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Education Notebook

Town Meetings for Budget

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools will be holding two concurrent town meetings Wednesday, April 3, to allow the public to provide input on how to address deficits in the proposed fiscal year 2003 schools budget.

One meeting is scheduled at Lanier Middle School, 3710 Bevan Drive in Fairfax, and the other will be held at Edison High School, 5801 Franconia Road in Alexandria. Both meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. Residents are not required to preregister for the meetings. The results of the meetings will be posted at each site that evening and will be posted on the school system's Web site, www.fcps.edu, the week following the meetings.

<sh>Triennial School Census

<bt>The Fairfax County Public Schools, in conjunction with the City of Fairfax, mailed out the 2002 Triennial School Census forms to all households throughout the county. The state-mandated survey determines the distribution of state sales tax revenues. Virginia allocates one cent of every 4.5 cents of the sales tax to help fund public schools. The funding provides approximately $600 per school-age child regardless of whether that child attends public school. In order to gain an accurate population profile, all households will be asked to respond regardless of whether there are school-aged children in the home.

<sh>Academies Kick Off Pilot Program

<bt>Chantilly and Fairfax High School Academies teamed up with the Fairfax County Office for Women for a pilot program, March 18, which paired female high school students with professional women. The program, Shop Talk Brown Bag Lunch, offers the opportunity for juniors and seniors enrolled in advanced technology and graphic design courses the opportunity to spend tie with professional women in the fields of information technology and engineering. Approximately 35 students took part.

<sh>FCPS Wins Telly Awards

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools' Red Apple 21 and he Fairfax Network won five finalist Telly Awards for 2000-01 productions. The awards recognize exceptional nonbroadcast cable programming.

Winning awards was: "School Scene," produced by Ted Brawner; a promotional spot for "TV That Counts," produced by Margaret Kivlen; "Creating an Inclusive School," produced by Karen Merserau, Margaret Kivlen and Tina Utz; "Houston, We Have Another Solution," produced by Michelle Dumas; and the electronic graphics series opening for "edtv," produced by Tina Utz.

The programs are produced by FCPS Department of Information Technology in collaboration with the Office of Community Relations.

<sh>Westminster Presents "Li'L Abner"

<bt>The Westminster Parents Club Players will present "Li'L Abner," a stage adaptation of Al Capp's characters. Show dates are March 22 and 23. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $7 for students. Westminster School is located at 3819 Gallows Road in Annandale.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call Ms. Chris Hartung at 703-323-5913.

<sh>Project Excel Makes Difference

<bt>An evaluation found students in kindergarten through second grade at the Fairfax County Public Schools' 20 Project Excel schools moved rapidly toward established benchmarks and recommended not only continuing the program, but also focusing efforts on increasing the gains particularly in grades third through sixth.

The report said that largest achievement gains were made by students with one or more risk factors, including students enrolled in English for speakers of other languages classes and students who receive free or reduced-price meals.

The number of Project Excel schools that met or exceeded their schoolwide achievement index growth targets increased from 10 n 2000 to 13 in 2001. Nineteen of the 20 schools increased their total average SAI over 1999-2000 levels.

A full program evaluation will be available in 2003, when the first group of students who entered kindergarten at the beginning of the program take the third-grade Standards of Learning tests.

<sh>Schools Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, March 20, 6 p.m.

Fairfax County School Board post-session legislative reception. Springfield Golf and Country Club, 8301 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield.

Wednesday, March 20, 7 p.m.

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

Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m.

Adult and Community Education Advisory Committee meeting. Pimmit Adult Center, 7510 Lisle Ave., Falls Church.

Thursday, March 21, 8 a.m.

Professional Technical Studies Advisory Committee meeting. Walnut Hill Center, 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church.

Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m.

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

Friday, March 22

Student holiday for all modified calendar elementary schools.

Monday, March 25 - Friday, March 29

Spring vacation for students and teachers.

Monday, March 25

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 4-years-old, 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.

Tuesday, March 26, 7:30 p.m.

Fairfax Council of PTAs general membership meeting. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.