cable Channel 99. Meeting recordings can be found on FCPS YouTube. For more information about signing up to speak at a regular meeting, click here.

QR code for School Board meetings in Spanish  

For Spanish speakers -- to watch recorded School Board meetings or live Regular Meetings on YouTube, you can visit the FCPS en Espanol YouTube channel or scan the QR code.

School Board dais photo

Hunter Mill Happenings 

Hunter Mill Student Performances Pack Audiences

I had a blast attending Madison High School's production of their spring musical, Mamma Mia
Multiple shows were completely sold out over the weekend! Families, students, and community members danced, laughed, and sang their hearts out along with the student performers. It was truly a treat to witness. 

Westfield High School's production of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical runs this weekend, May 4-6 with daytime and evening performances. Buy your tickets here!

Mamma Mia Mad Drama Melanie Meren ad
Melanie Meren ad in South Lakes drama program

Hughes Middle School students shared the culmination of their hard work with a weekend of Frozen Jr. shows. I was especially thrilled to attend, as the cast's makeup was done by my very own Hughes student! I can certainly say I am now a proud theatre parent!

This weekend, I look forward to visiting South Lakes High School for their production of Bright Star

Herndon High School wowed audiences with their vibrant performances of Kiss Me, Kate.

I am blown away by the talent and commitment of all involved in these shows.

Kiss Me Kate at Herndon HS


South Lakes Students Represent at Scrawl Books in Reston

Ink and Scrawl Books

Students Katie and Mina represented their student-led company, Ink Children’s Books, at Reston’s Scrawl Books store. Katie read her book, Odd Lunch Out, to a gathered group of children and adults. I was thrilled to have my copies of the booked signed by the author. Ink, started during the entrepreneurial club at South Lakes High School, is working on three more books, with the next one available in the coming month! Visit their website to learn more.

Madison FCCLA Students Advance to Nationals

Congrats to Madison High School's Lindsay Stoner and Savannah Vernon who won first place in Professional Presentation (Level 2) at the Virginia FCCLA State Leadership and Recognition Conference! Next stop is the national competition this summer! 

The Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a nonprofit national career and technical student organization for young students in Family and Consumer Sciences Education in public and private school through grades 6-12.

Madison FCCLA members win award

South Lakes Band Soars at Festival of Music

South Lakes HS band

The South Lakes High School band and orchestra recently performed at the Festival of Music in Virginia Beach. Not only did they place first with a superior rating, but they were also awarded Best in Show Concert Performance! All of the months of hard work and dedication certainly paid off!


Supporting Outdoor Learning at Aldrin Elementary 

Brightspot and staff at Aldrin Elementary

Brightspot recently helped upgrade raised garden beds at Aldrin Elementary School, replacing the 10-year old wood that had naturally rotted (science!). Brightspot is a Reston-based technology services company that models community engagement. I thank them for their continued, incredible support of time, money, and people power to Aldrin.

Superintendent Reid and I met with students as they checked on the progress of the rain water management work they’d done to create a native plants meadow last spring, with Brightspot’s help. And, the school is preparing for the installation of its new playground, that happens in the summer. The incredible 4th grade teacher, Kevin Curtis, integrated outdoor learning with flora and fauna, plus Virginia history standards. He runs the green club that was on-site during my visit to give Dr. Reid and myself a tour.

International Night at Marshall Road Elementary 

International Night at Marshall Road Elementary

International Night at Marshall Road Elementary had an incredible turn out - both of families attending and those sharing their cultures. Over 40 cultures were featured that reflect those of the students, families, AND staff! I loved learning about people’s’ customs, including from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Nigeria, El Salvador, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Brazil, Norway, Japan, Ghana, Portugal, Mexico and more!


Westbriar Odyssey of the Mind Competes in State Tournament 

Westbriar Odyssey of the Mind team

Westbriar Elementary School's Odyssey of the Mind Division 2 team came in third place in the state tournament held on Saturday, April 15th.  They were the only elementary school team competing against middle school teams. Congratulations to Ryder Gee, Minh Phan, Ethan Aquilino, Arjun Arunkumar, Shlok Mehta, Dexter Delaney, and Aarav Dadbhawala on this achievement!

Congratulations, also, to the Division 1 team for their hard work and efforts at the state tournament: Sonia Radheshwar, Madhavi Duruvu, Ramana Duruvu, Ridhi Gudla, Riya Gudla  and Ishti Jain.  Thank you to all parents and coaches who supported them this year!

Upcoming Events in Hunter Mill 

Inclusive Prom at Vienna Presbyterian Church: May 6

Vienna Presbyterian Church Prom

It’s prom season! Here’s an opportunity for young people (ages 14 and up) with developmental and intellectual differences to experience this tradition! (And, they can bring a guest!)

This inclusive, inaugural prom will be held Saturday, May 6th at 5:30pm at Vienna Presbyterian Church located at 124 Park St NE, Vienna, VA 22180.

This will be a complimentary evening with dinner, dancing, a DJ, and a red carpet entrance!

Parents and caregivers are welcome to stay on site and enjoy refreshments in the Parents Lounge.

Please complete the form via this link to RSVP. This is essential so that the generous volunteers and Vienna Presbyterian Church can plan accordingly for this incredible experience

Carson MS Hosts Charity Chess Tournament 

US Chess Federation

Rachel Carson Middle School, in partnership with Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, is hosting a charity chess tournament  on May 20 from 10am-4pm to support children in Türkiye and Syria who were affected by the recent earthquakes. All proceeds of the event are donated directly to UNICEF. Everyone is welcome - people of all ages, backgrounds, and chess skill level are encouraged to join.

Register to play today!

South Lakes Sports Physical Night

Student Sports Physicals

Spring Physicals will take place on Monday May 22nd at South Lakes High School. They will be valid for all summer conditioning/workouts and all of school year 2023-24. Student-Athletes can NOT participate in any team events for next year without a valid physical (documented on the VHSL Pre-Participation Examination form) after May 1st.

Physical examinations may always be done with your primary care physicians, but this is an annual fundraiser. It gives you the opportunity to have your physical done and it helps fund all the supplies (bandages, gloves, gauze, ice bags, rehab equipment, etc.) the Athletic Training Staff needs to take care of our student-athletes. 

Physicals are $50 and by appointment only- there are no guarantees a walk-in will be seen.

Click here to register for your sports physical.

Summer Sports Camps

Registration is open for summer camps at South Lakes High School! My own elementary school student enjoyed the basketball booster camp last summer, where he was able to learn from the older student athletes and play with his local friends. The camps run during June and July and include a multitude of sport options.

To view all offerings and register, click here

May Is...

Teacher Appreciation Week 

Thank you teachers

May 8 to 12 is Teacher Appreciation Week! You may submit a recorded message thanking and celebrating our school’s amazing teachers and staff.

Your video message may be selected to share with our teachers and community on FCPS’ website and social media channels throughout Teacher Appreciation Week.

If you do not have a Google account and wish to be part of the celebration, share your messages on social media and tag your school.

Jewish American Heritage Month 

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is a national month of recognition of the history of Jewish contributions to American culture, acknowledging the diverse achievement of the Jewish community in the U.S. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

People with ancestral roots in Asia and the islands of the Pacific have been integral to the story of America. In 1992, May was designated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate their heritage and contributions.Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Other Information of Interest 

School Board Seeks Audit Committee Applicants

Fairfax County Public Schools invites applications from community members interested in serving on the School Board Audit Committee. Applicants must reside within the boundaries of Fairfax County or Fairfax City.  The Board will appoint two committee members for a term ending June 30, 2025.  

Applicants cannot be a current FCPS employee and must be able to understand general government processes and technical and complex financial reporting issues. Applicants should be knowledgeable about internal controls, financial statement audits, management and operational audits, and risk. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 15, 2023.  Get more information about the Office of the Auditor General and submit an application here.

Student Representative Honored by Princeton Club 

Michele Togbe with award certificate

Michele Togbe, our amazing Student Representative to the School Board, was recently honored by the Princeton Club of Washington, DC, for receiving the Princeton Peace Prize in Race Relations!

This is an incredible achievement and I am so proud of Michele's commitment to excellence. 

Parent Resource Center is Now the Family Resource Center 

Family Resource Center banner

FCPS’ Parent Resource Center has changed its name to the Family Resource Center (FRC) as a way to acknowledge and support the broad diversity of families in our community. The FRC continues to offer a wide range of essential resources and education for caregivers and students including:  

Families can find printable resource guides and details about the center’s free lending library on FRC’s homepage. They may also sign up to receive the FRC newsletter for updates on webinars, resources, and other information. If you have questions, please contact the FRC via email at or call 703-204-3941.

Safe Routes to School Survey 

Safe Routes to School

How do students travel to school? How much physical activity are children in Virginia getting? 

If you're a parent or caregiver in Virginia, Virginia Safe Routes to School wants to hear from you! Take the Spring 2023 Parent Survey. The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete, will be available in both English and Spanish, and will help parents and caregivers understand student travel and physical activity habits.

Northern Virginia Opioid Response Survey

Would you like to share your thoughts on the resources needed to address the opioid epidemic in Northern Virginia? The Northern Virginia Opioid Response Network is seeking input on potential uses of opioid settlement funds. Take the survey by Friday, May 12, 2023.

Job Opportunities

Explore opportunities for:

Visit Current Job Openings for all posted positions.

Contacting Me

I prioritize responses to Hunter Mill constituents, so please be sure to identify yourself as such if you contact me. If you are unsure of your county magisterial district, you can look that information up here.

To contact me, it is most helpful to please use the official School Board contact form. This form prioritizes emails to me from constituents, and helps me track communication so I can be sure you receive a response. Thank you for your cooperation.


Please take good care,

Melanie Meren


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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.

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