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Education Notebook - 12/18/02

Schools Receive Budget Honors

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the current fiscal year from the Government Finance Officers Association. In addition, a certificate of recognition was awarded to Deirdra McLaughlin, director of the Office of Budget Services, Department of Financial Services. In order to receive the budget award, the school system had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The budget was judged on how well it serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communication device.

<sh>AD/HD Conference

<bt>A full-day conference for parents and teachers on helping teen-agers with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) succeed will be held Jan. 11, at George Mason University-Johnson Center Cinema Theatre, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The conference will feature Chris Zeigler-Dendy, M.S., author of "Teaching Teens with ADD and AD/HD," and Sharon Weiss, M.Ed., author of "From Chaos to Calm: Achieving Meaningful Behavioral Change At Home." There will also be a video presentation, "AD/HD Teens Talk," featuring teens from Langley and McLean high schools.

The cost is $35, which includes lunch; $25 for Fairfax County Public School staff and CHADD (Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) members. Certificate/Continuing Education credits available for school/clinical staff. Breakfast and registration takes place between 8-8:30 a.m. For more information or to register, call 703-641-5451. In case of snow, call 703-803-4051.

<sh>Scholarships Available from AAA

<bt>College scholarships worth $156,000 will be available for winning high-school students who compete in the AAA Travel High School Challenge, which kicks off nationwide in January.

Students in grades nine-12 throughout the U.S. can take a Web-based exam on www.aaa.com/TravelChallenge. The testing period for Virginia and Washington, D.C. students is Jan. 27-Feb. 2, anytime from 12 a.m.-11:59 p.m. Students can register ahead of time and take the practice test.

The top-five achievers in each state will advance to the state competition in March and be required to take a proctored written exam. The top scorer from each state will receive a $1,000 scholarship and advance to the national finals in Orlando, Fla., in May, and a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship.

Information about the challenge is available at high-school guidance offices, on the Web at www.aaa.com/TravelChallenge, or by calling 888-AAA-TRIP.

<sh>Communities That Care Survey

<bt>The Communities That Care Youth Survey, used to gauge risk behaviors in youth, will be readministered to 10,000 sixth-, eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders in February. The survey was last given to Fairfax County Public Schools students in 2001 and excluded sixth-graders.

The survey asks questions about drug and alcohol use, smoking, bullying and thoughts of suicide, among other risk behaviors. This time around, the 10th- and 12th-graders will also be surveyed about sexual risk behaviors.

Parents will be able to opt out their child from taking the survey and copies of the questions will be made available for parents to preview through school guidance offices and at selected locations throughout the county. The survey itself will not be publicly released before it is administered to ensure the integrity of the results.

The last time the survey was conducted it culminated with the "Everyone's Child" guide, which provided the results as well as resource information for seeking help. At that time, the survey was administered to 12,000 students with approximately 40 percent responding.

More information and locations to view the survey questions, will be posted on the school system's Web site as February draws near, www.fcps.edu.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m.

* Human Resources Advisory Committee meeting. Human Resources Center, 6815 Edsall Road, Springfield.

* School Health Advisory Committee meeting. Devonshire Center, 2831 Graham Road, Falls Church.

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.

* Advisory Committee for the Gifted and Talented meeting. Walnut Hill Center, 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church.

Thursday, Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m.

School Board regular business meeting. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Friday, Dec. 20

Second grading period ends for modified elementary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Monday, Dec. 23-Wednesday, Dec. 25

Christmas holidays for all Fairfax County Public Schools employees.

Monday, Dec. 23, 2002-Friday, Jan. 3, 2003

Winter vacation for all Fairfax County Public Schools students and teachers.

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2003

New Year's Day holiday for all Fairfax County Public Schools employees.

Monday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m.

School Board public hearing, capital improvement plan. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Monday, Jan. 6-Friday, Jan. 10

Optional intersession for modified elementary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 7 p.m.

School Board public hearing, capital improvement plan, if needed. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

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

School Board regular business meeting, budget presentation. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.