2024-05-23 4:24 AM

Memorial Day 2024 Issue!

News & Notes: March 16th – 22nd

Potential Start Times At F.C. Schools Shared For Feedback

Community feedback is being collected on potential new start times for Falls Church City Public Schools. If approved, the school district says the new start times wouldn’t start until the 2024-2025 school year.

The School Board is considering start time changes due to research suggesting high school students are not getting enough sleep with early starts, which may impact health and academic performance.

If the changes are approved, Jessie Thackrey Preschool would start and end 20 minutes earlier, from 7:55 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and Meridian High School would start and end 25 minutes later, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. The secondary campus late bus would run 25 minutes later at 5 p.m.

For Mt. Daniel Elementary, FCCPS must account for an agreement with Fairfax County that the school not start before 8:50 a.m. and must end by 4 p.m. Under the proposal, Mt. Daniel Elementary and Oak Street Elementary times would shift to 10 minutes later — 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The community is invited to share feedback with the School Board by March 31 by emailing schoolboard@fccps.org.

Harvey’s kicked off their one year anniversary with a party for all ages. Many attendess came dressed as unicorns with colorful clothing and horns. Cotton candy, face painting, caricuture-drawing and a happy hour menu were all enjoyed by adults and children alike. (Photo: Kylee Toland)

Saint Patrick’s Episcopal to Host Benefit Concert

Join Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church for a concert by local professional musicians while helping earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.  All proceeds go to the relief. Donations can be designated to Direct Relief, American Red Cross, or Episcopal Relief & Development. By donating through St. Patrick’s church, personal information will be protected from further solicitation. If one chooses to donate with a check directly to the charity of one’s choice, the check will be forwarded to the charity, and personal information will be subject to the limited  policies of that charity.  

If one is not able to attend the concert, but would like to make donations, please send a check payable to “Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church” with a memo designating the charity. Donations made without a designation will be divided evenly between the three charities listed above. Information on each charity may be found at the charity web site, and evaluations at charitynavigator.org. 

For questions or more information, please email at marikohiller@gmail.com.

F.C. Resident to Bike the U.S. for MS

Recently retired Falls Church resident, Ken Sims, is participating in this year’s Bike the US for MS. He is riding the Northern Tier route from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington. The cyclists embarking on this trip want to raise awareness and funds to support research in finding a cure for MS and to support those living with the disease. To support or participate in all or a portion of the trip, go to biketheusforms.org for more information.

Recently retired F.C. resident, Ken Sims, is participating in this year’s Bike the US for MS. He is riding the Northern Tier route from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington. (Photo: Sims House)

Fairfax County Schools Offer Virtual Mental Health Services

Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Hazel Health, giving some 61,000 students access to the service, according to the county’s contract with the group. WTOP obtained the contract via a Freedom of Information Act request.

The service costs $15 per student per year, according to the contract. It will cost more than $686,000 for the first nine months. School board officials allocated $500,000 in the fiscal year 2023 budget for the service.

A pilot program was expected to launch by the beginning of January but was delayed. Access to Hazel Health’s services is expected to be available later this spring, although an exact date hasn’t yet been released.

Representatives Needed for Boards & Commissions

All high school students are invited to apply to become a Citizens for a Better City (CBC) Youth Representative to one of Falls Church City’s Boards, Commissions, or Community Organizations.  This position will provide them with CAS hours and a chance to learn about and engage with city government.

All Falls Church City High school-aged students are eligible to apply, including high school-aged homeschooled and private school students.  The selection process focuses on their interest and commitment. 

Applications are available now online at the CBC Youth Representatives Website at youth

repsinitiative.net and in the MHS Guidance Department.

Application Deadline is Wednesday, April 10th, interviews are Thursday, April 27th, Friday, April 28th, Saturday, April 29th and Monday, May 1st. Announcement of selected students is the second week in May and swearing in at a city council meeting will be the fourth week in May. 

International Night will be on Saturday, March 18th at Meridian High School from 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m. Last year was the first year that this event came back in “full force.” For this year’s event, Welcoming Falls Church needs community members willing to host country tables, bring dishes to share and fill various roles at the event. (Photo: Gwendolyn Osborn)

Pop Up Events Coming Soon for East End Small Area Plan

The Planning Department will host pop up events for the East End Small Area Plan at the Eden Center.

Pop up event schedule: Saturday, March 18, 2023 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, March 22, 2023 – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, March 29, 2023 – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The pop up events will contain interactive activity boards and an opportunity to provide feedback to East End Planning staff. Interpreters will accompany staff at these pop up events, and materials will be provided in Vietnamese and English.

FCCPS School Board to Host Office Hours

FCCPS School Board Chair Laura Downs and Vice-Chair Tate Gould will be holding “office hours” at Plaka Grill  (1216 W Broad Street) on Tuesday, March 21 from 6:00 — 8:00 pm.  Parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members may drop by (no registration required) to ask questions and offer feedback in a casual environment.  As this will not be a private setting, community members who prefer to have a private exchange with the School Board can locate members’ email addresses at: fccps.org/page/school-board.

City Councilman Phil Duncan (front row, left) renewed his attendance at the weekly luncheon at Anthony’s Restaurant this Monday following a week in the hospital. With him were (l. to r.) Ken Feltman, Tom Clinton, Hal Lippman and Nick Benton. (Photo: Jody Acosta)

Grants for Projects to Manage Stormwater in F.C. City

The Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) announces 2023 grants to City of Falls Church residents for projects to reduce stormwater runoff. Grants are available for projects to install rain gardens or conservation landscapes and for purchase of rain barrels to store rain water.

The grants are part of the RainSmart Program implemented by VPIS with support from the City of Falls Church. The Program is intended to help City of Falls Church residents implement practices, such as rain barrels and rain gardens, that help rainwater soak into the ground on-site to prevent flooding and protect water quality locally and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Program also includes public information and outreach programs to promote stormwater management. 

For more information about the RainSmart Program and for rain barrel and rain garden applications, go to: vpis.org/environment/rainsmart-program/. If one has questions about the RainSmart Program, send an email to RainSmartFallsChurch@gmail.com. 

Mathnasium Hosts Pi Day Party

On Saturday, March 18th from 12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m., Mathnasium of Falls Church will be hosting a Pi Day Party. The event will include food, games, activities, rewards and a raffle. Please call to reserve a spot, as space is limited for this free event. 

Shepherd’s Center Seeks Additional Volunteer Drivers

Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church (SCMAFC), an all-volunteer organization, is seeking additional volunteers to support its mission of providing free transportation to seniors for medical and dental appointments or run errands to grocery stores and pharmacies.

The total number of rides provided in 2022 is expected to exceed 2,500, but to fully respond to recent increases in the number of requests, there is a need for more volunteers to join the current team of 60 volunteer drivers.

For volunteers there is no minimum commitment. Volunteers are free to choose how often and when they drive.

For detailed information or to apply, please visit the Center’s website https://scmafc.org/volunteer or call (703) 506-2199 and leave a message.

Share Input on Richmond Highway

Community Charm is an initiative focused on integrating artwork into Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations to reflect the history, identity, and character of the neighborhoods surrounding each station area. FCDOT’s project team is working with students from local schools and community centers to develop artwork to inspire the design for the windscreen area.

Please attend an Open House and stop in any time between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29th at the Mount Vernon High School cafeteria. One can view the designs, speak with project staff and share your input.

Fiesta del Sol Comes to the McLean Community Center

McLean Community Center (MCC) will open its doors for the Fiesta del Sol Latin American and Caribbean Festival at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. Residents and neighboring communities will experience a welcoming and festive atmosphere with flavors of Latin American and Caribbean Island cultures through live music, art and craft exhibitors, dance lessons/demonstrations and great food. Admission is free. Tickets for food and beverages will be sold onsite. Patrons must be 21 years old or older to purchase alcoholic beverages. MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave. In honor of Women’s History Month, all festival proceeds will benefit The Institute for Building Agency, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization founded and led by women of color.

Tinner Hill Hosts 2nd Workshop on Difficult Convos

Historical Roots of American Racism is the theme for the second of five workshops in our series entitled Difficult Conversations about Race.

The facilitator, Michelle Zamperetti, will be assisted by Kathryn Dame. Both professionals are residents of Falls Church. Rich Scott will provide music to complement each theme of the workshops. The format will be role-playing interaction, small-group discussions, and plenary feedback sessions.

Workshops are FREE and open to anyone wishing to participate. Registration is required and seating is limited.

The workshop will be held in Memorial Hall, Falls Church Presbyterian Church, 225 East Broad Street, Falls Church, VA 22046 on Saturday, March 18th from 2:00 — 4:00 p.m.

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