Fairfax County Executive Proposes FY 2016 Budget of $3.8 Billion

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1 Fairfax County Public Schools My FCPS Family Edition February 25, 2015 Editor s Note: The full online version of My FCPS Family can be found at Fairfax County Executive Proposes FY 2016 Budget of $3.8 Billion Edward L. Long, Fairfax County Executive, has presented his FY 2016 Advertised Budget to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The advertised budget includes a 3.2 percent increase in operating funding for Fairfax County Public Schools. This results in a $14.0 million shortfall in FCPS FY 2016 Advertised Budget, which was recently adopted by the School Board. FCPS employees, parents, and members of the community are encouraged to review the Fairfax County Government s FY 2016 Advertised Budget. The next critical date in the budget process is March 3, when the County will advertise the tax rate. Learn more at budget.htm. Next Superintendent's Listening Tour to Be Held March 3 at Chantilly High School; Makeup Date for Falls Church Listening Tour Is March 10 Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen K. Garza will hold two final listening tours this school year, and invites students, parents, employees, and community members to participate in these upcoming sessions. Garza will provide an update on the latest happenings in FCPS and listen to ideas, comments, and questions from the audience. Those planning to attend are asked to register in advance online and indicate if an interpreter is needed. The meetings are as follows: Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 p.m., Chantilly High School, 4201 Stringfellow Road, Chantilly (Region 5). Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m., Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church (Region 2). This is the makeup date for the Listening Tour that was originally scheduled for February 17 but was cancelled due to inclement weather. For more information, go to

2 Virginia Department of Education Implements Changes to Grade 6 Math SOL Test Students taking the grade 6 Standards of Learning (SOL) mathematics test will be administered a computer adaptive version of the test starting this spring. A Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is an assessment that is customized for each student based on how the student responds to the test questions. A correct response leads to a more difficult question, while an incorrect response leads to the selection of a less difficult question. Based on the student s responses, the computer selects questions and problems that are neither too difficult nor too easy for the student. Computer adaptive testing has been proven to increase student focus and engagement because students are asked questions based upon their responses to previous questions. The development of computer adaptive testing is part of the Virginia Department of Education s (VDOE) continuing efforts to provide students with the best possible testing experience. All questions on the computer adaptive version of the grade 6 SOL mathematics test will be based on the grade 6 mathematics standards. Scores on a CAT are determined by the number of questions a student answers correctly and the relative difficulty of the correctly answered items. While the questions and problems on a CAT vary in difficulty from student to student, all students must answer the same number of questions to complete the test. Due to the customized nature of the test, a CAT is able to determine a student s proficiency with fewer questions than a traditional SOL test. Student responses on a CAT are scored in the sequence in which they are presented; therefore, students are not able to skip questions or return to previous questions. The grade 6 mathematics test is the only SOL test that will be administered in a computer adaptive format this year. Other SOL tests that students take this year will be administered using the traditional format in which all students who take a particular version of the test respond to the same test questions. Teachers and other instructional staff are working with students who will take the grade 6 mathematics test this year to help them prepare for this new testing experience, including opportunities to practice taking this type of test before the spring SOL testing window begins. If you would like additional information, go to the Virginia Department of Education s website, found at Registration Opens February 27 for ACE Summer Programs Registration opens February 27 for the following Fairfax County Public Schools summer programs: Adult and Community Education (ACE) camps, enrichment, test prep, and ACE Driver Education. Students should register for programs based on the grade they are in during the current school year. Details on each program are as follows: Adult and Community Education (ACE) Camps, Enrichment, and Test Prep Programs include Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) admissions test prep, SAT test prep, and study skills. Held at various locations. ACE Driver Education For students in grades Classes include Behind the Wheel Driver Training; Classroom Driver Training; Partners for Safe Teen Driving, a required parent and teen traffic safety presentation; and Practice for New Drivers, for students with little or no 2

3 driving experience to learn the basics of car handling in the safety of a school parking lot with the expertise of a certified teacher. General information and links to individual programs and registration for the programs above are available online at Registration also continues for Fairfax County Public Schools summer camps as well as the new Robinson Extended Day Adult and Community Education (ACE) Enrichment program. The new enrichment program will provide continuity to the existing camps for a full-day option of academically-focused programs for students. Parents can now register their children for the Institute for the Arts (IFTA), Elementary Institute for the Arts (E-IFTA), STEM Camp, and Tech Adventure Camp online. Transportation is included in the tuition for all four camps. Discounted tuition is available for IFTA, E-IFTA, STEM Camp, and Tech Adventure Camp through April 10. Students should register for programs based on the grade they are in during the current ( ) school year. Details on each program are as follows: Institute for the Arts (IFTA) will be held July 6-30 at Robinson Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. Designed for students currently in grades 6-11, IFTA allows students to create, perform, experiment, and explore all in various music, dance, visual art, and theatre venues. New this year: Students entering grades can take the Economics and Personal Finance course as one of their class choices. Elementary Institute for the Arts (E-IFTA) will be held July at Robinson Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. Designed for students currently in grades 3-5, E-IFTA offers participants a total immersion in the arts as they rotate through classes in dance, drama, music, and visual art. Tech Adventure Camp will be held July at Robinson Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students currently in grades 5-7. This camp allows students to explore careers and technology by rotating through eight sessions including graphic design, automotive technology, culinary arts, television production, robotics, and computer technology. STEM Camp will be available in two sessions at Robinson Secondary School: July 6-10 and July 13-17, both from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Camp is a one-week camp for students currently in grades 3-5 to explore careers and technology as they rotate through activities focused on science- and mathematics-related concepts through hands-on engineering activities. Robinson Extended Day Adult and Community Education (ACE) Enrichment programs will be held July 6-31 at Robinson Secondary School and will begin after IFTA, E-IFTA, Tech Adventure Camp, and STEM Camp end. These programs are for students currently in grades K-11 and will provide a continuum of activities for students who want additional programs and activities. Programs will include Foreign Language Experience Program (FLEX), Culinary Adventure Camp, Language Immersion Camp, Creative Writing, Computer Graphics, and Chess. 3

4 FCPS will offer several other summer learning programs to provide academic and enrichment opportunities for students in all grades. Visit for more information, including registration dates, fees, and eligibility. These programs include: Online ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) For current middle and high school ESOL students who want to continue developing their fiction and nonfiction reading and writing skills in an online classroom with an ESOL teacher. Held July Registration begins May 4. Extended School Year (ESY) Learning Communities Services for identified students with disabilities in accordance with their individualized education programs (IEPs). Online Campus For credit recovery, acceleration, and enrichment for middle school and high school students. Health, Physical Education, and Geometry Honors run June 29-August 4; all other courses run July 6-August 4. Registration begins May 4. SOL Remediation For FCPS high school students who passed an SOL course but did not pass the SOL test. The sessions are for students who score between 375 and 399 on the SOL test. Held at West Springfield High School. Registration begins May 4. SOL Test Only This program is for FCPS seniors who plan to graduate by August 28 and passed an SOL course but failed the SOL test. Registration begins May 4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) Middle School Technology Institute The institute will be held July 13-August 7 at Woodson High School. Students currently in grades 7 and 8 will be introduced to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through week-long sessions that allow them to explore a STEM topic of interest. Registration begins March 10 Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) Academic Summer School This program will be held July 6 August 6 at Woodson High School. Current TJHSST students and incoming freshmen choose from a variety of courses for academic credit. Registration begins March 10. Credit Recovery Academy This program will be held at Fairfax High School for students seeking credit for high school level courses. Students will be able to take one course during each of the two sessions from June 29-July 16 and July 20-August 4. Registration begins May Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair Set for March The Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair, to be held March at Robinson Secondary School, will feature winning science and engineering projects from high school students representing private and public schools in Fairfax County. This year's theme is "Somewhere, Something Incredible Is Waiting to Be Known." 4

5 Professionals from government agencies and private organizations from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area participate as judges. The fair begins Friday, March 20, with student project registration. Judging and award selections are conducted on Saturday, March 21. Judging for category awards and contributing sponsor awards are both held in the morning, while Grand Prize judging is in the afternoon. The fair draws to a close on Sunday, March 22, with the awards ceremony starting at 3 p.m. Awards presenters represent the school system and business community. The student science exhibits are open to the public between 1 and 3 p.m. on March 22. For more information, go to February 2015 State of the Schools Report Fairfax County Public Schools is on the move and growing. Every day, teachers are working with students to prepare them to be successful in our rapidly changing, increasingly diverse, and interconnected world. Read more about FCPS successes and challenges in the February 2015 State of the Schools report. The State of the Schools Report, sponsored by Apple Federal Credit Union, was also published in the February 12 edition of The Washington Post Fairfax Local Living section. To read the report, go to 5

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