Fairfax County Public Schools or FCPS as it is popularly known as one of the top-ranking Virginia schools that have stood the test of time.
Fairfax public schools have not only built a commendable school system but also a community within and outside the school. Let us look at what makes Fairfax County Public Schools a resounding name in Virginia.
What Are Fairfax County Public Schools?
Fairfax county public schools are community schools paid for by the local government or the state. They offer public school education to all students from kindergarten to year 12 regardless of their academic profile, religious creed, or developmental level, free of charge.
In addition to this, Fairfax county schools offer extracurricular activities most especially after school in which you can improve your talents and build more skills in areas you are interested in during these activities to give you experience.
Fairfax public schools do not only rely on advanced studies of; science and technology, social studies, fine art, physical education, etc., but you also have to expect lessons of basic studies on reading, writing, and arithmetic.
You are exposed to courses of your choice which you explore in great detail. These include advanced studies in sciences and maths, vocational studies, etc.
What Curriculum Do Fairfax Public County Schools Use?
Fairfax public schools use a regulated curriculum for all students. They are governed by the Virginia school district and they follow policies that are established by the state or federal government.
This denies them the freedom to adopt a curriculum beyond the state regulations since they are obligated to adhere to these legislative mandates in their programs, funding, and service provision.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has it that each state must establish and give a basic skills evaluation to all public school students so that they can be funded by the government. The government expects to see Adequate Yearly Progress from all the public schools that receive funding from the government.
Other options like completing certain tasks targeting improvement, free tutoring, extending school time, etc are available for the schools outside the AYP bracket. The curriculum for Fairfax public schools also covers extracurricular activities as part of the school programs. These range from music, drama, speech, sports i.e. soccer, basketball, baseball, football, etc.
Through these programs, you develop different skills in your areas of interest and you are able to improve your talents. Basically, they help you to feel relieved of the classroom stress since they are mostly conducted in the evenings after school. Students are also given chance to play in teams and individual sport especially for those in middle and high schools.
FCPS requires state certifications for their teachers and these have to be renewed periodically in accordance with the curriculum. Private schools may prioritize advanced degrees in the subject matter and can also accept may also accept teacher certifications from other education organizations outside of state organizations.
Why Fairfax County Public Schools?
Since public schools are funded via subsidies and taxes, they tend to be more affordable than private schools. Though, this isn’t the case for an out-of-state student who has to face higher charges on tuition.
Public education is for all students regardless of their academic profile, and development levels and this allows all the students to get the same opportunities in their education career. These students from different cultural backgrounds and economic statuses socialize and create a wide student body that is important to all the children going to that particular school since they are able to learn about other cultures following their life experiences in school.
Fairfax County Public schools often have more options for classes and courses in core subjects like science and arts than private ones. Some public schools have better facilities such as sports fields, art and music, programs and even theatres. This helps you to harness your talent and also build your profession in these areas.
Fairfax public schools operate under the state and are answerable to the higher authorities of the government in reference to their academic performance, unlike the private schools that operate at their own pace. The general performance of students in FCPS has improved over the years.
All in all, there are high chances of excelling in Fairfax County public schools as you would elsewhere which has prompted many to prefer them over private schools in their education paths.
What Is It Like Studying In Fairfax County Schools?
It is true that public school students outnumber those in private schools thus have larger classroom sizes. In the early years, the number of students attending public schools was small thus there were smaller and more manageable classroom sizes.
However, the number increased gradually which became a dependant factor for the classroom sizes. Some public schools present poor academic results, but the performance of the Fairfax public schools is pleasingly great.
Therefore, the difference in performance within their counterparts the private or charter schools is almost a similarity. Despite the fact that the population of students in FCPS is high, they effectively work to cater to your needs.
What Is The Cost Of Attending Fairfax County Schools?
Public school education is relatively a free service since it is broadly paid for by the government and this makes it more affordable than private schools. However, out-of-county students face higher charges on their tuition fees.
Fundraising in public schools is broadly done by the government from various sources such as taxes and they also give subsidies to the public schools which makes them even cheaper.
Though some expenses that include; personal supplies such as clothing, food, notebooks have to be met in public schools, and families have to pay for these individual requirements.
For non-resident students, payment of tuition at Fairfax County Public School is a requirement.
Therefore the responsible parties have to meet the charges i.e. the legal guardians/parents of the students outside Fairfax County. In case these students are under an agency or school division, then that agency will meet the tuition charges in order for them to attend FCPS for the 2022/23 academic year.
If these agencies decide to have their students attend Thomas Jefferson High School of science and technology, they must pay tuition for general education programs to Fairfax County Public Schools as below;
- Elementary School: $13,711
- Middle School: $13,086
- High School: $14,638
- Alternative High School: $16,640
- Court or Agency Programs: $41,344
Can I Get Scholarship For Fairfax County Schools?
Scholarships can be in form of covering expenses, paying tuition, or catering for the cost of sports and activities’ competitions.
Some students win scholarships for their academic performances, others are awarded based on their financial need in order to access better opportunities in certain fields of education. These include science, technology, and even sports.
The financial support could also help them cover their campus expenses such as residence, food, textbooks, etc.
Whatever the case, every scholarship has requirements, which are qualifications that a student must have in order to win that scholarship.
Before applying, you need to check all the requirements for that scholarship to ensure you are qualified. The more you are qualified, the better the chances of winning the scholarship. Therefore, work on the major skillsets that attract more chances such as leadership skills. You can demonstrate leadership skills by volunteering to head an extracurricular activity, join school clubs, or doing community work.
Good scores on your academic report are very important when considering your eligibility for the scholarship in addition to personal qualities.
Be sure to go through these guidelines carefully before applying for your scholarship;
- Read the application guide carefully
- Seek more details from the scholarship provider
- And submit a perfect scholarship essay or letter.
What you have to take note of is that you complete your application forms, research, and study in a certain field in case you are required to do so by the scholarship provider.
Before applying for the scholarship, you should match the eligibility and requirements that are necessary. Eligibility will be based on one’s academic performance or transcript, talents, leadership skills, and financial status.
Using various scholarship websites, you are advised to make a thorough research on the available scholarship opportunities. This should be done through your school career center or your Naviance School account because no scholarships other than those offered by Fairfax County Public School will be approved by Fairfax County School Board or the school.
You may search for other scholarships through the Financial Aid offices of only learning institutions which have been approved.
The steps below will direct you in applying for the scholarship;
Start by logging in to the FCPS 24-7. Then locate the Naviance student module and click on the corresponding student’s name to access the Naviance account for that particular student.
Once that is successful, follow the steps below;
- A “Welcome to Naviance Student!” webpage will appear
- Click on the “Colleges” link in upper right hand corner
- Click on “Scholarships and Money” on the drop-down list. Click “Scholarship List”
- Browse the scholarship list to check the scholarship in your favour
- Clicking on that scholarship and open in a new window for more information.
What Do I Need To Join Fairfax Public Schools?
Generally speaking, the following are required of every public school establishment which includes; a physical address, identification forms for a child.
The major necessities when enrolling in a public school are as follows;
- A birth certificate/passport
- Student’s health exam records
- Student’s shot records
- Proof for legal guardianship
- School records from former school
As long as you possess the above, despite not having a permanent physical address, it is not necessary for one to show their proof of residence, immunization records, or proof of legal guardianship.
This takes us to what is required of a Fairfax County Public School for one to join;
- You must be enrolled in maths or science honors classes
- You must be identified as a young scholar or have an additional honours course.
- Then your minimum GPA should be 3.5
- Verification of ones maths course is necessary on ones application form that is for year 8 students.
- In case you are a homeschooler in middle school, you are required to possess a detailed description of your maths curriculum for all the maths courses within your application form.
Please note at that instant of application, you must live with a parent who resides full-time and meets the requirements for them to claim residency in a school division that takes part in TJHSST. This applies to all the applicants to TJHSST.
For a parent/guardian who does not own a property in the school division participating in TJHSST, they are not qualified to apply for the TJHSST unless they claim residency in that school division.
How Do I Get Admission In Fairfax County Public Schools?
Admissions are part of a key pipeline to better education, better work, and better lives and it is a process of matching, guidance, and selection. We will follow a new holistic approach and draw up a topology of admission of students and they will be assessed considering;
- Grade point average
- A sheet demonstrating the Portrait of a Graduate attributes and 21st century skills (sheet must be in portrait)
- A STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) i.e. problem-solving essay
- Life experience i.e. one must studied English, be economically disadvantaged, a special education student, and also if they are currently enrolled in a middle school with minority representatives.
If you are among those residing in the best 1.5% from each middle school, you should have the least assessment values. If you are among qualified students, only those whose assessed applications weigh the most will be selected up to a certain number.
After all the applicants have been selected from their respective middle schools and the debated number of students to admit has reached, the remaining admissions will be available to all qualified students from other authorities but with strong evaluated applications.
Step By Step Guideline For Registration
To successfully complete the Fairfax county registration, you should follow the step by step guidelines we have listed for you below;
Step 1: Determine eligibility
A student has to be qualified and this is determined based on two determining factors i.e.
Age: This applies to all students including those that transfer from other schools outside Fairfax County after the start of the school year.
A student can join kindergarten at Fairfax county public schools as long as he/she turns five on or before September 30 of the year he or she enters school.
Residency: Children must be living with a parent and residing in Fairfax County.
Step2: Determine where to register
Registration will take place at the local school for all students who are registering for kindergarten. Use the FCPS Boundary locator to locate your local school or contact your school in the Schools Directory.
This should be done before the beginning of the new academic year. If the student is to register beyond this period, then, he/she will have to fill out the Home Language Survey form so that they can register.
Please note all students registering in Fairfax County Public Schools must fill out the form. You can also register at the closest Student Registration Welcome Center.
Step 3: Gather necessary documents
All the documents that are to be used in the registration process at FCPS should not be missed out.
These include; your birth certificate, your health records, immunization shots, government-issued documents on parental identification, and proof of residency in Fairfax County.
Step4: Fill out forms
It is essential that the forms below are filled for each student that is to be registered. They are; the Pre-Kindergarten Experience Form and the Packet of General Registration forms.
Once you have opened the link i.e. General Registration Forms, click on the option for Enrolment Forms Bundle, and then you will access all the required forms at the same time. The forms are also available at any nearby Student Registration Welcome Center.
You can also get them from the local school offices but these have to be informed urgently so that they can prepare your forms beforehand.
Step 5: Make an appointment
This kind of formal arrangement can be done at a local school or the Student Registration Welcome Center. You have to carry the necessary documents with you when making the appointment i.e. complete registration documents and forms.
It is important that the child and a guardian/ parent are present when making this registration appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any child that meets the requirements is enrolled.
Some education programs are offered online.
Yes, depending on the school because they’re not required to.
It’s an easy decision when it comes to if you should have Fairfax County Public Schools on your list. And if you are residing in Virginia, it’s a no-brainer.
With this article, you have everything you need to be a part of the FCPS and you can always refer to it for guidance. Share a comment below about your thoughts on FCPS, we enjoy reading them.