Belvedere News and Announcements - May 5, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Family:

It was an honor to host the IB Board of Governors, the Director General, and the Executive Team at Belvedere. The visit allowed school staff to provide a window into an American Title I PYP public school, sharing about the school practices and IB work over the last eleven years. The team had lunch with a group of teachers who highlighted how they enact the PYP framework in the classrooms and the impact it has on them as learners. We also had eight fifth graders, representing our various classes, share about their ongoing PYP Exhibition project, speaking about their choices and reflecting on their topics. The students were a joy to listen to, having our visitors mesmerized with their understanding of the PYP and their candid responses. The visit was a success and reaffirmed the amazing work our staff and students have done since we began our journey as an IB-PYP school.

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal, & Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal

ib visit

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 3: 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.

2nd Annual Belvedere Field Day

The 2nd Annual Belvedere Field Day is back Friday, June 2nd!

We need your help to make this event more amazing each year. If you are able, please sign-up on the sign-up genius to volunteer for the morning field day (3rd- 5th grade) or the afternoon field day (K- 2nd grade).

Please click on the sign-up genius here:

If you have any questions, please email PE teachers Abby Novak, or Dan Bowles

From the Counselors

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. 


Poison Ivy and Tick Check Information

As the weather warms up and our students spend more time outside, it's important to be aware of potential hazards like poison ivy and ticks. Poison ivy can cause a painful rash and should be avoided, while ticks can transmit diseases like Lyme disease. To help keep our school community safe, we've compiled some resources on poison ivy and tick identification. Please take a moment to review this information and share it with your family. Together, we can enjoy the great outdoors while staying safe and healthy.

National School Nurse Day

National School Nurse Day is Wednesday, May 10. It is a day to recognize the many contributions that school nurses make to student health and learning.  

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) appreciates the role of School Public Health Nurses (PHNs) for their contribution to the health and welfare of all our students. Professional school nurses support the needs of students through their delivery of healthcare, contributions to local school communities, and promotion of safety, prevention, and wellness throughout the year. They are advocates who bridge healthcare and education by supporting student health and readiness to learn. School nurses are essential to our community and work tirelessly to make a positive impact in the lives of their students.  

Please join us in thanking the PHNs for their hard work and dedication to FCPS students.  

Community Conversation: School Safety and Security

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. Register for the Community Conversation.

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. 

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

According to a recent study of elementary and middle schools, there is a 5.8% difference between April and June attendance rates. Let's work together to end the school year successfully! Visit our website for attendance resources.

🕊️ 2023 Student Peace Award Winners

Students from 26 Fairfax County public schools have been named recipients of the 2023 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County, designed to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. 

Every year, the high schools in Fairfax County are asked to select one junior or senior, or a group of students, whose work has promoted peace. The project is organized by volunteers and funded by donations from 17 secular and religious sponsoring organizations. Read about the 2023 recipients.

Get to Know FCPS and the Resources Available to Families

Being connected to your school community helps you stay informed and support your child’s success. Take some time to get familiar with the many resources and tools available to FCPS families, including:

  • School Age Child Care (SACC) – This Fairfax County government program provides a safe and fun environment before and after school for elementary school-age children.
  • FCPS Communications for Families – FCPS shares news and information to support student learning and promote family involvement.
  • Family Engagement Resources – FCPS works to connect, strengthen, and support our families, schools, and communities. Learn more on our website.
  • Do You Know About Family Liaisons Family liaisons serve as a link between families and schools. Find out how family liaisons can support you and your family.

There’s an easy to follow five-step process outlined for parents registering their children for kindergarten. Be sure to register your child ASAP!

Social Emotional Learning Screener Reports

Twice a year, students in grades 3-12 share their perspectives on how well their school and community help them develop skills they need to succeed through the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener. These skills include achieving goals, understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining relationships with adults and peers, and making responsible decisions. Students also share how successful their school and community are at making them feel valued, included, and supported. These factors are critical to positive academic, social, and emotional success. 

Spring 2023 SEL Screener results will be mailed to families in mid-May. The Social Emotional Learning Screener Parent/Guardian Report and Guide has been updated to better reflect how SEL Screener results are used to support school and districtwide planning, in addition to supports for individual students. Visit the FCPS SEL Screener webpage for information in multiple languages, including tips for talking with your student about the report and strategies for strengthening SEL at home. 

Parent Resource Center Is Now the Family Resource Center

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.

Upcoming FRC Webinars

The FRC is hosting the following upcoming webinars. Events are virtual unless stated otherwise:

Click on the titles above for more information or to register for a webinar.

Office of the Ombuds: At Your Service!

Do you have questions or concerns about Fairfax County Public Schools? If so, reach out to the Office of the Ombuds, an independent, impartial, informal, and confidential resource for employees, parents/caregivers, students, and the community. Ombuds staff members are eager to listen and assist with navigating the school division. They will also offer options and resources to help resolve challenges.

Contact the Office of the Ombuds at 571-423-4014, at, or via the “Submit a Question” button on their webpage. The team looks forward to serving you! 

Final Feedback Opportunity on Draft Strategic Plan

If you haven’t already, please participate in the final opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Strategic Plan goals, measures, and pillars. Take the survey today! Feedback will be reviewed by the School Board at their May 9 retreat. It will also be discussed at the May 25 Board meeting. The survey will close Wednesday, May 17Visit FCPS’ website to learn about the strategic planning process.

An Update on ESSER Funding, and the Proposal for 2023-24

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 presented at the recent School Board Meeting is intended to maximize the dollars remaining in our funding. At least 20% of the funding must be spent toward unfinished learning. The proposed plan has nearly 80% of ESSER funds allocated to support student learning needs. Read more about the plan.

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

Join the PAC! 

Fairfax County Park Authority Rec-Pac registration is open for summer 2023. Program runs from June 26 - August 3 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. for students in grades 1-6.  Read the flier for more details!

Annandale Summer Sports Camps

Looking for fun activities for your child this summer? Annandale High School is offering a variety of summer camps this year for current elementary and middle school students led by our own Annandale coaches. Help spread the word to friends, family and neighbors!

Registration for all camps can be found HERE. See descriptions of the various camps below. More information can be found at

Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp, and they should bring a snack and a water bottle each day. Cash or checks are accepted. Checks should be made out to “Annandale Athletic Boosters”. Payment is due on the first day of camp. 

If you have any questions, please email Brandon Sutphin, Director of Student Activities, at

Camp Information

Multi-Sport Camp - Rising 2nd-9th Graders - June 20-23 ($120): Campers will have fun playing a variety of sports including basketball, kickball, volleyball, soccer, and touch football. They will participate in fun contests and win prizes! Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp. Hours are 8:30am-3:00pm. Register Here.

Olympics Camp - Rising 2nd-9th Graders - June 26-29 ($120): This exciting camp features team activities including soccer, volleyball, basketball, touch football, and relay races. Campers will also get a chance to compete and earn medals! Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp. Hours are 8:30am-3:00pm. Register Here.

For questions about Multi-Sport or Olympics Camps, please reach out to Christopher Bagot, Camp Director and Varsity Coach, at

Basketball - Rising 4th-9th Graders - July 10-14 ($250): Campers will spend each day focused on developing their basketball skills. They will also receive a report card on their basketball abilities, a t-shirt, and a chance to win trophies. Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp. Hours are 9:00am to 3:00pm. Register Here.

For questions about Basketball Camp please reach out to Jerome McAvoy, Camp Director and Varsity Coach, at

Girls Field Hockey/Lacrosse - Rising K-9th Grade - July 10-14, July 17-21, & July 24-28 ($120/week): For new athletes and those who have been playing for years, camp will be a fun-filled day of training, group competition, and surprise activities. Campers should bring their lunch each day except Friday when lunch will be provided. Hours are 8:00am-3:00pm. Register Here.

For questions about Girls Field Hockey/Lacrosse Camp please reach out to Janan Gokturk, Camp Director and Assistant Varsity Coach, at

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:

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!  

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.

Questions or concerns? Email

Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, May 29 - No School (Memorial Day)
  • Friday, June 16 - Last Day of School!

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FCPS Calendar: 2022-2023