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Send announcements to The Loudoun Connection, 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean, VA 22102, e-mail to

loudoun@connectionnewspapers.com or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is two weeks before the event. Photos/artwork encouraged. For more information, call Jennifer Lesinski at 703-917-6454.

This free listing is reserved for activities and events that are open to the public at no or minimal cost.

Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation announces Bill Berkson has joined BCRC as its new education director. Berkson is an authority on education philosophy and Judaics.

Berkson most recently was the director of educationÊfor the Karp Family School of Greenbelt, Md., where he was instrumental in constructing a family education program. He also serves as the executive director for the Jewish Institute for Youth and Family. Berkson has been a professor/lecturer for London School of Economics, Brandeis University, Hofstra University and Boston University.

Beth Chaverim's Religious School provides instruction in Judiacs and Hebrew to students in Preschool-grade eight. In addition, confirmation and adult-education programs are available. The new school year for BCRC's Religious School begins Sept. 12.

Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation is a memberÊof Union for Reform Judaism andÊservesÊLoudoun and western Fairfax County. For more information about BCRC, visit http://www.bethchaverim.org/ or by calling 703-391-8669.

Loudoun Volunteer Services is asking schools and other organizations to nominate students (or groups of students), pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, for Student Volunteer of the Month, who volunteer their time in a variety of ways in their schools, churches, and towns. A one-page narrative may be sent to the Loudoun Volunteer Services Board at pivs@loudoun.gov or to 1 Harrison St., SE, P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg, VA, 20177. The narrative should include the student's name, address, telephone number, school and a description, including length of service, of the exemplary volunteer efforts of the student. Contact information for the person nominating the student should also be included. For more information, call Lisa Rose, volunteer coordinator, at 703-777-0113.

Loudoun County Public Schools will administer the alternate version of the PSAT Saturday, Oct. 16, at Heritage High School, 520 Evergreen Mill Road SE, Leesburg. This test will be for LCPS students that missed PSAT testing Wednesday, Oct. 13, and for Loudoun County residents that are home schooled or attend private school. The test center will open at 8 a.m. with testing beginning at 8:30 and ending at approximately 11:30 a.m. To register for the PSAT, home school and private school students should contact the director of guidance at the high school or intermediate school closest to their home. Registration must be returned by Oct. 1.

The Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents (LEAP) has set its meeting schedule for the 2004-05 school year. LEAP is a non-partisan network that promotes interaction between parents, teachers, School Board members and members of Loudoun County Public Schools administrative team. LEAP meets the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise stated, in Stone Bridge High School's media center. The general public is welcome to attend.

The program topics for this year include:

* Sept. 15, The Boundary Process

* Oct. 20, School Size

* Nov. 17, No Child Left Behind/Closing the Achievement Gap

* Dec. 15, The Honor Code

* Jan. 19, 2005, Loudoun Youth Initiative

* Feb. 16, Budget, at 7 p.m.

* March 16, Bullying, Bus Issues and Anger Management

* April 20, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Update/School-Business Partnerships

* May 18, LEAP Town Meeting and Tour of School Administration Building.

Sommer Lynn Long of Ashburn has been selected by the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., for honors admission for the fall of 2004. Long is the daughter of Mark and Lynn Long and is a 2004 graduate of Stone Bridge High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, attended the Commonwealth Governor's School and received a National merit Scholarship. She was also a member of Elite Students of America, head consultant at the high school's writing center and a participant in several scholastic bowls. Long was active in drama, a recipient of the Bridget Award for costume design, a Lifetime Achievement Award and Medal of Commendation, in addition to writing theater critiques for the newspaper. She has also received her Gold Award in the Girl Scouts.

Loudoun County's 64 public schools open Tuesday, Sept. 7, expecting an estimated 44,715 students. Three new schools are opening Ñ Belmont Station Elementary in Ashburn, Mercer Middle in Aldie, and Smart's Mill Middle in Leesburg Ñ to help serve a student population projected to increase 8.9 percent from last year. The largest elementary-school class will be 3,950 students in the first grade, with the largest middle-school class being the sixth grade with 3,381 members. The class of 2005 is 2,603 students strong compared to the 1,348 members of this class who entered the county school-system on the first day of kindergarten in 1992.

For the 2004-05 school year, Loudoun County Public Schools has hired 655 new teachers, bringing the total number of teachers to 3,578. Forty-one teachers will join the staff from the Visiting International Faculty program, coming from the United Kingdom, Australia, the Philippines, Colombia, Japan, Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and New Zealand.

New principals include Joyce Hardcastle, Aldie Elementary; Ed Starzenski, Briar Woods High (planning stages); Julie McKay, Catoctin Elementary; Christine Forester, Freedom High (planning stages); David Michener, Hillsboro Elementary; Kristen Fields-Reedy, Little River Elementary; Bill Oblas, Loudoun County High; Jerry Black Loudoun Valley High; Laura Seck, Meadowland Elementary; Dave Spage, Potomac Falls High; Mark McDermott, Seneca Ridge Middle; Clark Bowers, Sully Elementary; and Elaine Layman, Tolbert Elementary.

The Loudoun County School Board meets monthly in open session at the LCPS Administrative Offices, 102 North St., N.W., Leesburg. Meetings are on the second and fourth Tuesdays with the exception of December, July and August, when there is no fourth Tuesday meeting. The second November meeting has been changed to Tuesday, Nov. 30. Residents are encouraged to attend and participate, agendas are available in all school offices, from the public information office, 703-771-6440 or on the Web, www.loudoun.k12.va.us. Those who wish to speak at a meeting can have their name placed on the speakers list by calling 703-771-6410.