The City-County Connection

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Before the City of Fairfax became an independent city, it was a town in Fairfax County and the schools were part of the Fairfax County (FCPS) system.   When the town moved to city status in 1961, state law required that a local school board be organized to govern the schools.  

A School Services Agreement was entered into with FCPS to continue to manage and operate the schools; the City School Board and Superintendent oversee this Agreement and are responsible for the management of the school buildings owned by the City.

For more information about the City of Fairfax Schools, please visit their website.

Key Elements of the Schools Services Agreement

  • The Fairfax County School Board has administrative and operational control of City schools.
  • City students are educated predominately in City schools.
  • City and County School Boards meet annually.
  • City School Board members attend County School Board meetings.
  • City and County Superintendents consult, as needed, on topics to include: boundary changes, school closings, selection of principals, citizen participation, special community needs, non-school activities and complaints.
  • The City makes major capital improvements to City school buildings.
  • The County maintains City schools buildings and may make minor improvements.
  • The City uses school buildings for non-school activities that do not interfere with use for school purposes. 

City students and parents are entitled to all of the services provided at any Fairfax County school.   When parents have questions or concerns about school policies or practices, they are encouraged first to work with school staff to resolve issues. If issues cannot be resolved at the school level, city residents may contact the Schools Superintendent office at 703-385-7911. In some cases, parents will be referred to the Region 5 office in Fairfax County Public Schools. The Region 5 Superintendent and staff works closely with the City Superintendent to supervise and support the four City-owned schools.

Members of the City Board collaborate with their County Board colleagues through regular, ongoing communication, participation in regional and state School Board meetings and conferences, and an annual City/County Board meeting. The County Board designates one of its members as an official liaison to the City.   This close collaboration between the two Boards protects the interests of City residents and provides opportunities for input regarding decisions that impact City students.

"The City-County relationship benefits both city and county students. By welcoming county students into our city schools, we are able to offer a number of academic, athletic and extra-curricular opportunities we would not be able to offer independently. We also know we are stronger due to the culturally rich and diverse student body and we value all of our students attending out schools. We understand this is a unique partnership, but we are proud to be part of one of the top school districts in the country." Dr. Phyllis Pajardo, Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools