Letter from the President

It is hard to believe that only a month and a half have passed since the April 25th launch of the new Fairfax County SEPTA!  It was a wonderful, exciting event for all of us and we so appreciate the amazing support we have received from our Fairfax County community.  Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn was in attendance as well as a representative from Supervisor Cook’s office.  We had four school board members show their support:  Pat Hynes, Megan McLaughlin, Dalia Palchik and Elizabeth Schultz.  We were excited to have Carmel Delshad from NPR cover our launch with interviews that aired on WAMU’s All Things Considered.  Most importantly, we had over 80 individuals sign up to become Charter Members.  In the weeks following launch, our membership has grown to over 100!  It is the enthusiasm and support of our membership that will make Fairfax County SEPTA a successful resource for advocacy, training, events and community building.   
Photo of Diane Cooper-Gould speaking at School Board hearingOf course, launch was just the beginning of the journey; we have been travelling full-steam ahead throughout May and into June!  In May, our membership completed two Calls To Action regarding the 2018 FCPS Budget, testifying before the school board on two separate occasions and submitting written testimony in support of Special Education Funding.  We thank our members who spoke and attended those critical budget meetings.  FCPS Special Services staff have expressed to me how much they appreciated SEPTA’s testimony on behalf of the department of Special Services and Special Education. Last month we also held our first SEPTA Event, a panel discussion of the Endrew F. Supreme Court Decision and how it will affect Special Education Services in Fairfax County Public Schools moving forward.
On June 1, three of our SEPTA Board Members attended the PEATC (Parent Education & Advocacy Training Center) and Virginia Department of Education’s joint symposium on Special Education Complaint Procedures in Richmond, VA.  Our Board continues to represent SEPTA members on a weekly basis by meeting with FCPS School Board Members and Staff as well as other community leaders to introduce our organization and our mission and to build cooperative relationships that will help us develop great collaborative efforts to advance our mission and improve services and outcomes for all special education students, families and staff in FCPS.
Looking forward, we have three more June events on the horizon: SEPTA Volunteer Coordination Meeting on June 20, SEPTA Executive Board Meeting on June 27, and our SEPTA Summer Kick-Off Happy Hour for Parents and Professionals at PJ Skidoos on June 28.  Please see attachments and upcoming events for details! 
Over the summer, we plan to build our website content, launch our private members-only ListServ, have a family picnic and plan our events for the fall. We will also be developing our advocacy positions, and a special education survey to better understand how to serve our membership.  SEPTA will send out a newsletter monthly to keep you up to date and, as always, you can keep in touch via Facebook and our website:
We wish you all a great end of the 2016-2017 school year and we hope to see you at one of our many events this summer! 
Diane Cooper-Gould,
President, Fairfax County SEPTA


Photos from the SEPTA Launch


FCPS School Board Adopts the FY18 Budget

The Fairfax County School Board has adopted the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) FY 2018 Approved Budget of $2.8 billion that includes reductions of more than $50 million that were necessary to fund required expenditure increases and address employee compensation which is a priority in FCPS’ Strategic Plan. The budget includes $44.0 million for an average step increase of 2.5 percent for all eligible employees, an additional $26.6 million as part of a multi-year plan to enhance teacher salaries and make them more competitive, and $0.4 million for parent liaison compensation. The budget also includes $2.0 million to implement a new Classroom Instructional Support pay scale for instructional assistants, public health assistants and public health training assistants and a new Schedule H for food service workers and bus drivers and attendants.

Resignation of School Board Member

School Board Member-At Large Jannette Hough announces resignation-Special Election to be held on Tuesday August 29th

Congratulations to new FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand Photo of FCPS Superintendent

The Fairfax County School Board has voted to confirm Scott S. Brabrand as Division Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for the period July 10, 2017, to June 30, 2021. 

“Dr. Brabrand brings a wealth of experience in education and a broad perspective to the job of Superintendent,” said School Board Chair Sandy Evans. “His collaborative leadership style and his knowledge of Fairfax County schools will be strong assets for him as the new superintendent. We look forward to working with him as we move forward to improve salaries for our teachers and ensure our students are prepared for college and beyond when they graduate.”


Welcome to the new DSS Assistant Superintendant Teresa Johnson 

Teresa Johnson, currently the principal at Chantilly High School, has been named Assistant Superintendent for Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Department of Special Services, effective July 5. The announcement was made by Interim Superintendent Steve Lockard.

Teresa Johnson has a wide-ranging background in special education over her 28 year career,” says Lockard. “She brings knowledge of state and federal requirements, education law, and, most importantly, strategies to help students learn, no matter their needs. We look forward to having her join the FCPS leadership team.”

Bond Referendum

The School Board has requested that the Board of Supervisors place the bond referendum on the November 2017 Ballot



Upcoming SEPTA Events State News Federal News

Volunteer Meet & Greet
Tuesday June 20th, 2017 7pm-9pm
Dunn Loring Center
2334 Gallows Rd, Dunn Loring, VA 22027
Entrance 2 Room 111
Executive Board Meeting
Wednesday July 5th, 2017
Location TBD
SEPTA Summer Kick-Off Happy Hour   
Wednesday June 28th, 2017
PJ Skidoo’s Private Patio
9908 Fairfax Blvd
Fairfax, VA 2203

All parents of school-aged students who receive special education services in Virginia’s schools are encouraged to complete the Virginia Department of Education’s annual parent survey. The survey will be available online in English and Spanish until September 30, 2017. 

To complete the survey online, please use the following links:
English         Spanish 
If you have questions concerning this survey, please contact Hank Millward, Director, Office of Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement, Virginia Department of Education, by email at or by phone at 804-371-0525


US Department of Education launches new IDEA website:
Copyright © 2017 Fairfax County SEPTA, All rights reserved.

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