Mustang Weekly, November 17, 2023

principal's message

Hello Mustangs,

As we approach the November break, I want to express my heartfelt wishes for a safe and restful week for you and your loved ones. This is a time to reflect on what we are grateful for and spend precious moments with family and friends. With that, I want you to know that I am thankful for each of you in our school community. The trust you provide us each day does not go unnoticed, and I am grateful for your continued support. Therefore, thank you for being a part of our wonderful South County community. Your commitment to learning and growth is truly inspiring.

We will take a break from our Mustang Weekly for the week of November 20 and return the week of November 27. We hope your family has a relaxing Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday next week. As always, please contact us to share any feedback, questions, or concerns.

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

Happy Thanksgiving!



11/22-24 Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL


PTSO Spirit Wear sale - Just in time for the holidays.  The link will be available until November 27th.  The items purchased should be available around December 15th.    

Spirit Wear!

PTSO First Annual Winterfest- The SCMS PTSO is hosting their first annual Winterfest!! Join us for Cupcake decorating, crafts, games and snacks. Student entrepreneurs will have items for sale. Tickets include Cupcake decorating, one drink and one raffle ticket.

It’s never too early to buy tickets!

Purchase them here


The South County High School Softball team is hosting a  softball clinic. Click on the link for more information.

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!

Missing School Over the Holidays

Looking ahead to the holiday season, if missing school is unavoidable, please speak with your child’s teachers in advance to create a plan for making up missed work. However, a homework packet cannot make up for the interaction and learning that happens in the classroom.

Visit FCPS’ website for more attendance resources.

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.

Alcohol and Football

Please take a moment to read the article and speak to your student about the effects of alcohol.  If you have any questions or need assistance please reach out to Ms. Catric Marshall, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist,