FCCPS Strategic Plan: A Living Document, Not a Dusty Binder

By Superintendent of Schools Peter Noonan

We can all agree that the words “Strategic Plan” aren’t nearly as exciting as “First Day of School,” “Graduation,” or “Snow Day.” 

However, in Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS), there’s much to be excited about as we implement a new Strategic Plan, with significant initiatives and programs already underway.

Last spring, FCCPS completed a year-long strategic planning process with more than 1,000 participants generating big ideas and robust discussion for the future.  We are now turning those ideas into meaningful action in five areas of focus: Investing in Our People; IB Infused Teaching & Learning; Wellness, Equity & Belonging; Resource Management & Continuous Improvement; and Communication & Engagement. The actions in these focus areas encompass every facet of the school division. Some are continuations of programs; others are brand new. In this caring community, all FCCPS employees are involved as part of their daily work. 

Here are some of the great things underway in each Focus Area:

Investing in Our People

FCCPS is committed to being the school division of choice for employees, and a number of new initiatives are making this happen.

• Employees are participating in a tuition reimbursement program with Northern Virginia Community College and can take classes to learn English or earn Teacher Licensure or an Associate’s Degree.

• A Professional Development committee is working to improve and expand the professional development programs that are offered to staff so that employees can grow personally and professionally. School and central office administrators are participating in leadership professional development, as well.

• A Compensation Study is underway to ensure that FCCPS salaries are competitive. Additionally, many employees earn Extra Pay for Extra Duty (EPED) stipends as coaches or club advisors, and a committee is conducting a structural review.

• The following salary and benefits are included in the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 24 Budget, which is still under consideration and will be finalized in May.

º 2% COLA and Step Increase for eligible employees, and a longevity bonus for those at the top of the scale. 

º Health insurance rate decrease for employees who work less than full-time. 

º Six weeks of paid parental leave.

º Increase the sick leave payout for employees with more than five years of service.

IB-Infused Teaching & Learning

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme is the backbone of FCCPS. In order to make IB more understandable, our staff are creating presentations, websites, and videos, along with stories and photos in The Morning Announcements.

• We are working to extend IB teaching and learning to Jessie Thackrey Preschool. 

• At both elementary and secondary schools, changes to report cards and grading are communicating student progress more accurately to families. For example, students at the middle and high school are using a new progress report format that asks them to reflect on their quarterly progress to identify strengths and areas for growth by goal setting.

• At Meridian High School students are registering for the IB Career-related Programme, which is a new option for 11th & 12th grade students, and participating in the Academy of Sustainable Thinking, which provides students with an understanding of the role humans play in impacting the social, environmental, and economic effects on the world.

• In cooperation with many historians and the Falls Church Education Foundation, the creation of an Inclusive Local History curriculum is underway and will be incorporated in all grades.

Wellness, Equity & Belonging

Employee groups are working to identify and remove barriers to equitable access so that all students and families are welcomed and able to be involved.

A Parent Survey is being drafted that will be launched this spring.

School-based activities supporting student and staff wellness are taking place. 

Resource Management & Continuous Improvement

Employees have been participating in Focus Groups, a Superintendent’s Forum, and taking advantage of opportunities to identify needs and opportunities for growth.

The City of Falls Church and FCCPS will be working with a new financial institution, which will streamline the work of the Finance Department and reduce fees.

Communication & Engagement

• ClassTag is a communications app that allows teachers and parents to communicate in their preferred language.

• Parent liaisons are working to ensure that multilingual families are connected and included in the FCCPS community.

• A Communications Survey launched this week. Everyone in the community is invited to respond. The survey is at

This is just a snapshot of work that has begun and a preview of the next five years. FCCPS is grateful to everyone who is bringing the Strategic Plan to life — employees, parents, students, and community members.

For additional details, including performance measurements for each part of the plan, visit