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Graduations Held at Herndon and South Lakes High Schools

Hundreds of students from Herndon High School and South Lakes High School graduated this week. Herndon’s graduation ceremony was held on Wednesday at George Mason University’s Eagle Bank Arena.

For the second year, graduates of South Lakes High School held a graduation walk through the halls of feeder schools and SLHS.

Local students are headed to colleges throughout the country. The following is a breakdown of schools and places graduates are planning to soar off to. The school declined to release counts for each school.

2018 College Name — SLHS by Fatimah Waseem on Scribd

Photo by Kevin N.

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Friday Morning Notes

Silver Line extension to Dulles awaits test results — “The Silver Line extension project to Dulles International Airport is now waiting on test results that could determine whether it opens on time. Project director Charles Stark told the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee… that three problems with concrete wall panels at five stations under construction had already been identified before news of a whistleblower lawsuit broke.” [WTOP]

A local kid’s message for President Trump — Disturbed by the murders of Buckley Kuhn Fricker and Scott Fricker late last year, 10-year-old Anya Moon pens a letter to President Donald Trump about gun violence. [CNN]

For Normandy — Five ensembles by current and former Herndon High School musicians will be featured in this family-friendly concert on Sunday. All proceeds will help the school’s band travel to Normandy to participate in the 75th anniversary of D-Day. [Herndon High School]

Registration for fall soccer is now open — The Great Falls-Reston Soccer Club is accepting application starting today for a variety of programs.  [Great Falls Reston Soccer Club]

Reston Pride Festival set for tomorrow — As pride month begins, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston is hosting Reston’s first-ever Pride Festival on Sunday. The event includes 10 performances, remarks by local politicians, exhibits, food, and music. [Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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Black, Hispanic Students Face Higher Suspension Rates in Reston Schools

Consistent with national trends, black and Hispanic students are suspended at higher rates than their white peers in Reston schools.

Discipline disparities are especially prevalent at the high school and middle school level, according to federal data released by the U.S. Department of Education in late April.

In Fairfax County Public Schools, 40 percent of students are white, 25 percent are Hispanic, and 10 percent are black. But in-school and out-of-school suspensions are higher for black and Hispanic students. The dataset includes information for the 2015-2016 school year on more than 96,000 public schools.

Black students comprise 23 percent of total in-school suspensions and 26 percent of out-of-school suspensions. Similarly, Hispanic students comprise 41 percent of total in-school suspensions and 35 percent of total out-of-school suspensions.

White students, on the other hand, comprised 22 percent of in-school suspensions and 24 percent of out-school suspensions.

At South Lakes High School, black students are about twice as likely as white students to be suspended. They comprise just 13 percent of the total student population but account for nearly 35 percent of all in-school suspensions and nearly 37 percent of all out-of-school suspensions.

Disparities are evident among the Hispanic population at Herndon High School, where Hispanic students make up 39 percent of the total student population, but account for 64 percent of in-school suspensions and 54 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

In a statement to Reston Now, FCPS spokesman John Torre said the school system is concerned about the “disproportionality in school discipline, suspension, and expulsion rates between white children and children of color and is addressing those concerns by promoting and utilizing these alternative forms of discipline.”

At Herndon Middle School, Hispanic students, who make up 40 percent of the student population, accounted for 73 percent of in-school suspensions and 76 percent of out-of-school suspensions. White students made up 34 percent of the student population and accounted for 10 percent of in-school suspensions and 5 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

For black students, who make up 8 percent of the student population, disparities were not as evident. Black students accounted for 7 percent of in-school suspensions and just under 5 percent of out-of-school suspensions.

Major disparities were not as pervasive at Hughes Middle School, where 42 percent of students are white, 15 percent are black, and 26 percent are Hispanic.

White students comprised 8 percent of in-school suspensions and 14 percent of out-of of school suspensions. Black students comprised 27 percent of in-school suspensions and 28 percent of out-of-school suspensions. Suspensions for Hispanic students were in-line with their demographic makeup.

At the elementary school level, fewer overall suspensions were reported. Overall, racial disparities were also not as evident as they were in the middle and high school level.

Data in Fairfax County are in line with national trends. In 2015, 31 percent of students referred to police were black, even though they comprised 15 percent of the total school population. White students comprised about half of all students but only made up 36 percent of student police referrals.

Read FCPS’ entire response after the jump.

File photo via Karen Raffel

A few years ago, the School Board approved revisions to the district’s disciplinary regulation – Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) – to better align with best practices and reduce suspensions with the goal of keeping students in class by promoting alternative forms of discipline and reducing the length of suspension for certain offenses.  Among the changes: reducing the number of offenses which carry mandated consequences and increasing the focus on school-based interventions.

Suspensions have gone down significantly at the high school level.  Much of this can be attributed to the restorative justice training that administrators received as well as the addition of the Systems of Support Advisor position in all high schools. Out of school suspension declined from 5997 in 2009-2010 to 4103 in 2015-16.

Restorative justice continues to expand as an alternative to suspension for discipline incidents.  Currently, FCPS has five full-time restorative justice facilitators and is working to increase this number as more students are diverted into the program.  Between Sept. 2014 and June 2016, there were 1,086 participants in restorative justice for school discipline.

Restorative justice is a victim-centered process that gives victims a voice about their harm and its effects as well as about terms of repair (including accountability by the offender).  It’s an option not afforded by criminal prosecutions except for impact statements for the most serious crimes. Wider utilization provides some important outcomes to juvenile health in the community, including:

  • lower rate of court involvement and records for first-time offenders, particularly among juveniles of color
  • lower rates of suspension/expulsions in schools, esp. among students of color

One of the beneficial outcomes of restorative justice is an improved relationship between schools and parents of students involved in the discipline process. When compared to the traditional discipline process, parents feel as though the restorative justice approach provides additional transparency because they are fully involved in the process and are given a voice in the outcome, whether their child has been harmed or their child was involved in the harming.

The Alternative Accountability Program  has expanded and is now used countywide by SROs and police for juveniles involved in selected first time criminal activity. The police refer the youth for a restorative justice  conference as an alternative to filing a formal complaint with the court.

In high schools, System of Support Advisors (SOSA) have had significant impact.  SOSAs work closely with youth referred to in-school suspension to determine the cause of referral and prepare students to return to class, reducing repeat offenses.  They observe and work with teachers to help identify triggers and strategies for working with teens who are repeatedly disruptive, and they form relationships with teens and connect youth to other school resources (counselor, psychologist, social worker).

FCPS recognizes and is concerned about the disproportionality in school discipline, suspension, and expulsion rates between white children and children of color and is addressing those concerns by promoting and utilizing these alternative forms of discipline.

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Herndon High School Band To Travel to France for D-Day Anniversary Celebration

The U.S.S. Herndon took part in World War II’s Normandy invasion 75 years ago. Next year, Herndon High School’s marching band will return to the shores of Normandy to participate in a D-Day anniversary celebration.

The band is preparing to perform in the 75th D-Day Memorial Parade and Musical Salute  in June 2019. Roughly 200 students and chaperones plan to attend the event, which offers a salute to veterans.

The U.S.S. Herndon and the Town of Herndon were named after Commander William Lewis Herndon, a Navy officer who served in the Mexican-American War.

The U.S. Navy ship helped escort ships ahead of the invasion in France, took part in anti-submarine duty and screened landings, submarines and aircraft carriers. The ship also provided some fire support.

Fundraising is underway to make the trip possible. A kick-off celebration and benefit concern will be held on May 5 on the Herndon Town Green. The event will feature live performances by The 5:55, guest speakers, food and beer.

The band was recommended by the government and military organizers of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii based on their performance in 2013.

“Getting to represent not just Herndon, not just Virginia, but the entirety of the United States will be a life shaping experience for our students,” said Kathleen Jacoby, the band director at Herndon High School. “Not only are they connecting with current day Americans, but we’re asking them to time travel back to 1945 and put themselves in the shoes of the brave men who were on the beaches of Normandy.”

Here’s more from the band about the tribute:

As they march, the Pride will also be paying a special tribute to the brave men of the USS Herndon, the destroyer that led the Allied naval armada in the assault on France and named for CommanderWilliam Lewis Herndon, after whom the Town of Herndon, VA is also named. The USS Herndon was launched on 2nd February 1942 by the Norfolk Navy Yard, sponsored by Lucy Herndon Crockett, great-grandniece of Comdr. Herndon. The ship was nicknamed the “Lucky Herndon,” because it was never hit by enemy gunfire, despite being targeted by torpedoes, aerial bombardments, and well-fortified German shore batteries. The men of the “Lucky Herndon” were given 10 to 1 odds that they wouldn’t come out of D-Day alive. By contrast, Herndon effectively pounded enemy gun emplacements on Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, ahead of our first troop landings there, and was credited with firing the first naval shots of this campaign. Each member of the Pride will carry a photograph of a Herndon crew member who served during WWII, as they march in Normandy. The marching banner will have a photograph of the ship, and the band will wear baseball caps that say ‘USS Herndon’.

For more information and to donate, visit the band’s website.

Photos via Rini Dutta and William Craig Dubishar

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This Sunday: Screening of ‘Blind Boys of Alabama,” A Documentary Directed by Reston Native

Trace the story of the Blind Boys of Alabama, a legendary gospel quartet that blossomed after its members met in the 1930s at a segregated, state-run institute for the blind, this Sunday at Reston Community Center.

As part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival, an offshoot of the New York film festival, CenterStage will show the film, “How Sweet the Sound — The Blind Boys of Alabama,” at 3 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods.

The documentary is directed and produced by Reston’s own Leslie McCleave. The independent filmmaker graduated from Herndon High School and was raised in Reston. The screening will be followed by a conversation with McCleave, who currently teaches film and video production at Emerson College in Boston, Ma.

The festival, run by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, features films by and about people with disabilities. Screenings will take place at several venues throughout Northern Virginia.

Sunday’s screening is restricted to viewers ages 18 and above.

For more information about other screenings, visit the festival’s website.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Six things to know after the windstorm — All you need to know about trees, power outages, food safety, and more. Let’s hope things can get back to normal soon. [Fairfax County Government]

Tackling traffic on Sunset Hills Road — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on plans to realign the road today at 4 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Online voting for Reston Association elections is live — To cast a vote in the election for RA’s Board of Directors, visit RA’s website. Paper ballots were mailed yesterday. [Reston Association]

Travel “Into the Woods’ with Herndon students — Tickets are on sale for the performance by Herndon High School Theatre from April 13 through April 21. [Herndon Drama]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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Nando’s PERi PERi Raises $12,000 for Local High Schools

Nando’s PERi-PERi, a South African-Portuguese restaurant chain, raised $12,711 for two local public high schools at its grand opening in November.

To celebrate its new location on 2120 Sunset Hills Road, the chain donated 100 percent of all sales, excluding alcohol and taxes, to the two schools. In 2019, Herndon High School will use funds to send the marching band to represent the United States at the 75th Commemoration of D-Day in Normandy. South Lakes High School will use the donations to send their marching band to Hawaii to perform at the 2017 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, in addition to supporting other program needs.

Though the two schools are traditionally rivals, Nando’s said students from the two bands happily came together to raise money through the fundraiser.

“Nando’s likes to be good neighbors, and we couldn’t be happier with the community turnout in Reston,” said Sepanta Bagherpour, Nando’s vice president of marketing. “Students and parents at both high schools worked so hard to spread the word in their community, and to show support for their schools.”

Photo courtesy of Seven Oaks Media Group

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Early Education Discussed in ‘Connecting with Supervisor Hudgins’ Show — In this month’s Channel 16 program, Cathy Hudgins discusses the importance of pre-K programs to help children get a head start in school. [Channel 16]

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Creates Reston Profile — The organization created a profile for Reston, which lists the community as the second-largest commercial market in Fairfax County and indicates 66 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Major employers in the area include Fortune 500 firms like Leidos and NVR.  [Fairfax County EDA]

Herndon Restaurant Fire Caused By Unattended Cooking — A fire on Saturday in the late afternoon on the 1000 block of Eldon St. in Herndon was caused by unattended cooking. A wok filled with cooking oil was left on the stove. A violation notice was issued for the restaurant’s commercial fire suppression system. Crews from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Herndon High School and Herndon Middle School Partner to Provide Thanksgiving and Holiday Meals — The schools are partnering to raise money for 210 meals for students who struggle with food insecurity. A goal of $10,500 has been set for the initiative, which is run through a partnership with Food For Neighbors. Donations can be made online. [Food for Neighbors]

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar. Know of other events in the area? Comment below.

 

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Nando’s Opens in RTC West Today, Grand Opening Set for Saturday

Nando’s PERi-PERi restaurant opened today at 11 a.m. on 12120 Sunset Hills Road in Reston Town Center. The Portuguese restaurant will host a grand opening on Saturday to support music programs at South Lakes High School and Herndon High School.

All sales on Saturday will be donated to the schools, according to a press release. The funds will be directed to help fund Herndon High School’s marching band as the team goes to Normandy, France to represent the United States at the 75th commemoration of D-Day in 2019. South Lakes High School will use the donations to send their band to Hawaii to perform at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade this year and other program needs.

According to the SLHS Parent Teacher Association, raffle prizes will be up for grabs at noon, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“This is all about being good neighbors, and Nando’s looks forward to becoming an integral part of the Reston community,” said Sepanta Bagherpour, the restaurant’s vice president of marketing. “We are proud to support musical programs at two of the most impressive public high schools in Virginia.”

Nando’s has 40 locations in the country and nine in Virginia. The chain made its U.S. debut in 2008 with its first location in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.  According to promotional information, the chain has about 1,200 restaurants in 23 countries on five continents. It was founded in 1987 in South Africa. Other area restaurants include at One Loudoun and in the Mosaic District.

Photos courtesy of Seven Oaks Media. For more photos, visit the online album

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Monday Morning Notes

Reston Association to Set Budget for Next Year — On Thursday, RA’s board of directors will set the annual membership assessment rate and approve a new budget. The meeting will air live on YouTube at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

South Lakes High School to Hold Dinner for Veterans — The school’s JROTC program is hosting an appreciation for 400 honorees on Dec. 9 from 6 – 9 p.m at 11400 South Lakes Drive. The dinner will include cadet demonstrations and music by the school orchestra. [South Lakes High School]

Reston Association Club Features Weekly Themes for Children — This week’s Reston Today video looks at RA’s Fit Kids Enrichment Club, which allows children to explore their talents and abilities.  [Reston Today]

South Lakes’ Seahawks Advance to Second Round of Class 6 Playoffs — On Friday, the high school’s varsity football team advanced to the second round of playoffs with a decisive 49-14 win. [Seahawks Athletics]

Herndon High School Hosts Holiday Vendor Sale — On Saturday, the school will host a sale that will include cake, cotton candy, crafts, face paint and more. The event is at the high school’s cafeteria (700 Bennett St.) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Herndon High School]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Fairfax County School Board to Discuss  School Calendar — The board will review three options to change the school calendar for next year on Monday, Nov. 13. Changes include several options for the first day of school and the selection of the length of winter break and early release days. Proposed changes can be found on the school system’s website. For more information, contact the school system’s community relations and communication office at 571-423-1200. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Federal Capital Partners To Sell Amazon Web Services Building in Herndon — The landlord has hired a firm to market the One Dulles Tower, a 400,000 square foot building for sale. The company purchased the building for $80 million in 2015. [Washington Business Journal]

Event to Highlight Crash Management Efforts in Northern Virginia — Virginia’s transportation department will show how multiple agencies and jurisdictions work together to clear incidents on the state’s roads on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. The event, which will be held at the department’s Northern Virginia District Office (4975 Alliance Drive), is the first open house in Northern Virginia that will feature a simulated crash scene and indoor technology exposition. For more information, visit the department’s webpage. [Virginia Department of Transportation]

Herndon High School Theatre Presents ‘Twelfth Night’ —  William Shakespeare’s holiday comedy will be performed on Nov. 10, 11, 16 and 17  from 7:30 – 10 p.m. Timings for Nov. 12 and Nov. 18 are between 2 and 4:30 p.m. Parental guidance is recommended, as the performance is not suitable for audience members under the age of thirteen. Tickets, which are $12 for adults and $6 for students, can be purchased on the theatre’s website. Performances will take place in Herndon High School’s auditorium (700 Bennett St.). [Herndon High School Theatre]

Sobriety Check Set for Friday — Officers from the Reston District Station will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in the area this Friday. A first-time DUI offense can result in fines ranging from $250 to $2,500 and a one-year license suspension. Individuals arrested with a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 or higher must spend at least five days in jail. [Fairfax County Police]

File photo.

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Photos: Herndon Homecoming Parade

Saturday, downtown Herndon celebrated its community with its annual homecoming parade.

The parade, which traversed Elden and Lynn streets in the town, featured nearly 1,300 participants in 51 units. Athletes, bands, clubs, performers, scouts, politicians, businesses, community groups and Herndon High School’s Homecoming Court were among the participants.

The theme of the parade was “Across the World,” and included a salute to nations that have hosted the Olympics.

According to the Town of Herndon website, highlights of the parade included the St. Joseph’s School cheerleaders; Herndon High School’s cheerleading, dance and step teams; HHS NJROTC; HHS Best Buddies; Hutchison Elementary students; Herndon-Reston softball; JamBrew with JUXT; and the Class of 1987 riding Herndon’s retired 1955 GMC American pumper truck.

Dignitaries at the event included Mayor Lisa Merkel; Vice Mayor Jen Baker; councilmembers Grace Wolf Cunningham, Jeff Davidson, Signe Friedrichs, Bill McKenna and Sheila Olem; Herndon Police Department’s Capt. Brad Anzengruber; and Herndon High School Principal Dr. Liz Noto.

Trophies were presented to the first- and second-place winners in the Civic, Performing Arts, School, Show and Class Float categories. Judges also selected the Richard F. Downer theme award and the Major Robert C. Church Best in Parade winners.

Civic Group
First Place – Girl Scouts of Herndon
Second Place – Cub Scout Pack #1570

Performing Arts Group
First Place – Herndon Middle School Step Team
Second Place – Percussion Works

School Group
First Place – Herndon Elementary
Second Place – Dranesville Elementary School

Show Group
First Place – Herndon Optimists Youth Sports
Second Place – Herndon Woman’s Club, Wreaths Across America

Class Floats
First Place – Herndon High School Class of 2019
Second Place – Herndon High School Class of 2018

Richard F. Downer Theme Award – Clearview Elementary 6th grade

Major Robert C. Church Award – Best in Parade – Pride of Herndon, Herndon High School Band

More photos from the event can be found on the Herndon Homecoming Parade Facebook page.

Images via Karl Haase/Facebook

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

Reston’s multicultural heritage will be celebrated this weekend at Lake Anne Plaza.

The community’s annual Multicultural Festival, sponsored by Reston Community Center and Reston Association, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. It will include “music, entertainment, dress, food, and cultural treasures from all over the world,” according to information provided by RCC.

The entertainment lineup includes more than a dozen performers on two stages — the World Stage and the Global Stage — as well as at RCC’s Lake Anne facility. The “Global Market” will feature jewelry, clothing and more from around the world.

For more information about the event, contact Kevin Danaher, RCC’s community events director, at 703-390-6166.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Get out there and have some fun on this last full weekend of September!

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) will present its annual Showcase of Bands all day Saturday. South Lakes High School’s band will perform at 6:15 p.m., and Herndon’s band will play at 8:15.
  • Café Montmarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.) will be the host of a comedy performance presented by Funny Friend Productions, beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday. Performers will include Robin Rex, Franqi French, Sumedha Ahuja Bahri, Kevin Skington, Wendy Wroblewski, Gil Segev, Leon Scott, Dan Kaufman and Steve Coltrain. Door charge will be $10.
  • The grand-opening event for Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Ave.) will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The fun will include train rides, moon bounces, the petting zoo, face painting and more.
  • The JamBrew series continues tonight in Herndon. Aslin Beer Co. will be pouring frosty mugs, Weird Brothers Coffee will be offering tasty drinks, Nordic Knot Pretzels will provide tasty snacks, and there will be much more. Live music will be offered from DJ Barf Dog, Queens Over Kings and Sub-Radio. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.).
  • Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will host a performance by Grammy-nominated musician Cedric Watson from 3-5 p.m. Sunday.
  • South Lakes High School’s undefeated varsity football team will play at home tonight at 7 p.m. against Centreville. A pre-game party at the stadium (11400 South Lakes Drive) is scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m., featuring burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, ice cream and more.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winner display “Disgraced,” exploring Muslim assimilation and identity in America, will be performed at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.; and at a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets range in price from $17.50 to $55.
  • Pediatric Specialists of Virginia will have their Stride Forward 5K and Family Health Fair on Saturday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Reston Town Center.
  • The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is Sunday, from 1:30-5 p.m. at Reston Town Center.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from Lawn Dart Incident tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits during those hours Saturday night.

File photo from 2015 Reston Multicultural Festival

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Thursday Morning Notes

Food Collection Helps Herndon Students — Nonprofit organization Food for Neighbors collected food on a recent Saturday at Plaza America, with items collected going to students in need at several county locations, including Herndon middle and high schools. The program is working to add other schools, including South Lakes High School, to its efforts. [Fairfax County Times]

County Task Force Rides Out Maria — Virginia Task Force One, Fairfax County’s elite urban search and rescue team, has been busy this past month assisting with efforts following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They were scheduled to go to Mexico to help following this week’s earthquake there, but instead find themselves waiting out Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. [WJLA]

Metro Lines Slow This Weekend — Work west of Foggy Bottom means the Orange, Blue and Silver lines are only scheduled to run every 24 minutes this weekend. The Silver Line will only run between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston. [WTOP]

New FCPS Superintendent Talks About Goals — Dr. Scott Brabrand says there’s work to be done in the district, including diversifying the workforce and scaling back demands on teachers. [Washington Post]

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