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Middle Schools Shift Gears

8/22/02

As the summer comes to an end and more attention is directed toward the coming school year, the middle schools have new faces and programs for students to be aware of.

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY MIDDLE SCHOOL

In response to an additional 100 students this year, Key was able to split up a few existing rooms to create four more rooms for the students.

"We have four new rooms. We really needed it to offer the things we want to offer," said assistant principal Mary McAdory.

There are 15 new teachers at Key this year. Some are additional teachers and some are replacing others who have left.

Two of the new teachers are for the new autism class at Key. The class will have five students, making a total of 105 autism classes across the county, catering to 526 students, according to Pat Addison, the special-education coordinator for Fairfax County Schools

"We have an experienced teacher. Most of the kids are students who are transitioning from an elementary school," McAdory said.

Key’s open house is Aug. 28 at 9:35 a.m., and the Back-to-School Night is Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.

WASHINGTON IRVING MIDDLE SCHOOL

Bill Oehrlein has moved from the position of assistant principal at Hayfield Secondary School to take the reins at Washington Irving as its principal. Oehrlein, a graduate of Lee High School, is familiar with Fairfax County Public Schools and is ready for the 1,129 students coming through the door on the first day, Sept. 3.

"I'm really excited, a lot of positivity and energy," he said. Oehrlein is also looking toward the future for the students.

"We're hoping to prepare them for how things are going to be 10 to 15 years from now, on how the job world will be," he said.

Irving's Back-to-School Night will be Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. for the seventh-graders and Sept. 26 for the eighth grade. The business partners at Washington Irving are Home Depot and EMSCO, a technology company.

HAYFIELD SECONDARY SCHOOL

Next year, the middle-school side of Hayfield Secondary School will house approximately 730 students each in the seventh and eighth grades. They are still hiring new staff, but currently there are four new employees set for the upcoming year.

Hayfield has been undergoing construction recently and will continue to be renovated for the next few years. Currently the construction is on the high-school side of the building, where a new wing is being opened for the main office and counselors. The middle-school side expects renovation several years down the road.

Hayfield will hold its orientation on Aug. 28, and that night will institute a new program — Locker Night — which aims to alleviate the frenzy of the first few days of school. The school will also be continuing its partnership with Fort Belvoir next year.

LAKE BRADDOCK SECONDARY SCHOOL

Lake Braddock draws from the Fairfax, Burke and Springfield communities for their student body. This year, there are 696 seventh graders and 645 eighth graders and some are still registering so the number may change before Sept. 3, which is the first day of school. The Back to School night is Monday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

FROST MIDDLE SCHOOL

Frost will hold Back-to-School Night on Sept. 19 this year. Over the summer the school did some internal work to add classroom space and improve air conditioning. There will be about 12 new staff members next year, and the school anticipates having approximately 1,020 students.

LANIER MIDDLE SCHOOL

New principal Peter Noonan, who was previously the principal at McKinley Middle School in Albuquerque, N.M., is "very excited to be at Lanier Middle School" and thinks that it is "a great place for young adolescents to be." He said that the school has hired about seven new staff members, including a new assistant librarian and new teachers, and that the expected enrollment for next year is 1,006 students.

Next year it will continue its partnership with Lockheed Martin, which provides tutoring to students.

Lanier will have Back-to-School Nights on Sept. 9 for seventh-graders and Sept. 12 for eighth-graders.