Committee Meeting Notes-November 16, 2015

On Call

Leslie Ryan (FMES)
Rishawn Roane
Michelle Menza
Amy Goodman
Debra Steppel
Ryan Lambrecht
Carrie Townsend
Jennifer Loizeaux
Alison Malzahn (FMES)

Leslie Moore
Yuka Ohta
Michelle Butler
Nari Kuniyoshi
Megumi Fujita
Tim Lapham


  • “Why is MS included in the JIP budget if JIP isn’t a class?” (In Budget it defines JIP as both ES or MS- answered by Ryan)
  • “What are the best ways to get the greater community (esp. parents, teachers, etc.) involved?”

Take Note:

  • Don’t panic yet, this is only a recommendation and there are many steps to the budget process.
  • Dr. Garza will publish her budget on January 7, 2016. She is still taking suggestions from the public. We should continue our efforts to make our position known throughout December.
    • Encourage everyone (not just in FCPS) to sign the petition.
    • Send a standard email with personalized section to Garza and the entire school board.
    • Encourage family members, children, alumni, etc. to all send letter
  • JCC has been coordinating with Fairfax Flags (Sandy Gibbs Knox)
    • Encourage folks to join their Facebook page
    • Fairfax Flags will work on a higher left, coordinating with all of the immersion programs. JCC will follow their lead and will work to mobilize GFES
    • Fairfax Flags worked to prevent attempts to cut world language program in 2008-2009. At that time, FLEX was at risk, not immersion, but immersion stepped up to support FLES’ cause.
    • Create a contact point for all immersion programs at FCPS to give to Fairfax Flags
  • Fox Mill Elementary School Actions
    • Task Force of 2 JI parent and 2 general Ed and 1 teacher has been created to address the issue. The task force will be meeting on Monday, November 23 at 7:15pm. The meeting is an open forum for parents to present questions and concerns.
    • Huntermill District Representative Pat Hynes will be taking questions at a Fox Mill PTA meeting on December 7 at 8:00pm. Parents who cannot attend are invited to submit questions via email: Subject Line: Questions for Ms. Hynes
  • Debra Steppel
    • In 2016 we will have to coordinate efforts to get a speaker to represent immersion program interests in front of a school board meeting.
    • Debra can prepare a one-pager on how to be a good public advocate, a mini-course on how to get on the public hearing agenda and speak
    • Debra has contacted the immersion teachers and Mrs. Williams about our effort but they cannot be involved in advocacy.
  • We need to consider other ways to spread the word and reach out to the community
    • Local newspapers
    • Post, Vienna Patch, Great Falls
    • Carrie Townsend—Reach out to Vienna Connection
    • Trish Barber has worked on writing press releases in the past. Her children all went through GFES. Debra will reach out to her for support
    • Amy Goodman works on national level; no local contact but can do a search so that we have points of contacts. She says the difficulty will be to get editors interested enough to publish our message. She encourages us to keep our messages to the group short.

To Do:

  • Promote the petition
  • Encourage folks to submit their own proposal via the FCPS Budget Tool
  • Begin a letter writing campaign to Dr. Garza and the School Board members
    • JCC should ask folks to CC them on the email so that the JCC can keep track of the number of emails sent.
  • Consider reaching out to teachers’ union (there may be 2?)
  • Next meeting will be in January after Dr. Garza publishes her budget


  • Tim Lapham
    • To draft the template email for our letter writing campaign
  • Debra Steppel
    • Reach out to Trish Barber
    • Send one-pager on how to be a public advocate
  • Megumi/Yuka
    • Send emails to the JCC Group
    • Continue coordination with Fox Mill and Fairfax Flags