May 2023 Newsletter

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

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

이 소식지를 다른 언어로 읽으려면, 우리 웹사이트를 방문하시기 바랍니다.

Để đọc bản tin này bằng ngôn ngữ khác, xin quý vị truy cập vào trang mạng của chúng tôi.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

Dear Fairfax County Students, Staff and Families,

The school year is winding down and I know all of you are busy with end-of-year performances, games, and celebrations as well as lots of testing. I hope you are all well and finding enjoyment in the business of this time of year. It has been amazing to see all that our students have been accomplishing this year, and their joy in their games, concerts, plays, competitions, and day to day discoveries in the classroom and out. It is truly a joy to spend time with our students. I thank our staff and teachers who work hard every day so our students can grow, thrive, and find joy in learning. 

The School Board has continued a busy pace and we are working on important issues such as the FY24 budget, the strategic plan and more. In the next month, we will be finalizing the strategic plan that will be our vision and guide for the future, passing a budget that prioritizes salaries, academic and mental wellness support for students, middle school sports, and much more. See below for more information on the strategic plan, the budget and other School Board work. As always, I welcome you to contact me with your thoughts and feedback.

I have also included Dr. Reid’s presentation on safety and security below. The safety and security of our students and staff is important to all of us. When a threat is received, our staff immediately contact our security team, who work with law enforcement to immediately investigate. The security experts and law enforcement guide our principals and work with our communications team to inform the community while not impeding the investigation. I am looking forward to the results of the safety and security audit to enhance the additional safety and security measures we are already undertaking. See below for more information.

I also want to highlight a resource that has lots of valuable information about FCPS, the Superintendent Updates to the School Board. Recent issues have included reports on third quarter data on restraint and seclusion, the ombuds office and trust policy. The link will take you to all of the individual updates from this school year as well as an index for the whole year. 

I have had the chance to attend some wonderful events honoring those who have made such a difference in our community such as the FCPS Annual Retirement Ceremony, the SEPTA awards ceremony, and the Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards. The dedication and commitment of so many in our community make Fairfax such a special place to live and work.  I was especially glad to be able to thank our teachers and staff who retired after many years of dedication and service. They truly have shaped our future and we are all better for their work. Thank you all for your efforts! I have also appreciated opportunities to meet with community members to share updates about FCPS and listen to thoughts and concerns.

Finally, as we end the year, I want to give a shout out to all our students who have worked so hard this year! I have been very fortunate to get to know some of you through school visits and conversations with those of you who have participated in our strategic plan core planning team. Your wisdom, curiosity, inclusivity, and joy are palpable. And I look forward to the end-of-year celebrations and graduation for the Class of 2023! 

Rachna May Collage

Warmest regards,


Below you will find:

School Board Updates

School board desk and gavel

Fiscal Year 2024 Budget

I am grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their funding of FCPS recurring costs. The proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Approved Budget reflects a projected decrease of $18.6 million in state revenue, as compared to FCPS’ FY 2024 Advertised Budget projection. The projected decrease is based on the impact of the General Assembly’s substitute budget adopted on February 25, 2023, also known as the skinny budget. The substitute budget addresses the impact of K-12 technical adjustments related to average daily membership (ADM) changes, sales tax revenue forecast changes, and program participation rate updates. Changes to the state budget adopted after the FY 2024 Approved Budget will be recognized as part of a future quarterly budget review.

Superintendent Reid presented a list of recommended adjustments to balance the FY 2024 Approved Budget during the May 11 School Board Meeting. The School Board also held a Budget Public Hearing on May 16 and a Work Session on May 18 to discuss the FY24 Budget. The vote on the budget is expected at the May 25 Regular Meeting.

Strategic Plan

The School Board had another meeting focused on the strategic plan on May 18. Read more about the process. Again, this work is very important to set our school system up for continued success and I am grateful for the work put in by so many to create the best plan. These numbers for engagement in the process are impressive! 

  • Over 116,435 surveys completed by parents, caregivers, students, staff, and  community members
  • Over 65 planning team and community forum engagements
  • 4,519 Student submissions from principal-led student focus groups
  • 396 Community Forum attendees
  • 1,130 Let’s Talk! dialogues received
  • 550 Planning Team members (Core, Instructional, Alignment, Faith, Student)
  • Over 28,000 employees engaged in the process
  • 4 School Board Work Sessions
  • 5 School Board Retreats

The School Board is expected to vote on the strategic plan at the June 15 meeting.

Safety and Security

I know many in our community are concerned about school safety and security. At the April 27 Regular Meeting, Superintendent Reid presented a thorough briefing on all the actions that FCPS is taking to keep our students and staff safe including physical safety measures, transportation safety, video monitoring, visitor screening, and enhanced employee background checks, among others. You can watch her presentation:

Safety and Security

An Update on ESSER Funding and Budget

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. 

At the April 27 regular meeting, 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. At least 20% of the funding must be spent toward unfinished learning. The plan has nearly 80% of ESSER funds allocated to support student learning needs. 

At the May 11 regular meeting, the School Board approved the budget for using federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to help address the impacts of COVID-19 on students by addressing their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. ESSER III funds are now allocated for FY22, FY23, and FY24. 

Update on No-Cost Teletherapy for High School Students

Dr. Reid presented on a partnership between FCPS and Hazel Health to offer teletherapy to high school students at no cost. 

Hazel’s therapists can help students address the following:

  • Mood/behavior changes, motivation, grief/loss
  • Anxiety, worry, fears
  • Social skills, bullying, peer & family relationships
  • Academic stress

“Hazel Health has been surprisingly user-friendly for both staff and families,” says Sara Brewer, a school counselor at West Potomac High School. “We were skeptical that it sounded too good to be true, as it offers services for ALL families (including those that need language support for intake services). We were pleasantly surprised that our first referral was processed within THREE days because the family was so responsive and appreciative.” 

Student Rights and Responsibilities Updates

The Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) regulation is the framework stating expected student conduct and levels of disciplinary action when needed. The Board reviews the Superintendent’s proposed changes annually for adoption in the next school year. Families receive this information annually and sign a form stating that they’ve reviewed the regulation themselves, and with their students.

Proposed changes to the SR&R were presented at the May 11 Regular Meeting. The Board will hold a Work Session to further discuss the proposed changes on May 23. The Board is scheduled to approve the 2023-24 SR&R at the June 26 Regular Meeting.

Fairfax County 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 be appointing 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 as well as 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 submit an application has been extended to Friday, May 26, 2023.  Get more information about the Office of the Auditor General and submit an application here.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

  • May 23 at 5:00 p.m. - Work Session: PreK and Early Head Start Parent Policy Committee and Student Rights & Responsibilities
  • May 25 at 7:00 p.m. - Regular Meeting
  • May 31 at 4:30 p.m. - Work Session: Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee, Foundation for Applied Technical Education, and Facilities Planning Advisory Committee Reports
  • June 15 at 6:00 p.m. - Recognitions: Virginia High School League State Champions
  • June 15 at 7:00 p.m. - Regular Meeting

Please note that times and topics are subject to change.

The work sessions and regular meetings are broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and the FCPS website. Both are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

For Spanish speakers, to watch recorded School Board meetings, or live during regular meetings, visit the FCPS en Espanol YouTube channel.

Visit the community participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting. Visit BoardDocs for more meeting logistics, agendas, and handouts.

FCPS News and Resources

No-Cost Mental Health Teletherapy for High School Students Now Available!

Hazel Health

FCPS has partnered with Hazel Health to offer virtual mental health services to high school students via live video sessions. Parents/caregivers who have been struggling to find a therapist for their child or who notice changes in their child’s behavior are able to connect them virtually with a licensed therapist. Teletherapy is available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The first step for parents is to provide information through an opt-in form. Visit FCPS’ Teletherapy webpage for details.

Middle School Athletics Coming This Fall

FCPS has designated funding in the budget for 2023-24 for middle school spring and fall athletic activities to support student well-being at no cost to students. Pending budget adoption, this will be the first time FCPS has offered middle school students a chance to participate in extracurricular sports programs. 

Middle schools will start with cross country this fall. Track will follow in spring 2024.

Any middle school students who would like to participate in athletics will need to have a Virginia High School League (VHSL) pre-participation examination (PPE). The physical exam form must be completed and signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Fairfax County public high schools will offer PPEs at a cost of $50 per student through June 17. Students who receive free or reduced meals are eligible to receive an exam at no cost. Learn more about PPE and middle school athletics. Offers Live Tutors and Test Prep

Writing help, practice quizzes, and SAT test prep are available to all FCPS students at no cost through Find out how your child can get these services, in addition to 24/7 live tutoring, through their Schoology account: Elementary School | Middle and High School

What Is ParentVue and How Do I Sign Up?

If you do not already have a ParentVUE SIS account, sign up now to monitor and support your child’s academic success! Through ParentVUE, you are able to monitor your student’s attendance, grades, and assignments at any time. You can also access special reports for your student like progress reports and assessments score reports. 

Once you have activated a ParentVUE account for an FCPS student, you will keep the same account until the student graduates. Information about students in the same family can be accessed through the same ParentVUE account. SIS ParentVUE can be accessed using an app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. 

Need help creating a SIS ParentVUE account? This video walks you through the steps on how to do so. You can also find out more about SIS ParentVUE on our website.

Update Contact Information in weCare@School

Within SIS ParentVUE, Fairfax County Public Schools provides weCare@school (weCare), an emergency care information system. weCare helps manage contact and emergency medical information by allowing parents/caregivers to enter and update their children’s data online. 

That contact information automatically enrolls parents/caregivers to receive critical updates from the district and their child’s school through the eNotify system. FCPS uses eNotify to communicate emergency, transportation, attendance, weather closing and delay, and essential outreach messages. Messages are sent by email, text, and occasionally by phone. Learn more about updating your emergency care information.

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. 

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.

Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities Announces First Class Award Winners

The Fairfax County Public Schools Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) presented their First Class Awards at the 18th Annual Special Education Conference. Each year, the ACSD celebrates and recognizes educators, administrators, and students in Fairfax County Public Schools who support, implement, or design programs and activities which include students with disabilities that result in improving outcomes for all students. Read about this year’s winners. 

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.

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! 

CyberPatriot Summer Cyber Camp

Cyber Patriot

Chantilly Academy will host an AFA CyberCamp Monday, June 26, to Friday, June 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. This camp is recommended for rising fifth through eighth graders of all skill levels interested in learning more about the importance of cybersecurity and gaining skill to protect themselves and others from cyber threats. Discounts are available for students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Visit the camp website to learn more about registration, curriculum, and schedule. 

Other Summer Camp Opportunities

Registration is still available for Institute for the Arts (IFTA) and Elementary-IFTA arts camps, Credit Recovery Academy, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s Middle School Technology Institute (MSTI). 

Calling All FCPS Student Artists and Designers

Design Challenge

FCPS is looking for student-designed graphics or artwork to represent the observances that are recognized on the FCPS school year calendar for 2023-24 (PDF)

The Observance Design Challenge will encourage students to tap into their creativity to create visuals that accurately and positively represent the many religious observances celebrated in the FCPS community. Students may also choose to submit a design for Thanksgiving. Learn more about the challenge.

Community News and Opportunities

Tutoring Grants Available for Families

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is now accepting applications from parents for tutoring microgrants for their children through the K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants program. 

The program was created to help Virginia families address the impact of the pandemic on student learning. It provides $1,500 grants to parents of school-age children for tutoring in specific subjects. Children from homes with family incomes at 300% or less of the federal poverty level may qualify for $3,000 grants. 

Available services include in-person, online, and hybrid tutoring provided one-on-one or in small group or large group settings. The first step in the process is to visit VDOE’s K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants page and create an application account.

Remind Teens to Practice Safe Driving 

It’s a very exciting time of year for many teens: longer days, nicer weather, and end of year/graduation activities. 

Please remind teen drivers of the responsibilities that come with driving. According to this video from the Fairfax County Police Department, there were 622 crashes involving teen drivers last year in Fairfax County. Common mistakes among those drivers include failure to maintain proper control (distracted driver/texting and/or speeding), not having the right of way, and following too close (tailgating). 

Consider watching this video with your child as a way of showing the real consequences of unsafe driving. FCPD shared footage of a recent incident where speeding led to a serious, but non-fatal, accident. In a news release, FCPD stated, “Parents and guardians should consider using this video as an opportunity to have a conversation with their teen drivers about how their driving behavior can affect the lives of others.” 

The Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time

The Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time (VPOST) is excited to open recruitment for our second cohort of Youth STEM Ambassadors! Virginia youth ages 13-18 are encouraged to apply to represent teens across the Commonwealth who love participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities during afterschool. Ambassadors are coached on crafting their unique STEM stories and how to talk to policymakers about their experiences. The Ambassador program will follow a cycle of the Virginia General Assembly season from election campaigns in the summer, through elections, and into the start of the Virginia General Assembly session. It will culminate with an advocacy day at the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond, VA in early 2024 where Ambassadors will bring their love of STEM to change-making! 

  • Ambassadors will participate in one monthly session, virtually, (times to be determined) between June and November 2023 and January-February 2024. Attend an advocacy day in Richmond, VA in early 2024. Successful completion of the program will be rewarded with a pre-paid $100 VISA gift card.

Applications are due May 30, 2023.

Questions may be directed to Christine Jones Monaccio at Full program information including the application is available on the VPOST website.

Operation Purple

The National Military Family Association is hosting its first-ever Operation Purple Summer Challenge - a free, self-paced activity experience to stay entertained and connected with other military kids and families for eight weeks this summer! Every military-connected kid who completes a registration is guaranteed a spot! Register and learn more about Operation Purple Summer Challenge, including their Wednesday “Global Gatherings!”

Teen Police Academy

The Teen Police Academy is open to all Fairfax County High School students (public, private or home schooled) entering the 10th, 11th or 12th grades during the 2023-2024 school year. Students will learn about patrol, crime scene investigation, different types of careers in law enforcement, SWAT, police vehicles and much more. The Academy will take place July 24-28, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Fairfax County Public Safety Headquarters. The deadline to apply is June 21, 2023. Learn more at their website.

Future Women Leaders in Law Enforcement 

This class is for female Fairfax County High School students (public, private or home schooled) entering the 10th, 11th or 12th grades during the 2023-2024 school year. Meet today's women leaders in law enforcement. Explore what it takes to become a police officer and skills you will need to learn in the police academy. The class will take place July 31- August 4, 2023 at Fairfax County Public Safety Headquarters. The deadline to apply is June 21, 2023. Learn more at this website.

Student Successes

Thirty-Six FCPS Students Named National Merit Scholarship Winners 

Thirty-six students from nine Fairfax County high schools have been named winners of $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Scholarship winners are part of a group of approximately 2,500 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships in 2023 primarily financed by the NMSC. Read more about the awards and see a list of winners. 

Eight Students Awarded 2023 National Merit Corporate-Sponsored Scholarships

Eight Fairfax County Public Schools students have been awarded 2023 corporate-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The students are part of a group of more than 840 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships financed by corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations. See the complete list in our web release. 

176 Named to All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra

One hundred seventy-six students representing all Fairfax County high schools have been named to the 2023 All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. See the list of students and more information in our web release.

Two FCPS Projects Win Grand Prize at State Science Fair

The Virginia Science and Engineering Fair was held on April 15 at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Sixty-nine students from FCPS participated in the state level fair. Two FCPS student projects received the Grand Prize award. Read about these winners and other FCPS projects that were recognized

Students Earn Awards at DECA International Conference

Thirty-three students from six Fairfax County public high schools earned DECA’s highest honors at the organization’s annual International Career Development Conference. Read more about the awards and see a list of winners

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. The awards are designed to recognize young people who work as peacemakers. 

Every year, 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.

May is …

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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. See the School Board recognition.

Jewish American Heritage Month

Jewish American Month graphic

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. See the School Board proclamation.

Muslim American Heritage Month 

The Fairfax County School Board recognized the many contributions and history of Muslim Americans in the proclamation in honor of Muslim American Heritage Month at our May 11 School Board Meeting. See the School Board proclamation

Good News!

R1 Good News

Region 1: The Madison High School Public Forum Debate team of Austin Pemble and Calvin Kaplan took 2nd Place in the National Speech and Debate Association Virginia District Tournament, which qualifies them to represent Virginia — and JMHS — in the NSDA National Tournament in Phoenix, AZ in June. Way to go Warhawks!

Region 2: Congratulations to Rebecca Otaizo, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) teacher at Weyanoke Elementary School who was announced as the third to fifth grade category winner of Virginia’s Computer Science Educator of the Year! Watch this video about her STEAM student program and innovative teaching.

Region 3: In partnership with the American Council of Engineering Companies of Metropolitan Washington, Key MS had a STEM Fair that created an opportunity for students to learn more about the profession of engineering. Students worked with engineers to design, build and test bridges. It’s wonderful to see our schools partner with community organizations to provide opportunities for our students!

R3 Good News

Region 4: Student Council Association representatives from Colin Powell Elementary were invited to the State Arrival Ceremony, hosted by President and Dr. Biden, honoring His Excellency Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, and Mrs. Kim Keon Hee. 

Colin Powell is a two-way immersion program where native speakers of English and native speakers of Korean learn both languages in the same classroom. What a memorable experience!

R4 Good News

Region 5: Congratulations to the Woodson HS Academic Bowl team of sophomores Karine Jelalian, Maggie Smallwood, and Sonan Sahga that recently attended the national competition of Gallaudet University’s Academic Bowl. The Gallaudet Academic Bowl was established to “foster academic excellence, healthy competition, and sportsmanship among deaf and hard of hearing youth.” The Woodson team placed third at regionals in Austin, Texas in February and qualified to attend nationals at Gallaudet University in April with 15 of the other best teams from around the country. The Woodson team placed 4th in nationals - way to go!  You can read more about this event on the Gallaudet website.

Quick Links

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.

© 2023 Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, Virginia