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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

School news: Something to howl about

An occasional series highlighting programs and activities at schools in the Annandale/Mason District area. The information and photos here are from Fairfax County Public Schools and individual schools.

A new logo – A logo has been selected for Justice High School featuring the school’s mascot, the Wolves, which was chosen by students in January.

JEB Stuart High School was renamed Justice High School last October. The change will take effect for the start of the 2018-19 school year.

The logo was developed in collaboration with Startte, a woman-owned company that contributed over 40 hours of graphic design expertise at no charge. Startte created a number of images that can be used on apparel, print, and electronic formats.

“We are in the process of planning our new version of ‘Raider Day’ to kick off the school year, as well as a more formal ceremony to mark the start of a new chapter in our school's history,” says Principal Penny Gros. More information will be available in the coming weeks.

Breakfast in the ClassroomBelvedere Elementary School will begin participating in the Breakfast in the Classroom program April 26. Every student will get a free breakfast, including an entrée, such as pancakes, plus fruit, juice, and milk. Special meals will be offered to students with dietary restrictions.

Students who eat breakfast in class should be energized and ready to learn. No child will start the day hungry, and students won’t be late to class because they’ve been stuck in cafeteria lines.

Acceptance CelebrationCamelot Elementary School has designated April “Acceptance Celebration Month.”

The objective is to give students the tools and knowledge they need to fully accept one another and to encourage and show students how to be a friend to anyone and everyone, in all walks of life, both in and out of school.

Camelot has a program for students with intellectual disabilities and a preschool program for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Many of these students spend part of their day or are fully included in a general education setting, learning alongside their peers. Throughout the month, students will learn about the various disabilities among their peers, learn about the many cultures represented at the school, and learn to be a good friend during an anti-bullying themed week.

The Camelot crew.
All Virginia musicians –A total of 201 students from 24 Fairfax County public schools were named to the 2018 All-Virginia Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. The groups appeared in a free concert April 7 in the Dominion Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond.

The following students were selected from Annandale/Mason area schools:
  • Annandale High School – Elliot Alwes (chorus), Kyle Dalsimer (chorus), JanLynn Ngo (chorus), Wesley Vaughn (chorus), and Gabrielle Pho (orchestra).
  • Falls Church High School – Claire Lanthier (concert band) and Lillian Mathews (concert band).
  • Stuart High School – Jonah Garces-Foley (chorus), Will Mayer (chorus), Marcos Sonnenberg-Nieves (chorus), Cory Scott (concert band), and Isabelle Schrock (orchestra). 
  • Woodson High School – Olivia Brennan (chorus), Maya Cooper (chorus), Marie Korn (chorus), Madeline Pohland (chorus), Bonnie Pohland (chorus), Eric Tysarcyk (chorus), August Vesilind (chorus), Meghan Willey (concert band), Pablo Ronderos (orchestra), Aaron Freeman (symphonic band), Mia Laping (symphonic band), Claire Roth (symphonic band), and Kate Wagner (symphonic band). 
Run with the Jags – Falls Church High School invites the community to participate in the 13th annual Jaguar 5K Race April 28, at the school, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church. The 5K Run/Walk starts at 8:30 a.m. A one-mile fun run for kids starts at 8 a.m.

Registration is $35 ($15 for the kids’ race), which includes a T-shirt. All proceeds benefit Falls Church High School athletic programs. There will awards to the top finishers overall and the top finishers in age categories – plus random prize drawings.

Shine On Week – April 9-13 is Shine On Week at Stuart High School, reports Matthew Hua, president of Stuart’s National Honor Society. The fundraising program honors Casey Schulman, a former Stuart student known for her good works who was killed in a boating accident.

The program’s goal is to raise $2,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation by asking students and staff to purchase Make-A-Wish merchandise and stars to hang in the school’s main hallway. Donations can be made online.

The foundation provides positive experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses. Hua knows first-hand how important that is; when he was suffering from a serious illness when he was 3, the foundation granted his wish to go to Disney World.

Shadow a student – Several teachers at Glasgow Middle School participated in the Shadow a Student Challenge. They spent a day seeing Glasgow through the eyes of a student then reported their observations to the rest of the faculty with the goal of making improvements to the instructional program and school climate.

Among the changes recommended: Teachers should make more of an effort to appreciate students as individuals, students should have more opportunities to voice their opinions on complex issues, and students need more “movement and brain breaks.”

Road paving disruptionWoodson High School administrators are concerned about a VDOT milling and paving effort on Pickett Road and throughout the Starlit Ponds community over the next two weeks, which they say will have a significant impact on arrival and departures at Woodson and Frost Middle School. They have asked VDOT to delay the project until the end of the school year.

Empty Bowls – Students in the Student Led/Student Fed and ceramics programs at Stuart High School are hosting an “Empty Bowls” event to raise awareness of hunger issues in the community.

The fundraiser is April 24, 6 p.m., at the school’s Little Theater. Attendees will enjoy a simple dinner of soup, bread, and cookies, while listening to speakers from local organizations that help the needy.  Dinner is $20, which includes a handcrafted bowl by a student. All proceeds will support food security programs. 


  1. Is there a way to find out which schools in FCPS are part of the Breakfast in the Classroom program? Mainly want to know if Mason Crest is a participant. Thanks!

  2. In response to the above comment (Anonymous 10:19 am). My daughter is in first grade at Mason Crest elementary school and her class participates in the Breakfast in the Classroom program. I do not know if other classes at the school are participating as well.

  3. It's all of Masson Crest. We started this school year.

  4. Belvedere Elementary School will also be starting the Breakfast in the Classroom program later this month (as the article says).

  5. Thank you, all, for your responses. My kid is reluctant to eat so early before school so it is a relief that he will be able to eat once he gets to class - he generally is a better eater when there are other kids around him eating, too.