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 October 7, 2020
FCPS Focus is the official e-newsletter of Frederick County Public Schools.
A Successful Start
The first month of the 2020-21 school year has gone well thanks to the patience and flexibility exhibited by students, parents/guardians and staff. Despite having unexpected issues arise, all schools have reported things are going well as students participate in either the hybrid or all distance learning models. Please remember the importance of taking extra precautions in an effort to keep every school community healthy and safe. Students, parents and staff can help with this effort by completing a daily symptom check and staying home if they display any COVID-19 symptoms, properly wearing a cloth face covering on the bus and at school as required, washing hands frequently, and adhering to physical distancing guidelines.
School Meals Update
Although all students enrolled in Frederick County Public Schools are eligible to receive a free breakfast and lunch each day school is in session through December 22, it's important for eligible families to still apply to participate in the Free and Reduced Meals Program. Completing an application now will help ensure those students deemed eligible can continue to receive free or reduced priced meals after the free school meals program currently available to all students ends in December. Students participating in the hybrid learning model receive a free breakfast and/or lunch on the days they are physically attending school for that day as well as the days in which they will be engaged in distance learning. Students participating in the all distance learning model may receive a free breakfast and/or lunch each school day (Monday-Friday) from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at any Frederick County Public School in a special drive-thru that is set up on each school campus.
Technical Triage Center
The FCPS Technical Triage Center is continuing to offer support to students and staff who need assistance with their school-issued devices. The center, which is located in the building located behind James Wood Middle School at 1313 Amherst Street, is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The center can also be reached by calling 540-545-2434 during its operating hours.
Students Recognized in National Merit Scholarship Competition
National Merit ScholarshipCongratulations to James Wood High School student Benjamin Appling who has been named a semifinalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Competition. Semifinalists represent approximately one-third of the 50,000 high scorers on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). In addition, Millbrook High School students Meghan McAndrew and Logan Sandefur; James Wood High School students Allison Salata and Reagan Tibbs; and Sherando High School students Matthew Clark, Peter Pham, Eric Sheetz and Isabella Sison have been named Commended Students as part of the National Merit Scholarship Competition in recognition of their outstanding academic promise.
Staff Honors
Over the past several weeks, School Superintendent David Sovine has surprised a number of staff members and presented them with special awards. James Wood High School Math Teacher Shannyn DeHaven was honored as the 2021 Frederick County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Support staff awards were presented to Redbud Run Elementary School Secretary Deb Bayliss, Gainesboro Elementary School Head Custodian Rick Revetta, James Wood Middle School School Nutrition Services Manager Michael Logan and Bass-Hoover Elementary School Instructional Aide Stephanie Barrios. In addition, Sheila Moore was named the Frederick County Public Schools Bus Driver of the Year.
 Photo of Award Recipients
2020-21 SOL Testing
Although schools are operating differently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Virginia Department of Education is currently requiring Standards of Learning (SOL) tests to be administered to students in grades 3-12 as normal. Frederick County Public Schools has established the following SOL testing windows for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Fall 2020 SOL Writing (for certain high school students)
    October 26-November 13, 2020

  • Fall 2020 SOL Non-Writing (for certain high school students)
    December 7, 2020-January 22, 2021
  • Spring 2021 SOL Writing (eighth grade students and students enrolled in English 11) 
    March 15-26, 2021

  • Spring 2021 SOL Non-Writing (students in grades 3-12)
    May 17-June 11, 2021

All SOL tests will be administered under secure, standardized testing conditions and in compliance with the Frederick County Public Schools Health and Safety Plan. Students participating in the all distance learning model will be invited to take SOL tests at their home school.
FY21 Budget Available Online
As is the case each year, the FCPS Finance Department has posted the School Board Approved Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 on the FCPS website. The comprehensive document details this year’s budget as well as the school division’s operations. In addition, the Association of School Business Officials International has presented Frederick County Public Schools with a Meritorious Budget Award for the eighth consecutive year. The award recognizes school districts that have met or exceeded specific criteria designed to guide school business officials toward producing a quality school budget presentation.
FCPS On-Time Graduation Rate Tops State Rate
Frederick County Public Schools’ on-time graduation rate for the Class of 2020 was 93 percent compared to Virginia’s rate of 92.3 percent. In addition to exceeding the state’s on-time graduation rate, the school division’s 4.3 percent dropout rate for the Class of 2020 was lower than the state’s rate of 5.1 percent.
 Diploma Covers
Millbrook Making an Impact
Since 2010, Millbrook High School has hosted the Third Battle Invitational which has become one of the premier high school cross country events in Virginia. Former Millbrook High School Cross Country Coach Kevin Shirk started the event and an admission fee has never been charged. However, donations are accepted from attendees each year and about $30,000 has been raised and donated to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF) over the past 10 years. The SVBF, which owns and cares for the property where the event is held, recently erected new signs on the battlefield which share some of the history of the site. The signs were made possible thanks to the funds donated to the SVBF by the Millbrook Cross Country Team.
 Photo of signs from MHS trails
SAT Scores Exceed National Mean
Those students who graduated from James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando high schools earlier this year did exceedingly well on the SAT. According to the College Board, the overall mean score of Frederick County Public Schools’ 2020 graduates who took the SAT was 1094. That exceeds the national mean score of public high school seniors by 64 points.
Progress on Replacement Aylor Middle School
Construction of the replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School is continuing with classrooms, collaborative learning spaces, the gym, cafeteria and administrative offices all becoming more visible. Meanwhile, the committee working to develop a middle school rezoning plan to be considered by the School Board has developed three draft options. Citizen feedback on the options being considered by the committee may be submitted in English or Spanish. The rezoning proposal will include the creation of an attendance zone for the replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School and is only expected to impact the current middle school attendance zones. There will be no impact to current elementary and high school attendance zones. The rezoning will take effect when the replacement Aylor Middle School opens.
 Replacement Robert E. Aylor Middle School Construction
School Visitor Process
As part of its health and safety plan, FCPS is continuing to limit non-essential visitors, volunteers and activities involving external groups and organizations at school facilities. Parents/guardians and other visitors are asked to schedule necessary visits to school facilities in advance with the school/department. Visitors who must enter a school facility will be required to undergo a health screening according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines prior to entry.
Come Roll With Us
The Frederick County Public Schools Transportation Department is hosting an open house and hiring event on both Friday, October 9 and Friday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During the events, individuals are invited to visit the Transportation Department and learn the many benefits of working as an FCPS school bus driver. The events are being held at the Transportation Department at 2261 Front Royal Pike, behind Armel Elementary School. Those attending will be required to wear a face covering and adhere to physical distancing guidelines. WWW.DRIVEOURKIDS.COM
FCPS Gives Back
Employees VolunteeringA number of FCPS staff members volunteered their time following the regular workday to participate in the United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley’s annual Day of Caring last month. Those who participated helped to complete some deep cleaning at the Highland Food Pantry.
AP Registration Deadline
The deadline for students to register to take Advanced Placement (AP) exams during the 2020-21 school year is Friday, October 30. AP exams will be administered at Lord Fairfax Community College during the two-week exam window of May 3-7 and May 10-14, 2021. For more information, contact the James Wood, Millbrook or Sherando high school guidance departments or visit
Get the FCPS Mobile App
FCPS Frederick County Public Schools Virginia News Calendar Student 360 Schools Staff Directory Rapid Com Bus Routes Menus MySchool...Facebook YouTube PeachjarAccessing information such as lunch menus, the school calendar, student assignments/grades and school news is easy if you use the Frederick County Public Schools custom mobile app. The app is available at no cost from Apple’s App Store or Google Play and allows users to follow the school division as well as any individual schools.  
MySchoolBucks Makes Payments Easy
My School BucksPayments for student meals, fees, activities and other purchases can be made online at any time using MySchoolBucks. Payments can be made through MySchool Bucks using VISA, MasterCard or Discover. Parents can also view current cafeteria account balances, review recent purchases, receive low-balance alerts and setup recurring payments on a weekly or monthly basis through MySchoolBucks. 

Notice of Nondiscrimination
Frederick County Public Schools shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law in the education program and activities, or employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

Questions concerning the application of this nondiscrimination policy may be made to: Title IX Coordinator (Adults), Jennifer Rydholm, Exec. Director of Human Resources; Title IX Coordinator (Students) and Section 504 Coordinator, Teresa Ritenour, Director of Student Support Services.

For further information on notice of nondiscrimination, see list of OCR enforcement offices for the addresses and phone numbers of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.

1415 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 662-3888

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