Herndon High School to Expand Afterschool Programs for At-Risk Students

Herndon High School and Cornerstones have received $191,000 from the Virginia Department of Education, a grant that will allow the school to expand afterschool activities for at-risk students.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant will help the Herndon High School 21st Century Community Learning Center, which will provide afterschool programming to improve academic performance and support developmental wellbeing.

Students will receive guidance on college, careers, life skills, community involvement, and cultural awareness. An eight-week program will supplement the school-year program.

The program will be open to between 50 and 60 students. The success of the program will be measured through objectives like improved reading and math skills, increased family engagement, reduced dropout rate, and increased emotional and social learning competencies. Rising ninth-grade students will also be involved in the center.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Education covers 32 percent of the total cost of the three-year program. Additional funding will be provided from the following community partners:

  • Herndon High School
  • Fairfax County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services
  • Cornerstones
  • Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services
  • Childcare Resources
  • Herndon United Methodist Church
  • Town of Herndon

Cornerstones will help develop the curriculum and activities for the project.

Photo via FCPS

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Herndon Homecoming Parade Participation Deadline Approaches

The deadline to participate in Herndon’s Homecoming Parade is approaching.

Monday (Sept. 23) is the last day for organizations to register for representation in the parade on Saturday, Oct. 19. Those wishing to simply watch the parade may line up at 9:30 a.m. around Elden Street on the day of the parade.

“Into the Future” will be this year’s parade theme. Participants are welcome to join the parade with a vehicle-powered float, walking float or a group of people, the application form said.

There will be prizes for floats that demonstrate outstanding creativity and adherence to the theme for the following groups:

  • School Group
  • Performing Group
  • Civic Group
  • HHS Class Float
  • Show Group

Parade organizers want floats to be presentable from both sides, fit the theme and appeal to a wide variety of age groups.

Anyone wishing to volunteer and assist with the parade may sign up online.

More than 58 units and around 1,300 participants took part in the 2018 parade, according to the event website.

Photo via Herndon Parks and Recreation

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As School Year Begins, First Phase of Herndon High School Renovation is Nearly Complete

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

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Honoring the Greatest Generation — Students from Herndon High School’s marching band reflect on their travels to Normandy, France, where they performed in the festivities commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. [Fairfax County Public Schools via YouTube]

HawkEye 360 Closes on $70 Million Deal — The Herndon-based company, which uses formation-flying satellites, closed on a $70 million financing round led by Airbus, which bases its North American operations in Herndon. [DC Inno]

StreetShares Raises $30 Million — The Reston-based company raised nearly $30 million in fresh debt funding. The company specializes in small-business loans to veterans. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Local High School Students to Receive School-Issued Computers This Fall

Students at Herndon and South Lakes high schools will go home with a school-issued laptop in the fall as part of a new countywide initiative when schools begins in late August.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) plans to issue a computer to all high school students in the county through FCPSOn. By 2023, all students in the county could go home with laptops.

School officials say FCPSOn will transform learning for students and educators by providing “equitable access to meaningful learning experience and technology to support their learning.”

Devices will not replace teachers. Teachers are supported through ongoing, dynamic professional learning for teachers that will result in purposeful, collaborative student learning experiences,” FCPS wrote in a statement.

SLHS and HHS staff plan to distribute laptops during Teacher Advisory classes during the first week of school. A community meeting to discuss the initiative is planned for August.

The program requires an annual $50 fee for high school students. The fee covers technology support services and the potential costs of replacing equipment in need of repair.

FCPS also allocated $4.3 million in the fiscal year 2020 budget for the initiative. The budget was approved on May 23.

Students can use their own laptop instead of a county-issued laptop, but they must receive approval from their school to do so.

A pilot program first began in 2016 for schools in the Chantilly Pyramid.

More information about the rollout of the program in Reston and Herndon will be available over the summer.

Video via FCPS

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Thursday Morning Notes

Parents Respond to Herndon High School Porn Case — Concerned parents gathered this week to discuss the case of a former Herndon High School drama teacher who is accused of possessing child pornography and unlawful filming. Police believe Raphael Schklowsky may have also set up two cameras at the school. [WUSA 9]

Fireworks Safety Demonstration Tomorrow — As the Fourth of July approaches, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is hosting a demonstration on how to safety use fireworks. The demonstration is set for 10 a.m. at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Free Yoga at Reston Station — Beloved Yoga will offer free yoga lessons today (Thursday) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the plaza. [Reston Station]

Registration Deadline for Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta — The deadline to register a boat to participate in the event is on Monday, July 1. The event is set to take place at Lake Anne on Saturday, August 10. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Police: Former Herndon HS Teacher Recorded Illicit Videos of Students in School

A former Herndon High School teacher recorded dozens of illicit videos of students with hidden cameras around the school for more than a year, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

During a news conference on Wednesday (June 19), police said Raphael Schklowsky, 36, of Reston will face additional charges in connection with filming multiple students. Schklowsky is currently in jail due to previous charges for unlawful filming and possessing child pornography.

Maj. Ed. O’Carroll, commander of FCPD’s Major Crimes Bureau, said that FCPD has not determined the new charges yet. He says female students were filmed while undressing.

“The case remains active. Detectives have been working diligently on this case and our other important cases to bring justice and closure,” he said.

So far, police contacted nine people after identifying them from photos of videos taken by the former drama teacher. Videos were taken between May 2017 and June 2018, according to O’Carroll.

Some photos were taken outside the area, including New York, O’Carroll said. Authorities in other jurisdictions are conducting their own investigations.

Charges against Schklowsky have slowly built up as police discover new details about the investigation. Previously, police discovered over 3,500 videos on various devices.

At a hearing in May, he was charged with 20 felony counts of possession of child pornography and one felony charge of unlawful filming.

He has been on leave since his arrest, according to a spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools. His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Any individual who think they may have been recorded by Schklowsky should call the police at 703-246-7800.

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Local Police Identify Juvenile Victims Unlawfully Recorded by Former Herndon HS Teacher

Local police have new leads on a pornography and unlawful recording case involving a former drama teacher at Herndon High School.

The Fairfax County Police Department is holding a press conference at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday) after they identified juvenile victims unlawfully recorded by Raphael Schklowsky.

Schklowsky, who already had earlier charges related to unlawful filming, is facing 20 felony charges of possession of child pornography and one felony charge of unlawful filming. 

Detectives discovered more than 3,500 videos on multiple electronic devices, police said. Schklowsky, 36, was originally charged with four misdemeanor counts of unlawful filming on April 8. 

Schklowsky has been on leave since his April 8 arrest. He was initially charged in early April when a woman told police she found a hidden camera inside an air conditioning vent in a home where she was working. Detectives found evidence of unlawful filming and arrested Schklowsky.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo via FCPD

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Pride of Herndon Returns from D-Day Celebrations in France

Herndon High School’s band took part in the 75th anniversary of D-Day celebrations in Normandy — returning with enhanced appreciation of the crew members who served on the USS Herndon during the invasion.

Several students dressed in original uniforms worn by USS Herndon sailors and the band also took a flag that flew on the USS Herndon.

Band members marched through the American Cemeteries in Brittany and Omaha Beach and performed in the D-Day Musical Salute to Liberation.

Varun Natarajan, a Herndon High School junior and a member of the band, said the experience increased his appreciation for those who sacrificed their lives during the invasion, as well as the unique role the USS Herndon played.

“We heard some very impactful speeches by people who participated in D-Day. Hearing the veterans describe D-Day gave me a new sense of perspective on what the invasion was like, and how intense the fighting was. Three students from our school also got to speak about what this means to them,” Natarajan said.

Photo via Herndon Band/Facebook

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Monday Morning Notes

Pride of Herndon Band Leaves for D-Day Celebrations Tomorrow — “The Herndon High School band of Herndon leaves Tuesday to participate in 75th D-Day celebrations in Normandy. Band members will carry pictures and stories of crew members who served on the USS Herndon during the invasion.” [WTOP]

Candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Discuss Stances on Cycling Issues  The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling caught up with two candidates running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor. Candidate Walter Alcorn says he hopes to “accelerate existing plans to enable non-motorized access to transit stations and work centers” while candidate Maggie Parker discusses how biking is “a great equalizer.” Other candidates did not respond immediately to requests for comment. [Fairfax County Alliance for Better Bicycling]

Last Day for “LOVE” Letters in Reston Town Center Tomorrow — The iconic letters sign will leave RTC tomorrow as they tour 11 different sites in Fairfax County to celebrate the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s 50th anniversary of “Virginia is for Lovers!” [Reston Town Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Pride of Herndon Heads to Normandy for D-Day Anniversary

Herndon High School’s marching band heads to Normandy, France on Tuesday (June 4) to take part in a parade marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The parade, which organizers say celebrates the “liberation of Europe,” is set for June 13

The Town of Herndon gets its name from U.S. Navy Commander William Lewis Herndon, who died in 1857. Two U.S. Navy ships were named the USS Herndon after the commander as well.

The first ship with that name was given to Great Britain before the U.S. took part in World War II and the second ship, nicknamed the Lucky Herndon, led major assaults on D-Day.

Planning for the trip has been underway for months. The band has raised around $600,000 for the trip through a combination of community events, sponsorships and donations.

As they perform, band members wearing original USS Herndon dress blues will carry a
marching banner that pays tribute the Lucky Herndon. In addition, students will carry photographs of each of the 301 men who served on board on D-Day.

File photo

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BREAKING: Herndon HS Drama Teacher Faces 20 Charges of Possession of Child Pornography

Raphael Schklowsky, a drama teacher at Herndon High School, faces 20 felony charges of possession of child pornography and one felony charge of unlawful filming. 

Detectives discovered more than 3,500 videos on multiple electronic devices, according to the Fairfax County Police DepartmentSchklowsky, 36, was originally charged with four misdemeanor counts of unlawful filming on April 8. 

He was charged with the additional offenses today when he attended a hearing at the Fairfax County Courthouse. He is now being held on no bond.

Schklowsky has been on leave since his April 8 arrest. He was initially charged in early April when a woman told police she found a hidden camera inside an air conditioning vent in a home where she was working. Detectives found evidence of unlawful filming and arrested Schklowsky.

Photo via FCPD

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Herndon HS Students Showcase ‘Mind, Heart and Vision’ in Upcoming Exhibit

Art students at Herndon High School have been busy preparing their senior theses. Some of their work will be on display in an upcoming ArtSpace Herndon exhibit next week.

The 9th annual exhibit, “Mind, Heart, Vision,” will include media like fine art photography, graphics and studio art. The school and ArtSpace Herndon partnered to make the exhibit, which displays juried artwork in a professional gallery, possible.

A reception is set for April 24 (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. Art will remain on display from April 23 (Tuesday) through May 11 (Saturday). The exhibit is located at 750 Center Street.

Artwork will be available for purchase.

Image via ArtSpace Herndon

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Town of Herndon ‘Crescent’ Eyes Remaking by 2035

A 4.2-square mile town once blanketed by dairy farms is poised for remaking as the oncoming train approaches next year. And much of that remaking is in the hands of eight property owners whose nine parcels eclipse to create a crescent at the door of the future Metro station on 12530 Sunrise Valley Drive.

So far, the parcels, which have slowly slipped into suburban malaise, are relics of what town officials hope will soon be a bygone era. But if the pace of development thus far is any indication, it’s no surprise that Stanley Martin’s residential project, called Metro Square (625 Herndon Parkway), was the first to break ground. It is now nearing completion and prices for two-to-three bedroom condos start from $519,000.

It wasn’t until earlier this month that the kind of project that planning officials hoped will help remake the town got the necessary approvals to move forward by the county.

A major development came this week: Nearly four years after Penzance first submitted plans, the company is moving forward with redeveloping a stodgy office building into an urban block with retail, a garage, a mid-rise residential building, a high rise residential tower and a high rise office tower. A total of 475 residential units will be built.

Town officials and developers hope the Penzance project will set the stage for an unprecedented volume of high density development. A revised application by Quadrangle, the owners of the land to the east of Metro known as Fairbrook, is also expected in the coming weeks. The low-intensity project would bring a mixed-use center to the greenfield area. Not much of it is developable due to the presence of flood plain and resource protection areas.

Still, even as phase two of the Silver Line opens next year, the development contemplated by the Town of Herndon’s transit-oriented plan will live its full glory on paper for now. Dennis Holste, the town’s economic development manager, says the area slated for major transit-oriented development — the Herndon Transit-Oriented Core (HTOC) — will likely be built out by 2035.

Given the stagnant demand for office space — a woe whisking its way down phase two of the Silver Line — Holste says residential development is likely to go in first. He predicts the office sector will pick up as new tenants enter the market. Big names like Google — which recently announced plans to move into Reston Station — would be major game changers.

Bracing for impact

The slow place of development could mean more time to manage growing pains. Already, congested roads and overcrowded schools are a concern. A major $105 million renovation of Herndon High School is nearing completion.

Most public amenities are planned on the Fairfax County side of the station, which has an entrance between 575 and 593 Herndon Parkway. The other side is privately owned. The Virginia Department of Transportation is leading an effort to redesign Spring Street between Fairfax County Parkway and Herndon Parkway. Planning officials are now looking into buying the right-of-way needed to make the project possible.

Following that project, a redesign of Elden Street is planned. Though off the path of Metro, officials hope pedestrian connections and the reputation of a redeveloped downtown will bring riders to the area. Pull-off areas are also planned along Herndon Parkway near the Metro station to allows cars to pull off from traffic and pick up or drop off commuters.

The town is also working with the Fairfax Connector to add bus routes to “make certain that as many people as possible have access to bus service to Metro.” said Lisa Gilleran, the town’s director of community development.

‘Not another Tysons’

In county meetings, town officials often stress that the Town of Herndon will not be another Tysons or another Reston after the Silver Line weaves itself into the town’s fabric.

So what will the character of the area surrounding Herndon’s Metro station be? Most officials hope the area’s small town vibe will remain preserved.

“Unique in Northern Virginia, Herndon has an historic downtown with an authentic “sense of place” within one mile of the metro station; this complements the higher density alternatives available around our metro station. Factor in other parts of Herndon, such as our vision for the South Elden area, and Herndon is uniquely positioned to offer existing and prospective businesses several options for growth and development,” Holste said.

Much of that character could come from a wide promenade that will greet riders as they exit Metro and extend up to Herndon Parkway. The pedestrian-friendly gateway hasn’t been designed yet. Town officials hope to pay tribute to Herndon’s history by including signs about the area’s significance.

Gilleran also says that much of Herndon’s uniqueness could come from having a mix of developers create an urban block.

“Individual developers will build each of these blocks, whereas in some cases, one developer will own more than 38 acres,” Gilleran said. “We’re trying to weave independent development into a fabric that gives you a sense of wholeness. We’re creating the pallet.”

They also plan to put in a raised cycle track along Herndon Parkway in lieu of putting bike lines in the street.

Much remains up in the air. The town is planning to jumpstart discussions about an area slated for transit-related growth – also known as the TRG – beyond the auspices of Metro. That process, which would set development goals for around 100 acres north of the downtown core, could begin as early as the summer.

Photo via Town of Herndon/Handout

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Friday Morning Notes

Herndon Teacher Charged with Unlawful Filming Previously Recorded Woman — “The Herndon High School teacher charged with the unlawful filming of a woman inside his home had previously recorded another woman under the same circumstances. Court records obtained Thursday by ABC7 show that the 19-year-old woman, an au pair, said she went to police after finding out about the hidden camera inside an air conditioning vent at the home when a former au pair who worked there said the suspect did the same thing to her.” [ABC7]

The Value of Moscow Tonight — A new comedy about three adult sisters who are forced to live together after their lives have fallen apart takes the stage at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street) tonight. Registration is open online. But beware: the show contains strong language and what the organizers call “comedic violence.” [ArtSpace Herndon]

County Workers Push for Cost of Living Standards — “Some county workers are batting an eyebrow at the county’s proposed Market Rate Adjustment which acts as a cost of living adjustment, and the county’s proposed budget isn’t going to fully fund. With it not being fully funded, this could cost workers to lose out on hundreds of dollars annually. Some workers say it will impact them largely.” [Local DVM]

Beacon Roofing Supply Branches Out — The company, which is headquartered in Herndon, opened five new branches in the first half of its fiscal year. Fun fact: it’s the largest publicly traded distributor of residential and commercial roofing materials in the country. [Citybizlist]

File photo

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