Belvedere News and Announcements - December 15, 2023

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Families,

As the holidays are upon us and 2023 comes to a close, we wanted to share our heartfelt gratitude to our staff and families that make our community as wonderful as it is. We wish you a festive season filled with joy, laughter, and precious moments with your loved ones. We wish everyone a fabulous break and look forward to seeing and hearing our hallways full of joy and energy on January 2, 2024.

Cheers to cherished memories and a wonderful holiday season.

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal

Tara Boone, Assistant Principal

Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal 

Winter Break (Student Holiday)

As a reminder, winter break will be held Monday, December 18, to Monday, January 1. To help make sure you and your children have a restful break, we have asked that no homework be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments will be due immediately following the break. We look forward to welcoming students back in the new year.Classes resume on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024.

See the complete school year calendar.

winter break

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! 

Counselor's Corner

Check out the December newsletter from our school counselors!

Winter Resources

⛄Student and Family Resources

Fairfax County Public Schools has compiled a list of resources for students and families in case they need assistance while schools are closed for winter break. Please visit our winter resources webpage for links to academic support; mental health support; and food, clothing, housing, and other county resources.

School’s Closed, Learning Can Continue! 

FCPS encourages students to take advantage of fun learning opportunities during winter break and snow days. Consider these winter activities to blend education and play for your students during winter break or weather-related school closures. 

Promoting Mental Wellness During Winter BreakAlthough mental health indicators have improved over the past year, Fairfax County Youth Survey (FCYS) data suggest that more than 25% of students in 8th to 12th grade feel sad or hopeless every day for two weeks or more in a row. The holidays can be a time to reduce stress, but they can also contribute to it. Here are some tips for making winter break a positive time for the young people in your life.

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.

SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE Down Time

ParentVUE and StudentVUE will experience downtime from Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. through Wednesday, December 20, at 6 a.m. 

Grade Book progress reports will not be emailed to parents/guardians during winter break. Emails will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

🔢 Virtual Math Week: Save the Date

Get ready for Virtual Math Week from Monday, January 8, through Friday, January 12. Save the date for a week filled with stories, games, and math activities, in English and Spanish, for families with students in kindergarten through eighth grade. 

This is a free experience designed to make math fun for the whole family. Learn more about FCPS Math Week.

Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests 

Residential households are eligible to receive free at-home COVID-19 test kits. If an order has not been placed for your address since the program reopened on September 25, you may place two orders now.

🙋️ 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

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 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
  • Wednesday, January 3 - PTA Meeting (6:30 PM)
  • Monday, January 15 - Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday (No School)
  • Thursday, January 25 - Quarter End / Early Release
  • Friday, January 26 - Teacher Work Day (No School) 

Keep in Touch

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FCPS Calendar: 2023-2024