0
Votes

School's In for Fall

Elementary schools sharpen pencils and tidy classrooms prepping for new year.

For the past three years, Wolftrap Elementary in Vienna has been eagerly waiting renovations to the school. Since July, the Wolftrap community has finally gotten its wish.

Over the summer, the grounds at the back of the school have been ripped up and dug out, while the entranceway has been gutted to make room for more office space.

"I think it's going to be a great learning opportunity," said administrative assistant Sheila Dominguez.

Three phases of construction will occur over a three-year period. The renovations to the 36-year-old school include the construction of a new computer lab and art room, a room for instrumental music, a multipurpose room and office space, according to Wolftrap principal Virginia Mahlke.

All classrooms will be redone; the library will double in size; and new heating, air conditioning and sprinkler systems will be installed. The kiss-and-ride will be reworked to get traffic off neighborhood streets.

Some renovations will occur during the school year, which Mahlke hopes students will enjoy witnessing.

"We'll be able to teach them how construction is done. We're looking forward to that," Mahlke said.

While Wolftrap's construction is a major change to the school, other area elementary schools are undergoing smaller, yet significant changes and additions to the school year. Listed are some of the activities students and parents may encounter this coming school year:

Colvin Run Elementary

1400 Trap Road

Vienna, VA 22182.

703-757-3000.

Principal: Sandra Furick.

Sandra.Furick@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/colvinrunes/.

Back-to-School Night: Grades K-3, Monday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.; Grades 4-6, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.

Cunningham Park Elementary

1001 Park St.

SE, Vienna, VA 22180.

703-255-5600.

Principal: Lisa Mank.

Lisa.Mank@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/CunninghamParkES/.

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

"Thanks to the Fairfax County School Board, we were able to hire our first assistant principal," said Lisa Mank, principal of Cunningham Park. Kim Price will be the school's first assistant principal.

The school will continue its English for Speakers of Other Languages, Special Education and Gifted and Talented programs.

The school, which was completely renovated a few years ago, did not have any major structural changes and will continue to have three trailers.

Mank expects the school to have approximately 340 students. "That's right on track with our past," she said.

Mank said that the school will implement a Kids of Character program, which will emphasize teaching students courtesy.

The school will also continue with its Professional Learning Community, which allows teachers to meet in interdisciplinary teams. "The kids don't see it that much, but it's how we organize ourselves," Mank said.

"Overall, we want to continue to prepare our students to go on to be successful at the middle- and high-school levels," Mank said.

Flint Hill Elementary

2444 Flint Hill Road

Vienna, VA 22181.

703-242-6100.

Principal: Salvador Rivera.

Salvador.Rivera@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/FlintHillES/.

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

Flint Hill plans to continue using the Professional Learning Communities concept. This plan provides more time for teachers to collaborate and address learning across all subject areas and to ensure that students are mastering the curriculum. "The school has already seen success with our PLC in place by having a high pass rate on all the state tests," wrote Principal Salvador Rivera.

The school will also be implementing strategies developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University designed to prevent, act on and resolve troubling behaviors. "Our goal is to use this program to reward the positive expected behaviors," Rivera said.

Freedom Hill Elementary

1945 Lord Fairfax Road

Vienna, VA 22182.

703-506-7800.

Principal: Anita Lynch.

Anita.Lynch@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/FreedomHillES/.

Open House: Thursday, Sept. 2, 2 p.m.

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Freedom Hill will be adding a Non-Categorical Program this year. This special-education program is for students who are more high-performing than many special-education students but are not ready to be mainstreamed, wrote principal Anita Lynch.

The school is not anticipating any physical changes, and enrollment is projected to be about 516.

"We will continue to focus on what students need to know, what do we do to ensure they are learning the curriculum, and what do we do when they do not meet goals," Lynch said.

Louise Archer Elementary

324 Nutley St.

NW, Vienna, VA 22180.

703-937-6200.

Principal: Dwayne Young.

Dwayne.Young@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/LouiseArcherES/.

Back-to-School Night: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m.

This year at Louise Archer, the school will be gearing up to expand its Waterford Early Reading System, said Principal Dwayne Young.

The computer-based learning system helps students at all levels of proficiency, Young said, but does not act as a substitute for the classroom teacher. “It complements what she does," he said.

The school has also hired a new reading specialist, Kim Seck, to help administer the program.

In March, Young said, installation will begin on a new, 10-room, modular unit to assist in housing the 690 students who attend Louise Archer.

Modular additions differ from traditional classroom trailers because they are essentially self-contained schools. The addition will contain its own bathrooms and climate control, and a covered walkway will connect it to the main school building.

Young does not expect the addition to be completed until the next school year. "We're looking forward to it because it will help, and also because it's cool," Young said.

The general mission of the school will remain, Young said. "The sun always shines on Louise Archer," he said, and added that the school strives to interest students in learning. "To get them excited about something. To get them passionate," Young said. "There's a lot of enthusiasm about this year."

Marshall Road Elementary

730 Marshall Road

SW, Vienna, VA 22180.

703-937-1500.

Principal: Judith Isaacson.

Judith.Isaacson@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/MarshallRoadES/.

Back-to-School Night: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.

Mosby Woods Elementary

9819 Five Oaks Road

Fairfax, VA 22031.

703-937-1600.

Principal: Mari Aste.

Mahri.Aste@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/MosbyWoodsES/.

Back-to-School Night: Grades 3-6, Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.; Grades K-2, Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.

This year, Mosby Woods will continue its partnership with the Kennedy Center, which allows the school to integrate the arts into all of its classes, said Principal Mari Aste.

The school's Gifted and Talented program is expanding and this year will include third and fourth grades. The school also will continue its all-day kindergarten class.

Next summer, the school will get a 10-room, modular addition, which will replace the school's trailers.

Enrollment is approximately 550 students.

Aste plans to continue the school's traditions. "We celebrate our diversity, and we also have very high expectations for all students," she said.

Navy Elementary

3500 West Ox Road

Fairfax, VA 22033.

703-262-7100.

Principal: Katie Young.

Kathleen.Young@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/NavyES/

Back-to-School Night: Grade 6, Thursday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m.; kindergarten, Grade 3 and Special Ed., Monday, Sept. 13, from 7-7:45 p.m.; Grades 1 and 5, Monday, Sept. 20, from 8-8:45 p.m.; Grades 2 and 4, Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 7-7:45 p.m., or 8-8:45 p.m.

Navy Elementary has no new programs planned for this year, but some new buildings will be completed later this year, said Ed Pisano, the new assistant principal. "There will be a new wing and new offices," he said.

The new construction, which Pisano said should be complete sometime in December, will add 12 new classrooms, two new administrative offices and two new clerical offices. There will also be a new parking lot and new kiss-and-ride.

The new construction will be separate from ongoing classes. "Our main thrust is always the safety of our kids," Pisano said.

Enrollment so far this year is 801.

Besides meeting federal and county requirements from the No Child Left Behind law, Navy strives to work with students individually, Pisano said: "Our personal goal is to meet the needs of every student when we can."

Oakton Elementary

3000 Chain Bridge Road

Oakton, VA 22124.

703-937-6100.

Principal: Sara Acuff.

Sara.Acuff@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/OaktonES/.

Back-to-School Night: a.m. kindergarten and Grades 1-2, Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7 and 8:15 p.m.; p.m. kindergarten and Grades 3-6, Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 7 and 8:15 p.m.

While Oakton Elementary has no new programs or facilities this year, it does boast a new face. Beth Worek is Oakton's new assistant principal. "Our main goals are those of the School Board, and continuing to look at the strong educational programs that Oakton offers," Worek said.

Stenwood Elementary

2620 Gallows Road

Vienna, VA 22180.

703-208-7600.

Principal: Laraine Edwards.

Laraine.Edwards@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/StenwoodES/.

Open House: Thursday, Sept. 2, at 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.

Ice Cream Social: Thursday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m.

Stenwood will start a preschool special education program to serve students from Stenwood and the surrounding community. "The purpose of the preschool program is to provide instructional services for children 20 months to 5 years who have been referred to Fairfax County Public Schools and who have been found eligible for special education," writes Laraine Edwards, Stenwood's principal.

The school will be getting a new preschool playground and will have an enrollment of just under 400 students.

Stenwood also plans to continue working as a Professional Learning Community, allowing teachers to work as teams.

Vienna Elementary

128 Center St., S.

Vienna, VA 22180.

703-937-6000.

Principal: Linda S. Clark.

Linda.Clark@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/ViennaES/.

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.

"Hooray for Diffendoofer" Day: Friday afternoon, Sept. 24.

Grandparents Day: Friday, Oct. 8, from about 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Monthly PTA meetings take place in the Vienna Elementary School library on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Vienna Elementary will continue to serve students in the general education program and to act "as a 'cluster site' for students with mental retardation and offering a program for preschool students from not only our own school community, but from seven other schools, as well," wrote assistant principal Sam Elson.

Several classrooms have been switched in order to streamline school operations.

"Concerned about the growing rate of obesity and poor health in our country, especially among young Americans, Vienna Elementary principal Linda Clark has established a yearlong focus on wellness and health awareness," said Elson.

Waples Mill Elementary

11509 Waples Mill Road

Oakton, VA 22124.

703-390-7700.

Principal: Dale B. Brooks.

Dale.Brooks@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/WaplesMillES/.

Back-to-School Night: Kindergarten (a.m.), Pri FLEX, Preschool and Grades 4-6, Thursday, Sept. 23, 6:30-7:15 p.m.; kindergarten (p.m.), Upper FLEX, Preschool and Grades 1-3, Thursday, Sept. 23, from 7:45-8:30 p.m.

Waples Mill Elementary has no new programs this year, but the faculty is studying ways to enrich the math and science curriculum, wrote Principal Dale Brooks.

The school has added two modular classrooms, and the total enrollment is expected to be approximately 850 students.

"Our goals are to provide the best learning opportunities for every student and to ensure that our staff continues to grow professionally," Brooks said.

Westbriar Elementary

1741 Pine Valley Drive

Vienna, VA 22182.

703-937-1700.

Principal: Jeanette Martino.

Jeanette.Martino@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/WestbriarES/.

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

Wolftrap Elementary

1903 Beulah Road

Vienna, VA 22182.

703-319-7300.

Principal: Virginia Mahlke.

Virginia.Mahlke@fcps.edu.

Web site: www.fcps.edu/WolftrapES/.

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

This year Wolftrap will be adding a Gifted and Talented class in the third grade, said Principal Virginia Mahlke. She hopes the program will be able to bring neighborhood students who are eligible for the program back into the school.

This summer, the school started an 18-month renovation. Ten portable classrooms have been added to accommodate the shifting that will be done during the renovation.

The work will start on administrative areas and by the end of the year, should expand to classroom areas. Next summer major work will be done on the gym, cafeteria and kiss-and-ride areas. The project is set to be completed in 2006.

Enrollment is expected to be approximately 580 students.

This year, Wolftrap is continuing its focus on Costa's Habits of Mind, Character Counts, Manners Matter at Wolftrap and Professional Learning Communities.

"We are adding the renovation project as another instructional focus. We hope to turn the project into a learning experience for our students," Mahlke said.