In the closing weeks of August, finishing vacations and shopping for school supplies fill the schedule for many Springfield families. With the area's elementary schools, many have additions, while some maintain the same level of education as last year.
New assistant principal Elizabeth Rhein joins the staff at Cardinal Forest. Open house is Thursday, Aug. 28, from 3-4:15 p.m., and Back-to-School Night is Wednesday, Sept. 17, for kindergarten through third grades, and Sept. 23 for grades four through six. This year's enrollment is 725.
This year marks the start of full-day kindergarten, which also brings new staff to deal with the increased load. This was done through federal funding with matching dollars from Fairfax County.
Open House Night is Friday, Aug. 29, and Back-to-School Night is Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Enrollment this year is 580.
With the opening of Island Creek Elementary School, Forestdale has lost its pre-school program, lowering enrollment numbers. The school has five new staff members: a P.E. teacher, and teachers in second, third, fifth and sixth grades. The teachers are studying a book that nurtures the business relationship in the area as well, called Professional Learning Communities. It involves area businesses, similar to the partnerships schools have with businesses.
"We help them too," said principal Teri Cavender.
Open house is Friday, Aug. 29, from 2-3 p.m., and Back-to-School Night is Sept. 11. This year's enrollment is 504.
Garfield is celebrating its 50th year in Springfield with a big celebration on Oct. 16. Back-to-School Night is Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Garfield's enrollment is 335.
Back-to-School Night is Sept. 15 for a.m. kindergarten and grades one through three, and Sept. 17 for p.m. kindergarten and grades four through six. Enrollment this year is 650.
On Sept. 2, Island Creek will open its doors for the first time, providing relief for nearby Lane Elementary School which has been laden with trailers since day one. Susan Owner moved over from North Springfield Elementary School as principal of the new school this year.
Back-to-School Night is Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m., for kindergarten through third grades and preschool, and Sept. 10 for gifted-and-talented grades three through six and regular grades four through six. Enrollment this year is 625.
The school was renovated two years ago so facilities are relatively new. Back-to-School Night is Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., for grades four, five and six. Enrollment is 530.
Back-to-School Night is Monday, Sept. 8, for kindergarten and first grade, and Thursday, Sept. 11, for grades two and three. Enrollment at Kings Park this year is 785.
Over the summer, a new playground was added to Lynbrook. The school also has a new wireless mobile lab, which is "new technology for all our kids," according to principal Mahri Aste. Open house is Thursday, Aug. 28, 2:30-3:30 p.m., and Back-to-School Night is Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Enrollment this year is 430.
New principal John F. Kren will team with new assistant principal Christine Gray. Back-to-School Night is Sept. 16 for kindergarten through third grade, and Sept. 17 for grades four through six. Both nights, doors open at 6 p.m. Enrollment this year is 650.
North Springfield Elementary
With last year's principal reassigned to Island Creek Elementary, Alice Alexander will take over at North Springfield as the school's new principal. The school has a new chess club as well. Open House is Thursday, Aug. 28 from 2-3 p.m., and Back-to-School Night is Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. As part of a tradition, students will run across the Annandale High School football field at half-time on Sept. 12. Enrollment this year is 550.
Orange Hunt students will begin their first, full year with closed classrooms, after the open-classroom concept was abandoned last spring. The Open House is Aug. 28, and Back-to-School Night is Sept. 10 for kindergarten through third grade and Sept. 11 for grades four through six. Both nights begin at 6 p.m. Enrollment is 909.
As one of 14 Spanish-immersion schools, Ravensworth remains full from year to year, according to principal Ray Ross.
"We're a Spanish immersion school and take in students from seven or eight different school areas," Ross said.
This year, the school has no new features but Ross added "we're going to have a continuation of what were so successful last year."
Due to retirements and transfers, Ravensworth has several new teachers this year. Lori Doutrich is the new, first grade immersion teacher and Amelia Taylor is the new sixth grade immersion teacher. Tamara Finke and Caroline Detrich are new English teachers. M. Peter Buchanan is a new P.E. teacher and Francis Nerdahl is the new music teacher. Laurel Tarpley is the new ESOL teacher and Milagros Rodriguez is a new special education teacher. Jeff Wilkinson is the new reading specialist and Sue Tibbets is the new speech teacher.
Thanks to funds raised by the PTA, the school purchased a new wireless mobile laptop station for the computer lab.
Back-to-School Night is Sept. 17 for primary grades and Sept. 18 for upper grades. Enrollment is 569.
Four new teachers join the staff at Rolling Valley this year. One is a kindergarten teacher, and three are special-education teachers. Open House is Aug. 29 at 2 p.m., and Back-to-School Night is Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. This year's enrollment is 600.
This year marks a new all-day kindergarten program at Saratoga. The Back-to-School Night for kindergarten is Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.; Sept. 9., at 7 p.m., for fourth and sixth grades and second grade at 8 p.m.; Sept. 11, first and third grades at 7 p.m., and fifth grade at 8 p.m. Enrollment at Saratoga this year is 830.
After Susan Garrison left last year to take the reins at Lorton Station Elementary School, new principal Linda Domina and assistant principal Carolyn Fischer continue the curriculum. Back-to-School Night is Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., for kindergarten through third grades, and Sept. 10, at 7 p.m., for grades four through six. Enrollment is 680.
As one of the smaller schools in the county, West Springfield does not have an assistant principal. Instead, it has an intern with teaching experience who performs assistant principal duties all year. Sharon Reimer, staff assistant at West Springfield, has worked with the interns the last few years.
"We have an intern in training as our assistant principal," she said. "Then they can look for a position as an assistant principal." Erin Jones will be their intern this year.
Back-to-School Night is Monday, Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. Enrollment is 380.