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School News and Notes

 Clermont Elementary students (above) are participating in four-week-long book drive for families in need in New Orleans and some in Northern Virginia. Each student has made a goal to donate at least one new or gently used book to the collection. (Photo: Courtesy Paula Treger)

Cooking-Using Teacher Earns Recognition

Ten-year Mathematics Department Chair of Lake Braddock Secondary School Debra DeMaria has garnered the official title of the 2008 William C. Lowry Outstanding Mathematics Teacher of the Year. Awarded at the high school level category by the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, DeMaria has taught at Lake Braddock since 1976, teaching all levels of math from eighth grade through higher level calculus.

In her calculus classes, DeMaria uses Fig Newtons and Leibniz wafers to help students learn the fundamental theorem of calculus. If that isn’t already cool enough, she brings out police tape and crime lab gowns to add mystery to the learning process of Newton’s law of cooling. To help students review, DeMaria challenges them to create worksheets of problems whose answers must match the amount of an ingredient necessary for a recipe. Recipe worksheets are distributed to all members of the class along with samples of the dish made from the recipe. Called a “natural teacher” by assistant Principal Cynthia Prieto, DeMaria sounds like she’s earned the recognition quite fairly.

 

The West Potomac High indoor drumline (above) earned the 2008 A Class Bronze Medal in the Atlantic Indoor Association Championship, which included 22 drumline units from Virginia and North Carolina. The group has medaled both years it has competed, most recently moving up five places in the finals competition to earn a medal. (Photo: Courtesy Adam Foreman)Best Buy Gives Local Schools Free Cash

Standing alone as the one school in Virginia to win the $10,000 [email protected] Award from Best Buy, Carson Middle School is one of 50 school chosen nationwide for the big bucks. Carson science teacher Kirk Treakle applied for a grant to support his eighth grade students’ projects on Enviromania, which includes environmentally oriented topics such as alternative energy sources, reforestation, global warming and recycling. Treakle plans to purchase still cameras, camcorders and computers for the students to use when producing their own multimedia presentations.

While other Fairfax County schools didn’t win as large of an amount, six noteworthy $2,000 awards were taken home by Annandale Terrace Elementary School, Belvedere Elementary School, Fox Mill Elementary School, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Lemon Road Elementary School and West Springfield High School. Carson Middle is eligible to compete for one of the eight $100,000 awards to be given out in May of this year.

 

‘Grease Lightning’ Hits Key Middle

Dust off those leather jackets and poodle skirts and get ready to rock and roll at Key Middle’s presentation of “Grease” on Wednesday, April 16, at 2 p.m., and Thursday, April 17, through Saturday, April 19, at 7 p.m. A student-tailored production, these kids created the sets, props and choreography. Tickets are available at the door.

 

Stacks Dedicated to Retired Principal

Franconia Elementary School will dedicate their library to retired principal Judith Jackson on Friday, April 18, at 6 p.m. Franconia students, staff members, PTA members, employees of the school’s business partner CALIBRE and community members will be on hand to celebrate naming the library after Jackson, who retired in March of last year. During the dedication celebration, Franconia students will play musical selections on recorders, present a story with sound effects, and demonstrate their skills at African drumming. Also, on display will be some of the hundreds of books donated to the school library.

 

Kilmer Lets Science Come to Them

Science education on wheels will make a rolling stop for eighth graders at Kilmer Middle School. The National Science Center’s Mobile Discovery will visit Kilmer beginning Friday, April 18, and stick around through April 22. The learning center, housed in and 18-wheel truck, travels nationwide to present programs to young people to show them the fun in match and science.

The fun includes a high definition program and hands-on science demonstrations, including Van De Graff generators, a plasma ball and Tesla coils to create hair-raising experiences. Frequency, sound and resonance will be covered during the electronic glass breaker demonstrations, while persistence of vision is demonstrated with a special light stick. Last nut not least, principles of night vision will be demonstrated during a Seeing in the Dark demonstration.

 

North Springfield Plays the Bush Twins

Kindergarten students from North Springfield Elementary will learn what it’s like to be a child in the White House when the White House Historical Association brings its First Kid for a Day program to the school on Friday, April 18. The students will learn where presidential children ate, slept, played and did their homework. They will also role-play celebrations at the White House and learn about some famous first pets. Each class will receive its own White House family album.

 

Bike Collection for Overseas Transportation

A fifth grade class at Colvin Run Elementary is sponsoring a used bike drive for Bikes for the World, a local charity that ships bikes to third world countries for use as transportation. On Saturday, April 19, they’ll accept donations of child- and adult-sized bikes, in usable condition, at the school. In addition, a $10 donation is requested per bike to cover transportation costs.

A bake sale will be held at the same time to help pay the costs of shipping the bikes overseas. Grade-level service projects are one of the character education building blocks at Colvin Run. The fifth grade faculty chose this project because it ties in with the students’ work on simple machines and provides an opportunity for students to practice compassion and responsibility.

 

Western Fairfax Community Day This Weekend

Stone Middle School will be hosting the first Western Fairfax Community Day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. this Saturday, Aril 19. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax County Department of Community and Recreation Services and the Fairfax County Department of Human Services, the day will focus on connecting families to resources within their own communities. Come out for free food entertainment and information from county agencies, faith-based organizations and nonprofit organizations.

 

Elementary Schools in Great Health

Three local schools have been recognized for their superior commitment to students’ overall health through diet and exercise. Deer Park Elementary School, Great Falls Elementary School, and Parklawn Elementary School have received bronze awards in the Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard program. These three schools join the ranks of Mantua Elementary School, which earned a gold award in 2007, and Cherry Run Elementary School, which earned a bronze award in 2007.

Points are awarded according to each school’s implementation of best practices, including providing a minimum of 30 minutes of recess daily; creating school- and community-based fitness or nutrition nights; allowing only foods that meet minimum nutritional standards to be provided or sold during the school day; and selling only 100-percent fruit juice, water or low-fat milk.

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