Belvedere News and Announcements - February 2, 2024

From the Administration

Dear Belvedere Family:

We trust this message finds you well and that you've had a wonderful week and a smooth transition into the second semester.

As we embark on the second half of the school year, we want to emphasize the significance of student attendance. Every hour of every school day is a unique opportunity for our students to learn, connect, and grow. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in ensuring our students attend school each day, contributing to their educational journey.

We are proud to share that Belvedere Elementary School was highlighted by FCPS as a wonderful example of why inclusion matters for our very youngest learners. This video highlights the benefits to students with (and without) disabilities. FCPS is in the process of creating a comprehensive Pre-K plan that will be shared with the community later this spring. 

As we enter the month of February, we also mark the beginning of Black History Month. This is an annual celebration dedicated to recognizing the achievements of African Americans and acknowledging their central role in U.S. history. We encourage teachers to incorporate relevant lessons into their curriculum to promote awareness and understanding among our students.

We look forward to a month filled with learning, celebration, and continued academic growth. Thank you for your ongoing support, and let's make the remainder of the school year a rewarding and successful journey for our students.

Warm regards,

Cecilia Vanderhye, Principal

Tara Boone, Assistant Principal

Kelly Cabezas, Assistant Principal

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS. Learn more about Black History month.

Black History Month

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.

Bingo Night

Get ready to shout "BINGO!" and win some amazing prizes at this fun-filled family evening. Pizza, drinks, snacks, special raffles and more excitement. All proceeds support BES 5th grade graduation events later this school year. 

Date: Thursday, Feb. 8 

Hours: 5:30-7:30pm

Location: Belvedere ES Cafeteria 

We need everyone's help to make this event a success! If you can help out that night, we need adult volunteers to manage our student support. Sign up here for a shift:

We also need refreshment donations! If you're headed to the store, we are looking for drinks, chips and some desserts to sell alongside the fresh  pizza:

Please bring cash on Feb. 8 to purchase refreshments, raffle tickets (with prizes for kids and adults) and extra BINGO cards. All BES students will receive a free reusable Bingo card + popcorn.  All fifth graders will have an opportunity to sign up to volunteer to help during the event. We will share the assignments back with them in advance, and have that information available on site on Feb. 8. If you're a fifth grade family member, please encourage your student to get involved to support their class. 

Questions? Want to help? Contact Jessica Strelitz Stewart at

Parent Coffee - Friday February 9th

Please join us for a parent coffee with an informative presentation from our Reading Specialist, Ms. Smith, about the Science of Reading. See details below:

parent coffee

Belvedere Career Day 2024

Our 4th and 5th grade students will attend Career Day on Tuesday, June 4, from 9:40 a.m.-11:40 a.m. Career Day consists of students rotating to four different 20-minute sessions.

Please download this flyer for more information on ways you can help or sign up to be a presenter. Thanks!

Counselor Corner

Read the latest newsletter from our school counselors. 

Rising 6th Grade Families

Have questions about middle school course selection?

Please join Ms. Ballard, Ms. Simpson and the Glasgow Director of Student Services for an information session on Thursday, February 8th from 8:30-9:15 in the Belvedere cafeteria.

Download the flyer for more details. 

Important Form for Parents of Rising Kindergartners!

We sent home a form in Friday folders for parents with a rising kindergartner for the 2024-25 school year.

Completing this form is crucial for the enrollment process, and we kindly ask all eligible parents to take a moment to fill it out and send it back to our dedicated Student Information Assistant, Ms. Belcher. Your cooperation ensures a smooth transition for your child into the upcoming school year.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to our school office. We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to welcoming the newest members of our Belvedere community!

Thank you for your cooperation.

FY 2025 Proposed Budget

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid will present the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Proposed Budget at the School Board meeting on Thursday, February 8, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Reid’s presentation, as well as other budget documents, will be available after she presents to the board. 

View the meeting on FCPS Cable TV Channel 99 (Verizon Channel 11), the FCPS YouTube Channel, or the FCPS website. To watch School Board meetings dubbed in Spanish, please visit the FCPS en Español YouTube channel.

If you would like language interpretation or American Sign Language support for any School Board meeting, please contact the board clerk. Find your School Board member and how to contact them on the School Board Members webpage.

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.

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!

📝 Can Help With More Than Homework offers more than help with homework! This on-demand tutoring service also provides a comprehensive range of resources including exam prep for AP, SAT, and ACT tests at no cost to families. 

Students can take practice quizzes at any time. If they struggle in particular areas, they can immediately connect to a live tutor for help through voice or chat options. Learn more on the FCPS webpage.

Here Comes the Bus

Want to know if your child's bus is on schedule or where the bus is? Here Comes the Bus® is an easy-to-use website and app that enables parents to see the location of their child’s school bus — almost in real time — on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. 

Parents can track multiple buses if their children don’t all ride the same bus; know exactly when children arrive at school or the bus stop; and receive customized text and/or email notifications about bus locations, schedule changes, or delays.

To get started, download the app from the Apple iOS or Android app store. Check out the Here Comes the Bus and Frequently Asked Questions webpages for more information.

Already using the Here Comes the Bus app? Send your feedback to

PTA News 

Belvedere Bingo Night (February 8)

Mark your calendars for Belvedere Bingo Night on Thursday, February 8th (5:30-8:30pm) in the Belvedere cafeteria. We will be selling pizza and refreshments. If you would like to help volunteer or have questions, please contact Jessica Strelitz (

Belvedere Auction Fundraiser in April 

The PTA is hard at work planning for an in-person auction fundraiser this April. More details and info coming soon! If you are able to volunteer in any way, please email us at

Lebanese Taverna Food Truck - February 29

Back by popular demand, the Lebanese Taverna food truck will be at Belvedere on Thursday, February 29. Order in advance for pick-up between 4:15-5:15 pm. Order here: Lebanese Taverna. A portion of the sales will go to support the Belvedere PTA. 

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, February 7, 6:30 pm. 

Questions or concerns? Email

Upcoming Dates

  • Wednesday, February 7 - PTA Meeting
  • Thursday, February 8 - Bingo Night from 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Friday, February 9 - Parent Coffee 9:50-10:30 am
  • Monday, February 19 - President's Day (No School)

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FCPS Calendar: 2023-2024