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From The Principal
We have successfully completed another week of instruction and through all of this we continue to make gains in our instructional model. Students continue to become more comfortable with the virtual environment. We do know that this is not the ideal way for all or even most students to learn, but there are skills that are being developed that will prove to be valuable for our students in the future. I was having a conversation with a parent this week and we talked about how difficult it has been for the adults to learn how to maneuver in this virtual environment because it was introduced to us so suddenly. Next year, we will still employ some of these teaching and learning practices with students and they will be so much better prepared for it. It is my vision that we will have the ability to, and make use of distance learning within our building by having multiple classrooms be able to engage in learning together in the virtual environment. This will allow for student voices to be even more powerful and impactful as it will be shared with so many more of their peers and adults. As we continue to take baby steps in our development of the use of these tools and resources, we are excited about the possibilities that exist in the future. Yeah, I know that I am getting ahead of myself, but a principal can dream can’t he?
Okay, so back to today…
As of Saturday, Group 3 reached seven consecutive days of cases exceeding our threshold and therefore must pause in-person instruction and return to virtual learning beginning Monday, December 14th.
Group 3 students are enrolled in the following programs/sites:
- Elementary Comprehensive Services Sites (CSS)
- Adapted Curriculum Programs
- Enhanced Autism Classes (EAC)
- Intellectual Disabilities (ID) Classes
- Intellectual Disabilities Severe (IDS) Classes
- Non-Categorial Elementary (NCE) – Adapted Curriculum
- Key Center
- Kilmer Center
- Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)
- Recently-Arrived English Learners (ELs) in Grades 3-12
- I would like to publicly thank our staff and students who have been in the building working very well within the safety guidelines. Our CAT B and ESOL teachers and students have been outstanding through all of this and I just wanted to thank them for their diligence and commitment. We will miss this group of staff and students being around.
While we are forced to move in the opposite direction of bringing students back into the building, our staff is still preparing for the eventual “reunion” of staff and students in the building. We are feverishly looking at, and planning traffic patterns, lunch schedules, how our 9th graders and students new to our building will be oriented to our building, and working through our mitigation strategies in an effort to ensure the safest environment for both staff and students. As we finalize processes like our traffic flow of the building, etc., we will send these processes home so that students are able to plan for expectations ahead of time.
I want to be very transparent in stating that due to the fact that when we do return to the building so much will be riding on the adherence of health protocols, that we will be very, very tight on enforcing the mandated health procedures. I am committed to our number one goal which is the safety of ALL staff and students and will not tolerate anyone who feels that it is okay to place others at risk. We cannot expect that students will be able to be available for learning if they are forced to be even further concerned about their health because of individuals who choose not to follow our protocols. I appreciate your support in advance of this stance (hey that rhymed!).
I would like to thank those of you who have been selected to serve in the role of Classroom Monitor upon our return. While it may seem like a small thing to do, I wanted to say that I truly appreciated the time that each of you took to apply, interview, and deal with this process as a whole. We were able to hire enough monitors to ensure our classes would be covered and students would be safe. We even had to turn some people away due to the number of people who applied. On top of that, we are one of few schools who are in a position to say that we have this task covered. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this additional investment into South County!
The Student Services Team has collaborated with students and teachers to bring a Virtual Wellness Week. This after-school program will occur December 14th -18th from 3:30-4:30pm. Within this week, we hope students and staff are able to explore different methods of coping/stress reduction while continually focusing on total wellness. For more information, please visit our wellness website: https://sites.googel.com/fcpsschools.net/schs-wellness-week/home.
As some of you know, South County is a central kitchen and the staff here provides meals to not only many of the surrounding schools, but also our community as a whole. These outstanding employees and troopers arrive to our building at 5:00am and get meals ready and out for our students and community every day without fail. I want to publicly thank these folks as well. They are doing great work and hardly ever get mentioned, and they most definitely deserve to. So thank you Food and Nutrition Team for all of your hard work and dedication to our community!
Below is an overview of the Winter Break meal service plans:
- Friday, 12/18 -- Bus routes will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch Grab & Go locations will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch
- Monday, 12/21 -- Bus routes will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch Grab & Go locations will not distribute any meals
- Tuesday, 12/22 -- Bus routes will offer 4 days of breakfast and lunch Grab & Go locations will offer 14-day meal kits Meal Kits sites will offer 14-day meal kits
- Wednesday, 12/23 through Friday, 1/1/21 -- No food service
- Monday, 1/4/2021 -- Bus routes delivering breakfast and lunch will resume daily service
- Tuesday, 1/5/2021 -- Grab & Go locations resume daily meal distribution
- Wednesday, 1/6/2021 -- Sites that distribute 7-day meal kits resume
I would like to give a huge shout out to our custodial staff who continues to create a safe and welcoming environment through the maintaining of our grounds. We had a safety team come through to evaluate the mitigation strategies that we are employing in the building to ensure a safe health environment for our staff and students and the highlight of their feedback was the work that the custodial staff was doing to make sure sanitization was taking place. This is yet another unsung group of professionals who work behind the scenes to make our Family’s home a place we can be proud to come to every day!
It is important that every once in a while students ensure that their computers get the required updates from the county. To do this, students can take their computers up to any FCPS school and from the parking lot, they should restart the computer there. Students should restart a minimum of three times in order to receive all the necessary updates. If in the case they are still having issues please submit a ticket for help here: https://itweb.fcps.edu/itsupport/
Student parking fees will be waived for FY 2021. Although no parking fees will be collected, we will follow our normal procedures for the issuance of parking passes. We will be putting out specific information about South County’s process sometime next week.
For planning purposes, I would like to share that the building will be open for limited hours during the winter break. Phones will be monitored from 9:30am – 12:00pm. I know that this is a slim window, but I am really trying to have staff take some sort of break.
Don’t forget that you can nominate a South County faculty or staff member as an Outstanding member of our Family. You may complete the nominations through the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScCdeK1V0OeytPjRiZfQ7OUkwMf5wGytmdIDa7TtwqdeJ-dGA/viewform. Nominations are due December 13th by 11:59pm.
Well that is all that I have for you this week. I am sure you are saying, “Well isn’t that enough?” Yes it is. Thanks again for another great week of supporting your students and our teachers. Thanks for the kind messages that you have shared with your children’s teachers, and also for sharing with us those things that weren’t so great. It’s the only way we get better…. but please don’t feel the need to make us better all at once. 😊 I am blessed to be here and to have you as a Family member. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and continue to be safe. #OneStallion
Student pictures have arrived for 9-11th graders who ordered them from Lifetouch.
Photo packets can be picked up at South County HS on Monday, December 14 from 9-3 p.m. at door 15.
Please bring your receipt or an email with your order.
Please wear a mask for pick-up.
From the Theatre Department
The South County HS Theatre Department is proud to present Home for the Ha Ha Holidays, a virtual performance featuring members of our Theatre Sports team, performances by Theatre Arts students, and much more! The performance will be on Friday, December 18th at 7 pm. To reserve your virtual space, please fill out this form. A link will be sent to you a half hour prior to the performance. Please feel free to share the flyer to social media pages to help spread the word! Please click here to watch a short video about the performance. Any questions? Please contact Molly Rumberger at email@example.com.
Substance Abuse &
Mental Health Moment
Winter approaches and as we prepare for the holidays and winter break from school, it is important to be mindful of the increased risks of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. These symptoms are susceptible to increase due to rising COVID-19 numbers, winter blues also called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), social isolation, decreased physical activity, and increased stress. More information on these topics can be found using the following links:
*Social Isolation (CDC Parent Resources) https://tinyurl.com/parentresourcekit
*Physical Activity https://tinyurl.com/WHOexercise
*Holiday Stress https://tinyurl.com/MayoClinicHolidayStressand
*Teenage Holiday Drinking: https://www.alcohol.org/statistics-information/holiday-binge-drinking/
The routines of most families have changed, schedules are busier, and many are overwhelmed. Mindfulness is helpful to decompress and to focus on the present instead of the past or uncertain future. Taking a few minutes to notice and accept your thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations can help you recharge and face the moment or whatever the day holds for you and your family. Here are a few mindfulness activities for parents, caregivers, and frontline workers that you may try alone or with your children:
*Five Senses: https://tinyurl.com/5senseexercise
*4-4-4-4 Box Breathing: https://youtu.be/aPYmZOhJF5Q
*Repeat a Positive Affirmation: https://tinyurl.com/COVIDAffirmations
*Six Steps to Deal with Emotions (acceptance to letting go): https://tinyurl.com/sixstepsemotions
*Mindfulness Instrumental Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2ozb9cgwMcl2SDWK4SLRp8
*Gratitude Mindfulness Hunt: https://tinyurl.com/gratitudehunt
Permanent Safe Drug Disposal Locations
- Health Department Link for Safe Drug Disposal (with map of permanent drop-off locations, including pharmacies, police stations, fire stations, clinics, etc.):
- Link with Location Search field where one can enter their zip code to find closest drop-off locations for unused meds:
The Fairfax County Health Department, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and Fairfax County Public Schools have partnered to implement the Truth Initiative’s This is Quitting program. This is Quitting is a teen and young adult-focused vaping cessation text messaging program based on the best scientific evidence from the tobacco cessation literature. For more information about the program, click here.
The Community Services Board (CSB) is still providing general mental health and substance abuse services. Their information can be found by clicking HERE.
Please contact me for additional vaping, substance abuse and mental health support. For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness: (571) 423-4270 or by visiting our website by clicking HERE.
Catric Marshall, MSMHC., LRIC
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
Yearbook Info and Links for Seniors
Senior Portrait Information
When will my portrait session be?
We apologize for the change and the frustration it may have caused; however, this change will allow all students to choose whether or not to use Lifetouch’s drapes, tux, caps, and gowns for their senior pictures.
Information will be sent out soon and families should watch their mail over the next week for their new appointment time.
Thank you for your patience as we try to navigate this unique time.
How do I choose which picture goes into the yearbook?
Once students take their pictures, they will receive information about how to order pictures and how to choose a yearbook pose. Students can also choose a yearbook pose to submit, by filling out the google form here: https://forms.gle/B5SWmmrqGwMi75Gh8
What if I want to submit my own picture? DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU HAD YOUR PICTURE TAKEN BY LIFETOUCH
Students who do not want to have their picture taken by Lifetouch but would like to be in the yearbook need to submit a portrait in either a drape or tux, or a neutral black or white top. The picture should be on a solid color background. Submit the photos by following the directions below:
and Senior Ads
- Go to https://yearbookforever.com/
- Type in South County High School
- Click ‘Shop the Store”
- Click “Community Upload” at the top of the page.
- Use the Code “SOCO2021”
- Upload your portrait.
- Click “This is a portrait”
- In the comments box, type in the full name of the individual in the picture. No nicknames please.
- Submit your photo.
Yearbooks and Senior Ads can be purchased online:
The yearbook is looking for photos! If you would like to share
photos of your activities use the link for purchasing yearbooks
(above), Click on Community Upload, and then enter the Code
If you have any questions regarding yearbook or school pictures, please contact Jennifer Delinski at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stallion Spirit Store (Kiosk) goes Virtual!
South County’s Stallion Spirit Store is back and now open virtually! Items are available to order online through a Google Form with invoicing to follow after order is fulfilled. All items can be shipped directly to your home for a fee or pick up can be arranged at the school. To order items, please use this link - Stallion Spirit Store.
Visit our website and please consider giving us feedback on new merchandise options!
Thank you in advance for supporting the Entrepreneurship & Marketing program as well as the Work and Transition program here at South County. The students from these programs typically work the Spirit Kiosk at lunches to build customer service skills as well as count inventory and review financial records. These work-based learning opportunities allow students to connect classroom lessons to actual scenarios. This year, the students will still review the financial records and inventory while virtual as well as create promotions and research new merchandise options.
From the Library
Does your student need a print book for class or personal reading? South County HS Library has curbside and contactless pickup of library books on Mondays 8am-2:30pm. Please see the 24/7 Blackboard South County HS Library Course for details on how to request and pick up books. Masks must be worn when picking up books.
Students with overdue books from last school year are being emailed and asked to respond either Yes, I still have the book and can return it to the main entrance of the school, OR No, I do not have the book. Please ask your student(s) to login to their library account and check if they have any books from last year. Directions to do this will be in the email that they receive if they have an overdue book.
Virtual Librarian Support
Does your student need book recommendations, homework support, research help on assignments, or help proofreading their assignments? They can schedule a virtual meeting with one of the librarians for support. Please email Ms. Strong or Mrs. Muir for assistance.
Please contact Emily Strong email@example.com or Lisa Muir firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
South County Athletic Booster Club
The South County Athletic Booster Club (SCABC) has created some great ways for the community to show your STALLION PRIDE. Order now STALLION STRONG yard signs, car magnets, and HOLIDAY spirit wear clothing. You can access ordering these items via the athletics website: https://southcountyhs.rschoolteams.com/
South County Athletic Booster Club
From the PTSO
Become a part of the Stallion Brick Wall of Fame!
This is a great opportunity to honor and celebrate your child’s SCHS experience—especially if you have a graduating senior! The "Walk of Fame" is located inside the SCHS Football Stadium, surrounding the Stallion statues by the concession stand. Funds raised from the brick sales support the PTSO. Order your brick at https://southcountyptso.membershiptoolkit.com.
Lorton Holiday Extravaganza Online Marketplace
The Lorton Holiday Extravaganza Online Marketplace to benefit the PTSO and the Class of 2021 has been extended through December!
Please have all your friends and family shop during the holiday season! We are adding news items every day! And we are adding prizes for those who like and share our page! Go to: https://www.facebook.com/LortonHolidayExtravaganza
White House Ornaments- Get them before they are gone!
SCPTSO is continuing its tradition of selling the Annual White House Ornament to benefit the All Night Grad Party. Visit https://southcountyptso.membershiptoolkit.com for online ordering. Inquiries can be directed to Jennifer Megan at JMegan2560@aol.com or Dawn Martinos at DAMartinos@fcps.edu.
PTSO Social Media Fundraiser
Help the PTSO earn donations! State Farm agent Casey Whitmarsh will donate a $1 for every 'like' or follower he gets on his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages! One person could earn the PTSO $3 just for liking and following Casey Whitmarsh!
Twitter : @CWhitmarshSF
LinkedIn: search for Casey Whitmarsh
Finally, we use several methods to keep in touch; please follow us or sign up with at least one of the following.
PTSO general page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthCountyHighSchoolPTSO/
PTSO Military Connections on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2103122980014708/
PTSO craft fair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SCHSCraftShow/
Time to order!
Order online at highschool.herffjones.com
Lorton Community Action Center
In Need of Help During These Difficult Times?
Do you know of someone in the area that may need help? Fairfax County has non-profits throughout the county that work in specific zip codes to help folks in need. In South County’s area, the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) provides food, emergency financial assistance and educational programs to help families and seniors in the community. You can learn more here: https://lortonaction.org/need-help/
8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter