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Education Notebook - 11/27/02

Early Closing

<bt>All Fairfax County public schools will close two hours early Wednesday, Nov. 27, in an effort to help school buses avoid the increased traffic related to the Thanksgiving holidays.

Half-day kindergarten will operate on a Monday early-closing schedule. Head Start, preschool, alternative learning centers and intervention support programs schedules will be modified individually and coordinated between transportation and program staff members. All other classes will be dismissed two hours earlier than the regular Tuesday through Friday closing schedule. Afternoon professional technical studies and academy courses will be canceled for all students who are transported to high-school academies, specialized programs or non-school-based locations. Recreation programs will proceed as scheduled. School-Age Child Care (SACC) programs will be available for students until 6:15 p.m. or until the last child is picked up.

<sh>School Board Matters

<bt>* The Fairfax County School Board removed the proposed revisions to the challenged materials policy from the Dec. 5 meeting agenda. Instead, the policy changes will be one of several items discussed at a work session Dec. 9 and are projected to appear on the Dec. 19 agenda for a vote.

* The proposed Citizens Advisory Committee on the Budget is scheduled for action at the Dec. 5 meeting. The community task force is proposed to have 25 members, but the exact scope of the committee has yet to be worked out.

* School Board member Robert Frye (At large) said the board has received the opinion it sought from the attorney general regarding the proposed amendment to the school system's nondiscrimination policy. The School Board was set to vote in July on whether to add sexual orientation to the policy, but the item was tabled when a request was made to seek the attorney general's opinion on the legality of such an addition.

Chairman Stuart Gibson (Hunter Mill) said he has asked staff to draft a policy modeled after Fairfax County's civility code. The draft will be scheduled for a future work session.

<sh>Tomhave, Banbury Honored

<bt>Roger Tomhave, fine arts coordinator in the Office of High School Instruction and K-12 Curriculum Services in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), has been honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Virginia Art Education Association (VAEA). The award is presented to individuals who have made major contributions to the quality of the arts in education and have shown a sustained commitment to the professional goals of the VAEA.

Tomhave has served as president and past president of the VAEA and, most recently, as chair of the supervision and administration division. He has also been previously honored with several state, regional and national awards.

Tomhave has been with FCPS since 1991 and served as a steering committee member and team leader for the high-school visual arts writing team for the Virginia Standards of Learning. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Arts Council of Fairfax County, as a member of the educational advisory council for the National Gallery of Art, and on the council of metropolitan arts supervisors for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Demby Banbury, biology teacher and science department chairman at McLean High School, has been named Virginia Biology Teacher of the Year by the National Association of Biology Teachers. Banbury is a 17-year veteran at McLean High.

Banbury was praised by principal Donald Weinheimer for promoting a high level of student involvement and interaction in classroom activities. She encourages and provides opportunities for all her students, and particularly the girls, in the field of science, offering them the opportunity to shadow professional scientists at work and to attend lectures and conferences outside school. Banbury was selected to work on the development and revision of the FCPS Program of Studies for biology, which is currently in use, and has served as a member of the school system's Biology Textbook Adoption Committee.

In addition, she coaches the girls' varsity field-hockey and lacrosse teams and organizes and implements the annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day at McLean High. She received the Fairfax County Women's Sports Awards Coach of the Year award in 2002.

<sh>SOL Public Hearing

<bt>The Virginia Board of Education will be holding one of four public hearings to solicit public comment on the proposed revisions to the science Standards of Learning (SOL) at Fairfax High School auditorium, 3500 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax, Monday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. Registration of speakers will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Speakers will be given three minutes to speak and should bring two written copies of their comments if possible. The proposed changes can be reviewed at http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/SOLcommentforms/scisolcomments.html.

Comments may be sent by e-mail to scisol@mail.vak12ed.edu. In addition, written comments or requests for more information may be directed to James Firebaugh, director of Middle School Instruction, 804-225-2651 phone; 804-786-5466 fax. The mailing address is Department of Education, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, Nov. 27

All Fairfax County Public Schools students release two hours early.

Thursday, Nov. 28-Friday, Nov. 29

Thanksgiving holidays for all Fairfax County Public Schools.

Friday, Nov. 29

Herndon High, Class of 1992, 10-year reunion, Hyatt, Reston;

Oakton High, Class of 1987, 15-year reunion, Sheraton Premiere, Tysons Corner.

For more information, call First-Class Reunions at 888-327-1984 or visit the Web at www.fcreunions.com.

Monday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.

Virginia Board of Education public hearing, revisions to the science Standards of Learning (SOL). Registration of speakers begins at 6:30 p.m. Speakers will have three minutes to speak and should bring two written copies of their comments if possible. Fairfax High School auditorium, 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax.

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 8 a.m.

School Board legislative breakfast. Parklawn Elementary School, 4116 Braddock Road, Alexandria.

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m.

Fairfax City/Fairfax County School Board dinner. Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church.

Thursday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.

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