School Notes

School Notes

Students, parents and community members are invited to purchase a 2005 Arlington Historical Architecture calendar, produced by Drew Model School students this year. Copies of the calendar are available for $10 each at Drew, the Arlington Historical Society and Commuter Direct stores in Rosslyn, Crystal City and Ballston. They can also be purchased online at For more information contact Monique O’Grady at 703-521-5631.

Through a joint partnership with the Arlington Virginia Federal Credit Union (AVFCU), students in Lisa Moore's Banking, Finance, and Investments class at the Arlington Career Center are now responsible for running a branch of the credit union. The grand opening of the 2004-2005 United Students Credit Union branch of the AVFCU was held on Nov. 3. The branch is open to students and faculty at the Career Center as well as anyone with an AVFCU account. The branch is open every Wednesday and Friday. To open a share savings account, students must deposit $5. There is no service fee and even students under the age of 18 can open an account with parental permission.

Barrett Elementary School is implementing a schoolwide poetry program this year to promote fluency and a love of reading among students and staff. So far, the monthly "Poems on the Stairs" and "Poem Zones" have been a big hit with students. Many ideas for the poetry program came from this summer's "Children Literature Conference, For the Love of the Book: Reaching the Reluctant Reader," at Shenandoah University. Principal Terry Bratt, ESOL/HILT Lead Teacher Ali Ledbetter, and Lead Reading Specialist Mary Lou Rube attended the conference.

On Oct. 28, students at Arlington Traditional School celebrated reading more than 28,000 books. The theme for the summer reading program was "Go for the Gold." During their annual Reading Carnival at Washington-Lee, Alan Webb, US Olympian — legendary high-school student who broke the 4-minute mile running for South Lakes High School — lead the entire student body in a parade of nations around the track. Students were entertained by the Washington-Lee High School band. The Madrigals sang the "Star Spangled Banner." The morning's celebration culminated with a picnic.

On Oct. 29, Ashlawn Elementary School students earned $9,570 for the Arlington Street People's Alliance Network (A-SPAN) by marching in costume around the school hallways and to Bluemont Park. The Swanson Pep Band provided entertainment. This initiative is one of many that Ashlawn students participate in each year to help the homeless. This month students are building a huge boxed cereal mountain in the main hall. The cereal will be donated to help feed adults in the Emergency Shelter breakfast all winter. Last spring, A-SPAN inducted Ashlawn into it's Hall of Fame - a reward for a job well done. Staff members Joan Lewis and Laurine Musto coordinate all of the "Helping Hands" activities.

The Gunston Middle School String Quartet performed at the Arlington High Technology Awards Ceremony at the Sheraton National Hotel on Nov. 4 under the leadership of teacher Jene Pohl.

Gunston Middle School's African American Girls Mentor Group sponsored by Assistant Principal Monica Roachè and teacher Birdena Crawley have formed a group of quilters. Next month students will donate handmade blankets to a local charity. Members of the Coalition of 100 Black Women and the LINKS organization have provided funding for the materials and supplies. This project is part of a schoolwide initiative, "DO Something," which encourages student leadership and volunteerism.

Washington-Lee High School IB Spanish B classes celebrated their third Hispanic Festival on Nov. 4. Students displayed a variety of information, artifacts and cultural aspects from 10 different countries.

Thomas Irvin, seventh-grade English teacher at Swanson, has been awarded a DC Public Schools: Excellence in Education Award. The award is sponsored by the Valley Of Washington, Orient of the District of Columbia Ancient and the Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry: Southern Jurisdiction for the United States of America. The Scottish Rite of D.C. recognizes teachers who have excelled in the classroom.

Under the guidance of Barcroft Elementary School physical education teacher Denise Johnson, fourth-grader Luz Maria Hernandez won first prize in a recent poster contest sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education. The theme of the poster contest was "Eating Healthy: Every Bite Counts."

Linda Johnson and Roberta McDermott, preschool special education teachers and Christopher Lyon, Virginia Preschool Initiative teacher at Patrick Henry have received a $500 minigrant for their preschool science project. The project, titled "A.C.T. (Active Critical Thinking)," will focus on inquiry-based science investigations for preschool students. The children will participate in investigations worked around the topic of "Change" with integrations to math, language arts, social studies and visual arts.

For the second consecutive year, the Arlington Public Schools budget has received the "Distinguished Budget Presentation Award" from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. The award is considered the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting.

The Budget and Finance Office staff will receive the "Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation" at the Thursday, Jan. 6, meeting of the Arlington School Board. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m., in the Board Room of the Arlington Education Center, 1426 North Quincy St., Arlington.

Arlington resident Claudia Funes received the Multicultural Leadership Scholarship from the Shepherd University Foundation for the 2004-2005 academic year. The Shepherd University Foundation funds more than 250 endowed scholarships, which provide more than $800,000 in student and program support. These funds support scholarship awards for deserving Shepherd students each academic year. Shepherd university is located in Shepeherdstown, W.Va.

Virginia Tech student programming teams captured four of the five top places in the 2004 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Mid-Atlantic Regional Programming Contest. Virginia Tech teams placed first, third, fourth, and fifth in the competition held at Radford University. The first-place win came as a tie with Duke University with both teams solving five problems with a combined time of 870 minutes. More than 160 university teams from Virginia, North Carolina, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Maryland and West Virginia competed in the contest. Students on the third-place team included Allen Kerr of Arlington, a senior majoring in computer science

Wakefield High School's Visual and Performing Arts Department is marking Arts Week Dec. 4-10. Events will include a clarinet festival Dec. 4, lunch time arts events all week long, and an evening celebration Dec. 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m., including the ribbon-cutting for the new performing arts center. For more information, call Gene Pohl at 703-228-6700. Wakefield High School is located at 4901 S. Chesterfield St.