LBSS Weekly News - December 1, 2023

To read this newsletter in other languages, please visit our website.

Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

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Message from Ms. Kearns

Hello Bruin Families!

Welcome to December! 

Last weekend was an exciting weekend for our community to come out and have one more experience with the band, cheerleaders and fans as we watched our Football Team win the Region Championship.  We wish them the best as they travel to Highland Springs HS for the Semi-Final State competition. 

It was a busy week in Performing Arts with a pyramid chorus concert and both MS and HS Orchestra performances. We look forward to our remaining ensembles finishing out the year with their winter concerts.

Go Bruins!

Lindsey Kearns

In this Issue

New Information and Important Reminders

New Family Liaison
Social and Emotional Screening Results
National Special Education Day
Makeup/Retake Images Now Available
LB Band Children's Holiday Concert

Middle School Bruin News

Reminder:  Window for Full-time AAP Referrals Closes on December 15, 2023
MS Yearbook Information

High School Bruin News

Signs of Suicide Program
2024 Gap Year Fair
Yearbook Information

Class of 2024 News

Important Dates
PTSA Mulch Sale and All Night Grad Party


Family Liaison News



Quick Links

New Information and Important Reminders

New Family Liaision

Hello LBSS community!

My name is Thu Dang (Tanzie), and I am honored to step into the role of Family Liaison, bringing with me a background in Communications and experiences in working with families. As your liaison, I am dedicated not only to facilitating communication between home and school but also to serving as a resource for any questions or concerns you may have.

If you have any inquiries, please feel free to contact me via email at or by calling my office number: (703) 426-6424. Additionally, I will be available at LBSS on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Please email or call ahead to schedule in-person appointments.

I am eagerly looking forward to the opportunity to support you and your families!

Social and Emotional Learning Screener Results Coming Soon

One of the ways FCPS supports the mental wellness of all students is through the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener. In October, students in grades 3-12 took this screener in October, which gives information about their skills such as achieving goals, handling emotions, building relationships with adults and peers, and making good choices. 

The screener also helps students evaluate their school community’s efforts to make them feel valued, included, and supported. Screener data is used to create learning, experiences, and environments for students to succeed.

In early December, families will be able to view student SEL Screener results in SIS ParentVUE. For families who do not have an active ParentVUE account, results will be sent by mail.

For more information about the screener please visit the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener webpage. For help understanding your child’s results or ideas to support them at home, review the Family Guide or contact your child’s school. 

National Special Education Day graphic

National Special Education Day

National Special Education Day is recognized each year on December 2 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

Lake Braddock has a strong Special Education program and we are grateful for our students, parents, teachers, instructional assistants, department chairs and administrators who support them.

Makeup/Retake Day images are now viewable online.

Please visit:

use your student ID when prompted for the online code.

For questions regarding school pictures

please email:

Thank you !

Victor O'Neill Studio!

band 2023

Video Link:

Middle School Bruin News

Reminder:  Window for Full-time AAP Referrals Closes on December 15, 2023

Parents/guardians of students in Grades 2-7 who would like their student to be considered for full-time advanced academic programs may submit the AAP Full-Time (Level IV) Referral Form to  <<fill in the name and email address of the AART or principal>> no later than December 15, 2023

The window for families to submit a referral for full-time AAP services is the first day of school through December 15, annually.  Forms for full-time and part-time referrals are available on the AAP Forms Page. No late referrals for Full-Time AAP services will be accepted. 

Submitting a referral form for full-time AAP will initiate a process that begins at the local school and is then completed at the central office level. Our school will put together a portfolio that includes multiple data which are considered holistically. At the central office level, a committee of six trained professionals from various schools and roles will review the portfolio materials to determine eligibility for full-time placement.  Eligibility decisions are communicated by early April. Parents may request a copy of the portfolio that was submitted after they have been turned in for central selection by emailing <<fill in the name and email address of the AART>>. 

Referrals for subject-specific and part-time AAP are screened at the local school. If you miss this deadline, your student can still be screened for subject-specific AAP or part-time AAP for the remainder of the year and submit a referral for full-time AAP next fall. 

For more information, please visit the Advanced Academic Programs website.


High School Bruin News

Signs of Suicide Program

This school year, school staff are working to teach students about mental health and how to seek help if they are worried about themselves or a friend. We are using a program called Signs of Suicide (SOS). The program teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help.

Through the program, students learn: 

  • that depression is treatable, so they are encouraged to seek help  
  • how to identify depression and potential suicide risk in themselves or a friend 
  • to ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell a trusted adult) if concerned about themselves or a friend 
  • who they can turn to at school for help

The week of December 11-15, through Advisory/WIN time, 11th grade students will watch age-appropriate video clips and participate in a guided discussion about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are concerned about a friend.  Following the video, students will complete a brief depression screening tool. This tool cannot provide a diagnosis of depression but does indicate whether a young person should be referred for evaluation by a mental health professional. 

To review the full letter with further information about the program and links to resources, click here

To opt your child out of participation in the program click here.

2024 Gap Year Fair

FCPS School Counseling Services and Go Overseas will co-host the annual FCPS Gap Year Fair on Tuesday, January 30, 6-8:30 p.m., at Marshall High School. This event is for high school students and their families who are interested in learning more about increasing opportunities for the year following high school graduation. Students should register at USA Gap Year Fairs

hs yearbook

Class of 2024 News

We are excited for the start of the school year and are looking forward to celebrating the success of our Class of 2024 Seniors all year. 

March 7th, 2024 - 100 Days Meeting @ 6:30 pm in the Cafeteria - Informational session for parents leading up to graduation, prom, and All Night Grad Party

May 17th, 2024 - Prom - Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park 

June 4th, 2024 - Graduation - Eagle Bank Arena @ 2:00 pm

June 5th, 2024 - All Night Grad Party @ Saint James 11:00 pm

mulch vol

PTSA Mulch Sale and All Night Grad Party

Please see two important save the dates below. Please know that we are currently actively searching for adult volunteers to LEAD some events at the Mulch Sale as well as the ANGP. If you are interested in being a part of the magic that  happens at Lake Braddock, please fill in the attached google form. Again, we are searching for adult volunteers across ALL grades to help us out! 


The Mulch Sale 
Lake Braddock's Senior Class LARGEST fundraiser for the All Night Grad Party
March 15-17, 2024
Mulch will go on sale after Jan 1, 2024.

All Night Grad Party
Wednesday June 5, 2024

Any questions please direct them to


Throughout the school year, we often hear the same questions asked regarding technical assistance. We hope to help everyone by sharing various information. Today's tip is regarding joining the school WiFi.


Q: What is TalkingPoints? 

A: TalkingPoints is an easy and safe way families can communicate in their home languages with their child’s teachers for free. We will be using this platform to communicate with you about your child’s education and progress.

Here are two ways families can use TalkingPoints:

  • School and teacher messages will come directly to the phone number that is registered in our system as a SMS text or through the TalkingPoints Parent App.
  • You can reply by text or through the app.

Families will receive messages in the language they have listed as their correspondence language. Families can reply in any language and the message will be translated into English for the school. 

If families prefer to not receive text messages from TalkingPoints, they can reply with "GOODBYE" at any time.

Q: How might I access the TalkingPoints App?

A: The FAMILIES | TalkingPoints app is free. You can go to your Google Play Store or Apple Store and search for FAMILIES | TalkingPoints. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can follow this Getting Started Guide for Families to login for the first time. 

Q: Who can I contact in the Talking Points App?

A: Families are able to respond to teachers and staff members via TalkingPoints, however messages sent to Lake Braddock Secondary School administration will not be monitored. If you’d like to contact Lake Braddock administrators, please send them an email directly using the email address in this directory

Family Liaison News

Please stay up-to-date with our Family Liaisons on our web site:

There you will find our weekly newsletters full of important information for our families.

Additional Resources

Family and School Partnerships

Family Resource Center

Parenting Education Programs through Fairfax County

English Empowerment Center: USA Learns 

English Empowerment Center: Free Conversation Class  and Continued Learning Between Semesters 


For up-to-date information, please visit

The Lake Braddock Secondary School Parent Teacher Student Association (LBSS PTSA) is excited to host an online auction in March 2024 and we hope you will consider participating in our major fundraiser of the year! We are currently looking for donations of products, services, gift cards, and experiences to be auctioned and would appreciate your support. Spending a day shadowing you would be a priceless, amazing, and insightful experience!!

Virtual auction proceeds will be used for scholarships, educational grants, events, programs, teacher and student recognition, family engagement, and general school support. As a thank you for your tax-deductible donation (LBSS PTSA’s Tax ID Number: 52- 1289445), we will promote your generosity on our website, social media platforms, and our Newsletter. 

With over 4,300 students, the largest secondary school in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have a highly engaged group of families, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community with whom we regularly communicate. Our LBSS community actively supports local businesses and entities contributing to our school and students.

For additional information or to donate an item, please complete the donation form on our website (

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Auction Chairs, Connie Coffee at, Lydia Durand at, or me directly at, or 703-338-3033.  

Thank you for your time and consideration; we sincerely appreciate your support!


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.

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.

Preparing for Winter Weather

Winter weather will be here before you know it! Watch this video to see how weather-related closing decisions are made.

FCPS’ website is generally the first place where we will post an emergency weather closing. Other communication channels will be used as quickly as possible including email, text, social media, and news stations. Learn more about how schedule changes are communicated

Be sure to plan for the winter season. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in SIS ParentVUE, bookmark the FCPS website, and plan for childcare if appropriate.

The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Saves Lives 

Information was recently posted to the Healthy Minds Blog on the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and other resources for suicide prevention

The Healthy Minds Blog shares information related to youth mental health and wellness. Articles include tips and strategies for increasing wellness and resiliency, as well as fostering success at home, at school, and in the community.

The Healthy Minds Blog is a collaborative project between Fairfax County Public Schools and the Prevention Unit of the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. Subscribe to Healthy Minds and receive a quarterly digest of articles.

District News/In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it in FCPS This Week, the school division shared updates on the following topics:

  • Important Forms for Caregivers to Complete
  • Immunization Reminder
  • Free Tutoring Resources

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving the weekly newsletter, sign up today.  

Quick Links

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