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Updated: Flash Flood Warning Issued for Reston, Penny-size Hail Reported

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Fairfax County until 10 p.m. today. Residents should avoid flooded roads.

tornado warning for the area was canceled at 6:45 p.m. today. Penny-size was reported as a rain, hail, thunder, and strong winds swept into the area. 

Earlier:

A severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Leesburg. 

Residents should take cover by moving to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building, according to the alert.

Here’s more from NWS:

IMPACT…For those in the direct path of a tornado touchdown,
flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Damage to roofs, siding, and windows may occur.
Mobile homes may be damaged or destroyed. Tree damage is
likely.

* This dangerous storm will be near…
Lansdowne around 620 PM EDT.
Broadlands and Brambleton around 625 PM EDT.
Arcola around 630 PM EDT.
Ashburn and Countryside around 635 PM EDT.
Dulles International Airport around 640 PM EDT.
Reston, Herndon, Lowes Island, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly and
Great Falls around 645 PM EDT.

Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include
Congressional Manor, Belmont, Belleview, Sterling Park, Bradley
Farms, Cabin John and Fairfax Station.

Photos by @Cynthia_Adler, @wdudley2009 and @NWS_BaltWash

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First-Ever Reston Pride Festival to Celebrate Local LGBTQ Community

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston is sponsoring the first-ever Reston Pride Festival on June 2 from 2-6 p.m.

The family-friendly, alcohol-free event aims to support and celebrate Reston’s LGBTQ community, said the Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister at UUCR.

Her son, Greg Tartaglione, will emcee and perform as Mama Celeste, a drag performance artist, at the festival. Mama Celeste will also host Oakland’s first drag festival this month.

As someone new to Reston, I was surprised to discover that despite Reston’s founding commitment to diversity and inclusion, there had never been a Pride festival in Reston. I am delighted by the enthusiastic response and support we are receiving for Reston Pride, often from groups and organizations that have never spoken out before on LGBTQ issues,” Haffner said.

The festival, which takes place at UUCR, includes more than 10 performers, presentations by area political and faith leaders, exhibits, booths, food, and music.

Reston Community Players will perform “Rock the Ages and “Hairspray” at the festival. State Del. Ken Plum and state Sen. Janet Howell will speak alongside Lisa Merkel, the mayor of the Town of Herndon.

Eighteen cosponsors are supporting the event, including six churches and synagogues,  Cornerstones and the YMCA.

To volunteer, email [email protected]. The complete program is available online.

Photo via Myers Public Relations

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Reno of the Month: Testimonials Matter

Written by Mina Fies, Synergy Design & Construction

Testimonials can be quite like Facebook — everyone puts their best foot forward and selected quotes usually only highlight a company in the best possible light.

As a result, many people skip over them. However, testimonials DO matter. Before you spend your hard earned dollars on a remodel, take a few moments to review testimonials to ensure you’ve found the perfect fit for your renovation partner.

Here’s our quick guide to meaningful testimonials:

  • It might sound simple, but do the testimonials sound like they came from a real person? If they focus on the experience, and not just the end product, it’s a safe bet the client felt cared for during the process.
  • Are there photos or videos of actual people on the website? Homeowners who had a great experience are usually willing to share their experience.
  • Are before & after photos available and are they consistent with testimonials? If not, time to move on!
  • Watch video testimonials — they are a great way to hear personal stories and opinions from genuinely satisfied customers.

Our featured Reno of the Month is a recently completed Master Bath and was the second remodel we completed for this client, having remodeled their kitchen a few years ago. Our clients had long dreamed of a sleek, stylish retreat that would transport them out of the builder-grade, basic-white Master Bathroom they had for many years.

While the footprint of the new bathroom mimics the old layout, the streamlined fixtures and materials bring new energy to the space and now truly reflect our clients’ modern tastes. Luxurious touches include back-lit vanity mirrors, a heated towel rack and a custom, teak-wood shower floor mat.

We treasure the trust our clients put in our team and feel fortunate to work on multiple projects for their family as needs change. Let them tell you in their own words why us.

Synergy believes partnership is the only way to go to ensure the remodeling journey is as fun as the destination. Our testimonials reflect our commitment to customer service and why, for us, it is not just a practice, it’s the driving force behind everything we do.

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Black, Hispanic Students Face Higher Suspension Rates in Reston Schools

Consistent with national trends, black and Hispanic students are suspended at higher rates than their white peers in Reston schools.

Discipline disparities are especially prevalent at the high school and middle school level, according to federal data released by the U.S. Department of Education in late April.

In Fairfax County Public Schools, 40 percent of students are white, 25 percent are Hispanic, and 10 percent are black. But in-school and out-of-school suspensions are higher for black and Hispanic students. The dataset includes information for the 2015-2016 school year on more than 96,000 public schools.

Black students comprise 23 percent of total in-school suspensions and 26 percent of out-of-school suspensions. Similarly, Hispanic students comprise 41 percent of total in-school suspensions and 35 percent of total out-of-school suspensions.

White students, on the other hand, comprised 22 percent of in-school suspensions and 24 percent of out-school suspensions.

At South Lakes High School, black students are about twice as likely as white students to be suspended. They comprise just 13 percent of the total student population but account for nearly 35 percent of all in-school suspensions and nearly 37 percent of all out-of-school suspensions.

Disparities are evident among the Hispanic population at Herndon High School, where Hispanic students make up 39 percent of the total student population, but account for 64 percent of in-school suspensions and 54 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

In a statement to Reston Now, FCPS spokesman John Torre said the school system is concerned about the “disproportionality in school discipline, suspension, and expulsion rates between white children and children of color and is addressing those concerns by promoting and utilizing these alternative forms of discipline.”

At Herndon Middle School, Hispanic students, who make up 40 percent of the student population, accounted for 73 percent of in-school suspensions and 76 percent of out-of-school suspensions. White students made up 34 percent of the student population and accounted for 10 percent of in-school suspensions and 5 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

For black students, who make up 8 percent of the student population, disparities were not as evident. Black students accounted for 7 percent of in-school suspensions and just under 5 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

Major disparities were not as pervasive at Hughes Middle School, where 42 percent of students are white, 15 percent are black, and 26 percent are Hispanic.

White students comprised 8 percent of in-school suspensions and 14 percent of out-of of school suspensions. Black students comprised 27 percent of in-school suspensions and 28 percent of out-of-school suspensions. Suspensions for Hispanic students were in-line with their demographic makeup.

At the elementary school level, fewer overall suspensions were reported. Overall, racial disparities were also not as evident as they were in the middle and high school level.

Data in Fairfax County are in line with national trends. In 2015, 31 percent of students referred to police were black, even though they comprised 15 percent of the total school population. White students comprised about half of all students but only made up 36 percent of student police referrals.

Read FCPS’ entire response after the jump.

File photo via Karen Raffel

A few years ago, the School Board approved revisions to the district’s disciplinary regulation – Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) – to better align with best practices and reduce suspensions with the goal of keeping students in class by promoting alternative forms of discipline and reducing the length of suspension for certain offenses.  Among the changes: reducing the number of offenses which carry mandated consequences and increasing the focus on school-based interventions.

Suspensions have gone down significantly at the high school level.  Much of this can be attributed to the restorative justice training that administrators received as well as the addition of the Systems of Support Advisor position in all high schools. Out of school suspension declined from 5997 in 2009-2010 to 4103 in 2015-16.

Restorative justice continues to expand as an alternative to suspension for discipline incidents.  Currently, FCPS has five full-time restorative justice facilitators and is working to increase this number as more students are diverted into the program.  Between Sept. 2014 and June 2016, there were 1,086 participants in restorative justice for school discipline.

Restorative justice is a victim-centered process that gives victims a voice about their harm and its effects as well as about terms of repair (including accountability by the offender).  It’s an option not afforded by criminal prosecutions except for impact statements for the most serious crimes. Wider utilization provides some important outcomes to juvenile health in the community, including:

  • lower rate of court involvement and records for first-time offenders, particularly among juveniles of color
  • lower rates of suspension/expulsions in schools, esp. among students of color

One of the beneficial outcomes of restorative justice is an improved relationship between schools and parents of students involved in the discipline process. When compared to the traditional discipline process, parents feel as though the restorative justice approach provides additional transparency because they are fully involved in the process and are given a voice in the outcome, whether their child has been harmed or their child was involved in the harming.

The Alternative Accountability Program  has expanded and is now used countywide by SROs and police for juveniles involved in selected first time criminal activity. The police refer the youth for a restorative justice  conference as an alternative to filing a formal complaint with the court.

In high schools, System of Support Advisors (SOSA) have had significant impact.  SOSAs work closely with youth referred to in-school suspension to determine the cause of referral and prepare students to return to class, reducing repeat offenses.  They observe and work with teachers to help identify triggers and strategies for working with teens who are repeatedly disruptive, and they form relationships with teens and connect youth to other school resources (counselor, psychologist, social worker).

FCPS recognizes and is concerned about the disproportionality in school discipline, suspension, and expulsion rates between white children and children of color and is addressing those concerns by promoting and utilizing these alternative forms of discipline.

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This Week’s Deals & Events in Reston

Beginning this week, each Monday, Tim’s Reston Directory will set the table with deals and events for the work week ahead in Reston. On Friday, we’ll catch up with Tim again with the upcoming weekend’s deals and events.

Highlights for the upcoming work week include:

Scroll through the entire list here:

​​​​Follow Tim’s Reston Directory on Facebook,  Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, & his newsletter for new deals and events, posted regularly throughout the week (typically 10-20 new deals & events are added daily)!

Interested in special promotion as the Deal or Event of the Week or Weekend? Have a deal or event tip? Comments? Suggestions? Email Tim at [email protected]!

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Monday Morning Notes

Good news for Caps fans — “On the Silver Line, the last train will leave Metro Center at 12:27 a.m. heading to Largo Town Center and at 12:21 a.m. heading to Wiehle-Reston East… Game 3 starts at 8 p.m. and Metro’s regular closing time is 11:30 p.m., but Metro’s CEO Paul Wiedefeld announced that Metrorail will remain open for an additional hour thanks to Exelon and Pepco.” [WTOP]

Police investigate double homicide near Town of Herndon —  “The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a double homicide at a café in Sterling near the Loudoun County and the Town of Herndon line. Around 1:45 a.m. Monday Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Pharaoh Café located in the 46000 block of Old Ox Road for a report of a shooting. Two victims lost their lives at the scene. A person of interest attempting to leave the area was detained by deputies responding to the scene.” [Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office]

Absorbing Amazon headquarters in an area with gridlock and high housing costs —  “Northern Virginia, the District and Montgomery County are among the 20 finalists. Amazon may narrow the list further in coming months and is expected to decide by the end of the year… But many residents fear that winning the prize would actually exacerbate all the things they hate about living in the region: horrendous traffic, expensive housing, crowded schools and gentrification.” [The Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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