Terraset Elementary School students visited a leadership class at South Lakes High School to take part in leadership and teamwork activities. Students in fifth and sixth grade made snack bags for children at the Embry Rucker shelter and held a newspaper fashion show. According to a statement by the Fairfax County Public Schools System, the Terraset students were selected for their leadership potential and the high school students planned and led the workshop.
It was a business as usual at Reston’s Terraset Elementary School on Wednesday, the day after a dramatic crash of a passenger van into a wall of the school.
The crash occurred about 3:45 p.m., just prior to Terraset’s dismissal on the first day of school. The driver of the after-care van appeared to have jumped the curb that then traveled downhill before striking through the brick wall of the school’s new art room.
There were no serious injuries.
Fairfax County Police are still investigating the crash. They have not yet identified the driver and said charges may be pending, said FCPD officer Don Gotthardt.
By Wednesday morning, Fairfax County Public Schools maintenance crews had boarded over the bricks.
Terraset Principal Lindsay Trout said the damage was to the art storage room, which will be blocked off until it can be completely repaired. She said the brick repair will begin within days.
“The building is structurally sound and no other electrical or other issues,” Trout said.
She also added praise for the Terraset staff and parents for keeping the students calm during a hectic dismissal that included fire trucks and other recuse vehicles on campus.
“They did an amazing job getting 550 students home safely in that situation on day one of a school year,” Trout said.
Students and staff at Reston’s Terraset Elementary were on lockdown in the school cafeteria for about an hour on Wednesday due to a gas leak at the school.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue crews were called to the school about 11:40 a.m. for a smell of gas. The leak, in the rear outside of the building, was located and capped. Crews determined it was safe for people to remain in the part of the school away from the leak while it was fixed.
Most students returned to their classrooms or safe areas of the building by 12:45 p.m. Upper-grade students in the temporary classrooms outside the school remained in the trailers. There were no injuries.
“As always, we were pleased with the appropriate and responsible conduct of our students and the professional manner of our staff,” principal Lindsay Trout said in an email to Terraset parents and guardians after the school day resumed. “We truly have a responsive and caring school family.”
Terraset’s grounds have been an active construction site for more than a year as the nearly 40-year-old school is undergoing a major renovation.
Terraset Elementary School took a big step in its major overhaul when a steel bridge was put into place this week. The bridge centrally connects the school entrance and the parking lot.
The bridge will replace the two aging walkways that formerly connected the parking lot to the school, which is located partially underground. One of the walkways was destroyed last year. One remains in place for the transition.
The school, which opened in 1977 as a unique, energy-saving underground concept, is about a year in to a renovation that is expected to take up to another year. Crews are nearly done with new classrooms on one side of the building. Later this school year, lower grades will move into the new wing while workers get busy with an addition on the other side of the school. Upper grades will be relocated to temporary classroom buildings, which will remain until the project is complete during the 2015-16 school year.
The renovation will change the school from an open concept to having more traditional classrooms, as well as addding space to nearly double the school’s capacity, with room for about 900 students.
Royal, in his seventh NFL season, made a donation that was used to purchase gift cards to Walmart so 50 disadvantaged kids could enjoy presents this holiday season.
Royal, 28, grew up in Reston and attended Dogwood Elementary and South Lakes High School before graduating from Westfield High School.
“Students at Terraset came down to the office area, where we had computers set up for some online shopping,” said school technology specialist AnnMarie Mochen. “Ms. Trout, the principal of Terraset, then told the students about Mr. Royal’s generosity and his desire to give back to his local community. The students were overjoyed to buy gifts for themselves and their families. ”
Royal’s mother even stopped by to help the students pick out gifts.
Said Terraset Principal Lindsay Trout: “Eddie Royal’s donation allowed 50 children to have a very special holiday this year (25 from Terraset and 25 from Dogwood). Eddie’s generosity epitomizes the spirit of the season. He has remembered fondly where his roots are and he goes out of his way to give back to the community that helped him become the fine man he is. Terraset and Dogwood are better schools because of his selflessness; he serves as a real life role model for our students.”
Photo: Eddie Royal/Credit: San Diego Chargers