School Notes

School Notes

Know something that should be featured in School Notes? Awards? Special events? School fairs? Fax a brief write-up to 703-917-0991 or write an e-mail to Joy Allen at

Thanks to the students of Langley High School's Art Club in McLean, a newly painted mural of mermaids, dolphins, whales and other sea creatures now greets pediatric patients undergoing surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children's ambulatory surgery center. About 20 student volunteers recently completed work on the aquatic mural, which will be seen by children as they are wheeled approximately 40 feet to the suite of operating rooms. The students logged more than 20 hours over two weekends designing and painting the mural, in addition to several planning and design meetings in the months leading up to the project. The mural incorporates the hospital's "Star Kid" logo alongside the friendly and funny-faced sea creatures.

Materials for the mural were paid for through Inova Health System Foundation funds earmarked to assist the hospital's Child Friendly Task Force.

Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean hosts a Fun Fair on Saturday, April 17, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The community is invited to attend. The fair includes games, food and a silent auction. Call the school at 703-288-8400 with any questions.

Starshine Theater produces a new session of Drama Camp at The Langley School Summer Studio this July. Adapted for the stage with permission from Harper Collins Publishers, this year's new musical, "The Lord of the Rings," a drama based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, casts boys and girls 8-15 to bring the characters and stories to life.

Directed by Patricia Budwig, this full-production workshop includes a speaking role for every student, lead singing and action/dance roles for those interested, and assistant director/choreographer roles (martial arts students welcome). A professionally produced CD soundtrack of the new musical score will include cast members' vocal talents.

The two-week camp runs from Tuesday, July 6, through Saturday, July 17. Weekday rehearsals run from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., with recording session on Saturday, July 10, and performances on Saturday, July 17, at The Langley School in McLean. Although there is a short wait-list for students under the age of 11, there are still roles available for boys and girls 12-15.

Call 703-790-9050 or e-mail A.S.A.P. for complete audition and rehearsal information.

Mai Hassan and Desmond Torkornoo, both of Marshall High School, are among 800 students nationwide who have won Achievement Scholarships from the National Achievement Scholarship Program (NASP). The Achievement Scholarships are awarded to Black, American high-school seniors to be used for undergraduate study at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university. Hassan received the award for chemistry; Torkornoo received the award for medicine.

Hassan received a $2,500 scholarship sponsored by Rohm and Haas Co. Torkornoo received a $2,500 National Achievement Scholarship supported by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. (NMSC), which conducts the NASP.

The Wind Symphony at Langley High School is working with internationally known composers Steven Bryant and Eric Ewazen in preparation for its performance at the 59th National Biennial In-Service Conference of the National Association for Music Education in Minneapolis, April 14-17.

Bryant was commissioned by the Langley Wind Symphony to write a piece, titled “Dusk,” to be premiered at the conference. He is in residence with the Wind Symphony on March 29. Ewazen, from the Juilliard School of Music, will be in residence on April 12 to work on his piece, “Shadowcatchers: Concerto for Brass Quintet and Wind Ensemble.”

The Langley musicians competed against nearly 200 high-school music ensembles to secure a spot at the national conference.

Eighty-five students, parents and teachers from Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean planted the first stage of the school's outdoor classroom project on Saturday, March 27. The volunteers dug planting beds and installed 200 plants for the Wild Bird and Butterfly Garden at the front of the school. Plans call for additional gardens to be installed for the entire periphery of the school over the next five years. These outdoor classrooms will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary study for all ages at the school. For example, kindergartners can count and plant pumpkin seeds and study the different colors of pansies, while sixth-graders can study a complex plant life cycle. Fourth-graders, who study Virginia History, can plant herbs grown in Colonial times. The outdoor classrooms will also benefit Churchill Road's autism program by providing opportunities for hands-on learning. The next stage of the project, the Fitness, Math and Nature Trail, will be installed in mid-May. Although these outdoor gardens will directly benefit the school, they are open to be enjoyed by the entire community.

Anubhav Bist of Longfellow Middle School won the Silver Award in Drawing in the National Scholastic Art Awards, administered by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

Katherine Wingrove of Langley High School won the Silver Award in the Computer Art Category in the National Scholastic Art Awards, administered by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

An opossum, a North American porcupine, an African gray parrot, a bearded dragon and a hedgehog visited Spring Hill Elementary School on Tuesday, April 13. The animals visited as part of the Animal Ambassadors program to teach students about animal survival strategies while meeting the animals in person. Animal Ambassadors provides environmental education to children while introducing them to exotic mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates.

For the fifth year in a row, Longfellow Middle School's MathCounts team has captured first-place honors at the state MathCounts competition. Yeon-Sik Cho, Haitao Mao, Alisha Seam and Cassandra Xia completed three written rounds of questions, then competed orally, two by two, in a quiz-show format. Individual winners included Frost Middle School student Jack Wang in first place and former Longfellow student Jae-Kyu Lee in second place. Third place was captured by Longfellow's Haitao Mao and fourth place by Alisha Seam, also of Longfellow. These four students will represent Virginia at the National MathCounts competition. Longfellow coach Barbara Burnett will coach the Virginia team.

Registration dates as published in Encore 2004, the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) summer school booklet, have been updated. Of note are the following changes to the 2004 Summer Program Registration Dates section located on the inside front cover of Encore 2004:

* The dates for general registration are May 10–June 22 for fax and mail, and May 17–June 23 for walk-in.

* The dates to register for the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology admission test seminar by fax and mail are April 12–May 5; there will be no walk-in registration for this course.

Late registration for middle- and high-school students will be held on July 1, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., at the middle- and high-school summer sites only for students who fail a Standards of Learning (SOL) test or a course needed for graduation or promotion. There is no late registration for elementary students.

Early registration is recommended. Registration, including walk-ins at schools and registration centers, will not be accepted on the first day of summer school.

Encore 2004 has been mailed to families whose children attend Fairfax County Public Schools. The booklet contains information on summer school course offerings, locations, fees, and registration. Encore 2004 is also available at every Fairfax County public school, public library, and FCPS administrative office. Registration forms are included in Encore 2004.

Substance-Abuse Education seminars for parents will continue to be held at three locations: Langley High School, McLean High School and Herndon High School. At Langley High School there will be sessions on April 28 and May 19.

At McLean High School, the sessions are April 14, May 5 and 26, and June 9.

Junior Ranger Summer Camp. This fun-filled, two-day program for children 8-11 allows children to participate in a variety of activities such as hikes and nature-related projects that educate young people about the park and the natural environment they live in. There is no fee to attend the program, but preregistration is required. Sessions are June 29 and 30, July 13 and 14, July 27 and 28, and Aug. 10 and 11. Each session runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Opening are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call 703-285-2965.

Registration for McLean Youth's spring volleyball program is now open to area youth in grades four through high school. Registration forms and program information are available at (go to volleyball). For more information, or if available to coach, contact Paula Doyle at 703-893-1398.

Graduating seniors residing in or near Great Falls are invited to apply for two Alexander DeFilippis Scholarships being offered this spring. The Women's Association of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls is proud to award these college scholarships to young men and women who have served their community with their time and talent. Membership in St. Catherine of Siena Parish is not required. All college-bound seniors who are local residents (Great Falls, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, McLean, Sterling, Potomac Falls and /or registered parishioners) may apply.

The selection process places major emphasis on the student's development of Christian character and demonstrated service to others by involvement in school, church or community projects. The student must also have a 2.5 or higher overall high-school grade point average. Two scholarships of $3,000 each will be awarded again this year because of the generous community support for the St. Catherine of Siena Women's Association fashion show, luncheon and auction at Riverbend Country Club.

Scholarship packages are available in the St. Catherine of Siena Parish office at 1020 Springvale Road, Great Falls. The applications must be returned by May 15. Strict adherence to the deadline as well application completion is imperative.

The Washington Regional Transplant Consortium, a Washington, D.C.-area organ procurement organization, is offering $5,000 scholarships to high-school seniors in Northern Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and suburban Maryland. The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of an essay on organ and tissue donation written by the seniors. The scholarships are endowed from the Leslie Ebert Memorial Fund, in memory of a WRTC staff member who died in 2001. The deadline for the essays is Friday, May 7, at 5 p.m. For more information about how to enter the contest, contact Toni Webb or Eric Price at 703-641-0100.

The McLean Citizens Association, through its Education and Youth Committee, is again sponsoring the Teen Character Award to recognize teenagers with exceptional ethical and compassionate character. Teenagers who have, on their own and without compensation or other formal recognition, cared for elderly relatives or younger siblings, or who have helped out in their neighborhood or the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan community, deserve to be recognized not only for themselves but as an example to others. To nominate a teenager, pick up an application form at the McLean Community Center, Langley or McLean high school, or Cooper or Longfellow middle school. Nominations must be turned in to the McLean Community Center no later than Saturday, April 17. All teenagers whose nominations indicate they meet the criteria specified with the application will be notified and must be present unless other arrangements have been made with the Committee, to receive certificates at McLean Day on Saturday, May 15. For further information, call 703-734-4944.

<bt>On Sunday, Feb. 22, Brownie Troop 1057 attended the 2004 Thinking Day World of Friendship event at Langley High School. Held annually for area Girl Scouts, the event gives troops a greater understanding of Girl Scouts and their cultures around the world. Each troop selects a country to represent and prepares a booth to provide information on that country to other participating troops. During the event, each Scout travels "Around the World," learning about different countries and stamping her homemade passport.

Troop 1057 chose to represent Japan. Its booth included a map of Japan, statistics about the Japanese and their lives, pictures of the people and their houses, postcards, authentic Japanese yen and the Japanese flag. The girls also decided to model traditional Japanese dress by wearing kimonos to the event.

<cl>Brownie Troop 1057 prepares to travel at Thinking Day.

Registration for summer classes offered by the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Office of Adult and Community Education (ACE) is now under way. "Classes, Etc.," the ACE course catalog, is in the mail to Fairfax County residents.

ACE provides high-quality, convenient and affordable education to the community with a wide continuum of courses that help individuals meet educational, career and life-enrichment goals. A sampling of course offerings includes home and personal improvement; computer courses at many levels of experience; fine and creative arts and crafts; apprenticeship-related instruction; foreign language courses; English for international travelers; adult high-school completion programs; certification in trades and the medical and business areas; business and entrepreneurial training; basic skills in reading, writing and math; workforce training for local businesses; and K-12 extended-day enrichment and remediation programs.

Most classes offered to the public are supported by user fees and grants and are not funded from the school system’s operations budget. Class information is also available at by clicking on Classes, Etc.

Russell Brown's fifth-grade class at Chesterbrook Elementary School in McLean was named the Virginia winner of the 2003-04 Reading Is Cool competition. The class read 828 books for an average of 33 books per student. Other winners include Jerome Brown's fifth-grade class at Davis Elementary School in Washington, D.C., reading 1,084 books for an average of 37 books per student, and Travis Long's fifth-grade class at Avalon Elementary School in Fort Washington, Md., reading 943 books for an average of 31 books per student. Each winning class receives a visit from Capitals mascot Slapshot, signed Capitals player cards and a team-signed hockey stick and jersey. Jerome Brown's class, the grand-prize winner, also received a suite for the Capitals' April 3 game against the N.Y. Rangers.

Sponsored by MCI and the Washington Capitals, the Reading Is Cool program was created to encourage students to develop essential reading habits while also demonstrating the importance of working as a team toward a common goal. This year more than 100 classes comprising nearly 2,500 third- through fifth-grade students from Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Maryland; Pennsylvania; and West Virginia participated in the program.

Junior Taylor Newby, son of Donna R. Taylor of McLean and Clinton T. Newby Jr. of Bethesda, achieved honor-roll status at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania for the winter term. In order to be named to the honor roll, students must earn a grade point average of 80-89.

World Heritage, a nonprofit student exchange program, is seeking families, couples or single parents to host a high-school-age foreign-exchange student for a semester or year. For more information, call area representative Judith Henderson at 1-800-888-9040, or visit

Now’s the time to register for summer camps at the McLean Community Center. The center offers a variety of fun and affordable options for children this summer. The Center is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean.

*Camp McLean, which takes place at a Fairfax County Public School in McLean, is an American Camping Association accredited camp and is a Virginia Department of Social Services Licensed Child Care Center. A staff of recreation professionals, teachers and graduate and undergraduate students comprise the staff of Camp McLean. The camp has three 2-week sessions beginning on June 28 and ending Aug. 6.

* Tot Camp, which takes place 9 a.m.-1 p.m., is for 3- to 5-year-olds. Campers remain on site at all times. Each session offers a weekly theme, in-house entertainment and water play. Campers participate in arts and crafts, nature activities, outdoor play, circle time and games played in small groups. The camper/staff ratio is one adult to six campers. The cost of each two-week session ranges from $285 to $325.

* Regular, Adventure and Excursion Camp hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Regular Camp is for first- through third-graders. Each session offers four swimming days and two local field trips. Transportation is provided via Fairfax County Public School buses. Each session offers a weekly theme in which campers have the opportunity to participate in arts and crafts, music, drama, cooking, games and sports. The camper/staff ratio is one adult to eight campers. The cost of each two-week session ranges from $305 to $340.

* Adventure Camp is for fourth- and fifth-graders. Excursion Camp is for sixth- and seventh-graders. Campers spend time participating in arts and crafts, games, sports and nature projects. In addition, these two groups travel on four local field trips and enjoy four days of swimming at a local swimming pool each session. Transportation is provided via Fairfax County Public School buses. These groups join the Regular Camp for camp field trips, special events and recreational swimming. The camper/staff ratio is one adult to 10 campers. The cost of each two-week session ranges from $350 to $390.

* For more than 15 years, the Alden Theatre’s Summer Theatre Workshops have provided theater training for children. These summer programs offer young actors in fourth through ninth grades an opportunity to develop their skills in the areas of acting, voice and movement. Led by a staff of theater professionals, students participate in all facets of the theatrical experience, from audition techniques to putting on the final performance. No experience is necessary for either workshop.

* McLean Kids is a camp for rising fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. The camp is Monday through Friday, June 21–July 9. Camp hours are 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. The cost of the two-week workshop is $480/$550 nonresidents, which includes a T-shirt and makeup supplies.

* On Stage!, a camp for rising sixth-, eighth- and ninth-graders, is Monday through Friday, July 12–July 30, from 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. The cost of the two-week workshop is $525/$600 nonresidents, which includes a T-shirt and makeup supplies.

* The McLean Cooks’ Kids Cook Program offers a number of cooking camps. All food and materials are included in the cost of programs, which meet Monday through Friday, for three to four hours, mornings or afternoons. All camps are limited to 12 participants 8-12, except for parent-and-child and teen camps. Each day, students prepare a new meal and then dine on what they have made. Topics include kitchen rules and responsibilities, knife safety, skills assessment, kitchen cleanliness, table manners and the social aspects of dining together. Chef Joel Olson, of Hemmachef, teaches all camps. Recent summer camps have included Baking and Pastry, Let’s Cook Together (parent and child), International Cuisine, Teen Cuisine and Culinary Voyage.

* The Old Firehouse Teen Center (OFTC), a satellite program of the McLean Community Center, offers its Y.E.S. (Youth Experiencing Summer) Program, for seventh- through ninth-graders for a second year this summer. The program runs June 21–Aug. 6, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. The cost of the program is $120 a month, or $35 a week. Teenagers participate in a structured program that includes outdoor sports, swimming and catching up on summer reading. Included in the cost is a supervised event, a daily snack, access to books that are on the Fairfax County Public Schools’ summer reading list and transportation to off-site events. Children must bring a lunch daily.

* OFTC also offers The Extreme Summer Experience for rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders.

Teenagers enjoy trips to fun locations, including Six Flags and the Spy Museum. Teenagers should arrive at the Teen Center between 8 and 9 a.m. The bus leaves promptly at 9 a.m. Most trips return at approximately 3 p.m.; however, some may return later. Parents must pick their children up by 6 p.m. The cost of the program is $350/$375 nonresidents for each session. Session I is Aug. 9-13, Session II is Aug. 16-20, and Session III is Aug. 23-27.

* The McLean Project for the Arts’ Creative Art Studio Program offers week-long workshops for children 6-8 and 8-11. Tuition is $100 per week/$110 nonresidents. Hours are 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., or 1:30-3:30 p.m. Week 3 meets only four days (Tuesday-Friday), and tuition is $80/$90 nonresidents. All supplies are provided. Children may attend one or more sessions and should bring a snack and a painting smock or an oversized shirt.

For more information on summer camps, call the center at 703-790-0123/TTY: TAP-TALK, or visit: