School News & Notes

Students Fly Kites as Part Of Unit on Afghanistan

Freshmen at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria) traveled to West Potomac Park on Nov. 18 to fly handmade kites as part of a unit on Afghanistan that blends literary, cultural and technological knowledge.SN.jpg

The students have been studying the history of Afghanistan as well as learning its role in current events.

Students are also exploring differences in religions, differences in cultures and the effects of multiple wars on the country. In their English classes, students read Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” a story about Afghani culture from the 1970s to the present time. They also saw the movie based on the book.

While they were reading, they learned about aerodynamics, physics and materials fabrication in their Technology and Design 9 class. Using this information, the students created their own kites and decorated them as personal statements.

Local Students to be in Macy’s Day Parade

The students listed below are part of the 474-member Marching Royal Dukes that will represent James Madison University in the 82nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Nov. 27 in New York City. With its largest membership in JMU history, the marching band is one of ten bands performing in the Thanksgiving tradition.

Jillian Becker, Eileen Eder-Moreau, Stephen Lee, Julia Schoelwer, Jonathan Seipp, all of Arlington; Lauren Allison and Kristopher Pourzal, of Falls Church; and Tyler Jerrell of McLean will be in the band. NBC will begin broadcasting the parade at 9 a.m. The JMU band will perform “Sing, Sing, Sing” in Herald Square along the parade route.

This year’s performance will mark the marching band’s second appearance in the classic holiday parade. In 2001, the Marching Royal Dukes represented JMU in the 75th anniversary Macy’s parade. The Marching Royal Dukes date to 1972 when JMU established a football program. Membership in the Marching Royal Dukes is open to all JMU students, regardless of their academic majors. About three-quarters of the band members are not music majors. For more information, contact Eric Gorton at 540-568-3674 or at

Students Work at Hoop Dreams Charity Show

The West Potomac Academy (6500 Quander Rd., Alexandria) fashion design and professional television production students worked behind the scenes at Fashion Forward, a fashion show to benefit the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund, Nov. 21, which was held in the Shadow Room (2131 K St., NW, Washington, D.C). West Potomac fashion design students worked alongside professional designers, models and celebrity guests, under the direction of their academy course instructor, Maggy Francois, to style and fit models, do hair and make-up and set up backstage materials.

Professional television students, under the direction of their academy instructor Nancy Mantelli, took footage of the event and conducted interviews. In post production, students continued to work with the Hoop Dreams organization and iKY Clothing to produce promotional pieces for the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund and iKY Clothing. For more information on the event, contact Maria Kappel at 703-718-2753 or

F.C. High ‘Band Aides’ to Hold Meeting

Parents supporting the Falls Church High Band are invited to a “Band Aides” meeting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 in the Band Room of the Falls Church High School (7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church). The meeting is open to all parents, and will discuss current upcoming issues such as preparations for the next concert on Dec. 17 and fundraisers for new marching band uniforms. For more information on the meeting, call John Davenport at 703-207-4222 or visit

Thomas Jefferson Hosts Parent Coffee Meeting

Thomas Jefferson Elementary (601 S Oak St., Falls Church) will hold a parent coffee meeting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 2 in the conference room of the school. Principal Vincent Baxter will be available to discuss concerns between parents and other school issues. The meeting is free and open to parents. Attendees are invited to bring baked goods, but are not required. For more information, call Barbara Cooper at 703-241-5661.

Marshall Boosters Club Holds Holiday Tree Sale

Marshall’s Booster Club will hold a Christmas Tree sale open from Nov 29 – Dec 15 in the front lot of George C. Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church). This will be the largest Boosters fundraiser of the year, and the event will be hosted by Marshall Elves – Marshall students and Booster parents. The Booster Club will be selling Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. The proceeds will go directly to supporting the students’ activities and sports teams at Marshall High. The lot is open on weekends from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Monday through Friday 5:30 – 8 p.m. For more information, call 703-714-5400.