Schools April 12-19

Schools April 12-19

Send announcements to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, by e-mail to Deadline is Friday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos are encouraged. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

Auditions for "Oklahoma" will be held on April 28 from 2-4 p.m. and April 29 from 7-9 p.m. with call backs on April 30 at 7:30 p.m. Come prepared with 16 bars of a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical number, current photo, conflicts from May 1 and on and dancing shoes. Performances are held at Aldersgate Church Theater from June 22-July 8.

Throughout this past school year the senior environmental policy class at the Howard Gardner School --a small, independent, progressive high school--has been testing water in the stream behind their school in the Rose Hill neighborhood of Fairfax County . After conducting aquatic and chemical testing of the stream, Pike's Branch, the students realized that while the water was fairly clean, trash was negatively affecting the water quality.

The seniors decided to "adopt" the stream and organize periodic clean-ups to keep it healthy. On March 20 they conducted their first stream clean-up. The class gathered their school community and traveled a mile of Pike's Branch, collecting more than 15 bags of trash, two rusty bikes, a moped and various articles of clothing. Atlas Hauling Company voluntarily helped to dispose of the trash and recycle the metal objects that were found. Future classes will continue the tradition.

The fifth "Life Planning Tools" free regional workshop, "Health, Wellness, And Leisure: Options For Families With Children With Disabilities," will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria. Susan Lynch, associate professor of therapeutic recreation at Longwood University , will give the keynote speech on "Harmony and Balance: The Importance of Leisure in Life." Breakout sessions will follow. The event will include recreation fairs for children and adults, as well as a resource fair. Free. Call Anne Lipnick at 703-706-4552 or email for more information. Register online at .

Several Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) elementary schools will host open houses and tours geared primarily toward parents of prospective kindergartners. Here is a schedule of upcoming events:

* Charles Barrett Elementary School, 1115 Martha Custis Dr., 703-824-6960. A kindergarten children's visit is set for 12:45 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 26. Tours are available by appointment at 9 a.m. on Thursdays.

* George Mason Elementary School, 2601 Cameron Mills Road, 703-706-4470. An open house for kindergartners registered at George Mason takes place from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 29. School tours, by appointment, begin at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

* William Ramsay Elementary School, 5700 Sanger Ave., 703-824-6950. No open house is scheduled, but parents of prospective kindergartners can call the school to arrange individual tours.

Alexandria City Public Schools will offer informative and instructional "Get More Out of Life" sessions from February to May for students in grades nine through 12, parents and teachers who wish to obtain creative tools and techniques for greater life balance, easier social interactions and improved time management and personal organization. The free workshops will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Media Center at Minnie Howard School, 3801 West Braddock Road, Alexandria. E-mail or call 703-824-6639. Register on line at The sessions, each of which focuses on a different book, include the following:

* Tuesday, May 8, Session 4: "It's So Much Work To Be Your Friend" by Richard Lavoie looks at the importance of social skills in our lives.

For the 21st consecutive year, the Alexandria City Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee will sponsor the Harry Burke Award for Outstanding Achievement in Special Education. Nomination forms may be downloaded from and submitted to Lillian Fennell, Division of Student Services, Alexandria City Public Schools, 2000 North Beauregard Street, Suite 203, Alexandria, Virginia, 22311. The deadline is 4 p.m. Monday, April 30. For more information, please contact Anne Lipnick, ACPS Parent Resource Center , at 703-706-4552.

"Give the gift of literacy" by getting involved as a volunteer with Wright to Read, a literacy program administered by The Campagna Center. Tutor/Mentors, Book Buddies and Reach Out and Read volunteers are needed to make a difference with children six months to 10 years of age. Days, evening and/or weekends are available. Call 703-549-0111, ext. 142 or visit for more information and upcoming orientation dates.

Cobra Track Club, a spring and summer Youth Track and Field program is open to boys and girls ages 7-19. The athletes compete in USA Track and Field Jr. Olympics and Track Meets throughout the spring and summer. This is a great way to get in shape, make new friends, no experience required, just a willingness to learn. Contact, Head Coach Chris Richardson at, or visit

Applications are being accepted through May 18 for the Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Science (TEMS) Summer Academy, a five-week program offering Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) rising middle-school students an opportunity to explore the four subjects through hands-on activities, group projects and field trips. The TEMS Summer Academy runs from Monday, June 25, through Friday, July 27, at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave. For more information, contact Peter Balas, TEMS Summer Coordinator, at 703-824-6750 or e-mail

The T.C. Williams High School DECA students received the 2006-07 Top Growth Chapter honor at the Virginia DECA State Leadership Conference held March 9 through 11 in Norfolk. Stefan Allicock, an Advanced Marketing student, won first place on the Quick-Serve Restaurant Management test and third place on a Quick-Serve Restaurant Management Role Play. He was an overall finalist in Quick-Serve Restaurant Management.

Alexandria City Public Schools will be holding a series of community meetings to highlight academic achievements and ongoing challenges in the schools. Call 703-824-6710. For more information, contact the Department of Information and Outreach at 703-824-6635.

* West End: Monday, April 16 from 6 - 7 p.m. at William Ramsay Elementary School, 5700 Sanger Ave. Schools represented are William Ramsay Elementary, John Adams Elementary, Samuel Tucker Elementary, James Polk Elementary, Francis Hammond Middle School, Minnie Howard 9th Grade Center and T.C. Williams High School.

* Central Alexandria: Thursday, April 19 from 6-7 p.m. at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, 1101 Janneys Lane. Schools represented are Douglas MacArthur Elementary, Charles Barrett Elementary, Patrick Henry Elementary, George Mason Elementary, Matthew Maury Elementary, Francis Hammond Middle School, George Washington Middle School, Minnie Howard 9th Grade Center and T.C. Williams High School

* East End: Tuesday, April 24 from 6-7 p.m. at Mount Vernon Community School, 2601 Commonwealth Ave. Schools represented are Mount Vernon Community School, Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, George Washington Middle School, Minnie Howard 9th Grade Center and T.C. Williams High School

Alexandria's Mayor William D. Euille and City Council members are inviting the public to attend a forum to discuss local and regional transportation initiatives from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) auditorium, 600 Dulany St. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, call Geralyn Taylor at 703-838-3800 (TTY 703-838-5056) or e-mail For more information on the City's transportation forum, call Richard Baier or Tom Culpepper at 703-838-4966.

Family Rally. April 21 at 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave. Features representation from every Alexandria public school and information on programs offered. Free food, entertainment and giveaways. For additional information, contact Karen Parker Thompson at or 703-824-6639.

The Toshiba/ National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards competition awarded three teams of students from Bishop Ireton High School and Ellen Glasgow Middle School with an Honorable Mention. The teams were acknowledged from a group of 4,705 entries from across the US and Canada. A total of 14,681 students participated in this year’s ExploraVision program.

The 2007 Alexandria History Awards will be presented by Senator Patsy Ticer at a meeting of the Alexandria Historical Society at 7:30 p.m. on April 25 at the Lyceum, 201 South Washington St. The public is invited. The 2007 Alexandria High School History Awards will be presented to William Shafroth of T.C. Williams High School , Theresa Green of Bishop Ireton High School , Julia Ciavarella of St. Stephen's and St. Agnes High School, and Matthew Hurley of Episcopal High School. A reception will follow the awards ceremony and a lecture by Patrick Welsh. Mr. Welsh has been a teacher at T.C. Williams High School since 1970. Visit or 703-838-4994.

Bands, orchestras and choirs from Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) during March participated in district music festivals, at which all groups received ratings of Superior or Excellent. Here is a rundown of the schools' awards:

* T.C. Williams High School: Chamber Orchestra, Rating of Excellent (II); String Orchestra, Rating of Superior (I); Concert Band, Rating of Superior (I) from all four judges; Symphonic II Band, Rating of Excellent (II); Symphonic I Band, Rating of Excellent (II)

* Minnie Howard School: Orchestra, Rating of Excellent (II); Minnie Howard Ninth Grade Band, Rating of Excellent (II)

* Francis C. Hammond Middle School: Symphonic Band, Rating of Excellent (II); Symphonic Choir, Rating of Excellent (II) on singing and Superior (I) on sight singing

<sum> George Washington Middle School: Symphonic Band, Rating of Superior (I) for all Grade Four Level music from all four judges; concert Choir, Rating of Excellent (II)

Two T.C. Williams High School students participated in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday, April 7, at the Johnson Center of George Mason University, Fairfax. The students advanced after winning first-place awards at the Northern Virginia Regional Science Fair held March 16 through 18 at Wakefield High School.

Michael Bullock received first place in the Environmental Science category for his project titled "Is Organic Really Better? A Comparison of the Nitrate Discharge of Organic and Synthetic Fertilizers." He earned a certificate from the American Meteorological Society and an honorable mention award from the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia.

Sarah Noll also received first place in the Environmental Science category for her project on "Soil vs. Acid Rain." Her awards include a certificate of merit and $200 Savings Bond from the American Water Works Association, a second-place ribbon from the Geological Society of Washington, a certificate from the National Association of Biology Teachers and a certificate and gift bag from the National Earth Science Teachers Association.

Thirty students, representing 20 projects, qualified to compete in the regional science fair based on their performances in the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Science Fair, which took place in January and featured 380 entries.

T.C. Williams student Sasha Denisin earned a regional first place in Mathematics and received an honorable mention certificate from the American Nuclear Society, a first-place award and invitation to a Central Intelligence Agency ceremony, a first-place award and invitation to a Dean's Reception from the George Washington University Engineering Alumni Association, a first-place certificate from Mu Alpha Theta, a first-place certificate of superior achievement from the Patent and Trademark Office and a first-place certificate of achievement and polo shirt from the United States Army.

Other ACPS students who received awards at the regional level include second-place winners Kathryn Aplin of George Washington Middle School in the Botany category, Christina Mudarri and Tara Briggs of T.C. Williams in the Team category and Alexandria Bijak and Olivia Snider of T.C. Williams, also in the Team category; third-place winners Haider Arshad of Minnie Howard in the Botany category, Amara Vogt of Minnie Howard in the Engineering category, Wahab Syed of Minnie Howard in the Environmental Science category, Julia Peterson of T.C. Williams in the Medicine and Health category, Aubrey Knight of T.C. Williams in the Physics category and Ryan Laychak and Abigail Wilson of George Washington of George Washington in the Team category; and honorable mention winners Tripp Spurio of George Washington in the Physics category and Thomas Rickett and Jonathan Olsson of T.C. Williams in the Team category. Austin Toner and Louis McCracken of T.C. Williams received an honorable mention certificate from the American Nuclear Society, D.C. Section, and Marcus Hall and Nathan Bradley of T.C. Williams earned a second-place certificate of merit from the National Space Club.