School News and Notes

 THE FIRST CLASS OF Falls Church City School System teachers to enter the National Board Certification process were honored at a reception at the Thomas Jefferson Elementary Tuesday. Eight were successful on their first attempt at the rigorous two-year program. Those who entered from the Falls Church system included Bridget Dean-Pratt, Linda Gantz, Nathan Grenier, Marie Harbison, Julie Huber, Beth Hull, Kathleen Johnson, Mary Kelly, Lisa Mueller, Sarah Shaw, Andrea Stoeckl, Gwen Villarreal. Two others attained certification or started the process while in another school district prior to coming to Falls Church. They are Jeremy Shumpert and Tarra Barton. (Photo: News-Press)

FCPS Superintendent Conference

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale will hold a press conference to discuss the proposed FY 2009 budget at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, at Gatehouse Administration Center I (8115 Gatehouse Rd., Falls Church). The Superintendent will provide highlights of the FY 2009 proposed operating budget, distribute detailed information about the budget and answer questions from media representatives. All materials and information will be embargoed until 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. The budget will be formally presented to the Fairfax County School Board at its business meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10 at Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Rd., Falls Church). The Superintendent’s budget presentation to the School Board will be carried live by Channel 21 via Cox Communications cable television.


Help Kids Smile

Marketing students at South County Secondary School are raising funds for the Smile in Style campaign to benefit children with cleft lip and palette deformities by using the skills learned in their marketing classes. Jan. 7 – 17 students will produce a fashion show, promote T-shirt sales and sell smilegrams to raise funds for the campaign. Funds raised by T-shirt sales and smilegrams will be added to the proceeds from the show scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17, at 6 p.m. in the South County Secondary School auditorium. Tickets are available via presale or at the door. Proceeds from all Smile in Style campaign activities will go towards purchasing gifts for children who go to Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children for cleft lip or palette surgery. Each child will receive a special toy bear that has been custom-made with stitches across its upper lip. Because a portion of the cost of each bear is donated to the Cleft Palette Foundation, purchase of the bears provides additional help to healthcare professionals, parents, and children dealing with these surgeries. The bear will be presented in a backpack that is being designed and produced by students in the South County Family and Consumer Science program. Each bag will also include brochures for parents to help them deal with challenges arising from their child’s surgery.


Open House

St. Ann School (980 N. Frederick Street, Arlington) will host an Open House on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 9 – 11 a.m. Prospective students and families are invited to tour the St. Ann School campus, visit classrooms and meet the St. Ann community of teachers, students and parents. For more information, contact Sister Elizabeth Ann McGuire, O.S.F., principal of St. Ann School, at 703-525-7599 or visit the school online at


Grandparent’s Support Groups

Fairfax County Public Schools, in cooperation with the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, is sponsoring a series of support groups for any grandparent or other relative who is raising a child under the age of 18 and who lives in Fairfax County or in the cities of Fairfax or Falls Church. The groups meet in two locations, the Pennino Building (12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) and Bryant Alternative High School (2709 Popkins Lane, Alexandria). The North County Grandparent’s Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the Pennino Building on the following dates in Jan.: 8 and 22. The South County Grandparent’s Support Group meets on Thursdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Bryant Alternative High on the following dates in Jan.: 10 and 24. Child care is available for all sessions. Space is limited. Interested individuals must register for sessions. For more information, contact Robin Hamby at 703-277-2640, Colleen Turner at 703-324-5489, or Betsy Pugin at 703-324-5401 (TTY 703-449-1186).


Special Architectural Reception

Members of Mary Betz’s third grade class from Mount Vernon Woods Elementary will participate in a special reception on Friday, Jan. 11 to see their class’s architectural project on display at Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Consortium. Students worked with visiting architects during a special eight-week program sponsored by the Washington Architectural Foundation and the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to create the project. The exhibit, titled Architecture in the Schools Fall 2007 Works, will be on display through Jan. 18 at the consortium office (1001 Prince St., Alexandria).


Accepting Applications for Magnet Schools

Fairfax County Public Schools is currently accepting applications for its elementary magnet school programs for students entering kindergarten through grade 5 for Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences (6111 Knollwood Dr., Falls Church) and for students entering grade 1 through grade 6 for Hunters Woods Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences (2401 Colts Neck Rd., Reston) for 2008-09. Selection for available magnet school spaces is based on a lottery. To be eligible for the magnet school lottery, students must be working at or above grade level in language arts and math and must demonstrate positive interpersonal and school behaviors. For Bailey’s Elementary, students entering kindergarten should have attended preschool during the 2007-08 school years. An information night will be held for families interested in the elementary magnet school program at Bailey’s on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the school; the snow date is Feb. 21. An information night will be held for families interested in the elementary magnet school program at Hunters Woods on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at the school; the snow date is Feb. 12. More information about both programs, including online application forms, is available at