Herndon MS Updates - Nov 20

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In This Issue

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner
A few photos from our successful event Thursday evening! Thank you to the families that joined us and a special shoutout to our amazing family liaison and our special guest, Officer Diaz.

Reminders: Last Week's News

Happy Thanksgiving!

Schools and offices will be closed November 22-24. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 27th.

Winter Virginia Growth Assessment

Herndon Middle School will begin testing for the Winter Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA) in December. The VGA assessments provide us with important information about your students’ progress, please be sure that your student is attending school on these days. Testing dates for the Winter VGA will be as follows:

  • Tuesday, December 5th - Mathematics VGA
    • Make up testing December 11-15
  • Tuesday January 9th - Reading VGA
    • Make up testing January 10-17

If you have any questions regarding the Virginia Growth Assessment, please reach out to our Testing Coordinator, Melissa Sobchak, at msobchak@fcps.edu.

Fairfax County Youth Survey
(8th Grade Students Only)

As a reminder, 8th grade students at Herndon Middle School will participate in the Fairfax County Youth Survey on Friday, December 1st. The Fairfax County Youth Survey, a collaboration between the Fairfax County School Board and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, is a comprehensive, anonymous, and voluntary survey given each year to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12. The survey examines behaviors, experiences and other factors that influence the health and well-being of Fairfax County's youth. Parents may preview the survey online here

If you do not want your child to participate in this survey, you may opt them out by contacting Melissa Sobchak at msobchak@fcps.edu or returning the opt out form linked here.

If you have any questions regarding the Fairfax County Youth Survey, please reach out to our Testing Coordinate, Melissa Sobchak at msobchak@fcps.edu.

Return Your Federal Impact Aid Survey

FCPS is asking all families to fill out a Federal Impact Aid Survey. The form is available online in SIS ParentVUE. If you have not already filled out the form online, we will provide paper forms. Please be sure to return paper forms by Monday, November 27. The electronic form will continue to be available in SIS ParentVUE until January 2024. 

Completing this form for each school-aged child in every household is important, because information from this survey results in an additional $3 million in grants each year from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are used to support all Fairfax County public schools and centers.

Please watch this video and visit the Federal Impact Aid Survey page for more information.  

Need to Register for ParentVUE? 

Learn how to activate your SISParentVUE account, so you can easily submit your survey. 

Technical support for using ParentVUE or completing the survey online is available by submitting a Parent Support Request ticket. Select SISParent in the Application dropdown menu and enter Federal Impact Aid Survey under Issue Description. Or, call the Parent Technology Help Desk at 833-921-3277 (833-921-FCPS).

Yearbooks Available for Pre-Order

Yearbook for Sale

Yearbooks are now available for pre-order through myschoolbucks and yearbookforever.com. They are $15 and will only be on sale until January 26th.

Please Note: If you do not pre-order a yearbook, there will be NO extras ordered so make sure to order now!

Contact: Laura Loy and Josey Arrington

Be A Yearbook Sponsor

Did you know you can purchase a yearbook for a student who may not be able to purchase one? Go to yearbookforever.com to purchase one. Under student name indicate "yearbook sponsor".

Contact: Laura Loy and Josey Arrington

In This Week's News

Last Call for Picture Retakes

Last photo retake

We will have our last picture retake opportunity on Monday, November 27th during your child’s recess. If you would like your child to have a retake, please complete the Picture Retake Request Form by Sunday, November 26th. Passes will be distributed the morning of November 27th. 

Please contact Mr. Fuller with any questions at AJFuller@fcps.edu

Viewing and Ordering Photos

To obtain your student's picture day photos:

  1. Parents/Guardians will need to go to https://shop.jostenspix.com/login
  • Create a JostensPIX account
  • Parents/Guardians will need to click on the “find my student” tab, enter the school name and event code FE195123
  • Parents/Guardians will then enter their students name->add student->then they will need their students Schoology ID number.
  • Parents/Guardians will then be able to view and order photos.

  • 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.

    Rotary Contest

    Herndon Rotary District 7610 is allowing students the opportunity to participate in a Four Way Test Essay Contest where students could win a prize up to $275. If you are interested in participating, please see the brochure for more information.

    Entry Form

    Questions? Contact Mary Drum at dmdrum2@verizon.net.


    From Student Services

    If you need help with home internet, food, clothing, medical care, etc., please fill out this form and let us know.

    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 ombuds@fcps.edu

    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.


    November Spirit Month

    Nov Spirit Cal

    Students and staff are invited to join in on a month of fun with daily themes to get us through to Thanksgiving break! Check out the calendar of events here.

    HMS Visits George Mason University

    GMU Flyer

    Attention HMS students, join us for a visit to George Mason University on Tuesday, November 28th. You’ll explore the campus, learn about the admissions process, and have lunch in the university dining hall.

    If you’re interested in going, use the QR CODE to sign up. Spaces are limited.

    Cost is $9.25 per person.

    Click here to sign up.

    HMS Band Fundraiser

    Herndon Middle School Band is starting a fundraiser with Seasonal Roots this year. Sign up to get healthy, delicious produce delivered straight to your door and support our band students at the same time.

    Click here and enter the code HMSBAND at sign up. 80% of the sign up fee will go to band after you place your first order. Thank you for supporting our kids!


    National Special Education Day

    Nat SPED Day

    National Special Education Day is recognized each year on December 2nd and commemorates President Gerald Ford’s signing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975. We celebrate our teachers and staff who serve and support our students with special needs, as well as our families who are partners in the education and support of those students! 

    Learn more about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.



    • 22-24: Thanksgiving Holiday
    • 28: NJHS Meeting
      at 2:30 p.m.
    • 29: NJHS Meeting
      at 2:30 p.m
    • 29: PTA Meeting
      HMS Cafe at 7:00 p.m.

    Helpful Links