Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.January 2024 Newsletter
Greetings and Happy New Year, Bryant Families. We hope this first newsletter of the 2024 year finds you in good health. Despite the wide ranges of temperatures, we have experienced this month-from frigid cold and snow to record breaking warmth- the atmosphere at Bryant remains consistently sunny and warm. We are happy to have your students back in the building because we know that's where student engagement and success happens! We kindly request families to encourage their student to arrive to school daily and on time.
Bryant proudly houses an outstanding program known as Jobs for Virginia Graduates, spearheaded by Mrs. Erika Hisey, a former FCPS ESOL teacher. This initiative is part of the broader Jobs for America's Graduates umbrella. The primary objective of JVG is to empower youth with the skills needed to discover opportunities, assist them in obtaining a high school diploma, and support them in transitioning from school to the workforce. JVG is committed to curbing dropout rates and enhancing job readiness.
This month, Ms. Hisey facilitated an engaging session on Careers in Education, featuring a guest speaker who shared her personal journey to becoming an educator. Emphasizing the importance of being open to possibilities and discovering what brings you joy, the speaker highlighted how this exploration can lead to finding one's own profession and passion.
A true highlight for our students was a trip to The National Museum of the United States Army, a hidden gem right in our own backyard in Lorton. This museum celebrates over 245 years of Army history and pays tribute to our nation's soldiers. The visit was particularly meaningful as many of our Bryant students aspire to belong to a branch of service.
If you would like to know more information about JVG or have your student get involved, please contact Ms. Hisey at [email protected].
Bryant High School boasts another outstanding program known as College Partnership Program (CPP). CPP is designed to equip students with the necessary tools for college preparation. Monthly meetings, college visits, and assistance with various college-related tasks are just a few of the valuable offerings provided by CPP. Ms. Meletiche and Ms. Veenstra, two dedicated school counselors, facilitate this program.
These two counselors organized a panel featuring first-generation college-goers for our CPP students. These four panelists openly shared their personal journeys and pathways to obtaining their college diplomas. Additionally, they candidly shared the challenges and barriers they faced along the way. Despite facing adversity, they persevered and stayed committed to achieving their goals of earning a college degree. It was an inspiring session for all.
Our very own talented and gifted art teacher, Ms. Smith-Gilmore recently had her art on display at The Lorton Workhouse Arts Center. Here is a picture of Ms. Smith-Gilmore and her art exhibit called The Planets.
The "Safe Space" group, led by five remarkable women at Bryant, provides crucial support and encouragement for young female students. Meeting bi-weekly, this group offers a secure and open environment for participants to share their feelings and receive guidance in navigating both their high school journey and post-secondary goals. At a recent January event, the group celebrated their graduating February seniors with a heartfelt farewell party and thoughtful gift cards. For everyone involved, being part of this group has proven to be a transformative experience.
Referring to our upcoming February seniors, Bryant recently hosted an Awards Assembly to recognize and celebrate the dedication of our soon-to-be graduates. Attending a Bryant graduation is a memorable experience, and this year's February graduation is scheduled for Wednesday, the 7th, at 4pm at Bryant High School. Many seniors were awarded scholarship funds and acknowledged for their exemplary work ethic, notable achievements, and positive attitude. Graduates Selina Duven took home the Bryant English Award and Sandija Prova was awarded the Maureen Hanrahan Scholarship.
It's incredible how time flies, and counselors are now gearing up to register students for the upcoming school year 24-25. Throughout February and March, student conferences will be conducted with their respective school counselors. These sessions will focus on creating individualized graduation plans, highlighting the necessary classes and tests required for graduation.
In an effort to enhance our course offerings at Bryant, we are introducing new opportunities, including a Welding class, a full-time Cosmetology program, and a Medical Coding/Billing course. We encourage you to connect with your student's school counselor or visit our website for more detailed information. Course Catalogue 24-25
Bryant is thrilled about these additional opportunities that not only allow students to broaden their horizons but also pave the way for career opportunities.
Mental Health, Coping & Addiction
One in four Americans suffer from a mental illness. Almost 3 in 5 people with mental health challenges will not receive treatment or medication. In 2019, an estimated 19% of adults in the United States (47.6 million) dealt with a mental health challenge, but only 43% received any kind of mental health care (Johns Hopkins). People often turn to alternative methods to cope with issues that are uncomfortable topics to speak about. These reasons include turning to drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Coping mechanisms are habits formed over time that serve to help a person manage difficult situations or high stress levels. These mind-altering substances are sometimes used as coping mechanisms for stress, difficult emotions, physical ailments, focusing, and other issues. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary moment away from the reality of everyday life. Substances can enhance the feelings of pleasure, decrease feelings of anxiety and restraint. Substance use can be an unhealthy coping mechanism. Not all coping mechanisms are destructive or fail to provide appropriate or adequate adjustment to the environment or situation; however, addiction is both.
Before using drugs as a coping strategy here are some recommendations for a healthier mindset. The main goal is to identify the “void” or issue and work towards healing. In the meantime, experts recommend diet and exercise as great places to start. Schedule a visit to your Primary Care Physician and a Professional Counselor if needed. Quality sleep is also a major factor in the stabilization of a healthy mind. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and good examples. Keep in mind that finding balance in life is an ongoing process. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.
For further information & support
Shawn Elliott, BS, QMHP-C
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
Edison Academy invites families to attend their in-person Open House event on Saturday, February 3rd from 10:00 am- 1:00 pm. Edison HS is located at 5801 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA and Door #13. You will have the opportunity to tour their state-of-the-art facilities, meet their instructors and current students, and learn more about their incredible courses.
Bryant staff look forward to hearing from you and partnering together to build a stronger home and school partnership. If you or your family are in need, our food pantry is stocked with hygiene items, clothing and food supplies Please reach out to our Family Liaison, Ms. Zeury at [email protected] for additional resources. Ms. Zeury will also be sharing more information on Talking Points about an Immigration Seminar that is coming your way.
Together, we embody the spirt of BRYANTSTRONG.