Reston, VA

Several Reston schools will participate in the annual walk-to-school day tomorrow.

Kids across the country are encouraged to walk or bike to school on Wednesday, Oct. 2, in order to limit their carbon footprint, live healthier lives and learn safety procedures, according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School website.

“When families decide to lace up their sneakers or strap on their bike helmets to get to school instead of riding in a car, they help reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles,” the center said, adding that the program began in 1997 and now has participants from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.

So far, six schools around the Reston area are signed up to participate and are listed below.

  • Aldrin Elementary
  • Dogwood Elementary
  • Forest Edge Elementary
  • Hunters Woods Elementary
  • Sunrise Valley Elementary
  • Terraset Elementary

For parents or guardians concerned about safety, the website says parents can accompany their children to school or see if there are any “walking school-buses” organized by fellow parents.

Contact phone numbers for adults leading walks to specific schools can be found online.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Board to Discuss Budget — RA’s Board of Directors will discuss the first draft of the upcoming budget at a meeting today (Thursday) at RA headquarters. Issues related to boat and dock policies, as well as path lighting near Hunters Woods Village Center, will also be discussed at the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

Burglary Reported at Forest Edge Elementary School — Police believe some broke into a school trailer and damaged property. The incident happened between Sept. 20 and Sept. 23. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Spots Available on Fairfax County Chaplain Corp. — The Fairfax County Community Chaplain Corps works as part of an emergency disaster team to provide chaplain care to community members impacted by the effects of a disaster or emergency. Register for an orientation session to meet current community chaplains, learn more about what it means to serve as a community chaplain and learn how to apply. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Diners at Not Your Average Joe’s on select days in March can help raise money for a nonprofit that combats student hunger.

On the four Tuesdays in March, the restaurant (1845 Fountain Drive) will donate 15 percent of bills for diners who ask to have their meals support Helping Hungry Kids.

The nonprofit gives food packages to more than 400 elementary school students in Northern Virginia who don’t have enough food on the weekends.

Most of the 12 elementary schools that receive the packs are ones in Reston and Herndon, which include:

  • Clearview
  • Coates
  • Dogwood
  • Terraset
  • Aldrin
  • Armstrong
  • Forest Edge
  • Lake Anne
  • Hunters Woods

Each pack, which contains non-perishable food for two breakfasts, two dinners and several snacks, costs about $6, according to the nonprofit’s website.

File photo

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Friday Morning Notes

Silver Line Only Running To Ballston — There will be no trains Saturday or Sunday between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle. This means Silver Line trains are only scheduled to run between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston, where riders can transfer will need to transfer to the Orange Line to continue their trips. [WTOP]

DMV Looking at Change in Renewal Reminders — About 120,000 customers who have online DMV accounts, and whose vehicle registrations expire in October, will receive a yellow postcard as a renewal reminder instead of full-size packets. The state DMV is testing the efficiency of the change in an attempt to save costs. [Virginia DMV]

Former Local Teacher, Administrator Has New Job — Jennifer Hertzberg is taking over this year as the principal of Flint Hill Elementary School in Vienna. Among Hertzberg’s previous jobs were as a teacher at Floris Elementary School and an assistant principal at Forest Edge Elementary School. [Inside NoVa]

SLHS Grad Takes Football Coaching Position — Former South Lakes High School gridiron star Chris Royal, who had a stellar career playing at Marshall University, will be working this season as the cornerbacks coach at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Royal is also the older brother of NFL wide receiver Eddie Royal. [The Morehead News]

Time to Go Back to School — Pat Hynes, Hunter Mill District representative on the Fairfax County School Board, has issued a video statement welcoming students and their families to the 2017-18 school year. [YouTube]

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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.

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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.

“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

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Thursday Morning Notes

Magazine Article Makes Case for Paid Parking at RTC — A breakdown of the paid-parking controversy at Reston Town Center that appears in the April issue of Washingtonian argues that “parking is never actually free” and that RTC “was designed so people could get there without a car.” [Washingtonian]

Fifth-Graders Debate School Issues — Students from Terraset and Forest Edge elementary schools recently worked on their speech-writing and public-speaking skills as they squared off in a debate. Topics argued during the event included school uniforms, homework and recycling. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Asks Residents to Report Potholes Properly — Sharing a news blast originally written last February, Fairfax County is reminding residents that they can call or use an online reporting tool to let VDOT know where potholes are in the county. [Fairfax County/Twitter]

Technology Services Company Moves to Reston — CDW has moved its D.C.-area headquarters, one of 24 offices nationwide, to Edmund Halley Drive. Among the features of the new space is a technology demonstration lab featuring the latest technologies from the company’s top partners. [CDW]

Fairfax County Republican Delegate Stepping Down — Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), who has served the area in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994, announced his retirement Wednesday on the House floor. Among his legislative contributions, Albo listed securing transportation funding for Northern Virginia, closing DUI loopholes, allowing marijuana-derived oils to be used to treat epilepsy, boosting punishments for child molesters and writing the language that banned smoking in restaurants. [Richmond.com]

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More kids at Forest Edge Elementary School got moving Wednesday morning than at any other Reston school.

Students at the area’s eight public elementary schools got to class by participating in International Walk to School Day, created to promote physical activity and pedestrian safety.

Forest Edge had the most walkers, with 371 students participating, according to data compiled by Kelley Westenhoff, chairwoman of the Reston Association’s pedestrian and bicycling committee.

Lake Anne Elementary School was also recognized in the Reston Elementary School Challenge. The school had the highest percentage of students who walked to school Wednesday, with 364 of its 670 total students involved, for a 54 percent participation rate.

Thirty percent of Reston’s 5,583 elementary school students walked to school Wednesday, according to the data.

The winning schools will be awarded trophies at the November meeting of the Reston Association. A similar competition will take place in May, when kids will be encouraged to bike to school.

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Pfeffer-Hahn (left) and Walker on the George Mason campus/Credit: Lauren Wright).Two teachers from Reston’s Forest Edge Elementary School have been spending the summer at a prestigious education development program at George Mason University

Kathie Pfeffer-Hahn and Jennifer Walker attended the Elementary Science Institute at George Mason in June and July, where they concentrated on marine science and bringing innovative teaching methods back to the classroom, said a spokesman for The Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA).

From VISTA:

Funded by one of the biggest grants ever awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) teaches teachers how to shift from the traditional lecture-led classroom to problem-based learning. Problem-based learning is about examining “real world” problems and thinking like scientists to find solutions.

Since 2011, the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA) has conducted Elementary Science Institutes, which are held at four sites across the state, to encourage students and teachers to work as scientific investigators and use innovative, critical thinking to help solve society’s most complex issues.

The institutes begin by teaching educators how to present a specific problem to students and by developing a scenario to engage students in a process to solve it.

The institutes also include a two-week embedded camp for students with high needs from local schools. The camp allows the VISTA-trained teachers to experience working with real students on timely and engaging issues.

In addition to the free, four-week program, each teacher receives a $5,000 stipend; $1,000 in teaching resources, science materials, and web content for their classrooms; a master teacher assigned to coach them in the new teaching method throughout the school year; and a trip to the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Professional Development Institute in the fall.

Photo: Katie  Pfeffer-Hahn (left) and Jennifer Walker on the George Mason campus/Credit: Lauren Wright

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