The Mustang Spirit

The Principal's Newsletter - March 5, 2021

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From Principal Hills

Dear Mustang Families,

As you read in Superintendent Noonan's community message, we are united around the goal of bringing students back to school buildings in-person full time. But, there is much work to do to get there. School teams and central office support staff are working hard on that process. This is another step along a new path as we navigate through instruction, operations, and support services to make this happen. Each building has its unique strengths and challenges that will affect our ability to bring back all students in a more familiar environment.

At the secondary level, our goal remains the same, to get our students back to 5 days of instruction after spring break. The secondary school teams are looking at creative ways to utilize space to maximize the number of in-person students who can be onsite daily for face-to-face learning. Students and staff health and safety will be the priority at all schools, with mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing still being diligently practiced at every school as we plan for full day instruction for 5 days a week.

If your family decides to remain in virtual school, that choice will be honored by all FCCPS schools as we go forward. The technology that brought us this far will continue to serve the needs of those who selected a virtual option for their students. While there may be some adjustments, this option will continue to be available for any family who wishes.

The secondary campus teams at Henderson and the high school are engaging in thoughtful planning to bring back more students for more days after spring break. Please know that the process and pace will be unique to both the middle and the high school based on the secondary structures, space, schedules, and operations. Our secondary team is looking forward to this phase of our reopening. Look for further details in future communications.

Have a great weekend,

The Mustang Admin Team

Today is State Champions Lady Mustang Basketball Day in the City of Falls Church!

Congratulations to our Mustang Basketball Team!

Below is a video of the celebration held this morning in the Innovation Commons.

Go Mustangs!

Mustangs Sports

FCCPS Procedures for COVID-19

As more students return to in-person/hybrid learning, please remember the procedures for how the impacts of COVID-19 and illnesses are handled in the schools.

  • Each morning -> Go through the Health Screening Flyer with your student(s) before they head to school.
  • If your student or their siblings in the home are ill, they must remain home.
  • If anyone is being tested for COVID-19 in the home and awaiting results, all students in the home must remain home until negative results are received.
  • Anyone required to isolate/quarantine by a public health official must remain home, as well as those who live in the household.

These procedures were developed by the Fairfax County Health Department to help reduce the spread of COVID in the FCCPS community:

  • If your child visits the Health Room and is experiencing any of these COVID-like symptoms: Fever/chills, Cough, Shortness of Breath, New loss of taste/smell, Sore throat, Fatigue, Muscle aches, Runny nose/congestion, Stomach ache, Diarrhea, Nausea/Vomiting, and/or Headache, they will be placed in supervised isolation.
  • Parents/Guardians will be called immediately to pick up the ill student and any siblings in our schools must be picked up as well.
  • The School Health Aide will provide parents/guardians with a “Sick Student Notification” form.
  • In order for a student to return for in-person instruction/activities the school must be provided with: a clearance letter from a health care provider OR a negative COVID test result. (Please note: Any family who needs access to health care support or diagnostic testing can let the school know and support will be provided.)
  • Anyone who opts not to provide a healthcare clearance letter or provide a negative test result will be designated “presumptive positive” and is required to complete a 10-day isolation period at home from the onset of symptoms and attend school virtually.

In the same token, if your child is sick at home and experiencing the COVID-like symptoms above, your child and any student in the same household cannot come to our schools. The same procedures above apply in order for a student to return for in-person instruction/activities.

You can find additional information on our FCCPS website at What to do When...

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March is Women's History Month

Join FCCPS and FCEF in celebrating Women’s History Month. There’s something going on at all schools, and in the community.

  • Daily facts in Morning Announcements and social media about historic women who shaped Falls Church, and current entrepreneurial women.

  • 100th Anniversary of Suffrage Display will travel to all schools for a week (GMHS this week).

  • Look for a series of student interviews of prominent women.

  • At the end of the month there will be an opportunity for students to reflect on women they’ve learned about.

All Things Juniors

Junior Virtual Hubs

Just like we did for our seniors, we would like to extend an invitation to our juniors beginning on Tuesday, March 9 to come to school four days a week. Juniors who come to in-person classes on Thursdays and Fridays may come to school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and attend their virtual classes in the Junior Virtual Hubs, and vice versa. Hubs will be supervised and will be located in the Mustang Cafe and Innovation Commons. No sign up is required. Upon arrival, juniors should check in at the Mustang Cafe. Juniors will need to provide their own transportation if they come to school to attend a Junior Virtual Hub day.

In-Person Writing SOL for All Juniors

Monday, March 15th, 8am-1pm

George Mason High School, 121 Mustang Alley, Falls Church, VA, USA

The End of Course (EOC) Writing SOL is required for all Juniors as it serves as their verified credit in writing, a State requirement for graduation. Students must pass the SOL to verify their credit. The SOL test is only administered in-person. There are no virtual remote testing opportunities. All-virtual students have to report to the school to take this State-mandated test. If there is a reason your student cannot report to the school, please notify your child’s counselor immediately. Students who do not test in March must test in the fall and pass the Writing SOL test to graduate on time. It is highly recommended that Juniors take the test on March 15, 2021.

Details including a school bus schedule will be shared with the juniors closer to the date.

Yearbook Photo Days: Make-Up and Retakes

Victor O'Neill Studios will be setting up in the Mustang Cafe on March 17 and March 18 to take Yearbook and ID photos for students in Grades 9-11. Yearbook photos and IDs are complimentary. Students/families pay only when they order a photo package from VOS.

Book your appointment directly with VOS using this link. After booking, you will receive an appointment confirmation email with this link in order to preorder your photos, if you wish. Questions or concerns can be emailed to

  • Wednesday, March 17 from 1:30 - 4:30 PM - For In-Person Students
  • Wednesday, March 17 from 3:00 - 4:30 PM - For All-Virtual Students and for Retakes
  • Thursday, March 18 from 8:00 - 10:00 AM - For In-Person Students

Get Your Yearbooks Today!

There’s nothing else like your school yearbook. If you would like to place an order for a 20-21 Yearbook, the current rate is $85 and can be purchased by clicking HERE. The last day to purchase your yearbook is April 16, 2021.

Thank you for helping us tell the story of the year,

George Mason High School Yearbook Staff

Photo on the right is the actual cover of the 20-21 Yearbook.

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Quick Links

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