Irving MS Weekly Newsletter


Greetings, Irving Families!

I apologize for a Sunday delivery! I was so excited for the West Springfield Football game on Friday, I forgot to hit send. While not the outcome they were hoping for, the Spartans gave it their all on the field Friday night. We look forward to a great season! 

On Friday, we held a Cross Country interest meeting for students who are interested in participating with Coach Damani Sommers. We are looking for 2 more coaches - if you are interested, please email me at We will hold practices on Mondays from 2:25-3:25 and Thursdays from 3:30-4:30. We will share the same information about Cross Country on Tuesday, September 12, at Back to School Night from 6:00-6:30 pm, in the cafeteria. If you would like a sneak peek at the information. The slide deck is available in both the Student and Parent Schoology Courses. The first practice for Cross Country is on Monday, September 18 from 2:25-3:25, students may take the late bus. 

Coming up this week, students may stay after school for Academic support and take the late bus home on Monday and Thursday. We will not have After School Activities on Tuesday, due to Back to School Night. Please be sure to write down or take a screenshot of your child’s schedule from ParentVue. If you forget to bring your child’s schedule, not to worry, we will print schedules for those who need a copy.  We look forward to seeing our parents/guardians on Tuesday evening for our first in-person BTSN since 2019!

Take Care!

Cindy Conley


News from the PTA

WELCOME BACK! The Irving PTA is jumping into all this year has to offer and we would love for you to join us. Here’s how: 

STOP BY the PTA table at Back-to-School night. We will have information on how to join the PTA, we will a limited stock of spirit wear items (t-shirts, car magnets, etc.)  have information about future spirit wear sales, and will have a calendar of all the fun we have planned. We will have a parent at the table from 5:30 to 6:25, then will just leave information at the table from 6:25 onwards.

JOIN US for the first PTA meeting of the year on Wednesday 9/13 at 6:30 PM via zoom (we tried to make it in-person and part of Back to School Night but couldn’t fit it in). Principal Conley joins the PTA meetings, goes over all the latest issues and is free to answer questions. The PTA will go over plans for the year.  You do NOT need to be a member to attend, but it ensures you get the email notifications from the PTA AND, it’s the right thing to do. Joining is easy!  Copy and paste this URL to join (links don’t work) The cost is $10/parent, $9 for each additional parent. 

Important Information for Irving MS


TalkingPoints is a safe and easy way for Irving teachers and staff to communicate with families in their home language for free. We will be using this platform to communicate with you about your child’s education and progress. There’s also a Mobile App! Visit the TalkingPoints page on the FCPS website to learn more. 

Military & Family Life Counselor (MFLC)

We are excited to welcome Alejandra Stephens, our new Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC). She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Virginia and is very excited to be a part of the Irving School and to serve the school’s military students and families!

As an MFLC, she provides free, nonmedical counseling to individuals, groups, and families in person during the school week to enhance social, academic, and emotional skills to support the wellbeing of military students and their families. She is trained to address issues related to:

° Self-esteem

° Communication and relationships at home or school ° Life skills

° Adjustment and transition

° Behavioral concerns

° Changes at home (including deployment, reunion, and divorce)

° Fear, grief, and loss

All services are confidential except in cases of duty to warn situations such as safety issues and illegal activities. If you would like support in any of these areas, for resources or to introduce yourself, please contact her at

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology 

Interested Irving students and families please join us on Wednesday September 20th from 6-7PM at Irving – Barker Hall Auditorium for a TJHSST information session brought to you by a Thomas Jefferson Representative. Learn about the programs, classes, student life and the admission application. The application will become available online on Monday, October 23 at 4:00 pm via the TJ website.

What is TJHSST?

A FCPS regional Governor’s high school (9-12th grades) for students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). You can now find the new TJ Admissions Video for 2023 as well as the presentation schedule that is available to the public on their website, We strongly encourage you to view their YouTube admissions video prior to attending this meeting.

Eligibility to Apply (8th grade):

(1)   Residency requirement-FCPS is included

(2)  Completed a full-year course of Algebra 1, OR be currently enrolled in a full-year course of HONORS-level Algebra 1 or higher math

(3)  Be enrolled in HONORS science

(4)  Be enrolled in HONORS social studies OR English OR be identified as a “Young Scholar”

(5)  Have a 3.5 or higher GPA in all cores academic courses (Math, Science, Social studies, English, and if taken for high school credit, World Language) at the time of application.

TJHSST Admissions: Contact Information

Admissions Office (general inquiries): Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Phone:571-423-3770         Email:               Website:

Social and Emotional Learning Screener

FCPS is committed to supporting all students’ mental wellness and social and emotional learning. FCPS approved a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener that students use to share their perspectives on how well their school and community help them develop skills they need to succeed. 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.  All students in grades 3-12 have the opportunity to participate in the screener twice a year, in the fall and spring. 

The SEL Screener elevates the voices of our students by making sure their perspectives are considered in decision-making. Screener data is used to plan programming for the division, schools, and individual students. Division and school level results, which do not include individual student information, may be used by staff to improve SEL and mental wellness practices and to inform strategic plans. Division and school level results may also be shared with the community to describe the needs of our student body and provide opportunities for partnership.

Individual students’ Screener data will only be accessible to teachers, administrators, and staff with legitimate educational interests. Results will be maintained in secure files and databases accessible only to these individuals. In partnership with families, staff review this data alongside other information to plan interventions for students with identified needs. Parents and guardians will receive an individualized report regarding their student’s screener results following each assessment window. School staff are available to discuss results with families.

You can opt out your child from participating in the SEL Screener by completing the form on Page 18 of the Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy, and Related Rights and Opt-Out Forms booklet or directly through your SIS ParentVue account online. The opt out applies to the current school year and must be completed annually.

For more information about the SEL Screener and access to its contents visit


State Assessments Grades 3-8

State assessments measure the extent to which students have learned the content and skills reflected in state standards and may also be used to measure growth in learning state standards. The format and timing of state assessments vary by grade level and content area, as noted in the table below. These include:

  • Fall and winter Virginia Growth Assessments (VGA) standardized tests in reading and mathematics. More information is available on the VGA webpage (;  
  • Spring Standards of Learning (SOL) standardized tests in reading, mathematics, and science. More information is available on the SOL assessments webpage (; 
  • Ongoing local alternative assessments (LAAs) including performance-based assessments (PBAs) completed as part of classroom instruction in science, writing, and social studies; More information is available on the LAA and PBA webpage (  


VGA Content Areas Tested

(Fall and Winter)

SOL Content Areas Tested


LAA Content Areas Tested



Reading, Mathematics

Reading, Mathematics

Science, Social Studies


Reading, Mathematics

Reading, Mathematics

Social Studies


Reading, Mathematics

Science, Reading, Mathematics



Reading, Mathematics*

Reading, Mathematics

Social Studies


Reading, Mathematics*

Reading, Mathematics

Social Studies


Reading, Mathematics*

Science, Reading, Mathematics

Social Studies, Writing

* VGA tests are not available for students enrolled in a high school credit-bearing math course, such as Algebra 1 or Geometry.

The Grade Level Tests webpage ( provides information by grade level about the general assessment schedule and reporting method for each required assessment type in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). At Irving Middle School, we will continue to update and remind you about upcoming dates students are scheduled to take the standardized VGA and SOL assessments. Our tentatively planned dates are below, but these are still subject to change. If you have questions about state assessments, contact your student’s teacher or our school test coordinator, Leigh Arscott at or 703-912-4645.

Tentative state assessment dates for Irving MS students:

  • September 20 – Fall Reading VGA
  • September 27 – Fall Math VGA
  • December 6 – Winter Reading VGA
  • December 12 – Winter Math VGA
  • April 29-May 24 - Spring SOL exams, exact dates yet to be determined

You may select a preferred language for viewing a pdf version of this FCPS State Assessment notification letter here: (


Math Inventory and Reading Inventory

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) uses the Math Inventory and Reading Inventory with secondary students in grades 7-12 to determine students’ strengths and needs in mathematics and literacy. All students in middle school and selected students in high school participate in these assessments.

The purpose of these assessments is to identify students who may benefit from additional support with literacy and mathematics skills. In addition, school teams will consider assessment results as they plan instruction for your student. Assessments are administered at the beginning of the school year. Depending on grade level and initial performance, students may participate in follow-up assessment in the winter and/or in the spring. 

Additional information about these assessments can be found at the following webpages:

If you have further questions about these assessments, please contact your student’s English or mathematics teacher.

You can access printable translations of this notification in multiple languages at

Family Life Education Instructional Program Information

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides a comprehensive, sequential Family Life Education (FLE) program for students in grades kindergarten through grade twelve.  Instruction is seen as a partnership among parents and guardians, the school, and the community in supporting the learning essential to the development of strong families, positive relationships, and a healthy community.

Parents/guardians may choose to opt their child out of all or part of the Family Life Education program.  Students who are opted out are provided with age-appropriate, nonpunitive alternative health instruction, and every effort is made to foster respect for family choices.  If you wish to opt your child out of all or part of FLE for this school year, opt out forms will be included in your child’s back-to-school/orientation packets and are available online for Elementary (K-6), Middle School (7-8), and High School (9-12).  Please fill in the opt-out form and return it to your child’s school prior to Family Life Education instruction.

Detailed grade-level program descriptions are available online at Elementary (K-6) , Middle School (7-8) , and High School (9-12). FLE grade level-specific lessons and media that FCPS has streaming rights for are available for parents online in Schoology.  Parents/guardians login to Schoology using the same username and password as their Student Information System (SIS) Parent account.  Grade level-specific lessons are also available at the City of Fairfax Regional Library (this location does not have media).  Grade level-specific lessons and media that is not streamed online are available for review at your child’s school library.  Due to copyright permissions, we are unable to stream all media online.

Program questions may be addressed at your child’s school or by contacting Instructional Services at 571-423-4550 or 

Irving Stays After - After School Program Registration

The After School program at Irving Middle School provides students access to high-quality activities in a safe environment for all students. The Program strives to improve academic performance, foster social, emotional, and physical well-being, all while reducing the potential for risk-taking behaviors.

Monday, September 11 - will serve as the first day of the After School Program and Late Buses. Activities and Clubs will not meet, however, after school with their teacher, Homework Club and Hollow Lounge will be held, students are encouraged to attend and familiarize themselves with staying after. 

Tuesday, September 12 - No After School and Late Buses

Wednesday, September 13 - No After School and Late Buses

Art Club - starts Monday, September 18, 1st block

Readers Unite (bka Book Club) - starts Monday, September 18, 1st block

Soccer Club - starts Monday, September 18, 1st block

Washington Irving Theater Society (WITS) - starts Tuesday, September 19, 1st block

Dungeons & Dragons - starts Thursday, September 21, 1st block

Gardening Club - starts Thursday, September 21, 1st block

Irving Authors - starts Thursday, September 21, 1st block

T.R.I.B.E. (Trustworthy, Relentless, Intelligent, Brave and Enthusiastic) - starts Thursday, September 21, 1st block

Smash Bros Club - starts Thursday, September 21, 2nd block

Library News

Irving Says…

A new interactive display in the library this school year is that of a weekly poll.  When students visit the library, they cast their votes in person.  Additionally, students and staff can vote digitally through Schoology.  Last week’s poll was “Would you rather live in a treehouse or in a boat?”  The results were that 77.4% of students would prefer to live in a treehouse, while 22.6% of students would choose life in a boat.  It was fun to hear students debate the issue, considering factors such as “What is the budget for the treehouse / boat?”  and “Is the boat big enough to cross the ocean?” etc.  Stay tuned for weekly reporting of what “Irving Says.”

Next week we look forward to hosting all of the English 8 classes when they visit for book talks.  

Ask your student what they’re reading.  And, remember students of this age still like to be read to or can read aloud a book with you. 

Encourage your enthusiastic readers to join “Readers Unite,” an after-school book club sponsored by Ms. Monk on Mondays during the first block.  Students may also participate in a new activity to Irving this year:  Battle of the Books, which will take place during third-block advisory and a few after-school meetings.

—--Mary Ann Monk & Chad Brizek, Irving MS Librarians