School Notes

School Notes

Winners of the Jamestown Essay Contest are being announced in an awards ceremony at the Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29. The contest, sponsored by McLean & Great Falls Celebrate Virginia and the McLean Chapter AARP 839, was open to Fairfax County students this summer as a pilot project in cooperation with the Dolley Madison and Great Falls branches of the Fairfax County Public Library. To encourage a focus on Virginia history in anticipation of the commonwealth's 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, youths from grades 3-10 were encouraged to submit an essay on the topic of the importance of Jamestown. At the awards ceremony, to which the public is invited, all participants will be recognized for their efforts, and four special prize winners will be named.

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) students who have been in foster care may qualify for a state financial aid program to assist them in continuing their education at NVCC. The Foster Care Tuition Grant program is available to high school graduates or general education development (GED) graduates who were in foster care, in the custody of a social services agency, or considered a special needs adoption when they received their high school diploma or GED. To be eligible for the grants covering tuition and fees, students must be Virginia residents and be enrolled full-time in an eligible NVCC academic program. The Department of Social Services must also certify that the student was in foster care, in the custody of the DSS, or considered a special needs adoption when the high school diploma or GED was earned. As with other need-based financial aid, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, as well as meet the satisfactory academic standards of the college for federal student financial aid programs. For more information contact Carol Mowbry in the NVCC financial aid office at 703-323-3014 or visit

McLean High School has formally kicked off plans to commemorate its 50th anniversary this Oct. 21 and 22 with the launch of and the announcement of several festivities to take place during its milestone weekend. The McLean High School 50th Anniversary Gala will be Saturday, Oct. 22nd at the Fairview Park Marriott Hotel in Falls Church. Tickets are $90 and can be purchased at The gala will have live and DJ music, dancing, food, a cash bar, individual class reunions and more. In addition, Marriott Fairview Park is offering a special room rate for Oct. 21-23, details of which can be found on the Web site.

In addition to Saturday's Homecoming football game and evening gala, the first-ever McLean High School Golf Classic will take place at Reston National Golf Course Friday, Oct. 21, with a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $160 per player, or $600 for a foursome. Green fees, cart, range balls, food and complimentary drinks throughout the day are included. Corporate sponsorships are encouraged. Those interested can find more information at the Web site or by calling Golf Tournament Chairman Marilyn White at 703-524-4008.

Friday night will feature tailgate party-style festivities at McLean High School, including a pep rally, bonfire, food, drinks, class reunions, fine arts performances and tours of the newly renovated facilities. Admission is free and tickets are not needed for the Friday night activities.

On Saturday afternoon during the football game, A Taste of McLean will feature local restaurant owners and other merchants who will be on hand to allow attendees to sample various foods, beverages, and other services.

The community is also encouraged to donate to the school. Individuals can earmark their contributions to athletic boosters, band, chorus, drama, PTSA, or one of their own choice. Donations can be made at the Web site, and those who contribute over $500 will have their names engraved on a commemorative plaque that will be housed in the school lobby.

Northern Virginia Community College has announced several initiatives to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In-state tuition will be offered to anyone displaced by the disaster.

Also, NOVA offers faculty, staff, students and community members many other opportunities to assist, including:

Job training: In conjunction with the Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board, Northern Virginia Family Services Training Futures and the region’s employers, NOVA will provide job training for displaced workers.

Volunteers: Full-time classified and professional staff members with specialized skills needed in the devastated areas are eligible to take up to two weeks of paid disaster recovery leave to assist in the clean-up efforts. Any students enrolled at NOVA mobilized as a part of an employment or military assignment can opt to continue their studies online or receive a refund.

Information online: The Hurricane Katrina Relief Web site, linked to NOVA’s main Web site (, offers information about the different opportunities to help in the relief efforts. NOVA is also part of the Virginia State Employee Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Money raised as part of this effort will be divided between the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.