Around F.C.

School News: January 12th – 18th

MHS Robotics Team Looking for Sponsors

Ever want to build a robot?  Or help pay for one? The Meridian High School Vae Victis 1418 Robotics Team is looking for sponsors and mentors for their 2023 build season (January-April).Visit https://1418.team/ for more information.

Over winter break on December 26th, over 30 boys basketball alums reunited to play pick-up hoops in the new school gym. There were players dating from 2008 to current students. (Photo: FCCPS)

Support GIVE Day for FCCPS

Take a day off from cooking and support Oak Street Elementary GIVE Day Club in their fundraising efforts for GIVE Day by ordering food at Bolay.  Be sure to mention FCC Public Schools and a portion of their sales for the day will be donated to support the Elementary GIVE Day goal of packing over 1,500+ Power Packs for Food For Others.  Meals all day will go toward the fundraising efforts, so plan to eat lunch and dinner at Bolay!  Note: you must order in person as online orders will not count for the GIVE Day promotion.

Nominate FCCPS Staff for Recognition Awards

The 2023 FCCPS Employee Awards program is open for nominations. Everyone is invited to recognize a teacher, specialist, or support staff employee for their dedication to students and schools. There are three awards: Falls Church Education Foundation Teacher of the Year Award, Professional Specialist of the Year Award, Support Staff Employee of the Year Award. For more information, visit https://www.fccps.org/o/fccps/page/employee-recognition-awards.

Meridian Offers MYP Certificate to Students

The Meridian Middle Years Programme (MYP) certificate is a new opportunity to recognize outstanding efforts and achievements by 9th and 10th-grade students. The Meridian MYP certificate will be offered for the first time to current 9th-grade students (class of 2026). The current 9th graders were introduced to the certificate during a recent Stable class. 

All current 9th graders are eligible for this certificate because of the structure and support that occurs through their course completion, including Stable (advisory time) to complete the 10th-grade Personal Project and participate in some service opportunities during school. The certificate is an opportunity to engage in active and reflective work, much of what students are already doing to support and prepare for selected 11th and 12th-grade pathways. MYP Certificate participation is encouraged but not required and does not impact participation in the 11th and 12th-grade Diploma Programme (DP) or Careers-related Programme (CP) courses. 

If one has questions, please get in touch with Dr. Dippold (dippoldr@fccps.org).

Local Preschool Waitlist Window Open Soon

Falls Church City residents interested in enrolling preschoolers in Jessie Thackrey Preschool for the 2023-24 school year are invited to enter students in the Lottery Waitlist Window to qualify for enrollment. The Lottery Waitlist window will be open January 9 -13, 2023. Families will be notified by the end of February if the student is selected to enroll. Families must currently reside in the City of Falls Church. Students must be age 3 or 4 by Sept 30, 2023. Students who are age five by September 30 are not eligible to attend Jessie Thackrey Preschool. The sign-up link will be publicized on FCCPS websites and in the Morning Announcements on Monday, January 9, 2023.

MHS Softball Hosts Fundraiser

Meridian Softball will be having a fundraiser at Claire and Don’s Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St.) on Tuesday, January 17th from 5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. 10 percent of sales support the softball program.

Congratulations to IB Diploma Recipients

On Thursday, graduates from the class of 2022 who earned the IB Diploma were welcomed back to Meridian. Overall, 47 students in the class of 2022 were successful in their pursuit of the IB Diploma. To earn the diploma, the students passed examinations in six courses. They completed the IB DP core requirements of Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity and Service Hours, and the Extended Essay over the last two years of their high school experience. Congratulations once more to these young people on their tremendous individual and collective accomplishments.

Inclusivity and Equity Retreat Held for MHS

On Friday, January 6, student leaders across Meridian High School met off-campus at Temple Rodef Shalom for a retreat. The day’s goal was for students to educate themselves and build their capacity to educate others about addressing antisemitism at school. Members of student council (Chloe Calabrese, Jay Humphries, and Stella Turner) facilitated the day. The students were led by guest speaker Rabbi Bruce Aft, who led the students in a workshop around identity, Jewish symbolism, racism, and antisemitism. Rabbi Aft is a visiting scholar at George Mason University in the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

School Board Elects Leadership for 2023

The Falls Church School Board unanimously re-elected Chair Laura Downs and Vice-Chair Tate Gould to serve in those identical posts for the 2023 term. While school instructional years operate on a July to June calendar, the School Board follows a calendar year schedule, primarily because school board elections occur every two years in November.

Superintendent’s Budget Unveiled

Superintendent Peter Noonan presented his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24 last night before the School Board’s January Regular Meeting.  For the fifth consecutive year, the budget remains within the City Council guidance – this year, it is initially set at 4.2 percent, down from last year’s 8.4 percent. Specifically, the budget addresses a key action in our Strategic Plan, “’Investing in Our People’ and my personal commitment to ensuring that FCCPS has the best compensation and working conditions in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Dr. Noonan said.

Compensation and Benefits that impact staff the most are:

A STEP increase for all eligible employees.

A $1,000 longevity bonus for those who are at the end of the salary scale and not eligible for the STEP.

Six weeks of paid parental leave for employees who have a new child. FCCPS is one of, if not the first, to provide this benefit in a Virginia School Division.

Health Benefits are extended to all employees who are benefits eligible — Full-Time and Part-Time.