Herndon MS Updates - Sept 18

In this Update

🌟 Fairfax Fiesta
🌟 Caregiver Checklist
🌟 Immunizations
🌟 When a Student Should Stay Home From School
🌟 AVID Tutors
🌟 Food for Neighbors
🌟 2023-30 Strategic Plan
🌟 Substance Abuse Prevention
🌟 TJHSST Science Fair
🌟 Steamology Stem Fest
🌟 Girls' Tech Day

...and more!

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

FF Bird

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.

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.


When a Student Should Stay Home From School


September is Attendance Awareness Month!

Whether students miss school because of illness or any other reason, missing school leads to learning loss.

Help your student succeed by encouraging them to attend as many days as possible, but do make sure your student stays home if they are sick. Visit FCPS’ website for information on when you should keep your child at home.

If your child has a chronic illness, make sure to notify their teacher, so that assistance can be provided if needed. Please contact us as soon as you know your child will be absent. 

Read more about how families can help form good attendance habits

AVID Tutors


Attention families - looking for a flexible and part-time position at Herndon Middle 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.

Food for Neighbors Volunteer Opportunities

Have you seen the Red Bags in your neighborhood?

It’s part of a movement to collect and distribute weekend food to
middle and high school students who struggle with hunger. It’s neighbors helping neighbors throughout Northern Virginia. Five times a year, donors fill Red Bags with food from our list, drivers pickup the bags, and volunteers sort and deliver the food to local schools. We want you to join us!

To learn more about this program, sign up to receive a Red Bag or become a volunteer, please visit www.FoodForNeighbors.org.

Information Session for Substitute Teachers and Instructional Assistants

Learn more about becoming a substitute teacher or instructional assistant at a virtual information session on Wednesday, September 20, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Click here to register for this session.

2023-30 Strategic Plan

Goal 4: Equitable Access and Opportunity

The 2023-30 strategic plan sets five main goals to create positive change in FCPS. 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 monitor our progress toward these goals. 

Under Goal 4, high-quality academics will be available to all students. They will have access to excellent resources that support their success.

Visit the Strategic Plan webpage to learn more about how we will measure the success of Goal 4.

Important Resources

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.

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.


Free Virtual Parent Support Group

Free Online Narcan Training for Opioid Overdoses (English & Spanish)

Free Lock Boxes for Medications & Firearms

Juvenile Court Parent Support Group

Spiritual Support by Phone for Adults

Spanish Podcast: Tips on How Parents Play an Important Role in Substance Abuse Prevention


For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.

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.

Student Activities

TJHSST Invitational Science Fair 2024!

TJ Investigative Science Outreach, a student-led organization at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, will be hosting their 11th annual science fair on March 16, 2024 and would like to invite 5th-8th grade students to participate. Admission to the science fair is completely free. 

Participants will complete a research project of their choice and present at the fair in-person on March 16, 2024. Participants will receive help to prepare for this fair by holding multiple sessions to teach them important skills in STEM like brainstorming, collecting data, presenting, writing an experiment summary, using statistics, creating an experimental diagram, etc.

First interest/brainstorming session will be Friday, October 6th, 2023 at 6:00 pm. This session will be held in-person at TJHSST. During this session, goals and guidelines of this fair will be discussed and students will be introduced to a multitude of project ideas.

Students who are interested should sign up using the form at the link: https://forms.gle/RMfQYuvACK3YajRw8

If you have any questions or concerns, please email tjhsstsciencefair@gmail.com. Feel free to also check out their website at tjsciencefair.wordpress.com.

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.

Spirit Day!

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!


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.




  • 23: Fairfax Fiesta
  • 25: Yom Kippur
    Begins Sundown 9.24 - Sundown 9.25
  • 27: PTA Meeting
    7:00pm via Zoom


  • 4: Walk and Roll to School Day
  • 9: Indigenous Peoples’ Day
  • 14: Herndon Homecoming Parade 
    Beginning at 8:00am
  • 14: Herndon vs McLean Homecoming Football Game

Helpful Links