To have school notes listed in The Arlington Connection, mail to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to or fax to 703-917-0991. Photos, especially color, are encouraged. This free community listing is reserved to events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost. Deadline is 2 p.m. the Thursday before publication. Call Elizabeth Orr at 703-917-6449 with any questions.

Arlington Traditional Elementary School teachers, students and parents celebrated the reading successes of the school's students with a "Reading Carnival" at Washington Lee High School on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 9:30 a.m. The carnival featured a "parade of nations," and the Washington-Lee band performed. Motivational guest speaker was Alan Webb, a former local high-school student who traveled to Greece this summer with the US Olympic Track Team.

Girls on the Run is a new group at Taylor Elementary School designed to empower young girls to be more confident, competitive and assertive. Sponsored by the school PTA, the group consists of about 20 fourth-grade girls who are training two mornings a week for an upcoming 5K run. Not only are the girls getting in shape they are building friendships and learning self confidence.

Hoffman-Boston Elementary School students are rehearsing for upcoming performances at the Classika Theatre that connect with the SOLs. Additionally, Hoffman-Boston third-graders are preparing a video for Hispanic Heritage Month and fifth-graders are preparing for an ancient Greek festival. Each Monday and Wednesday morning dozens of students participate in a reading program called "Books and Bagels."

Gunston Middle School is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the AOL Foundation’s “AOL Aspires” program. The grant will be used to continue the eighth-grade SOLAR Academy program that began last year. The SOLAR Academy provides mandatory mentoring and study sessions for eighth-graders who will benefit from academic reinforcement and remediation. Sessions take place two days per week after school and provide reinforcement in math, English, world geography, physical science and reading. The academy also teaches study and organizational skills. Gunston is one of 11 schools in the area to receive the grant.

The APS Family and Consumer Sciences and Teenage Parenting Programs have been awarded two grants totaling $7,500. A $5,000 grant, donated by the Whitehead Endowment, will be used to purchase reading materials for parents and children participating in the Even Start Family Literacy Program. A $2,500 grant, donated by the National Home Library Foundation, will be used to establish a small library for teen moms.

Patrick Henry Elementary School has received a $3,000 grant from the Washington Forest Foundation. The grant will be used for scholarships for the students and parenting classes for Patrick Henry families.

Yorktown Theatre Arts will present "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail," Nov. 19 18, 19 and 20. The play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee is based on the historical event inspiring Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience." It is being directed by social studies teacher Kevin Briscoe, and produced by theatre arts teacher Carol Cadby. All performances are at 7 p.m., in the auditorium at Yorktown High School, 5201 N. 28th St. Tickets $8 adults, $5 children at the door; $7 adults, $4 children in advance. Call 703-228-5414.

The Arlington Learning in Retirement Institute is a nonprofit organization offering daytime, college-level courses and activities for people over 50 years of age. Membership is open to residents in the metropolitan region. All classes are held in Arlington. For more information, call 703-228-2144 or visit

The Herb Block Foundation, created in the will of Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block, is offering its first community college scholarships for the academic year beginning in the fall of 2005. The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of financial need and academic performance. Scholarships will be given to C students who demonstrated academic improvement as well as A and B students. Eligible colleges are Montgomery Community College; Prince George's Community College; Northern Virginia Community College; and two-year programs at the University of the District of Columbia. The deadline for applications is Dec. 1. For more information or an application, call 609-771-7878.

Taylor Elementary School principal Robert L. Hindman has been named the Arlington Public Schools 2004 "Principal of the Year" and winner of The Washington Post's Distinguished Educational Leadership Award for Arlington. Now in his seventh year as the principal at Taylor, Hindman provides instructional leadership that is demonstrated by a pattern of rising student achievement.

Since he began his career in education as an elementary adaptive physical education teacher at the Devereux Foundation, the world's largest private foundation for neurologically impaired and brain injured students, in 1978, Hindman has worked as a physical education teacher, adaptive teacher, and classroom teacher at the elementary- and high-school level in Virginia and New Jersey. He has also coached high-school varsity swimming, soccer and track. Before becoming principal at Taylor, he was the school's assistant principal for just less than one year.

He is the chairman of the United Way Campaign at Taylor and serves as the chair of the APS Health and Physical Education Advisory Committee. Last year he served as the chair of the School Health Advisory Board. He has served on various recreational and education foundation boards throughout his career and was a member of the Arlington YMCA Board of Management. Hindman earned a bachelor's degree in health, physical and safety education from West Chester State College in 1976 and a master's of education degree in administration and supervision from George Mason University in 1987.

On Nov. 15 Hindman and 16 other principals in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area will receive the Distinguished Educational Leadership Award from The Washington Post. He will be honored by the Arlington School Board during its 7:30 p.m. meeting on Dec. 2.

Key Immersion School third-graders successfully completed their first Monkeyville Market Day of the school year on Oct. 20, from 9-11 a.m., when they bought and sold homemade goods and services using Banana Bills, the local currency. Market Day was created to help provide Key students with a hands-on experience in economics. Students spend weeks creating and marketing the homemade products that they sell at Market Day using currency they earn in the weeks leading up to the event by holding various "jobs." Some of the many things that students sold at Market Day included services like face painting, taking Polaroid pictures, giving massages and selling tickets to participate in pine wood derby car racing. Other students sold homemade key chains, bracelets, cookies, cupcakes and smoothies.

Wakefield High School's freshmen participating in the House Three Foundation Program recently talked with former Washington Redskins football player Ken Harvey and James Jones, with whom Harvey co-owns IKOYA productions, a television production company. Harvey and Jones spoke with students about the benefits of reading and the roles that both reading and writing have in their professional lives when they visited the school on Oct. 18.

Abingdon Elementary School hosted Family Math Night on Oct. 14. Families were invited to come learn about the math curriculum, supporting resources and the school's philosophy of teaching math.

Under the leadership of Washington-Lee High School guidance counselor Gretchen Ricks, sophomore Sherafgan Tareen was selected by the Ethics Resource Center in Washington, D.C., to give a presentation on "Students as Ethical Leaders" at the 2004 Ethics Officer Association Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Oct. 20-22. Tareem was one of only four students in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area selected to attend. Ricks serves as the staff advisor for the Student Ethics Committee which was established this year.

WUSA TV recently aired a feature story on efforts by Gunston Middle School students to get out the vote. Drama teacher Sharon Steen's students wrote and acted in a series of public service announcements encouraging citizens to vote. Television production teacher Harry Costner's students filmed and edited the public service announcements. Social Studies teachers "registered" students for the school's Nov. 1 mock election. WUSA's report highlighted Gunston's creative student activism and the staff's efforts to teach the students responsible citizenship. The public service announcements are also being aired on APS TV Channel 70.

In observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada spoke to Langston students on Oct. 14 about overcoming adversity and hardship to become successful in life. Tejada used examples of his own experiences as an immigrant of Hispanic heritage.

School Psychology Awareness Week is Nov. 8-12. Each Arlington school is served by a Pupil Personnel Services team, which includes a school psychologist and school social worker, who provide a variety of support services to APS students. The team specializes in developing prevention and early intervention strategies. They help school staff and families address a wide range of developmental issues, as well as assisting students with disabilities.

Facilitator Paula Cole Jones, founder of A.D.O.R.E. (A Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity), will host the first meeting of the group at Gunston Middle School on Nov. 8, from 2:45-5 p.m., at the school. Established seven years ago as a way of ensuring that students, staff, and community members are empowered to speak freely on race, ethnicity and class, math specialist Loren Beecher and principal Madge Gill, are confident that A.D.O.R.E. will enhance skills that positively impact the educational environment for students at Gunston who speak more than 47 different languages.

On Nov. 12, children's author Arthur Dorros will visit Claremont where he will spend the morning talking with students about how he develops the ideas for his books. His presentation will be done in both English and Spanish. Dorros is best known for two story books titled, "Abuela" and "Isla."

APS employees and community members can purchase a 2005 historical buildings calendar, with students original artwork. Drew Model School Art Teacher Constance Usova worked with the students to create the calendar, integrating the study of historic Arlington architecture into the fourth grade social studies unit on colonial Virginia. 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. The calendar includes pictures drawn by students of structures in several neighborhoods, including the Glebe House, Alcova House, Doubleday Mansion, Hume School, Carlin Hall, Drew House, Maury School and Walker Chapel. The project was funded with a grant from the Arlington Historical Society, The Washington Post and Del. Adam Ebbin, 49th District.

Swanson teacher Cathy Bonneville Hix has been selected as a member of the 2004 USA Today All-USA Teacher Team. The seventh-grade American studies teacher is one of 20 individuals selected from across the county for being an outstanding teacher. She will receive a trophy and $500. Swanson will receive $2,000. Hix was nominated by the parents of her 2003-2004 students who cited her dynamic abilities to communicate her love of history and her willingness to try new ideas to reach her students. Hix is a graduate of Swanson, where she first began her career as a special needs teacher in 1979. She uses the "History Alive!" method featuring simulations, acting, and debates.

Margaret Stephens-Reed, an outreach specialist with the Department of School and Community Relations and School Board Member Frank Wilson both received awards from the Arlington NAACP on Sept. 27. Reed received the President's Award and Wilson received the Charles Monroe Humanitarian Award for their dedication to the Arlington branch and the cause of civil rights.

Rick Avondet, I-B design technology and automobile technology teacher at Washington-Lee High School, received the Technology Education Association of Maryland's Lifetime Achievement Award. Avondet was a Maryland teacher for more than 30 years and served on the group's executive board for 20 years. The award is presented to educators whose careers embody the highest level of professionalism in technology education.

APS Translator Thomas Mansella was recently elected administrator of the Spanish Language Division (SPD) of the American Translators Association. With more than 2,300 professional translators and interpreters, the SPD is the single largest membership group within the ATA, French is second with 800 members. Being elected as administrator is considered to be a strong recognition of professional qualifications and leadership skills.

As part of the school system’s continuing effort to keep students, parents and community members abreast of the latest news and information, the Arlington Public Schools Web site has been updated to enhance its navigation and usability through a new mini-site and updates to content and design.

A new “Registration & School Options” mini-site is now available from the APS home page, available under the “About APS” heading, which allows parents to walk unassisted through all of the steps in registering a child for school and reviewing the options that are available to Arlington families.

The School Options mini-site features four navigation elements, three of which are new to the APS Web site, These include:

* “Make a Choice” – When parents reach a page that has options for viewing additional unique information, a list of options will appear in the blue box on the right-hand side of the screen. For example, the School Choices page features “Make A Choice” links to preschool, elementary, middle and high schools.

* “Related Links” – When parents reach a page with information that is not specific to one particular area or serves as supporting material, a yellow box will appear on the right-hand side of the screen listing “Related Links.”

* “School Options Site Map” – The site map is available under “Related Links" on the main page and then a site map link is available at the bottom of every page in the School Options section.

* “Breadcrumb Trail” – Once parents click on a link in the School Options Web site, a blue box will appear directly underneath the “School Options in APS" banner image. As they click deeper into this mini-site, they will see links in the blue box that will indicate what pages are “above” their current page. Parents can then quickly return to a page they previously viewed without having to use the back button multiple times.

Additionally, a “Searchable Boundary” site was added to the APS Web site just over a year ago to help citizens determine their neighborhood schools. Parents can type their home address into the database and will instantly learn which is their neighborhood elementary, middle or high school.

School officials hope the redesigned School Options site will be helpful to families during the current registration period for secondary students, Nov. 1 – Jan. 21, and in the fall during the elementary registration period, Feb. 1 – April 15. Community members are encouraged to share their comments on how the site can be further improved through the feedback form available on the APS Web site or by e-mailing