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Saturday, May 5, 2018

School news: Bike to School Day

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

Students in the new Garden Club at Wakefield Forest Elementary School.
Bike to School – May 9 is national Bike to School Day, with the goal of promoting physical activity and reducing traffic congestion and pollution near schools. Fairfax County Public Schools encourages parents to accompany their children to school and work with their school and PTA to form “bike trains” or walking groups for the event.

Dozens of FCPS schools have registered for Bike to School Day, including Canterbury Woods, North Springfield, Wakefield Forest, and Woodburn elementary schools and Glasgow, Holmes, and Poe middle schools.
The design for the new gym floor for Justice High School. 
Motorists are urged to be extra careful on May 9. For more information on walking and biking to school, visit FCPS’ Safe Routes to School web page.

Hello Justice – Students at Stuart High School are participating in efforts to prepare for when the  school’s name is changed to Justice High School, reports Principal Penny Gros. Students will be asked to submit feedback on a new name for “Raider Day,” the annual kickoff event for the start of the school year. The event for Justice High School will be Aug. 24, 4-6 p.m.

Students have also been asked to submit ideas for preserving the school’s history. Teacher Judy McDermott, the sponsor for the school’s Interact Club, is the point of contact for this effort. A rededication ceremony will be held in September after the opening of the school year. A date hasn’t been determined.

New uniforms for the Justice Wolves, the mascot selected by students, have been ordered for fall sports teams and band members.

Relay for LifeWoodson High School is hosting a fun overnight event to raise money for cancer patients. The Woodson Relay For Life takes place in the football stadium beginning at 5 p.m. on June 2 and ends June 3 at 5 a.m. In addition to talks from cancer survivors, there will be games, movies, food, and musical performances. Students are encouraged to create an online team to raise money for the event. The cost is $100 to stay overnight and $10 to stay until 11 p.m.

Woodson students celebrate Stress Less Laugh More Week with ice cream on Friday.
Teachers appreciated – PTAs at most schools are showing some love for teachers during the week of May 7-11 for Teacher Appreciation Week. The PTA at Poe Middle School is going above and beyond by scheduling something every day, including a continental breakfast on Monday, cards and candy from students on Tuesday, an Italian lunch on Wednesday, desserts delivered to classrooms by administrators on Thursday, and a raffle for teachers and staff on Friday.

Student filmmakers – “Dreamer,” a documentary film submitted by Annandale High School, is one of four films from FCPS named an official selection in the 2018 Virginia High School League Film Festival. The festival is June 2 at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville.

Budget hearings – The school board is scheduled to hold public hearings on the FY 2019 advertised budget May 15-16 and approve a final budget on May 24. The advertised budget would increase spending by 4.9 percent, or $118.9 million over the budget approved for FY 2018. The budget includes an additional $53 million to raise teacher salaries and $44 million for step increase for all eligible employees. More information on the budget can be found here.
Science Night at Weyanoke ES.

Mother’s Day Shop – The Bailey’s Elementary School PTA is asking people to donate gently new or unused bracelets, necklaces, pins, and earrings for its annual Mother’s Day Jewelry shop. Every student at the primary and upper campus will have a chance to select one piece of free jewelry to give to their mother, grandmother, caregiver for Mother’s Day. The PTA is also accepting donations to help pay for gift bags and supplies. There is a donation box in the ftong office of both schools. For more information contact Lisa DuBois,

Exemplary student services – The school counseling program at Woodson High School was among five FCPS school counseling programs honored with a 2018 RAMP award (Recognized ASCA Model Program) from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The RAMP designation recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment.

Garden Club – Eighteen students in grades 2-6 joined the new Garden Club at Wakefield Forest Elementary School. They will meet Friday afternoons to learn about plant growth from parent volunteers, work in the school’s edible garden, and create healthy snacks featuring foods they’ve cultivated, such as beet and carrot slaw, kale and chickpea spread, and sugar snap peas and strawberry mint salad.

First-graders at North Springfield Elementary School created a model of Jamestown for their project-based learning project.
Teacher honoredWestlawn Elementary School second-grade teacher Anna Woodward was recognized by Region 2 assistant superintendent Fabio Zuluaga and the FCPS Human Resources Department as the Region 2 Fairfax Cares honoree for March. Woodward was honored for leading the Super Kindness Challenge at Westlawn. Students can nominate their peers or teachers for big or little acts of kindness. Those nominated receive a cape for being a “Super Kindness Hero.” 

ESOL field trip – Students in the English as a second language program at Annandale High School had a chance to take a field trip to the Newseum in Washington, D.C., thanks to a grant from the school’s PTSA. “We so enjoyed our visit to the Newseum, including the seminar on ‘fake news,’ the 9/11 exhibit, the interactive newsroom, and so much more,” reported ESOL teacher Tricia Kapuscinski.

Sixth-graders at Woodburn Elementary School do some weeding and planting in the school's outdoor classroom.
PTA could dissolve – The PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) at Stuart High School plans to consider dissolving itself at its general membership meeting on May 15 and replace it with a PTSO (Parent Teacher Student Organization). Only current PTSA members are eligible to vote.

Because Stuart High School is going to become Justice High School in August, the PTSA will have to change to its name, too, so some parents believe this is a good time to re-evaluate its affiliation with the national PTA organization.

A PTO is an independent organization that doesn’t have to pay dues to the national PTA and doesn’t have to follow PTA regulations but would lose the advocacy benefit of being a part of a national organization that supports public education.

1 comment:

  1. Again, love this column, Ellie! Thank you!