After inaugurated Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) banned schools from establishing mask mandates on his first day as Virginia governor, four major school districts say they won’t abide by his new rule.
Executive Order Number Two (2022) and Order of Public Health Emergency One banned the mandates. Read More
Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced that Aimee Rogstad Guidera will serve as Secretary of Education. During the No Child Left Behind era, Guidera founded the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) which focuses on better data gathering to help improve school quality.
In his Monday press release, Youngkin said, “Aimee will be a critical partner in restoring expectations of excellence; overseeing a record education budget to invest in teachers, facilities and special education; rolling out innovation lab and charter schools; and standing for a curriculum that prepares Virginia’s children for a dynamic future and removes politics from the classroom.” Read More
Virginia Beach School Board Member Victoria Manning has challenged four books in the district’s libraries over sexually explicit content.
“I’ve been accused of wanting to ban books, burn books, etc.,” she told The Virginia Star in an email. “However, I am NOT asking for a ban on these books. I’m simply asking for sexually explicit and pornographic materials to not be made available to minors through our schools. If adults want to purchase these books or borrow them from the library then that is their business and their right. At the very least, parents should be made aware in advance of sexually explicit material and be required to OPT-IN for their children to be able to be provided these materials.” Read More
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has decided to return two controversial books to its high school library after completing a two-month review launched after a parent complained at a September school board meeting.
In a press release, Assistant Superintendent Noel Klimenko said, “I am satisfied that the books were selected according to FCPS regulations and are appropriate to include in libraries that serve high school students. Both books have value beyond their pages for students who may struggle to find relatable stories.” Read More
A shocking report says that the Fairfax County Government and Fairfax County Public Schools will team up to administer a survey asking children as young as 12 about their sex lives.
“Eighth, tenth, and 12th-grade students in Fairfax County will have the option of participating in the 2021 Fairfax County Youth Survey,” WJLA reported. Read More
As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland sat down for his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, denying a conflict of interest in his decision to investigate parents for “domestic terrorism,” there is a mother in the quiet suburb of Annandale, N.J., who found his answers lacking. And she has questions she wants asked at Garland’s hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday.
On a recent Saturday night, Caroline Licwinko, a mother of three, a law school student and the coach to her daughter’s cheerleading squad, sat in front of her laptop and tapped three words into an internet search engine: “Panorama. Survey. Results.” Read More
Parents who protest public school policies on race, gender and COVID-19 are crying foul after Attorney General Merrick Garland promised to “discourage” and prosecute “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school boards, administrators, teachers and staff.
His “mobilization of [the] FBI against parents is consistent with the complete weaponization of the federal government against ideological opponents,” Rhode Island mother Nicole Solas, who is waging a public records battle with her school district over race-related curriculum, told Just the News. Read More
A mother of a student at Fairfax County Public Schools called out the school board for indirectly making accessible to students two books featuring child pornography and pedophilia in school libraries at Thursday night’s school board meeting.
Stacy Langton opened by explaining that she watched what had happened at a Texas school board meeting after parents discovered two books accessible to their children, Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison and Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. Langton looked for and found the books at her own child’s school, Fairfax High School, as well as other places in the county, including Robinson Secondary School where students as young as 12 could access the books.
Parents Defending Education’s VP for Strategy & Investigations Asra Q. Nomani captured Langton’s comments to the school board on video and reported the exchange on her Substack, Asra Investigates. Read More
Some parents are protesting the Fairfax County Public Schools COVID-19 vaccine mandate for student athletes. On Tuesday afternoon, a group of a little more than 20 parents protested outside the FCPS Gatehouse Administration Center. FCPS parent Missy Pratt began organizing the protest after Braband’s announcement. Pratt said she’s focused on the vaccine mandate, but she’s also opposed to mask mandates.
“‘No vax, no mask, we push back,’ that was our chant all day long at the rally,” Pratt told The Virginia Star Read More
Danville Public Schools moved its middle and high school classes to virtual on Friday with about 1,100 out of the district’s total 6,900 students quarantined for COVID-19. The school is using the Labor Day weekend to do a deep-clean. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Brenda Muse said most of those cases were among middle and high school students.
“Those levels have been increasing, and so in consultation with our State Superintendent Dr. Lane and with our local health department we asked for some advice on what they felt we needed to do. And our health department said a deep cleaning would greatly assist at the secondary level,” Muse said.
Nearby Franklin County also had middle and high-school students attend classes virtually on Friday, with a plan to return in-person Tuesday. Read More
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is requiring high school athletes to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination by November 8, according to a Monday letter from Superintendent Scott Braband. He said that would help keep FCPS high school students in the classroom.
“Vaccinating our students is a critical step in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing any disruption to learning. The majority of pauses to instruction for our high school students come as a result of exposure during athletic activities, which the Virginia Department of Education classifies as a high-risk activity,” he said. “These pauses impact participation in activities and in-person learning while the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) investigates and determines close contacts and next steps.” Read More
The Open FCPS Coalition submitted signatures to recall Fairfax County Public School Board Member Elaine Tholen on Monday. The petitions were launched during frustration about the school’s pandemic virtual learning policies.
“Today symbolizes the culmination of collective efforts of dozens of volunteers and thousands of parents, all to send a clear message to the Fairfax County School Board that our community must return to the business of putting the education and well-being of children first,” Open FCPS member Ian Tompkins said in a Monday press conference. Read More
After a tirade against parents who support Critical Race Theory was caught on video, Fairfax’s NAACP Vice President Michelle Leete has resigned from her position onthe Virginia Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
“Today, the Virginia PTA executive committee requested and received the resignation of Michelle Leete, who served as Vice President of Training,” the Virginia PTA said in a statement. “While not speaking in her role within the Virginia PTA, we do not condone the choice of words used during a public event on Thursday, July 15, 2021.” Read More
Fairfax’s NAACP Vice President Michelle Leetma appeared outside a Fairfax County Public Schools board meeting Thursday night, where she wished death upon those who do not want Critical Race Theory taught in public schools.
“So let’s meet and remain steadfast in speaking truth, tearing down double-standards, and refuting double-talk,” Leetma said. “Let’s not allow any double-downing on lies. Let’s prepare our children for a world they deserve.” Read More
A group of parents is collecting signatures to recall three members of the Fairfax County Public School Board (FCPS). FCPS has announced plans to have five-days-a-week, in-person school in the upcoming school year. But the Open FCPS Coalition is still seeking to recall Springfield District Member Laura Jane Cohen, Dranesville District Member Elaine Tholen, and At-Large Member Abrar Omeish. Read More
The Family Foundation is suing the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) over its Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools. The model policies took effect March 6, 2021, and school boards must adopt policies consistent with the model by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. However, the Family Foundation says there are legal problems with the policies and that the VDOE did not properly address comments made during a legally required public comment phase. Read More
A group of about 5,000 community members including parents, students, and staff are suing the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) Board and Superintendent Scott Braband over changes to admission procedures at magnet school Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJ). The lawsuit complaint filed Wednesday argues that the changes were meant to reduce the number of Asian-American students at the school. Read More
For the 2021-2022 school year, Virginia’s schools will be required to provide both full-time in-person and virtual learning options to students, thanks to Senator Siobhan Dunnavant’s (R-Henrico) SB 1303. A bipartisan effort in the House Education committee led to a bill that passed out of the House of Delegates 88 to nine, and was approved by the Senate on Thursday 36 to three. Although Republicans weren’t able to get support for an emergency clause that would have triggered the requirements before July, Governor Ralph Northam is also calling for schools to begin phasing in in-person learning. Read More
Falls Church City Public Schools plans to have all students back to in-person classes by the end of January, according to a notice from Superintendent Peter Noonan.
“ALL students are slated to return in the month of January,” Noonan said on Monday. “We plan to return students in phases beginning on January 5, 2021, consistent with employee capacity to clean our buildings. We will open, starting with the smallest cohort and lead up to the largest cohort.” Read More
Northern Virginia received a range of less than an inch up to eight inches of snow, according to WUSA9.
As a result, Loudoun County and Prince William County declared snow days. But Arlington Public Schools and Fairfax County said classes would still be held online. That means that for some students, snow days are another casualty of COVID-19 precautions. Read More
A Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) study found an 83 percent increase in middle and high school students earning ‘F’ grades in two or more classes. The study compared Quarter One 2020-2021 results to Quarter One 2019-2020, and coincided with COVID-19 virtual learning. Last school year, six percent of the students earned ‘F’ grades in two or more classes; that increased to 11 percent in the latest results. Read More
Facing pressure from teacher’s advocacy groups, school districts across Virginia are reconsidering plans to return to in-person learning. Districts including Henrico County, Fairfax County, and Virginia Beach are canceling or postponing in-person learning options, according to reporting by NBC12 and Wavy.com. Other districts, including Chesterfield County and Loudoun County, are considering similar moves, according to ABC7 and WRIC. On Sunday, a group of Northern Virginia teachers’ associations wrote a letter citing rising COVID-19 cases and state guidance about limiting group size as a reason for postponing plans. Read More
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is delaying the return to in-person instruction for thousands of younger students, Superintendent Scott Braband announced in a letter to parents and staff on Monday.
The largest school system in Virginia had planned to send 6,800 pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and special education students (Group 5) back to school on Tuesday, but decided to put the move on pause because the current community health metrics for coronavirus cases are exceeding the threshold to expand in-person education, according to Braband. Read More
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) released a new admissions plan for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology largely based on lottery rather than academic merit. The new plan proposed by FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand omits the current standardized testing requirements. Read More
FCPS says it will admit 100 students based on high evaluations. The high school would select the remaining 400 at random through something they call a “merit lottery.”
Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) paid critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi $20,000 to give an hour-long virtual presentation. Kendi is the bestselling author of “How to Be Antiracist,” a book of circular definitions used to explain critical race theory.
The average teaching assistant earns $23,000 a year; the staff spent nearly that much for a 45-minute lecture and 15-minute Q&A. Read More