WPHS News You Choose - 9/16/23

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

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

School Seal

Table of Contents:

  • Important Dates
  • Principal's Message
  • School News
  • Back-to-School Preventative Health Practices
  • PTSA News - Join Today
  • School Fundraisers
  • Class of 2024 - Senior News
  • WABC Passes

Important Dates

  • September 15: POWER UP WEST POTOMAC! -  PTSA Direct Donation Launch!
  • September 20: Orchestra Restaurant Night - El Paso
  • September 24: Band Car Wash
  • September 25: Holiday Kippur
  • September 26: National Honor Society Applications Due
  • September 30:Homecoming Dance, 8:00 PM 
  • October 12: 3rd Annual Swap-n-Shop Fundraiser to Benefit WP Class of 2024
  • October 28: WP Dance Team Fundraiser, Clean Out Your Closets

Principal's Message

Wolverine Community,

I hope this email you finds you enjoying this beautiful weekend.  My thanks to everyone who was able to join us for the first PTSA meeting of the year.  If you have not already, please consider joining our PTSA.  They support our school community in a variety of ways including to serve as our Academic Boosters.  More information about how to join is below under our PTSA section. 

While there were many points of Wolverine Pride this week, I wanted to highlight two of them:

  • The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has recognized West Potomac High School with the Continuous Improvement Exemplar Award. Schools qualify for this award based on a school’s significant growth in SOL scores for all students or student subgroups, for significant growth in graduation rates, or for a significant decrease in dropout rates, using pre- and post-pandemic data.  Thank you to our Wolverine Faculty for their tireless efforts to support all students.  Thank you to our students for making your learning a priority.  Finally, thank you to our families and community for all your support. 
  • Congratulations to Lucy Marshall, grade 12, for being named a National Merit Semi-finalist! Lucy is one of 264 FCPS seniors to be recognized this year.  You can learn more here.  Congrats Lucy!  We are proud of you!

Take care,

Kevin McMahon

Interim Principal

Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month

School News

AVID Tutors

  • Looking for a flexible and part-time position at West Potomac High School? FCPS is hiring AVID tutors for the 2023-2024 school year.  AVID tutors work with small groups of approximately 5-7 students during the school day in an academic elective class called Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). These groups use questioning strategies to help students develop a variety of college preparatory skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Tutors earn $18.97 per hour and should either be a college graduate or currently enrolled in college. If interested, please email your resume to Lisa Shields at lbshields@fcps.edu or AVID@fcps.edu

WPHS Homecoming News:  

  • Save the Date and Chaperones Needed– Saturday 9/30 at 8 pm – this year’s Homecoming Dance! The theme is tropical paradise, and we need your help chaperoning. Please sign up using this link. Stay tuned for more information about Homecoming Week and how to purchase tickets as we get closer.

National Honor Society

  • Juniors and Seniors who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are invited to apply to WPHS National Honor Society.
  • Application materials have been posted to the “All Students” Schoology. Students will submit their application via Google Form using their FCPS Schools account.  Applications are due by midnight on Tuesday, September 26th. No exceptions will be made.
  • Please feel free to reach out to the National Honor Society Advisors Ms. Jessica Landon (jllandon@fcps.edu) or Ms. Jean Marie Simpson (jsimpson1@fcps.edu) should you have any questions.

World Language Credit Exam - Registration now open!

  • The 2023 World Languages Credit Exam will be administered on November 8, 9, and 13, 2023. Thirty languages will be included: American Sign Language (ASL), Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin), Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Pashto, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
  • Students who take the exam may earn up to three World Languages credits for levels one, two, and three for the language of the exam. The credits may fulfill the World Languages requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma. The FCPS World Languages Credit Exam is also an approved assessment for awarding the Virginia Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy. The exam is offered one time per school year. A student may participate in the exam two times per language, once per year, between grades 7 through 12. In other words, students have two chances per language to earn credits by taking the exam.
  • Registration closes on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. (late registrations will not be accepted). Please contact your school counselor to register for the exam before the deadline! See attached flyer for more information.”

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) Introduction:

  • Each school pyramid has a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS) to provide substance abuse prevention, education, and intervention services. Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists are part of the FCPS Office of Student Safety and Wellness. Like other members of the mental health team (school social workers, school psychologists, and school counselors), SAPS do not provide treatment services, but we support students while they are in the buildings.
  • My name is Elizabeth Knudson and I am the SAPS assigned to the West Potomac Pyramid Community. I am so glad to be part of this community and have the opportunity to work with your students. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like more information or if you have a concern for your student.
  • Elizabeth Knudson/WP Office 718.2749 eaknudson@fcps.edu
  • Key roles of a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist:
    • Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug education for students, parents, staff, and Fairfax County community stakeholders.
    • Intervention services upon violation of the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook or referral for suspected substance use involvement.
    • Assessment of a student’s level of substance use and, if appropriate, subsequent referrals to the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board for additional services or other community resources as appropriate.
    • Individual and group interventions for students. Prevention services for students, staff, parents, and Fairfax County community stakeholders.
    • Most importantly, building and maintaining positive relationships with students to provide support and encouragement.
    • Resources: Free Virtual Parent Support Group, Free Online Narcan Training for Opioid Overdoses (English & Spanish), Free Lock Boxes for Medications & Firearms, Spiritual Support by Phone for Adults, Spanish Podcast: Tips on How Parents Play an Important Role in Substance Abuse Prevention, Juvenile Court Parent Support Group, For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270

College Fair and Postsecondary Virtual Events

  • High school students and their families are invited to attend the annual FCPS College Fair and the Postsecondary Virtual events. The College Fair will feature admissions representatives from more than 250 colleges and universities from across the United States and abroad. The fair will be held at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena on Sunday, October 15, 4-7 p.m.
  • The Postsecondary Virtual Event will be held on Monday, October 16, and Tuesday, October 17, 5-8 p.m. The virtual event will feature workshops related to the college admissions process, financial aid, and other postsecondary educational opportunities.
  • Students are highly encouraged to register in advance for these events.

Back-to-School Preventative Health Practices

Flu season is quickly approaching, and communicable diseases continue to be present in our schools. We are committed to providing students with the education and support to help them succeed while maintaining a safe environment for in-person learning. Families and staff are encouraged to engage in the following health practices to prevent the spread of illnesses. 

  • Make an appointment to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine (with rare exceptions). Flu vaccines are widely available at doctors’ and pediatricians’ offices, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you have not done so already. An updated COVID booster for the 2023-2024 season should be released in the coming weeks and will more effectively target the current circulating strains of the virus. Find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster in your community by visiting: vaccinate.virginia.gov or call (877) VAX-IN-VA or (877) 829-4682.
  • Check with your students’ healthcare providers to make sure they are up to date on their required school entrance immunizations. Immunization records can now be updated online in SIS ParentVUE through the Online Verification Update form.
  • Check for mild, cold-like symptoms each day, such as fever, runny nose, cough, or shortness of breath. Parents/caregivers are advised to keep their children home if sick and get them tested for COVID-19 to stop further spread from occurring. Employees are also advised to stay home and get tested when feeling sick.
  • Don’t forget to wash hands regularly, avoid touching the face with unwashed hands, cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing, and limit the time children spend in large group settings with contagious individuals whenever possible.

The most up to date information regarding COVID-19 school health practices is available on the Health and Safety Guidance Document webpage.

Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our schools safe and healthy.

PTSA News 

  • Thank you to the many families and students who attended Tuesday nights PTSA Meeting - (Please click here for meeting minutes).  A special thank you to our great WP speakers, Principal (Interim), Kevin McMahon,  Matt MacDonald, Director, Student Activities and Emily Millians, Dean of Instruction for your presentations sharing information on staffing, grading, attendance, athletic news and more. 
  • PTSA Direct Donation Campaign:  POWER UP WEST POTOMAC!!  
    • GOAL #1  - $10,000 – SUPER GOAL #2 - $20,000
    • DONATION CAMPAIGN – 9/15/23 THROUGH 11/4/22


  • As the Academic Booster Club for WP, our guiding principle is to support and fortify an academic foundation for our students. Our students are talented, bold, curious, and every high school year is a fundamental investment to their future successes.   As the WP PTSA, we want to be able to say yes to every teacher who wants to introduce an exciting new lesson but needs materials not covered under FCPS budget, we want to subsidize field trips, we want to celebrate our teachers and students achievements and be a strong resource for our Wolverine community.
  • CAN YOU HELP US GET THERE?  To donate, please visit this link 


  • Your membership dues are used to directly benefit our Wolverine teachers and students.
  • At the site, you can purchase memberships, make tax-deductible donations, and purchase WPHS car magnets (new design). If you want to learn more or join our PTSA this year, please visit this link


  • Add a touch of WPHS Wolverines spirit to your car, refrigerator, etc with this 5 X 5 Full Color magnet. Purchase at this link

Student Volunteer Opportunities

  • The Office of Elections is offering you the opportunity to serve inside a Fairfax County polling place as an election page for the upcoming November election. Are you at least 16 years old, live in Virginia, and actively enrolled in high school? Would you like to learn more about the electoral process and earn service-learning hours that can be applied towards the Seal of Excellence in Civics Education?  
  • Please note the High School Page Program only applies to November elections.

School Fundraisers


El Paso


  • Support the West Potomac Bands and Color Guard all the while getting your car or truck washed by enthusiastic band members.
    • Date: September 24
    • Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
    • Location: AldersgateChurch, 1301 Collingwood Road, Alexandria, VA
    • Contributions of any amount are welcome! All proceeds support the Bands and Color Guard


  • Date: Thursday, October 12    
  • Time:  5:00 - 11:00 PM      
  • Location: 8418 Stable Drive, Alexandria, VA 
  • Entry Fee / Suggested Donation: $35 
  • Looking for a reason to clean out your closets/repurpose any jewelry, handbags you do not use and also pick up something fabulous - best reason ever - 3rd Annual Swap-n-Shop fundraiser to benefit the WPHS Class of 2024.
  • Join us for a great night of shopping, friendship, and live music. Please drop off any new or like-new accessories (shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves, reading glasses) and women's clothing (any season) on the front porch of 8418 Stable Drive, Alexandria, VA 22308 from September 6th - October 11th.  Spouses welcome - bring all your friends. Your Entry Fee includes shopping, snacks, drinks, live music, and a fun night with your WP Community and a chance to win a beautiful gift basket. Adults Only event. One tix purchase required for each guest. Proceeds from this event will be used for Senior celebrations. To purchase tickets please visit this link.    

Class of 2024 - Senior News:  

Senior Class of 2024 Yard Signs:  Celebrate your class of '24 Senior with a sign!  Calling all Class of 2024 families! Senior Dean McDonnell has designed this fabulous yard sign to celebrate the class of 2024. Display it in your yard or anywhere else you want to show your Wolverine Pride.  Price per sign is $24.00. Place your order now at the link below. You will be asked to give your cell phone number and you will be contacted about delivery or pick up once the signs are in.  All proceeds from the sale will benefit the class of 2024. Thank you for your support!

Class of 2024

Class of 2024 Fundraisers

The class of 2024 has scheduled a series of fundraisers until the end of January.  See the chart of fundraisers.  If you have any questions , please contact Ms Hackshaw (chackshaw@fcps.edu) or Ms. Simpson (jsimpson1@fcps.edu


Support the West Potomac Dance Team! 

  • Drop off soft goods (in trash bags, please) between 8:00 am-10:30am on Saturday, October 28th at West Potomac High School (6500 Quander Road).  The dance team earns a rebate on all donations in partnership with a local thrift store.  See flyer for more details.

Athletic News:

Wolverine Athletic Booster Club Game Passes for Sale!

Dear Wolverine Fans!  Join the Wolverine Athletic Booster Club (WABC) and cheer on your team all year. By joining the WABC you receive game passes for free entry to all regular season home events.  Visit this link for different purchase plans.  Go West Po!