September 2023 Newsletter

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.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

اس نیوزلیٹر کو دوسری زبانوں میں پڑھنے کیلئے ، براہ مہربانی ہماری ویب سائیٹ ملاحظہ کیجیئے۔

Mason District Community,

The school year is in full swing and our students have returned to their school work and activities in the classrooms and on our courts and athletic fields. Back-to-school events have concluded and Homecoming activities are top of mind. As we are five weeks into the 2023-2024 school year, I hope to offer a few reminders to parents and guardians to ensure a successful school year.

In FCPS, there are numerous ways for parents and guardians to be involved in their children’s education and I urge parents to take advantage of opportunities to connect with their children’s teachers and administrators in support of a productive and successful school year.

  • Engage with teachers: Request conferences with your child’s teachers - yes, even in high school - to discuss your child’s progress and ask questions or express concerns.
  • Review instructional pacing guides:  FCPS provides online access to the curriculum for each core subject area to help parents support their children.
  • Use Schoology: Review this site to access the various course syllabi for your child and visit the page weekly with your child to review teacher messages, assignments and due dates to help with organization.
  • Use the Lightspeed Weekly Parent ReportThis site helps parents and guardians monitor their child’s internet use on their FCPS issued laptop.
  • Sign up for ParentVue: This system allows parents to receive weekly alerts of their child’s grade in each class.  
  • Engage with the Family Liaison:  Meet with the family liaison at your child’s school to find more information and resources to help your child.

Your participation in your child’s education is important and FCPS welcomes your input and collaboration.

I value the input I receive from the Mason District Community and am happy to address questions or concerns via email or phone. You can reach me by email at If you are interested in scheduling a phone call, please reach out to my assistant, Cristy Coffey, at to arrange a time.

Follow me on social media to receive updates and information:

NEW! Instagram @masonfcps

Facebook @masondistrictsb

X (formerly Twitter) @MasonDistrictSB


In This Issue:

Strategic Plan Goal Reports SOL Scores Posted in ParentVue
Glasgow Community Meeting Digital PSAT Replaces Paper
Bus Delay Information Career and Technical Education
Parent Information Phone Lines Family Resource Center
Low-Cost Internet Tutoring
Special Ed Parent Involvement Survey Student Bus Passes
High School Transcripts 2023 Bond Referendum
Cell Phone Use Recent Appointments
Updates on Grading Policies Calling All Alumni
Lightspeed Internet Activity Report Job Opportunities
Digital Resource Parental Permission Message from Student Board Member
Chromebooks for HS and SS Students School Board Meeting Calendar


Strategic Plan Goal Reports

Periodically, the Superintendent will deliver reports to the Board and the public regarding progress toward each goal as identified in the Strategic Plan. Please review the schedule below and tune in.

  • November 14 - Goal 3: Academic Growth and Excellence 
  • December 12 - Goal 1: Strong Start 
  • February 20 - Goal 4: Equitable Access and Opportunity 
  • March 19 - Goal 5: Leading for Tomorrow’s Innovation 
  • April 2 - Goal 2: Safe, Supported, Included, and Empowered

Glasgow Community Meeting

The community participated in two meetings in recent weeks to review data and discuss opportunities to reduce the student enrollment at Glasgow Middle School. Thank you to the hundreds of parents/guardians who engaged in these sessions.

The next steps in the process include:

  1. Boundary Scope Recommendations Presented to School Board
  2. Boundary Study Community Meeting
  3. Public Hearing
  4. School Board Action
  5. Fall 2024 New Boundary Effective - anticipated 2024-2025 school year

Visit the dedicated webpage for more information

bus picking up students

Bus Delay Information

Due to continued bus driver shortages, many of the bus routes in our area have a second run bus. We have also encountered some transportation delays. 

If a bus is delayed or more information is needed, parents and guardians can access the FCPS Bus Delay Website or contact the Area Transportation Office.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to sign up to receive Here Comes the Bus notifications.

Parents and guardians can be notified by text, phone call and/or email when a bus is delayed 30 minutes or more by indicting these options through their SIS ParentVUE account.

☎️ Parent Information Phone Lines Available in Eight Languages

Parents/caregivers who speak Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, or Vietnamese may call a telephone information line for general information about FCPS. View the list of phone numbers.

Low-Cost Internet for Free and Reduced-Price Eligible Students 

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to lower internet costs for families with children who have been eligible for free or reduced-price meals within the last 12 months. A qualifying household will receive $30 per month toward internet services and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Check your eligibility and register at or by calling 877-384-2575.


Special Education Parent Involvement Survey

All parents of school-aged children and youth with disabilities who received special education services in Virginia during the 2022-2023 school year are requested to complete the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) annual Parent Involvement Survey. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

This survey will remain open through December 15, 2023. Please complete one survey for each of your children who received special education services during the 2022-2023 school year. If you have any questions regarding this survey, please contact Chiquita Seaborne, Family Engagement Specialist/Special Projects Coordinator via email at or call (804) 225-3898.

High School Transcripts

FCPS has updated high school course titles for courses that receive additional 0.5 or 1.0 weighting. For all enrolled high school students in the 2023-2024 school year and beyond, high school course titles will now reflect:

  • An HN (Honors) for any course that has a 0.5 additional weighting. 
  • An AV (Advanced), AP (Advanced Placement), DE (Dual Enrollment), or IB (International Baccalaureate) for any course that has a 1.0 additional weighting.

The new AV label was created to address several college-level courses that previously had a 1.0 additional weighting without a designation. The course title changes will apply to all weighted courses across all high schools. Students who have already started to enter their senior year courses through any college applications should review their course list to ensure appropriate course titles are included. Please visit the FCPS website for additional information, including how to access transcripts.

a young person scrolls on a cell phone

Cell Phone Use

The Office of Equity & Student Conduct conducted four listening sessions with students and staff to get feedback on proposed changes to the SR&R in the last school year. Overall, the results identified consensus that the new cell phone expectations are valuable. However, some recommendations were provided to enhance clarity of expectations and consistency in response to violations. Visit BoardDocs for a summary of the recommendations provided by the stakeholders, which were incorporated into the 2023-2024 SR&R. 

  • Information regarding cell phones and accommodation requests for use of personally owned devices directs case managers to request an IEP or 504 meeting for any student on their caseload that they believe may need an accommodation for a personally owned device.
  • Staff other than case managers are “persons knowledgeable of the student” and may also request a meeting to consider the need for an accommodation for a personally owned device for a student(s).

Cell Phone Use Highlights

Students in Grades K-6: Phones must be silenced and in backpacks for the duration of the school day. Teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities when appropriate. Cell phones may be used on campus before and after school only.

Students in Grades 7-8: Phones must be silenced and put away for the duration of the school day. Teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities when appropriate. Cell phones may be used on campus only before the first bell and after the last bell. Note: Secondary schools may permit cell phone usage during passing periods, because the three schools support students in grades 7-12 who frequently use the same halls for class change.

Students in Grades 9-12: Phones must be silenced and put away during all instructional periods. Teachers may allow usage of cell phones for instructional activities when appropriate. Cell phones may be used on campus before the first bell, after the last bell, during passing periods, and lunches. 

View Cell Phone Use webpage for full details.

Updates on Grading Policies

For high schools and secondary schools only

FCPS’ Grading Policy was updated for the 2023-2024 school year. The following changes were based on input from students, teachers, parents/caregivers, principals, and staff:

  • FCPS will maintain the current late work policy. Teachers must accept major assignments up to two weeks late. The maximum deduction for that time period is 10%. The current policy, when applied correctly, balances accountability and flexibility.
  • A rolling gradebook gives students more chances to show they understand material. Teachers must use the rolling gradebook along with reassessment policies. These policies let students improve grades on major assessments across quarters. Replacement policies allow later assessments to replace the scores of earlier assessments.
  • Teachers may now assign a 'zero' for assignments that are not turned in. Students who make a reasonable effort to finish an assignment will earn a minimum grade of 50. 

For teachers using a traditional gradebook, the minimum quarter grade that can be issued is 50%. Teachers on a rolling gradebook must use reassessment practices.

In the 2024-2025 school year, all grades will be on a 100-point scale, with 50% as the lowest passing grade for submitted assignments. All high school credit-bearing classes will use the new scale next school year.


Lightspeed Parent Report on Child’s Device Activity

FCPS provides various tools to help parents know more about their child’s activity on any FCPS device. These tools are provided at no cost to families by Lightspeed, the school division’s internet content filtering service.

Parents may sign up for a weekly Parent Report, which will provide a list of the top sites your child visited. The site also offers parents the ability to sign up for free access to the Internet Use Parent Portal. Through the portal, parents may pause their child’s access to the internet on their FCPS device during non-school hours.

Learn more about Lightspeed Parent Reports.

Parental Permission to Use Digital Resources

Some FCPS-approved digital resources require parent consent before they can be used by students. Find the list of resources which require consent on the Parent Consent webpage. This page also includes directions for providing permission. 

Each digital resource used in FCPS has had an instructional and technical review. Information about the educational technology tools approved for use within FCPS can be found in the online Digital Ecosystem Library.

Parents can find more information about FCPS-approved digital resources on the Digital Resources in FCPS webpage.


Chromebooks for Secondary and High School Students

FCPS has changed its high school and secondary student devices to Chromebooks. Students will continue to use web-based tools like Schoology, Google, and online textbooks. 

Parents/caregivers who prefer for their student to bring their own device (BYOD), should make sure it meets FCPS’ minimum requirements. Students who use their own device will not receive an FCPS device. The school tech team will make sure that students have access to an FCPS device for important tests, such as SOLs. FCPS strives to be financially and environmentally responsible. Students who do not use their FCPS device regularly will be asked to return it.

SOL Scores Posted in SIS ParentVUE

Families can see current and historical Standards of Learning (SOL) reports in the SIS ParentVUE Documents section. Log into your ParentVUE account to access the following reports:

Visit FCPS’ website for additional information about assessment reporting practices and timelines.

Support Your Child’s Success

If you do not already have a SIS ParentVUE account, sign up now to monitor and support your child’s academic success. Through ParentVUE, you are able to view your student’s attendance, grades, and assignments at any time. You can also access special reports for your student such as progress reports and assessment score reports. 

Need help creating a SIS ParentVUE account? This video walks through the steps. Find out more about SIS ParentVUE.

Digital PSAT Replaces Paper in Fall 2023

This October, the PSAT/NMSQT will be administered in Fairfax County in a digital format. Some testing accommodations are administered differently for digital tests than for paper/pencil tests. See information about PSAT testing and accommodations for students with disabilities. 

PSAT/NMSQT and SAT School Day

The district will offer access to the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT School Day for rising 10th through 12th grade students at no cost to families. Exams will be held at each high school on October 11, 2023.

Find out more about SAT Assessments and PSAT Assessments in FCPS.

Career and Technical Education

The FCPS Career and Technical Education Program offers a variety of career and technical programs to all middle and high school students. The program areas include the following:

For more information about Career and Technical Education call 571-423-4526 or visit the Career and Technical Education webpage. Visit ADA accommodations for more information or to request accommodations.


Family Resource Center

Free Resources for Families

Did you know that caregivers can access free webinars, confidential consultations, a lending library, and resources to help adults support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities? Learn more about FCPS’ Family Resource Center.


In-Person Tutors Needed

FCPS needs qualified tutors to provide in-person academic support to small groups of students. These FCPS tutors will be paid an hourly rate of $48.58. The position is flexible, and the amount you work and where you work will be based on your availability, qualifications, and the needs presented throughout FCPS. However, tutors must be able to work at least three days a week for a total of 12 hours a week on a consistent basis.

Apply now! Email for more information. 

Note: Current FCPS staff can only apply to tutor outside of their contracted hours. Is Still Free for All FCPS Students

Online tutoring through is still available to ALL FCPS students as a resource for both support and enrichment. Last school year, more than 12,000 students participated in approximately 70,000 tutoring sessions. will remain available to all FCPS students at no cost this school year.

Student Bus Passes

bus pass


2023 Bond Referendum

The School Board approved a resolution requesting that the Board of Supervisors (BOS) approve a School Bond Referendum, supporting the division and county’s commitment to providing safe and welcoming learning environments for all students. 

The School Bond Referendum will be on the November 2023 general election ballot in the principal amount of $435 million.

The funding provided by voter-approved bonds will provide construction funds for seven elementary schools; planning and design funds for eight elementary school renovations and one middle school renovation; and funds for three modular relocations, security vestibules, and inflation adjustments for prior bond projects. These projects are identified in the FY 2024-28 Capital Improvement Program which was approved by the School Board in February. 

The building and renovation of FCPS schools is not funded through the division’s operating budget. Voter-approved bonds allow payment for these projects over time. Read more about the 2023 Bond Referendum. 

Recent Appointments


Chief Equity Officer

Dr. Nardos King was appointed Chief Equity Officer for FCPS, effective July 1, 2023 after serving in the role as an interim since 2021. 

Prior to her current position, King served as the Assistant Superintendent for Region 3, an Executive Principal for Region 1, Assistant Superintendent for secondary schools in Baltimore County, and Principal of Mount Vernon High School.

Learn more about Dr. King and the Office of Chief Equity Officer.


Chief of Schools

Dr. Geovanny Ponce joins FCPS as Chief of Schools after serving as the Assistant Superintendent of High Schools for Houston Independent School District, the eighth largest public school system in the nation.

Welcome to Fairfax County, Dr. Ponce!

Read more about Dr. Ponce and the Office of Chief of Schools.


Interim Assistant Superintendent, Department of Special Services

Dr. Terri Edmunds-Heard was appointed Assistant Superintendent (interim) for the Department of Special Services in July 2023 after serving most recently as the Executive Principal for School Improvement for Region 5.

Dr. Edmunds-Heard brings a wealth of experience to the Department of Special Services. In addition to her experience as a division leader, she has taught as a special education teacher and served as a special education department chair and a school administrator over special education. Read more about Dr. Edmunds-Heard.


Region 6 Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Michelle Boyd was named to the role of Assistant Superintendent for the newly launched Region 6, effective July 1, 2023. 

Dr. Boyd has extensive experience supporting principals, schools, students, and families in her various leadership roles. She has served as the Assistant Superintendent for the Department of Special Services since 2020. Learn more about Dr. Boyd.

The schools within Region 6 include those in the Annandale Pyramid.


Region 2 Executive Principal

Margaret Barnes has been named the new Executive Principal of Region 2, effective July 5, 2023. 

Ms. Barnes, who most recently serving as the principal at Holmes Middle School, has over 20 years of experience in FCPS. She brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of leadership in a diverse school setting to the region office.

Learn more about Ms. Barnes.


Holmes Principal

Serena Giron has been selected as the new Principal of Holmes Middle School, effective September 20, 2023.

Most recently, Ms. Giron served as the Director of Student Services at Holmes. She has a deep understanding of Holmes' unique culture and first-hand insight into its strengths and challenges.

Learn more about Principal Giron.


Edison Principal 

Ms. Amanda Burke has been selected as the next Principal of Edison High School. Ms. Burke most recently served as Acting Principal at Rocky Run Middle School and has previously served as Assistant Principal at Chantilly High School and Woodson High School. 

Ms. Burke started her teaching career in FCPS at Edison as a special education teacher in 2000. Welcome “home,” Ms. Burke! Learn more about Principal Burke.


Calling All Alumni!

All FCPS graduates (of any year) are invited to join the FCPS Alumni Network. You are an essential part of FCPS’ effort to build a strong and interconnected community. By filling out this form, you will help FCPS create a directory of graduates, facilitating connections and providing opportunities for collaboration and engagement with FCPS. 

The FCPS Department of School Improvement and Support (DSIS) has identified schools with the most need for targeted in-person tutoring for students. The district is recruiting qualified tutors who will be matched to schools based on this need.

Job Opportunities

Visit our Operational Gateway for all Operational jobs. View our most recently posted operational jobs.

Visit our Administrative Gateway for all Administrative jobs. View our most recently posted administrative jobs.

Visit our Current Job Openings web page for all posted positions.

For coaching positions, visit our coaching opportunities web page.


Student Board Member Message

Hi everyone,

I hope your school year is going well!

My name is Rida Karim, and I will be serving as your Student Representative for the 2023-24 school year. Last year, I had the privilege of being a part of the Student Equity Ambassador Lead program (SEALs), where I served on the Access to Technology Committee. During our involvement, we identified a critical issue - the lack of STEM opportunities for the youth. In response, we took action and established an organization called Technology Youth Empowerment, or TYE.

TYE's primary mission is to bridge the gap in STEM education for elementary schools in our county that may not have the same opportunities as others. Our dedicated team has been visiting these schools to promote STEM education, covering a wide range of topics, from computer science to physics to Engineering.

We believe that the impact of our initiative can be greatly expanded with the involvement of representatives from different high schools who share our passion for STEM education. That's why we are excited to invite you to join us in this meaningful journey.

We are currently seeking enthusiastic individuals who are willing to dedicate their time and expertise to teach STEM education at the elementary school level. Your role as a representative will be instrumental in inspiring and empowering young minds to explore the wonders of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

If you are interested in becoming a part of TYE and making a positive impact on the education of our community's youth, please let me know by sending me a note through the “Submit a question” feature on the School Board’s website.  I can then send you further information. The application deadline is October 11, 2023. Should you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Your inquiries are always welcome, and I would be delighted to provide any clarification or guidance.

Warm regards,


School Board Meeting Calendar: SY 2023-2024

Regular School Board Meetings:

2023: October 12 & 26; November 9 & 20; December 4 & 14

2024: January 11 & 25; February 8 & 22; March 7 & 21; April 11 & 25; May 9 & 23; June 13 & 27; July 11 


Upcoming meetings:

Regular School Board Meetings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • October 12, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
  • October 26, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Public Hearings (Luther Jackson Middle School)

  • October 10, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. (Woodson Renaming)
  • October 12, 2023 at 6:15 p.m. (VDOE Comprehensive Plan)

Work Sessions (Gatehouse Administration Center)

  • October 10, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
  • October 24, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

All meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and on the FCPS website. The meetings are recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Visit the community participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting or public hearing.

The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

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