Herndon MS Updates - Oct 2

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In this Update

🌟 HMS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
🌟 Attendance Tips
🌟 Social and Emotional Learning Screener
🌟 Volunteers Needed: Vision and Hearing Screening
🌟 Supporting Your Child’s Mental Health
🌟 Participants Needed: Volleyball Competitions
🌟 Calendar Reminders

...and more!

FCPS Cares


The FCPS Cares Program is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. Herndon Middle School invites you to submit your story here, so we can all acknowledge the good work of our FCPS employees.

Disability History and Awareness Month


In Virginia during October, Disability History and Awareness activities provide an opportunity to create greater public awareness for individuals with disabilities, with the goal of full inclusion in our community.


Federal Impact Aid Survey

This year, the Federal Impact Aid Survey will be available electronically to all families through their ParentVUE account. For families without ParentVUE or who prefer to complete a paper version, printed forms will be provided by the school the week of October 30. A completed survey is required for each school-age child in the household.

The electronic surveys will be processed by the Impact Aid office in IT. A printed form will not be required, therefore, families are strongly encourage to complete the survey electronically!

Yearbook Cover Competition

We want your designs! Encourage your student to submit a yearbook cover design for this school year! Our theme is "We Rise by Lifting Others".


Submissions must be made by October 30th in this google form.


For more information, contact Ms. Loy at laloy@fcps.edu.



HMS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month


Parents and guardians, please join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month on October 11th from 5:30 to 7:30pm, in the Cafeteria. Everyone is welcomed!

Attendance Tip: Scheduling Family Trips or Events


Good attendance is an important life skill that will help students succeed in school and beyond.

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. Most schools have 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!

Social and Emotional Learning Screener Offered in October

One of the ways FCPS supports the mental wellness of all students is the SEL Screener.  

The screener is offered to all students in grades 3-12 in October and again in February or March. It addresses skills like achieving goals, understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining relationships with adults and peers, and making responsible decisions. 

The SEL Screener also helps students evaluate their school community’s efforts to make them feel valued, included, and supported. Screener data is used to create the learning, experiences, and environments students need to be successful. Key updates to the screener this year include:

  • Different versions for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12. 
  • Fewer topics with more questions to provide schools and families with more data to support planning. 
  • Additional questions aligned with FCPS’ commitment to educational equity.  

SEL Screener results are sent to families via postal mail. Families who wish to opt their child out should complete the opt-out form in the Annual Notice packet or in SIS ParentVUE. 

For more information, please visit the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener webpage or contact your child’s school. 

Please note that the SEL Screener differs from the anonymous Fairfax County Youth Survey

Volunteers Needed: Vision and Hearing Screening

We will have our annual Vision & Hearing Screenings for students on October 16th and 17th from 7:20am to 2:20pm. We are looking for parent and college volunteers to help with the screening. No experience is necessary! Volunteers will receive a quick training at 7:00 AM on both days. Snacks and water will be provided throughout the day. 

If interested, please email hjung1@fcps.edu and eparedesizag@fcps.edu or call (703) 904-4800.

Projects Funded by Recent School Bonds


Thanks to the support of Fairfax County citizens who approved the 2019 and 2021 bond referendums, projects have been funded at Armstrong, Bonnie Brae, Braddock, Bren Mar Park, Brookfield, Crossfield, Dranesville, Fox Mill, Herndon, Hybla Valley, Lees Corner, Louise Archer, Mosaic, Oak Hill, Wakefield Forest, Washington Mill, and Willow Springs, elementary schools; Cooper and Frost middle schools; and Centreville, Falls Church, Justice, Madison, and West Potomac high schools. 

Not only do our facilities wear out over time, but they also become outdated, from both a technological and instructional standpoint. FCPS renovates its schools to ensure that students across the division have high quality, effective learning environments.

Watch some of the ribbon-cutting celebrations. Follow the status of FCPS capital projects for updates on renovation projects. 

The 2023 Bond Referendum will be on the ballot in November. Vote on Tuesday, November 7. Learn about registering to vote


Student Services Breakdown


Shirnesha Simpkins Church
Director of Student Services

School Counselor

Danielle Mascoll
Last Names: A-Garc

Safiyah Muhammad
Last Names: Garr-Om

Colene Luczak
Last Names: Or-Zu

Susanna Fry


Ashley Van Gelder
Social Worker (CSS)

Toni Tupper
Social Worker

Kelley Wells


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.

Free COVID-19 Tests

Every U.S. household can place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home.

Review health and safety guidance for schools to stay up to date on the best ways to prevent the spread of disease, and for information on when students should stay home from school.

From Night Hawk

Participants Needed: Volleyball Competitions

There’s still time to be a part of the HMS Volleyball competitions on October 12th and 19th at 5:30pm. We are looking to form 2 teams to play against Carson MS and Hughes MS. Practices take place on Wednesdays during Block B (3:15 to 4:50pm).

No Night Hawk on Friday, October 6

Due to the extended weekend, we will not offer Night Hawk on Friday, October 6.


National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. To help develop a common understanding of Bullying, below is the FCPS definition:

Bullying in Students Rights and Responsibilities is defined as: “Any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma. “Bullying” includes cyberbullying. “Bullying” does not include ordinary teasing, horseplay, argument, or peer conflict.”

For more information on how FCPS handles a bullying situation please visit the FCPS Bullying Prevention and Intervention webpage. Our goal is to ensure all students feel safe and welcome at school. If you have questions and/or concerns about something that is going on at school, please contact the front office so that they can support you and most importantly your student.  

Indigenous Peoples’ Day


Indigenous Peoples' Day honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of Native peoples, past and present. This year, Monday, October 9, is a student holiday and staff development day. Learn more about Indigenous Peoples’ Day from the National Museum of the American Indian. See the complete school year calendar.



  • 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


  • Native American Heritage Month
  • Military Family Appreciation Month
  • 3: End of 1st Quarter and 2-Hour Early Release
  • 6: No School
  • 7: Election Day - No School

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