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Fannie Mae Volunteers Give a Helping Hand Around McNair ES

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

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Delayed Opening for FCPS Due to Ice Concerns Monday Morning

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:

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‘Bake for Good’ Program Heading to McNair Elementary School

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

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Reston, Herndon Schools Join Program Giving Students Free Snacks

Four schools in the Reston and Herndon areas are part of 39 Fairfax County public schools taking part in a new after-school food program that provides free meals or snacks to any student.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Food and Nutrition Services announced the sponsorship of the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program yesterday (Feb. 4).

One school in Reston and three in Herndon requested that the program provide them with meals. They include:

  • Herndon Elementary School (630 Dranesville Road)
  • Herndon Middle School (901 Locust Street)
  • Hutchison Elementary School (13209 Parcher Avenue)
  • Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive)

Alexandria topped the list with the most requests from 16 schools, followed by 10 in Falls Church.

The program is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is managed by the Virginia Department of Health’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Photo via @fcpsnews/Twitter

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UPDATED: Fairfax County Public Schools Closed Friday

Updated at 6:55 a.m. — FCPS will be closed Friday.

Fairfax County Public Schools announced the closures this morning. School offices and central offices will open two hours late.

Earlier: Fairfax County Public Schools are taking no chances amid forecasts calling for a burst of snow during the Friday morning commute.

FCPS will open two hours late tomorrow, the school system announced Thursday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the area.

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO 3 PM EST FRIDAY… * WHAT…SNOW IS LIKELY. SNOW ACCUMULATION LESS THAN ONE INCH. THE BEST CHANCE FOR SNOW WILL BE BETWEEN 7 AM AND NOON FRIDAY. * WHERE…THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA. * WHEN…FROM 6 AM TO 3 PM EST FRIDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…WITH SURFACE TEMPERATURES WELL BELOW FREEZING FRIDAY MORNING, EVEN MINOR ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW COULD CAUSE UNTREATED ROADS TO BECOME ICY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… DRIVERS SHOULD PREPARE FOR ICY TRAVEL FRIDAY MORNING, AND PLAN FOR EXTRA TIME TO TRAVEL. WHILE IT IS NOT CERTAIN THAT SNOW ACCUMULATION AND ICY TRAVEL WILL DEVELOP AT THIS TIME, THE POTENTIAL THREAT IS THERE. PLAN AHEAD. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&

VDOT is asking drivers to proceed with caution Friday morning.

VDOT asks that drivers be alert to potential wintry weather that may impact commutes Friday morning. Light snow and extremely low temperatures may cause icy conditions.

Crews continue working overnight to treat roads for refreeze from earlier this week, and will also be staged tomorrow morning to treat roads for more light snow.

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

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Fairfax County Public Schools to Open Two Hours Late Tomorrow

Fairfax County public schools will open two hours late tomorrow (Jan. 31).

FCPS tweeted that tomorrow’s scheduled delay is due to dangerously cold conditions and the potential for icy spots. The county has been hit with snow, rain and gusty winds, this week, causing issues on local roads.

School offices and central offices will open on time tomorrow.

File photo

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Fairfax County Public Schools to Close Two Hours Early on Tuesday

The county’s public schools and offices are set to close two hours early on Tuesday (Jan. 29) as incoming wintery weather may create hazardous road conditions.

Fairfax County Public Schools tweeted shortly after 5 p.m. today (Jan. 28) that the decision is “due to the anticipated snow and freezing rain in the forecast tomorrow afternoon and evening, and the possibility of deteriorating travel conditions.”

The National Weather Service said an abrupt transition from rain to about 1 to 3 inches of snow could likely create poor driving conditions.

Commuters are encouraged to be aware of potential travel disruptions and allow for extra time getting back in the evening.

File photo

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Terraset Elementary School Cuts Out Single-Use Plastic Straws

Students at Terraset Elementary School are reducing their plastic use — one straw at a time.

Since the beginning of the year, students are no longing using single-use straws in the cafeteria. Fairfax County Public Schools announced on Tuesday (Jan. 15) that the straw initiative is saving up to 400 straws per day.

An estimated 80,000 straws will be eliminated over the period of one school year.

In addition to the single-use straw ban, Terraset is now encouraging students to trade disposable water bottles in for reusable ones and to use canvas totes instead of plastic bags.

The school’s initiative and recent urging are meant to help students make environmentally-friendly choices.

“Terraset’s students are helping to save the planet and oceans by individual actions that make a big difference,” according to an FCPS press release.

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County Public Schools Cancel Afternoon, Evening Activities

With an inch of snow anticipated tonight and tomorrow, activities at Fairfax County public schools or on school grounds are canceled for this afternoon and evening.

FCPS wrote in a tweet today (Jan. 17) that the “expected wintry weather in our area tonight” prompted the decision.

The School Age Child Care Program will remain open until 6:15 p.m. tonight.

File photo

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Fairfax County Public Schools to Open Two Hours Late Tomorrow

(Updated at 8:30 a.m.) Fairfax County public schools are set to open two hours late tomorrow (Wednesday).

FCPS tweeted that tomorrow’s scheduled delay is due to “unexpected refreeze of roads and sidewalks overnight.”

School offices and central offices will open on time tomorrow.

Morning preschool classes will be canceled while afternoon preschool classes are set to start on their regular schedule. Full-day preschool and Family and Early Childhood Education Program-Head Start classes will start two hours later than the regular schedule.

Adult and community education classes are set to start on time.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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FCPS Offers Resources, Hiring Events for Furloughed Government Employees

As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, Fairfax County Public Schools is offering resources to furloughed government workers after most missed their first paycheck of the shutdown last Friday (Jan. 11).

FCPS plans to hold a second hiring event for furloughed federal employees interested in substitute teaching positions.

The hiring event last week hit capacity. The event is set for tomorrow (Jan. 15) from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the FCPS Administration Center at 8115 Gatehouse Road in Falls Church, Va. Participants are encouraged beforehand to register, complete an application for employment and bring original documents required for the I-9 form I-9.

FCPS’s “No Student Will Go Hungry” program is supporting families affected by the federal government shutdown by providing breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of their ability to pay or temporary financial circumstances. FCPS will also allow unpaid balances to accrue during the shutdown.

Furloughed workers can also look at Fairfax County’s resources online, including a Human Services Guide to seek assistance from nonprofits and a list of free or low-cost events at county libraries and parks.

The county also plans to have a “Stuff the Bus” event on Saturday (Jan. 19) where locals can bring food and cash donations to support local nonprofit food pantries. One of the collection spots will be the Fox Mill Giant (2551 John Milton Drive) in Herndon from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Food, utility and rent assistance is available from the county’s Health and Human Services agencies.

File photo

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Herndon High School on Track with Renovations Set for Fall Debut

The Herndon High School is on track with its renovations as the school works to have new additions open by the time the 2019-2020 school year kicks off.

Assistant Principal Jim Hannon told Reston Now that the school plans on having the north addition ready for students and staff for the start of the new school year in the fall.

The 74,000-sqaure-foot addition will house the science and world languages departments, along with new classroom space for the mathematics, computer science, career and technical education and English as a second language (ESOL) programs.

Meanwhile the front addition will have the main office and Student Services Office on the main level with a new 18,000-square-foot library on the second floor, he said. That addition is also slated to be ready for the start of the 2019 school year.

“We are very excited about the pace of work, the progress and the coordination between Fairfax County Public Schools Design and Construction, Hughes Group Architects and the general contractor — Grunley Corp.,”  Hannon wrote in an email.

The rest of the project includes renovating locker rooms, art rooms, the gym, music rooms, the cafeteria, the stadium press box and tennis courts. 

This is the school’s first renovation since 1991.

By the 2022-2023 school year, more than 100,000 square feet of space will have been added to the school.

Photos via Jim Hannon

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School CIP Leaves New High School and Additions Unfunded

The Fairfax County Public School’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), scheduled for review later this month, still leaves a planned nearby high school unfunded as local crowding increases.

The new high school is planned for somewhere along the Dulles Suburban Corridor to take students coming up through McNair, Coates and Hutchison elementary schools.

The high school’s location has not been selected yet, and school officials at prior meetings said they are relying on proffers from developers and negotiations with applicants to see if land for a new high school can be provided.

While South Lakes High School sits at 92 percent capacity, the surrounding Herndon, Madison and Oakton high schools all exceed 100 percent capacity. The CIP’s school capacity chart for the 2018-2019 school year shows Oakton High School at 131 percent capacity. The school year 2023-24 projections show South Lakes High School’s capacity increasing from 92 percent to 97 percent.

The CIP also notes that capacity enhancement additions will be needed at Madison High School to accommodate for the forecasted capacity needs, though those additions remain unfunded.

The high school planned for the western party of the county to relieve schools around Oakton and Herndon is not the only new school lacking funds. A new elementary school along the Metro’s Silver Line also remains unfunded.

As plans move along for greater levels of residential density in Reston, local residents expressed concerns at meetings last year that FCPS is waiting until new development starts to overcrowd the schools before taking action to address capacity. School officials stated that the new developments are not anticipated to bring in high numbers of new students.

A public hearing for the CIP will be held next Tuesday (Jan. 8) before a final decision, which is scheduled for Jan. 24.

Photo via FCPS

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Board of Supervisors Chairman to Retire After Term Ends Next Year

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova announced today (Dec. 6) her plans to retire after her term ends Dec. 31, 2019. Her departure adds to the list of supervisors who have also decided to retire.

Supervisors Linda Smyth, for the Providence District, and John Cook, for the Braddock District, recently said that they won’t seek reelection.

Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay plans to run for the top seat, as well as Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, who faces a Democratic challenger for his district seat, The Washington Post reported. The upcoming election for the county’s Board of Supervisors will take place on Nov. 5, 2019.

Bulova, who hits the 10-year mark in February for leading the board, joined the board in 1988 as the Braddock District Supervisor.

The announcement arrived in her monthly newsletter. In one section, she wrote:

Local government is an awesome place to be. It’s the level of government closest to the people you represent. It’s the place where you can truly make a tangible difference, touch lives, and engage with the community in a personal, positive way. Deciding when to stop is just as hard as making the decision to start down the road of elective office. For me, however, that time has come.

When questioned by Tony Olivo of the Washington Post about my plans for running, I told him I was going to use the Thanksgiving holiday to think about it, and to talk to my family and friends. On Thanksgiving Day my son David arrived for dinner equipped with a large flip chart and colored stickies for voting. He titled the Chart “Family Decision Making Matrix” and separated it into “Pros” and “Cons.” It was a fun, light-hearted after dinner activity. Many of the items listed on the “Pro” side of the chart were some of the reasons that had already persuaded me to not seek another four-year term. More time with family and grandchildren, time for travel, to entertain, to smell the roses. It has been an honor to serve the Fairfax County community on the Board of Supervisors. During these past thirty years, I have been privileged to work alongside dedicated elected officials at every level of government, with talented, caring county staff and a county full of enthusiastic community volunteers. While I will not be running for re-election in 2019 I sure do have a lot to look back on with satisfaction.

Congress members representing Virginia have applauded Bulova’s leadership style and accomplishments.

“As former mayor to a city of 200,000 people, I have enormous respect for Sharon Bulova’s leadership of a county of 1.1 million,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said in a statement. “Over the past 30 years, Fairfax County’s population has grown by nearly half, and Sharon’s service during that time has played a major role in ensuring the prosperity and quality of life accompanying that growth.”

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who was the chairman before Bulova, said in a statement that Bulova “is a true community treasure,” whose time on the board will be remembered for decency and commitment to improving Fairfax County.

“Under her leadership, she turned the idea of the Virginia Railway Express into a reality,” Connolly said. “As Chairman, she guided the county through the worst of the Great Recession, while still maintaining the critical investments and services that Fairfax residents have come to expect.”

Reston Now reached out to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins for a comment and has not heard back.

Pat Hynes, the Hunter Mill District representative for Fairfax County Public Schools, board supervisors and Eileen Filler-Corn, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing Fairfax County, took to Twitter this afternoon:

Photo via Fairfax County. Second photo via Evan Michio Cantwell.

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Fairfax County Public Schools to Open Late Tomorrow

All Fairfax County Public Schools will open two hours late tomorrow (Friday), ushering in a second day of weather-related impacts on schools.

School offices and central offices will remain open. All county public schools were closed today due to snowy conditions.

Photo via Twitter user @MrErrett

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