Archive: Schools

Schools Consider Buying Merrifield Office Building

In a step that would aim to help consolidate the administrative headquarters for Fairfax County Public Schools officials are considering spending $52 million to purchase a building in Merrifield, just weeks after approving one of the system's tightest budget in years. Read about it in this article from the Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 19, 2008; 08:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 6/18: Conservative Christian Group Protests Saudi Academy

Update 6/18 The Traditional Values Coalition staged a small protest yesterday at the academy, alleging that the school teaches intolerance and hatred of Jews and Christians. The story is here. Updated 5/22 Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D) said he reviewed the school's textbooks and found no reason for concern. The story is here. Updated 12/10 The latest on the scrutiny the Islamic Saudi Academy is facing is in today's Metro section. Updated 11/16 The latest news is in today's Metro section. Originally posted 10/19 The U.S. State Department is being urged by a federal panel, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, to shut down a Fairfax school that is supported by the government of Saudi Arabia until the school can prove that it is not teaching religious intolerance. The story is on today's front page....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 18, 2008; 08:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Graduation Rates Examined

A new study report questions whether better test scores and Advanced Placement performance correlates to higher graduation rates at area high schools. Read the story in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 12, 2008; 01:53 PM ET | Email a Comment

Cappies Awards Set For Sunday

The 2008 Critics and Awards Program for high school theatre will close the curtain on another season Sunday evening when the Kennedy Center hosts the annual Cappies awards gala. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra. This names of this year's awards nominees are here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 5, 2008; 03:58 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 6/5: School Board Might Scrap Behavior Study

Updated 6/5 The latest on the controversial study of students' behavior, which looked at racial and ethnic factors among others, is here. Updated 4/29 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County School Board members yesterday proposed removing the words "demonstrate sound moral character" from the school system's goals after a report showing a gap among racial groups in that area touched off a public outcry. Five board members met for two hours to scour the language of the "essential life skills" goals to make them less subjective and more clear. The non-academic goals are intended to promote character education and 21st-century work habits among students. Board members suggested replacing the moral character language with "demonstrate honesty, responsibility and leadership." Board member Martina A. Hone (At Large) said that honesty can be more objectively measured and that officials could potentially look at statistics on cheating or stealing. Information on moral character had...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 5, 2008; 09:15 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 5/23: School Board Approves Calendar Change and Budget

Updated 5/23 At last night's school board meeting, the board approved the date change for the last day of school from June 17 to June 13, and, according to this article, the budget for next year. Updated 2/15 The news out of last night's School Board meeting indicates that the elimination of some programs and services which the board was mulling may not happen. Originally posted 2/14 The Fairfax County School Board will vote tonight on what this article from today's Fairfax Extra calls "the most austere budget in a decade." Parents have widely decried a variety of cuts in programs and services which the budget calls for....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 23, 2008; 09:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Graham Road Elementary School: Fix It Up or Move It?

There is debate about whether to repair the small and crumbling, but high achieving, Graham Road Elementary School near Falls Church. Some say that the school would be better off on a larger lot in a more residential neighborhood north of its current location -- a place where it might also attract some more middle-income families within the school's attendance boundaries -- and others think moving the school would negatively affect some of the immigrant and low-income families who live close to it and have fewer private transportation options. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 22, 2008; 09:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

School to End Two Days Earlier than Calendar Says?

The Fairfax County School Board is expected to vote to shorten the academic year calendar by two days at its meeting tonight, meaning classes at most schools would end Friday June 13 rather than Tuesday June 17. Today's Metro section has the news story which explains that officials say that because of the dearth of weather-related closures this year, students will have completed the required 180 days of instruction by the 13th and that the two days could be used by teachers for year-end housekeeping and planning for next year....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 22, 2008; 09:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parents Lobby For West Springfield High Repairs

A group of parents of current and future students of West Springfield High School are pushing to have the school added to a list of those that need renovations. The school is not among the 50 schools currently identified as needing significant repairs, despite what the parents say is a list of growing problems. Check out the article from today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 15, 2008; 05:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Absorbing ESOL Students Fleeing PW

Fairfax County schools' enrollment of students in English for speakers of other languages programs is up nearly 260% for the period September to March 31 over the same period last year. Other neighboring jurisdictions are also seeing similar increases. Meanwhile in Prince William County, which recently began denying certain services to illegal immigrants, has seen a decline in its number of students in such programs. The news story is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 28, 2008; 11:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Teacher Brings Art To Life For Disabled Students

Check out the cover story from today's Fairfax Extra to see how one Fairfax County school teacher is finding new ways of introducing great art to and fostering creativity within students with limited visual or cognitive abilities....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 17, 2008; 05:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Schools: When Band and Sports Conflict

Today's Extra Credit column in the Fairfax Extra begins a conversation about what parents and students do when sports and music programs in their schools prove to be mutually exclusive because scheduling conflicts. It's a particular conundrum for students who enjoy or exhibit talent in both, but are forced by their schools to choose....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 17, 2008; 09:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Fundraiser a Bright Idea

The newest fundraising effort undertaken by Fairfax County school students won't leave you with chocorific calories to burn or expensive wrapping paper cluttering the closet. In the long run, it may even save you money. Beginning later this month, the students will be selling environmentally-friendly low energy-use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Get the details in this article from today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 3, 2008; 02:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/1: Parents Group Sues Over Boundary Shift

Updated 4/1 News about the suit, which was filed Friday, is in today's Metro section. Updated 3/3 The challenges that face the board after the controversial decision is the subject of this article from yesterday's Metro section. Updated 2/29 The boundary shift, approved late last night, will affect thousands of students. Read this article and then come back to Focus on Fairfax to share your thoughts. Updated 2/8 According to this article in today's Washington Post, parents are questioning the enrollment projections on which schools officials are basing the plans to redraw the boundaries. Updated 1/31 A report from last night's public meeting about the boundary shift is in today's Metro section. Updated 1/16 From today's Metro section: Some Fairfax County School Board members discussed this week whether South Lakes High School could be transformed into a magnet school in an effort to minimize controversy over a proposal to reshape...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 1, 2008; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Lake Braddock Boasts Four Alumni at Juilliard

Boasting four of its former students among the 800 currently enrolled at the exclusive Julliard School in New York, Lake Braddock Secondary School's band program is raising eyebrows among some of the conservatory's faculty and student body. Juilliard admits only seven percent of all applicants and to get four at the same time from the same public high school is unusual, if not unprecedented. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 27, 2008; 01:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Police Arrest Five Boys Suspected Of Gang Activity at Twain Middle

From today''s Metro section: Fairfax County police said yesterday that they have arrested five boys ages 12 to 14 suspected of gang activity at Mark Twain Middle School in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County in recent months. Police said gang-related graffiti were scribbled in a boys' bathroom at the school in January. A 12-year-old and a 13-year-old were charged with destruction of a public building. Upon further investigation, police said, they found additional gang activity. This month, two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old were charged with gang participation and gang recruitment. Police said the recruitment occurred at the school. In a separate case, graffiti were sprayed on buildings at Robert E. Lee High School in early December, shortly after a homicide occurred outside a nearby Springfield Mall restaurant. In late February, police said they charged three men and one juvenile with felony property destruction and gang participation. The men are...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 26, 2008; 09:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Addition to South County Secondary: a Half-Measure?

Some Lorton-area residents have pushed for a new middle school to help alleviate overcrowding at South County Secondary School. According to this story from today's Metro section, a proposal from County Executive Anthony H. Griffin to add a wing to the secondary school to ease the problem is getting mixed reviews, seen by some as a more imperfect solultion than building a new school for seventh and eighth-graders....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 25, 2008; 08:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

George Mason High, A Little School That Can and Does

Check out today's Varsity Letter high school sports column from the Fairfax Extra to read about Falls Church's George Mason High School, a David among other Northern Virginia Goliaths. The school's girl's basketball team is headed to the state Class A semi-finals tomorrow....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 13, 2008; 03:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Comparative Statistics Help in Choosing School

In his Extra Credit column today, Jay Mathews argues that comparative statistics would be helpful for parents trying to decide which private school to enroll their children in. Read the column in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 21, 2008; 12:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Compare Region's School Chiefs' Salaries, Compensation

Check out this article from the Fairfax Extra which lists the salaries of the superintendents of each of the local school systems. Fairfax County's Jack D. Dale tops the list with an annual salary of $279,340....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 1, 2008; 11:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

New School to Be Considered

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County School Board voted last night to spend $2 million to draft plans for a middle school that would ease crowding at South County Secondary School in Lorton. "This is what I would call the first down payment on that school," said board member Brad Center (Lee). Board members intend to work with county supervisors to secure outside funding to speed construction of the school. The design funding was approved as part of a $1.85 billion 10-year building and renovation plan. That plan does not include construction funding for the middle school in the fast-growing part of the county for at least five years. South County Secondary is about 400 students over capacity. -- Michael Alison Chandler...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax City Opens New Library

Check out this cover story from today's Fairfax Extra for an early peek inside the new Fairfax City regional library branch. The library, which is set to open Saturday, is at the heart of the revitalized downtown of the city....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 24, 2008; 12:23 PM ET | Email a Comment

School Superintendent Proposes Big Cuts

To meet the current budget shortfall, Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale is proposing an increase in class sizes and a range of cuts to programs as well as fewer teaching positions. Read the news here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2008; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Look at 'Surprise Schools'

That's the term that Extra Credit columnist Jay Mathews uses to describe schools that defy conventional wisdom by performing well in The Washington Post's Challenge Index while also have a high percentage of students from low income families. Click here to see Mathews's take on what might be going on with the phenomenon....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 10, 2008; 12:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

All-Extra Athletes

The best student athletes in area schools are named in today's Fairfax Extra. Click the links to see the names in field hockey, football, boys' soccer, girls' soccer, boys' cross country, girls' cross country and volleyball....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 20, 2007; 11:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

N. Va. Schools Score High in Giving College-Level Tests

Once again many of the county's schools are near the top of the Washington Post's annual Challenge Index ranking of local high schools. That's attributable in part to the policy the Northern Virginia school systems have adopted of requiring and paying for college level tests for students in their Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Read all about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 01:33 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Faces Budget Crisis

A shortfall of about $220 million faces the Fairfax County government according to this article from the front page of today's Washington Post. The crunch, which stems from the housing slump, could last several years and affect a range of county services and programs. So what gets cut? Let's hear what readers of Focus on Fairfax would do if you had to make the hard choices that face county leaders....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

High School Basketball Preview

Want to know what to expect as the high school basketball season gets underway? The Fairfax Extra presents these previews of the outlook for boys' and girls' teams and players in Northern Virginia....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 12:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

More Security Technology Comes to Schools

Today's Fairfax Extra carries this story about the efforts local schools officials are making to increase security and prevent sexual predators from infiltrating school grounds. High tech weapons in the tasks will include ID scanners, computer databases and video intercoms....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Evening School Activities Cancelled

From Fairfax County Public Schools: All Fairfax County public school activities for this evening are canceled, including extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools. SACC centers remain open until 6:15 p.m. For complete details, visit www.fcps.edu or call 1-800-839-3277....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2007; 02:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/4: TJ is Tops in the Nation, One Senior Wins $40,000 Scholarship

Updated 12/4 From today's Metro section: Student Takes Third in Science Contest A Fairfax County teenager placed third yesterday in a national high school science competition sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, winning a $40,000 college scholarship. Jacob Steinhardt, 18, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, was honored for mathematical research that could lead to the design of faster computer networks. Steinhardt hopes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The top prize and a $100,000 scholarship went to a Bethlehem, Pa., student whose research on bone growth in zebra fish has implications for the treatment of bone injuries and disorders in humans. -- Michael Alison Chandler Updated 12/3 Thomas Jefferson High School senior Jacob Steinhardt could earn a $100,000 scholarship for his research that could help build faster computer networks. Read about it here. Originally posted 11/30 U.S. News and World Report has ranked Fairfax...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 3, 2007; 09:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

County: No Figure for Cost of Services For Illegal Immigrants

Fairfax County officials can't put a dollar amount on the amount of money the local governement spends on services used by illegal immigrants they say, partly because many of those services are "universal access;"required by federal law to be open to anyone, regardless of immigration status.The officials also cite the difficulty of counting how many undocumented immigrants live in here. This is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 27, 2007; 10:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Centreville, Falls Church Principals Honored

Two Elementary School Principals, Brian Hull of Colin L. Powell Elementary in Centreville and Trudy Taylor of Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Falls Church, are the recipients of Principal of the Year honors from the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards. Find out what these principled principals did to earn their accolades here, in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 15, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Thomas Jefferson High Hurts College Chances for Some?

In today's Extra Credit column, one parent wonders if Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has a deleterious effect on the college admission chances for students from the county's other high schools. She bases her question largely on recent remarks by Georgetown University's dean of admissions who told Washingtonian magazine that "Jefferson robs all the local schools of their best students, leaving behind a culture that's more dominated by athletics and rock music and less dominated by AP's and high academic achievement." Read the column for Jay Mathews's take in the question and then let us know what you think here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Race for Fairfax School Board

Today's Metro section has a detailed look at the issues and candidates that voters will consider for the Fairfax County School Board. Elsewhere in the paper, the Washington Post's editorial board -- a completely separate division of the Washington Post from the news division -- has endorsed a slate of candidates for the school board positions that can be found here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 22, 2007; 11:19 AM ET | Email a Comment

Two Schools' Miss Marks on Math Tests

Less than 70% of Holmes and Glasgow middle schools' students passed recent standards of learning tests, prompting state officials to warn the schools that their full accreditation requires that they now mus create improvement plans. Elsewhere in the county, most schools satisfied the SOL requirements. Read more in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Enrollment Imbalance, Textbooks On Agenda at Public Meetings

From today's Metro section: Fairfax County public schools have scheduled three public meetings for a study of enrollment and capacity imbalances among five high schools in the western part of the county. The meetings, all starting at 7:30 p.m., will be held Nov. 12 at Chantilly High School, Dec. 3 at Westfield High School and Dec. 19 at Oakton High School. The school system is also seeking input on proposed new textbooks for German, French, Latin and Spanish classes in secondary schools. The books are available for review at eight public library branches: Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax City, George Mason, Pohick, Reston, Sherwood and Tysons-Pimmit. The School Board plans to vote Dec. 20 on the book acquisition....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 9, 2007; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Presents Preschool Plan

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine wants to expand state-funded preschool to 17,000 more underprivileged 4-year old Virginians. Last week he presented his plan for how to accomplish that. Read about it here, in the Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 4, 2007; 02:03 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gesher Jewish Day School Settles Into New Home

The 25 year-old school finally has a home of its own in a new $14 million space that opened this month. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 27, 2007; 01:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Local Teachers Take Zero G Flight

With an assist from Northrop Grumman's Weightless Flight of Discovery program, two groups of local teachers got to experience first hand some of what they teach in their classrooms with regard to the one thing that brings us all down. Check out the feature piece from today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2007; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Virginia Tech Victim's Family Plans Memorial

The family and friends of Mary Read, who graduated from Annandale High School in 2006 are preparing memorials to the teenager who was killed during the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in the spring. In this article from today's Fairfax Extra, the Reads share their plans and explain how they are coping with their loss....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 01:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/13: More 'Extra Credit' on Gifted And Talented

Updated 9/13 Readers sound off in today's column on accelerated courses for high-achieving students. Originally posted 8/16 Students are preparing to return to school and that means that Jay Mathews' column is back in the pages of the Fairfax Extra beginning this week. Today, Mathews looks at local gifted and talented programs....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

Extra Credit: Combined Grade Classes

They affect only 2.1 percent of Fairfax County's elementary school classes, but parents say they have concerns over the practice of combining grades when there are too many students and not enough teachers. Read about it here. Besides the Extra Credit column, the Fairfax Extra has plenty of useful columns, lisitngs and news stories each week Thursday. Look for the print edition inside your Home and Classifieds sections and links here each week on Focus on Fairfax....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 11:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sports: Football, Volleyball and Field Hockey

Today's Sports section has a look at all the preparation that goes into getting local high school fields ready for their Friday night games with a special focus on Robinson High. Also in today's Sports section, check out these previews of the volleyball and field hockey seasons....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Hayfield School Principal Honored

From today's Metro section: Bill Oehrlein, principal of Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County, has been named an outstanding principal of the year by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals. Oehrlein, 44, became principal of the combined middle-high school in 2004 after two years as principal of Irving Middle School. The association, which honored Oehrlein in a middle school category, cited him for smoothly leading a sharp reduction in Hayfield's enrollment when a new high school opened in the area. He was also praised for careful attention to improving instruction for struggling students and his support for foreign language courses, including reading the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system in Spanish and German. -- Jay Mathews...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Full-Day Kindergarten Expands in Fairfax

Twenty-one additional Elementary schools in Fairfax County will begin all-day kindergarten classes today as students head back to school for the 2007-2008 school year. Read about it in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 4, 2007; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Finding Enough Bus Drivers Challenges Schools

According to this article from today's Fairfax Extra, hiring and retaining enough school bus drivers to handle the more than 18 million miles the county system's buses travel in a year is increasingly challenging. The county's fleet is the nations' second largest. Renae Evans, a school bus driver from Fairfax County, Va. with her bus. (James A. Parcell For The Washington Post)...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 30, 2007; 03:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax High School Football Preview

It's back to school and back to the gridiron for the student athletes of the county's high school football teams. The Fairfax Extra offers this preview of the upcoming season....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 30, 2007; 03:29 PM ET | Email a Comment

SAT Scores Still Higher Here

Despite a general downward trend in SAT scores nationwide, Fairfax County students' scores are holding steady and are still higher than students' scores elsewhere in Virginia. The Fairfax Extra has that news in its back to school edition as well as parents' response to Jay Mathews's suggestion in his Extra Credit column that elementary school homework be eliminated and traded in for increased reading time. ONE NOTE: The scores for South County High in 2006 were for juniors, not seniors, because the school had no seniors that year. The scores reported for 2007 were for seniors, as they were for all others reporting/rls...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 30, 2007; 03:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hispanic & Black Students Narrow Math Test Gap

Test results show that the county's Black and Hispanic students are narrowing the achievement gap in mathematics, but the news comes in the wake of Fairfax schools' failing 'No Child' grade. The story is here in the the Fairfax Extra's back to school edition....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 30, 2007; 03:15 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Knew of, Treated Cho's Disorder

According to this article from today's front page, educators from Fairfax County Public Schools had recognized and responded to Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho's anxiety disorder while he was a student here, but were forbidden by privacy laws from passing that information on to the University. Only his parent or Cho himself could have let University officials know about his problem....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 27, 2007; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/27: Local Leaders Point to Law's Inflexibility for Schools' Failure To Meet 'No Child' Test Goals

Updated 8/27 Fairfax school students' high achievements when measured by other criteria point to flaws in the No Child Left Behind requirements, say local leaders who cite the act's lack of flexibility when assessing school districts with high proportions of non-English speaking students. The latest is here. Updated 8/24 The Fairfax County Public school system for the first time has failed to meet achievement goals as set out in the No Child Left Behind Act and the blame is being laid at the feet of the acts requirements that non-English speaking students take the same tests as native English speakers. The news is on the front of today's Washington Post. Updated 4/23 Though they have retreated from their position of non-compliance, some Northern Virginia school officials say they are hopeful that their challenges will lead to significant changes to how the law is written. Today's Metro section has the details....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 27, 2007; 09:21 AM ET | Email a Comment

Former PTA President Charged With Embezzling

According to this article from today's Metro section,Triantafilitsa Mattfeld, the former president of the parent-teacher association at Navy Elementary School has been charged with embezzling $180,000 from the association....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 24, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Universal PreSchool Debate Heats Up

Gov. Kaine's decision to scale back his promise of state funded universal preschool for Virginia's four-year-olds has educators debating the merits of the idea versus the short-term cost cutting of providing the state dollars only for the neediest children. This article from today's front page takes a look at the issue....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 22, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

TJ Now Requires Middle School Algebra for Entry

According to this article from yesterday's Metro section, algebra will now be a required course for those Fairfax County Public Schools students who hope to be admitted to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. School officials say the requirement reflects the growing perception that U. S. students need a more solid foundation in mathematics if they are to succeed in advanced science later....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 20, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Housing Slump Hurts Fairfax Coffers

A potential budget shortfall of $120 million dollars has Fairfax County officials struggling to fund all of its government programs. The poor real estate market is driving down revenue to its lowest point in 15 years and accounts for most of the problem which could particularly affect county school budgets. A news story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 7, 2007; 09:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

National Merit and Achievement Winners

The list of winners from Fairfax County's public and private schools' senior classes is here. Congratulations to all....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | August 2, 2007; 12:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Opposing Views on Open Doors to AP, IB Classes

Today's Extra Credit education column -- the last until August -- highlights opposing viewpoints from two students at Oakton High School on the issues of whether Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses should be opened to any student who want to take them, regardless of prior academic achievement....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 28, 2007; 01:01 PM ET | Email a Comment

Black Students in County Better Than Average on AP

African-American students in Fairfax County and in neighboring Montgomery County are performing better on Advanced Placement tests than the national average. In fact, the students are having more than eight times the success of black students elsewhere in the country. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 27, 2007; 09:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax School Board to Get Raise

From Saturday's Metro section: The Fairfax County School Board approved a 67 percent raise for board members Thursday night, said schools spokeswoman Mary Shaw. As of January, the salary will be $20,000 a year for a member and $22,000 for the chairman. The increase from the current $12,000 board salary will be the first in eight years. The vote was 7 to 2, with members Ilryong Moon (At Large) and Stuart D. Gibson (Hunter Mill) opposed. Members Stephen M. Hunt (At Large) and Tessie Wilson (Braddock) abstained, and Brad Center (Lee) was absent. -- Michael Alison Chandler...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 25, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 6/21: Parent Blasts at Fairfax's Summer Reading Requirement

Updated 6/21 More on summer reading lists, including readers' thoughts on the column of two weeks ago is in this week's Extra Credit column. Originally posted 6/7 Parents who encourage their children to read, "shouldn't look to the professional educators" of Fairfax County Schools for help writes one parent to tell education columnist Jay Mathew that she finds the recommended summer reading list from the school system woefully inadequate. Read the letter and Mathews response in today's Extra Credit column....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 21, 2007; 11:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Don't Hug or Shake Hands in This Middle School

Physical contact of any kind has been banned by administrators at Vienna's Kilmer Middle School, meaning that a simple handshake or congratulatory pat on the back can land a kid in detention. Administrators defend the rule saying it helps them manage an overcrowded school. Some parents aren't buying it though. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 18, 2007; 10:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

GMU Group Pushes for Concealed Carry at School

A former U.S. Marine currently enrolled at George Mason University wants to overturn a university policy allowing students and faculty to carry concealed guns. To that end he has started George Mason University Students for Concealed Carry and recruited 45 students to date to join him. The news is in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 14, 2007; 04:34 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 6/5: Testing Firm Promises Fix For Online Glitches

Updated 6/5 Pearson Educational Measurement has pledged to hire more staff and make technical fixes to prevent further problems. The news is here. Updated 5/17 More details on the difficulty local students are having with the online test are in this article in today's Metro section. Originally posted 5/16 About 2,900 Virginia school students, including some in Fairfax County, will have to retake Standards of Learning exams after a computer glitch yesterday with an online test. The details are in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 5, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Springfield GOP Candidates on the Issues

The Republican candidates for the Springfield seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Pat S. Herrity and Stan L. Reid, have similar positions on issues of development but differ on the continued existence of the Fairfax County Development Authority; Herrity likes it, Reid doesn't. Read more on the candidates platforms in this article from yesterday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | June 4, 2007; 10:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

South County Takes Four Cappies

The results are in for the Washington area's awards for high school theater and South County Secondary School and other Fairfax schools were among the top award winners. Read all about the results here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 31, 2007; 01:23 PM ET | Email a Comment

Meet The All-Extra Teams

Fairfax's best high school athletes and the coaches of the year are all profiled in today's Fairfax Extra. Click these links to learn about the best players in golf, softball, baseball, gymnastics, boys' soccer, girls' soccer, girl's tennis, boys' track and field, girls' track and field, boys' tennis, girls' lacrosse, boys' lacrosse, and rowing....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 31, 2007; 12:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gang Initiation in Schools Restrooms

News that police arrested four students at South County Secondary School in March for conducting a gang initiation in a school restroom -- the second such incident in a county school in recent months -- was in this morning's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 31, 2007; 10:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

Meet The Cappies Nominees

The Cappies high school theater program has announced its annual award nominees. Check out this article from the Fairfax Extra to meet them....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 17, 2007; 03:26 PM ET | Email a Comment

Immigration and Overcrowded Houses

This front page article in yesterday's paper on neighborhood disputes over overcrowded houses in Fairfax County has spawned a spirited discussion with people from Fairfax, the Washington region and elsewhere in the country, joining in by posting comments about the problem. Focus on Fairfax invites readers to continue the discussion here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 14, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Bond Referendum Set for Nov. 6

A $365.2 million bond measure will be put before voters in the Nov.6 election. The Fairfax County School Board would use the money to build two new schools and renovate and expand others and to expand the county's full-day kindergarten program. The news is in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 10, 2007; 12:11 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 5/9: Arrest in School Food Tampering

Updated 5/9 Police said today they have arrested a student at the school. The news is here. Originally posted 5/8 Three straight pins have been discovered in school cafeteria food at Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon over the past two weeks. Police think the pins were inserted by someone at the school. A news story is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 8, 2007; 10:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

More Than 3,200 New Students Projected From Belvoir Expansion

Fairfax County Public Schools will need to prepare for an influx of 3,200 new students because of the Fort Belvoir BRAC expansion, according to estimates from the U.S. Army. Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said he expects the U.S. Government to share the costs of new school construction and other expenses associated with the sudden increase in the number of schoolchildren. Read the tale in this Metro news article....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 3, 2007; 10:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Breaking Schools News: Schools To Close Early Today Because of High Winds

The details are at the Fairfax County Public Schools website....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 16, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

All - Extra Winter Athletes

Who are the best of the best when it comes to winter high school sports in the county? Check out these links to read about the best in boys' and girls' indoor track. More is in the print edition of the Fairfax Extra including, basketball, hockey, wrestling and swimming....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 5, 2007; 05:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/29: McLean High Students File Suit Against Database Co.

Updated 3/29 Two students at the school, who object to their papers being archived by a company that profits by using them to prevent future cheating by other students, have sued for $900,000 in damages. The report is in today's Metro section. Updated 10/4 School officials have announced that current seniors and juniors will not have their work archived in the anti-plagiarism database, but freshmen and sophomores will and the 11th and 12th graders will be forced to take part in coming years. Some of the student protesters say that is still not good enough. Here is the story from today's paper. Originally posted 9/22 The students at the school say that use of the database makes an presumption of guilt and violates their intellectual property rights by copying and storing their work. The news story is on today's front page....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Students Charged In Gang Initiation at Hayfield

Fairfax County police have filed felony charges against four teenagers who were discovered Thursday by a teacher at Hayfield Secondary School, performing a gang initiation in a school bathroom. The news is in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 28, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fisher on Jack Dale and Defiance of 'No Child' Law

Metro opinion columnist March Fisher writes today about Fairfax schools superintendat Jack Dale and praises his opposition to testing recent immigrant students in English as required by the No Child Left Behind act. Meanwhile Dale and other Northern Virginia school chiefs are being joined by educators from other states in defying the policies of No Child Left behind. The latest news on the topic is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Couple of Readers on Early Kindergarten Admissions

Jay Mathews dedicates his Extra Credit column today to allowing readers to respond to his column last month on a question many parents face about when their five-year-olds should start kindergarten....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Soldier's Death Becomes Lesson in Dad's Govt Class

The 2002 death of Army Ranger Matthew Commons in Afghanistan has become an annual teaching opportunity for his father Greg , a government teacher at Annandale High School. Read about how the students are learning about civic duty in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 5, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax News Briefs

From today's Metro section: Police Arrest Suspect in Several Robberies A District man has been charged with an armed robbery in Fairfax County last month and is being investigated in a string of similar holdups, including two in which the gunman fired shots inside the businesses. Police arrested James Rose, of the 3400 block of Fifth Street SE, on Saturday at an apartment in Annandale. He was charged with the Jan. 31 robbery of a 7-Eleven in the Hybla Valley area, which was captured on video that shows a masked man wielding a long-barreled gun. Police said Rose was also a suspect in the Jan. 18 robberies of Chin's Kitchen and Huntington Market in the Huntington area and the Jan. 14 robbery of a Sunoco gas station in the Hybla Valley area. -- Tom Jackman Man Killed While Trying to Cross Route 1 A man trying to walk across Route...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 27, 2007; 10:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Update 2/22: Virginia AP Enrollment Up 60 Percent Over Five Years

Updated 2/22 So just how many students are taking these AP classes? Today's Fairfax Extra has some numbers. Updated 2/7 While Fairfax leads the nation in the number of students taking AP courses, an official with the College Board warns that it may be too much of a good thing. The story is here. Originally posted 12/14 According to the Washington Post Challenge Index of top public schools, Fairfax County high school students take more AP and IB courses than any other large school district in the country. Details are in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 22, 2007; 10:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 2/13: Man Charged in School Training Center Fire

From today's Metro section: An Annandale man has been charged with setting a fire that caused $1 million in damage to a Fairfax County school administrative building this month, after an officer reportedly saw him flee the scene and drop his cellphone. The fire occurred at the Lacey Center, 3705 Crest Dr. in Annandale, shortly after 4 a.m. Feb. 3. Court records indicate that an officer responding to a burglar alarm saw Amer Ishtiwi, 22, running from the building. A car idling nearby contained items taken from the center and was registered to Ishtiwi's father, a search warrant affidavit stated. Police obtained warrants for Ishtiwi, charging him with burglary, grand larceny, possession of burglary tools and arson, but Ishtiwi remained at large. The Lacey Center hosts instructional training for teachers and other specialized programs. A Fairfax schools spokesman said some employees were expected to return next week. Originally published 2/5...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 13, 2007; 10:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Schools Closing Early

Because the winter storm, Fairfax County Schools will close two hours early today. Details are here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 13, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Board OKs $795 Million Plan for Construction

According to this article from today's Fairfax Extra, the Fairfax County School Board plans to spend $795 million over the next five years in school construction, renovation and maintenance. The plan calls for three new elementary schools....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 1, 2007; 03:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

Wrestling: It Isn't Just For Boys These Days

This story in the Fairfax Extra looks at the increasing number of girls on local high school wrestling teams, including at Fairfax's Robinson Secondary School....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 03:01 PM ET | Email a Comment

Your Thoughts? Television As Good As Homework?

In his Extra Credit education column on today's Fairfax Extra, Jay Mathews ask readers to write in to tell him if he is wrong to disagree with two authors who recently penned books questioning the value of homework and claiming that watching television as a family can be at least as valuable. What do you think?...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 01:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/25 $2.2 Billion Budget for Schools Detailed

This article in today's Fairfax Extra takes a closer look at the school budget; how economic changes are affecting it and some of what that $2.2 billion buys. Originally posted 1/12 Jack D. Dale described the request, which reflects about a 4 percent increase, as "conservative." Details form last nights budget meeting are in this news story from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

SOL Tests Await Class of 2007

Graduating seniors will be the first required to pass new Standards of Learning tests in math, science, history and English. Today's Fairfax Extra looks at what the students are facing....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 03:50 PM ET | Email a Comment

School Budget, Flood Study Meetings Tonight

Check out the Fairfax Extra for details on these two high profile meetings set for this evening....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2007; 02:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Understanding Fairfax Schools' Grading System

In today's Extra Credit education column, reader Suzanne S. Summers of Annandale writes about her concern with Fairfax County Schools' somewhat arcane grading system for public students. The Post's Jay Mathews explains how the system works with some help from Fairfax County School Board member Tessie Wilson....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | January 4, 2007; 11:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Report: School Bus System Taxed to Limit

According to a consultant's report, officials with Fairfax County schools need to make changes soon to the way the school bus system is run if the system is to handle increasing traffic congestion . Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 11:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/21: Major Decisions Face Schools Chief

Updated 12/21 The Fairfax County School Board is expected to extend Jack D. Dale's contract in a vote tonight. The story is here. Originally posted 12/18 According to this article from yesterday's Metro section Fairfax schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale has worked to keep a low-profile despite making notable proactive decisions in managing the region's largest public school system. Parents, educators and public officials say that Dale's most difficult work likely lies ahead....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

High School Hispanic Club Promotes Understanding

Students from Annandale High School's Hispanic Leadership Club met with students from Georgetown Day School on Friday to promote cross-cultural understanding from their point of view as immigrants or the children of immigrants. Read about it in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 11, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Two Fairfax Teams in State Football Championships

Today's Washington Post sports section offers coverage of the Edison Eagles and the Chantilly Chargers, both of which will play in their division's state championship games this weekend....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 8, 2006; 10:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Notes From School Boundary Meetings Are Online

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County public school system held a series of town meetings this fall as part of a boundary-study process for South County Secondary School; the gifted-and-talented programs at Frost, Kilmer and Jackson middle schools; and the gifted-and-talented programs at Haycock and Churchill Road elementary schools. Information from the meetings was posted yesterday on the school system's home page, http://www.fcps.k12.va.us....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Helping Parents Helping Kids With School Work

Fairfax County is among the local jurisdictions that offer seminars for parents who want to help their children with their school work. Read about it in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 27, 2006; 11:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

South County Principal Earns Leadership Award

An article in today's Fairfax Extra introduces readers to Dale Rumberger, principal and of the South County Secondary School and the principle booster of the school's students. For his leadership, Rumberger was recently named one of The Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award winners....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 16, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Immigrant Students Thrive at Alternative High Schools

In some people minds, alternative schools are places for high school students with disciplinary problems, but at Fairfax County's alternative schools, most of the students are recent immigrants -- too old for regular high schools -- seeking their high school diplomas. Read the story in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 16, 2006; 10:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Calling All AP and IB Students

Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews wants to hear how handling a college level workload affects your life. Here is a link to his Extra Credit column with the details....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 10, 2006; 11:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Schools See Some Gains in Effort to Close Achievement Gap

Fairfax County schools officials have seen some gains and some mixed results in their effort to close the achievement gap between black and white students, according to new data from the state. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 27, 2006; 09:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

South County School Boundary Study Discussion is Here

Hijacking a blog item to start a discussion thread might achieve your agenda--but it comes at the expense of others who might want to stay on point. Several readers resorted to hijack when we offered the item on the South County Secondary School's history project. That's not the way we want to run this, and we will shut down a discussion thread if it spins out of control or is hijacked. We are, though, interested in providing a forum. And we are capable of doing that without having other work corrupted, though the temptation is just to shut off hijackers. In light of evident interest in the South County Secondary School boundary study here is your opportunity to argue the merits of the various proposals offered in the study. But we have had problems with name-calling and intemperate entries on the school boundary issues before. So keep it civil; ground...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 16, 2006; 10:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Nobel Laureate Showed Promise Way Back Then

"I was tickled to death," said retired Fairfax High School science teacher Randy Scott on learning that former student Craig C. Mello had been named a Nobel Prize winner for medicine. Scott's memories of Mello's days as a budding scientist and high school wrestler are reported in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 12, 2006; 12:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

SoCounty Secondary Studies Cold War, Helps Museum

Students at the South County Secondary School and organizers of the Cold War Museum (planned as part of the adaptive reuse of the former Nike missile base in Lorton) have agreed to a partnership in which the students will help to preserve personal recollections of key Cold War events. Read about it here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 12, 2006; 12:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Long-Time Teacher Weighs In On Testing

Bernie Nakamura, a retired Fairfax County school teacher, said standardized testing, hailed as a solution by some, doesn't address "the main cause of student failure; the dysfunctional family." Nakamura's guest opinion column is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 6, 2006; 03:25 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Classes Explore Diverse Set of Professions

School systems in Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions are offering courses that give students a sense of careers in professions such as pharmacy technology, screenwriting and environmental management. The story is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 22, 2006; 09:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Gets Funds for Arabic, Chinese Classes

The federal government, aiming to increase the number of Americans who can speak Arabic or Chinese, has granted Fairfax County schools $188,000. The story is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 21, 2006; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

TJ Grad Finishes Double Major at U-Va. in a Year

Fairfax County's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is well-known for its high achieving students, but the school's recently graduated David Banh, 18, of Annandale, takes it to an enitrely new level: Banh has graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in just one year and is headed to graduate school at the Charlottesville university. Read about Banh in this front page story from today's paper....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2006; 10:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/12: Day Care Cuts May Be Solved

Updated 9/12 According to this article from this morning's Metro section, the county will not be dropping children from its subsidized child-care rolls, but it also will not offer its own money to keep the program going. The Board of Supervisor's is insisting that the state continue to back the program. Updated 8/28 Elizabeth Page, the executive director of the Falls Church-McLean Children's Center, wrote about this issue in an opinion column in yesterday's Washington Post. Originally posted 7/11 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) yesterday criticized Virginia's Republican-controlled General Assembly for their refusal to pass a budget that would provide funding for day care for about 1,900 low-income children in the county. The story is in today's Metro section....

 

By | September 12, 2006; 10:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

More Middle Schools Fall Short of "No-Child" Grade

New mathematics requirements of the No Child Left Behind act are described as the major contributing factors to the failure of more of Northern Virginia's middle schools to make the grade this year. The story is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | September 1, 2006; 07:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Back to School They Go

This week's Fairfax Extra is the back to school edition. The coverage begins with this look at a county summer school program. The extra also includes a look at the school calendar and an introduction to school officials from the county and from the City of Falls Church (the city's school calendar is here.) New faculty members are listed here and here. Phone numbers for the county system and for the city are also listed. Links to the school sytem webpages are http://www.fcps.edu and http://www.fccps.org....

 

By | August 31, 2006; 12:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Get "A" in Lunch

A group that promotes meat-free diets has given Fairfax County Public Schools the highest marks of all the local school systems surveyed for their menus. Read the story here....

 

By | August 28, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pre Back-To-School News

Next week's Extra is the back-to-school isue. But three items from today's Fairfax Extra are of interest for parents preparing kids for the start on Sept. 5. First, as described in this story, county officials have issued draft guidelines for child-care providers to help them prepare children to succeed. A second story discusses the new requirement for 6th graders to get a whooping cough booster vaccine. Another is the last entry in the Extra's series revealing student's answers to the county's annual survey of their attitudes and actions is here....

 

By | August 24, 2006; 11:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Prepares to Offer Tutoring

From today's Metro section: Preliminary test scores show that Fairfax County's Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School did not reach the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act for the second straight year, and school officials are preparing to offer tutoring for some students. Fairfax school officials said yesterday that they are still verifying the test results but wanted to inform parents of those who would be eligible for tutoring. Students at the school, in the Alexandria section of the county, appear to have fallen short in reading, school officials said. Under the No Child law, schools must meet benchmark scores on standardized reading and math tests. Strict sanctions are imposed on failing Title I schools, which receive federal funds aimed at their high proportion of low-income students. Typically, Title I schools that do not meet the mark for two years must allow students to transfer to higher-performing schools....

 

By | August 18, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Foreign Language for Elementary School Brains

Educators say that the human capacity to learn languages is greatest in childhood, so it makes sense for schools to add language classes to the elementary curriculum. Tale is in this story. Whats your take? Do you wish you'd had this opportunity when you were in grade school?...

 

By | August 8, 2006; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

All-Day Kindergarten for All Schools by 2010 is Aim

Citing the benefits of all-day instruction at the kindergarten level, Fairfax County school officials are putting the roll-out of all-day programs on the fast track, but the cost could be prohibitive. Here is the article....

 

By | August 4, 2006; 09:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/3: Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 4- Aug.6

Updated 8/3 There is good news for shoppers in this article from this morning's Metro section. Some of the state's larger retailers, including Wal-Mart and Circuit City, plan to extend the tax savings to all of their merchandise, not just school supplies, this weekend Originally posted 6/29 Virginia sales tax (5 percent) on back-to-school items and clothing will be lifted from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 4 through midnight Sunday, Aug. 6. Today's Fairfax Extra reports that the effort is designed to ease the burden on families with school-age kids. For a complete list of qualified items, visit www.tax.virginia.gov/salestaxholiday....

 

By | August 3, 2006; 09:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Some Results From Fairfax School Student Survey

The print edition of today's Fairfax Extra offers the first in a series of the results of the county's recent survey of public schools students attitudes on risky behavior. Among the revelation's in today's paper: Nearly 16% of students said that being honest with their parents was not important to them. Check it out: Download file...

 

By | July 13, 2006; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Langley High Yearbook Photo Scissored for Offense

The picture, slightly larger than a postage stamp and showing a snow sculpture of a giant phallus rising from the bed of a pickup truck, was trimmed from more than 1,600 copies of the school's 2005-2006 yearbook. Read the story here....

 

By | June 15, 2006; 10:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Survey Outlines Student Behavior in County

The 2005 Fairfax County Youth Survey found that fewer students are drinking and smoking, but that use of inhalants is up and that local young people say they are depressed more often than the national average. Read about it in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By | June 14, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Five of Our High Schools Among Nation's Best

Updated 6/1 Columnist Jay Mathews drew the curtain back on the history of the Challenge Index that the Post and Newsweek use to rank high schools in today's Fairfax Extra. Originally posted 5/4 Five high schools from the Falls Church and Fairfax County public school systems were among the 13 in the Washington area named in Newsweek magazine's top 100 schools in the country. The schools were George Mason High School, Langley High School, McLean High School, W.T. Woodson High School, and Centreville High School....

 

By | June 1, 2006; 12:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

Board Approves Record $2.1 Billion Budget

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County School Board approved a $2.1 billion budget last night that includes funds to expand full-day kindergarten and increases the starting salary for beginning teachers. This is the first time the schools budget has topped $2 billion....

 

By | May 26, 2006; 10:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Student Hospitalized With Meningitis

From today's Metro section: A student at Madison High School in Vienna has been hospitalized with bacterial meningococcal meningitis, Fairfax school officials said yesterday. Principal Mark Merrell said the school sent a letter to parents Tuesday notifying them of the ill student and suggesting that they watch for certain symptoms in their children. Merrell declined to disclose other details about the ill student, but said the disease is "not highly contagious." Symptoms, which can be fatal, include severe headache, high fever, a stiff neck, nausea and vomiting or a rash. -- Allan Lengel...

 

By | May 18, 2006; 09:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Schools Want "No Child Left Behind" Flexibility

At McNair Elementary School in Herndon, sanctions have been imposed under the No Child Left Behind Act. Federal requirements have not been met at the school for the past three years. Sanctions have failed to help officials say, and want relief from the law. Read about it here....

 

By | May 16, 2006; 11:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Election Brings New Faces to Council, School Board

Three new faces were elected to each the Falls Church City Council and the city's school board yesterday. Election results are here....

 

By | May 3, 2006; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Land Goes to County in Deal

According to a Metro section article from this morning's paper the Fairfax County School Board has voted to accept a 150 million increase in bond funding from the county for construction and maintenance projects in return for a dozen unneeded school properties. The properties will include administrative buildings and land currently being used as parks....

 

By | April 28, 2006; 10:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Students Fashion Careers in County Schools

West Potomac High School fashion design students are busy sketching and stitching as they prepare for a fashion show to benefit the American Red Cross. The students' class is one of a growing number of career and technical classes offered by the county school system....

 

By | April 26, 2006; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Budget Boosts School Spending

From today's Metro section: The Falls Church City Council unanimously adopted its budget Monday night for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The $67 million 2007 budget increases operating expenses by 3.4 percent over current spending and raises funding going to city schools by 10.5 percent. The budget also includes a 2-cent reduction in the real estate tax, dropping the rate from $1.03 per $100 of assessed valuation to $1.01. The budget funds a 4.1 percent cost-of-living raise for public school employees and adjusts salary scales to remain competitive in the region, city officials said. The city will also hire an affordable housing specialist....

 

By | April 26, 2006; 09:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

After-School Activities to Expand

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County school system will kick off an expansion of its middle school after-school programs today. The joint effort of the system and the county government will offer more seventh- and eighth-grade after-school activities to boost academic achievement and keep students from gangs, drugs and alcohol. Twelve of the county's 26 middle schools will offer activities five days a week instead of three. The formal launch is at 4 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd. in Falls Church....

 

By | April 19, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Black Students' Scores in Fairfax Lag Others'

Focus on Fairfax reported last fall that the county's black students were underperforming on standardized tests when compared with how black students were doing elsewhere in the state. According to a new front page article in today's paper, that continues to be the case....

 

By | April 14, 2006; 03:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Combating Intolerence Class

At James Madison High School, students learn to listen to each other's viewpoints and to understand what makes them different and what they have in common. The class, Combating Intolerance, hosts guest speakers and lively discussions. Read about it in this week's Fairfax Extra cover story....

 

By | April 13, 2006; 11:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Meet the All-Met Sports Stars

A special section in today's Washington Post introduces us to the best and brightest high school athletes in the metropolitan area including Fairfax County students. Check it out....

 

By | April 6, 2006; 03:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

High School Walkouts

Updated 3/31The protests continue; I saw a group of students lining the sidewalks with signs and Latin American flags near Thomas Edison High School today. Now, according to this Metro article the demonstrations are spreading into Maryland. Originally posted 3/29For the second day, students across Northern Virginia demonstrated against proposed crackdowns on illegal immigration. The Post's coverage is here....

 

By | March 29, 2006; 01:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

School Boundaries, A Different Kind of Split

The fight is not always ABOUT school boundaries, as countless blog entries indicate, but is sometimes ACROSS them. Take the case of split siblings, like Eva and Erica Hollenberg, who square off against each other on the soccer field today. Eva and Erica Hollenberg, split with the opening of the new South County Secondary School, which Erica, 15 now attends. Eva, 18 and a senior, stayed at Hayfield Secondary School . The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

 

By | March 27, 2006; 11:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Special Ed Teacher Arrested in Chantilly Student's Case

A special education teacher who has worked in the county school system since 1989 was arrested yesterday and charged with giving marijuana to a student at Chantilly High School during a break between classes on Friday. Read about it in today's Metro section. The school principal's letter to parents about the incident is here....

 

By | March 21, 2006; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Consolidated Schools Offices in New Building

A new administrative office building now houses more then 600 formerly far-flung employees of Fairfax County Schools. Officials say that the consolidation will save millions. The story is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | March 17, 2006; 11:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Teachers Demonstrate For More Pay

In a series of low-key demonstrations in schools across the county yesterday, teachers called for higher salaries. See the story in today's Metro section....

 

By | March 16, 2006; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Community Meeting To Name New Elementary School Set

Fairfax County Public Schools has released a statement announcing a community meeting to name the new elementary school on Dixie Hill Road in Fairfax. Read about it here....

 

By | February 27, 2006; 03:23 PM ET | Email a Comment

Thomas Jefferson High Shows Modest Gains In Diversity

After implementing a policy to increase minority enrollment at the county's magnet school for science and technology last year, officials at Thomas Jefferson say only small improvements have been made in creating a more racially and ethnically diverse student body....

 

By | February 27, 2006; 12:14 PM ET | Email a Comment

Local Schools on a Quest For Diversity In Gifted Programs

Fairfax County Public Schools is among the local school systems that has been experimenting with different ways to make the student body in its gifted and talented programs more diverse. An article about the schools efforts is in today's Metro section....

 

By | February 22, 2006; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Middle Schoolers Watch Heart Surgery

About 3,000 eighth-graders take a field trip each year to witness heart surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital's heart institute. An account of one such excursion was in the is morning's Style section....

 

By | February 21, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Firms Named to Plan Fort Belvoir Growth

The Army has announced that it has selected two firms to oversee the complex task of preparing Fort Belvoir for the arrival of 21,000 military and civilian personnel and contractors under the Base Realignment and Closure recommendations made last year....

 

By | February 21, 2006; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Please Read: Rules Issued for Commenting on Fairfax Focus Blog

Some readers of this blog have recently raised questions about the role of The Washington Post in policing Fairfax Focus. I have deleted a few blog posts because they did not meet The Post's standards for fairness. For more clarity about how to play by the rules, Jim Brady, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com has posted a message explaining the rules for readers participating in the site's Live Online discussions, discussion forums and for posting comments on the company's blogs. The complete list of rules is here. --Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra Editor...

 

By | February 17, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

J.E.B Stuart Principal Moving to T.C. Williams

Mel Riddile, who was recently named principal of the year by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, will move from his current job in July. Read the article here....

 

By | February 16, 2006; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Continue Discussion Here On School Boundary Changes in Fairfax

Several posts on the subject of proposed school boundary changes have generated a spirited debate and lively discussion on the Fairfax blog. That's a good thing.   At least three discussion threads have been among the most popular on the blog for readers' comments. These are: High School Boundary Changes Meeting Set For Tomorrow Night, Schools Post Info From Springfield Boundary Study and Growth in Students Slowing, Signaling More Boundary Changes. To make it easier for readers to follow the discussion on this important issue, we have decided to shut down these three discussion threads and ask readers to continue posting their opinions under the single title above, "Continue Discussion Here On School Boundary Changes in Fairfax." The comments from the previous posts will be kept in the archive. Nothing will be deleted. But going forward, please limit comments about school boundary changes to this single thread. As always we...

 

By | February 13, 2006; 11:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Honors Classes Vs. Advanced Placement, a Student's View

In his Extra Credit column , education writer Jay Matthews reprints an article from Pyramid, the student newspaper of West Potomac High School on the phasing out of honors classes in favor of AP and International Baccalaureate classes....

 

By | February 11, 2006; 03:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Deputy Schools Chief Leaving

From today's Metro section: Brad Draeger, deputy superintendent of Fairfax County public schools, has been hired as schools chief for Livingston Public Schools in New Jersey. Draeger, who has been a Fairfax schools employee since 1979, started his career in the District as a music teacher at South Lakes High School. In Fairfax, he has worked as a high school principal, assistant superintendent for human resources and the school system's chief academic officer. He helped implement full-day kindergarten programs and worked to develop a program for young children with autism....

 

By | February 9, 2006; 10:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Business Groups Put Up Money For Pre-K Programs

The group of local business leaders said that they are investing in their own future workforce by giving the youngest children a leg up. Today's Metro section has the story....

 

By | February 3, 2006; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Study Supports Later Start Times For High Schoolers

Update 1/26/06: A cover story in today's Fairfax Extra tackles the subject of later school start times. Originally posted 1/10/06: Arguments for and against later school start times were posted by Focus on Fairfax readers in this space a few months back. Now a new study is coming down firmly on the "for" side. Read about it here....

 

By | January 26, 2006; 11:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Reader's Views On Phonics

Readers of Jay Mathew's Extra Credit column today respond to an earlier piece on the value of a phonics-based reading program....

 

By | January 19, 2006; 01:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

$2.1 Billion Schools Budget Includes Raises

Updated 1/19: The Fairfax Extra reports today on a series of meetings about the budget. Read about it here. Originally posted 1/13: Next year's Fairfax County Public Schools budget includes $30.7 million more than this year's, largely to cover the rising cost of salaries and benefits. Read about it in today's Metro section....

 

By | January 19, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Laborer Center Is Former Site of Segregated School

A school for black students was built in the 1950s on land currently occupied by the new Herndon day laborer center. Read about the school and its place in local history here....

 

By | January 17, 2006; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Why High School Athletes Shouldn't Share Water Bottles

In today's Voices of Fairfax column, Oakton mother Barbara Roberts relates her personal tale; she suspects her son Wesley got mononucleosis from sharing a water bottle at football practice....

 

By | January 12, 2006; 02:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Superintendent's Schools Budget Proposal To Be Annnounced Thursday

The Fairfax County Schools fiscal year 2007 budget will be formally presented by Superintendant Jack D. Dale to the Fairfax County School Board at its business meeting at 7:30 p.m. on January 12 at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church.The Superintendent's budget presentation to the School Board will be carried live by Channel 21 via Cox Communications cable television....

 

By | January 10, 2006; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Picks Education Secretary

Details on the selection of Thomas R. Morris to head the state's education department were released today by the Gov.-elect's office: Governor-Elect Tim Kaine Appoints Secretary of Education Richmond - Governor-elect Tim Kaine today announced that Dr. Thomas R. Morris will serve as Secretary of Education in his cabinet. Morris has served as President of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, since 1992.  In addition to his responsibilities as President, Morris continued to teach courses in political science and served as a member of the Appalachian College Association Executive Committee. Prior to being named President of Emory & Henry, Morris spent over two decades teaching political science at the University of Richmond, where he served as chair of the Faculty Council and was honored as a University Distinguished Educator....

 

By | January 6, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

High Praise For Annandale High School

In yesterday's Extra Credit column, Jay Matthews explains why he thinks that Annandale High School's ranking of number 88 on the Washington Post's recent Challenge Index of area public high schools doesn't quite accurately reflect the excellent strides the school has made in preparing its students for the future....

 

By | January 5, 2006; 12:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Renovation Budget Proposed; Hearing Set for Jan. 17

The county school system has scheduled a public hearing for Jan. 17 on a five-year, $728.5.million capital improvement program announced recently by Superintendent Jack D. Dale. Of that amount, only $481.4.million in projects is funded....

 

By Steve Fehr | December 26, 2005; 10:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

Growth in Students Slowing, Signaling More Boundary Changes

Given the keen interest by blog readers in boundary changes, take a look at Post schools reporter Maria Glod's latest piece. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500723.html...

 

By Steve Fehr | December 26, 2005; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Opening Advanced Placement To All Has Worked

An article in today's Fairfax Extra reports that the county's policy of opening AP classes to any student who is interested has led to higher test scores from more students....

 

By | December 15, 2005; 03:15 PM ET | Email a Comment

The 2005 Challenge Index Of Top Schools

The Post today published its annual list of the top schools in the area as measured by their efforts to challenge their students. The list is here....

 

By | December 15, 2005; 03:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

South Lakes High Student Arrested On Weapons Charges

From today's Metro section: A 15-year-old student at South Lakes High School was arrested on school grounds yesterday after police found that he was carrying a BB gun and two knives. No one was threatened or harmed with the weapons, Fairfax County police said. School administrators alerted police about 9:15 a.m. after hearing that a student had a gun. Police isolated the student, took him into custody and found the gun and knives while searching him, Fairfax police said. The boy was charged with three counts of carrying a concealed weapon on school property. South Lakes Principal Bruce Butler e-mailed a letter to South Lakes parents yesterday informing them of the incident....

 

By | December 15, 2005; 11:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Schools Closing Early Today

Because of today's winter weather Fairfax County schools  will close two hours early. From the schools' website: December 15     All Fairfax County public schools will close two hours early today, Thursday,     Dec. 15.   Afternoon (half-day) kindergarten is canceled. Morning   (half-day) kindergarten students will be provided lunch at no cost and will   be released with other students. Morning kindergarten students who were bused   to school will be bused home with other students. Kindergarten students living   within the normal walking boundary will not be bused. Morning preschool (special   education) and Family and Early Childhood Education (Head Start) classes are   dismissed at approximately 11 a.m. Full-day preschool (special education) and   Family and Early Childhood Education (Head Start) classes are dismissed two   hours earlier than the usual time. Afternoon preschool (special education)   and double session Family and Early Childhood Education...

 

By | December 15, 2005; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Expect Higher Heating Bills

Fairfax County school officials are among those in the local area who say that their energy costs will be  impacted by the high cost of fossil fuels this winter....

 

By | December 14, 2005; 12:07 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Schools May Be Best, But Could Be Better

Education columnist Jay Mathews elaborates on his recent claim that the Fairfax County public schools make up "the best school system in America" in today's Extra Credit....

 

By | December 8, 2005; 01:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

After School Activities Cancelled Today Due to Snow Forecast

This bulletin has been issued by Fairfax County Public Schools: All Fairfax County public school after-school and evening activities are canceled today (12/5/05), including extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices,field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools and on school grounds. School-age child care (SACC) centers will stay open until the normal closing time, 6:15 p.m. All schools will close on the normal schedule for today....

 

By | December 5, 2005; 12:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

South County Secondary School To Be Dedicated Saturday

Fairfax County Public Schools issued this news release today: South County Secondary School, the newest Fairfax County public school, will be formally dedicated at a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 3. The school is located at 8501 Silverbrook Road in Lorton. The ceremony will recognize key people involved in the process of building and opening the school....

 

By | December 1, 2005; 03:59 PM ET | Email a Comment

Why Do Fairfax County Schools Succeed?

Jay Mathews's Extra Credit column reports this week on a study that shows the Fairfax County School system has adopted policies, including giving principals broad decision-making power, that help ensure the schools' success....

 

By | December 1, 2005; 03:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

Study: AP Classes Helpful With College Success

The Fairfax Extra's Extra Credit column this week takes a look advanced placement classes and their effects....

 

By | November 25, 2005; 11:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

High School Goes Old School

Thomas Jefferson High School For Science and Technology's Classic Rock Appreciation Society was featured prominently in a Style section article about the growing popularity of the classic rock music of the 1960s and 1970s with today's young people....

 

By | November 15, 2005; 01:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

College And Career Forum For Special Education Students

A forum that gives special-education students an opportunity to learn about college and career options will be held Nov..19 at George Mason University.The forum, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will include 27 presentations and a keynote address by Temple Grandin, who is autistic.For more information, visit www.9VACollegequest.9org....

 

By | November 13, 2005; 02:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Post Honors Two Fairfax School Leaders

McNair Elementary Principal Stephen Hockett and Madeira School headmistress Elisabeth Griffith have been selected to receive the Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award. Read all about these two exceptional educators in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | November 10, 2005; 03:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Open House This Weekend At Paul VI

Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax will hold an open house for parents and prospective students from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. A separate open house for eighth-graders will be held from 9 to 10:30 Monday. Members of the school administration, faculty and students will be on hand to answer questions and lead tours of the school. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/02/AR2005110201195_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('education in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/02/AR2005110201195.html','Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax will hold an open house for parents and prospective students from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. A separate open house for eighth-graders will be held from 9 to 10:30 Monday.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); The school is at 10675 Fairfax Blvd. For more information, call 703-352-0925 or visit http://www.paulvi.net ....

 

By | November 4, 2005; 11:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Are Black Students in Fairfax Underachieving?

This week's Extra Credit column by Jay Mathews in the Fairfax Extra looks at some of the test scores coming out of the county school system. Interestingly, black students in Fairfax, the wealthiest county in the state, aren't faring as well as they are in number of other counties....

 

By | November 3, 2005; 11:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

Should High School Students Sleep Later?

Surveys at JEB Stuart High School in the Falls Church area show that parents, teachers and students support the idea of later start times....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 30, 2005; 07:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Nearly All Fairfax Schools Are Accredited

The following press releases was issued by Fairfax County Public Schools today: Ninety-Nine Percent of Fairfax County Public Schools Earn Full State Accreditation www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/102805a.pdf...

 

By Steve Fehr | October 28, 2005; 01:11 PM ET | Email a Comment

Warner to Deliver Final Education Address Today at Tysons Corner

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) will deliver his final state of education address today (Oct. 25) to business and community leaders at a luncheon at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 25, 2005; 03:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Schools Post Info from Springfield Boundary Meeting

Information from the Springfield area boundary study town meeting held Oct. 19 was posted today by the school district. www.fcps.k12.va.us/news/boundary.htm...

 

By Steve Fehr | October 24, 2005; 06:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fine Artists in the Schools

Check out the piece in today's Fairfax Extra about four award winning art teachers in the county school system and how they stimulate students. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/19/AR2005101900868.html...

 

By Steve Fehr | October 20, 2005; 06:41 PM ET | Email a Comment

More on Question Whether Black Students in County Lag Behind Peers in State

Read the continuing debate between Post readers and the county school system: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/19/AR2005101900861.html...

 

By Steve Fehr | October 20, 2005; 06:36 PM ET | Email a Comment

Happy 50th, McLean High School

McLean High School www.fcps.edu/McLeanHS/ is marking its 50th anniversary Friday and Saturday with a gala, golf tournament, class reunions and a tailgate party, organizers said in a news release. ....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 18, 2005; 04:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

High School Boundary Changes Meeting Set For Tomorrow Night

The first of two meetings to examine proposed school boundary changes that will effect three Fairfax County high schools will be held tomorrow night. The meeting covers the West Springfield High School/Irving Middle School, Lee High School/Key Middle School and Lake Braddock Secondary School districts. The town meeting for this study will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19. A second meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at West Springfield High School, 6100 Rolling Rd. For information, contact the school system at 703-246-3608....

 

By | October 18, 2005; 01:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Comments Sought on School Textbooks

County school officials are asking for public comments on proposed new English literature textbooks for students in grades 9-12 and proposed new science textbooks for students in grades 6-8....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 15, 2005; 06:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

Organized Opposition To Development In Fairfax

A front page article from this morning's Washington Post gives prominent play to the recent efforts of citizens to organize themselves to oppose what they view as unfair development practices in Fairfax County. See it here....

 

By | October 14, 2005; 09:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Contracts Granted To Groups Aiding Katrina Evacuees

Three local nonprofit organizations have been granted contracts worth $276,400 from Fairfax County to aid the estimated 1,500  evacuees from hurricane Katrina believed to be sheltering here. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By | October 13, 2005; 12:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

No More Channel 11 for Schools

Form a news release issued today by the county school system: Television programming currently airing on Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher Channel 11 will move to Red Apple Channel 21 and Community Classroom 25 beginning Saturday, October 29. The move will be complete on Tuesday, November 1....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 12, 2005; 03:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Getting In to TJ

County school officials made two announcements regarding admission to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in the Alexandria area....

 

By Steve Fehr | October 11, 2005; 03:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Minstrel in the Classroom: Jethro Tull Lead Singer at TJ Wednesday

Ian Anderson, flutist and lead singer with the rock band Jethro Tull, is planning to speak to the Classic Rock Club at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology on Wed. Oct. 12 from 3 to 3:30 p.m.   Anderson will chat with the students about Jethro Tull , classic rock, the music business, and playing the flute. He will be joined by violinist Lucia Micarelli , who has played with Josh Groban and the Trans Siberian Orchestra. ...

 

By Steve Fehr | October 10, 2005; 03:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

Boundary Study Meetings For Elementary Schools Set For Tomorrow Night

County school officials have announced town meetings to discuss boundary studies that are to determine attendance areas for a new elementary school. The new elementary school, scheduled to open next year, is in the Fair Chase subdivision of Fair Oaks. Elementary schools involved in the boundary study include Brookfield, Colin Powell, Fairfax Villa, Greenbriar East, Greenbriar West, Poplar Tree and Willow Springs. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092800978_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('education briefs','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092800978.html','County school officials have announced town meetings to discuss boundary studies that are to determine attendance areas for a new elementary school and three existing high schools.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() );The town meetings for this study will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11. A second meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at Rocky Run Middle School, 4400 Stringfellow Rd., Chantilly, and on Dec. 8 at Liberty Middle School, 6801 Union Mill Rd., Clifton....

 

By | October 10, 2005; 01:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Boys & Girls Club in Herndon Aims To Prevent Gang Involvement

That the new extension of the Boys & Girls Club at Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon will help discourage young people from joining gangs is the hope of town officials, according to a Fairfax Extra article published today....

 

By | October 6, 2005; 02:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

College Information Events For High School Students Scheduled For This Weekend

The county school system will hold two events to provide high school students with information about colleges. · The annual college fair is 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Fair Oaks Mall, 11750 Fair Oaks, Fairfax. High school students and their families will be able to get information on more than 400 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, including two- and four-year colleges as well as business, technical and nursing schools. · The college night program, which will offer workshops about college admissions, athletics, financial aid, writing application essays and more, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 at Hayfield Secondary School, 7630 Telegraph Rd. in the Alexandria section of the county. For information, call 703-246-2991 or visit http://www.fcps.edu/ss/collegefairnight ....

 

By | October 4, 2005; 01:39 PM ET | Email a Comment

Where Do TJ Students Come From?

Education writer Jay Mathews answers that question in today's Extra Credit column. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092800974.html There's a chart too showing the breakdown by middle school.www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092800953.html...

 

By Steve Fehr | September 29, 2005; 12:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Program On Underage Drinking at GMU Tonight

A 90-minute town-hall style program about underage drinking will be held tonight at the Harris Theater at George Mason University. All public and private school systems in Northern Virginia have been invited....

 

By | September 27, 2005; 09:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Students Participate In Asian Career Expo Today

The county school system will participate in an Asian career and entrepreneurship expo today at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.The schools will have a booth on the main floor during the job fair and will hold an information session from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair is sponsored by Asian Marketing Services.NVCC is at 8333 Little River Tpnk. For more information, call 703-658-8072 or send an email to realista.Rodriguez@fcps.edu....

 

By | September 24, 2005; 09:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Stuart a Model High School For Visiting Educators

Stuart High School in the Falls Church area will host educators from 10 school districts across the country as part of a model high school study tour Sept. today and tomorrow, officials said.Stuart was named one of 30 model schools by the International Center for Leadership in Education. The center is conducting the tours to examine the characteristics of successful high schools and talk with district and school leadership.The tours are designed for teams of school leaders who are restructuring high schools....

 

By | September 22, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Credit Union Branch To Open In High School

Stuart High School in Bailey's Crossroads will open a student-run branch of Apple Federal Credit Union tomorrow. With the opening of the credit union during lunch hours, Stuart High becomes the newest high school to open an Apple FCU branch. Other schools planning branches this year include Centreville and West Potomac High Schools, South County Secondary School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology....

 

By | September 15, 2005; 12:50 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Gift To Louisiana From Falls Church: Portable Classrooms

The following is a news brief in today's Metro section: At its meeting Tuesday night, the Falls Church School Board agreed to donate two classroom trailers to the West Baton Rouge Parish public schools in Louisiana, where displaced hurricane victims have enrolled in large numbers. The student population there has increased 16 percent in two weeks, prompting a need for additional classroom space and additional teachers....

 

By | September 15, 2005; 11:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Just Released: Fairfax's 200 National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists

Two hundred Fairfax County Public Schools students have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for 2006. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which also serves as the Governor's Regional School for Northern Virginia , has 167 semifinalists. Here's the list: www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/091405b.htm....

 

By Steve Fehr | September 14, 2005; 04:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

1,600 New Teachers In Fairfax County Public Schools

Fairfax County has hired 1,600 new teachers for the current academic year. That's 200 more new hires than last year. The current total county teaching staff is about 14,000. See www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090801948.html...

 

By | September 9, 2005; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Groups Donated Over $1 million to Summer Reading Program

More than 25 organizations donated more than $1 million of prizes to children who finished the required number of books as part of the county library system's www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library summer reading program....

 

By Steve Fehr | September 8, 2005; 04:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Schoolchildren Raising Money for Katrina

Canterbury Woods Elementary to Hold New Orleans Style Snowball Fund-Raiser See www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/ma090705.htm Students and staff members at Washington Mill Elementary are giving up a treat such as a fast food meal, a movie rental, or a special dessert in order to bring in $2 for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund. The school's goal is to send $1,000 to the Salvation Army to help hurricane victims. The project supports a tenet of the Community of Caring. Contact principal Tish Howard at 703-619-2500 or tish.howard@fcps.edu...

 

By Steve Fehr | September 7, 2005; 04:20 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Groups Form Katrina Network

Fairfax County government, schools, volunteer, faith-based and community organizations have formed a countywide network to support children and their families who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A school spokesman said the coordinated effort is intended to focus on families needing employment, housing, and schooling for their children. For more information, see: www.fxfc.org/ www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/090705a.htm...

 

By Steve Fehr | September 7, 2005; 04:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Schools Chief Online Today

Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Jack D. Dale will answer questions about the school system in an online discussion on the Live Online section of washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. today. Further details are here....

 

By | September 7, 2005; 09:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Superintendent Jack Dale To Visit Six Schools Today As Classes Begin

On the first day of school today, Fairfax schools chief Jack D. Dale will be visiting six schools, including the new South County Secondary School in Lorton. Details are at www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/083105b.htm...

 

By | September 6, 2005; 07:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Just In From School District: County School Students Post Highest SAT Scores Ever

A news release issued at 6 p.m. by the school system said: Fairfax County Public Schools students achieved an average combined score of 1,114 system wide for the SAT I: Reasoning Test (SAT), the highest ever reported for FCPS by the College Board, according to figures released by FCPS Superintendent Jack D. Dale. The scores represent tests taken by FCPS seniors in the class of 2005. Here are the details: www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/SAT05.htm....

 

By Steve Fehr | September 1, 2005; 06:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Which High School Has Fairfax County's Best Football Team?

The Washington Post today published a special section previewing the upcoming season of high school football in the metro area. Of interest to Fairfax County fans may be the cover story on the depth of the local talent pool which includes a profile of Westfield High School senior running back Evan Royster who is poised for college stardom. ...

 

By | August 31, 2005; 09:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

More County Students Taking AP Exams; Scores Increasing

The county school system has just posted the latest Advanced Placement (AP) data, showing that Fairfax students are taking greater numbers of AP examinations and increasing overall achievement by posting higher scores on exams. See the data at www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/083005a.htm....

 

By Steve Fehr | August 30, 2005; 07:25 PM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon School Faces High Student Turnover Rate

Yesterday the Post published an article on the challenges of teachers and administrators at McNair Elementary School, which has the highest student turnover rate of any county school. For instance, in just one week last March, school officials said goodbye to 10 students and welcomed 13 new ones....

 

By | August 29, 2005; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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