Lake Anne Elementary School has lost its Title I funding due to recent changes in the structure of the federal program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Education.
If a school has more than 75 percent or more students with eligibility for free and reduced meals, the program creates funding opportunities. Each local school district sets eligibility requirements.
This year, Fairfax County Public Schools increased the threshold from 40 percent of students eligible for free and reduced meals to 45 percent. The decision was due to “fluctuations in funding and increasing costs of programs and other supports,” according to a Wednesday statement by principal Jill Stewart.
In an email to parents, Stewart wrote that the loss of funding is expected to have a “minimal impact” on the school community. She noted that the school thoughtfully invested its funds in resources with longterm benefits for students, including:
- diversified and increased our novel units for literacy instruction
- expanded our leveled readers that are used for guided reading instruction across grade levels
- purchased additional laptops for students
- enabled us to purchase math manipulatives that provide concrete examples of math concepts
- refined and expanded the instructional practices of our teachers
- funded staff members participation in Title I professional development
- attended a conference with Virginia Department of Education to learn more about family engagement practices
- allowed Title I specialists to train our teachers and in our school
The school plans to discuss the funding change at a Parent Teacher Administration meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 7 p.m.
Image via Google Maps
Light snow is expected between noon to 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) in the area. Fairfax County Public Schools will close two hours early today.
Due to the anticipated snow and possible hazardous driving conditions later today, all Fairfax County public schools and offices will close two hours early today, January 7, 2020. (Condition 4).
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) January 7, 2020
In a winter weather advisory, the National Weather Service says to expect between one to three inches of snow in the area.
The alert covers northeastern and central Maryland, as well as the Baltimore Metropolitan area. The heaviest snow could complicate the evening commute from 3-6 p.m.
Here’s more from the NWS:
* IMPACTS…Snow covered and slippery roads are expected especially northwest of Interstate 95 into the evening commute.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Snow rates could exceed one inch per hour with visibility around one-half mile at times.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling. When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Solar energy panels will be coming to dozens of Fairfax County public schools and facilities following the launch of a large-scale renewable energy initiative this week.
In a Tuesday release, the county has unveiled multiple solar power purchasing agreements with service providers, an agreement that allows the government to purchase solar-generated electricity from companies that install, maintain and operate solar power generation systems on county property.
County officials expect the new initiative could result in more than $60 million in electricity cost avoidance over the terms of the contracts. They expect the contracts to generate around 1.7 million megawatt-hours of clean renewable energy — equivalent to electricity used by more than 213,000 homes annually.
In a statement, Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill said the initiative was “a major step toward a more sustainable energy future.”
“Fairfax County is striving to promote and encourage the use of renewable energy as we reduce our carbon footprint. We are committed to making choices around energy resources that benefit the residents of Fairfax County now and in the future,” Hill wrote.
Here’s more from the Fairfax County Public School officials:
“The notification of the award is another successful point in our journey to move FCPS toward increased adoption of renewable energy sources,” according to FCPS School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders. “Our ongoing sustainability efforts are worthy of highlighting. FCPS has achieved an annual reduction of 14.5 percent in total energy use division-wide since 2014, a cost savings of more than $31 million. Our move toward solar reinforces the School Board’s commitment to our environmental stewardship responsibilities. Pursuant to School Board policy, FCPS will continue to take bold, innovative and sustained actions to help our country achieve climate stabilization. There are still many issues to navigate as we move forward with solar energy efforts that will require cooperation at all levels of government to ensure success.”
“We’re excited to be partnering with the County in a movement that’s good for our students, families and our environment, “said Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “Lower energy costs through solar power purchase agreements will enable FCPS to save millions of dollars while freeing up additional funds for classroom investments. We look forward to working with the County to expand this initiative to as many FCPS schools and facilities as possible. Our solar investment will also become an amazing learning lab for our students to reinforce the value and sustainability of solar energy.”
The school system was one of the first regional school districts in the country to install equipment to capture solar energy. Terraset Elementary School used solar heat collector tubes to capture energy from the sun when it opened in 1977.
The following schools in the area are being considered for solar modifications:
- Coates Elementary School
- Hunters Woods Elementary School
- Lake Anne Elementary School
- South Lakes High School
- Sunrise Valley Elementary School
- Terraset Elementary School
Photo via Unplash
The $39 million renovation of Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road) could be completed as early as August 2021.
The project, which began earlier this year, is in the first phase of construction. So far, the parking lot and bus loop were partially completed of the summer.
Originally constructed in 1979, the expanded school is set to be 189,000 square feet and serve 1,250 students, according to Hughes Group Architects. Fairfax County Public Schools officials estimate the project will be mostly completed by August 2021.
The first phase of the project, which runs through December 2020, will include a two-story addition with an administration office, library, science and technology classrooms, communications and electrical rooms, as well as parking and other site work.
The second phase, which runs from January 2020 through December 2020, will improve the north entry point, renovation classrooms, and create a lecture hall and collaborative space. Demolition of the existing library and the north entry area is planned.
The final phase of the project, which runs through January 2021 through August 2021, will include upgrades to the performing arts and drama area, the gym, and locker rooms.
The project includes a central court called the “Hall of Nations” — a collaborative and flexible space meant to serve as an auditorium, a classroom or a breakout space.
Photos via FCPS
Collect for Kids Campaign Exceeds Goals — The annual campaign, a drive for backpacks or school supplies for students in need, raised more than $28,400 this year. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Campus Commons Moves Forward — “The Campus Commons project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro stop is moving forward after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave the final okay. It is the latest in a rash of approvals to redevelop office parks close to the Silver Line, but this particular project has provoked a new wave of opposition against long-planned changes–like new housing and offices–in Reston.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Fun at Reston’s Halloween House — “Children three through ten years of age delighted in Reston Association’s non-ghoulish Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail at Walker Nature Center, held Oct. 25-26. Even though the association added more tickets for this year’s event, according to Katie Shaw, Nature Center Manager, advance times sold out once again before the weekend.” [The Connection]
Photo via Flickr/vantagehill
Students who poured through the halls of Herndon High School on the first day of school yesterday were the first to take advantage of the school’s newest renovation features.
So far, phase one of the major renovation project is nearly complete. Improvements include a new entrance that requires entrances to pass through security and the main office, 65 classrooms, a new gourmet foods room, new science labs and additional classroom spaces.
The new library, which is part of phase one, is behind construction and is expected to open in the coming weeks. For now, students will use the old library, but services will be limited.
Phase two will include new locker rooms, art rooms, an expanded main gym, and a renovated auxiliary gym. Phase three will include a new wrestling and gymnastic rooms, renovated musics rooms and an auditorium, and upgraded baseball and softball structures. The final phase will feature updates to the cafeteria, a new food court design, and updates to the tennis courts and stadium press box.
More than 60 outdoor trailers are expected to remain until next year. School officials said only one trailer was removed over the summer in order to allow construction to take place. Because trailers are in place, a parking lottery will continue, with seniors given priority. The school is working with Herndon United Methodist Church to expand student parking opportunities.
The school’s special education office is now in the new wing of the building. A temporary boys locker room and school clinic is also in place as construction continues.
Photos via Herndon High School
Lake Anne first received the award in 2012 and nabbed two additional awards during the first two years in the program.
Since then, the school has made changes to become more environmentally sustainable.
“Being an Eco-School permeates our school through energy conservation, recycling, water conservation, eco education, our bird houses, and our sustainable garden. Our students are eco stewards every day,” said Principal Jill Stewart.
The school has been involved in many environmentally sustainable projects, as told by Fairfax County Public Schools:
Since 2012, Lake Anne added a pollinator garden, a Monarch butterfly garden, a bird garden for all seasons, a mini meadow, a watershed garden for its dry pond, added solar panels to save energy, added raised beds to the courtyards, and started protecting bluebirds by adding a bluebirds nest box trail. The school also started a community edible garden to provide food for its families in the summer, established and grew a recycling program in the classroom and the cafeteria, participates in walk and roll to school once a month, and started a nature trail in the woods to facilitate nature observation. The school also certified its gardens with the National Wildlife Federation and the Monarch Watch program.
More information about the award is available online.
Photo via FCPS
Carson Middle School is among four schools in the state to earn the 2019 Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence — the highest recognition awarded for schools that excel in academics in the state.
The recognition, which is part of the Virginia Index of Performance awards, recognizes schools that go beyond state and federal accountability standards and achieve excellence goals set by the governor and the Board of Education.
The school met all state and federal achievement benchmarks and checked off on goals for elementary reading. Two schools in McLean — Chesterbrook Elementary School and Cooper Middle School — also got a nod from the governor, along with Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church.
In the county, 28 schools were named recipients of the Board of Education Excellence Awards and 22 schools earned the Board of Education’s Distinguished Achievement Awards.
Photo via FCPS
The food pantry at South Lakes High School, which was established by the school’s PTSA in 2017, is now offering healthy eating workshops.
The workshops are funded by a $7,000 Delta Dream Grant from the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and aim to educate students about healthy eating.
Recently, nutritionist Kristen McGill of Giant Food gave a cooking demonstration and answered students’ question about how to eat healthy on a budget. Students learned about differing cutting techniques, how to make vegetarian chili, and the best and fastest way to cook rice. She also walked students through sources of healthy fats.
Students were given goodie bags with coupons, avocados, a wooden spoon, and informational material on healthy eating on a budget.
The pantry was created to help students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals — nearly 30 percent of the student population. The pantry is also open to South Lakes Pyramid students and their families.
Currently, the pantry needs the items below. Drop-offs are accepted at the school’s main office.
- Canned goods
- Boxed or dry goods
- Cooking oil
- Laundry detergent, dish soap
Photo via YouTube/FCPS
Public schools in Fairfax County will open two hours late tomorrow as wintry weather sweeps the county tonight and tomorrow morning.
FCPS announced the decision on Twitter around 6 p.m. today (Feb. 27) “based on the winter weather advisory in effect overnight.”
Locals can expect 1 to 3 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Based on the winter weather advisory in effect overnight, all Fairfax County public schools will open two hours late tomorrow, March 1, 2019 (Cond 3B). School offices and central offices will open on time. SACC opens at 8:00 am
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) February 28, 2019
Calling young artists. Sixth-graders at McNair Elementary School in Herndon have the chance to show off their masterpieces and compete in a contest.
Fairfax County Public Schools recently announced that the school partnered with the College Board to host an art competition.
Contestants can send their portraits to the College Board’s office in Reston Town Center (11955 Democracy Drive), where the art will get displayed. (The College Board is a McNair Elementary School partner, according to FCPS.)
After the votes are in, a representative from the College Board will deliver a certificate to the winner, who can expect to receive prizes and art supplies during the school’s graduation ceremony in June.
Image via Google Maps
Students from South Lakes and Herndon high schools are among the 22 students from Fairfax County public schools who won the 2019 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County.
The award recognizes junior and high school students “who have made a positive contribution to their school or wider community by promoting mutual understanding and respect for all people,” according to the award’s website. Currently, the awards are given out to students in Fairfax and Frederick counties.
FCPS said the following about the winners from South Lakes and Herndon high schools:
Herndon High School: Lydia Goff, president of her school’s Best Buddies chapter, organizes monthly social events, one-to-one get-togethers and fundraisers for the 90 students in the program. She is also a leader in the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to end the use of the demeaning ‘r’ word.
South Lakes High School: Sophia Liao founded the Young Democrats Club, serves on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and is a member of her school’s Student Council. She organized a trip for students to go to China to volunteer at a panda center and organized her school’s participation in National Walkout Day in response to the school shooting in Parkland.
The awards began in Fairfax County in 2006 at Herndon High School and, by 2013, were offered to every public high school in the county. Each recipient receives a monetary gift, along with another one for a peace-focused charity of the student’s choice.
The winners will be recognized at a reception on March 10 at the Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax.
You may have noticed some new faces this February around McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive).
About 15 volunteers from Fannie Mae’s Reston office have been helping out at the school.
“As a new partner, the firm has offered to provide volunteers on a monthly basis as a way to give back to the Reston and Herndon communities,” according to Fairfax County Public Schools.
The volunteers have been busy supporting read-aloud initiatives and the school’s holiday luncheon, according to FCPS.
The school community can expect the volunteers to help through the end of the year.
Image via Google Maps
Fairfax County public schools are planning to open on a two hour delay Monday due to possible snow and freezing rain overnight.
A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect, as forecasters caution of a potentially difficult morning commute.
More from the National Weather Service:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY… * WHAT…SNOW, SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE INCH AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALONG WITH PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND, CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL IMPACT THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&
The Virginia Dept. of Transportation is urging Northern Virginia residents to expect icy conditions and, if possible, telework Monday morning.
“VDOT asks that drivers be alert to a potential mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain to impact roads,” the transportation department said Sunday afternoon. “Crews have brined roads which will assist at the onset of the storm, but drivers are asked to prepare now for impacts to the morning rush hour.”
“If you must drive” in the morning, VDOT said, “add in extra time to drive slower.”
More via social media:
Due to the winter weather advisory in effect for tonight and early tomorrow morning, all Fairfax County public schools will open two hours late Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 (Condition 3B). School offices and central offices will open on time.
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) February 10, 2019
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from this evening into Monday morning. Snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected, Accumulations of up to 2 inches of snow, and less than a tenth of an inch of ice is possible. Visit https://t.co/DtvXcTe0Qk for the latest information. pic.twitter.com/G8jjVwa4km
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) February 10, 2019
An upcoming program at a Herndon public school is going against the grain of conventional education by teaching students the value of community service and baking.
Students at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive) can expect the Bake for Good Program to arrive at their school next month.
Meant for fourth- to sixth-graders, the free program teaches students “the value of giving back to their community while learning to bake bread,” according to Fairfax County Public Schools. Representatives from King Arthur Flour, the sponsoring organization, will present the cross-curricular program, which has three main goals: learn, bake and share.
“Students will use practical applications of math, science, and comprehension skills while learning how they can make a positive impact in their local community,” according to the FCPS announcement.
Each student will then bake two loaves of bread — one to take home and one to donate to LINK, which provides emergency food and financial help to people in the western part of the county.
The program begins at McNair Elementary School on March 12.
Image via Google Maps