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Education Notebook -09/03/03

International Literacy Day

<bt>The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia will be commemorating International Literacy Day, Sept. 8, throughout the month of September. The aim of the event is to focus attention on the need to promote literacy worldwide.

The Council has several events planned throughout the month:

* Sept. 8, noon-2 p.m.: Tutor Exchange where tutors are encouraged to share stories and trade best practices with one another;

* Sept. 16 and 20: Volunteer Orientation;

* Sept. 29: Back-to-School Night, meet the board of directors, staff, fellow volunteers and students;

* Sept. 15 and 22: Registration for ESL, registration for the fall semester of English as a Second Language classes;

* Sept. 6-30: Book Drive, partnership with Safeway Inc. New and gently used books can be dropped off at participating stores in Arlington, Fairfax and Alexandria. The books will be sold at the annual sale Oct. 3-5 at the Council office 3431 Carlin Springs Road, Falls Church.

For more information on International Literacy Day and the Council, call 703-575-7900 or visit www.lcnv.org.

<sh>FCPS Combats West Nile Virus

<bt>The Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Safety and Security has been working with the Fairfax County Health Department throughout the spring and summer to combat the spread of West Nile virus and will continue to take steps to control the mosquito population and thwart the disease as the 2003-04 school year begins.

A critical step in controlling the disease is preventing the emergence of mosquitoes by eliminating or treating patches of standing water, their breeding grounds. Working in cooperation with the Fairfax County Health Department to fight the spread of the disease, school-system employees have been performing weekly inspections to determine possible breeding grounds and using a "tip and toss" program, dumping standing water to eliminate those breeding grounds in and around schools, centers and offices.

According to health authorities, the risk of becoming ill from West Nile virus is low; the disease is not transmitted by all mosquitoes, and most people who do get bitten by an infected mosquito suffer only a mild flu-like illness with a rapid recovery that does not require any treatment.

<sh>Number of AP Exams Taken Continues to Rise

<bt>Students in Fairfax County Public Schools are taking more Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, according to data just released. In addition, Asian, Hispanic and white students’ participation reached an all-time high in 2003.

The total number of AP exams taken by all students rose to 20,689, up from 20,236 in 2002. Along with the rise in the number of tests taken is an increase in scores of three or above to 13,278 in 2003, up from 13,089 in 2002.

The total number of students taking AP exams was 10,169 in 2003, compared with 10,313 in 2002. The drop in the number of students taking AP exams from 2002 to 2003 is attributed to the opening of International Baccalaureate (IBC) programs at Annandale and Lee high schools during the 2001-02 school year.

Overall participation of minority students in the AP exams has increased significantly in Fairfax County. The number of students scoring a three or above was at a historical high for Asian students. The number of tests taken by Asian students rose from 4,187 in 2002 to 4,491 in 2003, and their average score remained constant, going from 2.95 to 2.96. Scores for Hispanic students dipped slightly from 3.11 to 3.02, while the number of tests taken rose from 1,012 to 1,071. Black students took 726 tests in 2003, down from the historical high of 780 in 2002, with an increase in average test scores from 2.39 in 2002 to 2.42 in 2003.

The number of 12th-grade students taking the exams increased from 4,683 in 2002 to 4,843 in 2003. Twelfth-graders also continued to constitute the largest percentage of test takers, making up 47.6 percent of the tested population.

Of the students who indicated their ethnicity, the number of Asian students increased from 1,939 to 1,975; the number of Hispanic students increased from 598 to 622; the number of white students remained relatively stable at 6,428 in 2003 compared with 6,456 in 2002; and the number of black students decreased from 434 to 404.

<sh>ACE Fall Course Catalog in the Mail

<bt>Classes, Etc., the course catalog published by Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Adult and Community Education (ACE), has been mailed to Fairfax County residents. Registration has begun and will be ongoing throughout the term (September through December). Class information is also available on the ACE Web site at http://www.fcps.edu/adult.htm.

The Office of Adult and Community Education provides high-quality, convenient and affordable education to the community. ACE courses span a wide continuum and help individuals meet educational, career and life-enrichment goals.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee meeting. Leis Center, 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church.

Thursday, Sept. 11, 8 p.m.

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

Monday, Sept. 15, 8:30 a.m.

School Board work session. Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave., Fairfax.

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee meeting. Lacey Center, 3705 Crest Drive, Annandale.

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m.

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

* Human Resources Advisory Committee meeting. Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave., Fairfax.

Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.

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

* Adult and Community Education Advisory Committee meeting. Marshall High School, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.