The incoming cadets learned how to march, how to wear and care for their uniforms, and how to handle a rifle among other valuable lessons. In addition, they participated in community service, including a cleanup of Dranesville Road near the school.
Students also learned the importance of physical fitness as a cadet, including through completion of an obstacle course.
Awards were presented to the top-performing cadets for academics, drill and physical fitness during the orientation course.
Fairfax County teachers, including in Reston and Herndon’s public schools, are in classrooms this week for training, preparation and a little fun before their students return to class Monday.
Take a look at some pictures that have been shared from the schools on social media so far this week as teachers and staff ready themselves for the start of the 2017-18 school year.
— Herndon Elementary (@Herndon_ES) August 22, 2017
Welcome back Seahawk Staff! Thank you to our parents for breakfast this morning. pic.twitter.com/PNHciHr1PX
— southlakesseahawks (@southlakeshs) August 21, 2017
Welcome back, Terraset staff! Our friend and former Terraset student, Uche Agu was our special guest speaker this morning. He discussed his experience at TES and what our passion and purpose meant to him! 🙂
— Herndon High School (@HerndonHS) August 22, 2017
Meet our new teachers! E. Gaba (5th), B. Jennings (6th), S. Hardtke (3rd), & K. Feldman (SPED). pic.twitter.com/nCx2tL2XTx
— Fox Mill ES (@FoxMillES) August 17, 2017
Monday’s solar eclipse provided a unique bonding opportunity for school staffs.
Making memories through engaging learning and opportunities at Lake Anne! pic.twitter.com/fgpuQ4phZF
— Lake Anne Elementary (@LakeAnneEs) August 21, 2017
— Gail Porter (@gaporter3) August 21, 2017
— Forest Edge (@ForestEdgeES) August 21, 2017
The track work will continue into Sept. We also have other construction going on in the stadium. New pavement and fencing around the track pic.twitter.com/BTAWFbuvi4
— SouthLakes Athletics (@SeahawkSports) August 10, 2017
Construction work to improve the track and other features around the stadium at South Lakes High School is now expected to continue into September, meaning some sports activity will be affected.
“We are moving scrimmages for football,” said Andrew Duggan, the school’s assistant director of student activities. “There may be an impact for a couple of field hockey games and lower-level football.”
The SLHS field hockey teams have home games scheduled for Aug. 30. The varsity football team has a home scrimmage slated for Aug. 18, while the JV and freshman teams have two scrimmages in late August, as well as home games on Sept. 7.
The South Lakes High School varsity football team starts its season with three consecutive road games. It won’t play at home until Friday, Sept. 15, when it hosts Dominion.
The work was originally scheduled to be completed before the start of the coming school year. However, Duggan said, the wait will be worth it.
“While the project is behind schedule, we are looking forward to the upgrade our facility is getting,” Duggan said.
The “Back 2 School Bash” is an opportunity for families to receive important information to help prepare children of all ages and grades for the coming school year. Students and parents will have the chance to learn about resources, programs and services provided by community agencies and partnerships that will help with the transition.
The free event will feature local schools, government and nonprofit providers of services, resources and activities for Reston community members. It is co-sponsored by Fairfax County Public Schools, Cornerstones, Reston Community Center, YMCA Fairfax County Reston, and Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Service.
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).
Due to construction at the high school that is limiting parking, Fairfax Connector is offering free shuttles to the event. One shuttle will run between Dogwood Elementary and SLHS, and a second will run from Forest Edge Elementary School to Lake Anne Elementary School to SLHS. The first pick from Dogwood and Forest Edge will be at 10:45 a.m.
For more information, contact LaTanja Jones, collaboration and outreach director at Reston Community Center, by calling 703-390-6158 or emailing [email protected]. You can also follow the event’s Facebook page.
In a change from past years, students will return to schools in August. The Fairfax County Public Schools board decided last year to approve a new calendar that will start classes the week before Labor Day. According to FCPS, that change was made “to provide more instructional time before winter break, enhanced flexibility to help students and school staff members meet college application deadlines, and to end the school year earlier in June.”
The last day of the 2017-18 FCPS school year will be June 15. Graduations will begin June 7.
New teacher training will start one week from today, while full teacher workdays begin the Monday after that. One week later, on Aug. 28, kids will get to work.
Here are some more dates to remember as we head into the new school year.
- Students will be off Friday, Sept. 22; Monday, Nov. 6; Tuesday, Nov. 7; Friday, Jan. 26; Monday, Jan. 29; Monday, April 2; and Monday, April 16 for staff work, planning and development days
- Thanksgiving Break is slated for Nov. 23-24
- Winter Break will run from Dec. 18-Jan. 1
- Spring Break will be from March 26-March 30
- Other observed holidays will be Labor Day (Sept. 4), Columbus Day (Oct. 9), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), Presidents Day (Feb. 19) and Memorial Day (May 28)
FCPS has the equivalent of 13 days (78 hours) built into the calendar. A 14th missed day would not need required by state code to be made up; if there is a 15th missed day, April 16 would be considered as a makeup day.
For the fourth year in a row, South Lakes High School’s STEAM Team Art Club has designed an art display for Lake Thoreau.
The STEAM Team (science, technology, engineering, art and math) was challenged with creating a kinetic work of art that included natural elements and enriched their community. They came up with “Althea,” which they say represents all aspects of human rights.
The sculpture is made up of rings that rotate randomly, like the “constantly evolving nature and complexity of human rights.” There are concentric circles to depict orbital paths of the planets in the solar system. This is supposed to “reinforce how deeply connected humans are to each other.”
Students were involved in every step of the project with the help of art teacher Marco Rando. They presented three concepts to Public Art Reston and considered their input when they choose the design. The students then produced digital and physical three dimensional models, that were also presented to the board for approval. The Reston Association Design Review Board provided feedback on the final design.
The sculpture is made of galvanized metal, plywood, wire rope and spray paint. It is being displayed on the 19-square foot concrete spillway on Lake Thoreau, visible from South Lakes Drive.
The South Lakes students who worked on Althea were Samantha Busch, Carson Bush, Harrison Cahn, Jonathan Doctor, Isabella Emmons, Yanis Gribi, Christian King, Amirah Kirwan, MacKenzie Krider, Catherine Lashley, Darja Loidap, Phoebe Liu, Leah Moyer, Kimi Nacu, Lucy Nguyen, Saeed Louis Razavi, Morgan Ryan, Victoria Slaski, Jeremy Southern and Lily Vogel. Alumni Jefferson Frost, Margaret Lashley and Josh Rodriguez also assisted.
At the final dual meet for the Reston Swim Team Association season, the Ridge Heights Sharks asked their opponents, the Glade Dolphins, if they would like to join together to give back to the community. Many of the swimmers and coaches are alumni of SLHS or attend feeder schools.
“They were really eager to support this effort to bring awareness to hunger in our community and supporting a cause really near to their hearts,” said organizer Leslie Sogandares.
Kudos to the Glade Dolphins and Ridge Heights Sharks for conducting a food drive for the SLHS food pantry at their last meet of the season. Well done!
The pantry, which is open Thursdays from 3-6 p.m. during the summer, provides canned goods and toiletries for the community. They are accepting donations, which can be dropped off at the school’s main office (11400 South Lakes Drive) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
Herndon High School’s Summer Grand are recreating Roald Dahl’s classic “Willy Wonka” this weekend at the school.
The show will be presented Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $12 for each show. Prior to the Sunday show, there will be a “Chocolate Factory Tour” — for a cost of $3 — that will give children a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of such a production. One adult per family can accompany their children at no additional charge.
According to the Herndon Drama website:
Join the Summer Grand cast and crew as they present Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, a marvelous musical that will unlock the gates of your imagination — and, perhaps, teach a lesson or two.
Appropriate for all ages, this celebrated classic offers an optional “chocolate factory” tour before Sunday’s performance. Interested families with children ages 3 to 12 should contact Renee Maxwell, [email protected], soonest, as tour space is limited.
The shows will be presented in the auditorium at Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.). For further information, call Rapheal Schklowsky, Herndon High School theater director, at 703-810-2341; or email [email protected].
Melissa Green, a sixth-grade teacher at Dogwood Elementary School, has been selected to participate in a Library of Congress teacher institute this summer.
Green, who was one of over 300 educators to apply for the program, will attend the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute from July 31 to Aug. 4. She was one of about 20 applicants chosen for the session, one of five that will take place over the summer.
According to a Library of Congress press release, participants will “work with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website.”
Primary sources are firsthand materials from history such as journals, letters and artifacts. This year’s program will look at primary sources from World War I.
“Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical-thinking skills and constructing new knowledge,” according to the press release. “Teachers working in the Library’s collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction.”
In addition to classroom teachers, school library media specialists and school administrators from across the country were also selected to participate.
The Virginia Department of Education is considering changing the benchmarks required for graduation and school accreditation.
The board is looking at lowering the verified credit requirement for students to five credits for both standard and advanced diplomas. The credits would come from math, science, reading, writing and social studies courses.
The department has scheduled meetings to get the input of communities around the state. The first meeting was held recently in Fairfax County, the Fairfax Times reported.
Currently, students must earn nine verified credits for an advanced diploma and six credits for a standard diploma. Verified credits are earned in classes that culminate in a Virginia Standards of Learning exam, also referred to as the SOLs.
The state wants to move towards “authentic performance assessments” instead of the traditional standardized exams for social studies and writing. One critique over the past few years, from students, parents and even teachers, is that the exams don’t allow students to demonstrate all of their knowledge.
The move away from standardized testing would also change the way schools are accredited. Schools earn their accreditation based on student performance on the SOL — 75 percent of students must pass the language arts exams and 70 percent have to pass the math, science and history exams for a school to be accredited.
The system described in the proposal would create three classifications for schools. Level I schools would be those “at or above standard,” Level II schools would be those “near standard or improving,” and Level III schools would be those “below standard.” The drop-out rates, chronic absenteeism, College and Career Readiness Index, would be scored.
Schools that are below standard would have the opportunity for accreditation under the new system. Level III schools would get accreditation, but would have to improve their performance within three years before losing accreditation.
The last meeting will be in August. The board is expected to review its plan in November before finalizing it at the end of the year.
Four people will have their names on the ballot for an August election to fill an At-Large vacancy on the Fairfax County School Board.
Challengers for the seat include Chris S. Grisafe, supported by the Fairfax County Republican Committee; and Karen A. Keys-Gamarra, supported by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. Sandra D. Allen and Michael H. Owens will also be on the ballot.
Jeannette Hough, who was elected to the Board in 2015, stepped down from the position effective June 1. The term will run through the end of December 2019.
Prospective voters must be registered by Aug. 15 to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 29 election.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its meeting next week will vote on moving a $315 million Fairfax County Public Schools bond referendum closer to a public vote.
In Virginia, a referendum can be put on the ballot for consideration by the voters only if it is ordered by the Circuit Court. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors is being recommended to give its stamp of approval to the referendum. At that point, the county attorney would be directed to petition the court to order the referendum to be on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The bond sales would be maintained in the annual amount of $155 million. Future debt service payments are referenced in the FY 2018-FY 2022 Adopted Capital Improvement Program.
One of the most expensive items on the list of projects to be funded is construction at Langston Hughes Middle School. More than $41 million is budgeted for the work.
Click here for the full list of projects included.
Forest Edge Elementary School will host a parent-outreach session Thursday to teach adults how to help children through grief.
Fairfax County Public Schools is offering the session, which will be led by Fairfax County Public Schools social worker Rodana Aboulhosn, MSW. Aboulhosn’s session will begin at noon Thursday to discuss the topic with parents, guardians, and other adult caregivers.
The session is free and available to all parents in the Reston community.
A freshly surfaced track will be waiting for South Lakes High School students when they return to school at the end of August.
Work on the project began earlier this month and is expected to continue through mid-August, South Lakes Athletics reported on Twitter. The account has been providing updates on the work as it progresses.
— SouthLakes Athletics (@SeahawkSports) June 23, 2017
The track and the stadium are both fenced off during the project. It’s the first time resurfacing has taken place in about a decade, said Linda Sarabia Jones, SLHS director of student activities.
Camps that have in past years met on the field are taking place on the upper turf fields of the campus this summer, Jones said.
Students who will be graduating from South Lakes High School next week walked familiar halls this morning to provide inspiration to the community’s youth.
In a new tradition, seniors were able to visit their elementary school alma maters and celebrate with the kids there. Schools documented via social media the occasion, which was described as a moving experience for all involved.
— Sunrise Valley Elem (@SunriseValleyES) June 15, 2017
Familiar faces (Fox Mill alumni) are always welcomed back. Congratulations SL seniors! pic.twitter.com/UcvRW7gT4c
— Fox Mill ES (@FoxMillES) June 15, 2017
— Hunters Woods ES (@HuntersWoodsES) June 15, 2017
— Lake Anne Elementary (@LakeAnneEs) June 15, 2017
— Forest Edge (@ForestEdgeES) June 15, 2017
— Floris Elementary (@FlorisSchool) June 15, 2017
“This is the first year for this Graduate Walk but it went so beautifully that we hope to make it a yearly tradition,” said Emily Burrell, spokesperson for South Lakes High School. “It was an emotional experience for the soon-to-be graduates and their elementary teachers. And the elementary students were thrilled to celebrate the graduates. They even made signs in the South Lakes colors. There were tears of joy all around.”
Students who did not attend an elementary school in Reston were allowed to choose which school they visited, Burrell said.
South Lakes High School’s seniors will graduate during a ceremony Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.
Photos courtesy South Lakes High School