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Votes

Arlington This Week

<sh>Assistance League to Hold Meeting

<bt>Assistance League of Northern Virginia will hold a multi-town membership meeting on Monday, Feb. 28 from 10:15 a.m.-noon at the Chantilly branch of the Fairfax County Public Library, 4000 Stringfellow Road in Chantilly.

Assistance League of Northern Virginia is a chapter of National Assistance League, a nonprofit, nonsectarian, volunteer service organization that promotes volunteerism through leadership training and education in 25 states. Locally, Assistance League members implement its mission to promote the well being, self-esteem and education of at-risk youth and adults living in Northern Virginia through two philanthropic projects, Operation School Bell and Operation Hugs. For more information, contact Debbie Kiessling, Membership Chairman, at 703-758-1085, or Cindy Burgess, President, at 703-758-8454. The Assistance League national web site is www.assistanceleague.org .

<sh>Arlington Receives Housing Funds

<bt>Arlington's Home Ownership Program received $7.6 million from the Virginia Housing and Development Authority's Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities program to provide low-interest mortgage loans for eligible, low- and moderate-income homebuyers. $3.7 million is earmarked for properties purchased through the county's affordable housing notification list; the other $4 million will fund up to 20 mortgages for eligible households to purchase market-rate properties in Arlington.

The county also received $800,000 from VHDA's Homestride program to assist with second trust financing for eligible households whose employers participate in Arlington's Employer Assisted Housing Initiative. For more information call Arlington's Housing Information Center at 703-228-3765.

<sh>Arlington School Board Approves Calendar

<bt>At its Tuesday, February 15, meeting, the Arlington School Board adopted the 2005-2006 School Calendar.

The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 for all students, except those on the Barcroft Elementary School Modified School Year Calendar. High school graduation ceremonies will be held on Thursday, June 22, 2006. The last day of the school year will be Wednesday, June 21 for high school; Thursday, June 22 for middle school; Friday, June 23 elementary school.

The calendar includes the following school holidays: Monday, Oct. 10, Columbus Day; Friday, Nov. 11, Veteran's Day; Wednesday, Nov. 23–Friday, Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Break; Friday, Dec. 23-Monday, Jan. 2, Winter Break; Monday, Jan. 16, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday; Monday, Feb. 20, President's Day; Monday, April 10-Friday, April 14, Spring Break; Monday, May 29, Memorial Day.

Students in all grades will have no school on Nov. 14, Jan. 27 and April 17 due to scheduled Teacher Planning/Grade Preparation Day. In addition, elementary students will have no school on Oct. 6-7 and on March 2-3 due to parent-teacher conferences. Middle school students will have no school on Oct. 7 and March 3 for parent-teacher conferences.

Last year, the School Board approved provisions for makeup days to be used in the event that school is closed due to inclement weather or other unusual circumstances. The same provisions will apply for the 2005–2006 school year, which includes 182 instructional days for elementary students, 183 instructional days for middle school students, and 184 instructional days for high school students. By adding time to the instructional day, a total of five days were "banked” and are available in the schedule to offset any lost school days. The school starting and ending times will remain the same for the 2005–2006 school year.

If school is closed for seven days, the President's Day holiday on Monday, Feb. 20 will become a school makeup day. If school is closed for nine days, the Teacher Planning/Grade Preparation Day originally scheduled for Friday, April 17 will become a school makeup day and will follow the early release schedule. The sixth and eighth day missed do not have to be made up according to state law.

Elementary students will have early release every Wednesday, as well as on June 22 and June 23. Middle school students will have early release days on Oct. 20, April 7, June 21 and June 22. High school students will have early release on Oct. 20, Dec. 1 and Feb. 9.

The School Board also approved separate calendars for Barcroft Elementary School, Arlington's modified school-year program, as well as for the high school continuation program at Arlington Mill and Langston. These calendars are available on the school system's web site, www.arlington.k12.va.us/.

Citizens may call 703-228-2400 as early as the day after School Board meetings to hear the Superintendent's meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Arlington Cable Channel 70, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. Minutes of the meeting will be posted to the web site (http://www.arlington.k12.va.us/school Board/) upon School Board approval at their March 3 meeting.