Weekly News From South County High School


Important Upcoming Dates

Message from Dr. Khoshaba

We have had another fantastic week of celebrations, along with a few new topics that I need parental help with. So here we go!

As long as last week’s newsletter was, it still didn’t capture everything that happened for Homecoming Week. From a security standpoint, it was one of the best we’ve ever had. I want to take time to recognize and thank Mr. Wooten, our Director of Student Activities, as well as the entire administrative team and security for their help. We strategically changed several things, and that helped us significantly improve the experience that our Stallion audience had at the event. From the game itself, as well as the Band, Dance Team, Color Guard, and Singing Stallions, our students and staff put on one heck of a show! Check out these pictures from that Friday night.



Last Saturday night was our Homecoming Dance, and Mrs. Peck and her committee truly set a new standard for decorations, organizations, and entertainment. The theme, A Night in Paris, got our students motivated to “dress in their best” and dance into the night. It was certainly a great time for all who attended! As you can see in one picture, even some of our more, … ahem, “seasoned” Stallions were able to enjoy themselves!



I want to take a moment to thank Mr. Aldo Razo for all of his help with the pictures he takes at our events. You can certainly tell the sharpness of HIS images versus the one’s I grab. Aldo spends his time to capture the special moments at our school, and he does out of the generosity of his heart, never charging us a penny! Thanks for all you do to support SoCo, Aldo!

Last Saturday, October 7, the SCHS Quiz Bowl team traveled to Washington DC to tape an episode of the local TV quiz show “It’s Academic!”  Morgan Koerwitz, Maddie Rumberger, and Matthew Walsh matched wits against students from Blake HS and Fairfax HS to answer trivia questions across a variety of subjects.  (Sorry, no spoilers!)  Also in attendance to support the team were student alternate Tavien Erwin, coaches Mr. Bird and Mr. Greiling, and several family members decked out in their SCHS finest.  We are very proud of how everybody represented the school.  Please tune in to WETA on Sat November 4 to watch the episode.  It will air at both 10 am and 7 pm.




This past week, we had so many positive memories made! One of my favorite events was the installation of our latest mural. This is a one-of-a-kind, 3-D mural that was especially made for our students with sensory conditions, such as Autism. The material on the horse is made of four different textures, and the flag and pole are two additional textures. Unlike other murals, this one is INTENDED to be touched! We are planning a dedication ceremony for late-November/early-December, so let me know if you want to attend by emailing my Administrative Assistant, Connie Gibson, at ccgibson@fcps.edu.



I also had an unexpected “reveal” this week. While waiting for a substitute to show up to a classroom, I saw two student leaders emerge with my own eyes. As I asked for who was interested in being the “President” and running the class until the substitute showed up, Matthew stepped up and shared that the students were expected to pull out their books for sustained silent reading (their typical practice). To support him, a second student, and Malcolm, confirmed Matthew’s message and encouraged his classmates to listen. They were a powerful duo, and it made my day that they saw this fun opportunity to step up and be role models. If I haven’t said it enough, I love our students and the energy they bring to SoCo!



For my instructional highlight of the week, I’m shining the spotlight on Mrs. Straughn’s Spanish Heritage class. She developed a VERY creative lesson about reviewing verb conjugations as students moved between nine gaming stations, including Tic Tac Toe, Battleship, and Jenga. The energy and enthusiasm she brings to her students is something I know they appreciate about her!



We also had a FANTASTIC Senior Night with our Field Hockey team! On a cool night, it was wonderful to see such heartfelt feelings of pride from our parents about their student-athletes, all of whom are reaching true milestones in their lives. I want to thank everyone in attendance for showing these wonderfully talented Stallions the love and respect that we have for them! I’d like to also note that we had a special treat that night, as our goalie started the game off for us by singing the National Anthem. Her singing talent is beyond phenomenal, as it was one of the best versions I’ve EVER heard!



We also hosted a huge Stemfest event this past Saturday. Students of all ages arrived on campus despite the raining weather condition. Once inside, they enjoyed observing and participating in a variety of STEM-related activities. I had a great time interacting with our current and future students, as well as with our parents.



In this final section of this week’s newsletter, I need your support in four areas. First, please remind your student(s) that we are a closed campus, which means we do not accept outside deliveries for lunch or any other kinds of refreshments. Please reinforce with your child that ordering from a delivery service during school is not allowed.  Students will often have a delivery driver come to an entrance other than Door 1, which compromises the safety of the entire school. Our staff does not have the capacity to manage food deliveries and will not open the doors for Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash or any other service. Students should not be leaving the building to meet anyone for deliveries either. 

If your child forgets their lunch, parents or guardians can bring lunch and drop it off in the main office for your child to pick up. We strongly encourage parents/guardians to load at least a few dollars on your child’s lunch account for situations where they have forgotten lunch. There are a number of options served at lunch, including a salad bar this year!

Second, attendance matters. Maintaining 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 learning is a day toward success. Keep in mind that absences add up quickly, including those that are excused. Students who are absent 10% of the school year are considered Chronically Absent (CA) by the state of Virginia. Last year, we were in “Warning” by the Virginia for having too many students who were CA. Let’s work together to prioritize students being in school.

Third, I am hearing from student drivers and our security team that some parents are making the driving experience for our students more difficult than it needs to be. Please remember that most of our students have been driving for less than a year, so we need to give them extra patience and grace. Here are a few things that will help ensure a safe driving experience for everyone and avoid collisions.

  1. Be mindful of our speed limit of 5mph. We’re getting signs made and they’ll be posted soon, but students have voiced concerns about drivers speeding through the parking lots, which makes them nervous.
  2. When leaving the parking lot after dropping off students, we often have congestion with students who are entering the parking lot and parents who are trying to leave. This happens most often near the stadium. Our security staff will prioritize getting students to park and arrive to class on time, which may cause delays for parents to exit the parking lot. Please plan ahead to avoid getting caught in this traffic, which most often occurs between 7:55 and 8:10am.
  3. When turning left out of one of the lanes (to travel in a direction toward Laurel Crest), please stay to the right of the lane. This will allow students to have enough room to turn right to go to their spaces.

Finally, if you are picking your student up prior to the regular dismissal time, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible to get your student from class. The minimum request is for (2) two hours’ notice. Without such notice, there will be a delay in getting your student from class. Again, please plan ahead when you are able.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.



#One Stallion

Together As One!



Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Employee Awards! To submit a nomination for a South County High School Outstanding Employee in one of the categories below, please complete the nomination through this Google form. You may nominate one employee at our school or multiple employees (one individual may only nominate one employee per category.) All that is required for a preliminary nomination is a paragraph or two about how this employee demonstrates exceptional work in the criteria for that category. The google form link has more information regarding the criteria for each of these awards and the eligibility requirements are below:

Outstanding Teacher 

Eligibility: Has at least three years of experience as a teacher (in any school/school district); librarians are included in this category

Outstanding New Teacher

Eligibility: Has up to three years of experience as a teacher (in any school/school district); librarians are included in this category

Outstanding Principal

Eligibility: Has at least three years of experience as a building principal (in any school/school district)

Outstanding Leader 

Eligibility: At least one year of experience in their current position as a Schedule-C or School-Based Administrator scale employee (that is not the building principal):

Common positions in this category: Assistant and Associate Principals, Director of Student Activities, Director of Student Services

Outstanding Professional Employee 

Eligibility: At least one year experience in current position as a Schedule-B employee or other non-instructional employee in a school that supports school leadership

Common positions in this category: School-Based Technology Specialist, Technology Support Specialist, Assessment Coach, Career Center Specialist, Instructional Coach, Psychologist, Social Worker, School Counselor, Safety and Security Specialist, Resource Teachers that serve in an administrative role in a school.

Outstanding Operational Employee

Eligibility: At least one year of experience in current position as Schedule-A or Classroom Instructional Support Scale employee

Common positions in this category: Administrative and Office Staff, Safety and Security Assistant, Custodial Staff, Food Service Staff, IA, PHA, PHTA, All Parent Liaisons (regardless of how they are paid) 

The deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, November 3.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Beskenis at ltbeskenis@fcps.edu

trick or treat


substances misuse

It’s true, teens are more likely to listen to peers rather than their parents, this is part of this stage in development. When a baby is born, the brain’s sole responsibility is focused on keeping them alive. As they grow into adolescence, finding their tribe becomes important. Think about your top three happiest memories up to this point in life. What were you doing? How did you feel? Who was there? Each of these memories was likely a shared experience with others. Likely you were laughing and smiling with loved ones, maybe food was involved. Now shift to think about your three worst memories. What was going on? How did you feel? Who was there? In each of these memories, you likely were alone or felt alone.

Substance use becomes a problem for some because they either are or feel alone. Connection is an important aspect in our everyday lives. Fairfax County’s “Three to Succeed” describes protective factors to help youth achieve their higher selves. If a child has at least three of these protective factors, they are more likely to succeed in life. They include: having high personal integrity, trusted adults to talk to, performing community service, participating in extracurricular activities, teacher recognition of effort and good work, and parents availability for help. What is noticed is that five of the six protective factors involve connection with someone else, and the first protective factor describes connection with self.

Helpful Resources:

Knowing the Signs: Substance Abuse & Today’s Youth

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Substance Use Prevention & Encouraging Healthy Brain Development

REVIVE Training for Opioid Overdoses

FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270 and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @FCPSSAPS.


For further information & support:

Catric W. Marshall, MS., LPC., CCC

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist



South County High School PTSO is partnering with Seasonal Roots, a local online farmers market,  to bring healthy, delicious food to our community, to support local farmers and artisans, and to raise money to support the All Night Grad Party for our seniors!

Seasonal Roots is an online farmers market that delivers “dirt to doorstep”  to families in Maryland and Virginia. Each week the market offers more than 150 items that are all grown and produced locally, sustainably, and ethically. Market items include fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, baked goods, prepared foods, vegan specialties and more.

As part of this fundraiser for ANGP - new customers can join Seasonal Roots for 50% off the membership fee (a $25 savings!)

PLUS for every new customer who signs up, a $20 donation will be made to South County PTSO! WIN-WIN for everyone!  Be sure to use promotional code SOCOANGP at https://www.seasonalroots.com/socoangp. 



The Lorton Holiday Extravaganza & Craft Show 


It’s time to spread the word…The South County PTSO is in of Student and Parent Volunteers to distribute flyers promoting the 18th Annual Lorton Holiday Extravaganza & Craft Show. Please, take a moment to check out our sign-up genius and see if you could spare an hour or two! 

All students will receive volunteer credits. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0949ACAF2BAAFD0-45077117-publicity

The PTSO is collecting gently used books of all types for the Santa’s Book Emporium.

Books may be dropped off in the bins at Entrance 1 at SCHS or if are unable to get them to the school you may email SCHSCraftShow@gmail.com and arrange to pick them up!

papa johns


The South County High School All Night Graduation Party (ANGP) Committee has secured a year long (school year) fundraiser with our local Papa John's! EVERY Thursday from now until June, if you use the coupon Code SCSS4010, you will get 40% off your order and the ANGP will get 10% of all sales.  This is for our local Papa John's only (Off Silverbrook Rd).

So save this coupon code and use it every Thursday you are in the mood for Pizza!  This is a great way to support our local Papa John's AND support the ANGP at the same time!


Your ANGP Planning Committee

food qr

Fall Sports Concession Stand Sign-Up

Fall Sports are underway and we need your help! In order for us to keep our concession stand up and running we need volunteers to assist us on game nights. The revenue generated through concession serves as the SCHS Athletic Booster Club's primary source of funding. The money earned goes right back to the sports teams to cover the costs of equipment, uniforms, and field maintenance! Any family can volunteer! You do not need to have a student participating in Fall Sports to make an impact! Visit the link below or the QR code and consider helping us out one night! You're assistance is greatly appreciated.


The South County Police Station and Animal Shelter (SCPSAS) will official open Saturday,  October 28th.

To commemorate this day, we are planning an Open House Celebration in conjunction with the Building Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

In attendance at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony will be the Chief of Police, command level officers, the County Executive , the Board Supervisors, Senator(s), Congressmen, and other County Officials.

This event will be highly publicized and covered by both the County and Police Department Public Affairs Offices.

I also expect other various news organizations (Connection News Paper, Washington Post, etc.) to cover the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will begin at 10:00 AM; followed by the Police Department and Animal Shelter Open House from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

At that time, the Police Department and Animal Shelter will invite the Lorton Community into the new facility where we intend to stage the back station parking lot with a host of police, fire, and INOVA displays, along with the shelter pet adoption, therapy dogs, and many other vendors who will be provide entertainment, games, and food for the attending community parents and their children.

Awareness Month

Disability month

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. 


LGBTQIA+ History Month

LGBTQIA+ History Month is recognized in October nationwide. We acknowledge and celebrate that LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families are an integral component of our nation. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

National Bullying Prevention Month

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.  

South County ATHLETICS



For the latest news, scores, and schedules

please visit our website.

Athletics & Activities Website: 



Email Basic Rounded Lineal icon Email: southcountyhigh.attendance@fcps.edu

Call, dial, phone, telephone icon - Download on Iconfinder Phone: 703-446-1625







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