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Education Notebook - 04/02/03

$376 Million in Bonds?

<bt>The School Board is considering a resolution requesting that the Board of Supervisors approve placing a 2003 school bond referendum in the amount of $376,985,466 on the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election.

A public hearing on the bond referendum is slated for Thursday, May 8, beginning at 7 p.m., at Luther Jackson Middle School,3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, followed by a School Board vote later that evening during the regularly scheduled business meeting.

The Department of Facilities and Transportation Services is working on a public-private partnership, with the Board of Supervisors and a private developer, to build a new south-county high school in the Lorton area. If that partnership is realized, the amount of the bond referendum could be reduced by $85,610,466 to $289,855,000. A decision on the partnership is anticipated on or around May 8. Current plans are for the school to open as a small secondary school, serving students in grades seven through 12.

The total amount of the school bond request is based on the Fairfax County Public Schools capital improvement plan released in December 2002 that identified anticipated school facility needs over a five-year period. The last school bond referendum was in November 2001; and had 80 percent of voters casting ballots in favor of the referendum.

The 2003 bond referendum includes $40.5 million to replace the existing Glasgow Middle School, $68.9 million for renovations to Woodson High School, $57.3 million for renovations to South Lakes High School and $28.8 million for renovations to Key Middle School and Center. Also included are $8.7 million for a 24-room addition to Westfield High School, $6.7 million for a 16-room addition to Langley High School and $4.65 million for a 10-room addition to Jackson Middle School.

Modular additions to Beech Tree, Crestwood, Graham Road, Louise Archer, McNair, Mosby Woods, Riverside, Stratford Landing, Timber Lane, Washington Mill and Westlawn elementary schools; Cooper and Hughes middle schools; and Chantilly High School are included in the referendum.

In addition, a total of $36.75 million is included to cover anticipated infrastructure costs, such as technology and electrical upgrades; roof, air conditioning and boiler replacements; enhanced security; food service warehouse expansion; improvements complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act; paving repair; and energy performance initiatives. The school system must adhere to a spending limit of $130 million per year on its capital improvement plan, as determined by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

<sh>Food Services Wins Award

<bt>The Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Food and Nutrition Services received a regional best practice award from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The school system won the best practices certificate for excellence in its food service program. The Energy Zone, Office of Food and Nutrition Services, was cited for its multifaceted nutrition education program for the elementary-school communities and the Fairfax County community programs.

The Office of Food and Nutrition Services customized the classroom nutrition activities for the various grade levels and made materials available for students to take home and share with their parents and siblings.

The Office of Food and Nutrition Services is staffed by 1,300 professionals who are responsible for serving 140,000 customers each school day. School meals are planned by registered dietitians following Dietary Guidelines for Americans and reflecting student preferences determined at student tasting parties.

<sh>ACE Honors Volunteers

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Adult and Community Education (ACE) honored its volunteers at a reception on Wednesday, April 2. The event is an early kick-off in honor of National Volunteer Week, April 27 through May 3. At the reception, volunteers shared their experiences and were honored for their many hours of service. Several of the volunteers have contributed more than 20 years of service.

ACE tutors help those preparing for the GED, studying for a high-school diploma, or improving their reading, writing, or math skills. Tutors work one-on-one with students or with small groups at the Fairfax County Juvenile and Adult Detention Centers; the county's adult high schools and alternative centers; Adult Outreach Learning Centers; and Fairfax County public libraries. Volunteers also serve as classroom assistants in adult English for speakers of other languages classes; teach before- and after-school foreign language classes to elementary school students; run small reading and pronunciation groups; perform key clerical duties at various adult education sites; and facilitate learning activities at ACE computer and learning labs. They also serve on numerous ACE advisory committees.

Last year, ACE volunteers contributed 22,037 hours of service. ACE is always looking for new volunteers including tutors, administrative assistants, computer lab facilitators, data entry specialists, proofing specialists, test proctors, classroom assistants, instructional materials preparers and graduation hosts.

Those interested in volunteering for the Office of Adult and Community Education should call 703-227-2265.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Friday, April 4

Third grading period ends for standard calendar and modified secondary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Saturday, April 5-Tuesday, April 8

National School Boards Association conference. San Francisco, Calif.

Monday, April 7

Student holiday for standard calendar and modified secondary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Monday, April 7, 7:30 p.m.

School Board special meeting, challenged materials. Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave., Fairfax.

Tuesday, April 8

Fourth grading period begins for standard calendar and modified secondary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Tuesday, April 8, 6:30 p.m.

School Board budget presentation to the Board of Supervisors. Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Wednesday, April 9, 7 p.m.

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

Wednesday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.

* Minority Achievement Oversight Committee 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.

* Adult and Community Education Advisory Committee meeting. Bryant Alternative High School, 2709 Popkins Lane, Alexandria.

Thursday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.

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

Monday, April 14-Friday, April 18

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

Friday, April 18

Holiday for 12-month employees.