Herndon MS Updates - Sept 11

In this Update:

🌟 Back to School Night
🌟 Attendance
🌟 National Day of Service
🌟 Caregiver Checklist
🌟 Meningococcal Outbreak
🌟 Health and Safety Guidance
🌟 Steamology Stem Fest
🌟 2023-30 Strategic Plan
🌟 National Hispanic Heritage Month
🌟 Tutoring
🌟 PTA Spirit Day

...and more!


Back To School Night


All parents/guardians are invited to join us for Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 14th, from 5:30-7:30pm!
Hope to see you there!

Students Are Learning Every Day

September is Attendance Awareness Month!

As you plan upcoming trips and other family events, please remember the importance of sending your child to school every day. Review the FCPS School Year Calendar and try to plan any time away during long breaks from school. 

Children who show up for school regularly develop fundamental reading and math skills while building a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers. Research shows that children who were chronically absent (missing 18 days or more) in kindergarten and first grade were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of third grade.

Read more about how families can help form good attendance habits.



September 11 National Day of Service


With the upcoming 22nd Anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, FCPS acknowledges the loss of life, the heroism of our first responders, and the resilience of our country. The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, also called Patriot Day, is a chance to reflect and act in service to others to honor those who were injured or killed in the terrorist attacks.

All FCPS students are encouraged to participate in service learning as it supports Portrait of a Graduate (POG) attributes and social and emotional learning (SEL) skills. Middle and high school students can learn more about service learning by logging into their Naviance account to access x2VOL. 

Get started this fall with two great opportunities: Public Lands Day (September 23) and Volunteer Fairfax’s VolunteerFest (October 21). Information on service projects can be found on the Volunteer Fairfax website.

Caregiver Checklist

Have You Completed These Important Forms?

During the first weeks of the year, caregivers receive many forms to complete. Several of the most important ones are below:

  1. Digital Resources Consent: 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 Digital Resources - Parent Consent page. This page also includes directions on how to provide permission.
  2. Student Rights and Responsibilities: This document explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses. Parents using SIS ParentVUE will be prompted to sign the document when they log in to that platform. A printable version of the document with a signature sheet is available on the SR&R webpage.
  3. Opt-Outs: The Opt-Out Booklet is online or available from your child’s school. It contains information on: 
    1. Parents’ rights to inspect and consent or opt out before their child participates in certain surveys.
    2. Parents’ rights to inspect instructional materials.
    3. Rules regarding student records and disclosure of student information (including photo/video of students) and the right to opt out.
    4. Parents’ rights to opt out of the Social Emotional Learning Screener, physical exams not required by state law, career or social emotional counseling, Library Equity Access Pass Project, and/or Tutor.com.
    5. The process by which complaints may be filed if parents or students believe their rights have been violated.

Paper forms can be signed and returned to school.

The Importance of Up-to-Date Immunizations

Immunizations are required for public school entry and help keep students protected from serious diseases. While COVID-19 vaccinations are not required, many other immunizations are. Check with your students’ healthcare providers now to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations.

Immunization records can now be updated online in SIS ParentVUE through the Online Verification Update form. To access that form, click Online Packets in the top right of the screen after logging in to SIS ParentVUE. Caregivers can obtain an activation key letter to activate their SIS ParentVUE account by contacting 703.904.4800.

Statewide Outbreak of Meningococcal

One of the required immunizations for students entering 7th and 12th grade is the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). The Virginia Department of Health is currently tracking a statewide outbreak of meningococcal disease. MenACWY can provide protection against the bacteria responsible for this outbreak.

Visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for a list of immunization clinics or contact your family’s healthcare provider. Appointments are required for most clinics.  

Remember to request documentation of your child’s immunizations to provide to their school. Get more information on immunization requirements and the necessary documentation.

2023-24 Health and Safety Guidance for Schools

Although the COVID-19 hospital transmission level (previously the COVID-19 Community Transmission level) for Fairfax County is currently low, COVID-19 cases have risen in Virginia during the last few weeks, and flu season will soon be upon us. Be sure to review FCPS Health and Safety Guidance for the best ways to prevent the spread of disease and to find out when students should stay home from school.

STEAMOLOGY STEM Fest Offers Hands-On Activities for Students

Students are invited to participate in STEM FEST on Saturday, October 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at South County High School. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade can participate in robotics demonstrations, coding experiments, and more. High school students are invited to volunteer.

Visit the STEAMOLOGY website for more information.

2023-30 Strategic Plan

Goal 3: Academic Growth and Excellence

FCPS’ 2023-30 strategic plan sets five main goals to create positive change in our schools. These five goals show where we should focus our attention and will help us align our efforts. Our equity commitment and a set of measures in each goal will measure our success. 

Under Goal 3, every student will learn to use critical and creative thinking. They will meet or exceed academic goals. Students will reach their full potential. 

Visit the Strategic Plan webpage for more information. Watch this video to learn more about the many voices that came together to create the plan.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15 to October 15, FCPS recognizes and celebrates the histories and cultures of the members of our community who trace their heritage to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS. Learn more about National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Fairfax Fiesta

Fairfax County's inaugural Hispanic Heritage Celebration, the Fairfax Fiesta, is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 23, from noon to 5 p.m., at the PARC at Tysons (8508 Leesburg Pike). The free event, presented by the Fairfax County Government and Celebrate Fairfax!, aims to provide an extraordinary experience for all ages and backgrounds. Learn more about Fairfax Fiesta.

Girls' Tech Day

Join aws on September 30, from 8:30-2:00pm, for a day aimed to inspire and motivate girls to pursue interests in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). Middle school students, grades 6-8, will enjoy an engaging opening session with a dynamic panel of female STEAM professionals, followed by interactive workshops to explore the industry further.


Register Now!


Important Resources

HMS Student Services


2023-24 Student Services Breakdown

Shirnesha Simpkins Church
Director of Student Services

School Counselor

Danielle Mascoll
Last Names: A-Garc

Safiyah Muhammad
Last Names: Garr-Om

Colene Luczak
Last Names: Or-Zu

Susanna Fry


Ashley Van Gelder
Social Worker (CSS)

Toni Tupper
Social Worker

Kelley Wells

How to Access Free Resources from Tutor.com


All FCPS students continue to have unlimited access to live, 24/7, one-on-one online tutoring services through Tutor.com at no cost to families. Student participation is optional and parents/caregivers can opt their student(s) out of accessing the services. Get more information on the Tutor.com Online Tutoring Services webpage.

Students can access Tutor.com via a link in Schoology. Additional information about how to log in and access a tutor is provided to families via the following: Elementary - How It Works and Middle & High - How It Works. Questions not answered in the posted resources may be sent to onlinetutoring@fcps.edu.

Fall Activities

Herndon Optimist Club Registration

The following Herndon Optimist Activities are open for FALL REGISTRATION.  Please visit the Herndon Optimist website, click on registration, and scroll to find the Sign in to Begin Registration button (everyone will need to create a new account because we switched operating systems this summer). Please join us for a fun-filled fall!


Healthy Kids Running Series


Registration is currently open for Healthy Kids Running Series. This is a 5-week program, being offered this Fall and Spring for preschoolers through middle schoolers.

For more information, please visit Healthy Kids Running Series.

From the PTA

Spirit Day!


At North Point Village
1494 North Point Village Center, Reston, VA 20194

Come support Herndon Middle School, Wednesday, September 13 from 6:00am - 10:00pm by placing a mobile pickup, Drive-thru, curbside order, or from 7a-8p for a mobile delivery order. You get to enjoy a great meal or snack and Herndon Middle School will receive a donation of 25% of mobile sales.

The CODE is HAWKS (all caps).

If ordering in the store or Drive-thru, let the team member know you are there for the Spirit Event.




  • 14: Back to School Night
  • 15: Beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month
  • 16: Rosh Hashanah
    Begins Sundown 9.15 - Sundown 9.17
  • 23: Fairfax Fiesta
  • 25: Yom Kippur
    Begins Sundown 9.24 - Sundown 9.25
  • 27: PTA Meeting
    7:00pm via Zoom


  • 14: Herndon Homecoming Parade 
    Beginning at 8:00am
  • 14: Herndon vs McLean Homecoming Football Game

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