School News and Notes

 Spanish-speaking clowns of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey performed for Luther Jackson Middle School students and their families, teaching them about circus history and its deeply-rooted Latin American Heritage. (Photo: Courtesy Lauren Dyke)

Transition Services for Special Needs Students

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are addressing the challenges special education students face when transitioning from middle school and high school to adult life. Career and Transition Services, Special Education, will be holding two open houses on Wednesday, April 9 at Kilmer Middle School and the following Wednesday, April 16 at Frost Middle School. Both open houses will run from 7-8:30 p.m. Parents of middle school-aged children with disabilities will be provided with information on services that their sons and daughters can access in high school. High school students and their families are also welcome. Among the services showcased will be career academy support, job coach services, work awareness and transition and career assessment.


Children at Higher Horizons daycare center in Falls Church are read Afghan stories as part of the center’s teaming up with Share Literacy, a program developed by a non-profit educational organization. The folk tales are part of an innovative new program to teach literacy and thinking skills to disadvantaged children.  (Photo: Courtesy Dan Sperling)‘Parents Who Host Lose the Most’

Parents who host drinking parties for underage teens are about to get a reality check. The Fairfax County School Board and Board of Supervisors has proclaimed April “Parents Who Host Lose the Most” month. In support of a countywide initiative that aims to reduce underage drinking as prom and graduation season approaches, the “Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Don’t Be a Party” public awareness campaign warns parents and other adults about the legal ramifications, not to mention the health and safety risks of serving alcohol to teens. Parents who knowingly serve alcohol to underage teens can be prosecuted and face jail sentences, fines and possibly the loss of their own property. This year, parents of high school seniors and eighth graders will receive information to help their children make transitions that include new freedoms.


Local Student Recognized at Skidmore

Simone Perez, graduating class of 2010, earned highest honors at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Skidmore awards highest honors to its students who earned a GPA 3.67 or higher. Perez is the daughter of Ray Perez and Dorothy Lange of Falls Church.


McLean Students Win Top Honors

A three-member team of students from McLean High School won the regional competition for the grades 7-9 category of the Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards program. Leah Gonzalez, Natalia Jorbenadze and Andrea Omonte, all ninth grade students, won top honors for their collaborative project. Their project, Tower Turbine, was designed to show how to harness the energy of the wind generated between tall buildings. Specially designed wind turbines would be mounted on the face of skyscrapers, harnessing a steady supply of energy in a clean and readily useful manner. The energy generated would go directly to the building on which the turbine is attached, losing very little energy in transmission. McLean science teacher Claire Silva is coaching the team. Eight finalist teams will be announced in May.


HS Student Wins Free Trip to Germany

Suzan Ok of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology was chosen to be one of the 44 students selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to study abroad in the Federal Republic of Germany, thanks to a grant, given annually for the past 30 years, by its Embassy in Washington, D.C. Ok competed against 26,000 other students, participating in a nationwide German testing program administered by the American Association of Teachers of German.


Student Publications are Golden

Five student publications from Fairfax County public schools recently won Gold and Silver Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Winning Gold Crown awards in the Middle School-Junior High Yearbooks category were Liberty Middle School, for its yearbook “The Torch,” and Robinson Secondary School, for its yearbook “Sentry.” The “A-Blast” student newspaper of Annandale High School, won a Gold Crown award in the High School Newspapers category. Chantilly High School’s student magazine “Andromeda” was recognized with a Silver Crown award in the High School Magazine category. McLean High School’s student newspaper “The Highlander” won a Silver Crown award in the High School Newspapers category.


National Acheivement Scholarship for Students

Nine students from Fairfax County Public Schools are among over 800 students nationwide who have won Achievement Scholarships from the 2008 National Achievement Scholarship program (NASP) for African American high school seniors to be used towards their undergraduate studies. The student scholars are Omar Elemam of Edison High School, Maya Goodwin of South Lakes High School, Lindsay Barnes of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), Rani Brooks of TJHSST, Kyra Jefferson-George of TJHSST, Jasmine Lee of TJHSST, Taylor Stewart-Cannon of TJHSST, William Tarpeh of TJHSST and Natasha Wallage of TJHSST. Seven of the students—Barnes, Brooks, Elemam, Goodwin, Jefferson-George, Lee and Tarpeh—received $2,500 National Achievement Scholarships supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which conducts the NASP. Stewart-Cannon received a scholarship sponsored by the Motorola Foundation. Wallage received a scholarship sponsored by the State Farm Companies Foundation.


Students Perform at Cherry Blossom Festival

Japanese partial-immersion students from Fox Mill Elementary got their chance to grace D.C.’s famous National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF) this past Monday. The third and fourth-graders performed songs and creative dance onstage at the Tidal Basin. The fifth-graders’ origami art, created with the help of teacher Motoko Daiten, will serve as centerpieces for the NCBF reception and grand ball, scheduled for Friday, April 11, at the Grand Hyatt at Washington.


Third-Grader’s Poem Reaches New Heights

A poem written by Cameron Elementary School third-grader Robert Garnett was selected as the outstanding poem for grades 1-4 in the Smithsonian Kite Festival Poetry Contest. Poems had to be based on the theme Brush Strokes in the Sky. Garnett read his poem at the Washington Monument Kite Festival last month, receiving a special award.


Swing Your Partner ‘Round and ‘Round

 King Glen Elementary students are breaking out their cowboy hats. During their physical education classes, students in grades 4-6 will show off their square dancing skills to the calls of Mac McCall on Friday, April 11. Parents are invited to watch the students perform in their Western gear. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, best set and best couple.