Just In Case Info

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From The Principal

Family,

 

Central Office has been hearing that some families are experiencing difficulties with accessing the portal to select their enrollment option for the fall.  Please see below for the requirements for parent to be able to complete the “Return to School – Enrollment Options” or “Survey”. The email went out to anyone that was listed as Parent/Guardian.

Deadline in July 10, 2020

  • Link:https://www.fcps.edu/enroll2020
  • Only the enrolling parent can fill it out (if it’s not the enrolling parent, they will receive a “username or password incorrect…” message.
  • Need Student ID to complete the survey.
  • Parent email must match Enrolling Parent Primary Email. 

I hope this helps any family having difficulties. Have a wonderful rest of the day. #OneStallion

 

Gary

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

First Steps To Moving Forward

GovDelivery 1 week 3 days ago

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From The Principal

Family,

I hope this finds you and your Family enjoying your summer.  Dr. Brabrand sent out a letter to the community outlining plans for our return to school in the fall.   Dr. Brabrand’s letter to the community can be found here in case you missed it.  The entire presentation to the school board can be found here.  A dedicated web page is set up where additional details about Reopening of School plans are posted here

We are happy to have a clear direction so we may begin to productively plan for August!  Although there are still questions to be answered, this is a great first step. This week you will be receiving an enrollment letter from FCPS to allow you to state your preference for the type of learning you wish your child(ren) to receive.  This information is crucial for the school so that we may appropriately plan our staffing for both virtual and face-to-face classes.  

I am sure that many of you may have questions that have yet to be answered.  We will continue to work on providing additional details as they become available.

Stay safe and healthy.

Gary

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Pre-Ordered Yearbook Pick-Up Tomorrow

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Pre-Ordered Yearbook Pick-Up  Tuesday, June 16th  8am-12pm Door #1

Students who have pre-ordered yearbooks but have not picked them up, can do so tomorrow, June 16, at door 1 from 8-12.  After this point, senior yearbooks that were pre-purchased will be placed in senior grab bags and underclassmen will need to call 703-446-1603 and leave a message requesting an appointment to pick up their yearbook. NOT SURE YOU ORDERED A BOOK?  Those who pre-ordered books will have a receipt in their e-mail from Walsworth from some time this school year.  Unfortunately, there are no yearbooks for sale anymore, as all extras have sold out.  Walsworth will not print individual sales. 

Any questions?  Email Jennifer Delinski at jldelinski@fcps.edu

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News from South County High School

GovDelivery 3 weeks 4 days ago

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From the Principal (Musings from Morris)

 

Well Family,

We are coming up on the end of this ride.  You have put up with the many communications that have come from me and others.  If you are like me and you receive your notifications via your cell phone, you may have contemplated going back to an analog device, or just simply going off the grid.  That being said, I thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we have tried to navigate the ever changing landscape this pandemic has put us through.  While you will not be hearing from me nearly as frequently over the next month and a half, know that we will be feverishly at work collaborating with our county leadership developing the plans that we will use when your child returns to us in the fall. 

I would like to thank those of you who came out to support the outstanding student effort one June 10th at the Black Lives Matter rally.  It was a great showing of unity that we can only aspire to expand on.  It was great to see so many adults out there alongside the students.  It meant so much to them.  Thank you.

On Friday afternoon we met as an entire staff virtually to close out the year with our End Of Year Faculty Meeting.  We celebrated our teachers who have hit milestones in terms of years of service, as well as those who have decided to move on to new adventures such as changes in schools or retirement.  (View these wonderful teachers here.)  Further, we discussed the gains we have made in the area of collaborative efforts as well as the strategies that we have learned around the use of the FCPSOn devices to enhance the learning experience.  I charged the staff with not letting go of these gains and to think about further expanding their work in these areas because we could very likely find ourselves in a similar situation.  But even more than that, I challenged them to expand their practices because the experiences from distance learning have shown that we can engage our students from afar, and that we should take advantage of that opportunity to be able to provide all students with accessibility options in the digital environment regardless of what our learning space is in August. 

I want to remind you that we will be doing underclassmen textbook drop off this week.  Please have your children take the time over the weekend to put their hands on their books before it time to come up to school to drop off their items.  Remember, they will not be turning in laptops unless they are leaving FCPS.  I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to reclaim all of our books from students so that we can have them for the next class of students.  Otherwise, we have to repurchase those items out of our local school accounts.  Due to modifications to the county budget in response to COVID-19, money is tight.  So we really need to be prudent in our spending.

For those of you who are interested in viewing the Virtual Graduation Celebration of our phenomenal Senior Class, the Virtual Graduation celebration will be aired on June 30th at 6:00pm on Apple 21 and Channel 99 and streamed through this url: https://www.fcps.edu/tv/ch99.

Keeping in the spirit of celebrating, I wanted to share another video that was put together by the World Languages Video ( WL Video Final.mp4 ).

And here is an inside look at some collaboration by our music department from this year.  The students from the band, orchestra and choral groups got together to perform "America".  It is just a short piece of the selection, but I thought I would share it with you to remind you of all the talent that resides in our building.  Enjoy! 

https://www.facebook.com/782418888/posts/10156824022853889/?d=n

As you think about things to do in the summer, you may want to consider this:

Grow at Home Enrichment Activity with the Emergency Food Distribution Program

The Office of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) is excited to announce the launch of the FCPS Grow at Home activity as an enhancement to the emergency food distribution program. An expert team from FNS, Get2Green, and school gardens across FCPS have developed seed kits for children to grow their own green bean plants. The kits include green bean seeds, soil, and planting instructions. Grow at Home is optional, no-cost, and provides interested children with the opportunity to engage in a farm to school enrichment activity.  There are limited kits available. 

As soon as I receive more information about when these kits can be picked up, I will share that with you.

 

To ensure you have the summer school information, I have included again information about summer learning.  There are three types of opportunities available for students.  Here they are:

Credit Recovery, Intervention, Continuity of Learning

 

Credit Recovery

Due to school closure, schools are able to use Edmentum to provide courses for credit recovery. Feeder middle schools will notify high school DSS if they have any students that need to be included in the credit recovery program. 

 

Intervention

In addition to credit recovery, schools can invite students to participate in non-graded, Edmentum classes for practice.  Up to 20% of last summer’s enrollment may be invited. 

Continuity of Learning

FCPS will offer continuity of learning for students using self-directed digital materials available online. All students will have the opportunity to practice mathematics and literacy skills and participate in virtual office hours with math or language arts teachers for support and connection. This program is free to all students and more information about continuity of learning resources will be provided before the end of the school year.  Here is a link to the FCPS Summer Learning Webpage.

 

On Saturday while I was trying to find ways to spend the 5 dollar that was burning a hole in my pocket at Lowes, I ran into one of our parents who spotted me behind my mask.  She scared the you know what out of me when she called my name because I am always thinking, “Who knows me by Mr. Morris in Woodbridge?”  She introduced herself as a South County parent, and then proceed to thank me for writing these publications.  I have heard that before from a few of you and I just want to say “thank you” to each of you for taking the time to lend me your ear (or eyes as the case may be) each week.  It is truly my pleasure to communicate with you all, and it is even more of a pleasure to do so when I know you appreciate the effort I make to try to make these worth your while.  I will miss all of you over the course of the summer and want to say once again, I am proud to serve as your principal.  Have a wonderful summer, and please continue to stay safe.  #OneStallion

 

Gary

Underclassmen Textbook/Library Book Returns

June 15 – Underclassman Textbook/Library Book Return @ Front of the building from 10am – 7pm.

  • Instructions: Books prepared in trunk

June 16- Underclassman  Textbook/Library Book Return @ Front of the building from 8am – 12pm.

  • Instructions: Books prepared in trunk

For either of these days, families can sign up through this link: 

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F48ABAA2EA0FB6-south1

       

Summer Reading Resources From the Library

We’ve put together summer reading resources, with an emphasis on free ebooks that will be accessible to our students. The resources include some book recommendations, ebook access instructions for both FCPS and the Fairfax County Public Library, and a reading log. The resources are posted both on the South County High School Library Google Site HERE and in the South County High School Library Blackboard course so that students and families can access it in either place. Please contact Emily Strong erstrong@fcps.edu or Lisa Muir lkmuir@fcps.edu  for any questions about summer reading, recommendations, or accessing the eBooks!

Happy Reading All!

    

Students and Parents of the Class of 2020

We are so excited to bring you the South County virtual graduation!  Many of you have completed your photo and message to be shared on June 30.  This is a reminder for those of you who have not done so.  A few items of importance:

  1. You should have received an email from graduation@marchingorder.com . This email was sent to the email address on file through Naviance, so it may NOT be the fcpsschools.net email address.  A reminder has been sent this week, so if you did not receive any email, PLEASE contact Sam Gero at jvgero@fcsp.edu
  2. The deadline for the photo and message, and optional video, has been extended to June 18th.  However, the pronunciation deadline is June 14th.  If you want to make sure your name is pronounced correctly, please go on the site and write the phonetic spelling and record your name.
  3. If you are just posting a photo, or just posting a message, PLEASE email Ms. Gero so that she can approve it without contacting you concerning the other portion.  If you just want to post a photo, or just want to post a message, that is fine, we just need to know.
  4. Once you have completed the photo and message, marching order will direct you to stageclip for you to record your optional video message.
  5. Remember, your photo should be of you in your cap and gown picture, or your yearbook photo along with your text message. For uniformity, your photo should be a portrait style image of your face, head and shoulders with a solid background and must be compatible with the K-12 educational environment and with good citizenship. The text message of 150 characters can be a thank you, your achievements, or your future plans.
  6. If you wish to use your yearbook photo instead of a cap and gown photo, please email Ms. Gero at jvgero@fcps.edu
  7. If you do NOT wish to participate in the virtual ceremony, please email Ms. Gero at jvgero@fcps.edu so she can take you off the list.
  8. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

   

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Correction to the Yearbook Link

GovDelivery 1 month ago

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Family,

 

I apologize for the issues that you likely experienced with the link to the yearbook form.  Here is the corrected link.  Please use this one instead.  Take care and stay safe.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qmiLCk5wm9kbhMAqTk7xTt38kAVeIO0TbdtrcloT3BU/edit?usp=sharing

 

Gary

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News from South County HS

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From The Principal

 

Family,

Let me open with a huge thank you for your patience and positive spirit over the last couple of weeks as we have worked to either distribute or collect items.  Long lines at times or hot or wet days have not stopped you from bringing your smiles and kind words to the staff. Your gestures and kind words were very much appreciated.  We still have a little more work to do, so please continue to bring those positive vibes to help keep our spirits high.

Even during these strange times we still have good news to share.  I wanted to inform you of the achievement of some of our students on this year’s National Latin Exam given on March 10th . . . fortunately we were able to get the test in before the closure of schools three days later.

Congratulations to the following National Latin Exam award winners!   

2020 National Latin Exam Award Winners

 

Latin Level          Student Name                                   Award

Latin I                    Madeline Alexander       Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin II                  Lily Lai                             Gold Summa Cum Laude

Latin II                  Addison Burris                 Gold Summa Cum Laude

Latin II                  Claire Gribschaw             Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin II                  Saiesha Gohil                  Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin II                  Ainsley Logar                   Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin II                  Travis Kiser                      Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin II                  Bethany Daniel                 Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin II                  Lydia Addisalem               Magna Cum Laude

Latin II                  JaeWoon Jeong               Cum Laude

Latin II                  Meredith Zeigler               Cum Laude

Latin II                  JaeWan Jung                   Cum Laude

Latin II                  Carissa Christensen         Cum Laude

Latin III                 Kimberly Haque                Silver Maxima Cum Laude

Latin III                 Aurelia Klunder                 Magna Cum Laude

Latin III                 Nikhil Aggarwal                 Magna Cum Laude

Latin III                 Andrew Schultz                 Magna Cum Laude

Latin III                 Faith Park                          Magna Cum Laude

Latin V                  Fiona Burris                      Cum Laude

 

For a little more good news this week we had one of our very own Seniors to be spotlighted by the county!  Please join me in looking in on the thoughts of Ms. Sasha Millora-Brown!  https://southcountyhs.fcps.edu/features/class-2020-senior-spotlight-sasha-millora-brown

 

Seniors who were not able to come in to turn in books and laptops can come in on Tuesday, June 9th from 4:00pm – 6:30pm to turn in those items and receive their cap and gown.  I cannot express enough how important it is for us to receive theses items back so that our rising students will have the necessary materials to use in the fall.  Phone calls by our staff will be made to the remaining students to remind them to come in.  Families can sign up to come in through this link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F48ABAA2EA0FB6-south

Performing Arts Instrument Collection 

Ms. Swift and Mr. Engdahl will be at SCHS on Monday, June 15th from 10 AM-12 PM to collect instruments.  Please pull up the band room door (for Mr. Engdahl) or Door 14 (for Ms. Swift to drop it off).  You must stay in your car and have Mr. Engdahl or Ms. Swift get the instruments out for you.  If you are an underclassmen who will be returning to band/orchestra next year, you do NOT need to return your instrument at this time, and may keep it for the summer.  Please email Ms. Swift (mlswift@fcps.edu) or Mr. Engdahl (kengdahl@fcps.edu) with any questions you might have. 

 

Yearbook Distribution

June 12- Senior Yearbook Distribution @ Door 1 from 8am – 12pm.

  • Instructions: Families need to bring this form

June 13 – Underclassman Yearbook Distribution @ Door 1 from 8am – 12pm.

I apologize for having to do this on a Saturday rather than when underclassmen come to turn in their books, but with the numbers of underclassmen who have to turn in items, it would really slow the process down to do the yearbook distribution on the same day and we are having to work around the schedule of the yearbook advisor. 

  • Instructions: Families need to bring this form

 

June 15 – Underclassman Textbook/Library Book Return @ Front of the building from 10am – 7pm.

  • Instructions: Books prepared in trunk

June 16- Underclassman  Textbook/Library Book Return @ Front of the building from 8am – 12pm.

  • Instructions: Books prepared in trunk

For either of these days, families can sign up through this link: 

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F48ABAA2EA0FB6-south1

Turning this conversation toward a bit of fun, and entertainment, I wanted to share with you the video both the Tri-M Music Honor Society and Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica put together in place of the Talent Show this year.  I am constantly astounded and amazed by the quality of talent that exists in this building.  Here is the link: https://youtu.be/paYWVErj69c

This week’s SoCo FAMILY reminder video is from our English department.  Check it out here- English Dept Video.

For those of you who were not able to attend the Virtual Varsity Letterman Night, I am sharing the link to that presentation here.  Please enjoy and if you run into any of these outstanding young people in your future travels, please take a moment to congratulate them and thank them for representing the South County Family so well!  2019 - 2020 VIRTUAL Varsity Letterman Night

Finally, I took a moment to share my thoughts around my truth with respect to the recent horrific incidences that have take place in our society over the last few weeks.  This isn’t required that anyone listen to my thoughts, but I hope that you will take the time to consider this perspective.  I plan to offer the opportunity of others to share their thoughts and concerns, beginning with our students in the very near future.  I am working on those details and will share them with you and your children so you can be aware if your children choose to participate.  Please continue to be safe, and please take care of yourself and each other.  #OneStallion

Always,

Gary


      

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

South County Community Message

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South County Community Message

Dear South County Pyramid Parents and Community,

We reach out to you today as a united group of educators to acknowledge the events that have transpired portraying the anger and hurt that exists in our country.  Racism and hate have no place in the South County Pyramid, rather our schools are places that strive towards inclusiveness and compassion for all while providing hope for the future. To our Black and African American families and community members, we echo the words of our Superintendent, Dr. Brabrand as he shared with FCPS staff, “we see you, we believe in you, and we stand with you.”

At each of our schools, we have made a commitment to bring awareness to social and emotional issues within our buildings through an equity lens.  Every school in the South County pyramid has an equity lead who partners with the Principal to ensure staff have the tools to recognize and take action on inequities within our buildings. We have participated in professional learning on equitable and culturally responsive practices and are committed to furthering our learning in order to address the topics of racism and equity with our students and with each other.

During this time, we will not sit silently. We have all worked together to create places and spaces where all are welcome and seen. In our classrooms and within our school communities, we will continue to learn about, value, and embrace each other’s differences while working to change the conditions that allow injustice. Please know that your schools are here for you and stand with our Black and African American community. It is the diversity of our community members who make the South County pyramid a wonderfully unique place to live, work, learn and grow.  We recognize that everyone may be impacted by these recent events differently and we welcome you to reach out to your school’s Principal, school counselor, or clinical staff with any questions or concerns. 

For additional resources, please consider the following:

As a community, we stand together.  

Sincerely,

 

Janice Dalton- Laurel Hill Elementary School (jbedwardsdal@fcps.edu

Melaney Mackin- Silverbrook Elementary School (mjmackin@fcps.edu

Kerry Peerman- Halley Elementary School (klpeerman@fcps.edu

Angela Thompson- Newington Forest Elementary School (AMThompson@fcps.edu

Peter Kownacki- South County Middle School (pakownacki@fcps.edu

Gary Morris- South County High School(gmorris@fcps.edu

 

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News from South County HS

GovDelivery 1 month 1 week ago

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From The Principal

 

Family,

I hope this message finds each of you safe and well.  We are getting closer to the end, and I want to thank you all again for your support to our staff and your children.  We really could not have done this without you.  There are just a few things that I need to share with you in this edition of “From The Principal”.  First thing is that I think I may do a contest to have you all come up with another name for my message.  I think it has run its course. 

Okay here goes.  For any families who will be moving away from the area and leaving us prior to the end of school (tears), we ask that you contact your child’s administrator so that they can set up a time to collect your child’s items that belong to the school.  These items would otherwise have to be replaced and will cost the school additional monies to the school which takes from experiences for our remaining students.  So for all families, please return all books and laptops.

We will be collecting textbooks for our underclassmen the week of the 18th.  We will do a Sign Up Genius to schedule when students are able to come by to drop those items off.  Please be on the lookout for that sign up link. 

Later this week I will also be providing you with detailed information around our Credit Recovery opportunity.  This is for students who have failed a class for the year.  This is an opportunity for students to receive credit for a class they have failed will be through a daily synchronous session with a South County teacher, yet self-paced program called Edmentum.  This program allows students to move through the curriculum at their own pace, and they will have virtual access to their Credit recovery teacher of record who will release assessments to them when they are ready to take them, as well as serve in the role of providing support.  Credit Recovery will run from July 6th – July 24th.  Again, please be on the lookout for more details on how to sign up for Credit Recovery in upcoming messaging from me. 

Along with this opportunity, we will have teachers providing office hours for students in the areas of Mathematics and Language Arts to serve as support for students taking advantage of the Continuity of Learning resources provided by the county.  Students can make use of these resources if they would like to “beef up” on instruction they felt like they did not master during the school year.  I will post where these resources can be assessed as well as the teacher office hours when we get closer to the end of the year.  Office hours will be available during the summer from June 29th - July 31st.

I hope that our teachers, administrators, counselors, and support staff have been able to provide you and your child with the support to allow them to feel confident that they are not in this thing alone.  I promise you that every one of our staff members wish that we could return to “normal” school operations.  We will continue to provide you and your children with the best possible educational experience we can in this weird time.  Remember to encourage your children to reach out to a trusted school adult if they need to.  We will continue to keep staff available as much as we can via email.  We miss our students so much and look forward to welcoming them back soon.  But don’t run off too fast.  We still have a few weeks left to get through, and we want every student to be a part of these final weeks of learning. 

It continues to be a pleasure for me to serve you in this capacity.  I'm all in and I hope that you will be too!  Have a safe and restful remainder to the weekend.  Take care.  #OneStallion

Gary

    
      

From the PTSO

New PTSO Officers / Departing Senior Parent Volunteers

Congratulations to the new PTSO officers elected for the 2020-2021 school year! They are as follows.

President: Cassy Gilmore

1st Vice President: Kristen Pastino

2nd Vice President: Patty Klunder

Treasurer: Kidada Bivens      

Corresponding Secretary:   Renee Flynn

Recording Secretary: Julie Hopkins

 

New officers will be taking their positions on June 2.

We are losing several senior parents who do not have younger children and have been officers or committee chairs for many years.   Thank you to the following for their willingness to volunteer: Nannette Henderson, Christina McCloskey, Carla Olivo and Suhana Rai.

  Baccalaureate Auditions

If your senior is interested in sharing their talent at the Baccalaureate, be it live or virtual, please send an audition video to back@southcountyptso.org no later than June 1st. Please include your student's full name and lyrics of songs or poetry. Performances can be musical (vocal or instrumental) or dramatic readings/poems.

Deadline: June 1

We hope to be able to announce whether Baccalaureate will be in person or virtual in early June.

 

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News From South County HS

GovDelivery 1 month 2 weeks ago

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From The Principal

Family,

“I am doing the best I can.”  That is all that I can ask from our students and staff right now as this way of living is really starting to weigh on us all.  I want to thank all of you who have sent messages of thanks for the efforts of teachers and staff our way.  Those messages continue to make the tough days easier.  I want to send to you a huge thanks as well for being the best parent community a principal can ask for.  And it isn’t just for the praise when you feel it is due, it is also for bringing the tough conversations and issues my way too.  We are supposed to be modeling what it means to be lifelong learners for our students and that means that sometimes we are taught some things while we are also doing the teaching.  So thank you for being who you are, and for your continued support. 

That does not mean we need to do a whole lot more learning!  So “X” out of that email you were preparing to send with a new lesson. 😊

Thank you to the many Families who were able to come up to the school to collect items that were left in lockers this week.  It was nice to be able to have some short conversations with students I have not seen in such a long time. We still have more items to distribute.  I have already sent a message to all students to their fcpsschools.net email accounts about this.  If your child was not able to make it to school last week, or if they came and we were not able to provide them with their belongings and they believe they are at school, please ensure they check their email for a message from me.  Within that message is a form that will allow them to communicate with us some information that will help us to better facilitate locker item distribution. 

So we have gotten some updated information on “Pink Card” distribution for our students who completed Drivers Education.  Here is that information:

What: Distribution of Pink Cards for Driver’s Education (Round 1)

Who: 10th grade students who passed drivers education and attended PTSD (Parent Teen Safe Driving) night.

When: May 29, 2020, 10 – 1pm

Where: South County Football Stadium Ticket Booth

How:

  • Curbside pick-up for students/families
  • Students/families must remain in the car
  • Students/families must have a sign prepared in the window with first name, last name, student ID and teacher name.

Round 2: (TBD)

Please click this link to see the requested traffic flow and location for distribution.

I shared with you all that we are not the entity who is responsible for the distribution of refunds for parking passes.  Here is the latest information I have received about parking pass refunds.  FCPS's Department of Finance Services is near completion of its student fees reimbursement processes. It is anticipated that Financial Services will begin distribution of these refund checks on or about June 8th.  

The South County HS library would  like to have your input on what you'd like to see the SCHS library promote for summer reading this year. Please share your thoughts by answering the brief questions linked HERE. Please provide your input by Friday, May 29th. Thank you in advance for your participation.

We will be sharing a plan for textbook and library book collection in the near future.  Please have your student take the time to collect any books or items that he/she should return to the school so that when that time comes, they are able to locate and turn them in easily. 

Families who have not paid their FCPSOn fee have until May 30th to do so via MySchoolBucks.  

A few weeks ago, I shared that I, along with the rest of the administrative team were working on an unfortunate issue where we had a student to create a video where a racial slur was used in it.  As I stated in my message to you, we would continue to work with school staff; internal and external; and the families to come up with ways to begin healing our school community.  In working with the family of the video creator, I received a heartfelt apology from the student where he shared with me that his intentions were not to offend any person of any race.  However, he understood how offensive and hurtful his words were to so many.  In short, his apology, in my opinion, was sincere and meaningful.  Further, he understood that his apology was just the first step in assisting with our healing of our school following his poor judgement and actions.  Currently he and his family are working with county staff to take further steps to repair the harm he has done, and I will be working with him along the way.  The individual who posted the video and his family are also engaged in this work.  It is my intention to have many more students to engage in dialogue on a broader scale within the walls of South County that will move us closer to bridging any gaps that hinder us from better understanding and respecting one another. 

Well, that is all that I have for you at this time.  I hope that each of you have a restful and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, and that you are able to enjoy this beautiful weather.  Here is another expression of our love for our students from the Student Services Department. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o4N24Fp8cw&feature=youtu.be

#OneStallion

Gary

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

   

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News From South County HS

GovDelivery 1 month 3 weeks ago

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From The Principal

Family,

We are quickly approaching the end of this school year and it is without a doubt moving at a pace that is truly difficult to get a hold of.  But we refuse to allow the tail to wag the dog here at South County and we are doing our best to be the decision makers in this process and to continue to do our best to keep you all informed.

Let me say to all of you, thank you for the support that you all provided in the parent coffee meetings.  In both the senior and the underclassmen meetings, you all asked great questions.  We are working to find the answers to any questions we were not able to answer. For our senior parents, I will be sharing the recording of the meeting in a separate KIT message today. 

We knew from the very beginning that the Distance Learning efforts were not an exact replacement for face-to-face instruction.  Therefore potential gaps in the availability of content would exist and that is why the Continuity of Learning (online resources) were created at the district level.  Continuity of Learning (COL), will take place at all three levels between June 29-July 31.  All students have access to this support, which includes centrally created resources and school-based virtual office hours.  The Instructional Services Department will be partnering with the principal associations on the final details and that information will be forthcoming.

Families received the following information from our superintendent about summer school opportunities this weekend:

FCPS will provide the following learning opportunities this summer: 

Special Education Services – Virtual Extended School Year

FCPS will provide Extended School Year (ESY) to students, grades PreK thru 12, whose IEP team determines that the student qualifies for ESY due to significant regression and lack of recovery of skills that were gained during the regular school year prior to the shutdown. 

This summer, ESY services will be provided virtually to students June 29-July 24. The learning will  be provided through the continued Distance Learning model. The learning materials will be available online and in printed packets mailed to students.

Virtual Preschool Autism Classrooms

Summer learning for preschool autism students will be done virtually from July 2-30. The learning information will be available online and in printed packets mailed to students. Staff will offer virtual parent coaching sessions.

General Education: High School

Virtual Summer High School Credit Recovery classes will be offered at every high school from July 6-24.  The virtual program is designed to allow students to recover credit for a failed course or receive targeted intervention to support future success. The program will be free to all students. Schools will be able to invite students who did not fail a course but who may need extra support.

The  Online Campus  will be open to all students, to enroll in select courses for new credit. Students will complete a full course and participate in daily synchronous (live) communication with teachers. Students who enroll in the Online Campus pay tuition and FCPS is excited to announce that the tuition has been reduced to $375 for this summer. If you have already registered for a course for this summer, you will be receiving additional information about a refund. 

Students may also work with their counselors to seek approval to complete a new course through a college or university or through another public or private school that is accredited by Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE) and Virtual Private Schools accredited by VCPE. 

In addition, FCPS will offer continuity of learning for students using self-directed digital materials available online. All students will have the opportunity to practice mathematics and literacy skills and participate in virtual office hours with math or language arts teachers for support and connection. This program is free to all students and more information about continuity of learning resources will be provided before the end of the school year.  

ESOL Online: Language and Literacy Connections:

Current English Learners grades 7-12.

  • Monday, June 22-Tuesday, July 14
  • Morning session: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., daily OR Evening session: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., daily
  • For more information and to register, contact your ESOL Teacher or visit: ESOL Summer Learning

In line with the summer school information, I have informed teachers that they should be contacting families that have a student in danger of failing sooner than later so that any parent in this situation can have the conversation and make the appropriate plans for summer school if needed. 

Student Item Pick-Up directions have been worked out and we are prepared to share them with you now.  Please see below:

ALL South County families will have the ability to pick up hallway and physical education locker belongings on the following days:

What: Pick up hallway and physical education locker belongings.

When:

May 18, 2020, from 2 – 4pm, Last Names (A - D)

May 18, 2020, from 4 – 6pm, Last Names (E – K)

May 20, 2020, from 2 – 4pm, Last Names (L – R)

May 20, 2020, from 4 – 6pm, Last Names (S – Z)

May 22, 2020, 9 – 12pm, All Comers

Where: Driving Directions    

1) Enter South County HS through Laurel Crest Drive

2) Take a right turn when you reach the bubble

3) Pick up location: The Bubble

4) Exit to Silverbrook Road

How: SC Family/Student Instructions

1) Families/students will write student Last name, First Name and Student ID# on a piece of paper displayed in the windshield.

2) Families/students will be able to pick up multiple students' belongings at one time.

3) SC staff will place belongings in your trunk. Please pop the trunk if you are able.

4) Families/students will stay in their cars the entire time.

I will be sharing this information on the students’ Class Of pages as well so that they have this information. 

On a more celebratory side of things, I wanted to share with you all a couple of efforts that have been shared with me to celebrate our seniors.  The first is from the Activities Office.  The Activities Office would like to congratulate our seniors who have committed to play a sport at the next level! Their hard work and dedication on and off the field has made the South County community very proud over the last four years! We wish you the best of luck during the next stages of your academic and athletic careers!  Please click this link to see our virtual signing montage!

 

The second is an Instagram page that was created by our students to celebrate some of our seniors who have decided on their next journey in life.  Simply search @socoseniors on Instagram to see where some of our students are headed.  And if your child is a graduating senior who has made their decision, regardless of whether it is to college, the workforce, or the military, please have them share it on this page.  We would love to have them be a part of this!

 

Lastly, our mathematics department put together a short video of them showing that even though we are apart, we are still in this together.  Check this out!

Thank you once again for this opportunity to serve as your principal. As taxing as this time has been, I still feel blessed to have you all as parents and your children as those I serve.  I wish you a great rest of the weekend and look forward to chatting again with you soon!  Take care and be safe!  #OneStallion

 

Gary

From The Activities Office

It is with great pleasure we introduce to the South County community our new athletics booster president, Mr. Tony Devore. Mr. Devore has been a long-time member of the South County community having graduated four children from SCHS…and still has two more to go! He currently has a freshman son on the JV baseball team and another at the middle school. We are super excited to have him at the helm of this essential function for our athletic programming. Additionally, the booster club still has a few more open positions if you’re looking to get involved – Website Curator, Sponsorship Support and General Membership Co-ed. Please email Mr. Devore if you’re interested – tony.devore@me.com.

    

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

   

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

   

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News From South County HS

GovDelivery 2 months ago

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From the Principal

 

 

Family,

We have made it through another week and teachers are reporting that participation has been pretty good with distance learning.  I am proud of both the students and the staff as they have done a great job at continuing to adjust and make the best of this situation, all the while making it better.  Trust me when I say that this has not been an easy road for any of us (you included, I am sure), and I want to applaud everyone involved.  It has not been even close to ideal, but we will be better prepared going forward and with your continued input, we will still be better. 

On the front of things to celebrate……

The PTSO scholarship winners have been selected.  The PTSO Scholarship Committee is in the process of / has notified them.

Lauren Bartee

Bailey Phillips

Angelica Dunham

Elycia Woodham

Rachel Patterson

Please join me in congratulating these fine folks and may they put their awards to good use!

 

Last week I was able to share the students who were accepted into Governor’s School related to World Languages.  This week, I would like to announce those students who through their exceptional work were accepted into Governor’s School in other content areas.  The following students were accepted into one of Virginia’s highly selective residential Governor’s School programs for summer 2020:

Milen Asri

School for Agriculture

 

Warisha Hussain

Visual & Performing Arts: Vocal Performance

 

Tejas Jyothi

School for Mathematics, Science and Technology

 

Daniel Kim

Visual & Performing Arts: Instrumental Performance

 

Julia Kwak

School for Humanities

 

Nina Parikh

Medicine and Health Sciences-MENTORSHIP

 

Emma Wilkie

School for Humanities

 

Unfortunately, the majority of the programs have been cancelled due to Covid-19, but it is still a great honor that they were selected from such a competitive applicant pool across the state. I am hoping that when school resumes in some form we can give them some special acknowledgement just as we did last year.  Please join me in congratulating these students on this honor and achievement.   And along these same lines, I wanted to give a special shout out to Mrs. Becky Freeman and Ms. Erica Mack, two members of our outstanding counseling staff, who coordinated with our students to assist them in getting them to this point. 

Due to school closure and social distancing requirements as well as equity concerns for students who do not have access to technology, FCPS service learning requirements will be waived for the 2019-20 school year. This waiver impacts the recording of completed service learning hours for grades 12, 8, and 6. The changes are as follows:

Grade 12 – Service Learning hours that have already been approved by May 1, 2020, will be extracted and uploaded into SIS. This allows all completed service learning hours to be documented in SIS and facilitates the awarding of Service Learning cords and Civics Seals. The “Req Met” and/or “Not Met” field in SIS will be left blank due to the waiver. High schools retain the ability to audit and update the hours field in SIS by May 22 in time for senior processing.

Please join me in wishing our Advanced Placement students good luck as they start AP testing on Monday? Over 750 SCHS 10th, 11th, and 12th graders will be taking over 1500 exams online at home over the next two weeks.  This is definitely a change in past practices (as everything seems to be this year), and we want to give them all of our support.

The clinical staff here at South County has put together a resource page that we would like to make available to our students and families.  There are a ton of resources available on this site.  Take a moment to visit it.  A huge thank you to Mrs. Heather Frost, our School Social Worker and Mrs. Tonya Blanchard our School Psychologist for their awesome work in putting these resources together for our families.

If you have a student who still would like to purchase a yearbook, they may do so by visiting www.yearbookforever.com .  They are $75 each.  The editors of this year’s book did outstanding work to complete it even working remotely to ensure this year was documented properly.  Long hours outside of their other required schoolwork made this nearly impossible task a success.  I know that in talking with our yearbook sponsor Ms. Jen Delinski, that she was very proud of the phenomenal commitment by the yearbook staff to complete it and make it a great product.  I hope that you all will be able to support their efforts and purchase a copy of this year’s edition of Lock and Key!

In other attempts to maintain a sense of normalcy, the Art department is still trying to grant our Seniors the opportunity to participate in the Senior Art Exhibition.  For more information on this opportunity, please have your Senior student contact Ms. Justyne Fischer at jdfischer@fcps.edu.  To see submission requirements, they should view this link to a short PowerPoint presentation. To those who elect to participate, I look forward to seeing their work that will surely deserve the opportunity to be displayed. 

I along with the rest of the administrative team will be hosting two Virtual Principal’s Coffees next week.  The first will be on Wednesday at 12:00pm.  This is for our underclassmen parents (grades 9-11).  In this forum I will be delivering some general information as to where we are as a school/district right now, and where we are headed as well as how the end of the year will look.  I will allow for questions, but they will only be allowed to be submitted through the chat feature.  We will be monitoring the questions and then address them as best as possible.  In an effort to be transparent, many of the questions that you may have, we may not have definitive responses for. But if they aren’t already things that we know we are working on already as a district, I will seek out the answers to them.  In this forum (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) we can only accommodate 250 attendees.  So please get on early and only attend the session if you have an underclassmen student at South County.  I will share the recordings of the virtual coffees so that those who aren’t able to attend will be able to see and hear all that was discussed.

The second virtual coffee will be as a part of the Thursday evening PTSO meeting and will be for our Senior parents.  Mrs. Henderson and I are working out the logistics of how this will run.  But the format for handling questions during the school’s presentation will be the same as the underclassmen parent coffee.  I will share the link with you all a day before the respective meetings.  I look forward to seeing you all there.  

Just a few last things.  As we draw nearer to the close of the year, we are working feverishly trying to plan for the closeout of the year.  Senior this that and the other, technology, book returns, student item pick-up, school item drop off, medication returns, refunds, etc. are all being worked out.   Unfortunately, we are not able to do a lot of this in the South County vacuum.  Many of the decisions that we have to make must be coordinated with the other high schools across the county in the effort to ensure equity.  This work is tough, and if I don’t have to sit in another virtual meeting ever again (outside of the wonderful opportunity that I have to do so with you all next week 😊) it will be too soon!  I say this to say that I still ask that you be as patient as possible with our timelines for disseminating information with you.  Know that any questions that you have, are being asked by your parent peers somewhere else in the district.  I am not asking you to not ask questions by any means.  Someone has to ask it first somewhere. So, keep the questions coming.  There have certainly been a couple submitted that I had not considered at the time.  I am just asking that you be patient with when this information is available to come out. 

This week has been a tough one for us as we experienced some back and forth this week among students that potentially damaged the culture that we all have worked so hard to build.  As I expressed in my last message around this issue, our children have more time on their hands than ever, and that time sometimes allows for idle minds to go to work.  We, the teachers, counselors, administration, clinical staff, coaches and support staff have spent the majority of this year trying to build trusting relationships with your children and we are still available to talk things out with them.  They need only to let us know.  Please remind your children of this.  I will be crafting a message to send to each class about this as well.  It is so important that when we come back together that we are able to focus on the work of educating our students and ensuring that our students get the best education available.  When we have instances like we had this week, we must divert our attention to these other distractions that unless dealt with, could tear our school community apart.  So, I implore you to have conversations with your children about the importance of using the adults in their lives both at home and at school to help them through situations that they may not be prepared to deal with.  We all need assistance at one time or another, and I want to be sure we extend that assistance them as well.   Thank you.  #OneStallion

 

Gary

Spring Sports School-Issued Uniform and Equipment Collection

The Activities Office and Spring Head Coaches will be collecting school-issued uniform and equipment collection on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Please see the schedule below. Families should be receiving communication via e-mail from program head coaches with more details.

Instructions:

  • All school-issued uniforms and equipment must be bagged and labeled with student-athlete name
  • Curbside drop off into a bin
  • Families and student-athletes must stay in the car

 

School-issued Uniform and Equipment Collection – May 16, 2020

Hours:

Door 11

(Front of the school drop-off location)

Door 9

(Back of the school drop off location)

8 - 10 am

Girls Soccer

Baseball

10 am– 12pm  

Track

Boys Soccer

12 – 2pm

Softball

Boys Lacrosse

*Girls Lacrosse – Please see instruction from Coach Mays (jlmays@fcps.edu)

The Activities Office

  

From Your SCHS Library AP, SAT, and Career Test Resources

Check out two test prep resources that the library has to offer!

Click here (login with your FCPS Google email)  for the login links, instructions, and passwords.

  New eBooks and Library Resources for Distance Learning

Hundreds of popular eBooks have recently been added to the library’s eBook collection! You can find these titles here https://fairfax.mackinvia.com/. Use your FCPS network account to login.

 

Need more books to read? Looking for help with homework or projects? The SCHS Library has information on school and public library resources and more on the SCHS Library Google Site. Go to SCHS Library’s Blackboard course and select the Distance Learning button.

  Checked Out Library Books

If you have library books currently checked out, please hold onto the books for now. No fines are being charged. Information about returning books will be sent out at a later date.

 

Librarian Office Hours

Please contact us via email for help with your assignments and book suggestions! We are in front of our computers ready to respond LIVE to email questions every Wednesday from 1:00pm-2:00pm and every Thursday from 10:30am-11:15am. 

 

Please contact Ms. Strong erstrong@fcps.edu or Mrs. Muir lkmuir@fcps.edu with questions about any of the above!

Reminder From Student Services

Hello Stallion families!  You now have the option to “Go Paperless” in ParentVUE and receive only online report cards. To take advantage of the paperless options, parents/guardians will need to log into ParentVUE, then go to “My Account” and select "Go Paperless!". This process is the only way to keep a paper report card from being generated for students at the secondary level. All parents who share the same address as the student must have a SIS ParentVue account and must select the paperless option. Thank you!

  

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Offensive Message

GovDelivery 2 months ago

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8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

From The Principal

Family,

 

I’ve received notes of concern from some of you today regarding a social media post that used offensive and inappropriate language.  The initial post has been removed and we have already contacted the students (and their parents) involved to handle this very serious matter.  Unfortunately, we have had others to capture the post and repost it in other formats and platforms.

 

I realize that the current conditions surrounding school closure and social distancing restrictions are difficult on all of us. I also realize that we are all spending much more time online than we ever have. It’s more important than ever to be kind, courteous, and remind ourselves of the principles of responsible digital citizenship.  As I have asked you before in past, please continue to have conversations at home about these types of situations and remind them that we are a Family and Family looks out for and protects one another.  Ensuring that we all use technology safely, responsibly, and ethically is a shared responsibility.  Thank you for sharing your concerns with me about this matter, and others moving forward,

Continue to take care of yourselves and your Families during this troubling time.  Be safe and well.  #OneStallion

 

Gary

Weekly News From South County HS

GovDelivery 2 months ago

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From the Principal

Family,

Well we made it through our first full week of synchronous distance learning and I was happy to hear and see that things went fairly well in those environments.  Our teachers continue to work collaboratively from a distance to ensure that learning opportunities are equitable for our students and that we maintain that sense of community we have established over the course of the year.  We all still wish that we were able to be in a face-to-face environment, but this is what we have right now, and we will continue to improve on where we are and to engage all students in this learning. 

I know that there are many questions and concerns that both you and your children have around how things will close out at the end of the year and move forward in the fall.  I am working with our high school principals across the county and with central office leadership on trying to come up with plans to be able to share with you all. In an effort to be as transparent as possible I want to share that, the majority of the answers to the questions you have are the same; “it depends”.  But please know that regardless of what the question is, we have been working on them to have a reasonable solution to the problems and concerns.   

I along with the rest of the admin team are planning a Virtual Parent Coffee for next week Wednesday (May 13).  We are working on what would be the best time to do this that won’t impact classes as the student computer may be the only one in a family’s home and we want to try to allow as many families the opportunity to participate as possible.  Please continue to be on the look out for more information this week about the coffee where we will solidify the logistics and the format. 

Here is a bit of awesome academic news for you.  This year we had three students who were selected for Governor’s School for World Languages as well as two others selected as alternates.  The names of the students are below:

Selected Students:

Cameron (Bailey) Garber – Spanish

Claire Bryl – French

Laila Leak – Japanese

Alternates:

Meghan Pastino – Spanish

Prartha Shekar – French

This really is a huge deal, so congratulations to all of these outstanding students and best wishes in this fantastic experience!

The rest of this message is information that has been shared with principals to share with our communities.  I apologize for the lack of “umph” in this message.  I will do better next time. 

Field Trip Refund Request Process

FCPS understands this is a difficult time financially for many of our families. The Department of Financial Services has received various inquiries from schools and parents about the refund process for canceled field trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures.  Any field trip related reimbursements to FCPS are subject to contracts terms with travel brokers/vendors and non-refundable fees. These factors must be evaluated to determine potential balances available for refunds to students and parents. 

Schools must settle each field trip with the travel broker/vendor to determine the amount (if any) available for field trip refunds. Once the available balance is confirmed, schools should distribute the Field Trip Refund Letter and Form to all students/parents that made payments in connection to the field trip. This letter requires:

  • Parents to request a field trip refund by filling and submitting the form
  • Parents may be given the option to donate funds to the school if a refund is not desired
Counseling, College and Career Distance Learning Resources for Seniors and Juniors

Both the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 Next Steps Google sites are now being shared with students. The Class of 2021 Next Steps Google site is the second in a collection of college and career resources assembled by the College Success Program in collaboration with school staff and the Office of Counseling and College and Career Readiness.

The Google sites (linked below) will help seniors and juniors, as they begin to explore and develop their postsecondary plans. The links to the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 sites have been shared with the junior and Senior classes through their class Google Classroom pages, directors of student services (DSS), school counselors, career center specialists, and College Success Program (AVID, CPP, and EIP) staff.  Please feel free to connect with these human resources for assistance.  The parent site maps have been posted on the Blackboard Distance Learning Resource page under Counseling, College and Career Readiness. DSS have been provided additional information and tools to share these resources.

Class of 2021 Rising Seniors’ Next StepsClass of 2021 College and Career Resources for Parents and/or Guardians 

Class of 2020 Next StepsClass of 2020 College and Career Resources for Parents and/or Guardians

Summer Learning 2020

Registration for the Credit Recovery Academy, Madison High School Summer Academy, and the Thomas Jefferson High School for Technology Summer Learning opportunities will be postponed until further notice.

Internet Access for Low Income Families in FCPS

Cox Connect2Compete supplies broadband internet access to low-income, unconnected families in Fairfax County. Households who meet income and other guidelines will be offered free Internet service through July 15, ($9.95 per month afterward), free modem rental, free installation, and a price guarantee for two years. Schools who are aware of families without internet access can share this resource with families. More information is available on the Cox website: https://www.cox.com/residential/internet/connect2compete.html To ensure all families in need have access to the Internet, FCPS MiFi delivery continues at elementary schools this week.

NOVA JumpStart Summer Program

This summer, Northern Virginia Community College will offer a selection of online, tuition-free classes to 3,500 Northern Virginia qualified students. Students must meet eligibility to apply for federal financial aid, meet placement requirements, and understand there may be textbooks or other material fees associated with courses.  Since these classes are all online, students will need access to a computer and the Internet.    

The online courses are not intended to replace any 2020-21 classes for which students are already registered at their high school. The program provides an accelerated opportunity to earn transferable college only credits.

Details about the JumpStart Summer Program including placement requirements and material fees can be found Here.

Family, please continue to encourage your children to actively participate in the distance learning platform.  Their presence will not only help them, but also help their peers as well.  We all need to be in this together!  Thank you once again for your support and your patience.  They are both very much appreciated!  #OneStallion

Gary

 

Advanced Placement (AP) Testing Updates

As previously announced, traditional face-to-face AP exams will not take place this school year. To prepare for the 2020 online AP exams, students will be accessing lessons, tools and review resources provided by their AP teacher during distance learning, as well as those provided by the AP program. For details, AP students and parents are encouraged to access recently published AP Testing and Instruction Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students, Parents and Staff. 

The College Board emailed each AP student relevant AP testing information on Monday, April 13; therefore, it is important that students check the email associated with their College Board account. If a student has not received this email, they should contact their school’s AP Testing Coordinator or AP teacher(s). Students will be able to take online AP exams with College Board approved accommodations such as extended time automatically. Additional details are available through this link.

In order to continue to receive communication from the College Board about this year’s online exams and to receive communication from the College Board beyond high school, it is important for students to use a personal email (and not their @fcpsschools.net email) in their College Board account. Students should login to their College Board account and change their email in their AP profile.  For instructions on how to verify/update your College Board email address, please see the document below:  

Verifying your Student Account Email Address.pdf

Students may need to update their personal email account settings to allow messages from collegeboard@e.collegeboard.org.

Please email Mr. Bird, AP Test Coordinator, at cwbird@fcps.edu with any further questions.

Don't miss your chance to purchase a yard sign honoring your graduating senior!   The deadline to order has been extended to Sunday, May 3.  Signs are $15 and may be purchased from https://southcountyptso.membershiptoolkit.com/form/m/91168    

Signs are expected to be available by May 18.

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News From South County HS

GovDelivery 2 months 2 weeks ago

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From the Principal

 

Family,

Well I have good news and some bad news.  Since I truly believe that we should always part ways on a good note, I will start with the bad news.  I can tell you that the bad news is not that technology is crashing, and it’s not that I have a new vocabulary term for you like synchronous or asynchronous learning.  Nor is it that I am delivering a new schedule that students will have to adapt to. The bad news is that I am writing you again and that you have to read this until the end before you stop holding your breath.  To be honest, I wanted you to have a little of what I have been experiencing every time my email dings.  I don’t panic, but I do say words to myself that I shouldn’t say in front of my children.  But that truly is the extent of the bad news.  You can yell at me later for that one.

The good news is that there really isn’t any school news.  And right now, as things have been going, no news is great news.  I think that we all can agree with that.  I have already shared with you our plan to move forward with synchronous learning on Tuesday.  By giving our teachers a little bit of breathing room on Thursday to go live if they could and to not continually ram their heads into the wall, I think our staff are in a much better place to receive your children on Tuesday, and have been able to take care of their own children at home at the same time. 

Some things that I would like to share that are truly on the lighter side of things are that I was invited to a drive by celebration of one of our Senior students Omar McKinney, and I was able to attend and give my congratulations to him.  It was nice to be able to see the community support and to also see some smiling faces.  Now this does not mean that I will make it to every student’s birthday celebration, but if you invite me, I will try.  Especially our Seniors.

Another great piece of news if you haven’t already heard is that South County students will be represented by one of our own as the Student representative on the Fairfax County School Board!  Nathan Onibudo, a rising Senior was selected over at least 26 other students vying for the role of Student Representative.  Nathan is an awesome student in our school community, and he will be an awesome leader in this role as well.  Wish him the best if you get the chance!

I had a meeting with the Senior Class Officers on Friday to listen to some of the ideas they, along with their classmates, have been coming up with to celebrate.  I shared with them that it is my goal to be the “Principal of YES”, and that I will do all I can to support any idea that they come up with that will still allow me to have my job after I say yes to their idea.  Let’s hope we all walk away from this with a future. 

Well you can stop holding your breath not.  I am at the end of this message, and I promised that we would walk away from this conversation on a good note.  In fact, here are 8 of them:

DO Re Mi Fa So La Ti Dooooo! (in my best but surely horrible opera voice).  I miss your children dearly.  Take care Family, and be safe.

Gary

 

 

Advanced Placement (AP) Testing Updates

As previously announced, traditional face-to-face AP exams will not take place this school year. To prepare for the 2020 online AP exams, students will be accessing lessons, tools and review resources provided by their AP teacher during distance learning, as well as those provided by the AP program. For details, AP students and parents are encouraged to access recently published AP Testing and Instruction Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students, Parents and Staff. 

The College Board emailed each AP student relevant AP testing information on Monday, April 13; therefore, it is important that students check the email associated with their College Board account. If a student has not received this email, they should contact their school’s AP Testing Coordinator or AP teacher(s). Students will be able to take online AP exams with College Board approved accommodations such as extended time automatically. Additional details are available through this link.

In order to continue to receive communication from the College Board about this year’s online exams and to receive communication from the College Board beyond high school, it is important for students to use a personal email (and not their @fcpsschools.net email) in their College Board account. Students should login to their College Board account and change their email in their AP profile.  For instructions on how to verify/update your College Board email address, please see the document below:  

Verifying your Student Account Email Address.pdf

Students may need to update their personal email account settings to allow messages from collegeboard@e.collegeboard.org.

Please email Mr. Bird, AP Test Coordinator, at cwbird@fcps.edu with any further questions.

Class Officer and Hype Squad Leader

Campaigning for Class Officer and Hype Squad Leader began on Monday, April 20th. Information, Interest Forms, and Applications are posted on all graduating classes’ Google Classroom pages. If students are interested in running for Class Office or Hype Quad Leader, please read the information and fill out the interest form. Students should then read over the application and work to complete its components. All components of the applications are due by 11:59pm on May 1st. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Price at kaprice1@fcps.edu.

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Grading And Other Updates

GovDelivery 2 months 2 weeks ago

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From The Principal

Good Evening Family,

 

Yesterday we heard positive feedback from teachers that many students were able to successfully log into Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and connect with their classroom teachers.  By Tuesday April 28, all classrooms should be back and up and running! 

 

Below are some important updates regarding grading:

 

Third Quarter

Third quarter has been extended to Friday, May 1st. Teachers may continue to work with students to close out the third quarter and accept assignments through that date.

  • Access in ParentVUE and StudentVUE to view the report card module will now be closed from Friday, May 1 at 4:00 p.m. until Saturday, May 9 at 6:00 a.m.

Fourth Quarter

 

Fourth Quarter Timeline:  While third quarter work is being accepted until May 1st, fourth quarter work has been assigned to students.  Any new work will be entered into fourth quarter gradebooks beginning Monday, May 4th.

Providing Feedback to Students/Parents and Monitoring Progress: Teachers should provide feedback such as comments on quality of work and guidance for improvement.

  • Assignment “marks” will be entered into the gradebook and will be: Proficient, Attempted, Not Attempted
  • This data will be considered to positively influence the final course grade
  • Students and families will be able to see “marks” in SIS, though weekly emails will not be sent since there will not be a quarter 4 grade

Calculating Final Grades

Final Exams: There will be no final exam and/or culminating activity included as part of the final course grade calculation this year.

Year-Long Courses - Calculating Final Grade

  • Teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by one grade distribution (B to B+), based on demonstrated proficiency of quarter 4 learning.
  • A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:
    • Average of Qtrs 1, 2, & 3
    • Average of Qtrs 1, 2, & 3 w/1 grade distribution increase consideration
    • 1st Semester Grade
    • 1st Semester Grade w/1 grade distribution increase consideration

 

Current Semester Courses - Calculating Final Grade

  • Schools/teachers have the discretion of raising a student's final grade by two grade distributions (B to A-), based on demonstrated proficiency of Qtr 4 learning.
  • A student’s final grade will be the highest of the following:
    • ○ Quarter 3 Average
    • ○ Quarter 3 Average (w/up to a two grade distribution increase consideration)

 

Report Cards

 

Report Cards/Progress Reports: Report Cards/Progress Reports will be mailed centrally for both third and fourth quarters.

Parents/Guardians may opt into “Go Paperless” for report cards by following the below instructions:

  • Parents/Guardians can take advantage of the paperless option, by logging into ParentVUE, then going to “My Account” and selecting "Go Paperless!". This is the only way to keep a paper report card from being generated for students at the secondary level. All parents who share the same address as the student must have a SIS ParentVUE account and must select the paperless option. This option must be selected prior to May 12th to prevent the 3rd quarter report card from being mailed.

Last Day of School

The last day of school for all students (except seniors) is Friday, June 12.   Seniors’ last day of school is May 29th.

Summer Courses

Additional summer offerings and support through FCPS summer learning programming are being discussed and will be shared as soon as available pending developments with the state-wide closure of schools.

 

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts here at South County High School.  You all are very much appreciated for riding this tidal wave with us.  #OneStallion

 

Gary

 

 

Spanish Translation

Buenas noches familia

 

Hoy escuchamos comentarios positivos de los maestros de que muchos estudiantes pudieron iniciar sesión con éxito en Blackboard Collaborate Ultra y conectarse con sus maestros de aula. ¡Para el martes 28 de abril, todas las aulas deben estar listas y funcionando!

 

A continuación se presentan algunas actualizaciones importantes con respecto a la calificación:

 

Tercer trimestre

El tercer trimestre se ha extendido hasta el viernes 1 de mayo. Los maestros pueden continuar trabajando con los estudiantes para cerrar el tercer trimestre y aceptar tareas hasta esa fecha.

  • El acceso en ParentVUE y StudentVUE para ver el módulo de boleta de calificaciones ahora estará cerrado desde el viernes 1 de mayo a las 4:00 p.m. hasta el sábado 9 de mayo a las 6:00 a.m.

 

Cuarto trimestre

 

Cronología del cuarto trimestre: Si bien el trabajo del tercer trimestre se acepta hasta el 1 de mayo, el trabajo del cuarto trimestre se ha asignado a los estudiantes. Cualquier trabajo nuevo se ingresará en los cuadernos de calificaciones del cuarto trimestre a partir del lunes 4 de mayo.

 

Proporcionar información  a los estudiantes / padres y monitorear el progreso: los maestros deben proporcionar información , como comentarios sobre la calidad del trabajo y orientación para mejorar.

 

  • Las tareas “marcadas” se ingresarán en el libro de calificaciones y serán: Competentes, Intentadas, No Intentadas
  • Se considerará que estos datos influyen positivamente en la calificación final del curso.
  • Los estudiantes y sus familias podrán ver "marcadas" en SIS, aunque no se enviarán correos electrónicos semanales ya que no habrá un cuarto trimestre de grado

 

Cálculando calificaciones finales

Exámenes finales: No habrá examen final y / o actividad culminante incluida como parte del cálculo final de la calificación del curso este año.

 

Cursos de un año: cálculo de la calificación final

  • Los maestros tienen la discreción de elevar la calificación final de un estudiante en una distribución de un grado (B a B +), según la competencia demostrada del aprendizaje del cuarto trimestre.
  • La calificación final de un estudiante será la más alta de las siguientes:

○ Promedio de Qtrs 1, 2 y 3

○ Promedio de Qtrs 1, 2 y 3 w / 1 distribución de grado aumento de consideración

○ 1er semestre de grado

○ Grado de 1er semestre con consideración de aumento de distribución de 1 grado

 

Cursos del semestre actual: cálculo de la calificación final

  • Las escuelas / maestros tienen la discreción de elevar la calificación final de un estudiante en distribuciones de dos grados (B a A-), según la competencia demostrada del aprendizaje Qtr 4.
  • La calificación final de un estudiante será la más alta de las siguientes:

○ Promedio del trimestre 3

○ Promedio del tercer trimestre (con una consideración de aumento de distribución de hasta dos grados)

 

Las boletas de calificaciones

 

Boletas de calificaciones / informes de progreso: Las boletas de calificaciones / informes de progreso se enviarán por correo centralmente para el tercer y cuarto trimestre.

 

Los padres / tutores pueden optar por "no usar papel" para las boletas de calificaciones siguiendo las instrucciones a continuación:

 

  • Los padres / tutores pueden aprovechar la opción sin papel, iniciando sesión en ParentVUE, luego yendo a “Mi cuenta” y seleccionando "¡Ir sin papel!". Esta es la única forma de evitar que se genere una boleta de calificaciones en papel para los estudiantes de nivel secundario. Todos los padres que comparten la misma dirección que el estudiante deben tener una cuenta SIS ParentVUE y deben seleccionar la opción sin papel. Esta opción debe seleccionarse antes del 12 de mayo para evitar que se envíe por correo la boleta de calificaciones del tercer trimestre.

 

Último día de colegio

El último día de clases para todos los estudiantes (excepto los de último año) es el viernes 12 de junio. El último día de clases de los estudiantes de último año es el 29 de mayo.

 

Cursos de verano

Se están discutiendo ofertas de verano adicionales y apoyo a través de la programación de aprendizaje de verano de FCPS y se compartirán tan pronto como estén disponibles, en espera de desarrollos con el cierre de escuelas en todo el estado.

 

Gracias por su continuo apoyo a nuestros esfuerzos aquí en South County High School. Todos ustedes son muy apreciados por montar este maremoto con nosotros. #OneStallion

 

Gary  Morris.

South County HS

Principal.

 

( Documento traducido por Erika Kanamori – Parent Liaison )

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Synchronous Learning Update

GovDelivery 2 months 2 weeks ago

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From The Principal

Family:

Following a meeting with FCPS leadership today, high schools received new directions to get our Distance Learning Plan back up to speed. I am pleased to announce we have made significant progress.

What will be different now?

  • South County Teachers teachers are creating individualized secure links in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BbCU).
  • Each student has a unique link affiliated with their FCPS gmail and student ID.
  • The link does not require additional logon steps or access to the Blackboard 24-7 portal.
  • The steps for using the new link are outlined in this video which will be shared with students.
  • The process has been successfully piloted.
  • Synchronous classes, office hours and meetings can occur easily with BbCU.

What will my child know?

  • A message will be posted to students early tomorrow morning in Google Classrooms on the Class of 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 message boards.
  • The message will include the video above.

What is the plan for the rest of this week?

  • Teachers will continue creating unique personalized links for students.
  • Teachers are continuing to post asynchronous learning activities as they have all along.
  • Students still have the ability to work on third term assignments.
  • Teachers have the ability to hold office hours via email tomorrow and Friday.
  • Teachers have the autonomy to decide how to best use time this week to bring classes into alignment given the recent disrupted learning. It is OK if different teachers have different approaches this week since many are in different places.
  • Assuming all goes as planned this week, our Distance Learning Plan fully resumes as scheduled next week.

How does all of this impact FCPS third term grading and reporting?

  • New FCPS due date for students to submit, make-up, retake 3rd quarter work: May 1
  • Parents can view 3rd quarter grades until April 24 and then again starting May 9. The downtime is for teacher to complete entering 3rd quarter grades

 

By every indication, these revamped directions will yield success.

 

Each of our teachers did a heavy lift today and will continue to do so tomorrow. I am proud that synchronous efforts may resume sooner than expected. South County teachers deserve our utmost gratitude for staying focused on what’s most important- your children and their learning. If by the end of this week you continue to have questions specific to your child’s needs, please do not hesitate to reach out to a counselor, administrator or teacher.

 

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support. #OneStallion

 

Gary

 

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Forward!

GovDelivery 2 months 2 weeks ago

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From the Principal

Family:

Friday evening, you and your family received a message from FCPS sharing the following information:

  • Blackboard was temporarily shut down for upgrades
  • FCPS is hopeful that Blackboard will be up and operating to accommodate all students by Monday
  • The goal is to have all of our students following their virtual schedule on Tuesday, April 21
  • If it becomes clear that the upgrades did not fix the problem on Monday, teachers will be ready to teach your students asynchronously - meaning students will be able to access lessons through Google Classroom or some other means for the week while additional adjustments are made.  
  • Lastly, students should make their default browser Chrome 
    • Here is a video on how to do that.
    • Launch Chrome.
    •  Paste the following into the URL window chrome://settings/defaultBrowser.
    • Click Make Default.
    •  If prompted to choose an app, click Google Chrome and close the window.

Our teachers are ready to engage with your students and teach them all in a virtual environment.  Teachers have been working hard to finish up third quarter work and start new lessons for the 4th quarter.  We are ready and we remain hopeful that we will see your child(ren) virtually on Tuesday.  

I will update you on Monday should an alternative plan be needed.  

Resources

 FCPS has created a website for Mental Health Resources that is accessible on the main page of the FCPS website. 

FCPS Mental Health Resources 

Mental Health Emergency Numbers

 

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility.  #OneStallion

Gary

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Weekly News From South County HS

GovDelivery 2 months 3 weeks ago

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From the Principal

Family,

Okay, what’s next?  Your guess is as good as mine. I can tell you that we have done all that we have been asked to do as a school to be prepared for this upcoming week.  I have asked our staff to bend and twist in ways that would have been thought unimaginable, and they have done everything that I have asked. To be totally honest, I am not worthy of the staff of teachers and support staff that have been fortunate to work with.  So when you get a chance to, please let them know how much you appreciate them.

I understand that there have been times that we have appeared to be not so accommodating.  But I will argue that whoever that person may have been (myself included), they have been rock stars in terms of doing what is necessary to create a learning space that is prepared and safe for our students for Tuesday.  All we can do is see if Blackboard had been successful in accommodating our needs.  I have asked our teachers to jump, and with every staff member, they have responded with, “How high?” Know, as in without a doubt, that doesn’t happen everywhere.  I am blessed to be in the building with the staff I have alongside me.

So what is next? Well, as far as I can tell, Blackboard is back up and running. I was able to go in and see teachers’ classrooms.  So for me that means we are good to go. But we won’t really know until Tuesday.  Monday, South County teachers will be back at work collaborating and reaching out to students to ensure they have what they need to move forward and improve their 3rd quarter grades; which in turn will help to improve their overall grade.  I ask that you continue to encourage your children to reach out to their teachers as well.  Our students know what they have not completed based on their gradebooks.  Everything for the most part is fair game for make-up at this time.  So please push your children to get all that work in….. NOW!

I will be having a meeting with our Seniors on Monday to reconnect with them.  If your child is not a Senior, please let them know that I will be reaching out to their respective class in the near future o address whatever their questions are.  I promise not to leave anyone out. 

We are prepared to assist our students with technology support.  If your child needs support of this kind, please have them refer to the information that has been provided by their classroom teachers, or their “Class of …” pages which should closely resemble this:

FCPS has developed the support guide below for assisting students with technical issues

Student Reports issue to Teacher, Counselor, Administrator or another staff member

Students and/or parents should not contact the Tech Team Directly

  1. Staff member submits a Request IT ticket in the staff member’s name for the student
  2. Including the following in the ticket.  We will not be able to process the ticket without this information.
    1. Student name
    2. ID#
    3. Parent email and/or phone number
    4. Description of the issue
  3. A member of the Tech Team will contact the student/parent for support

Appointments

  • We can only service one person at a time.  If a 2nd car arrives while we are working with the 1st person they will have to wait in their vehicle.
  • Time slots 10-15 minutes apart

Please know that families are financially responsible for new adapters and computers if needed in the event they are not returning one in exchange.

For our Senior Families, I have two links.  One is for our parents (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSebATrsewDG7RQunMzk38ZoPO1tRRug9-RG-JPezYvjfGoB7w/viewform?usp=sf_link) and the other is for our students (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScstBdFwXJag2jOB6mLk18AhY3oWcz0fwxW9Be6VIlYTzJJdg/viewform?usp=sf_link).  The student link will also be sent out to them individually, but if you as parents want to share it with them, please feel free to do so. 

Now I understand that this may be the 132nd time I have said this, but please be patient with this and all processes.  We only want to do what is best for all students.  Our teachers are chomping at the bit to be in front of teachers right now, and it has been so frustrating having to tell them that we are changing directions.  I truly hope that we will be able to remain on the course that will allow teachers to engage with students on Tuesday.  In the event that we are not able to, teachers will post content to Google Classroom pages (or other discussed platforms) to ensure that students have work to do to that will assist in leading them to mastery of their content.  Please remember that even though the professionals of FCPS have been in this game for many years, this is the first time we have been in this position.  We will create the environment that is most conducive to our students being in the best possible place.

I thank you very much for all that you are doing from home to help with our current situation.  We need each of you to do your part as our teachers do theirs to make this experience meaningful for all students. Encourage your children to be actively engaged and to be a part of the learning experience for their peers.  If you have questions or concerns,….. keep them to yourselves.  Okay, I am kidding.  Send them to me.  But really, know that we (every teacher and support staff member) are in this business to do what is best for every student.  And “every” student means yours. 

Please be sure to check in with your children.  This is a difficult time. If you are having a hard time with the school closure, social distancing, and being stuck in the house, know that your children are having twice as hard of a time with it than you are.  I don’t have any more room in my life for new friends (probably like you).  However, your children aren’t there yet and this is a tough tow for them.  So check in to make sure they are okay.  And if you get a hint that they are struggling in any way, please reach out to us (administrator, counselor, teacher, trusted adult, etc.) so that we can implement the same supports for your children that we would if they were with us face-to-face.   We are with you.  We are Family.  Take care, and be safe in all that you do.  We are, #OneStallion.

 

Gary

Mental Health Resources | 24/7 Emergency Numbers

If you are in crisis, text NEEDHELP to 85511, call 1-800-273-TALK, or dial 911; TTY dial 711

CrisisLink Regional Hotline: 703-527-4077 (CrisisLink is a hotline for individuals in crisis or family/friends seeking guidance for how to help a loved one)

Dominion Hospital Assessment and Referral Line: 703-536-2000

Inova Emergency Services: 703-289-7560

Mobile Crisis Unit: 1-844-627-4747

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Follow Up From Day One of Distance Learning

GovDelivery 2 months 3 weeks ago

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From The Principal

Family,

Thank you very much for your patience as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters.  We believe that the slight pause in the use of Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has allowed us to get a much better handle on the supervision of the online classrooms.  I want to apologize in advance for the long message, but I want to make sure you have as much information as possible. Here is a brief description of what changes have taken place:

               The original Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (BBCU) sessions utilized a general guest link as the entry point for students to come into the classes.  Because this was a general link, anyone could use it, or share it to gain entry into the virtual classrooms.  Students were able to enter the class under any name and thus there was anonymity in place for them to be able to disrupt classes without consequence if they chose to.  Teachers initially had not limited voice, chat , and video features because they wanted to see their students' faces and reconnect with them.  Again, this allowed the possibility for negative behaviors to exist in the classes.  

The county has been able to find a way to tie the access to future BBCU sessions to students’ already established Blackboard 24-7 accounts which will allow teachers to see exactly who is in the classrooms identified by their actual names.  Only one student may use a logon which controls the sharing issue.  Because of the negative experiences from yesterday, we have learned that the features that allowed students to openly express themselves needed to be secured, so teachers will be able to restrict those as well.  If a teacher does experience some form of disruptive behavior, they will be able to identify that particular student and report them to the appropriate administrator as well as contact home. 

With these changes to our BBCU sessions, we do believe that we will be able to offer a much safer environment for all students.  These changes have created a different issue however that we will have to deal with as it comes.  Over the past couple of days, the high volume of usage Backboard 24-7 has experienced has overwhelmed the system and caused it to crash on multiple occasions.  The BBCU sessions are somehow not on the same network as 24-7 and so we never experienced a time when BBCU crashed.  Because students will be accessing their BBCU sessions through Blackboard 24-7 now, there could be issues with being able to log in.  The county is working with Blackboard to eliminate these crashes, but there has been no solution found as of yet. 

The access point for students to get into classes will change, so I am providing this link to allow you and your student to be able to see a video of how they will get to their BBCU classes.  Here is also a step by step in PDF format.  Teachers will also be providing them this information, but please keep this in the event they don’t obtain it.

Unfortunately the county had to make the decision to cancel online classes for the middle school because of such issues today.  I want you to understand that this could be the case for our high school courses as well in the future if a solution from Blackboard is not achieved around the volume of usage.  In this event, teachers will be asking students to go to their Google Classroom sites to gain access to content.  Teachers at that time will not be able to interact with their students in a face to face type (synchronous) environment.

Cross your fingers with me folks as we are not out of the woods yet, but we are in a better place than yesterday I believe.  Please continue to encourage your child to actively participate and to be respectful of the space they are in.  Have a great evening and I hope to see many of your students in their virtual classrooms tomorrow as I make my rounds and drop in on them.  Be safe.  #OneStallion

 

Gary

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

Our First Distance Learning Experience

GovDelivery 2 months 3 weeks ago

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From The Principal

Family,

Today, we experienced our first day of formal distance learning. While the vast majority of classroom experiences where favorable and positive, regrettably we had a small number of students who decided to disrupt the learning of many others.  If there is a bright side to this, it would be that we weren’t the lone high school experiencing this kind of negative behavior.  Unfortunately most of my high school principal colleagues dealt with the same issues.  The behavior of these students was absolutely unacceptable.

We are all working with our technology teams and county-wide supports to implement solutions to combat the types of disruptions we experienced today.  On behalf of all our teachers and staff, I sincerely apologize for the experience your child may have had today.  No child or adult should be subjected to abusive language or antics of any kind. 

Our admin team is working “around the clock” to solve these issues.  We fully expect to have a much more secure infrastructure in place when we open classes back up on Thursday.  As a part of our work, I am going to ask for your help in this as well.  Please take a moment to have a conversation with your child about the importance of respecting the space all our students are forced to live in right now.  It is difficult enough for most of us not being able to function normally due to the pandemic.  It becomes imperative that we all do our best to help create an environment that will bring some sense of normalcy back to us. 

I thank you in advance for your time and your understanding of today’s disruptions.  You may receive additional information from the district about our issues today.  I felt I needed to get something out to you sooner than later.  If you have further concerns after Thursday’s classes, please feel free to contact me.  Have a safe and comfortable evening. 

Warm Regards,

Gary

8501 Silverbrook Road, Lorton, VA 22079 | Main Office: 703.446.1600
Attendance: 703.446.1625 | Web | Twitter

58 minutes 30 seconds ago
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