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Scholarship Application Opens Today for South Lakes HS Students

Starting today (Feb. 15), South Lakes High School students can apply to the Reston Scholarship Fund of the Community College of Northern Virginia.

Liz Blankespoor, a Restonian and co-founder of the scholarship fund, told Reston Now in an email that the scholarship is currently supporting 22 graduates of South Lakes High School who are working on their post-secondary degrees.

The scholarship awards 10 scholarships each year to seniors planning to attend the community college before transferring to a four-year college.

South Lakes High School senior graduating in June must:

  • be attending the Northern Virginia Community College in this fall
  • have a GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • demonstrate financial need

The scholarships vary amounts, with a possible award of up to $16,000. They are spread over the course of six years and are renewable for students who maintain a GPA at or above 2.75 and continue to demonstrate financial need, Blankespoor wrote.

Submissions are due by May 1.

File photo

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Reston Youth Triathlon Set to Return for Ninth Annual Fundraiser

The yearly triathlon just for kids is back.

The ninth annual Reston Youth Triathlon will take place Sunday, May 12, at the South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).

The triathlon includes athletes swimming in the heated Ridge Heights pool, biking near South Lakes High School and then running on Reston Association paths before finishing at the school’s stadium.

The triathlon is open to kids ages 6 to 15 with different distances for the triathlon’s three parts based on age groups. Registration opened on Jan. 16.

The fundraising “Be Amyazing!” triathlon began three years after “Amy’s Amigos” was founded in 2008 to honor Amy Boyle, who was battling brain cancer.

In past years, the triathlon has raised $125,000 for the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation, which helps social entrepreneurs and small organizations.

The event is coordinated in conjunction with the CORE Foundation.

Photo via Core Foundation

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Basic knitting — Want to learn how to knit? The Reston Regional Library will show you “the only two stitches you need to knit anything you want” from 7-8 p.m. tonight. [Fairfax County]

Two musical worlds collide — Koto player Yumi Kurosawa will perform with tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee, bridging the cultures of Japan and India. The performance starts at 8 p.m. at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Restonians. [Reston Community Center]

Movie theatre chain may come to Reston — “Upscale movie theater chain Cinépolis is close to a deal to open an eight-screen theater at Halley Rise, making the mixed-use project in Reston its first location in Northern Virginia.” [Washington Business Journal]

Students helping students — Leadership students from South Lakes High School recently organized a workshop to teach leadership skills to student ambassadors from Terraset Elementary School. [Fairfax County]

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Bird Count Workshop and More This Weekend in Reston

Locals are encouraged to get outside and take part in a bird watch and count.

Participants can head to the National Wildlife Federation (11100 Wildlife Center Drive) for a free workshop with some tips and tricks ahead of the Great Backyard Bird Count next week.

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online project for citizens to collect and display data on wild birds in near real-time, according to the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Bird enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to take part in the four-day count each February.

Tomorrow (Feb. 2)

  • Stuff the Bus (9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Head to the Village Center at Dulles Giant (2425 Centreville Road) in Herndon to support LINK as a part of “Stuff the Bus,” which takes place at various locations around the county to benefit local nonprofit food pantries.
  • Coffee and Conversation with DaMaris Hill (11 a.m.) — DaMaris Hill will discuss “A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing” at Scrawl Books (11777 N. Shore Drive). The book dives into how American women of color are burdened by incarceration by tackling issues of racial injustice, police brutality and mass incarceration, along with the historical legacy of incarcerated black women that precedes it.
  • Three Moves to Divine” (11 a.m.-4 p.m. ) — The exhibit, which provided photographic memory of Ghana by Randy Preston, closes at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).
  • Great Backyard Bird Count Workshop (1-3 p.m.) — The free workshop at the National Wildlife Federation (11100 Wildlife Center Drive) will teach participants how to count and report the count for the Great Backyard Bird Watch, which will take place from Feb. 15-18. Registration is required.
  • Superior Donuts” (2 p.m.) — Reston Community Players’ production closes Saturday afternoon at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • South Lakes HS 14th annual Broadway Night (2-4 p.m., 7-10 p.m.) — The South Lakes High School Choral Department will feature numbers from some of Broadway’s most popular revivals including “Pippin,” “Chicago,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Godspell” and more. The Broadway-style show is performed by more than 120 students from South Lakes High School and its pyramid schools. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.

Sunday (Feb. 3)

  • Sunday Cruise Ride (10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) — Join the Reston Bike Club for a ride. Three different routes are available. Participants are set to meet in the ArtSpace Herndon parking lot.
  • Digital photography class (1-5 p.m.) — Photographer Mary Louise Ravese will show participants with a digital SLR (DSLR) or mirror-less camera the five most essential camera settings that have the most impact on the look of a photograph during the class at ArtSpace Herndon.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr pool 

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Friday Morning Notes

Open mic poetry — Virginia Poet Laureate Henry Hart and Bill Glose will kick off an open mic at 7 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon. Then anyone can take the mic from 8-9 p.m. [ArtSpace Herndon]

Herndon business acquisition — Government contractor CACI recently announced it struck a $750 million deal to acquire Herndon-based LGS Innovations, which provides network infrastructure for the Defense Department and the intelligence community. CACI, which is based in Arlington, has major operations in Chantilly, Herndon, Lorton and Reston. [Washington Business Journal]

“For the Love of Art” — The League of Reston Artists will debut a new painting and photography exhibit at RCC Hunters Woods. While RCC programming is canceled today due to the snow, locals can check out the exhibit this weekend. It runs until Feb. 28.  [League of Reston Artists]

Photo via Patty Rollin

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Glory Days in North Point Hosts South Lakes HS Fundraiser Today

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If you’re looking for a post-work drink or bite to eat, stopping by Glory Days at North Point Village Center could also help out the local high school.

Today from 5-9 p.m., the sports bar and restaurant will be raising money for the South Lakes High School class of 2021, which is already fundraising for graduation events.

A manager at Glory Days said the restaurant regularly hosts “dining for dollars” events to support local organizations. All meals at the restaurant are eligible for the donation.

“Once you eat, you put your receipt at an envelope at the front,” the manager said. “We will donate 10 percent of the bill.”

Photo via North Point Village Center

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NoVa Maker Faire Kicks Off with Reston Event Next Week

The kickoff celebration for the 2019 NoVa Maker Faire will take place next week in Reston, even though the event itself is set to take place elsewhere.

The annual event — now in its sixth year — gathers engineers, artists, scientists, crafters and more to show off their hobbies, experiments and projects.

The kickoff event will be at the Nova Labs “makerspace” at 1916 Isaac Newton Square next Wednesday (Jan. 23) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Participants can watch presentations, get information about the Maker Faire and eat food.

The Maker Faire, which used to be held at South Lakes High School, found its new home at George Mason University in 2017.

The main event is slated to take place on June 2.

Photo via Maker Faire NoVa/Facebook

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Chipotle to Fundraise for South Lakes HS Girls Basketball on Monday

Seahawks fans can head to the Chipotle in the South Lakes Village Shopping Center next week to help raise funds for South Lakes High School girls basketball.

The Chipotle at 11160 South Lakes Drive will donate 33 percent of proceeds for customers who display the flyer or mention the Seahawks.

The fundraiser runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday (Jan. 21).

South Lakes High School girls varsity basketball won their eighth consecutive game at Washington-Lee High School on Jan. 8.

Photo via South Lakes High School Basketball/Facebook

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Digital Device Initiative Heading to FCPS High Schools This Fall

A new digital initiative is aiming to start in the county’s public high schools this fall for the 2019-2020 school year.

FCPSOn provides students with access to a device to use for learning, which each student can access at school and may be able to take home, based on the school and grade level. The initiative supports the FCPS Strategic Plan, which includes access to contemporary and effective technology as a component of the “Student Success” goal.

The Fairfax County School Board directed Superintendent Scott Brabrand to incorporate necessary funding for FCPSOn’s expansion to all high schools in his fiscal year 2020 proposed budget, South Lakes High School Principal Kim Retzer wrote in an email to the school’s community.

“It will help ensure they have equitable access to technology and to instructional practices that support their development of Portrait of a Graduate attributes including communication, collaboration and critical thinking,” Retzer wrote. “Employers will expect these skills, along with tech fluency and innovation, from tomorrow’s workforce. FCPSOn helps prepare students to meet those demands.”

The 2020 proposed budget sets aside $4.3 million to implement FCPSOn in high schools.

“The financial model for FCPSOn takes an approach of sustainable funding that includes shared cost between schools and central offices as well as student user fees. Funding and a new staffing formula will support an additional [18.5 positions],” according to the budget.

The budget includes a new technology fee of $50 per student per year for grades nine through 12 beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. Meanwhile, students eligible for reduced meals will pay a reduced fee of $25 per student and students eligible for free meals will no fees. Overall, the fee is expected to generate $2.2 million in revenue.

FCPSOn launched during the 2016-2017 school year to all of the schools in the Chantilly High School pyramid and five high schools that receive funds as part of the Virginia Department of Education e-Learning Backpack Grant. Phase 1 included a total of 15 schools and was funded through a combination of FCPS and the VDOE e-Learning Backpack grant funding.

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Reston Then and Now: South Lakes

This week on Then and Now, we’re going back to our roots as seeing how Reston’s iconic lakes have changed over the years. With help from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer, which offers aerial views of the county dating back to 1937, Reston Now has put together a review of how the area around Lake Thoreau and Lake Audubon has evolved since the lake’s creation.

Like Lake Anne, there was no “South Lakes” in photography from 1960. Reston as a planned community was founded in 1964. Before that, much of what is the South Lakes were forests with a few cut-through roads. Interestingly, where Lake Audubon would be built later there was a large pond.

Lake Thoreau and Lake Audubon were built as reservoirs collecting the runoff created by the rapid urbanization nearby. Lake Thoreau was built in 1970 and Lake Audubon was built in 1971, though from the aerial photography there wasn’t much of a “lake” about Audubon until the late 1980s.

One of the earliest large scale developments in the area was the South Lakes High School, which opened in 1978 on 600 acres of land with an “open classroom” design.

The school was not broken into individual classrooms, a plan teachers and students discovered early on was ineffective and distracting. They wound up building temporary barriers until more permanent ones built in 2006 killed the open classroom idea for good.

Langston Hughes Middle School was originally an intermediate school for South Lakes High School, but in 1980 it was officially renamed the Langston Hughes Intermediate School, then Langston Hughes Middle School in the early 1990s.

By 1980, new residential developments had sprung up along the northern and southern edges of Lake Thoreau.

In 1984, the South Lakes Shopping Center opened, marking the last major shift in the area, though the design of that area could be undergoing some visible changes.

Between 1990 and 2017, most of the changes to the area involved the filling in of residential developments in the vicinity of the lake. In 2006, South Lakes High School also expanded and the aforementioned open-space classroom model was eliminated.

If you enjoyed this piece, check out our Then and Now coverage of:

If there are any places in Reston you would like to see covered as a Then and Now feature, let us know in the comments.

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Fundraising Starts for Family of Killed South Lakes HS Teen

GoFundMe page is raising funds for the family of the South Lakes High School student Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano, who was struck and killed by a car nearly two weeks ago.

The campaign, which was created on Jan. 5 and activated today (Jan. 10), aims to help Serrano’s family and friends cover funeral costs and any other expenses.

People can also send donations to the Biblica Bautista Emanuel Church at 21770 Beaumeade Circle in Ashburn, Va., which will also disperse all of the funds raised to Serrano’s family.

The GoFundMe page says the following:

Friends and family of Daniel Serrano suffered a heart breaking loss on December 29 when Daniel was killed by a hit and run driver as he was attempting to cross South Lakes Drive in Reston, Virginia. Daniel had just exited the bus he was taking to return home after his work shift at a restaurant. Daniel was 16 years-old and attended South Lakes High School. He is remembered as a kind, generous and loving young man who will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Many have asked where to donate to help with funeral and other expenses. Donations can be made here or to Biblica Bautista Emanuel Church, 21770 Beaumeade Circle, Ashburn, VA 20147. The church will disperse all funds raised.

Reston Now previously reported that Principal Kim Retzer said funeral arrangements are still being planned.

The day after Serrano was killed by a driver while crossing South Lakes Drive, family and friends gathered at the spot for a vigil.

Fairfax County Police are still looking for the driver, who fled the scene, and are asking anyone with information to contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit witness phone line at 703-280-0543 or to submit a tip anonymously through Crime Solvers.

Detectives believe the sedan involved “may possibly be gray or silver, and it likely has significant front end damage.”

Photo via GoFundMe

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Realtors, Lake Anne Brew House Collect Donations for South Lakes HS Food Pantry

Updated at 2:35 p.m. — Includes updated numbers for the food pantry.

The holidays may be over, but one business at Lake Anne Plaza is continuing the season of giving and holiday spirit into 2019.

The Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) hosted an ugly sweater fundraising party yesterday (Jan. 6) to benefit the food pantry at South Lakes High School.

Several realtors, including Rob Cox, Mary Miceli, Carol Welsh and Ben and Kristi Guidry from Long & Foster Real Estate, helped host the party, according to a Lake Anne Plaza Facebook post.

The Lake Anne Brew House credited Long & Foster in Reston with the idea for the party and sponsorship of the pizza.

The event collected non-perishable food items and personal products — along with a nearly $500 donation — for the school’s food pantry, where nearly 730 students can “shop” for food and toiletries.

The food pantry is designed to help close the hunger and nutrition gap for the 30 percent of South Lakes High School students who are on the free and reduced lunch program, according to the school. The food pantry distributes more than 175 bags of groceries and toiletries to more than 95 families each week.

Roberta Gosling, one of the founders of the pantry, told Reston Now that students from Langston Hughes Middle School, Terraset Elementary School and other South Lakes High school pyramid schools are coming to the pantry.

Since opening in March 2017, the food pantry has given out more than 8,000 bags of food, she said.

Photo via Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook 

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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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Vigil Sunday Night Honors South Lakes HS Teen Killed in Hit-and-Run

Family and friends gathered on Sunday evening at the spot where 16-year-old Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano was killed Saturday.

They placed a white wooden cross with “Daniel” near the intersection where the South Lakes High School sophomore was struck by a vehicle while returning home from work at Reston’s Cafesano, WJLA reported.

The memorial continues to grow with several bouquets of flowers and a stuffed animal for the teen who friends called “kind and selfless.” Serrano leaves behind his mother and a 2-year-old brother.

In a message sent to the school community Monday evening, Principal Kim Retzer said funeral arrangements are still being planned.

Fairfax County Police are still looking for the driver, who fled the scene. Detectives believe the sedan involved “may possibly be gray or silver, and it likely has significant front end damage.”

“At about 5:40, officers responded to the report of a pedestrian hit-and-run crash on South Lakes Drive and Castle Rock Square in Reston,” police said in a press release. “The teen was attempting to cross South Lakes Drive… when he was hit by a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

The fatal hit-and-run was the 44th road death in Fairfax County in 2018 — the most for any county in Virginia last year, according to DCist.

Police are asking anyone with information about the fatal hit-and-run to contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit witness phone line at 703-280-0543 or to submit a tip anonymously through Crime Solvers.

Photo via Madison Grace Shannon/Facebook

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South Lakes High School Clothing Closet Opens Today

The South Lakes High School Clothing Closet is asking for new and gently used clothing to help stock up today (Dec. 20) during its grand opening.

The store aims to have clothing available for its students “free of charge and of judgment,” according to the South Lakes High School Parent Teacher Student Association.

School leadership and the Distributive Education Clubs of America created the store to build off of the success of the food pantry at the school, according to the SLHS PTSA. Reston Now previously reported that since April 2017, the pantry has filled more than 2,500 orders and weekly order averages are also increasing.

Locals can drop off new or gently used clothing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow (Dec. 21).

The following clothing items are needed:

  • jackets
  • shirts
  • pants
  • “interview attire”
  • school spirit clothing
  • warm weather clothing

Drop-offs will be accepted in the main office at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).

File photo

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