Parent & Student Information Handbook

 One Division, One Mission, All Systems Grow!

FCCPS Parent and Student Handbook for 2018-2019Dear Falls Church Families,

Happy New Year!!! It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that our team begins the 2018-19 school year. This summer, FCCPS staff members have been very busy; planning curriculum, discussing high-quality instruction, interviewing and hiring the best teachers we can find, and getting ready to start our best year yet! When your kids hit the school hallways for the first time, you will see an energized and supportive faculty and staff who are ready to meet the individual needs of each child. We are grateful for the incredible partnership that the parent community enjoys with our schools. Together we will help each student make great strides.

Last year as your new FCCPS Superintendent, I wrote about my core values that influence and inform my decision-making process. As we, together, head into the second year I thought it essential to "double down" on the four core values that serve as the foundation for our future success.

The first core value is Collaboration. I look forward to fostering responsive and caring relationships and sustaining a culture of collaboration where members of our community have a voice, feel valued, supported, and hopeful about the future of our students and our school division.

The second core value is Innovation. This term can be tossed around without a lot of meaning, so let me put it in context. I believe that for FCCPS to have a premier workforce, outstanding facilities that match our exceptional programs, and students prepared for their future (rather than our past), we must look at our routines, protocols, and the challenges we face through a lens that is innovative. I hope to build a culture where leaders and teachers in our schools use phrases like, “Be bold.” “Do something different.” “What are the alternative pathways?” “How does that connect to other ideas you have shared?” With this solution-seeking mindset, we can continue building on the fantastic work happening in FCCPS.

The third core value I want to highlight is Ethical Leadership. My role is to serve as a champion for the needs of our schools and the school community. That covers a wide range: personnel, transportation, food service, classrooms, technology and beyond. Our needs are changing, and resources are scarce, and we have to meet the demands of a diverse population of students. One of my primary responsibilities is to make a case for continued and significant investment in our public schools, ensuring that we are the best possible stewards of public funds. Together, with the School Board and the broader community, we will do this from a place of honesty, openness, and always with an ethical compass.

My last core value centers on Equity and Excellence for every student we serve. It is evident that this community is committed to excellence. In this time of change, we must redouble our efforts on behalf of all of our students, regardless of race, ethnicity, economic status, or gender. We must raise the bar through rigorous programming for all, closing the gap for those students who are struggling, while extending and enriching opportunities for students who need more challenges. I genuinely believe we can accomplish these ambitious goals by working together as a dedicated, interdependent, and collaborative community.

This summer we (the FCCPS community) spent time reading and thinking about the book Mindset, by Carol Dweck. Collectively, we believe that to grow professionally to support our students we must adopt a "growth mindset" which indicates that we are continuously improving. It also means that we, like our students, must look at the complexity of teaching and learning in ways that allow us to interrogate our current practices and find ways to improve. In the end, it is an excellent reminder that we must model those skills that we are encouraging and teaching in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. The IB Learner Profile infuses our professional work and with your students from the youngest age. IB says, and we strive to ensure, that our students will be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-Minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-Takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

Our teachers will seek to incorporate these traits in every classroom in FCCPS. They serve as an anchor for our students throughout the elementary and secondary educations. When our graduates walk across the stage after completing their GMHS and FCCPS schooling we can be confident that colleges, communities, and workforces welcome our students who embody these IB Learner Profile traits.

Therefore, the organizing theme we will all be working diligently to achieve is:

“We aspire to be the premier International Baccalaureate school division.”

With this guidepost, FCCPS can further ensure that all of our students are successful in whatever their post-secondary desires may be.

I look forward to our educational journey and believe we are truly better together!

Sincerely,
Signature of Peter Noonan
Peter J. Noonan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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