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Votes

Middle, High Schools Gear Up for New Year

Irving Middle School

8100 Old Keene Mill Road

Springfield, Virginia 22152

703-912-4500

Enrollment: 1,000

Principal: Danny Little

E-mail: Danny.Little@fcps.edu

Web site: www.fcps.edu/IrvingMS

Back-to-School Night: Grade seven, Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m.; grade eight, Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.

No big changes to the school day or building are waiting to surprise Irving Middle School students this year, said Lara Arthur, assistant to principal Danny Little.

Enrollment at the school also remains the same as last year, with 1,000 students expected on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

A few more after-school options are open for students, said Dr. Lawrence Lindsey, Irving's after-school program specialist.

"We're offering a greater variety this year, about 19 programs," Lindsey said. "We'll also be offering a tournament each month for the students, starting to soccer in October. In order to participate, the students must have their homework completed."

This is the first year that Irving will offer geometry to its students, who previous had to be transported to West Springfield High School to take the class, Lindsey said.

New assistant principal Greg Hood is one of 22 new staff members at Irving, ready to start the new school year with smiling faces.

Key Middle School

6402 Franconia Road

Springfield, VA 22150

703-313-3900

Enrollment: 800

Principal: Penny Myers

E-mail: Penny.Myers@fcps.edu

Web site: www.fcps.edu/KeyMS

Back-To-School Night: Grade seven, Thursday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m.; grade eight, Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m.

Renovations to Key Middle School are still underway, said principal Penny Myers. The work is expected to be completed by the winter, she said, and much of the space has already been completed.

"The cafeteria and kitchen, the boys’ locker room, the addition of a new stairwell and an elevator, art rooms, band and orchestra rooms, the stage and black box theater, the lobby entrance, and the installation of bleachers in the gym, and many more" have already been finished, Myers said, and the last major project is the refurbishing of the library.

Instead of starting their day with a standard homeroom session, students will participate in a new advisory program, which allows teachers to work with small groups of students.

Enrollment is expected to remain steady at about 800 students, Myers said.

Like many other schools across the county, the biggest goals for the upcoming school year involve the newly adopted School Board initiatives, including teaching students life skills and instilling a sense of responsibility in the community.

A dozen new teachers will be starting the school year with students.

"Some of them are from other county schools, some are new to teaching, and others come to us with experience in other counties and states," Myers said in an e-mail. "They will bring a lot of new enthusiasm and spirit to our Key family."

The school will also host an assistant principal intern who will work with teachers and the administration this year.

Key Center

6404 Franconia Road

Springfield, Virginia 22150

703- 313-4000

Enrollment:120

Principal : Tom Flick

E-mail:Tom.Flick@fcps.edu

Web Site: www.fcps.edu/KeyCenter

Back-To-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 20, 6-8 p.m.

The Key Center will continue to offer master scheduling for its students, giving them the chance to participate in music, art, physical education and other enrichment courses, said Joan McClees, a spokeswoman for the school.

The Key to Key program will also continue, which brings together students from Key Middle School next door to "buddy" with a Key Center student, she said in an e-mail.

Renovations to both Key Middle School and the Key Center are still underway but are expected to be completed later this year.

"The school building is really being transformed and is looking great," McClees said. "To start the school year, we have a beautiful new gym, new cafeteria and four more new classrooms."

Four new teachers will also be on hand to welcome students back to school this fall, McClees said.

Poe Middle School

7000 Cindy Lane

Annandale, VA 22003

703-813-3800

Enrollment:1,110

Principal: Sonya Swansbrough

E-mail: Sonya.Swansbrough@fcps.edu

Web Site: www.fcps.edu/PoeMS

Back-To-School Nights: Grade 6, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m.; grades seven and eight, Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m.

Poe Middle School students will find their school relatively unchanged after their summer vacations, said Dianne Hardbower, assistant to principal Sonya Swansbrough.

The students' TA classes have been moved to beginning of the day instead of the afternoon, Hardbower said in an e-mail. New this year is a larger field of electives for all students in sixth through eighth grades, along with more intervention courses for students struggling in math and reading.

No physical changes have been made to the school, and enrollment is up slightly to 1,110 students, she said.

A total of 18 new teachers have been added at the school, Hardbower said, along with a new assistant principal, Paula Meoli.

Mark Twain Middle School

4700 Franconia Rd

Alexandria, VA 22310

703-313-3700

Enrollment: 854

Principal: Aimee Holleb

E-mail: Aimee.Holleb@fcps.edu

Web Site: www.fcps.edu/TwainMS

Back-To-School Nights: 7th Grade, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m.; 8th Grade, Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.

New principal Aimee Holleb has big things in store for the new year at Twain Middle School.

She'll have her hands full as well, as the school has a long list of programs for students from all backgrounds, including ESOL classes, Spanish immersion, a GT center, positive behavior support and services for students with emotional disabilities and mild retardation.

The school, which does not have any changes to the school day or physical changes to the building for the 2007-08 school year, also provides a variety of activities for students, including an algebra initiative, MentorWorks, peer mediation, peer tutoring, an extensive after-school program, Computers in Art classes and extra help for students who need assistance in math and reading.

In addition to Holleb, several new staff members join Twain, including a new assistant principal, Jorge Gonzalez.

Hayfield Secondary School

7630 Telegraph Road

Alexandria, VA 22315

703-924-7400

Enrollment: 980 Middle School; 1,562 High School

Principal: William Oehrlein

E-mail: William.Oehrlein@fcps.edu

Web site: www.fcps.edu/HayfieldSS

Back-To-School Nights: Middle School, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 5 p.m.; High School, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m.

Hayfield Secondary School has not changed at all since students left classes in June, said principal William Oehrlein.

"We have no changes to the schedule for this year for students and no new programs," he said. "We continue to be an AP school and offer Advanced Placement courses for our students."

No physical changes have been made the school and none are planned for this year, he added.

Enrollment has remained steady this year, even with the influx of some students from South County Secondary due to a boundary study last spring.

"We will continue to focus on improving internal communication with key teachers, whether those within the special education department or information on the latest teaching techniques," Oehrlein said.

Two new assistant principals have been hired over the summer. Val Winter is the new special education assistant principal and Neil Kyle, a former English teacher at Hayfield, has returned to become the assistant principal for sciences.

Lee High School

Lee High School

6540 Franconia Road

Springfield, VA 22150

Enrollment: 1,850

Principal: Robert Thurston

E-mail: Robert.Thurston@fcps.edu

Web site: www.fcps.edu/LeeHS

Back-to-School Nights: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m.

Lee High School will once again offer students the International Baccalaureate course of classes, said Denise Katz, an assistant principal.

"Everything is the same this year as last year," she said.

That includes the school building, which has not been modified over the summer.

"We did get nice new laptops for our teachers, and we will continue to implement new technology when we can," she said.

The goal for the upcoming year is to provide students with the best education possible in a safe and secure environment, Katz said.

Dale Eaton has become an assistant principal this year, a change from his former position as the director of student activities. An additional 25 new teachers have joined the faculty, as teacher and instructional staff have been added to replace those who have retired or gone on maternity leave.

West Springfield High School

6100 Rolling Road

Springfield, VA 22152

703-913-3800

Enrollment: 2,212

Principal: Paul Wardinski

E-mail: Paul.Wardinski@fcps.edu

Web site: www.fcsp.edu/WestSpringfieldHS

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6:45 p.m.

New programs will be popping up at West Springfield High School this year, as 85 are working on extended contracts to meet the goals set by the Fairfax County School Board last spring, according to new principal Paul Wardinski.

Funding from the Teacher Leadership Development Grant is financing the teachers and their work, Wardinski said in an e-mail, and the courses will look at essential life skills, academics and responsibility to the community.

"These projects are data-driven and results oriented," Wardinski said. "Projects will be implemented throughout the new school year."

No physical changes have been made to the school this year, but lockers have been painted and the building has generally been "spruced up," he said.

In addition to the new principal, 30 new teachers and support staff have been hired over the summer.