Carson MS Weekly Updates -Week of April 15

Carson Middle School

        Important Upcoming Events

  • April 18 - Virtual Parent Coffee - 9-10am
  • April 18 - Virtual PTA Meeting - 6:30pm-link below
  • May 2 -  Basketball game @ Stone MS
  • May 3 -  Teacher Workday - No School for students
  • May 6-10 Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 27 - Holiday - Memorial Day - No School


23-24 SY Theme

Weekly highlights
  • Message from Mr. Stokes
  • PTA Virtual Meeting
  • SOL Testing Dates
  • Summer Programs
  • Other Schools Are Sharing

A Message From Principal Stokes

Greetings Panthers,

April is the Month of the Military Child.  This is an opportunity to acknowledge the great contributions of service members in our community.  Further, it is an important time to recognize the impact of a family member’s service on a young person.  When a family member is deployed or a family needs to relocate due to a change in orders, this does have an impact on students.  At RCMS and across Fairfax County throughout April, we want to say thank you to our military-connected students and families.  To read more, please visit:

With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, this is a great opportunity to share a reminder about the dress code.  Students are expected to wear appropriate clothing that is proper for the school environment in order to minimize distractions.  Clothing items that might be worn at the beach, pool, or any non-school setting should remain at home.  If clothing is inappropriate, a school staff member will have an individual conversation with that student and direct them to secure more appropriate clothing.  The specifics of the dress code are outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document.  For more details, please read here:  Please continue to have conversations with your child about what clothing aligns with dress code in the effort to have a successful school day.

Thank you for your support.


Gordon Stokes

PTA Virtual Meeting Link- Thursday 4/18 6:30pm

Here is a link for the PTA virtual meeting:

Meeting ID: 985 6724 3559

Passcode: 758006


Purple Up FCPS

Purple Up FCPS!

April is the month of the military child!

We are so grateful for all our military families and the sacrifices they make to help our country. To celebrate all our Rachel Carson children of military families, we will all wear PURPLE  on Wednesday, April 17! 

Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) School Health Services Internal Survey

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) employs school health aides and public health nurses who provide school health services to the students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
To determine the quality of these services, a survey has been developed by the FCHD to be shared with all parents or guardians of FCPS students. Parents/guardians will be asked for feedback on the level of satisfaction with School Health services provided to the school community. The survey will be distributed electronically via FCPS This Week. The survey window is April 15 - April 26, 2024.
Survey link:

Survey results will provide a basis for quality improvement of School Health services. The data-driven process is in alignment with the FCPS Strategic planning process, and the survey results will contribute positively to the FCPS Strategic Plan that reflects a shared consensus among stakeholder.


Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener Results Coming Soon

Students in grades 3-12  took the SEL Screener during the month of March, providing updated information on their SEL skills like achieving goals, understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining relationships, and making responsible decisions. The screener also asks students how well their school community makes them feel valued, included, and supported.

In late April, individual student SEL Screener results will be available to families in the Documents section of SIS ParentVUE. For families who do not have an active ParentVUE account, results will be sent via postal mail.

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

3rd Quarter Grades

The end of 3rd quarter was Friday, March 22. The gradebook module in SIS StudentVUE and ParentVUE will be unavailable from Friday, March 22 at 4 pm until Monday, April 15 at 6 am. At that time, report cards will be visible in ParentVUE. Students will receive a copy of their 3rd quarter report card during Panther Time on Monday, April 15.

Virtual April Family Coffee: “Moving Up: The Transition to Middle and High School”


Please join us virtually to learn more about the transition to middle and high school at our next Family Coffee on April 18th from 9-10AM.  

RCMS school counselors will be presenting two separate virtual sessions.

For our high school session, we are excited to have a school counselor from South Lakes High School participate along with RCMS assistant principal, Kelly Cosgrove, a former high school administrator.  

Zoom Meeting links will be sent later today. 

8th Grade Service Learning hours


This is a reminder that all 8th grade students are required to have 15 service learning hours verified and approved in x2VOL by May 1st at 11:59 pm. Please remind your student to check that their hours have been verified by their sponsor in x2VOL by the May 1st deadline. Students have been frequently reminded to check x2VOL and to see that their total hours are verified and correct. If a student needs a service experience, they can check the Schoology Service Learning folder under Carson Student Central.


            RCMS PTA

  Now Accepting Nominations

Believe it or not, the Rachel Carson PTA is already planning for the 2024-2025 school year! Are you or is someone you know enthusiastic about supporting Rachel Carson and all of its students, teachers, and staff? We are soliciting nominations for several positions that will be open next year including:

  • President
  • Communications Secretary
  • VP of Fundraising and Social Events
  • Membership Chair
  • Basketball Chair
  • Multicultural Night Chair
  • STEAM Night Chair

Current Board members will assist new members with the transition. Please email if you are interested, or know of someone who would make a great addition to our team!

SOL Testing Dates

All students will take the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests in May. Testing will begin first thing in the morning (at 7:30 am) to ensure students have adequate testing time before lunch. Please see the testing dates below to ensure your student attends school on the testing day.

7th Grade Students

8th Grade Students

  • Grade 7 Reading: Monday, May 20th
  • All levels of Math: Wednesday, May 22nd
  • Grade 8 Integrated Reading and Writing (IRW): Wednesday, May 1st
  • All levels of Math (except Algebra 1 Regular): Thursday, May 16th
  • Grade 8 Reading: Monday, May 20th
  • Grade 8 Science: Wednesday, May 22nd
  • Algebra 1 (regular only): Thursday, May 23rd

With parent/guardian permission, student rapid retake SOLs will occur the week of May 28th. If you have any questions or concerns, please email David Dewett, Testing Coordinator at

Mason Math Odyssey Enrichment Camp at GMU

July 8, 2024 - July 12, 2024

Mason Math Odyssey enrichment camp (MMO) is a place for rising 6th - 9th graders who are curious about math to learn about beautiful mathematics concepts typically not taught in K-12 curriculum. Students will engage in fun and friendly team competitions that will help build mathematical maturity while honing problem solving, collaboration, and communication skills. Camp participants will embark on an exciting mathematical journey through space and time to learn about some of the greatest mathematical discoveries from ancient times to this day, get exposed to some of the fundamental mathematical concepts from the areas of geometry, topology, number theory, probability and algebra, as well as mathematical modeling, and compete for a chance to win the camp trophy. As part of the daily agenda, students will be immersed into one of the mathematical themes through guest lectures, hands-on activities, and group projects featuring Olympiad-style problems as well as simple mathematical puzzles and culminating in a peer and instructor judged presentation.

Where: In-person – GMU Fairfax Campus

Dates: July 8, 2024 - July 12, 2024

Time: 9am - 3pm (drop off and pickup windows TBD)

Cost: $490 includes all materials, activities, and daily lunch!

Registration Deadline: Friday, June 4, 2024

 More details: Mason Summer Day Camp | GMU College of Science.

Contact: Jennifer Lawler

FCPS Summer Learning and Fun

Career and Technical Education

CTE Summer Academy (CSA) is a week-long enrichment program that allows students in grades 6-11 to dive deeper into CTE program areas, develop skills, and begin career exploration. Visit the CSA webpage to register.

Institute for the Arts Camps

IFTA is a two- or three-week summer enrichment program for students currently in grades 6-11. Students select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9 (graduation requirement), music, and theater. Visit the IFTA webpage to register. 

Self-Directed Economics and Personal Finance

Summer is a great time for high school students to fulfill the Economics and Personal Finance course requirement. During the self-directed course, students work independently to complete the requirements. Students must register by Friday, May 24. For more information, see the Summer Learning information page.

Summer Online Campus

Take advantage of the opportunity to earn a high school course credit via this summer’s online campus program. Registration ends Friday, June 7. Math, health and physical education, career and technical education, English, science, social studies, and world language courses are available to eligible students.

Additional Summer Learning Opportunities

Please go to the following website Summer Learning information page to learn about these summer opportunities:

  • Credit Recovery Academy/ Extended Learning
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Self-Directed Economics and Personal Finance

VIP Camp: July 1 - August 1

VIP Camp



Online Tutoring

This is a reminder that all students in FCPS have access to  This a free service where students have 24/7 access to an on-line tutor.  Students can connect with someone about nearly any school subject.  We encourage all families to take a few minutes to review the basics of and log-in to try out this great resources.  You can go directly to or review the FCPS overview page at:

After school


Chess at Carson MS

Rachel Carson is hosting another event that your child can be a part of:

Mr. Barrows will communicate with students about activities through email and Schoology and will also be in lunches where a daily schedule will be shown on the projector. We try our best to communicate any changes such as cancellations immediately though email and Schoology. Late buses will be offered Monday-Thursday. Late buses are different than your regular bus number. Please make sure students know their late bus number prior to staying after school. You can find your late bus number in SIS and it will say RCLR (Rachel Carson Late Run).

After School Program Specialist

Building Use Coordinator

Other Schools Are Sharing

Oakton HS

For more information on the Oakton HS Dance Team click HERE


South Lakes High School


You’re Invited

Families in the South Lakes pyramid schools are invited to see South Lakes Theatre Arts perform Big Fish (a musical) for a special Community Preview event. For one night only, get $5 off each ticket and meet the cast and crew after the show for autographs and pictures.

Big Fish graphic and the words say South Lakes Theatre Arts, A Splash of Magic: Big Fish Community Preview, Wednesday, May 1 7:00pm
Buy Tickets Now

A Splash of Magic:

Big Fish Community Preview

Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00pm

Join us for a special Community Preview event for South Lakes High School Theatre Arts' musical presentation of Big Fish.

Big Fish is the story of Edward Bloom, a charismatic storyteller whose fantastical tales captivate his son, Will, while also making him question what’s really true about his father’s life stories. Will reflects on his father’s larger-than-life stories, leading to an exploration of family, legacy, and the power of storytelling.

On Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00pm (before the main show dates on May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th), students and families from the South Lakes pyramid schools are invited to an exclusive private viewing of this magical show with a $5 discount on each ticket. After the performance, you’ll have a rare opportunity to meet the cast and crew, take photos, and get their autographs. Youth t-shirts will be for sale and can be autographed!

This extraordinary experience will only be offered on Wednesday, May 1st for our pyramid families, to allow younger students to see this show together. This is a great opportunity for them to experience the power of storytelling, foster a love for the arts, and capture memories of the magical and heartwarming show.

Under the creative direction of Mr. Michael Viola, and featuring an incredibly talented cast and crew, Big Fish promises to be a production that captivates and delights audiences of all ages (best for ages 8+). Did you know that the South Lakes Theatre Arts program won 12 awards for their musical last year, including Best Musical in two different awards shows!

So, don't miss out on this special preview event where imagination comes to life on stage.

Get your tickets online now, before this special preview sells out.

Buy Tickets Now


💻Techstravaganza at Thomas Jefferson HS

This year will be the 20th annual Techstravaganza on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at TJHSST.  Techstravaganza is a free, public, hands-on STEM activity fair for elementary and middle school students in Northern Virginia.  In previous years, more than 4,500 students have participated in over 70 labs presenting STEM activities.  Exhibitors include TJHSST clubs and volunteers from organizations like NASA SCaN, Art of Problem Solving, George Mason University, American Society of Naval Engineers, and the National Air and Space Museum. 

Admission is free and there will be food for sale.  Here is the registration form.  More information about the event can be found at

Calling Oakton-bound 8th graders! Oakton High School band is holding 8th grade band auditions. If you are a rising freshman and plan to participate in band, please join us for auditions from 6:30-8:30pm on Monday, April 15 (Woodwinds) and Tuesday, April 16 (Brass/Percussion). Enter OHS through Door 1, and look for Oakton band students or parents to guide you to the Hospitality room and Band room. If you cannot make it on the assigned night, feel free to come at the other time.

Join the Oakton Band!








Advanced Band Level 1/Band Level 1

“Concert Band 2”

Rising 9th graders and new students to band register here.  Exact band placements will be made after auditions are complete. Marching Band is optional



Advanced Band Level 2/

Band Level 2

“Concert Band 1”

Students who have been in band. Present members instructed to sign up for this class again and will be auditioned for upper level classes in May/June.  Marching Band is optional


Advanced Band Level 3

“Symphonic Band”

Auditions in May/June.

Marching Band required (with some limited exceptions)


Jazz Ensemble

Must be enrolled in a band class (exceptions for keyboard, guitar, and bass guitar). Meets after school for credit.  Begins mid-fall after the conclusion of the marching season.


AP Music Theory

Open to grades 10-12.


Marching Band ◊ Concert Band ◊ Color Guard ◊ Jazz Band ◊ Drumline ◊ Indoor Winter Guard

Band “Mythbusters”

  1. It is possible to do athletics and band.
  2. You can do clubs and honor societies and band.
  3. You can do band all four years and still get the most advanced diploma.
  4. You can still get into a great college without taking every AP class.

Important Dates

  • 8th Grade Auditions: April 15 (woodwinds) and April 16 (brass/percussion)
    • 6:30pm at Oakton HS
    • You may audition on the other day if you have a scheduling conflict
  • Marching Band online registration begins May 1st
  • Mandatory new marcher meeting May 13th
  • Marching Band camp: July 29-August 9, 2024


Ask Dr. VanValkenburg (

For more information on Oakton Bands go to:

Field Hockety-Oakton

Click here to register for the Oakton Field Hockey Camp

Oakton Dance

Click here for more information about registration for the Oakton Junior Dance Team Camp.

Chantilly HS

Chantilly High School

Charge Ahead Freshman Orientation Registration & Payment links

Chantilly High School is offering three Freshman Orientation options.  The choices to attend a 1-Day session are either August 6, 7, or 8 from 9:00-1:00 PM.  Students will get a chance to get to know us, ease any anxiety, and learn how to navigate high school life here as a CHARGER.  It’s so fun and you don’t want to miss out!  The cost is $50 per student via MySchoolBucks which includes a Class of 2028 t-shirt, snacks, and a Chick-Fil-A Sandwich.  Registrations are on a first-come first-serve basis until July 28.  Register today to secure your spot.

Payment via

CTE Summer

Summer Academy

ClickHERE for information about Chantilly HS Sports



Link to PurchaseYearbook Sales - MySchoolbucks

2023-2024 Yearbooks are available for purchaseReserve your copy today by purchasing through MySchoolBucks!

We have a limited number of surplus, once we reach our sales limit yearbooks will be sold out. Sales are on a first come first serve basis.

Who to Contact

If you have a question or concern, please visit our website for a full listing of  Who to Contact.  This listing includes all of our administrators, our counselors, and who to speak to regarding a specific content area or class. Contact information for all staff members is listed on our website - just click on the name of the person you wish to contact  to be redirected to their email address: RCMS Staff Directory.