WPHS News You Choose - 9/30/23

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 Content

  • Important Dates
  • Principal's Message
  • Homecoming Dance Information
  • Attendance Tip
  • Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health / Hazel Health
  • School News
  • PTSA News - Join Today
  • Student Volunteer Opportunity
  • School Fundraisers
  • Class of 2024 Fundraisers

Important Dates

  • Ongoing – POWER UP West Potomac! PTSA Direct Donation Campaign 
  • September 30: Homecoming Dance, 8:00 PM 
  • October 9: No School for Students - Staff Development Day
  • October 11: PSAT Day - 10th/11th, SAT Day - 12th who signed up
  • October 12: 3rd Annual Swap-n-Shop Fundraiser to Benefit WP Class of 2024
  • October 14: Chips & Paint, Class of 2024 Fundraiser
  • October 15: College Fair,4-7 p.m. Eagle Bank Arena
  • October 16 & October 17: Postsecondary Virtual Event, 5-8 p.m.
  • October 17: Raffle Drawing, Win a Family Photo Session by Renée C. Gage
  • October 28: WP Dance Team Fundraiser, Clean Out Your Closets
  • November 8, 9, and 13: The 2023 World Languages Credit Exam 

Principal's Message

Wolverine Community,

While it was only a four day school week, it was a busy Homecoming Week at West Potomac!  It was great to see such school spirit and Wolverine Pride all week long.  My thanks to our Student Government Association for planning Tropical Homecoming!  Below are a few photos from the week.  We’ll finish Homecoming Week with our dance tonight.  You can also find a few reminders about tonight’s dance below.   

As we continue through the school year you will see consistent messaging reminding the importance of good attendance for all students.  As we know, good attendance is an important life skill that will help students succeed in school and beyond.  You can learn more about the importance of good attendance as well as what defines Chronic Absenteeism here.  Please take a moment and review this week’s attendance tip below.

Looking ahead in October a reminder that October 9 is a Staff Development Day and there is no school for students.  October 11 is our PSAT/SAT day and is a two hour early release.  The PSAT will be administered to all 10th and 11th graders digitally – so students should be sure to bring their charged laptop to school that day.  12th graders who signed up to take the SAT will also report.  Their SAT test will be traditional paper/pencil.  Senior families will get a reminder of their SAT status (whether they signed up or not).  9th graders will have an unscheduled school day and are encouraged to complete any missing work or assignments while at home.  More information will be shared by our Assessment Coach Ms. Watt in the coming days.  If you have any questions about PSAT/SAT Day you can reach Ms. Watt at rwatt@fcps.edu

Wishing you a great weekend and look forward to seeing many of our students tonight at the Homecoming Dance!

Take care,

Kevin McMahon

Interim Principal

Homecoming Court

West Potomac 2023 Homecoming Court

Pep Rally

West Potomac 2023 Homecoming Pep Rally

Club Fair

One Wednesday during advisory 9th and 10th graders were invited to the Gym to learn about the many clubs at West Potomac!


SATURDAY September 30th@ 8PM-11PM

  • Our SGA is planning a beautiful dance in celebration of homecoming week this year on September 30th. 2023.  The dance will take place in the Main Gym between the hours of 8:00pm and 11:00pm.  We look forward to seeing as many Wolverines as possible.   To make it a positive experience for all who are in attendance, we have outlined a few guidelines that everybody must adhere to in order to participate.
  • Doors will open at 7:50pm. There will no admittance to the building before that time unless specifically permitted by a school official.
  • Entrance to the dance will be through Door 1 only. When leaving the dance, you must exit through Door 27only.
  • There will be no admission to the dance after 9:30pm. Doors will be locked.
  • The dance will end promptly at 11:00pm. The building will close right away, please make arrangements for transportation off campus at that time.
  • No tickets will be sold at the door.
  • Student ID must be presented at the gate for admission.
  • No bags or purses will be permitted into the dance.
  • Small bags the size of a clutch (5-by-9-by-2 inches) are PERMITTED
  • No personal items of any kind will be allowed to be brought in unless specifically permitted by school officials.
  • No outside food/drinks will be allowed.
  • We ask that all attendees behave themselves in an appropriate manner. Please treat all other guests with respect.  School officials do reserve the right to remove anybody for inappropriate or unruly behavior. 
  • All tickets sales are final. No refunds

If all attendees follow these guidelines, the dance will be a success.  We are looking forward to a fun and exciting homecoming dance!

Thank you,

Matt MacDonald

Director of Student Activities

West Potomac High School

Attendance Tip: Scheduling Family Trips or Events

  • When scheduling trips or family events, try to use weekends and school holidays, and refer to the FCPS Calendar when planning. Every day of learning is a day toward success. Keep in mind that absences add up quickly. Students who are absent 10% of the school year (or just two days per month) are considered chronically absent.
  • When possible, schedule appointments for your child outside of school hours. If your child needs to miss school because of an illness or another reason, you must report the absence to their school. West Potomac has links to their attendance email or notification systems on their homepages. If you are unsure how to report an absence, please call your school’s front office.
  • Watch this video with tips on understanding our school calendar and visit our Attendance webpage for additional information. Attend today, achieve tomorrow!

Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health

Children go through a lot of changes, and it can be hard to tell if their behavior is developmentally appropriate or if they could benefit from mental health support. It’s important to talk to your child and pay attention to their actions, especially these warning signs:

  • Increased irritability, hyperactivity, energy, and/or aggressive behavior.
  • Excessive sadness, hopelessness, or worries.
  • Loss of appetite, or significant weight gain or loss.
  • Lack of sleep or too much sleep.
  • A decline in grades, school avoidance, or attendance concerns.
  • Alcohol or drug use.
  • Withdrawal from activities and/or friends and family. 
  • Thoughts of harming themselves or others.

If you notice any of these warning signs or feel your child may be experiencing a mental health challenge, help is available. All Fairfax County public schools have at least one school counselor, school psychologist, and school social worker.

Please reach out to one of these staff members to discuss your concerns and identify resources. Call your school or visit their website for staff members’ contact information. Find additional information to support your child’s wellness

If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health crisis such as thoughts of harming themselves or others, please take action right away. Call 988, go to the nearest emergency room, or contact the Sharon Bulova Center for Community Health Emergency Services at 703-573-5679.

No Cost Therapy for High Schoolers

High school students can access virtual mental health services at no cost through an FCPS program with Hazel Health. Hazel Health therapists are licensed and also trained in teen-specific challenges.

Students can be referred by a guardian or designated staff member and participate in weekly video therapy sessions. The therapists will work with students until they achieve their therapy goals, or they can help connect the family with long-term mental health services in the community if needed. 

Learn how to opt your students into this service.

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 – Tonight 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

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.

College & Career Center:

  • The 2023 College Fair will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena from 4:00 - 7:00 pm. Approximately 250 colleges and universities will be represented, including two and four-year colleges and US Service Academies.
  • Following the fair, the Two-Night Postsecondary Virtual Event will be held on Monday, October 16 and Tuesday, October 17, 2023, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. Students and their families are encouraged to register for these events if they plan to attend.  Both events will help students be better prepared for the next chapter of their educational journey. 

SENIORS ONLY:  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA usually opens on October 1st for college bound seniors to complete.  The federal government is still working on revising the FAFSA & it will not open until December.  DO NOT complete the current FAFSA application.  Seniors & parents, check your email for a financial aid newsletter from Mrs. Young.

Dig Pink

PTSA News 

  • PTSA Direct Donation Campaign:  POWER UP WEST POTOMAC!!  
    • GOAL #1  - $10,000 – SUPER GOAL #2 - $20,000
    • 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

Win a Family Photo Session by Renée C. Gage:

  • The WP PTSA is excited to announce a raffle to win a Renée C. Gage Family Portrait Session valued at $450

Session includes:

  • Family Photo Session with Renée C. Gage Photography
  • 1- 8 x 10 Fine Linen Print
  • Additional Photos available for purchase
  • Winner can select a location in either Old Town, Alexandria or in the Fort Hunt Area *Must be redeemed within a year from winning.
  • Raffle will take place on Tues, October 17th, 2023  
  • Raffle ticket:  $10.00 for 1 entry. Or $25.00 for 3 Entries . To purchase  please visit this link

About Renée C. Gage, photography: Renée is a local Master Photographer who has specialized in capturing families, children, expectant mothers, and professionals with her camera for over twenty years. In 2020 and 2021. Two of Renée’s images won the prestigious “Best Portrait of a Child” award from the Virginia Professional Photographers Association and “Ascend” was named Top 50 Portraits of a Child in the United States - www.reneecgage.com           



  • 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


  • 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 Fundraisers

  • Chips & Paint Class of 2024 Fundraiser
  • The Class of 2024 is having a Chips & Paint Event for parents, teachers, staff, and teens. Come and spend a relaxing morning painting a beautiful beach landscape with one of our exceptional arts teachers at West Potomac High School. We look forward to seeing you on October 14th.
    • Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023
    • Location: West Potomac High School, Springbank- Room 504
    • Time: 11am-1pm
    • Limit: 25 people
    • Cost: $25.00
  • Please email Ms. Hackshaw or Ms. Simpson for more information. chackshaw@fcps.edu jsimpson1@fcps.edu
  • This is event is open to the entire community. A link will be sent out next Tuesday, September 26th. Light refreshments will be served.
Food Truck