Middle schools in the area are coming to grips with a growing population and the standards of learning requirements. Several schools offer new courses while others have additional trailers to cater to the greater number of students. All have a new outlook on the upcoming year.
Frost Middle School
Frost Middle enters the school year with several new additions to the community. Marti Jo Jackson, who had been a Frost assistant principal for two years, will serve as Frost's new principal. The school also finished hiring 13 full-time teachers and two part-time teachers.
As Jackson begins her tenure, the year's theme for the middle school will be "to stay K12Nect-ed." The theme references a technology initiative that Frost is part of with the Woodson pyramid. But Jackson hopes the theme of connection will play out between school and family, student and teacher, and teacher to teacher. To achieve that goal, teachers have been meeting in the past week with their departments to develop ways to help each other out. Students will be connected with the community through Frost's collaboration on the Fall for the Book Festival with George Mason University and Lanier Middle School.
"I wanted to broaden [that vision]," Jackson said.
Besides new staff, the school will also have on its campus two additional classroom trailers, making the trailer total four.
The trailer additions come as Frost inches 100 students beyond its capacity. As of the end of August, the student population stands at roughly 1,068 students.
Frost's Back-to-School Night is Thursday, Sept. 11.
Renovations are into the final year at Hayfield. The renovations that are already completed include a refurbished auditorium, guidance suite, two sub-schools, clinic, the career center, boys and girls locker rooms and several classrooms.
Twelve new teachers join the middle school, which has 1,497 students enrolled this year. Back-to-School Night is Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.
Sharon Eisenberg is the new principal at Key Middle School this year. Eisenberg comes from a background of assistant principal positions at Centreville High School and Lanier Middle School in the City of Fairfax. Before that, she's had experience teaching English and special education. She got an early start at Key this year.
"I've been here since July 1, so I have been getting used to the area, the community," she said. "It's been a good start."
Thirteen new teachers and 958 students are at Key for the new school year. Back-to-School Night for the seventh-graders is Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m., and Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m., for the eighth-graders. The principal's coffee is Thursday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 a.m. Eisenberg is planning several coffees throughout the year.
"It's like a meet-and-greet for parents, so they get to know me," she said.
Washington Irving Middle
Three new educational programs are being introduced at Washington Irving Middle School — Japanese, advanced technology and Spanish for fluent speakers — according to administrator Tina West. The school will have 1,200 new students, which is an increase from last year. Twelve new teachers have joined the staff as well.
Back-to-School Night is Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., for seventh-graders, and Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m., for the eighth-graders.
Lake Braddock Secondary
Now that middle-school students are on the same hours as the high-school students at Lake Braddock, they, too, will prepare for the massive renovation project that will begin at the school next year. This year, the middle school has 21 new teachers and 1,400 new students. Back-to-School Night is Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m.
"We're going to be renovated next year. It's a three- or four-year process," said counselor Ginny Broadbent.
Back-to-School Night is Wednesday, Sept. 17, for the seventh- and eighth-graders.
Robinson's middle school has 1,300 students, which associate principal Janet Colgrove said is an increase.