Belvedere News and Announcements - November 17, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Families,

We are delighted to share the highlights of another fantastic week at our school. Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday brought together over 230 families, creating a heartwarming atmosphere filled with joy and smiles in the cafeteria. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the families who joined us, as your partnership plays a crucial role in creating precious memories for your children.

On Thursday evening, Dr. Diane Leipzig, FCPS Principal in Residence for the Equitable Access to Literacy Plan, provided valuable insights into the changes related to the Language Arts progress report. Parents had the opportunity to learn more about supporting their child at home in building strong foundations for literacy.  Additionally, our AAP Resource Teacher, Ms. Walsh, hosted an informative session about our Advanced Academic Program on Wednesday night, with another virtual session scheduled for next Monday.

In other exciting news, our 4th graders embarked on a fascinating field trip to Jamestown this Tuesday. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated parent chaperones and teachers who made this educational experience both enjoyable and enriching for our students.

As we look ahead, please note that there will be school next Monday and Tuesday. Following that, we will observe a break from Wednesday to Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Classes will resume on Monday, November 27th. Wishing you all a restful and joyous Thanksgiving celebration with your loved ones.

Best regards,

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal

Tara Boone, Assistant Principal

Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal 


Family Survey on IB Program

Dear Belvedere Families,

Belvedere Elementary School is approaching the International Baccalaureate evaluation, which happens every five years after a school has been authorized as an IB world school. During evaluation, IB staff will be visiting Belvedere and will assess the school’s implementation of the IB program. In preparation for the IB evaluation, the entire school community is asked to reflect on the school’s implementation of the Primary Years Program. To support this process, we kindly ask for your feedback and thank you in advance for completing the following survey. Below are links to the survey both in English and in Spanish. We sincerely appreciate your time and reflection.



A note from Jaclyn Walsh, Advanced Academics Resource Teacher

FCPS provides a continuum of services to challenge and engage all students. Full-time AAP services support students in grades 3-5. To learn more about full-time AAP services, please join me for a virtual session on Monday, November 20th from 12 - 1 PM. Link below. 

Additional information can be found at the FCPS AAP site using this link. Please note parent referrals are due by Dec 15, 2023. 

Topic: Parent Orientation for Screening and Identification for Full-Time AAP Services

Time: Nov 20, 2023 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting 

Phone one-tap:           US: +13126266799,,92495915433#,,,,*968205# or +16469313860,,92495915433#,,,,*968205# 

Join URL:  

Meeting ID:     924 9591 5433

Passcode:       968205

Belvedere Outdoor Club

Join Outdoor Club trip on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at Lake Accotink Park! Outdoor Club meets on select Saturday mornings to explore local parks with students and their families. Bus transportation is available from Belvedere and Barcroft View apartments. More information and permission slips were sent home in Friday folders (also available here). Space is limited and participation is first come, first served, as forms are received. 

This year’s remaining Outdoor Club trips are tentatively scheduled for 1/20, 3/16, 4/13, and 5/18. Please contact our Environmental Educator, Andrea Auerbach ( with questions.

Dads at Belvedere (DAB)

Dads at Belvedere (formerly Watch D.O.G.S.) is a program to help our school be positively impacted by the committed involvement of fathers and father-figures in their student’s life. Our goal is to have you spend at least one day this year at the school to be a positive male role-model. Dads this is your chance to get involved in a fun atmosphere at school!

Dads will volunteer at the school for one full day. School will provide the schedule to include activities such as: recess, lunch, specials, classroom time, etc.

Our kids love seeing the grown-ups in their life at school! Additionally, Dads are demonstrating through their presence that education is important.

Sign up for a day on our calendar using the Signup Genius below:

Download the flyer!

Community Review of Elementary English Language Arts Basal Instructional Resources 

FCPS will adopt new Elementary School Language Arts Basal Instructional Resources for the 2024-25 school year. Public review of the recommended materials is part of the process for selecting new resources. 

You may access the resources in person and online from Wednesday, November 15, until Friday, December 15, at noon. Digital materials for public review and comment will be available on the Elementary Language Arts Basal Resource Review webpage. Those reviewing instructional materials may complete an electronic comment sheet that will be available on the webpage during the review period. 

Visit FCPS' website for instructions on how to view hard copies of the instructional materials at Pimmit Hills Center. The Elementary Language Arts team will be there to answer questions Friday, December 1, 4-8 p.m., and Saturday, December 2, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

All community feedback will be shared with the review committee and School Board.

Family Engagement Month

November is Family Engagement in Education Month! When schools and families work together to support learning and healthy development, everyone benefits! Check out this calendar for ideas of how to stay involved with your child's education. 


Schools and offices will be closed Wednesday-Friday, November 22-24. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 27. Learn more about the first Thanksgiving. See the complete school year calendar.


Special Education Resources for Families

Fairfax County Public Schools has the following resources available to assist families of students with special needs. 

  • The Office of Special Education Procedural Support helps staff, families, and students with the implementation of and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended. 
  • Kathy Murphy, the assistant ombuds for special education, provides information and support to caregivers and students regarding special education and Section 504 services. Contact the Ombuds Office by submitting a question, calling 571-423-4014, or emailing

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Education has updated the Virginia Family's Guide to Special Education. This state guide was developed to help those involved in special education including families, teachers, school administrators, advocates, and  students.

Staying Healthy This Cold/Flu Season

Cases of RSV, the flu, and other viruses often rise this time of year. It is important for students to wash their hands regularly and cover their coughs and sneezes. Please monitor your child’s health daily and keep them at home if they are sick. Visit FCPS' Health and Safety Guidance webpage for more tips.

Student Attendance and Engagement

During the Academic Matters segment of the November 9 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid discussed student attendance and engagement. Attendance and absenteeism rates are one measure for Goal 2 of our 2023-30 Strategic Plan

Chronic absenteeism — which is defined as a student missing 10% or more of school for any reason — is a concern across Virginia school districts. Although FCPS continues to outperform the state average in attendance rates, we are tracking chronic absenteeism closely.

Data shows that:

  • Missing just 10% of school — just two days a month — negatively affects a student’s academic performance. 
  • Only 17% of students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade were reading proficiently in third grade, compared to 64% of those with good attendance.
  • Students who fail to read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than students who achieve proficiency to drop out of high school.
  • By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Attendance is critical for academic success!

Buses and Delays

If a student’s bus is delayed, parents may access the Bus Delay Notification System or use the Here Comes the Bus mobile app to receive the delayed bus report.  Use code 28982 when registering for Here Comes the Bus. 

PTA News

Belvedere November Read-a-thon (November 8-22)!

The Read-a-thon fundraiser is going strong! Please review the email from 99Pledges and share your child's personalized fundraising page with family, friends and colleagues! Also do not forget to fill out reading logs with your child each day - classes with the most minutes will earn prizes! Keep reading!

Belvedere Spirit Wear

Watch for information in your Friday folders or click here to order Spirit Wear before the holidays!

Family Culture Night (December 6, 6:30-8:30PM) - Volunteers Needed!  

On the night of the last PTA meeting for the year, we will be hosting a Family Culture Night for students and families. If you are interested in volunteering, please email directly! Stay tuned for more information coming soon....

Glasgow Middle School play: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Come watch our neighbors and friends perform at Glasgow this weekend. The amazing Ms. Smits has returned as the director and promises to have a great show for all! Showings are: November 17th at 7PM and November 18th at 6PM. Doors open 15 minutes early ($8 Admissions; Kids 5 and under are free). Purchase tickets here:

Happy Thanksgiving Break!

Become a Member of the PTA and/or Support Belvedere with a donation

Our PTA supports Belvedere in myriad ways: organizing school events, enrichment and outreach activities; providing funding for field trips, library books, and technology in the classroom; and building a school community outside the classroom through events like movie night, teacher appreciation, international night, read-a-thon, and more.

To purchase a membership or make a direct donation, please go to and choose your membership type (Staff $5 or Parent $10) and/or select Direct Donation to make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you again for supporting the Belvedere PTA!  

Visit for more information about our PTA or to make a donation.

Save the date for our next meeting, Wednesday, December 6, 6:30 pm. 

Questions or concerns? Email

Upcoming Dates

  • November 8-22 - Read-a-thon
  • November 22-24 - No School (Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • December 6 - International Night/PTA Meeting
  • December 18 - January 1 - Winter Break

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FCPS Calendar: 2023-2024