School News and Notes

 On Thursday, Dec. 6, Hope, Kassandra (14), Matt (9) and Chris David volunteered at Glen Forest Elementary School to help deliver backpacks to all students during Volunteer Fairfax’s “A Celebration of Giving and Sharing.” (Photo: Tonya McCreary)

Ancient Civilizations

As part of their study of ancient civilizations, third grade students at Colvin Run Elementary will re-create the Chinese Silk Route on Thursday, Dec. 20, beginning at 10 a.m. students will portray merchants, bandits, Chinese weavers, and other characters and will barter and trade items they have made.

Anne’s Diary

The Diary of Anne Frank will be performed for the eighth grade by drama students at Key Middle on Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21 in the school’s black box theater. Drama students will read some of the dialogue from the book along with narration as a readers’ theater project, a performance of a literary text using personal observations to promote an authentic interpretation of literary characters. The play will be performed for approximately 450 eighth grade English students. The performance is designed to augment the English curriculum.

Geo Geniuses

A new Geo-Genius Club is being introduced at Sleepy Hollow Elementary on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m. to help students increase their basic knowledge of geography. Each student joining the club will receive a packet of information that contains the guidelines and materials necessary to help them as they aim to earn the status of mayor or governor of maps, representative of regions, senator of states, vice president of various places, president of the planet or guardian of the galaxy.

Pajama Party

The Cardinal Forest Elementary community will celebrate the season in pajamas on Friday, Dec. 21, beginning at 9:15 a.m. Students, teachers, and administrators will take part in a school wide sing-along that represents how cultures around the world celebrate the upcoming holidays. Seasonal traditions and stories from other countries will also be shared.

Sing Along

The Annual Traditional Holiday Sing-Along will take place at Rose Hill Elementary on Friday, Dec. 21 in the school foyer. Assistant principal Lonnie Bickel will accompany the singers on guitar and former Rose Hill parent Jim Carman will accompany on piano. The Holiday Sing-Along has been held at Rose Hill for the past 13 years. Teachers and the Sound Waves, a special group of fifth and sixth grade students, will sing holiday favorites before and after school. Students in the primary grades will take part during their afternoon music classes

 Student Advisor Named

Corinna Pan, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has been named to the Virginia Board of Education’s Student Advisory Committee. Students on the committee are responsible for identifying and researching issues of concern to public school students; they will report their findings to the Virginia Board of Education in the spring. Pan is one of 12 students on the committee.


Help with Homework

Students Reaching to Complete Homework, also known as STRETCH, at Poe Middle School is a new program designed to help students develop and reinforce the habit of completing their homework. Every morning, students in the program arrive in the library for their daily check-in to meet with their personal peer partners. The partners check to see if STRETCH students have completed their assignments, then STRETCH students sign daily reports that go to grade-level teachers. These teachers then provide the appropriate feedback, positive or negative, to the students. The program is designed to hold students accountable for their actions and help them form good habits in completing assignments. Students participate in the STRETCH program for 21 days.

Encouraging Engineering

Chantilly Academy, one of six high school academies within Fairfax County Public Schools, has developed a formal education partnership with the Naval Center for Space Technologies at the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., to support and expand pre-collegiate engineering education at the academy. This year, the academy is offering Independent Research–Engineering as a pilot course for selected seniors who have completed Engineering Systems 1 and 2.

Of the eight seniors currently placed in mentorship for independent research, four female students are the leading systems engineers for a fall 2009 launch of a Naval Research Laboratory CubeSat satellite project “Pollux” at the Naval Center for Space Technologies. The NRL has placed a satellite ground station in the engineering laboratory classroom at Chantilly Academy to monitor and gather data on a satellite currently in orbit. Chantilly Academy offers Engineering Systems 1, Engineering Systems 2 and Engineering Physics courses that are available to all Fairfax County high school students who enroll at the academy. In its efforts to increase the number of young women in its engineering program, Chantilly Academy also offers an all-girls section of Engineering Systems 1, Girls Exploring Engineering–GE2, which provides each student with the opportunity to work with a mentor, who is a professional female engineer in higher education, industry, or government.