Springfield High Schools Prep for New Year

Springfield High Schools Prep for New Year

Fairfax County Public Schools open Sept. 6

Hayfield Secondary

7630 Telegraph Road

Alexandria, VA 22315


Principal: Bill Oehrlein


Web site: www.fcps.edu/HayfieldSS

Back-to-School Night: Grades 9-12, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; Grades 7-8, Sept. 29, 7 p.m.

Students participating in Hayfield Secondary's automotive program will be able to achieve a NATEF certification. This is a national certification that communicates excellence to potential employers post-graduation, according to Principal Bill Oehrlein in e-mail. Hayfield also started a new relationship with its Fort Belvoir business partner through the Expanding Vision Program. Through this program, a seventh-grade team will work intensively with the Defense Mapping Agency to incorporate real-world science and math into instruction.

Also, Hayfield's renovation is complete so all trailers will be removed from school grounds. Hayfield is expecting 2,600 students this year.

Hayfield will continue to focus on the AP program, specifically focusing on increasing the number of scores above a three on a five point scale, said Oehrlein in e-mail. Another goal for this school year is to increase the use of blackboard.com to improve communication with parents.

<bt>Lake Braddock High School

9200 Burke Lake Road

Burke, VA 22015


Principal: Linda Burke


Web site: www.fcps.edu/LakeBraddockSS

Back-to-School Night: Grades 7-8, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.; Grades 9-12, Monday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m.

According to Assistant Principal Dave Thomas, Lake Braddock Secondary School is continuing to expand academic and after-school programs for students in both middle school and high school. A key goal for the school staff is to provide a safe and productive learning environment during construction at the school.

Lake Braddock is undergoing the largest renovation project in Fairfax County Public School history. Just over a year into the project, new features and sections to the school include a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, 16 new science labs, and 52 general education classrooms. A new library and main entrance have significantly changed the front of the building, as well.

"It has been a challenge to limit the impact of construction of the daily lives of our students," said Thomas. Nonetheless, "it is the commitment of the faculty and staff to continue to provide top quality instruction in the classroom, teach, support and assist our students in their academic endeavors, and participate in faculty training and staff development in a variety of areas."

A variety of activities to choose from including sports, dance, arts and crafts, and computers are available in the Middle School After School Program, beginning at the end of September. The program will run on late-bus days, from 2:15-4 p.m., throughout the school year.

High school students will have an expanded AP (Advanced Placement) program to include courses in AP computer science (advanced level). Lake Braddock offers various other AP classes, including classes in foreign language, social studies, science, English, Math, art and music.

"At the start of our renovation, our theme – Bruins Under Construction – Inside and Out – was announced and celebrated with our students and community," Thomas said. "We will continue with this theme for the coming school year."

Enrollment for the upcoming school year is expected to be around 3,850 students for the second year in a row.

Robert E. Lee High School

6540 Franconia Road

Springfield, VA 22150


Principal: Donald E. Thurston


Web site: www.fcps.edu/LeeHS

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m.

This year, many former Lee students have transferred to South County Secondary. After the boundaries were redrawn, all ninth and tenth grade students within the South County boundary were automatically transferred while the 11th graders who could be redirected were allowed to choose to transfer or remain at Lee. The senior students did not transfer, according to Paul Regnier, community relations spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools.

While no new programs being added this year, Lee is continuing programs such as International Baccalaureate, which enables students completing this program to apply to European universities. Lancer Leaders is another successful program, according to Assistant Principal Denise Katz. "Seniors apply and are selected to mentor at risk freshmen," said Katz. Peer mediation, SGA and the childhood development programs are all continuing this school year.

"This will be the first full year in six years to walk into a completed school. [It's] looking beautiful," Katz said. Over the summer, parent and student groups completed landscaping in the front of the school, added Katz.

Enrollment is 1,953 this year. Lee's primary focus this year is the academic success of its students, said Katz.

<bt>West Springfield High School

6100 Rolling Road

Springfield, VA 22152


Principal: David Smith


Web site: www.fcps.edu/WestSpringfieldHS

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Spartan Hall. Entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. Parents are encouraged to arrive early or carpool.

Parent Coffees: West Springfield will be hosting a series of informational coffees for parents. The coffees will be broken down by grade level: seniors, Tuesday, Sept. 13; juniors, Thursday, Sept. 15; sophomores, Thursday, Sept. 29; and, freshmen, Tuesday, Sept. 27. All of coffees convene at 7 p.m., in Spartan Hall.

West Springfield High School will open the school year with about 30 new staff members, about 40 more students and very few changes.

"There are no new programs," said Principal David Smith. "There are some refinements to existing programs. We're continuing to hone our schools to meet the needs of all of our kids."

According to Smith, the goal for the new school year is to do "a better job of what we've been trying to do all along."

With the new South County Secondary School opening in Lorton and the concurrent boundary change, West Springfield is one of the schools that has seen a shift in its attendance. Over the next four years, approximately 40 students will be added annually to West Springfield. This year, Smith expects the student population to be about 2,270 strong when the first attendance is taken.

To accommodate the new students, Smith said that the school has made "some minor changes." Over the summer, an additional classroom was carved out of space from the back of the library. Smith said that this new classroom will probably be used for the science department. Also, the school has added one trailer and an old darkroom has been converted into a small classroom.

To help keep the student population in check, Smith said that he has been "taking a pretty firm line on new pupil placement requests."

For the new year, West Springfield's core goals remain the same, Smith said: "To try to meet every student's academic needs."

Sam Wallace, Lea Mae Rice and Michael O'Connell provided additional reporting for this story.