October 4, 2021
Students use Portrait of Graduate skills to acquire knowledge and broaden their perspectives. Using these attributes allows students to use problem-solving strategies, express their thoughts and emotions meaningfully through thoughtful discussion, and accomplish complex tasks.AAP Informational Meeting
Join us tomorrow for a virtual Advanced Academic Program (AAP) Overview of Services Information Meeting
Tuesday, October 5th
5:30 p.m. Virtual Meeting
Please review the slide deck for the information session, and remember all interested K-6 families are welcome to join.Picture Make-Up Day
Tuesday, October 5thWalk to School Day
Wednesday, October 6
Fairfax County Public Schools will participate in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 6, in an effort to promote physical activity and reduce traffic congestion and pollution near schools.
Students and employees are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work where safe to do so on October 6. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event. Schools are encouraged to register online with Walk and Bike to School.
This week we're focusing on the Other People Mindset! Being Present and Giving Others My Attention means that when I’m with other people, I’m present and give them my full attention. Just like plants need sunlight to grow, our relationships need attention. If we don’t give our attention to the people we’re building relationships with – whether family members or close friends – we can’t build those relationships. It’s vitally important that we pick our heads up from our work and truly listen to other people when they’re talking. A positive culture is built with positive relationships – and we can’t build positive relationships without attention. We look forward to learning about Integrity next week.
To help extend classroom learning to our Willow homes, we encourage families to explore these grade-level appropriate conversation starters.
NOTE: The password is: P2
We are making use of our outdoor spaces as much as possible for [meals/recess/student breaks]. We have noted that a large percentage of students remove their masks while outside. Masks are not required outside, but they are strongly encouraged. We ask you to consider talking with your child about keeping their masks on when outside and gathering in larger groups if they can comfortably do so.Cafeteria Hostess Needed
Please consider volunteering in our cafeteria this week. No training required, we will give you a bucket with condiments, etc. to pass out as kids raise their hands for help. Monday-Friday, 10:30 - 1:30 p.m. If you're interested in a paid position, please send your resume to Amanda McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in volunteering this week, please click here to sign up.
Hope to see you in the cafeteria!Fantastic Schoology Sites for Families
The following links are provided to parents to ensure families have an understanding around Schoology and how to access students' assignments, grades, and more:
- FCPS YouTube: Schoology Snippets
- FCPS Schoology Website
- FCPS Schoology: Parent and Guardian
- YouTube: Back to School with Schoology
Thank you so much to all of our families who have purchased books from Mrs. Hurley’s Library Wish List on Amazon! We have received so many great new books and can’t wait to have students start checking them out! With over 5,500 books already checked out this month, students are eager for more.Dismissal Reminders
- Please remind your child how they are getting home each day.
- Please update you child's PickUp Patrol.
- Kiss and Ride Families - Please remain in your car. Staff members will use the card visible on your dashboard to call children outside.
- If you do not have a Kiss and Ride card, please contact the main office at (703) 679-6000.
- Walkers - All walkers will be dismissed through the gym. Please meet your child on the blacktop.
- Bus Families – As the county has communicated, bus transportation may be delayed. Please stay at the bus stop and wait for your students.
- Parents may access the Bus Delay Notification System to receive the delayed bus report.
The students in the Garden Club/Farm to Table Club will run the event in conjunction with Piney Meadow Farm. The money the students raise through the produce sales will go towards the Garden Club and STEAM activities. The market will be set up on the basketball blacktop from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. every Friday. Families are encouraged to park in the adjacent neighborhood and walk over to pick up produce.PTA Membership Drive
The PTA has started the fall membership drive and is encouraging all families to sign up. The PTA is an excellent way to support the students and teachers, which we do through a variety of activities including Staff Appreciation week, building upgrades, books and games to teachers, Read Across America activities, etc. Sign up at https://wses1.memberhub.com/store.Upcoming Clubs
WSES has several clubs that are currently recruiting new members! Interested families may sign up by clicking on any of the links below.
Good News Club is not endorsed by the school board, superintendent, or school.
The PTA is planning the glow party for October 22nd. We’ll have a black light dance party in the gym and fun glow activities in the cafeteria. Do you have supplies we could borrow or donations for the event? Volunteers, click here!Funds for Foxes
Here are some of the easy ways you can help earn money for the Willow Springs Elementary PTA! Take a look at some of the partnerships we have.Health Guidance for Families
The health and safety of all students is paramount to everything we do. Here is some information from FCPS that gives tips on how to stop the spread, as well as explains the process we use when there is a positive case.FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Webpage
Our Health and Safety Guidance Webpage has the most current information about our layered prevention strategies, what happens if your child becomes ill at school, and the process when there is a pause in instruction or activities after a positive COVID case.Flow Chart for Notification of a Positive Case
We know the pause process can be confusing for families. The flowchart below is posted to the FCPS website and explains the exact process Willow Springs, FCPS, and the Fairfax County Health Department use to identify and notify close contacts after a positive case.
All FCPS COVID-19 cases are reported via a dashboard posted to the FCPS website and updated daily. While this does not outline the number of students quarantining, it has tabs showing total number of cases, cases by school and cases by date.
Since the beginning of August, the majority of COVID-19 cases have been acquired through community spread, outside of school buildings.
FCPS’ layered prevention strategies are working to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Pausing, quarantining, and isolating are tools we use to keep schools safe when a positive COVID-19 case is reported. Understanding the difference between the three scenarios can help families be prepared.
A pause to in-person instruction is a short-term safety measure used by FCPS and the health department to allow time to investigate and determine the safest way to address a positive case within the school community.
To learn more about pausing in-person instruction, watch this video.
A close contact is any person, regardless of vaccination status, who is within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) K-12 Exception indicates that students will not be identified as close contacts if they are at least 3 feet apart and are consistently wearing masks in the classroom setting. Adults are not included in this exception.
To learn more about close contacts, watch this video.
When a student is identified as a close contact, there are two things that may occur as a result:
- Not fully vaccinated students who are identified as a close contact with someone with COVID-19 must remain home for 14 days after their last exposure. FCPS will notify a student of their return date.
- Fully vaccinated students must remain home until their vaccination status is verified. Upon verification of vaccination status by the FCHD, and if the student/staff is asymptomatic, they may return to in-person learning and activities once notified by FCPS of their return date.
To learn more about quarantines, watch this video.
Isolation is the response when someone tests positive for COVID-19. Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return until:
- It has been at least ten (10) days since the student first had symptoms AND
- The student must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND
- The student’s symptoms are getting better
To learn more about isolation, watch this video.
It is important to note that more than one case reported by a student, staff, or visitor to a particular school or building does not always mean there is an outbreak. An outbreak is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases with onset within a 14-day period who are epidemiologically linked (a case in which the person has been exposed to a confirmed case in a way that a known transmission can occur), do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in a setting outside of school during the health department investigation.
FCPS’ goal is to keep students learning in-person all year. We are doing our part by implementing layered prevention strategies and working with FCHD to address positive cases and potential exposures. Every FCPS student and family can do their part by wearing masks, getting vaccinated when they are eligible, practicing healthy hygiene, and staying home when sick.Looking Ahead at WSES
- September 15 - October 15 National Hispanic Heritage Month
- October 5 Picture Day Make-Up
- October 5 AAP Informational Meeting for K-6 interested families, 5:30 p.m., Virtual meeting only - access here
- October 6 International Walk to School Day
- October 8 Farmer's Market weekly on Fridays, 4 p.m. WSES Basketball Court
- October 8 SEL Screener Opt-out form due if applicable
October 11 No School - Staff Professional Development Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day
- October 12 PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m. in the library and virtually on Zoom
- October 19 Fair Lakes Chick fil a Restaurant Night, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- October 20 Cub Scout Meeting, 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria
- October 22 Glow Party, 6:30 p.m. in the gym/cafeteria
- November 6 Fairfax Vocelli Restaurant Night, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- November 9 PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m. in the library