Fairfax County Public Schools is finalizing a new policy that will bar discrimination based on immigration or citizenship status and prohibit staff from disclosing that information unless required by law or a court order.
Requested by the school board last May, the proposed Trust Policy aligns closely with limits on information sharing by county government employees that the Board of Supervisors adopted in January 2021, FCPS staff said at a school board work session yesterday (Tuesday).
“The primary goal of the Trust Policy is to serve as a written commitment that our students and their families will be able to access services and benefits without being asked for immigration status or have information reported,” said Kathleen Walts, executive director of FCPS’ Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement.
The policy states that Immigration and Customs Enforcement activities would disrupt FCPS’ commitment to providing a safe, inclusive environment for all of its students, who come from 199 different countries and speak over 200 different languages, according to a presentation.
Ricardy Anderson, who represents Mason District on the school board, said fear of immigration authorities prevented one student from completing an assignment that required them to discuss their background and family.
Springfield District Representative Laura Jane Cohen recalled families checking if there would be law enforcement or ICE officials at a meal distribution site during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was standing between folks having food for the weekend and not,” she said.
In addition to complying with court orders or law, the policy has exceptions for when an individual or guardian gives their permission to share information, when necessary for a student to obtain benefits, and for demographic data related to school program evaluations.
According to FCPS officials, many of the practices in the policy — such as obligations to protect student and employee confidentiality and acceptable documents for verifying students’ residency for registration — are already in place, but codifying them will ensure consistent regulations and enforcement across all schools.
The most significant change will be the establishment of “a very comprehensive training plan” for employees, Walts said. Officials said the Trust Policy will also be incorporated into training for school resource officers and volunteers.
The policy directs FCPS leaders to regularly review data collection practices, contracts, and other documents, including the memorandum of understanding with the Fairfax County Police Department for the SRO program.
“It’s much deeper than a communication tool,” Providence District Representative Karl Frisch said. “…It makes sure the sharing of information is much more closely monitored. It requires judicial warrants for any involvement with immigration officials. That’s a big change.”
The school board will introduce the Trust Policy as new business when it meets tomorrow (Thursday) before officially voting on April 28. Frisch said he and Anderson intend to propose requiring that the policy be implemented by the start of the upcoming school year in August.
“The reality is, for most of our students and parents, this changes nothing,” Sully District Representative Stella Pekarsky, who chairs the school board, said. “This impacts nothing, but for those that really need this, it’s a life-changer.”
A new self-storage facility appears likely to replace a soon-to-be-demolished, four-decade-old warehouse in Herndon. On Monday (Sept. 26), the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission unanimously approved plans to construct a…
The Vienna Planning Commission made clear Wednesday (Sept. 28) that in concept, it’s in favor of redeveloping the Vienna Courts offices as duplex housing, but the lack of open space…
(Updated at 11:20 p.m.) An October weekend once filled with fall events is starting to clear out, as Fairfax County braces for Hurricane Ian. The storm that devastated Florida after…
Fare-Free Connector to Metrorail Transfers Start Tomorrow — “To continue to improve transit service in Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently approved service and fare changes on…
Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.
Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.
Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.
Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.
Ending your marriage and living in the shadows of its pain is one thing, but when children (2 and 4 legged ones) are involved it’s not only about you. Divorce Mediation is the way to resolve the past and establish a solid, cooperative foundation to reorganize the relationship with your former partner. Everyone involved will benefit and you will gain peace-of-mind. Divorce Mediation is the cost effective way to negotiate your divorce and sign a Separation Agreement that is equitable and fair.
Walid Jawad will facilitate the divorce process in a calm and thoughtful manner to help you establish the foundation for your next phase in life. Walid’s 5-Star google reviews is a testament to his dedication to limiting divorcing couples’ stress during this intense transitional period.
Mediate your divorce virtually from the convenience of your kitchen table for $1,200 and save yourself the average Virginia cost of $15,000 per divorce and $22,000 with children. Make a complimentary appointment with Walid at Aether Mediation here: www.aethermediation.com
Reston Museum’s 20th Reston Home Tour features homes include an award-winning modern masterpiece tucked back in a wooded oasis, a beautifully-landscaped personal “club house” offering amazing views of the golf course, a newly-renovated Reston Town Center townhouse with a water