Kilmer MS Newsletter - September 29, 2023

A message from Principal Steven McFarlane


Kilmer Community, 

A huge thank you to all of the parent volunteers who attended our 7th grade Science field trips this week to Burke Lake Park. During this field trip, students assumed the role of environmental scientists, engaging in hands-on learning and collaboration with their peers.

Our Kilmer Cross Country Team has its first meet this Saturday at Holmes Middle School. Come on out and cheer them on! The first heat begins bright and early at 8:30 am. 

As we are more than halfway through the First Quarter, please be sure to check ParentVue to see your student’s academic progress. If you have any concerns about your child’s grades, I encourage you to reach out to their teacher. Students can visit teachers during Learning Seminar (4th period) and after school for academic support.

I hope you have a great weekend, and as always, reach out if you have any questions.


Steven McFarlane


Kilmer at a Glance


Note: At Kilmer, we have “Green Days ” and “Blue Days.” On “Green Days” students attend periods 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, and on “Blue Days” students attend periods 2, 3, 4, 6, 8. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday, October 3 and 4 - 7th grade students will participate in the Signs of Suicide mental health awareness program during their US History class. More information can be found below. 7th grade parents received a Kilmer e-Notify email on September 6 with additional information. 
  • October 5 - Join Dr. Reid for Our Schools, Our Future - A Community Conversation at Kilmer Middle School on Thursday, October 5, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, October 12 from 5:00-6:00 pm - Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology Student/Parent Information Night
  • Monday, October 16 - Students will participate in the SEL Screener during Learning Seminar on Monday, October 16.  Additional details are listed under important information.

Picture(s) of the Week


This week our 7th graders took a field trip to Burke Lake as part of the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE). 

Important Information

SOS Signs of Suicide Mental Health Awareness Program - Seventh Grade Only

Seventh grade students will participate in the SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Program and mental health screening during their History classes on Tuesday, October 3 or Wednesday, October 4. During the SOS Signs of Suicide lesson, students watch a video and engage in discussion to learn to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) if they are concerned about themselves or a friend. The bell schedule will be modified on Oct 4 to accommodate the implementation of the program. All students will attend periods 2, 8, 6, 3, and then 4. Seventh grade families received notification about the program and an opportunity to opt out in an e-notify letter sent on September 6. 

We encourage you to visit for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn. You can also view this parent video to learn more. Parents can contact their student’s school counselor if they have additional questions about the program. Please note this is a separate opt-out from the SEL screener.

SEL Screener Participation Social and Emotional Learning Screening

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 during the fall and spring. 

Students will participate in the SEL screener during Learning Seminar on Monday, October 16. You can opt-out your child from participating in the SEL Screener. The opt-out applies to the current school year and must be completed annually. For more information about the SEL Screener, access to its content, and the opt-out form, please click on the following link:  Social Emotional Learning Screener (SEL). If you choose to opt-out your child from participating, please return the opt-out form to the Student Services office no later than Friday, Oct 9.

Parking During Recess and Lunch Times

From 9:45-10:45 am, the front parking lot is blocked off with cones so students can safely access the front field for 7th grade recess and then 8th grade recess. Visitors who arrive during recess or who will need to leave Kilmer during recess should park in the lot on the right side of the building. While our four lunches are scheduled from 10:45 am-12:45 pm, the cones are moved closer to the crosswalk and parking spaces are available in the front of the school.

2023-2024 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

Students participated in a review of the Student Rights and Responsibilities on September 18th and 19th through Social Studies classes and took a test on SR&R content during PE classes. 

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.

Thomas Jefferson High School Student/Parent Information Night

On Thursday, October 12th from 5:00-6:00 pm all current 8th grade students interested in applying for the freshman class of the Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology are invited to join for a one hour presentation given by a TJHSST representative in the Kilmer Cafeteria. The majority of the hour will be dedicated to a question and answer session, and we recommend that all those interested in participating view this video prior to attending the presentation. You can find additional information including important application deadlines here.

Monthly Attendance Reminder

Our goal this school year is to partner with families to help minimize the number of days students are absent. Getting your student into the habit of daily attendance helps reduce their stress and makes it easier to connect with friends and teachers. We understand each year may present extenuating circumstances that lead to missed days. However, we hope to increase timely communication regarding absences as they occur to prevent patterns that could impact your student’s well-being. FCPS has created a Health Flyer for Parents indicating when a parent should keep their child home from school. When planning trips, please keep in mind that absences add up quickly, and students who are absent 10 percent of the school year, or just two days per month, are considered “chronically absent.” Please review FCPS Attendance Policies and resources to encourage regular school attendance. 

To report a student’s absence, please complete our online attendance form or call 703.846.8888 by 7:30 am to notify the Front Office if your student will be absent or arriving late to school. This form is designed for unplanned absences, late arrivals, and short-term prearranged absences only. If parent contact is not made within 48 hours, the absences will be recorded as unexcused.

Afterschool Activities News/Updates

After School Activities News/Updates

Each week Ms. Kardelis will post a detailed overview of our After School Program to our website. Please visit Kilmer’s website at to find the weekly After School newsletter. If you have any questions regarding our After School Program please reach out to Kim Kardelis (After School Specialist) at

References & Reminders

Student Portraits

School Pictures were taken last week. Order photos online here: The code is your student’s ID number. 

For questions about ordering please email

Bus Capacity

All our buses are at capacity and can not take additional passengers. Students will not be allowed to ride buses other than the one they are assigned. 

World Language Credit Exam

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.

If your student can write in their home language fluently and would like to take the World Language Exam for world language credit, students can access the Kilmer Student Services Course on Schoology to register. Students and parents can register together by logging into a student’s FCPS laptop and selecting the dates for the exam. Registration is now open and closes on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Investigative Science Outreach

We are TJ Investigative Science Outreach, a student-led organization at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. We will be hosting our 11th annual science fair on March 16, 2024 and we would like to invite 5th-8th grade students from your school 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. We help students 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.

Our first interest/brainstorming session is Friday October 6th, 2023 at 6:00 pm. We will be holding this session in-person at TJHSST and virtually on Zoom. During this session we will go over the goals and guidelines of this fair and introduce students to a multitude of project ideas. All interested students should sign up using the form at the link: 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us. Feel free to also check out our website at or email us at


Fairfax County Park Authority Program - Esports Club


Lightspeed Parent Report