Belvedere News and Announcements - December 8, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Families,

What an incredible week it has been, filled with vibrant celebrations and cultural delights! The past few days have been a whirlwind of joy as we came together to celebrate three significant family cultural events: the second-grade cultural feast, the preschool family feast, and our much-anticipated PTA sponsored family culture night. It's heartwarming to witness such enthusiastic participation and engagement from everyone involved.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to each one of you who contributed to the success of these events. Your presence, involvement, and the delicious array of foods shared truly made these celebrations memorable. It's inspiring to see our community coming together, sharing traditions, and fostering an environment where diversity is cherished and celebrated. Your active participation reflects the strength of our community and the value we place on cultural exchange and understanding.

As we conclude school in the month of December, let's carry forward the spirit of unity, appreciation, and cultural richness that these events have instilled in us. Together, we've created lasting memories and strengthened the bonds that make our community so special. Thank you for making these celebrations a resounding success, and here's to many more moments of shared joy and cultural appreciation ahead.

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.

🍲 Food Insecurity Resources for Families

Food insecurity impacts more than 60,000 Fairfax County residents. There are many resources available to support those who need food assistance. Find out how to receive or offer support on the Fairfax County website, or view their Human Services Resource Guide for assistance with food, clothing, housing, and other services.

Belvedere Spirit Wear

Second chance! Purchase Belvedere spirit wear and show your Bulldogs pride.

Place your orders by December 17th! 

A note from Jaclyn Walsh, Advanced Academics Resource Teacher

Parent Referrals to full-time Advanced Academics Services are due by December 15th. Please submit all referral forms and packets in PDF form to

Late Day Learners

Registration closes TODAY, December 8 for Belvedere PTA’s after school clubs, Late Day Learners! We still have a few open spots in some of our clubs. We still have scholarship spots in our running club. All other scholarship spots have been filled.

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:

BES Winter Spirit Week: December 11-15

We hope all teachers, students, and staff will join SCA in celebrating Winter Spirit Week next week! Please check out each day's theme below:

Spirit Week Flyer

Counselor's Corner

Check out the December newsletter from our school counselors!


Happy Chanukah to all in our community who celebrate! This Festival of Lights is an 8-day 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

Bodhi Day

Bodhi Day, Friday, December 8, is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali. The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances (O days) during the school year, including Bodhi Day. There is school on these days, however, the School Board has directed that tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events will not be held on these observance days.Learn more about Bodhi Day in this video from the Miami Children’s Museum. See the complete school year calendar.

Snow Days This Winter

For the current school year, FCPS will be returning to its previous procedure for snow days — there will be no virtual learning days when school is closed due to bad weather. 

During snow days, students may still access, complete any supplemental learning opportunities recommended by their teachers, and view educational programming (available virtually and on public access television channels):

Eleven snow days are built into the existing FCPS calendar. Eliminating virtual learning days will allow us to maximize students’ in-person learning and provide equitable access to instruction and student services.

❄️ 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.

🙋️ Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

We often notice more empty seats in our classrooms as winter break approaches. This year, let's work together to nurture a rock-solid attendance habit. Every hour of every school day is a unique opportunity for students to learn, connect, and grow. 

A big thank you to:

  • 🌟 Students who show up every day and the parents/caregivers supporting them.
  • 👩‍🏫 Teachers who create a welcoming environment for learning.
  • 👨‍💼 Administrators who provide a safe and engaging place to grow.
  • 👏 Bus drivers, support staff, and volunteers who lend a helping hand to all our learners.

If you or your child need support, please reach out to our school social worker or family liaison. If your child is not feeling well, please refer to the When Should I Keep My Child Home? webpage for guidance. 

There will be no school from Monday, December 18, to Monday, January 1, 2024, for winter break. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 2

Visit FCPS’ website for more attendance resources

📝 Keep Learning Over Winter Break with

Does your child need help getting up to speed in high school math, science, or English? offers diagnostic quizzes to help students test their knowledge and find areas where they may need help. Quizzes can be taken anytime, and students can connect immediately to a tutor. 

Test prep is also available for students preparing for the PSAT, SAT, or ACT. 

FCPS students have unlimited access, 24/7, to online tutoring support services through at no cost to families. Students can connect online any time, any place, and in most K-12 subjects for however long they need. 

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.

Military-Connected Youth Process Action Team (MCY PAT) Family Member Application

The charge of the Fairfax County Public Schools Military-Connected Youth Process Action Team is to identify the unique academic, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of military-connected youth and families and ensure faculty and staff are informed and prepared to meet the identified needs; partnering with stakeholders as appropriate.

The MCY PAT would like to include military-connected family members on our team. We encourage you to apply to be a part of our team by completing the application by Friday, December 15, 2023. 

The MCY PAT meets virtually once a month.

Questions? Contact: Meredith Ayala, Family Partnerships Specialist at We look forward to partnering with you to support our military families! 

Fairfax County Public Library News

Cold weather is here and George Mason Regional Library has cozy reads, recipes for comfort food and some tools to help you make your home warmer. Stop by or visit us online.

Winter Reading Adventure

December 1, 2023 – January 31, 2024

Experience all the feels and carve out some time to read this winter! Reading is its own reward but it’s nice to earn coupons for activities, ice cream and books while you’re at it. All ages.

Meters & Readers

No, not like people who read like you and me, but as in Things that Read... Radon levels or Air Quality or what that error message on your car might mean. Borrow one just like you would a book.

Selected Events at George Mason Regional Library

Saturday, December 9 at 11:00 am

Winter Music with the NOVA Mountain Dulcimers

Welcome the colder months with a musical performance and learn a bit about the history of this unique instrument. Coffee provided by Beanetics. All ages. Register if you’d like a reminder.

Sunday, January 28 at 3:00 pm

Plant Swap & Seed Library Launch

Explore new greenery this year. You can bring your cuttings, seeds, seedlings and transplants for this in-person plant swap. You can also participate in our new Seed Library program. Adults.

Monday, December 18 at 10:00 am

Jingle Bell Magic

Out of school and want to have a magical time? Watch in amazement as Steve Somers performs surprising tricks and knee-slapping comedy, with some learning about the magic of sharing thrown in. All ages.

Every week


Library Events - Fairfax Library Calendar

We have morning storytimes for kids of different ages every week. Check out our schedule and register for the fun.

Find more free events at all the branches (and online!) at:

The Transition from Elementary to Middle School and from Middle School to High School for Twice Exceptional (2e) students

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12 2024, 10-11:30 a.m

Family Resource Center 703-204-3941 or
Free - Registration Required

Register for The Transition from Elementary to Middle School and from Middle School to High School for Twice Exceptional (2e) students

Transitioning into middle and high school can be challenging for many children and their families, especially for twice-exceptional students.

Join Dr. Nonye Oladimeji, FCPS Educational Specialist for AAP twice exceptional (2e) children, as she shares ideas for families and schools on how to ease the transition for students.

Webinar Highlights:

  • Learn about the tools and strategies to help your child navigate this period of change successfully.

  • Learn about how to help your child establish and maintain a strong support system.

  • Learn how to help your student balance the increased academic responsibility while trying to expand their horizons into clubs and extracurricular activities.

  • Learn how parents and families can stay involved and keep the lines of communication open.

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!

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 

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, January 3rd, 6:30 pm. 

Questions or concerns? Email

Upcoming Dates

  • December 18 - January 1 - Winter Break
  • January 3 - PTA Meeting (6:30 PM)
  • January 15 - Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday (No School)

Keep in Touch

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Bus Delay Website

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FCPS Calendar: 2023-2024