Belvedere News and Announcements - December 1, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Families,

Temperatures this week have reminded us that winter is here. Please make sure your child has a warm coat, hat, and gloves when they leave for school in the morning.  If you need warm outerwear for your child, please reach out to the parent liaison, Ivanova Plazas, at 703-916-6824.

The PTA is hosting Family Cultural Night this coming Wednesday, December 6th from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. We hope you can participate by bringing a dish from your culture to share. Families are also invited to participate in sharing a dance or cultural tradition. A sign up genius is available here:

We are a strong community because we are diverse, and we hope you can join in helping us celebrate our many cultures. Everyone is welcome, and we hope to see you here!

Next week, third, fourth and fifth graders will be taking the winter Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA). The VGA in reading and math are tests to measure growth on current grade level standards understanding. The tests help teachers determine next steps for instruction and prepare students for the end of year SOL testing.

Best regards,

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal

Tara Boone, Assistant Principal

Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal 

Need Help with Food, Financial Assistance, or Medical Assistance?

You may qualify for federal benefits, such as Medicaid, Food Assistance (SNAP), TANF (Temporary Financial Assistance for Families), Energy Assistance (Fuel, Cooling), and more. Visit or call 1-833-522-5582 to apply. Call 703-324-7500 or visit if you need help applying.

Children who do not qualify for Medicaid may qualify for the Medical Care for Children Partnership (MCCP), a reduced-cost healthcare program for children under 18 from low-income families. Call 703-324-7315 for more information.

Please click here for more information about food, financial and medical assistance available to students and families.  If you need support or have questions, please contact the Belvedere parent liaison, Ivanova Plazas, at 703-916-6824 or at  We are here to support you and want to support all who may qualify to access this assistance.

Registration is OPEN for Belvedere PTA’s Winter After School Clubs!

Registration is open for Belvedere PTA’s after school clubs! We have expanded our offerings. Students can join weekly athletic, academic, and fine arts clubs after school like soccer, basketball, fencing/archery, yoga, STEAM, and cooking. The Winter 2024 session is 8 weeks beginning Tuesday, January 2 and ends on February 23. Students will be dismissed directly from their classrooms. Students must be picked up at 5:15 p.m. from Door 2 (Far left door at the front of the school). SACC students can be picked up by parents from SACC as usual. No Classes on student holidays and early release days. A limited number of scholarships are available.

We need volunteers to make the program successful. Parents who give 10 hours of their time will receive one free class for an entire next session and will receive priority registration. To volunteer or ask questions: Contact

Register here:

Family Culture Night: December 6

6:30-8:30 PM

Join us at Belvedere on Wednesday, December 6th for Family Culture Night! Please share a dish important to your family with others present. We also welcome any cultural dancing or performances you would like to share.

Please email to RSVP and ask questions!

We hope to see you there!

family culture night


Back for the third year, the PE department proudly presents Winter Olympics 2023!

The week before Winter Break, students will participate in winter themed games and relays.

Please help us by donating a bag of marshmallows (large marshmallows) for our winter Olympic games!
*Marshmallows will not be eaten.

Please send in donations by Friday, December 8th.


Please email Mrs. Abby Novak at
Mr. Dan Bowles at

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.

Counselor's Corner

Check out the December newsletter from our school counselors!

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!

National Special Education Day

National Special Education Day is recognized each year on Dec. 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.

Special Education Resources for Families

Fairfax County Public Schools has the following resources available to help 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


Chanukah, an 8-day Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple and the miracle of a small quantity of oil that lit the Temple’s menorah for 8 days. This year, Chanukah begins at sundown on Thursday, December 7. That day will be a half-O day, and major events cannot be scheduled that evening. Learn more about Chanukah in National Geographic Kids. See the complete school year calendar.

❄️ 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.

🌏 World Languages Offerings in Elementary Schools Survey

Fairfax County Public Schools is considering expansion of our Dual Language Immersion programs to include new languages and school sites, as well as an expansion of new languages for our Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools program.

Parents/caregivers, please share your thoughts about expanding World Languages elementary program offerings. An FCPS survey is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Urdu, and Vietnamese. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and all responses are anonymous. The survey is optional and will close on Friday, December 8.

Social and Emotional Learning Screener Results Coming Soon

One of the ways FCPS supportsthe 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.

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.

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

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. Please sign up here if you are interested in bringing a dish or just coming to enjoy new food and see friends. 

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

  • December 6 - International Night/PTA Meeting
  • December 18 - January 1 - Winter Break
  • January 3 - PTA Meeting (6:30 PM)

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FCPS Calendar: 2023-2024