Updates on Grading, School Safety Information, Technology Tips

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Students greet each other at Edison High School on the first day of school.


🎉 A Successful First Day!

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There were celebrations across Fairfax County Public Schools on Monday, as teachers and administrators welcomed students back to the classroom.

Enjoy some highlights from #FirstDayFairfax on Instagram, Facebook, and our photo gallery, or check out the video of sights and sounds above.


Join Us on Instagram 

FCPS recently reached 20,000 followers on Instagram. Thank you for following and celebrating with us! If you’re not among the 20,000, please follow us @fairfaxcountypublicschools.


🙋 Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

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The beginning of the school year is the best time to develop strong attendance habits. Students who attend school regularly are more likely to perform well in reading and math, develop strong social and emotional skills, and graduate from high school on time. Watch the video above with tips from Fairfax Pyramid principals and visit the FCPS Attendance webpage to help prepare your child for future success.


2023-24 Student Rights and Responsibilities

FCPS’ Student Rights and Responsibilities document (SR&R) explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. In late June, the School Board approved changes to the SR&R for the 2023-24 school year. Updates include a revision of dress code expectations, bystander expectations for students witnessing harmful or unsafe behaviors, bullying, and substance abuse responses. Read Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid’s letter to families regarding the SR&R

Parents/caregivers should talk to their child(ren) about expectations for this school year. Also, please log in to SIS ParentVUE and sign to acknowledge your review of the SR&R, or sign and return the signature sheet to your child’s school by Friday, September 29.


💪 Sharing Our Success

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We invite you to look back at the 2022-23 school year and relive some of our greatest moments. See how our amazing students and staff excelled last year, and together, contributed to making FCPS a premier school division.


✔️ Updates on Grading Policies

FCPS’ Grading Policy has been updated for the 2023-24 school year. The following changes were based on input from students, teachers, parents/caregivers, principals, and staff:

  • FCPS will maintain the current late work policy. Teachers must accept major assignments up to two weeks late. The maximum deduction for that time period is 10%. The current policy, when applied correctly, balances accountability and flexibility.
  • Teachers may now give zeroes for assignments that are not turned in. Students who make a reasonable effort to finish an assignment will get a minimum grade of 50%. 
  • A rolling gradebook gives students more chances to show they understand material. Teachers who use a rolling gradebook must use reassessment and grading replacement practices that allow students to update learning from past quarters.
  • For teachers using a traditional gradebook, the lowest quarter grade that can be issued is 50%.

In the 2024-25 school year, all grades will be on a 100-point scale, with 50% as the minimum grade for submitted assignments. All high school credit-bearing classes will use the new scale next school year.


Parental Permission to Use Digital Resources

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Some FCPS-approved digital resources require parent/caregiver consent before they can be used by students. Find the list of resources which require consent on the Parent Consent webpage. This page also includes directions for providing permission. 

Each digital resource used in FCPS has had an instructional and technical review. Information about the educational technology tools approved for use within FCPS can be found in the online Digital Ecosystem Library.

Find more information about FCPS-approved digital resources on the Digital Resources in FCPS webpage.


🔍 Lightspeed Parent Report on Child’s Device Activity

FCPS has tools to help parents know more about their child’s activity on any FCPS device. These tools are provided at no cost to families by Lightspeed, the school division’s internet content filtering service.

Parents may sign up for a weekly Parent Report, which will provide a list of the top sites your child visited. The report also offers parents the ability to sign up for free access to the Internet Use Parent Portal. Through the portal, parents may pause their child’s access to the internet on their FCPS device during non-school hours.

Learn more about Lightspeed Parent Reports.


💻 Chromebook Tips

This year, high school and secondary school students are receiving a new Chromebook. These devices feature larger screens than previously issued devices and battery life that easily lasts the school day. 

Encourage your child to visit the following helpful links to:

If students prefer to use their personal laptop, make sure it meets our minimum requirements. Let your school know your student plans to bring their own device. Please note that we cannot provide tech support on personally-owned devices. 

If your student runs into any issues while using their Chromebook, please have them reach out to their school’s tech team for support.

Students may access our student Chromebook FAQs (FCPS Google login required) for more information about using their own device.


📞 Parent Information Lines Available in Eight Languages

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Parents who speak Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, or Vietnamese may call a telephone information line for general information about FCPS. View the list of phone numbers.


✨ 2023-30 Strategic Plan — Goal 1: Strong Start, Pre-K-12

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The 2023-30 strategic plan sets five main goals to create positive change in FCPS. These goals show where we should focus our attention and will help us align our efforts. Each goal has an equity commitment and a set of measures that will be used to evaluate success.  

Our first goal in the strategic plan is to help all students develop academic skills, curiosity, and a love for learning. These skills and attitudes are crucial for success from pre-K to 12th grade. Our related equity commitment is to ensure authentic and affirming partnerships with families and key stakeholders through collaborative decision making that results in each student's success.

Visit FCPS' Strategic Plan webpage to find out how we will measure the success of Goal 1.


🚨 Safety Drills During the School Year

Keeping students and staff safe is a priority for FCPS. Each school has an emergency preparedness plan to respond to incidents such as fires and tornadoes. Schools are required by state law to practice emergency drills, including lockdown drills, each year. Schools are also required to notify parents and guardians at least 24 hours before a school conducts a lockdown drill. However, schools are not required to give the specific date and time of the drill in advance. 

By law, the first lockdown drill of the school year must take place within the first 20 days of school. Preschool and kindergarten students are exempt from practicing the first lockdown drill. 

Your child may come home and talk about their experience during the drill. We encourage you to talk with your child about the importance of being prepared for emergencies. Please review these frequently asked questions to support your students before and after school lockdown drills.


👮 School Resource Officers Are Ready for School

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Since 1995, Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) School Resource Officers (SROs) have helped ensure a safe learning environment for FCPS students and provide law enforcement resources to administrators. SROs play a vital role in fostering a safe and positive learning environment, building trust with the community, and providing valuable resources to students and staff. Find out how SROs prepared for the school year in this FCPD blog.


☎️ Anonymous Tip Line Puts Safety First

If you or your child have concerns or information relating to feeling unsafe in any way at school, the FCPS Office of Safety and Security has a safety tip line that you can access anonymously online, by text (888-777; Keyword TIP FCPS), or by phone (571-423-2020).

If your tip is an emergency and immediate assistance is necessary, please dial 911.

Students, staff, parents/caregivers, and community members should report school safety issues such as threats, unsafe or dangerous situations, illegal drug activity, theft, gang activity, the existence of weapons, vandalism, and concerns about student wellness. Tip line users may identify themselves or remain anonymous.

If you have concerns about programs, regulations, policies or other topics that do not impact the safety of our schools, please contact the FCPS ombuds online, at 571-423-4014, or ombuds@fcps.edu.


📅 Calendar Reminder: Labor Day

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Friday, September 1
, and Monday, September 4, are Labor Day holidays for all FCPS employees and students. The Code of Virginia requires that schools opening prior to Labor Day must be closed the Friday immediately preceding Labor Day. We hope everyone takes the long weekend to celebrate a strong start to the school year and enjoy time with family and friends. See the complete school year calendar.


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