Education Notebook - 10/01/03

Education Notebook - 10/01/03

Proposal for Makeup Days Withdrawn

<bt>Less than a week after making a proposal to amend the school calendar designating additional snow makeup days over the spring break holiday, Schools Superintendent Daniel Domenech has withdrawn the proposal.

Because of Hurricane Isabel, the entire school system has already used two of the three built-in snow days. Four schools — Annandale High, Annandale Terrace Elementary, Braddock Elementary and Lemon Road Elementary — had to use their third day due to lack of power to the school buildings.

Domenech, last Thursday, proposed designing April 5 and 6, which fall over spring break, as makeup days, should the school system lose anymore class time between now and then.

However, due to opposition to cutting short the traditional week-long break and the fact that April 6 is the first day of Passover, the proposal was scraped.

Instead, the school system has decided to take a wait-and-see attitude and will make adjustments to the calendar as needed.

<sh>Parent to Parent Network

<bt>Parent to Parent is a network of trained parent volunteers who can provide information and support to other families of children with disabilities or health problems. The Arc of Virginia's Family Involvement Project, "Parent to Parent" will be offering a Parent Partner Training Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Infant and Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church, 3750 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax. For more information or to register, contact Andrea Adelmann at 703-246-5313 or e-mail

<sh>E-mail Alerts Improved

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools has improved and streamlined its Keep in Touch e-mail notification service to make it easier for individuals to sign up for the service and to use it. The e-mail alert program was piloted for a year and, has been made a permanent service. Currently, more than 45,000 people subscribe to Keep in Touch.

Signing up for the service was made easier by no longer requiring a mailing address when signing up and allowing the subscriber to access his or her profile at any time to update or unsubscribe to the service. A frequently asked questions feature has also been added.

Subscribers can also elect to have news about a particular school or schools sent to them via e-mail. Additionally, some schools are developing their own sets of targeted lists to send specific information to families of students involved in extracurricular activities such as music, sports and clubs, as well as grade-level-specific information.

To sign up for Keep in Touch, go to the FCPS home page at and click on the yellow Keep in Touch box.

<sh>Fairfax Program Piloted Statewide

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools’ Great Beginnings program, a beginning teacher induction and mentoring program, is one of three teacher mentoring programs to be piloted by the Virginia Department of Education to support new teachers in their first years on the job.

Great Beginnings will be used by the Martinsville, Montgomery County and Spotsylvania County school systems to mentor and train beginning teachers. Great Beginnings pairs veteran teachers with new teachers to provide support and assistance by subject or grade level. New teachers receive instruction on how to communicate with parents, meet the needs of all students, and complete standards-based instructional planning and goal setting.

The mentoring programs are being introduced in six Virginia school divisions and four regional consortia representing an additional 26 school systems. A statewide mentoring program for new teachers was a key recommendation of the October 2002 report of the state Committee to Enhance the K-12 Teaching Profession in Virginia.

<sh>College Fair

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools will present its 28th annual College Fair on Sunday, Oct. 19, at Fair Oaks Mall, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., and its College Night on Monday, Oct. 20, from 7-9 p.m., at Hayfield Secondary School. More than 350 colleges and universities will be represented, including two-year colleges, technical institutes, business schools and nursing schools.

Interested students and their parents are invited to attend the College Fair. A Web site with names of the participating institutions, including links to their individual home pages, can be found at .

On Oct. 20, the school system will offer college-related workshops at College Night. Students and their parents can learn about attending and affording private colleges, receiving financial aid and writing a successful college essay. There will also be workshops for college-bound minority students, students with disabilities, and students interested in college-level athletics.

For more information, contact Beth Westbrook at 703-876-5248 or via e-mail at

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Thursday, Oct. 9, 8 p.m.

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

Saturday, Oct. 11

South Lakes High School reunion, class of 1983. Hyatt Dulles Hotel, Herndon. For more information, call 800-655-7971 or on the Web,

Saturday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m.

Robinson Secondary School reunion, class of 1973, Hyatt Fair Lakes, 12777 Fair Lakes Circle, Fairfax. For more information contact Michelle Sala at or on the Web at

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 9 a.m.

Speakers' list opens for the six-year divisionwide plan public hearing, scheduled for Oct. 30. To sign up call, 703-246-3646.

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 8 a.m.

School Board work session, instruction; facilities; student services; and strategic planning and evaluation. Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave., Fairfax.