As anticipated “almost to a tee,” the Falls Church City Schools opened their doors to another school year Tuesday to a new record high in enrollment. A record 2,515 students were registered and signed in as of the first bell Tuesday morning.
F.C. City Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones told the News-Press yesterday that the first day went very smoothly. Student enrollment numbers, she said, will fluctuate some between now and the last day of September, the date when an official count gets sent to Richmond to calculate Falls Church’s share of state funds.
Over the course of the coming school year, enrollment will grow by about 30 students at all four of the City schools, she said.
“There are no surprises in these enrollment numbers,” she said. “We hire experts (the University of Virginia’s Weldon Institute) to forecast these sort of things, and also we have our own in-house modeling, what we call our Kimble Model (for long-time chief financial officer Hunter Kimble), which comes in extremely close to the Weldon model.”
This is the third straight year of a new record high enrollment, and enrollment has been on a consistent path of annual growth since 1982.
She said the expected opening in the spring of two new large mixed use projects – the Rushmark project on West Broad and the Lincoln Project on South Maple – will be taken into account for next year, but it was stressed that most new enrollment growth will continue to come from single family homes.
Last night, a George Mason High “Back to School” night was slated for parents at 7 p.m. and an “Info Fair,” including an ice cream social, hosted by the F.C. Elementary PTA was set for Thomas Jefferson Elementary. A “Back to School” night for parents of Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School students will be held tonight.
This Friday, George Mason High School’s football team visits Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C., and next Tuesday, an informational meeting for parents and students slated to graduate next spring who are interested in the International Baccalaureate program will be held at George Mason High’s Mustang Cafe.
Since August 1, over 200 students began practices for fall sports, with scrimmages and games in the books before the start of classes.
Last week, the school year for teachers and staff was kicked off with a convocation at the high school. Forty new employees hired in the period between last September 2014 and this September were welcomed at the event, and special recognitions were afforded those who met milestones of employment with the system.
Honored for 25 years of service were Tony Green, Judy Knoke and Bob Palermo. Honored for 20 years were Gabriel Fernandez, Deborah Flanigan, Diana Harrington, Nan Hof, Amy Kurjanowicz, Maria Silvia Rodriguez and Gwen Villareal. Noted for hitting the 15 year mark were Elizabeth Cate, Mark Coffren, Dang Nguyen and Yoki Smith-Jeffers.
Hitting the 10 year mark were Kirsten Albert, Edna Baldo, Ruth Barry, Ann Beckman, Marybeth Connelly, Margaret Drawbaugh, Ken DiCesare, Kent Foster, Marty Gazell, Henry Gonzales, Jaclyn Harper, Holly Harrington, Andy Hosier, Christina Leigh, Layton McCann, Janice Nette, Nora Pishner, Karin Ritchey, Jose Rodrigues, David Sikora, Maureen Smith, Shane Spindle and Estrella Triana.
Celebrated for five years service were Juana Cespedes, Scott Daugherty, Stephen Erick, Marcez Ferguson, Elizabeth Green, Michele Harcarik, Sharon Hoffman, Erin Jones, Shawn Northrip, Courtney Quinlan, Kelly Schumann, Scarlett Williams and Liqin Zhang.
Providing live music entertainment were Mason High students Devon Boldt, Guthrie Edson, Neal Marshall, Ellen Rhee and Kit Richards.