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Education Notebook - 11/13/02

Course Offerings Change

<bt>The Fairfax County School Board is expected to take action Nov. 21 on high-school course changes proposed by the High School Course Review Committee.

The changes for the 2002-2003 school year include adding the following optional courses:

* Geometry, Part I and Part II, for students to meet the three-credit mathematics graduation requirement and allow students more time to understand and prepare for the geometry Standards of Learning (SOL) test.

* Developing Literacies, which focuses on the reading skills necessary for successful completion of the SOL tests given in the four core areas.

* Expanding Literacies, a direct remediation of reading skills and English content necessary to pass the 11th-grade SOL English test, a graduation requirement.

* Web Page Development, to provide students the opportunity to develop and design sophisticated Web pages comparable to sites used by organizations and businesses.

* Information Technology Fundamentals, so students can learn information technology basics, Internet fundamentals, network systems, computer maintenance/upgrading/troubleshooting, computer applications, programming graphics, Web page design and interactive media.

* Finance, which prepares students occupationally to plan, manage and analyze the financial and monetary aspects and success of business enterprises, bank institutions or other organizations.

Suggested pilot courses include:

* Broadcast Journalism at Fairfax Academy;

* Advanced German: Intensive Studies and Technology I and II at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology;

* Teacher Cadet at Annandale, Fairfax, Centreville, West Potomac high schools and Hayfield Secondary School.

The following courses were recommended to be deleted:

Keyboarding applications, notehand/study skills and word processing because their key components have become obsolete or absorbed by other courses.

<sh>Midyear Budget Review

<bt>The Fairfax County School Board is expected to approve the midyear budget review Nov. 21. The major revenue and expenditure adjustments provide $10.7 million that can be allocated by the board. Staff is recommending the funds be placed in a "place holder" account to help offset the expected state cuts to this and next fiscal year's budget. The school system has already been told its state aid could be cut $10 million this year and $20 million in FY 2004.

<sh>New Calendar

<bt>The standard calendar 2003-2004 school year will begin Tuesday, Sept. 1 next year and will leave two weeks for winter holidays. The last day of school will be Friday, June 18, pending no snow days and graduations will begin Tuesday, June 15. The modified elementary school calendar begins Monday, July 28 and ends Thursday, June 17. The modified secondary school calendar begins Monday, Aug. 18 and ends Friday, June 4.

<sh>Domenech Honored

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Daniel Domenech received the Pathfinder Award for 2002 from the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. He was selected for his work in educational reform and for enhancing the quality of elementary- and middle-school education. The association gives one Pathfinder Award to a nonVAESP member annually.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m.

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

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

Wednesday, Nov. 13-Friday, Nov. 15

Virginia School Boards Association annual conference. Williamsburg.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m.

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

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

Thursday, Nov. 21, 8 a.m.

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

Thursday, Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m.

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

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