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Education Notebook -05/01/02

State Examines SOQ

<bt>The Virginia Board of Education has scheduled a public hearing on the Standards of Quality (SOQ), at Lanier Middle School, 3710 Bevan Drive in Fairfax, Thursday, May 2, beginning at 7 p.m. Under the Code of Virginia, the board is required to periodically review the SOQ and if necessary make recommendations to the General Assembly.

Citizens wishing to address the board can register before the hearing, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Speakers are limited to three minutes and are encouraged to provide a written copy of their remarks. Written comments may contain more than the oral presentation. Speakers are also encouraged to identify the specific standards they wish to address within the SOQ.

The board is specifically interested in hearing the public's view on the following topics: teacher/student ratios; support staffing requirements, including principals and teacher aides; services that support student achievement; and professional development requirements for teachers and principals.

The board will also accept written comments by mail, fax, or e-mail through Sept. 1. Send comments to Margaret N. Roberts, Executive Assistant to the Board of Education, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120; or by fax to 804-225-2524; or by e-mail to SOQ@mail.va.k12ed.edu.

Citizens may view the SOQ by visiting the Department of Education Web site at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/VA_Board/standards/soq.pdf.

<sh>Chatterbox Fun Fair

<bt>Nearly 200 students and their families have been invited to attend the Fairfax County Public Schools first Chatterbox Fun Fair, designed for students in preschool through second grade who use assistive technology to communicate.

The fair will feature games and activities specially adapted for students with communication disabilities. The students use communication boards with picture symbols, as well as devices that produce a verbal message when a switch is pushed.

A helicopter and a K-9 team from the Fairfax County Police Department are scheduled to appear, as well as a fire-safety puppet show by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, child fingerprinting by the county Sheriff's Office, and a performance and workshop by DanceAbilities, a troupe specializing in therapeutic dance for special-needs children.

The fair takes place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at Kings Glen Elementary School, 5401 Danbury Forest Drive, Springfield.

<sh>Second Term for Wansley

<bt>Matthew Wansley, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, was re-elected to serve as the nonvoting student representative to the Fairfax County School Board for a second term beginning July 1 by the countywide Student Advisory Council.

<sh>Schools Qualify for Odyssey of the Mind

<bt>Ten teams from Fairfax County Public Schools earned berths in the Odyssey of the Mind world finals scheduled for May 22-25 at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Twenty-two teams representing county public schools competed.

The qualifying teams won first- and second-place awards in the state competition held in mid-April. First-place finishers were Bull Run Elementary School (Centreville) Team B, Bull Run Elementary School (Centreville) Team A, Lake Anne Elementary School (Reston) Team A, Twain Middle School (Alexandria), Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria) and Lake Braddock Secondary School (Burke).

Placing second were Forest Edge Elementary School (Reston) Team A, Hughes Middle School (Reston), Centreville High School and Mount Vernon High School.

For more information on Odyssey of the Mind, visit the Web site at http://www.odysseyofthemind.org.

<sh>Students Named Scholar Finalists

<bt>Eight of the 14 Virginia students named as semifinalists to the 2002 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program hail from Fairfax County. They are among the 500 semifinalists chosen nationwide on the basis of their SAT and ACT scores.

The local semifinalists are Theodore J. Gudmundsen of Great Falls, from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST); Lauren B. Hall of McLean, from TJHSST; Jina Kim of Burke, from TJHSST; Neil K. Mehta of Great Falls, from Lawrenceville School; Elizabeth K. Panarelli of Reston, from TJHSST; Christopher A. Smith of Clifton, from Seton School; Karen M. Sosa of Burke, from TJHSST; and Laura J. Trigeiro of Reston, from TJHSST.

The White House Commission of Presidential Scholars will select up to 141 Presidential Scholars for an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., during National Recognition Week in June, when each student will receive a Presidential Scholars medallion.

<sh>Summer Tech Adventure Camp

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools is sponsoring a Tech Adventure Camp, July 8-19, at Chantilly High, 4201 Stringfellow Road in Chantilly, and Edison High, 5801 Franconia Road in Alexandria, from 9 a.m.-1:50 p.m. Class selections include both new and revised courses in the following areas: Web page design, digital photography, aviation, robotics, electronics, visual basic programming, culinary and first aid.

Students currently in grades six through eight are eligible to register. Transportation will be provided to Fairfax County residents. Tuition, including transportation, is $300 for county residents and $400 for out-of-county residents.

Registration information and applications can be found in the school publication, Encore, available at county public schools and county libraries. Space is limited to the first 160 registrants at each site. For more information, visit the Tech Adventure Web site at http://www.fcps.edu/DIS/OPTS, or call 703-208-7789.

<sh>Schools Events Calendar

<bt>Thursday, May 2, 7-8:30 p.m.

Fairfax County Public Schools is holding a town meeting to discuss the regulations governing the selection of library materials, supplementary instructional materials and the challenge process. Representatives of Parents against Bad Books in Schools (PABBIS) and Right to Read will also speak.

Community members can sign up to speak as well, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Speakers are encouraged to bring copies of their remarks. Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4

Sixth Grade All-County Chorus. Approximately 700 specially selected sixth-graders from all over Fairfax County will sing music they have been preparing since December. The public is invited, and there is no admission fee. For more information, call 703-267-2800. Fairfax High School, 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax.

Monday, May 6, 8:30 a.m.

Fairfax County School Board work session, administration and general services. Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Monday, May 6, 9:30 a.m.

Fairfax County School Board work session, human resources; and instruction. Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Monday, May 6, noon

Fairfax County School Board work session, finance and budget. Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Monday, May 6

Nurturing Parenting Program. Department of Family Services, Prevention, of Fairfax County is holding a Nurturing Parenting Program for Hispanic Families, for parents and their children up to age 4, to teach nurturing skills and to reinforce strengths, values and culture. No cost, but registration is required. For more information, call 703-324-7405 or 703-324-7723. St. Anthony's Catholic Church.

Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m.

Fairfax County School Board special meeting, teacher leadership awards. Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Wednesday, May 8, 7:30 p.m.

Fairfax County Public Schools Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee. Walnut Hill Center, 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church.

Wednesday, May 8, 7:30 p.m.

Fairfax County Public Schools Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities. Belle Willard Center, 10310 Layton Hall Drive, Fairfax.

Thursday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.

Fairfax County School Board regular meeting. Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Friday, May 10

Annandale High School prom. Reston Sheraton.

Saturday, May 11

Stuart High School prom. Crystal City Hyatt.