Rethink your entertainment, Show up and speak up, Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Para leer este boletín en otros idiomas, visite nuestro sitio web.

ይህንን ዜና መፅሄት በሌሎች ቋንቋዎች ለማንበብ፤ እባክዎን ድረ ገፃችንን ይጎብኙ

이 소식지를 다른 언어로 읽으려면, 우리 웹사이트를 방문하시기 바랍니다.

.يرجى زيارة موقعنا الألكتروني لقراءة هذه النشرة الإخبارية بلغات أخرى

Note: This newsletter contains links to translated versions of the content for your convenience. These translations are generated by Google Translate and are not intended to be a substitute for professional translation services.

Hello Community Members!

This is an exciting time! So many year-end events are happening now or being planned to occur in the weeks ahead!

I challenge you to “rethink your entertainment”. Never mind the Kennedy Center this season - get to one of dozens of high school or middle school musicals happening right now! No need to battle traffic to get to Nats Stadium – our athletes are on fields many days of the week! Looking for some international cuisine? Cultural heritage events are happening, like the Japanese Matsuri at Fox Mill Elementary. And if you have a graduate this year, well, those ceremonies are their own special events and certainly a highlight of my year.

In the weeks ahead, I am eager to see a selection of spring musicals and attend my first middle school track meet (a new sport this year at all middle schools!). I’m scheduled to attend several graduations, as well as celebration ceremonies at FCPS’ incredible alternative education programs.

There are also two FCPS public input meetings that happen to be located in Hunter Mill – the Superintendent’s community conversation, and a public meeting about potential changes to the middle school start time. Details are below. Please show up and speak up! I hope to see you in our schools soon.

In this newsletter:

School Board Updates and Recent Work

Special Education Enhancement Plan

At the April 16 Work Session, the School Board discussed the Special Education Enhancement Plan which was designed to address the recommendations of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) included in their Special Education Program Review Report. The Plan was also designed to provide additional enhancements in programming outcomes for students with individualized education programs (IEP) and Section 504 Plans.

This presentation provided an update on the progress of the plan’s current work and actions as well as future plans to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. The work is organized into four (4) goal areas:

  • Instruction and Inclusive Practices
  • Special Education Processes
  • Communication
  • Staff Capacity

Baseline Report for Goal 5

During the April 11 School Board meeting, Superintendent Reid presented the baseline report for Goal 5 of FCPS' 2023-30 Strategic Plan: Leading for Tomorrow’s Innovation. The highlight was on graduation equity through a focus on FCPS’ on-time graduation rates, dropout rates, and post-secondary plans.

Though FCPS' on-time graduation rate is higher than the state average (94% compared to 92%), there is a 21 point difference between the student group with the lowest on-time graduation rate and the division rate. Additional support is needed, especially for our multilingual and economically disadvantaged learners. FCPS is addressing graduation equity with a multitude of current strategies, including those detailed below.

Strategies for on time graduation


FCPS also has other strategies under consideration as the division innovates on the ways in which students earn credits towards graduation and accelerate their learning. These strategies include:

  • Expand flexible options and pathways for students to earn credits, engage in school, and graduate on time. (ex: bilingual classes, year-round/semester/evening options, self-paced artificial intelligence (AI) powered individualized instruction).
  • Increase efforts to ensure 9th grade students are on track for graduation.
  • Increase the fidelity of academic and career planning activities to support students and families.

You can see the strategies under consideration/development in full on pages 23-25 of the Goal 5 Report. Increasing flexible credit and acceleration opportunities will impact FCPS students who are at risk for dropping out and/or not graduating on time, who are on track for success but would like to pursue additional opportunities, and those who are looking to earn college-level credits, earn industry credentials, and pursue specialized coursework while at FCPS. Flexibility personalizes the FCPS learning experiences, to meet our students where they are and to take them where they want to be.

Fiscal Year 2023 Office of the Auditor General Annual Report 

During the April 16 Work Session, the School Board heard a presentation from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) on their Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report

Holocaust Remembrance Day - May 6

The School Board recognized May 6 as Holocaust Remembrance Day during the April 25 School Board Meeting:

WHEREAS, the Holocaust was the government-sponsored, systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews who were targeted by the Nazis for extermination per the Final Solution directive, resulting in the annihilation of 66 percent of the Jewish population; and   

WHEREAS, per Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, "[The Holocaust] is not an example of man's inhumanity to man. It was man's inhumanity to Jews."; and   

WHEREAS, the Holocaust was a genocide that specifically and intentionally targeted Jews, powered by antisemitism based on tropes and conspiracies perpetuated for millennia in societies; and    

WHEREAS, the distinguishing factor of the Holocaust is the industrialization of genocide, to exterminate mass quantities of Jews as efficiently as possible, including using gas chambers; and ... read more here.

Academic Matters

Portrait of a Graduate Celebrates 10 Years

During the Academic Matters segment of the April 11 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid recognized 10 incredible years of Portrait of a Graduate (POG) at FCPS. POG focuses on future-ready attributes of success for our students by building communication, collaboration, ethical and global citizenship, creative and critical thinking, and being goal-directed and resilient. These skills increase engagement, build confidence, and support academic success.

Watch this video to see students speak about how POG skills help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.

FCPS Portrait of a Graduate graphic

April Is...

In addition to the observances and recognitions I included in my last newsletter, late April also brings the following:


Passover observance graphic

Many Jewish communities in the United States celebrate Passover, a recognition of the deliverance of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Passover is also known as Pesah, Pesach, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Many Jewish families in the United States eat a ceremonial meal known as the Seder, which involves telling the story of the exodus from Egypt as well as eating various symbolic foods, such as meat of the paschal lamb and bitter herbs, recalling the harsh life of slavery. 

Thank you to Ella G. from Marshall HS for creating this observance design!

Theravada New Year

Theravada New Year

In countries where Theravada Buddhism is the most dominant religion, New Year is celebrated for three days from the first full moon in April. Theravada means “the teachings of the elders.” Celebrations begin with people attending the local temple in the morning for chanting and meditation. In the afternoon they have a water festival in which they meet the Buddha image and pay respect to the elderly by watering their hands together. Building sandcastles is also one of the most popular activities during this day of celebration.

Upcoming School Board Meetings 

  • Tuesday, May 7 - Work Session
    • Strategic Plan Goal Baseline 4 Report
  • Thursday, May 9, 7pm - Regular Meeting
    • Action scheduled on Student Rights and Responsibilities
    • Performance and Policy Review on Executive Limitation 4 (Human Resources)
    • Fiscal Year 2025 Approved Budget Presentation
  • Tuesday, May 14, 6:30pm - Public Hearing
    • Budget

Accessing Board Meetings 

The work sessions and regular meetings will be broadcast live on Channel 99 (Verizon channel 11) and the FCPS website. Both will be recorded for future viewing and posted to the FCPS School Board YouTube channel.

Visit the community participation webpage to sign up to speak at a regular meeting. Visit BoardDocs for more meeting logistics, agendas, and handouts.

Interested in School Board action items? Sign up to get an update on School Board votes the morning after the School Board meeting.

For Spanish speakers, watch recorded School Board meetings or to watch live during the Regular Meetings on YouTube, you may visit the FCPS en Espanol YouTube channel or scan the QR code.

  QR code for spanish speakers
2024-2027 School Board Official Dais Photo

Hunter Mill Happenings 

Celebrating Earth Day and FCPS' Get2Green Program

Mrs. Aldridge, Melanie Meren, Mrs. Callaghan

I spent the morning of Earth Day (April 22) at the Get2Green leaders summit - including teachers, principals, and staff from our schools who are leading the work of environmental stewardship education, PreK-12! Several schools I represent featured their work, including Aldrin ES, Crossfield ES, Cunningham Park ES, Dogwood ES, Flint Hill ES, Rachel Carson MS, Terraset ES, and more!

I was also delighted to see my long-time colleague and the immediate past School Board Chair, Elaine Tholen. She and I were honored to each give “inspirational” remarks to kick off the day.

The day was the culmination of years of work and advocacy that we did to negotiate budget increases for environmental education - but it’s certainly not the end! Much more is to come, thanks to the many incredible dedicated instructors and educational leaders in FCPS.

Erika Thompson and green activity club

One such Get2Green leader at Forest Edge Elementary School, Erika Thompson (pictured right), an advanced academic resource teacher, enjoys learning more about reducing waste, recycling, and composting while she helps the school become more eco-friendly. She has led classes in green activities and started an after-school club for fifth and sixth graders. Read more about Erika’s Get2Green experience.

Hunter Mill Student Art on Display

The Madison pyramid had student art from all its schools on display for an evening art show. It was such a colorful, thoughtful, expressive collection of art! The hallways were packed with students and families viewing the exhibits.

I was particularly delighted to see the art of Madison Senior, Anjali, who I’ve known since she was in elementary school! She’s headed to art school next year!

I really adored the collections of work by the elementary schools and Thoreau, showing students’ variations on a theme.

South Lakes HS held its annual International Baccalaureate art showcase, which included pieces that were also on display at the Regional Scholastic Art exhibit earlier this year.

Thank you to our expert fine arts instructors!

Collage of student art show pictures


Presentation of Learning at Thoreau MS

Melanie Meren at Thoreau POG POL

I was so pleased to attend the Portrait of a Graduate Presentation of Learning (POG POL) for 8th grade, 2nd year, French students at Thoreau MS. POG POL is a type of portfolio defense where students share “I grew, I can prove it, and here’s why it matters.”

The students made Google Sites to showcase their improvements in communication and global citizen skills. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with several groups of students about how they understood what they were learning.

Ms. Evans the teacher, received a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program award from the US Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. As a Fulbright recipient, Ms. Evans will be traveling to Morocco to share knowledge, engage in research, and foster meaningful connections with communities there. 

Career Day at Hughes MS

Nearly 60 adults participated in Langston Hughes MS' recent Career Day! Not only local Reston residents, professionals, and community leaders joined, but also FCPS staff members from operations, my colleague on the School Board Kyle McDaniel, government professionals from DC, parents and family members, and relatives of Langston staff!

I shared about my career in public service, and about the decisions I make on the School Board that impact students’ lives - including the cell phone away-for-the-day policy and potential start time changes for middle schools. I think they got the message that “all politics is local” and understanding local government matters a lot!

School Board Members Meren and McDaniel

Rowing with the Madison Crew Team

Melanie rowing with Madison crew team

The Madison High School Crew team includes 75 athletes who train six days a week throughout the year. I spent the afternoon with them recently and saw first-hand their commitment to athleticism and team work. It was truly delightful to see students being healthy, outdoors with friends. Since crew is a club sport, it is not offered at all of our FCPS high schools – yet. I’m aware that our Superintendent is very fond of crew, in particular because it offers an underutilized pathway to college scholarships!

After observing the excellent rowers from the launch boat, Coach invited me to join the varsity girls 8 boat for a row! It’s been 26 years since I last rowed, during my college years! It was really special to give it a try, and to also have my friend’s daughter seated right behind me in the 7th seat, providing me with reminders and encouragement. This is an excellent sport in so many ways. I’m eager to help expand rowing opportunities to more students.

Benny Blanco Visits Alma Mater South Lakes HS

South Lakes HS '06 alum Benny Blanco, a songwriter, music producer, author, and actor, reached out to South Lakes to speak to the students.

I was thrilled to attend this exciting event, moderated by Principal Retzer. Benny spoke to the students about the importance of following your dreams with hard work and commitment, and how the diversity of the South Lakes Pyramid helped him to become the person he is today. He even offered to listen to student music demos!

Benny Blanco with South Lakes students

Westbriar Annual Charity 5K Run/1 Mile Walk

Melanie Meren at the Westbriar charity 5k run

I enjoyed an early morning with the Westbriar ES community for its 5K charity fun run and 1 mile walk, with a focus on reducing hunger. 

I walked the one mile with an FCPS school psychologist who is connected to Westbriar. And I caught up with a high school classmate of mine from Long Island, who now is a parent here in FCPS. I was also able to chat with many students and parents along the way, including PTA President, Morgan, who with many other volunteers made the event happen.

As always, an amazing turn out of students, families, and staff from Westbriar!

Marshall Road ES Hosts Annual International Night

Marshall Road ES' International Night was incredible. So many cultures represented and shared, and so many students, families, and staff in attendance!

I met families with heritage from: Argentina, Brazil, China ,El Salvador, Honduras, India, Italy, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Ukraine.

Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who made this event possible and the wonderful performers who shared their talents with the community. 

Marshall Road International Night


Walk In My Shoes Program at Wolftrap ES

Walk in my shoes at Wolftrap poster

Wolftrap ES hosted the “Walk In My Shoes” program (coincidentally offered by a Hunter Mill resident), to help students experience different abilities of others. I learned about the program years ago when it began. Now it has a robust set of activities that schools can host!

Parent volunteers helped facilitate the lessons and experiences provided by the program. I observed an activity where students considered what it was like to have a body part move involuntarily (a handkerchief around one student’s wrist was gently moved away from the task of coloring by another); being a multi-lingual learner who is not familiar with the language spoken in class; being visually impaired and defying some myths about this; and having ADHD, where students raced to pick up pom poms to show the extra hurdles faced by those who have ADHD brains.

I also saw how the school is cultivating cultural awareness and learning - reflections about the book, “The Gift of Ramadan” lined a hallway.

South Lakes eSports Team Places at Spring Championship

VHSL esports

The South Lakes HS eSports team placed 2nd in the Rocket League at the VHSL Spring eSports Championship!

The VHSL Executive Committee voted at the end of last year to “reset the clock” for esports and its emerging status in the League. This means that the League has until the end of the ’24-’25 academic year to determine if eSports will become a fully sanctioned and sponsored activity under the Emerging Activity guidelines.

PlayVS is the official eSports partner of the National Federation of State High School Associations and works with several other state associations to provide eSports programming for their students.

Cedar Lane School Wins Basketball Championship

Congratulations to the Cedar Lane basketball players who won their league’s championship! Thanks to Coach and Cedar Lane staff member Malachi Jackson, for his leadership!

Cedar Lane basketball trophy


Students Advance to International Science & Engineering Fair

Science and Engineering Fair Grand Prize Winners

Congrats to Madison HS' Wesley Kang and Valeria Novoa who were GRAND Prize Winners at the VA State Science & Engineering Fair. They will now attend the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in LA in May with 3 other FCPS grand prize winners from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.


Hughes Choral Students Take on NYC

Advanced Choral students from Langston Hughes MS traveled with staff and parents to New York City recently to see Wicked on Broadway. In addition to attending the performance, students were able to interact with cast members as well!

Hughes Advanced Choral Students in New York


April "SWAG" Winners at Carson Middle School

April SWAG Student Winners at Carson

Each month at Rachel Carson MS, teachers from different departments recognize students for their hard work, perseverance, and commitment to making a positive impact at Carson through our SWAG Student Recognition Program. SWAG stands for “Students with Awesome Growth”. Mr. Stokes shared why each student was nominated during our April celebration. Congratulations to the following students for having Carson SWAG: Sorna, Eduardo, Isabel, Justin, Lily, Moises, Isha, Shelia, David, Dua, Merina, Anvit, Sam, Sophia, Maria, Isaac, Malia, Vivaan, Nicholas, Zachary, Mahanth, Trevor, Joanna, Holden, Sophie, Yogesh, Nora, Adrita, Brayden, Roma, Lillian, Rohith, Suvan, April, Lillian, Maya. A picture of these students is proudly displayed outside of the cafeteria for all to see. Congratulations, Panthers!

Students Selected for All-VA Band, Orchestra, and Chorus

One hundred eighty-one FCPS students from 24 secondary and high schools were selected to perform in the 2024 All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. See the full list of student awardees. Congratulations to the many Hunter Mill students selected!

Upcoming Theatre Performances

Big Fish musical poster

South Lakes High School Theatre Presents Big Fish

Big Fish is a musical about 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. Purchase tickets here.


  • Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 3 at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, May 4 at 2pm
  • Saturday, May 4 at 7:30pm
Pippin musical poster

Madison High School Theatre Presents Pippin

With an infectiously unforgettable score from four-time Grammy winner, three-time Oscar winner and musical theatre giant, Stephen Schwartz, Pippin is the story of one young man's journey to be extraordinary. Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, this updated circus-inspired version of Pippin continues to captivate and appeal to the young at heart throughout the world. Purchase tickets here.


  • Thursday, May 2nd at 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 3rd at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, May 4th at 2pm and 7:30pm
Westfield HS Freaky Friday poster

Westfield High School Theatre Presents Freaky Friday

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic. By spending a day in each other's shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another's struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter.

Our matinee performance will feature various mother-daughter themed events including a dress like your mother, dress like your daughter fashion show, pre-show & intermission shout-outs to your mom or daughter, and a photo booth! Purchase tickets here.


  • Thursday, May 2 at 7pm
  • Friday, May 3 at 7pm
  • Saturday, May 4 at 2pm (Mother-Daughter Matinee)
  • Saturday, May 4 at 7pm
Legally Blonde Musical Poster

Marshall High School Theatre Presents Legally Blonde

OMG, you guys! Experience the power of pink with Statemen Theatre’s production of the smash-hit Legally Blonde: The Musical!

Based on the blockbuster 2001 movie, Legally Blonde tells the transformational story of sorority girl Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, sexism, snobbery and scandal in her pursuit to win back her ex by getting accepted into Harvard Law School. Purchase tickets here.


  • Friday, April 26th at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, April 27th at 2pm & 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 3rd at 7:30pm
  • Saturday, May 4th at 2pm & 7:30pm

Herndon High School Theatre Presents Fiddler on the Roof

Based on Sholom Aleichem’s Tevye and his DaughtersFiddler on the Roof is the beloved story of the small, tradition-steeped town of Anatevka, Russia, where Jews and Russians live in delicate balance. During the course of the show, the time honored traditions of Anatevka are both embraced and challenged by Tevye and his community, as they witness his daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava, grow up and fall in love in a time of extraordinary change. Purchase tickets here.

Herndon HS Fiddler on the Roof poster


  • Friday, May 3 at 7pm
  • Saturday, May 4 at 2pm
  • Saturday, May 4 at 7pm
  • Sunday, May 5 at 2pm

Herndon HS Step Team Yard Show Success

The Herndon High School Step Team had an amazing turnout for their recent Yard Show! If you would like to get involved with the Step Team or support the team, please email Coach Hannah at 

Visit the Step Team's Facebook page for more photos and videos of the performances.

Herndon Step Team thank you poster

Upcoming Events and Opportunities to Engage 

Annual Matsuri at Fox Mill ES

Fox Mill Matsuri Event

The annual Fox Mill ES Japanese Children's Day Festival, called Matsuri, is quickly approaching! The event will be held on Friday, May 10, from 6-8:30pm. 

Wristbands for children are required for admission ($5 pre-order, $10 at the door), and will give children access to games, crafts, calligraphy, trying on kimonos, Japanese traditional dance, and more. Adult supervision is required, but there is no cost for adults to enter the event.

There are food options available via pre-order as well. The deadline to order food and wrist bands is Thursday, May 2. Read more here

Our Schools, Our Future: Community Conversations Continue

Join Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for Our Schools, Our Future – A Community Conversation. Your voice matters! Share your thoughts about FCPS and bring your questions to a conversation on:

  • Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-7:30pm, South County Middle School.
  • Thursday, May 2, 6:30-7:30pm, Terraset Elementary School.
  • Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-7:30pm, Hybla Valley Elementary School.
  • Thursday, May 16, 6:30-7:30pm, Poe Middle School.
  • Tuesday, May 21, 6:30-7:30pm, Katherine Johnson Middle School.

Pre-registration for a Community Conversation is not required but will help FCPS plan. Childcare and interpretation services will be provided for all events based on staff availability. Events are open to all. 

Community Forums on Middle School Start Times

FCPS is exploring options for adjusting middle school start times and invites the public to be part of the process. 

Community forums will take place in April and May. Prismatic Services, Inc., an educational consulting firm, will lead the forums. All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Please attend the event that works best for your schedule: 

Registration is not required, but it does help with planning. Click the location of the event to register. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times

Madison Bridges Program for Rising Freshmen

Madison High School is excited to offer the Madison Bridges program to rising 9th grade students. This program is created by Madison HS staff to provide students with the essential background knowledge and skills to make a successful transition to high school. It is designed for all incoming students regardless of educational background.

The program will be held at Madison during two separate weeks:  July 22-26 and July 29-August 2.  The program will be from 8:30am- 11:30am each morning (lunch will not be provided).  Students should only sign up for one session.  The cost is $100.  Scholarships are available in cases of financial hardship (contact TJ Anderson directly to inquire at 

For more information and to register, please click here.  

Unlock FCPS' Past on Historic Schoolhouse Day

FCPS historic schoolhouse

Step into the rich history of Fairfax County Public Schools on Historic Schoolhouse Day, Saturday, May 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Unlock the doors to six captivating former FCPS one- and two-room schoolhouses where local students learned from 1870 to 1939. 

Immerse yourself as each location comes alive with engaging activities and insightful tours, offering a glimpse into Virginia's educational heritage.

Whether you're a history enthusiast, a curious learner, or simply seeking a unique experience, all are warmly invited to partake in this unforgettable event. Come be a part of this vibrant celebration of our educational legacy. For schoolhouse locations and additional details, visit the Historic Schoolhouses of Northern Virginia website.

Register for Free Webinars from the Family Resource Center

The FCPS Family Resource Center offers free workshops and webinars, consultations, a lending library, and resources to help adults support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities. Register for events here.

Upcoming events include:

  • 10 de mayo, 10-11:30am: Apego: Creando una relación con mi hijo donde se sienta seguro y protegido. (presentado en español)
  • May 14, 10-11am and May 15, 7-8pm: Covid-19 Compenstatory Services Partnership Between FCPS and Varsity Tutors
  • May 17, 10-11:30am: Meet the Author Series: The Breakthrough Years by Ellen Galinsky

Compensatory Services Partnership Between FCPS and Varsity Tutors

This will be an information session about a new partnership between Fairfax County Schools (FCPS) and Varsity Tutors. This partnership will provide students with disabilities an additional opportunity to receive compensatory education as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic in accordance with their IEP.

  • Date: 
    • Tuesday, May 14, 2024 10-11am  OR
    • Wednesday, May 15, 2024 7-8pm (choose one session)
  • Format: Virtual

Register for this event.

Meet the Author Series: The Breakthrough Years by Ellen Galinsky

Child development expert Ellen Galinsky challenges widely held assumptions about adolescents and offers new ways for parents and others to better understand and interact with them in a way that helps them thrive.

Galinsky’s Shared Solutions Framework and Possibilities Mindset show you how to:

  • turn daily conflicts into opportunities for problem-solving where both teens and parents feel listened to and respected
  • encourage positive risk-taking in your child like standing up for themselves, making new friends, and helping their communities
  • promote five essential executive function-based skills that can help them succeed now and in the future.

Join best-selling author, Ellen Galinksy, as she shares her latest research on raising thriving teens.

  • Date: Friday, May 17, 2024 
  • Time: 10 - 11:30am
  • Format: Virtual

Register for this event

Additional Information of Interest 

New Student Registration

Kindergarten registration with crayons

There’s an easy five-step process outlined for parents looking to register their child for kindergarten and other grades:

  1. Determine eligibility. 
  2. Identify your local school. 
  3. Gather documents. 
  4. Fill out forms. 
  5. Schedule an appointment.

After the appointment at the school (the student and one caregiver must be present), the student will be ready for the upcoming school year. Read more about the registration process.

Begin your Kindergarten and New Student Registration today!

If you have any questions, please contact our Student Information Assistant (SIA), Shirley Eason, or call the main office at 703-242-6100.

Early Learning for Children Six Weeks to Four Years Old

Pre-K and Early Head Start Video

FCPS pre-K and Early Head Start programs provide a high-quality early learning experience for qualifying income-eligible children ages six weeks to four years living in Fairfax County. Watch this video to learn more (also available in Spanish). 

Pre-K prioritizes 4-year-old applicants but also accepts applications for 3-year-olds through September 30.

Early Head Start is located at three elementary schools — Clearview, Crestwood, and Dogwood — and accepts applications from pregnancy to 2 years old.

Families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Space is limited and based on need, not first come, first served. 

Applications are accepted online, by email, by mail, or in person at FCPS’ Leis Center location in Falls Church.  

For questions about your application or status, please call 703-208-7900 (English) or 703-208-7901 (Spanish).

Early Intervention: Infant & Toddler Connection and Child Find

Teacher with student

Do you have concerns about your infant, toddler, or preschool aged child? Does your child exhibit repetitive body movements, have eating or sensory sensitivities, or difficulty with communication? Have you noticed them moving, behaving, or learning differently than other children?

These developmental checklists for children up to 3 years old can give parents/caregivers an idea if their child may need help developing certain skills.

The Infant & Toddler Connection of Fairfax provides evaluations and early intervention services for infants and toddlers (up to age 3) who have a developmental delay or a medical diagnosis that may lead to developmental delays. Parents/caregivers who have concerns about their child's development may call 703-246-7121. 

Child Find offers free screenings for children from 20 months to five years old to identify potential special education needs. The program is offered through FCPS Early Childhood Identification and Services. Call 571-423-4121 with any questions or to schedule an assessment.

Find more information about typical developmental milestones at Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

No-Cost Mental Health Teletherapy for All HS Students

Student using telehealth services

Is your high schooler experiencing anxiety, behavior changes, or challenges with peer and family relationships? If so, parents/caregivers can refer their children for weekly therapy with a licensed therapist through Hazel Health. Virtual mental health services are available at no cost through an FCPS partnership with therapists who are licensed and trained in teen-specific challenges. Forty percent of Hazel providers are bilingual, speaking more than 15 languages.

Students may be referred by a guardian or designated staff member and participate in weekly video therapy sessions. Therapists will work with students until they achieve their therapy goals, or they can help connect them with longer-term mental health services in the community. Learn how to opt your student(s) into this service.

It's Not Too Late to Apply for College Financial Aid

FAFSA written on paper

Nationwide, as many as 30% fewer graduating seniors have completed and submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), according to recent news reports. Many schools rely upon the FAFSA form to grant students financial aid award letters.

Families who have questions or persistent technical issues filling out the FAFSA might consider scheduling a free appointment with our partners at College Access Fairfax; email All FAFSA help provided by your school or College Access Fairfax is free.

2024 Educator of the Year Award Applications Open

ADHD 2024 convention logo

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), a leading nonprofit organization serving people affected by ADHD, is seeking nominations for the 2024 Educator of the Year Award! This award seeks to recognize exemplary educators who through their influence improve the lives of students with ADHD. Applications are due by June 9.

The recipient of this award will be invited to the 2024 Annual International Conference on ADHD in Anaheim, California. Read more and submit a nomination.

 ACE Scholarship Applications Open June 15

Are you a low-income adult residing or working in Fairfax County, eager to boost your job skills and advance your career? Look no further than the ACE scholarships offered by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). These scholarships provide an invaluable opportunity for individuals seeking to enhance their job skills and open doors to new career possibilities.

The ACE scholarships cater to the needs of low-income adults in Fairfax County who aspire to further their education and skillset. Whether you're looking to acquire new skills, explore career opportunities, or pursue a passion, these scholarships can help turn your aspirations into reality.

Payment plans are available for certain long-term programs, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder your educational pursuits. Additionally, applicants are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an educational counselor to discuss program options and determine the best course of action.

For more information about ACE scholarships and how to apply, contact Don't miss out on this opportunity to invest in your future and unlock new possibilities. Mark your calendars: the application period is open from June 15 to August 15, 2024. Take the first step towards a brighter tomorrow – apply for ACE scholarships today!


Student Opportunities

Viva! Vienna! Student Essay Contest 

Viva Vienna essay contest


Northern Virginia Community College E-Summer Program

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is offering its E-Summer Program for rising high school juniors and seniors who meet the qualifying grade point average or test score requirements. This program is sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and Dominion Energy and is designed to introduce students to science, technology, engineering and math, and the energy industry.  Important program details can be found here. The application will open on Friday, March 1 and the deadline to register is Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 5 p.m.

Environmental Quality Advisory Council Student Member

The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council seeks a student member for the July 2024 through June 2025 term. The council’s primary responsibility is to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for improving environmental protection and enhancement in Fairfax County. The Council generally meets in person at the Fairfax County Government Center on the second Wednesday of each month, starting at 7:15 p.m. Interested high school sophomores and juniors may apply by May 6, 2024.

Find more information and apply on the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination web page.

Jumpstart2NOVA 2024

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is pleased to announce the return of JumpStart2NOVA for summer 2024! This program offers tuition-free summer college courses to high school seniors who are considering attending NOVA and who will be graduating from a public, private, or home school in Spring 2024 and in good academic standing at NOVA.

The application for JumpStart2NOVA is now open and closes at 5 pm on Friday, May 10, 2024. Courses begin on Monday, June 3, and end on Monday, August 12.

First-time NOVA students must apply to NOVA and create an account to request the course at Current DE students can skip the NOVA application and go straight to, selecting the term “JumpStart2NOVA 2024.” All students must upload a current high school/home school transcript and qualifying test scores if they do not have a 3.0 grade point average.

To learn more about JumpStart2NOVA, including course offerings, minimum qualifying scores, and details on how to apply, please visit this website

Summer Camps and Learning Programs 

Madison HS Drama Kidz Kamp

Mad Drama Kidz Kamp poster


South Lakes Summer Camps

South Lakes summer camps

Are You Planning to Try out for a Sports Team at South Lakes?

If you have sport specific questions, please contact the coach directly. Please find coaches contact information HERE (Look Under QUICK LINKS)


Madison Boys Lacrosse Youth Clinic

Madison boys lacrosse youth clinic


Marshall Boys Basketball Summer Camp

The 2024 GCM Boys Basketball Summer Camp (for rising 2nd - 10th graders) registration is now available!  Don't miss out the chance to save a spot for our annual boys basketball camp this year.  Go Marshall Pride!

Marshall boys basketball camp poster


Elementary Institute for the Arts

Students in all FCPS schools can enroll in the Elementary Institute for the Arts. IFTA is a weekly Arts enrichment program for students in rising 3rd through 6th grades during the month of July. Students take classes in Art, Music, Theatre, and Dance every day. Transportation is provided from around the county. Tuition assistance is available for students who qualify.

Check out the Elementary Institute for the Arts website for more information or email

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.

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.

VIP Summer Camp for Rising Middle Schoolers

VIP Summer Camp graphic

Looking for a fun summer camp for your rising middle schooler? Check out VIP Camp, taking place July 1 through August 1 at five FCPS middle schools, and open to all FCPS middle school students. VIP Camp costs only $100 for the 5-week program! Find out more and register online. All rising middle schoolers are invited to attend a summer of fun and leisure with VIP Camp. VIP Camp is designed to encourage teens to develop healthy and positive recreation interests and features a wide variety of leisure activities and programs. Applications are now open. There is a $100 fee for the five-week program. Scholarships are available.

Free Teens in Action Summer Camps

The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services offers affordable, engaging, and healthy recreation programs for students aged 12-18 when schools are closed. Teens in Action youth participate in team sports, games, arts and crafts, STEM (science, engineering, and math) programming, service projects, field trips, and more. Admission for camp is free. The Summer Camp takes place Monday through Friday, from 8:30am - 5pm, and is separated by age group. Rising 9-12 graders attend camp from June 17- August 16, 2024, and rising 7th and 8th graders attend June 17-28, 2024, and August 2-16, 2024

Girls Fire and Rescue Academy 

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCRD) Girls Fire and Rescue Academy is back! This free camp takes place Tuesday, June 25 - Friday, June 28, and is open to female students who will be in grades 7-12 in the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. Participants must be Fairfax County residents. Applications are due by Friday, May 17. Read more here

Fairfax Girls Fire and Rescue Academy Flyer


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

Fairfax County Park Authority Camps

Fairfax Parks Camp

Looking to have fun at an upcoming Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) camp? Many spaces remain open for summer camps and the remaining spring school holiday on Friday, May 3. If your top choice camp is full, you can now join the waitlist.

The Park Authority offers numerous resources to find the camp that is right for you among more than a thousand camp offerings. Visit the Camps website to browse the 2024 Camp Guide, and access all our camp planning tools such as the Camp Spreadsheet and Camp Planner.

For more information or assistance, please email

Reston Summer Swim League

Reston Swim Team Association's Summer Swim League

Job Opportunities 

Contacting Me

I prioritize responses to Hunter Mill constituents, so please be sure to identify yourself as such if you contact me. If you are unsure of your county magisterial district, you can look that information up here.

To contact me, it is most helpful to please use the official School Board contact form via my website (click "Submit a Question"). This form prioritizes emails to me from constituents, and helps me track communication so I can be sure you receive a response. Thank you for your cooperation.


Melanie Meren


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The views contained within this newsletter reflect the views of the individual school board member who is the publisher of this newsletter and may not reflect the views of the Fairfax County School Board.

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