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Saturday, November 3, 2018

School news: a Parklawn success story

On Halloween, Annandale High School faculty dressed up as minions and Principal Tim Thomas was Gru from "Despicable Me."
“School news”is 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.

Excellence at Parklawn – The National PTA has recognized Parklawn Elementary School and the Parklawn PTA with a School of Excellence partnership award. The award, given to just 278 schools in the nation this year, recognizes their commitment to building an inclusive and welcoming school community where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.

Parklawn students
“At Parklawn, we say: “All children can learn. All children will learn because of what WE do,” says Parklawn Principal Rebecca Forgy. “The WE is our entire Parklawn community, and the Parklawn PTA is at the heart of it.”

The PTA increased parent involvement to support academic success, donated funds to refurbish the school’s raised garden beds that teachers used to complement science lessons, and funded an Earth Day assembly put on by the Smithsonian Institution.

The bell trophy
Bell Game has a long traditionFalls Church High School beat Justice High School 31-12 Nov. 2 in the “Bell Game,” an annual football game that has been going on for the past 58 years.

The Bell Game was started in 1960 by Leon Mason and a few other teachers at Falls Church who were transferred to what was then the brand-new Stuart High School, and Mason was appointed the first principal of Stuart. Many Falls Church students had also been relocated to Stuart. (The school was renamed Justice High School in 2017.)

When a Stuart faculty member (and former Navy captain) obtained a bell from the USS J.E.B. Stuart ship and brought it to Stuart High School, Mason used the bell to create a friendly rivalry and promote good sportsmanship between the two schools.

He had the bell made into a trophy that is given to the school that wins the annual varsity football game between Falls Church and Stuart High School each year. The wood frame that holds the bell was built by one of the original shop teachers at Stuart. There are metal plates on the frame with the names of the winning team and year.

During Bell Week, both schools plan special spirit activities to promote the game, and during the game, each school keeps the bell on their side for half the game.

Stuart/Justice won the Bell Game 33 times and Falls Church won 25 times. There was one tie.

Poe Middle School students rebuild computers as part of the Virginia STAR program. Completed computers are donated to members of the Poe community who do not have computers at home.
The A-Blast is a winner – The Annandale High School newspaper, the A-Blast, is finalist for a Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) in the hybrid news category. All the finalists will receive a Silver or Gold Crown award at Columbia University March 22. Congratulations to the student journalists and their adviser, Alan Weintraut.

SAT scores are up – FCPS reports that seniors in the class of 2018 showed significant improvements on the SAT. Among the 9,725 seniors who took the SAT last year (60 percent of all seniors), the mean score was 1213, which is 28 points higher than the 2017 mean score of 1185.

FCPS seniors scored 103 points above the Virginia average and 164 points above the U.S. average.

The average score for FCPS seniors was 604 in the evidence-based reading and writing portion of the SAT. That is 41 points above the Virginia average and 75 points above the U.S. average.

In mathematics, FCPS seniors had a mean score of 608, beating the Virginia average by 61 points and the U.S. average by 88 points.

Sixth graders at Wakefield Forest Elementary School use collaborative teamwork to solve a  breakout box challenge.
Positive trends for youths – Overall alcohol use among Fairfax County students has decreased to the lowest levels since 2010, the 2017-18 Fairfax County Youth Survey reports. However, alcohol use by 12th graders is comparable to that of their peers nationally. 

The youth survey is a comprehensive, anonymous and voluntary survey given each year to students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 that examines behaviors, experiences, and other factors that influence the mental and physical health and well-being of students. The survey is a collaboration of the Fairfax County government and Fairfax County Public Schools. 

Marijuana use is also decreasing. In the most recent survey, 17.4 percent students said they have used marijuana in their lifetimes, a drop from 20.5 percent last year. The percentage of students who said they used marijuana in the past 30 days has declined from 11 to 8.9.

While the use of cigarettes in the past 30 days is at the lowest recorded level (2.6 percent), 4 percent of students said they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Canterbury Woods Elementary students promote an anti-bullying environment.
Depression and suicidal ideation are at their lowest rates since 2011. Just under 26 percent of students reported depressive symptoms, such as feeling so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that they stopped doing some usual activities, while 13.7 percent have considered or attempted suicide.

Students who reported being a victim of cyberbullying, being an aggressor of cyberbullying, and being an aggressor of racial/cultural harassment has continued to decline. Those who reported being a victim of racial/cultural harassment has risen, however.

The percentage of youths who reported ever engaging in sexual intercourse is 16.8, down from 21.2 in 2012.

1 comment:

  1. Go Parklawn! What would you expect from one of the most desirables neighborhoods to live in Mason District.