Daniels Run ES - May 17, 2024

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A Note from the Principal 

DRES Families, 

We received wonderful news this week as we were named a 2023-24  "Green Shield" school by the Positivity Project (P2). This recognition is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff, students and school community.  A special thank you to 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Oris, for her leadership of P2 at DRES!  An excerpt from the communication from P2:  

"The Green Shield School designation sets a high standard, emphasizing the integration of character strengths education into every aspect of the school environment. Daniels Run Elementary's commitment to the six key categories – Classroom Implementation, Schoolwide Implementation, Student Leadership, Family Engagement, Professional Learning, and The P2 Movement – reflects its holistic approach to building a culture grounded in character and relationships.

Schools like Daniels Run serve as centers of excellence, showcasing the transformative power of character strengths education. By fostering individual strengths and nurturing positive relationships, they enrich students' lives and create environments conducive to personal and academic growth. We are grateful for the dedication and support of you and your team in developing a positive school culture grounded in character strengths and positive relationships."

I was away for a few days last week celebrating my daughter's graduation from college so I was unable to make a video message for students.  Look for one next week!

If you have any questions or concerns you can contact our main office at 703-279-8400 or contact me directly at cmsmith@fcps.edu

Enjoy your weekend,

Chris Smith 

DRES Principal

Parent Input for 2024-25 School Year 

As the 2023-2024 school year is coming to a close, it is time for Daniels Run  staff to start preparing for the 2024-2025 school year.  When it comes to class placements, we cons

ider many things, such as heterogeneous groupings, balancing academic abilities, and how to maximize the support our resource teachers can provide students. 

If you feel that there is pertinent information to support your child’s success, please complete this optional Parent Input Form by Friday, May 24th. Please note that this system is not intended for families to request specific teachers. Your child’s current classroom teacher, specialists, counselors, and administrators will collaborate to make well-balanced classes. We value and consider your insight into your child’s learning needs. 

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow

In FCPS, we all belong. From the first day of school, to the last day of school, every child matters. If your student is having a hard time finishing the year strong and attending school, please contact a trusted adult at the school—a teacher, counselor, or administrator. Visit FCPS’ website for more attendance resources


  • Don’t let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomachache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make him/her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
  • Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
  • Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school

bus drivers needed

🎓 Calling All Alumni and Friends!

Educate Fairfax is proud to introduce FCPS Alumni & Friends, an online network of alumni, teachers, parents/caregivers, and community members with ties to Fairfax County Public Schools. Whether you are a recent FCPS graduate or you’ve returned to Fairfax to work or raise your own family, this network will celebrate our alumni and friends of FCPS through stories, news and events, reunions, homecoming, and other activities. It’s also a great way to rekindle old friendships and build new ones. Join FCPS Alumni & Friends today!

Preschool Opportunity

Daniels Run ES is pleased to announce that we will have community peers in our preschool program. The early childhood special education staff members have been investigating the possible opportunities for our students to participate in integration activities with typically developing peers. This will involve teaching preschoolers with delays and without delays in the same classroom. It can provide young children with a more stimulating environment, teach skills for coping with different situations, and provide the opportunity to learn appropriate social skills. 

Our program will invite a limited number of community preschoolers (1-2 per class), who are age 3 ½ -5 years, to participate in our daily preschool activities. The children from the community will have the opportunity to make new friends and share experiences with current early childhood special education students. Our students will, in turn, benefit from being with community peers who can model appropriate language, motor, and social skills.

         All children learn through their play. Intellectual growth occurs in a social context, influenced strongly by the quality of social interactions. The goal of this program is to encourage active learning and promote social interaction and acceptance through shared experiences between the community children and our preschoolers with special needs. 

If interested contact Chris Smith cmsmith@fcps.edu  by May 17th. Interested families will be invited for a playdate for their child to interact with the current class to assess readiness for the program.

Testing Updates


🗓️ SOL Testing Dates 🗓

Our Spring Standards of Learning (SOL) tests are this month.

These assessments measure the extent to which students have learned the content and skills reflected in state standards. The content tested varies by grade level.

Students have completed our scheduled reading and math SOLs!

See below for the upcoming scheduled dates this Spring.

Grade 5:

  • 🔬 Science: Tuesday, May 21


SOL Make Up Testing: May 22-24

SOL Retakes: May 28-31

If you have any questions about SOL tests, please reach out to our School Testing Coordinators, Sara Van Aalst (smvanaalst@fcps.edu) or Janelle Alabi (jgalabi@fcps.edu).

PTA News

baby photos

Music News

🎵Upcoming Spring Music Concerts (updated May 2)

  • Band: June 4
    • 2:30 in school concert for 3rd-6th graders
    • 7pm: evening concert for community
  • Strings: June 6:
    • 2:30pm:  in school concert for 3rd-6th graders
    • 7pm: evening concert for community

🎵 The May Musician of the Month is the American strings duo: Black Violin.  They play the violin and viola , and are also singers, and composers.  The group formed in 2004 & their musical style is classical and hip hop fusion.

🎵2nd-5th Grade: Summer Choir Camp Offer:  Come sing with Miss McCarten this summer!

🎵6th Grade:  FCPS Institute of the Fine Arts Summer Program

Music Camp

P2 News

Dear Families,

Next week, our school community will focus on the character strength of Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means approaching life with excitement and energy. It means energizing people around you.

Enthusiasm is the ability to bring life and excitement to different situations. It often leads to a higher level of involvement and engagement for individuals and groups. Those who demonstrate enthusiasm bring energy and intensity to individual and group work. As a result of their outward excitement about a task or project, these people are often identified as early leaders and innovators. Look for these people to recruit new group members and generate ideas.

Enthusiasm is contagious, and it can directly tie to high levels of success, happiness, and achievement for groups. One person’s enthusiasm can spark others to think, speak, and act with more energy and conviction. Groups that are enthusiastic about tasks are much more likely to spend longer periods of time serving the group’s overall goals.

To practice and encourage the character strength of enthusiasm with your child, please visit the Positivity Project’s P2 for Families, where together you will watch a video, read a quote and talk about the answers to three questions.

Have a wonderful week!

Strings Summer Camp Opportunity

Exciting news! SoCo Summer Strings is returning this summer! The camp will be hosted at South County Middle School from July 8-19, 8:30am-12:30pm, weekdays only. Camp is open to all rising 5th-9th grade students with at least one year of experience on the violin, viola, cello, or bass. Students will participate in two large ensemble rehearsals, an instrument-specific technique class, and a sectional each day. You can find more information and registration for camp at www.schsorchestra.org/soco-summer-strings. Early registration is from March 1-June 9, so reserve your student’s spot soon!

Summer/Saturday Enrichment Program

William & Mary’s Center for Gifted Education is excited to share its Summer/Saturday Enrichment Program (SEP) with your family. SEP is an academically challenging program with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning. The program is not meant to replace the regular school curriculum; rather, it recognizes the importance of allowing able children to explore additional specialized areas of science, mathematics, humanities, and the arts. There are in-person and virtual courses available in the areas of engineering, music, STEM, coding, writing, social science, and many more. 

We are now registering for:


June 24th-28th

July 8th-12th

August 12th-16th 

For more information, and to see what classes are available please visit our website!

🎤 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:

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. Learn about other opportunities to connect with Dr. Reid.

⏰ Community Forums on Middle School Start Times

Fairfax County Public Schools is exploring options for adjusting middle school start times and invites the public to be part of the process. 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 does help with planning. Click one of the dates above to register. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times.  

The Northern Virginia Mineral Club will be hosting a Geology of the Upper Accotink Creek at the Commons!

Our next field trip focuses on the upper part of a major watershed in Fairfax County, VA. Accotink Creek, 25 miles long, straddles two geologic provinces in our area, the Piedmont and the Coastal Plain. The stream originates just north of the city of Fairfax and crosses onto the Coastal Plain near Lorton, then joins the Potomac estuary near Gunston Hall (home of Founding Father George Mason). Upper Accotink Creek traverses Piedmont bedrock more than half a billion years old. We will meet at a small park near Fairfax city and walk to Accotink Creek, where we will see outcrops of metamorphic bedrock. We will also examine gravel bars along the creek for quartz in various hues and for fine-grained, greenish-gray pieces of bedrock ranging from meta-siltstone to phyllite and metatuff. Club members will lead the trip, explaining the origins of the bedrock, its context within the geology of our area, and the general history of the creek itself.

When: Saturday, May 18th, 10:00 a.m. (Rain Date: May 19)

Where: Country Club Hills Commons Park, 10050 Spring Lake Terrace, Fairfax, VA (has street parking)

The walk to the creek is short, but the vegetation is dense, so wear appropriate clothing, such as long sleeves and pants. The creek is small but has no bridges and we will cross it, so wear rubber boots or sturdy shoes. (Without rubber boots, your feet might get a little wet.)

🖍️ It’s Kindergarten Registration Time!

Attending kindergarten provides children with an opportunity to learn and practice the essential social, emotional, problem-solving, and self-regulation skills they will use throughout their lives. Eligible children can also be registered throughout the summer, but registering your child early helps us plan so that we have the teachers and resources needed on the first day of school. 

Prepare for registration by gathering documents and completing forms. We are happy to support families with registration and the transition to kindergarten. For more information in other languages, visit FCPS’ Kindergarten Registration webpage.

Kindergarten Registration 2024-2025

Kindergarten Registration Spanish 2024-2025

FCPS Calendar Dates


FCPS 2023-2024 Calendar: Click Here

Important Dates

May 21 - Science SOL (Grade 5)

May 22- PTA Meeting at 7pm in the library

May 27- Memorial Day/ No School

June 4- Band Concert at 7pm

June 6- Strings Concert at 7pm

June 12- Last Day of School