South County Middle School PTSO Meeting

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Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 28, the PTSO will be holding their quarterly meeting.  You can attend in person or online.  If you want to attend online here is the link for tomorrow’s meeting. 

https://myfcpsk12.zoom.us/j/93404462722?pwd=b1lLUXQ3TWVma1dUMHprOUdtMGNWUT09

Gratefully,

Samantha Roberts

President

South County Middle School PTSO

www.mustangptso.org

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, February 23, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

As we wrap up another wonderful week, I want to extend my sincere appreciation for your ongoing support and collaboration. Seeing so many of you at our phenomenal production of Matilda Jr. over Presidents’ Day weekend was inspiring. Our students’ talent, creativity, and dedication truly shone on stage, and we owe a special thanks to our dedicated staff and students for making this performance a success. Have a safe and restful weekend, and we hope to see many of you at the Student vs. Staff basketball game tonight!

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

Friday, February 23 - Student vs Staff Basketball Game, 6:30 PM

Wednesday, February 28 - PTSO Meeting, 7:00 PM

Tuesday, March 5 - Student Holiday

Monday, March 25-Friday, March 29 - Spring Break

Monday, April 1-Tuesday, April 2 - Teacher Workdays, No School for Students

Family Engagement Survey to Open March 3

FCPS is partnering with independent research firm K12 Insight to administer a Family Engagement Survey, which will be open from Sunday, March 3, to Friday, March 22. Your feedback is critical in helping FCPS to better recognize, understand, respect, and address family strengths and needs throughout the district. Survey topics include:

  • Welcoming environment
  • Communication
  • Student success
  • Advocacy
  • Family and school partnerships
  • Community partnerships

The survey will be available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Pashto, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese. 

Parents/caregivers will receive the survey link via email from K12 Insight. A public link will also be posted on FCPS’ website. Paper surveys will be available in our front office. Please stay tuned for more information.

Stress, Trauma & Coping

The experience of traumatic events shapes us, no matter if they happened during childhood or as an adult. Trauma is an event or series of circumstances that have lasting effects on mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual well-being. Stress occurs from our minds and bodies identifying an event as physically or emotionally life-threatening. The situation triggers our survival instincts and our natural fight-flight-freeze response. But our minds and bodies cannot sustain being in survival mode for extended periods of time. Sometimes, those who experience high amounts of stress and traumatic situations are unable to process or move past what has happened and are stuck in a loop. 

Childhood trauma manifests in many ways and when carried into adulthood, it can create a cycle of adverse experiences that affect future generations. The effects of traumatic events place a heavy burden on the individual, connected families, and communities. Responses to stress and traumatic experiences are personal. There is an intersection between trauma, coping, and substance misuse. Studies show that about 61% of adults have had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) according to the CDC. Historical trauma is critical to understanding the progress and plight of African American mental health and wellbeing. During February the contributions into the culture and history of the United States of America from African Americans are highlighted and celebrated. 

Trauma prevention and intervention strategies are important. Creating a strategy of helpful coping skills to pull from prepares us to face difficult moments while increasing levels of resilience and feelings of wellbeing. Here are a few tips to add to your coping strategies:

  1. Seek mental health and/or substance use treatment.
  2. Identify one or more people you feel safe with who can help to hold you accountable.
  3. Develop, repair, or maintain healthy relationships for internal and external support.
  4. Learn and practice self-regulation skills. 
  5. Encourage yourself and others.
  6. Find ways to increase your self-esteem.
  7. Focus on your strengths.
  8. Model healthy behavior when dealing with difficult situations.
  9. Identify your triggers and practice ways to work through them. 

 

Resources:

Why Historical Trauma is Critical to Understanding Black Mental Health

Addressing Childhood Trauma Starts with Family Support

Violence Prevention

ACEs and Minorities

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: 571.423.4270.

For Further Information & Support:

Catric W. Marshall, MS., LPC., CCC 

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

[email protected]

District News/In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)

If you prefer to have an abbreviated way to share district news, consider sharing the language below in your newsletter. Please edit the list of topics to best fit the needs of your community.

FCPS NewsIn case you missed it in FCPS This Week, the school division shared updates on the following topics:

  • Upcoming Webinars and Events for Families
  • How Students Benefit from CTE Courses
  • Supreme Court Decision Regarding TJHSST

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving the weekly newsletter, please sign up today.  

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, February 16, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

As we approach the Presidents Day weekend, I want to extend warm wishes to our entire school community. Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on the leadership and service of our nation’s past presidents. Thank you for your continued dedication and support of our school. As always, let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns. I wish everyone a restful and enjoyable long weekend, and please join us for the theatre production if you are in town.

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

Friday, February 16 - Theater Performance, 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 17 - Theater Performance, 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Monday, February 19 - No School, President’s Day

Friday, February 23 - Student vs Staff Basketball Game

Wednesday, February 28 - PTSO Meeting, 7:00 PM

Weekly Math SOL Reviews

Students have recently started completing weekly SOL Review assignments for their math classes. Here is some key information for you to support your student at home:

  • Students are permitted to use their notes, slides and information posted in Schoology, Mathspace textbook and practice questions, and other resources used in class. They may also use tutor.com to access support outside of school on these assignments. Students may also ask for teacher support in seminar or after school office hours. They may not collaborate with other students.
  • Each review will count as half of a formative assignment, and will be included within the weekly homework time guidelines for students.
  • Reviews open each Monday at 7:00 am and are due every Sunday at 11:59 pm. These assignments are in Mathspace.
  • Students who do not show understanding of content will be reviewing questions during class and/or during seminar time.
  • More detailed information was given to students during class and is posted in their math Schoology course.

Please check with your student and reach out to your student’s math teacher with any questions!

  1. Family webinar information – this is offered by the county to help families understand high school math pathways. This can be included for the next couple weeks until the webinar happens.

Family Webinar – Understanding High School Mathematics Course Offerings

  • How can students participate in mathematics throughout high school in a way that is relevant to and supportive of post-secondary and career interests?
  • During this session we will discuss mathematics graduation requirements and how to support students in navigating the various course offerings currently available in FCPS.
  • Students and their families may start thinking about what course pathways are available beginning in middle school. Join us to learn more.
  • Presented by Jennifer Allard FCPS High School Math Specialist and Erin Sylves FCPS Math Specialist.

March 8, 2024, 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Understanding High School Mathematics Course Offerings

  Talent Showcase Update: “African Americans and the Arts”

Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to reconsider our field trip to South County High School. We apologize for the inconvenience and please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you, Ms. Myree  

  South County Middle School 8th Grade Day of Service April 19, 2024

Eighth grade students will participate in a Day of Service on Wednesday, Apr 19, 2024, here at South County Middle School.  Our purpose is to encourage students to become productive, ethical citizens of a global community by providing opportunities to give back to our community and the worldStudents will have the opportunity to participate in four different activities that range in focus from assisting individuals, helping the Lorton community, and impacting the world at large.  This will allow them to earn 4.5 out of the 5 required service hours for Civics.  Students DO NOT need to sign up.  Their participation will be documented by their attendance each period that day.  

One activity students will participate in is a food packaging event with Rise Against Hunger.  We must raise $12,000 for the Rise Against Hunger event.  This money will allow us to buy the food and materials needed to package 28,000 meals.  If each 8th grade student is able to raise $30, we will surpass our goal.  Donations must be received by Monday, April 15th. Please use this link to family and friends: Rise Against Hunger Donations

  Yearbook Photos

Want your student to be in the yearbook? Your contribution is the best way to make sure your student is well represented in the yearbook. We are specifically looking for photos from summer, outdoor activitieshobbies or talents, family traditions, and winter break. All you need to do is click the hyper link and upload them! Photo submissions received by February 16th will earn your student an entry into a gift card raffle. Thank you!

 

SOL Testing and Expedited Retakes

SOL Testing at SCMS will be on the following dates: May 7th, May 9th, and May 13th

Please try to avoid scheduling appointments or trips on these dates.  It is important for all students to be in school for these assessments.

The Virginia Board of Education allows certain elementary and middle school students who fail Standards of Learning (SOL) tests by a narrow margin to retake the test before the end of the school year. Retesting is available when a student fails their first attempt with a score of 375-399 (where 400 is passing).  Parent permission is required for any retests in grades 3-8. If your student scores in this range, and you believe that they would benefit from a second opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills on the SOL test, please complete this permission form and submit it to the school. A decision not to allow retesting will not impact your child’s course grade or academic record.

Parent Permission for SOL Retest

Our Schools, Our Future: Community Conversations Continue

Join Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for Our Schools, Our Future – A Community Conversation. Your voice matters! Share your thoughts about FCPS and bring your questions to a conversation on:

Pre-registration for a Community Conversation is not required but will help FCPS plan. Childcare and interpretation services will be provided for all events based on staff availability. Events are open to all. Learn about other opportunities to connect with Dr. Reid.

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, February 9, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

What a phenomenal week it’s been! Black History Month Spirit Week was a joy to experience as it ignited our school with creativity, learning, and, most importantly, celebration. We look forward to another week, and as always, thank you for your continued support. We cannot do this work without you. Please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns, and we look forward to seeing our students next week. Enjoy your weekend!

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

Friday, February 16 - Theater Performance, 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 17 - Theater Performance, 1:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Monday, February 19 - No School, President’s Day

Friday, February 23 - Student vs Staff Basketball Game

Wednesday, February 28 - PTSO Meeting, 7:00 PM

South County MS Theatre Presents Matilda!

Join us for the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Performances are on Feb 16th at 7pm and Feb 17th at 1 and 7pm. Tickets are 8$ and found through Etix:

 

Talent Showcase "African Americans and the Arts"

South County High School has invited our Mustangs to join them in a celebration in honor of Black History Month.  There will be a talent showcase themed, "African Americans and the Arts" occurring February 29th during the school day (starting at 9:46).  More details to follow.  Examples of performances include singing, rapping, spoken word, poetry, instrumentation, visual arts, etc. However, if there is a different talent students would like to submit for consideration, they can indicate it using the sign-up form. All students are welcome to participate.  The sign-up form can be found in Schoology under ‘All Schools’.   

Here is the link.

Thank you,

Ms. Myree

South County Middle School 8th Grade Day of Service April 19, 2024

Eighth grade students will participate in a Day of Service on Wednesday, Apr 19, 2024, here at South County Middle School.  Our purpose is to encourage students to become productive, ethical citizens of a global community by providing opportunities to give back to our community and the worldStudents will have the opportunity to participate in four different activities that range in focus from assisting individuals, helping the Lorton community, and impacting the world at large.  This will allow them to earn 4.5 out of the 5 required service hours for Civics.  Students DO NOT need to sign up.  Their participation will be documented by their attendance each period that day.  

One activity students will participate in is a food packaging event with Rise Against Hunger.  We must raise $12,000 for the Rise Against Hunger event.  This money will allow us to buy the food and materials needed to package 28,000 meals.  If each 8th grade student is able to raise $30, we will surpass our goal.  Donations must be received by Monday, April 15th. Please use this link to family and friends.

Yearbook Photos

Want your student to be in the yearbook? Your contribution is the best way to make sure your student is well represented in the yearbook. We are specifically looking for photos from summer, outdoor activitieshobbies or talents, family traditions, and winter break. All you need to do is click the hyper link and upload them! Photo submissions received by February 16th will earn your student an entry into a gift card raffle. Thank you!

SOL Testing and Expedited Retakes

SOL Testing at SCMS will be on the following dates: May 7th, May 9th, and May 13th

Please try to avoid scheduling appointments or trips on these dates.  It is important for all students to be in school for these assessments.

The Virginia Board of Education allows certain elementary and middle school students who fail Standards of Learning (SOL) tests by a narrow margin to retake the test before the end of the school year. Retesting is available when a student fails their first attempt with a score of 375-399 (where 400 is passing).  Parent permission is required for any retests in grades 3-8. If your student scores in this range, and you believe that they would benefit from a second opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills on the SOL test, please complete this permission form and submit it to the school. A decision not to allow retesting will not impact your child’s course grade or academic record.

Parent Permission Form to Retest

Sully District Police Station will
present Hidden In Plain Sight
A community awareness program to educate
parents on signs of risky behavior.

HIPS Presentation Flier 2024

  Sign Up for FCPS Summer Camps and Learning Programs 

Registration is now open for several summer camps and learning opportunities offered by Fairfax County Public Schools for all students.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) camps and Institute for the Arts camps will be held in July at Lake Braddock Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bus transportation will be available from select FCPS middle and high schools. 

CTE programs are available for grade 6-11 students to explore CTE program areas, develop skills, and begin career exploration. IFTA allows students to select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9, music, and theater. Visit the IFTA webpage to register.

Summer Learning

Programs are also available for high school students to fulfill the Economics and Personal Finance course requirement, earn a high school course credit via this summer’s online campus program, or recover one high school course credit through the Credit Recovery Academy

FCPS’ free online class for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provides FCPS middle and high school English Learners the opportunity to continue developing their academic, reading, and writing skills in online discussions with an ESOL teacher. 

Find session dates, registration links, and registration deadlines on FCPS summer programs. 

Lexia Parent Night: How We Help Your Child Learn to Read

FCPS funds the use of Lexia for all elementary and middle schools to use as part of their literacy instruction. Lexia is a computer-based program that supplements classroom instruction to help students develop literacy skills. It also provides teachers with data to identify students who need additional support, and the ability to know which specific concepts and skills to prioritize.Attend an information night on Monday, February 12, at 6:30 p.m., at Thoreau Middle School. Parents/caregivers will learn more about Lexia, and how FCPS is integrating it into the classroom and supporting student growth in reading. Attendees will also get tips for supporting their students at home.

Register to attend or submit a question in advance. Unable to attend in person? Join on Zoom

Integrating Lexia into the literacy curriculum aligns with the Virginia Literacy Act, FCPS’ Equitable Access to Literacy, and FCPS Strategic Plan Goal 3, which aims to have all students reading on level by the end of third grade. 

Tutor.com Teacher-Referred Tutoring

Through Schoology®, all FCPS students have 24/7 access to no-cost, year-round, on-demand, 1-to-1 tutoring services through Tutor.com

A new Teacher-Referred Tutoring program feature provides targeted support and extends student learning. Teachers can now refer students for tutoring, with their specific needs already identified. Students can get extra support — on their own schedule — and reinforce their in-class learning.

We strongly encourage all FCPS middle and high school students to click on the Tutor.com icon in their Schoology portal for homework help, concept review, writing support, and test prep—anytime, anywhere.

 Plus, look for teachers’ tutoring session referrals on the Tutor.com homepage.

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, February 2, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

It’s been an exciting start to the beginning of the second semester. Please know that our team is committed to building on the successes of the first semester, and we hope to continue fostering a positive and enriching environment for your student(s). We also encourage your continued participation in your student’s education through communication with teachers or attending some of our school wide events. Let’s make this semester one that is filled with achievements, joy, and meaningful experiences. As always, thank you for entrusting us with your student, and please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns. Enjoy your weekend!

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

Tuesday, February 6 - Interest Meeting for Track, 6:00 PM

Friday, February 16 - Theater Performance, 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 17 - Theater Performance, 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Monday, February 19 - No School, President’s Day

Friday, February 23 - Student vs Staff Basketball Game

Wednesday, February 28 - PTSO Meeting, 7:00 PM

Black History Month Spirit Week

Feb. 5 (Monday) – Get in Formation (All Black Everything)

Feb. 6 (Tuesday) – Diaspora Day (Dashiki, African Attire, or Red/Green/Yellow | Black History shirts)

Feb. 7 (Wednesday) – HBC “YOU” (Wear a HBCU or any college shirt)

Feb. 8 (Thursday) – Soul Train Day (Dress up like your favorite decade 70s, 80s, and 90s)

Feb. 9 (Friday) – Culture Shock (Dress in a way that represents your culture, or wear South County Middle School attire/colors) 

SAVE THE DATE

The SCMS Spring Track season is almost upon us. We will be hosting a Parent/Student Information meeting on Tuesday February 6th at South County MS at 6:00pm. Please use door 1 and you will be directed to our Lecture Hall.

 

National School Counseling Week 2024

Feb. 5-9 is National School Counseling Week. According to the American School Counselor Association, this week “highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. The 2024 theme is “School Counseling: Standards-Based, Student-Focused.” Please join us in appreciating our school counselors next week.

 

SOL Testing and Expedited Retakes

SOL Testing at SCMS will be on the following dates: May 7th, May 9th, and May 13th

Please try to avoid scheduling appointments or trips on these dates.  It is important for all students to be in school for these assessments.

The Virginia Board of Education allows certain elementary and middle school students who fail Standards of Learning (SOL) tests by a narrow margin to retake the test before the end of the school year. Retesting is available when a student fails their first attempt with a score of 375-399 (where 400 is passing).  Parent permission is required for any retests in grades 3-8. If your student scores in this range, and you believe that they would benefit from a second opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills on the SOL test, please complete this permission form and submit it to the school. A decision not to allow retesting will not impact your child’s course grade or academic record.

Parent Permission Form for SOL Retakes

2024 CTE SUMMER ENRICHMENT CTE Summer Academy

What is CTE Summer Academy?

A weekly enrichment program that allows students to dive deeper into CTE program areas, and encourages skill development and career exploration.

Students choose 4 classes each week they participate and learn new content, discover interests, and build their skills.

Details

Eligibility: Current 6 to 11 graders

Time - 8:30 am to 2:00 pm* *Early drop off is available!

Location - Lake Braddock SS

Transportation from select FCPS schools is provided!

Cost - $275 per week* *Tuition waivers available for students receiving Free and Reduced Meals

Dates -

Week 1: July 8 - 12

Week 2: July 15 - 19

Week 3: July 22 - 26

Class Options

Students will choose four (4) classes each week to build their own specialized summer learning program. Courses are available in all CTE program areas: Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health and Medical, Marketing, Technology and Engineering, and Trade and Industrial.

For the list and schedule of classes being offered, please visit our webpage!

How to Register

Registration is open from February 1 to June 7, 2024.

Students can register online by visiting the CTE Summer Academy website and clicking on the register button.

Additional Information

Visit FCPS CTE Summer Academy for more information!

For questions, please contact Beth Mehr at [email protected]

2024 CTE Summer Academy Flyer

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, January 26, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

As we have ended the 2nd quarter, I want to express my gratitude for the incredible journey we've shared this school year. Our students have shown remarkable dedication and resilience; I am immensely proud of their achievements. Thank you for your unwavering support, as your involvement is crucial to our students' success. I look forward to continued collaboration as we enter the next quarter because your insights are invaluable. Together, we can ensure our students have an environment where they can thrive. Enjoy your weekend, and as always, please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns.

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

Tuesday, February 6 - Interest Meeting for Track, 6:00 PM

Friday, February 16 - Theater Performance, 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 17 - Theater Performance, 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Monday, February 19 - No School, President’s Day

Friday, February 23 - Student vs Staff Basketball Game

Wednesday, February 28 - PTSO Meeting, 7:00 PM

Second Semester Schedules

We have encouraged students to check their StudentView account over the weekend to see if they have access to their second semester schedule. Our hope is that it will be available today, but if not, it should be available by Monday morning. If your student is unable to check, then we have a plan in place for them on Monday morning.  

 

SAVE THE DATE

The SCMS Spring Track season is almost upon us. We will be hosting a Parent/Student Information meeting on Tuesday February 6th at South County MS at 6:00pm. Please use door 1 and you will be directed to our Lecture Hall.

 

2024 CTE SUMMER ENRICHMENT CTE Summer Academy

What is CTE Summer Academy?

A weekly enrichment program that allows students to dive deeper into CTE program areas, and encourages skill development and career exploration.

Students choose 4 classes each week they participate and learn new content, discover interests, and build their skills.

Details

Eligibility: Current 6 to 11 graders

Time - 8:30 am to 2:00 pm* *Early drop off is available!

Location - Lake Braddock SS

Transportation from select FCPS schools is provided!

Cost - $275 per week* *Tuition waivers available for students receiving Free and Reduced Meals

Dates -

Week 1: July 8 - 12

Week 2: July 15 - 19

Week 3: July 22 - 26

Class Options

Students will choose four (4) classes each week to build their own specialized summer learning program. Courses are available in all CTE program areas: Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health and Medical, Marketing, Technology and Engineering, and Trade and Industrial.

For the list and schedule of classes being offered, please visit our webpage!

How to Register

Registration is open from February 1 to June 7, 2024.

Students can register online by visiting the CTE Summer Academy website and clicking on the register button.

Additional Information

Visit bit.ly/FCPS_CSA for more information!

For questions, please contact Beth Mehr at [email protected]

2024 CTE Summer Academy Flyer

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, January 9, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

I am thrilled to share some amazing news as we wrap up this shortened week due to the winter weather. With immense pleasure and pride, I announce Ms. Jessica Gregory (SCMS Cat B Teacher) as the South County Pyramid’s winner for Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year! She will move to the regional level to compete against other candidates throughout Region 4 and beyond. We are super excited for her and wish her well in the next round of the process. Additionally, 2nd quarter will end on January 25th, so please remind your student(s) to check on their grades and take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate their learning. As always, thank you for your continued trust and support, and please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns. I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

January 23 - Curriculum Night, 6:00 - 7:30 PM, Gym & Cafeteria

January 24 - Night of the Arts Show, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

January 25 - 2 Hour Early Release, End of 2nd Quarter, 

January 26 - No School, Teacher Workday

Recently, we have observed an increase in playful physical interactions, such as “horseplaying” and “pretend fighting,” among some of our students. While we understand that these activities may be perceived as fun and light-hearted, it is important to remind everyone that situations can escalate rapidly, leading to genuine conflicts or someone inadvertently getting hurt. In light of this, we kindly request your ongoing support. Let us collectively reinforce the message about the potential risks of horseplaying and pretend fighting to discourage student participation. By working together, we can maintain the safety of our school environment at South County Middle School.

South County Middles School Curriculum Night Rising 7th & 8th Grade Families January 23, 2024 6:00 - 7:30 PM

Families will have the opportunity to learn about course options for the 2024-2025 school year and meet with our core and elective teachers, counselors, and administrators. There will also be an informational session offered to learn about the math options in middle school and course offerings for general education, honors, AAP, ESOL and SPED at South County MS. 

Curriculum Night Information

South County High School Academic Advising Dates

for Rising 9th Grade Families

January 24, 2024 — Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30pm

Content area teachers will be available at the Curriculum Fair in the cafeteria to discuss core class and elective course offerings. Also, there will be an informational session for rising 9th grade families in the auditorium from 6:00-6:45. 

Grade Level Curriculum Orientation—

High School counselors will meet with students in large groups to present information about course offerings, sequencing, prerequisites for specific courses, and graduation requirements at South County Middle School on January 30th, 2024.

Middle School Counselors will meet with students February 5th-9th through Science classes to complete academic advising.

Students with an FCPS login can access our electives information here.

South County High School Student Services

What Families Can Do to Fight Drug Misuse

FCPS is committed to raising awareness about the opioid epidemic with our educators, parents/caregivers, and students. Together, we can help ensure our students thrive.

What can families do?
  • Show you disapprove of underage drinking and other drug misuse. More than 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision whether to drink. 
  • Show you care about your child’s health, wellness, and success. 
  • Show you are a good source of information about alcohol and other drugs. Find helpful resources on the FCPS Opioid Awareness webpage
  • Pay attention to your child and discourage risky behaviors. 
  • Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding drinking and drug use. Talk with your child about what they would do if faced with a decision about alcohol and drugs, such as texting a code word to a family member or practicing how they will say, “No thanks.”

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, January 12, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

It has been a great week at South County Middle School, and we hope your week has been equally fantastic. Our English 8 classes are currently in their third unit and delivering instruction around the Virginia Department of Education’s Standard 8.3, where students “analyze, develop, and produce creative or informational media messages.” Seeing how the students and teachers interacted with this standard was stunning and reinforced the notion that great work happens when everyone works together. As a reminder, we will not have school on Monday, as it is a holiday. Nevertheless, we thank you for your continued support, and as always, please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns. I hope you have a fantastic weekend.   

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

January 15 - No School, MLK Holiday

January 25 - 2 Hour Early Release, End of 2nd Quarter, 

January 26 - No School, Teacher Workday

South County Middles School Curriculum Night Rising 7th & 8th Grade Families January 23, 2024 6:00 PM

An opportunity for our rising 7th and 8th grade families to learn about all the courses available to their students during the 2024-2025 school year.

Curriculum Night Information

South County High School Academic Advising Dates

for Rising 9th Grade Families

January 24, 2024 — Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30pm

Content area teachers will be available at the Curriculum Fair in the cafeteria to discuss core class and elective course offerings. Also, there will be an informational session for rising 9th grade families in the auditorium from 6:00-6:45. 

Grade Level Curriculum Orientation—

High School counselors will meet with students in large groups to present information about course offerings, sequencing, prerequisites for specific courses, and graduation requirements at South County Middle School on January 30th, 2024.

Middle School Counselors will meet with students February 5th-9th through Science classes to complete academic advising.

Students with an FCPS login can access our electives information here.

South County High School Student Services

Tutor.com Can Help With More Than Homework

Tutor.com offers more than help with homework! This on-demand tutoring service also provides a comprehensive range of resources including exam prep for AP, SAT, and ACT tests at no cost to families. 

Students can take practice quizzes at any time. If they struggle in particular areas, they can immediately connect to a live tutor for help through voice or chat options. Learn more on the FCPS Tutor.com webpage.

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, January 5, 2024

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Hello Mustangs,

I hope this message finds you well and that you had a wonderful winter break filled with joy, relaxation, and quality time with loved ones. As we enter the new calendar year, I am excited and optimistic about the upcoming opportunities for our school community. We have had a quiet and joyful week while reacclimating ourselves to school routines. Thank you for your continued trust and support, and as always, we are here for you. Please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns, and I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

January 15 - No School, MLK Holiday

January 23 - Curriculum Night for Rising 7th & 8th Graders

January 25 - 2 Hour Early Release, End of 2nd Quarter, 

January 26 - No School, Teacher Workday

Curriculum Night January 23 - 6:00 pm - 7:30pm

Families will have the opportunity to learn about course options for the 2024-2025 school year and meet with our core and elective teachers, counselors, and administrators. There will also be an informational session offered to learn about the math options in middle school and course offerings for general education, honors, AAP, ESOL and SPED at South County MS.

South County High School Academic Advising Dates Rising 9th Grade Families

January 24, 2024 — Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30pm

Content area teachers will be available at the Curriculum Fair in the cafeteria to discuss core class and elective course offerings. Also, there will be an informational session for rising 9th grade families in the auditorium from 6:00-6:45. 

Grade Level Curriculum Orientation—

High School counselors will meet with students in large groups to present information about course offerings, sequencing, prerequisites for specific courses, and graduation requirements at South County Middle School on January 30th, 2024.

Middle School Counselors will meet with students February 5th-9th through Science classes to complete academic advising.

Students with an FCPS login can access our electives information here.

South County High School Student Services

Opioid Awareness and Resources

Conversation to Raise Awareness of Fentanyl and Other Drugs In this video, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid interviews the Fosters, a family who tragically lost their son Cayden to a half pill of fentanyl mistaken for Percocet. This heart-wrenching yet eye-opening video of their experience is essential to raise awareness among parents/caregivers and students about the dangers of fake painkillers.

Please join Dr. Reid on Wednesday, January 10, at 6:30 p.m., at Edison High School for a community conversation about opioid awareness. You may register to attend. However, registration is not required; it is simply for space considerations. 

The evening’s program is appropriate for parents/caregivers and students in grades 6-12. All attendees will receive free REVIVE! Narcan training during the event and learn about support services currently available within FCPS and Fairfax County.   

FCPS’ website also has resources to help you to start the conversation and additional support for families struggling with substance misuse. 

Safety Information

Safe Students, Safe Schools

Fairfax County Public Schools believes that academic success is built on the foundation of a safe learning environment. This includes physical safety, and mental health and wellness. 

FCPS has a comprehensive approach to safety that involves physical security measures, online monitoring by security staff, and crisis intervention support. The division has created the Safe Students, Safe Schools Brochure (PDF) to enhance your awareness of potential hazards and to equip you with practical tips for how you can help. Visit the FCPS website for more information.

A New Year to Reset & Restart 

In December, many people will begin to reflect on the year that has passed and begin planning differences for the upcoming year. The fresh feeling of a new year to make changes that may improve our lives can be exciting, scary, and necessary. When thinking of your goals consider making them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound), this method breaks goals down and makes it easier to track progress. It is helpful to share your goals with your child to show them examples of healthy adult actions. Demonstrating how to look within and figure out how to make things better teaches children how to manage stress in a healthy manner. What regular coping skills can be implemented into your daily/weekly routine? Common categories are physical, career, spiritual, financial, or emotional. Think about creating normal times to have important conversations such as during a family dinner. Set time dedicated to bonding, sharing, and securing connection is often missing in the busyness of life.

Research has shown that family therapy is the best treatment option for young people who misuse drugs and alcohol (SAMHSA). Many people use drugs to manage life’s hardships when they feel disconnected from themselves or others. The opposite of addiction is connection, and young people benefit from connection within their families. Families with a mission based on openness, growth, and collective health instead of secrecy and silence thrive. Families teach young people how to navigate challenges when members are open, honest, and approachable. Learning how to manage stress early in life may be a major factor in whether or not a young person decides to use drugs.

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.

Sources & Resources

Why Small Conversations Make a Big Difference

SMART Goals Quick Overview

Knowing the Signs: Substance Abuse & Today’s Youth

For further information & support:

Catric W. Marshall, MS., LPC., CCC

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

[email protected]

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, December 15, 2023

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Hello Mustangs,

Thank you for an incredible school year so far! I am filled with gratitude and excitement, reflecting on the relationships we have built and the incredible journey we have had as a school community this year. As winter break approaches, I wish you and your loved ones a joyous and rejuvenating time. Please take this time to relax, recharge, and create beautiful memories. I hope you all have a wonderful winter break and a fantastic start to the new year!

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

As a reminder, there will be no school from Monday, December 18, to Monday, January 1, 2024 for winter break.  The school offices will be closed.

To help make sure our families have a restful break, no homework should be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments should be due immediately following the break. 

We look forward to welcoming you back in the new year. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024

South County High School Academic Advising Dates For Rising 9th Grade Families

January 24, 2024 — Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30pm

Content area teachers will be available at the Curriculum Fair in the cafeteria to discuss core class and elective course offerings. Also, there will be an informational session for rising 9th grade families in the auditorium from 6:00-6:45. 

Grade Level Curriculum Orientation—

High School counselors will meet with students in large groups to present information about course offerings, sequencing, prerequisites for specific courses, and graduation requirements at South County Middle School on January 31st, 2024.

Middle School Counselors will meet with students February 5th-9th through Science classes to complete academic advising.

Students with an FCPS login can access our electives information here.

South County High School Student Services

Young Scholars Field Trip

Seventh grade Young Scholars enrolled in either Math 7 Honors or Algebra 1 Honors have been invited to attend an optional field trip to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on Jan. 4. This half-day field trip is an opportunity for students who may choose to apply to Thomas Jefferson during their eighth grade year to see the school and visit several labs. Eligible students received field trip forms from their math teacher on Dec. 5 or 6. Signed permission forms need to be returned to the main office by Tuesday, Dec. 12. To read more about the Young Scholars model, click here. If you have any questions, or you are willing to be a chaperone, please email Dana Gorman, Advanced Academics Resource Teacher, at [email protected].

Inadvertent Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Disclosure

In a letter to the community, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid followed up on an inadvertent Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) disclosure to a parent. 

⛄ Student and Family Resources

Fairfax County Public Schools has compiled a list of resources for students and families in case they need assistance while schools are closed for winter break. Please visit our winter resources webpage for links to academic support; mental health support; and food, clothing, housing, and other county resources.

School’s Closed, Learning Can Continue!

FCPS encourages students to take advantage of fun learning opportunities during winter break and snow days. Consider these winter activities to blend education and play for your students during winter break or weather-related school closures.

Promoting Mental Wellness During Winter Break

Although mental health indicators have improved over the past year, Fairfax County Youth Survey (FCYS) data suggest that more than 25% of students in 8th to 12th grade feel sad or hopeless every day for two weeks or more in a row. The holidays can be a time to reduce stress, but they can also contribute to it. Here are some tips for making winter break a positive time for the young people in your life.

SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE Downtime

ParentVUE and StudentVUE will experience downtime from Friday, December 15, at 5 p.m. through Wednesday, December 20, at 6 a.m. 

Grade Book progress reports will not be emailed to parents/guardians during winter break. Emails will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Holiday Assistance

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Holiday Assistance

South County Middle School has acquired numerous gift cards and will be offering holiday assistance to our SCMS families over winter break. Please complete this form indicating if your family is in need of holiday assistance by Wednesday December 13th. Gift cards will be sent home with students on Thursday December 14th and Friday December 15th.

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, December 8, 2023

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Hello Mustangs,

As we approach the much-anticipated winter break, we wanted to express our sincere gratitude to our students, parents, teachers, and staff for the incredible effort and dedication you’ve shown throughout the first portion of the school year. It’s been a journey filled with accomplishments, growth, and a strong sense of community spirit. Additionally, thank you for your trust and communication as we navigate our first year together.  with us whenever there is a question, concern, feedback, or a quick check-in. We have one more week of school for the calendar year and it will be filled with phenomenal instruction, a Winter Mathematics VGA, and lots of fun with our NJHS Spirit Week. As always, we are here for you and please let us know if there are any questions, feedback, or concerns. I hope you have a great weekend!

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

December 12 - Winter VGA, Math (Flipped Schedule)

December 14 - Winterfest

December 18-January 1 - Winter Break

Winter VGA Testing

In September, students at South County Middle School participated in the Fall Virginia Growth Assessments.  The Winter Growth Assessments will be administered on the following dates:

Math VGA on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 (This is for students enrolled in Math 7, Math 7 Honors and PreAlgebra.  If your student is enrolled in Algebra or Geometry, they will be taking their Benchmark Assessment at this time.)

Please do your best to ensure that your student is in school on the above dates.  If for some reason your student is scheduled to take the assessments on days different than the ones listed above, that will be communicated via student’s email no later than Monday, December 4th. 

Holiday Assistance

South County Middle School has acquired numerous gift cards and will be offering holiday assistance to our SCMS families over winter break. Please complete this form indicating if your family is in need of holiday assistance by Tuesday December 12th. Gift cards will be sent home with students on Thursday December 14th and Friday December 15th.

Food Drive

The students in NJHS are still participating in a Food Drive. All food collected will be donated to LCAC. Boxes are placed throughout the building, and all donations will be taken on Tuesday, December 12th. The items being collected are: Cereal, Snacks, Little Drinks for Children, Spam, Vienna Sausages, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, and Rice.

Spirit Week

December 11 – Jersey Day

December 12 – Ugly Sweater Day

December 13 – Workout Wednesday

December 14 – Festive Hat & Socks Day

December 15 – Pajama Day

Young Scholars Field Trip

Seventh grade Young Scholars enrolled in either Math 7 Honors or Algebra 1 Honors have been invited to attend an optional field trip to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on Jan. 4. This half-day field trip is an opportunity for students who may choose to apply to Thomas Jefferson during their eighth grade year to see the school and visit several labs. Eligible students received field trip forms from their math teacher on Dec. 5 or 6. Signed permission forms need to be returned to the main office by Tuesday, Dec. 12. To read more about the Young Scholars model, click here. If you have any questions, or you are willing to be a chaperone, please email Dana Gorman, Advanced Academics Resource Teacher, at [email protected].

Bins are located outside Door #3 & Door #8.

SCMS PTSO

The SCMS PTSO is hosting their first annual Winterfest!! Join us for Cupcake decorating, crafts, games and snacks. Student entrepreneurs will have items for sale. Tickets include Cupcake decorating, one drink and one raffle ticket.

It’s never too early to buy tickets!

Purchase them here!

 

Military-Connected Youth Process Action Team (MCY PAT) Family Member Application

The charge of the Fairfax County Public Schools Military-Connected Youth Process Action Team is to identify the unique academic, behavioral, and social/emotional needs of military-connected youth and families and ensure faculty and staff are informed and prepared to meet the identified needs; partnering with stakeholders as appropriate.

The MCY PAT would like to include military-connected family members on our team. We encourage you to apply to be a part of our team by completing the application by Friday, December 15, 2023. 

The MCY PAT meets virtually once a month.

Questions? Contact: Meredith Ayala, Family Partnerships Specialist at [email protected]. We look forward to partnering with you to support our military families! 

Snow Days This Winter

For the current school year, FCPS will be returning to its previous procedure for snow days — there will be no virtual learning days when school is closed due to bad weather. 

During snow days, students may still access Tutor.com, complete any supplemental learning opportunities recommended by their teachers, and view educational programming (available virtually and on public access television channels):

Elementary school instruction: Red Apple 21.

Middle school instruction: Channel 25.  

High school instruction: Channel 99.

Eleven snow days are built into the existing FCPS calendar. Eliminating virtual learning days will allow us to maximize students’ in-person learning and provide equitable access to instruction and student services.

 

🙋‍♂️ Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

We often notice more empty seats in our classrooms as winter break approaches. This year, let's work together to nurture a rock-solid attendance habit. Every hour of every school day is a unique opportunity for students to learn, connect, and grow. 

A big thank you to:

🌟 Students who show up every day and the parents/caregivers supporting them.

👩‍🏫 Teachers who create a welcoming environment for learning.

👨‍💼 Administrators providing a safe and engaging place to grow.

👏 Bus drivers, support staff, and volunteers lending a helping hand to all our learners.

If you or your child need support, please reach out to our school social worker or family liaison. If your child is not feeling well, please refer to the When Should I Keep My Child Home? webpage for guidance. 

There will be no school from Monday, December 18, to Monday, January 1, 2024, for winter break. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 2. 

Visit FCPS’ website for more attendance resources

 

📝 Keep Learning Over Winter Break with Tutor.com

Does your child need help getting up to speed in high school math, science, or English? Tutor.com offers diagnostic quizzes to help students test their knowledge and find areas where they may need help. Quizzes can be taken anytime, and students can connect immediately to a tutor. 

Test prep is also available for students preparing for the PSAT, SAT, or ACT. 

FCPS students have unlimited access, 24/7, to online tutoring support services through Tutor.com at no cost to families. Students can connect online any time, any place, and in most K-12 subjects for however long they need. 

 

🍲 Food Insecurity Resources for Families

Food insecurity impacts more than 60,000 Fairfax County residents. There are many resources available to support those who need food assistance. Find out how to receive or offer support on the Fairfax County website, or view their Human Services Resource Guide for assistance with food, clothing, housing, and other services.

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving the weekly newsletter, please sign up today.  

 

Mental Health, Coping & Addiction

One in four Americans suffer from a mental illness. Almost 3 in 5 people with mental health challenges will not receive treatment or medication. In 2019, an estimated 19% of adults in the United States (47.6 million) dealt with a mental health challenge, but only 43% received any kind of mental health care (Johns Hopkins). People often turn to alternative methods to cope with issues that are uncomfortable topics to speak about. These reasons include turning to drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Coping mechanisms are habits formed over time that serve to help a person manage difficult situations or high stress levels. These mind-altering substances are sometimes used as coping mechanisms for stress, difficult emotions, physical ailments, focusing, and other issues. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary moment away from the reality of everyday life. Substances can enhance the feelings of pleasure, decrease feelings of anxiety and restraint. Substance use can be an unhealthy coping mechanism. Not all coping mechanisms are destructive or fail to provide appropriate or adequate adjustment to the environment or situation; however, addiction is both.

Before using drugs as a coping strategy here are some recommendations for a healthier mindset. The main goal is to identify the “void” or issue and work towards healing. In the meantime, experts recommend diet and exercise as great places to start. Schedule a visit to your Primary Care Physician and a Professional Counselor if needed. Quality sleep is also a major factor in the stabilization of a healthy mind. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and good examples. Keep in mind that finding balance in life is an ongoing process. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.

Resources:

Substance Use Disorder info

FCPS Social Work

For further information & support:

Catric W. Marshall, MS., LPC., CCC

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

[email protected]

 

FCPS News

In case you missed it in FCPS This Week, the school division shared updates on the following topics:

  • Snow Days
  • Winter Break Reminder
  • Food Insecurity Resources for Families

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving the weekly newsletter, please sign up today.  

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, December 1, 2023

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Hello Mustangs,

It was another fantastic week at South County Middle School. With that, we have two more weeks left before the winter break. On December 6, we have our Family night for the Book Fair from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the library, winter Virginia Growth Assessments (VGAs) in Reading and Math on December 6 and December 12 (during the school day), a spirit week from December 11-15, and a PTSO sponsored event, WinterFest, on December 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. As always, thank you so much for your support, and please feel free to contact us to provide any feedback, ask questions, or share concerns. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

December 4-8 - Book Fair

December 4-11 - NJHS Food Drive

December 6 - Winter VGA, Reading

December 12 - Winter VGA, Math

December 14 - Winterfest (insert flyer)

December 18-January 1 - Winter Break

Winter VGA Testing

In September, students at South County Middle School participated in the Fall Virginia Growth Assessments.  The Winter Growth Assessments will be administered on the following dates:

Reading VGA on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 (This is for all students enrolled in Reading 7 and Reading 8.)

Math VGA on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 (This is for students enrolled in Math 7, Math 7 Honors and PreAlgebra.  If your student is enrolled in Algebra or Geometry, they will be taking their Benchmark Assessment at this time.)

Please do your best to ensure that your student is in school on the above dates.  If for some reason your student is scheduled to take the assessments on days different than the ones listed above, that will be communicated via student’s email no later than Monday, December 4th. 

Book Fair

The SCMS Library is excited to host a Scholastic Book Fair from December 4-8. Your student will preview the fair through their social studies class and the fair will be open all week for them to shop. 

The book fair will be open for evening shopping on Wednesday, December 6 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Please come by to stock up on books and school supplies, and to hear our wonderful guitar students playing music while you shop.

If you have any questions or would like more information, email our librarians at [email protected] or view our book fair flyer.

NJHS News Food Drive

The students in NJHS are having a Food Drive from December 4-11. All the food collected will be donated to LCAC, which is an organization that seeks to provide food to low-income individuals, senior citizens, and families residing in Fort Belvoir, Lorton, Newington, and other portions of southeast Fairfax County. Boxes will be placed throughout the building (in the lobby, near the cafeteria, at the top of the main stairs and by the library), and all donations will be taken to LCAC on Tuesday, December 12th. The items being collected are: Cereal, Snacks, Little Drinks for Children, Spam, Vienna Sausages, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, and Rice.

Winter Spirit Week

December 11 – Jersey Day

December 12 – Ugly Sweater Day

December 13 – Workout Wednesday

December 14 – Festive Hat and Socks Day

December 15 – Pajama Day

SCMS PTSO

The SCMS PTSO is hosting their first annual Winterfest!! Join us for Cupcake decorating, crafts, games and snacks. Student entrepreneurs will have items for sale. Tickets include Cupcake decorating, one drink and one raffle ticket.

It’s never too early to buy tickets!

Purchase Them Here!

Preparing for Winter Weather

Winter weather will be here before you know it! Watch this video to see how weather-related closing decisions are made.

FCPS’ website is generally the first place where we will post an emergency weather closing. Other communication channels will be used as quickly as possible including email, text, social media, and news stations. Learn more about how schedule changes are communicated

Be sure to plan for the winter season. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in SIS ParentVUE, bookmark the FCPS website, and plan for childcare if appropriate.

FCPS News

In case you missed it in FCPS This Week, the school division shared updates on the following topics:

  • How FCPS Announces Weather Closings
  • Keeping Your Child Warm
  • Social and Emotional Learning Screener Results

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving the weekly newsletter, please sign up today 

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, November 17, 2023

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Hello Mustangs,

As we approach the November break, I want to express my heartfelt wishes for a safe and restful week for you and your loved ones. This is a time to reflect on what we are grateful for and spend precious moments with family and friends. With that, I want you to know that I am thankful for each of you in our school community. The trust you provide us each day does not go unnoticed, and I am grateful for your continued support. Therefore, thank you for being a part of our wonderful South County community. Your commitment to learning and growth is truly inspiring.

We will take a break from our Mustang Weekly for the week of November 20 and return the week of November 27. We hope your family has a relaxing Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday next week. As always, please contact us to share any feedback, questions, or concerns.

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

11/21 NO AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

11/22-24 Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL

PTSO Spirit Wear sale - Just in time for the holidays.  The link will be available until November 27th.  The items purchased should be available around December 15th.    

Spirit Wear!

PTSO First Annual Winterfest- The SCMS PTSO is hosting their first annual Winterfest!! Join us for Cupcake decorating, crafts, games and snacks. Student entrepreneurs will have items for sale. Tickets include Cupcake decorating, one drink and one raffle ticket.

It’s never too early to buy tickets!

Purchase them here

The South County High School Softball team is hosting a  softball clinic. Click on the link for more information.

Student Attendance and Engagement

During the Academic Matters segment of the November 9 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid discussed student attendance and engagement. Attendance and absenteeism rates are one measure for Goal 2 of our 2023-30 Strategic Plan

Chronic absenteeism — which is defined as a student missing 10% or more of school for any reason — is a concern across Virginia school districts. Although FCPS continues to outperform the state average in attendance rates, we are tracking chronic absenteeism closely.

Data shows that:

  • Missing just 10% of school — just two days a month — negatively affects a student’s academic performance. 
  • Only 17% of students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and first grade were reading proficiently in third grade, compared to 64% of those with good attendance.
  • Students who fail to read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than students who achieve proficiency to drop out of high school.
  • By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Attendance is critical for academic success!

Missing School Over the Holidays

Looking ahead to the holiday season, if missing school is unavoidable, please speak with your child’s teachers in advance to create a plan for making up missed work. However, a homework packet cannot make up for the interaction and learning that happens in the classroom.

Visit FCPS’ website for more attendance resources.

Staying Healthy This Cold/Flu Season

Cases of RSV, the flu, and other viruses often rise this time of year. It is important for students to wash their hands regularly and cover their coughs and sneezes. Please monitor your child’s health daily and keep them at home if they are sick. Visit FCPS' Health and Safety Guidance webpage for more tips.

Alcohol and Football

Please take a moment to read the article and speak to your student about the effects of alcohol.  If you have any questions or need assistance please reach out to Ms. Catric Marshall, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist, [email protected] 

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Final Boarding Call for Educational Tours Information Session

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SUBJECT: Final boarding call…register today!

Dear SCMS families,

All interested families are reminded that along with EF Tours, Ms. McKnight and Mr. McLeod will be hosting an interest meeting for two separate educational travel excursions to Europe in the spring and summer of 2025. This meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 16th from 6:30 to 7:30 in the South County Middle School Lecture Hall. As a reminder, your family must register for the informational meeting to join us. If you have not done so yet, RSVP here.

We cannot wait for you to hear more about these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!

Ms. Keddie McKnight, English Teacher

Mr. McKenzie McLeod, History Teacher

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Mustang Weekly, November 10, 2023

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Hello Mustangs,

First and foremost, Happy Veterans Day! It has been a short but busy week at South County Middle School. We have welcomed new members to our administrative team: Meredith Norris (Assistant Principal) and Jenny Payne (Director of Student Services). Both bring a unique skill set and passion that will be utilized to support all students within our community. Additionally, while we received the Purple Star award in October, we were recognized by the School Board last night and were truly honored to be there. Lastly, thank you for your support and all you do for our students and the school community. We could not do this without you, and as always, I hope you enjoy your weekend and please contact us to share any feedback, questions, or concerns.

Justin Simmons | Principal | South County Middle School

UPCOMING DATES

11/22-24 Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL

12/14 - Winterfest (More information to come.  Sponsored by the PTSO)

Vision and Hearing Screening

Vision and hearing screening will be held on November 14th & 15th for all 7th graders and students who are new to FCPS.  The purpose of the screening is to identify students who need further evaluation due to difficulty seeing the screening chart or hearing the screening tones.  If your child wears glasses, please be sure that glasses are at school on the screening days.

Parents will be notified by letter if the screening results indicate that further evaluation is needed.  Prompt follow-up with your health care provider is recommended as vision and hearing difficulties can interfere with learning.

If you would like to assist as a volunteer with the screening process, please contact the school health aide, Mr. Tony Cross at 703-690-5510.

School Pictures are Ready!

If you had your picture taken on Picture Re-take Day or haven't had a chance to wiew and order your pictures yet.  Please click on the link  https://shop.jostenspix.com/login

  • SOUTH COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • Event Code: FE220823
  • Also Needed: Synergy Unique Student ID
Full-time AAP Referrals Closes on December 15, 2023

Parents/guardians of students in seventh grade who would like their student to be considered for full-time advanced academic programs may submit the AAP Full-Time (Level IV) Referral Form to our Advanced Academics Resource Teacher, Dana Gorman [email protected], no later than December 15, 2023

The window for families to submit a referral for full-time AAP services is the first day of school through December 15, annually.  Forms for full-time referrals are available on the AAP Forms Page. No late referrals for Full-Time AAP services will be accepted. 

Submitting a referral form for full-time AAP will initiate a process that begins at the local school and is then completed at the central office level. Our school will put together a portfolio that includes multiple data which are considered holistically. At the central office level, a committee of six trained professionals from various schools and roles will review the portfolio materials to determine eligibility for full-time placement.  Eligibility decisions are communicated by early April. Parents may request a copy of the portfolio that was submitted after they have been turned in for central selection by emailing Dana Gorman [email protected].

Referrals for subject-specific and part-time AAP are screened at the local school. If you miss this deadline, your student can still be screened for subject-specific AAP or part-time AAP for the remainder of the year and submit a referral for full-time AAP next fall. 

For more information, please visit the Advanced Academic Programs Website

FCPS News

In case you missed it in FCPS This Week, the school division shared updates on the following topics:

  • 2023 School Bond Referendum Passed
  • Students Named National Merit Commended Scholars
  • SAT/PSAT School Day Scores

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving the weekly newsletter, sign up today.  

South County High School Home Football Games

South County High School has recently changed their rules on middle school students attending their home high school football games. For the remainder of the football season, the safety protocol established by the high school states that students who wish to attend must arrive with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and that individual must remain for the time that their student is there. Students who are left unattended and either display misconduct or are not picked up immediately after the game is over will not be permitted to return to future games.

Educational Tours

We are following up on a previous email about our school’s upcoming partnership with EF Tours

Working closely with EF Tours, we would like to provide interested SCMS students and their families with more information about the possibility of traveling abroad. An interest meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 16th from 6:30 to 7:30 in the South County Middle School Lecture Hall. If you would like to attend and to find out more information about these two travel opportunities, RSVP here. Registration for this meeting is mandatory, so please do not wait. A brief synopsis of these trips has been provided below.

Trip 1: Spring Break 2025

Rome and Athens: Explore the wonders of Athens and Rome, along with the stunning Greek islands, diving into arts, culture, food, and history.

Group Leader: Keddie McKnight

Trip 2: Summer 2025 

Central Europe and the Holocaust: Embark on a meaningful journey to historic Holocaust sites in Europe, paying tribute to the victims and gaining a deeper understanding of this dark chapter in human history.

Group Leader: McKenzie McLeod

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Ms. McKnight, English Teacher & Mr. McLeod, History Teacher

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

Educational Tours Information Session

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Thank you for your precious time! We are following up on a previous email about our school’s upcoming partnership with EF Tours

Working closely with EF Tours, we would like to provide interested SCMS students and their families with more information about the possibility of traveling abroad. An interest meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 16th from 6:30 to 7:30 in the South County Middle School Lecture Hall. If you would like to attend and to find out more information about these two travel opportunities, RSVP here. Registration for this meeting is mandatory, so please do not wait. A brief synopsis of these trips has been provided below.

Trip 1: Spring Break 2025

Rome and Athens: Explore the wonders of Athens and Rome, along with the stunning Greek islands, diving into arts, culture, food, and history.

Group Leader: Keddie McKnight

Trip 2: Summer 2025 

Central Europe and the Holocaust: Embark on a meaningful journey to historic Holocaust sites in Europe, paying tribute to the victims and gaining a deeper understanding of this dark chapter in human history.

Group Leader: McKenzie McLeod

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Ms. Keddie McKnight, English Teacher

Mr. McKenzie McLeod, History Teacher

8700 Laurel Crest Drive, Lorton, VA 22079  | Main Office: 703-690-5500
Attendance: 703-690-5555 | Web

1 hour 8 minutes ago
SCMS News and Announcements 2023-24 - Recent Updates
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