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Education Notebook - 10/09/02

Fairfax County Public Schools Step Up Security

<bt>Security increased at Fairfax County Public Schools this week as a result of the latest in a series of shootings in Maryland.

In response to Monday's shooting, in which a middle-school boy was shot at his school, the school system ordered all afternoon and evening outdoor activities be moved indoors. In cases where the activities could not be moved, they were canceled. In addition, the Fairfax County Police stepped up patrols at the schools.

On Tuesday, the ban on outdoor activities was continued and all field trips were canceled. The school system also made counseling and support available to students and staff. The increased police and school-system security presence also continued.

Last Thursday when the shooting began, the school system, in conjunction with the county police, asked that all principals move that day's outdoor activities away from streets and that all adults supervising students be more vigilant. Afternoon and evening activities continued as scheduled.

As of press time, the school system had not gone into "lock down," in which students are prohibited from leaving school grounds unless accompanied by a parent with proper identification, nor did the school system go to the highest-level of security known as "code blue," as some neighboring jurisdictions had done.

<sh>Scholarships Awarded

<bt>Timothy Abbott, Geng Chen, Neal Gupta and Divya Nettimi, students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, will each receive a $3,000 scholarship from the Siemens Foundation, for posting some of the nation's top advanced placement (AP) math and science scores.

The four students will attend an awards banquet at Georgia Tech in November, where the top male and female student in the country will be named and receive an additional $5,000 scholarship.

The awards are given out annually to 24 students, two males and two females in each of the six College Board regions, who take the AP exams in biology, calculus BC, chemistry, computer science AB, environmental science, physics C and statistics, and earn the highest score.

<sh>Education Grant

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools has been awarded a grant for $987,585 from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Teaching American History Grants program. The three-year grant will be used by the school system to conduct a professional development program for regular education, special education and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers of American history.

The program will include colloquia, institutes and monthly seminars focusing on historic themes in grades four, six, seven and 11 in partnership with the National Council for History Education, George Mason University, George Washington University and Northern Virginia Community College, with support from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the National Park Service.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.

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

Thursday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m., Back-to-School Night

Mountain View Alternative High School, grades nine-12; 5775 Spindle Court, Centreville.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Back-to-School Night

Langley High School, grades 11-12; 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean;

Liberty Middle School, grade eight; 6801 Union Mill Road, Clifton.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 8 p.m.

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

Saturday, Oct. 12

Langley High School, Class of 1982, 20-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, Oct. 14

Columbus Day holiday for all schools.

Monday, Oct. 7-Friday, Oct. 18

Optional intersession for modified elementary calendar schools.

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.

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

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.

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

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

Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee meeting; Walnut Hill Center, 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church.

Saturday, Oct. 19

Hayfield Secondary, Class of 1082, 20-year reunion, Radisson, Alexandria;

Herndon High, Class of 1082, 20-year reunion, Hyatt Dulles, Herndon;

Madison High, Class of 1992, 10-year reunion, Holiday Inn, Tysons Corner;

Robinson Secondary, Class of 1982, 20-year reunion, Hilton Crystal City, Arlington.

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

Sunday, Oct. 20, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

College Fair at Fair Oaks Mall. Opportunity for college-bound students and parents to gather information from several colleges. For more information, call 703-876-5248. Fair Oaks Mall, 11750 Fair Oaks, Fairfax.