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School Notes March 1-7

Send announcements about school achievements to the Mount Vernon Gazette, by e-mail to gazette@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Friday at noon for next week's issue. Call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6407 with questions.

This year, eleven Mount Vernon High School students participated in the Regional Scholastic Arts Competition. These art students submitted a variety of work ranging from traditional drawing pieces, to 3-D animations. Junior Wil Sheppard won a Gold Key in the Computer Art category for a digital montage he created in his Computer Graphics class. It is the highest award given in the Regional competition. Wil's work is currently on display at the Ernst Cultural Center at the Annandale campus of NVCC. Wil's work will then go on to compete at the national level in New York City next month. Wil is currently enrolled in both Computer Graphics II and International Baccalaureate Visual Arts.

The 2006 Virginia General Assembly passed a law which requires all sixth-grade students to have a tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) booster shot prior to entry into school this fall, if at least five years have passed since the last shot.

Parents of Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) fifth graders should review their children's immunization records. If a child's last tetanus shot was before 2001, the student needs to get the Tdap immunization. Free children's immunization clinics are held at the Alexandria Health Department, 4480 King St., from 2-7 p.m. on Mondays and from 8-11 a.m. on Tuesdays. No appointment is necessary. Contact ACPS Nurse Coordinator Robin Wallin at 703-824-6650.

Students in Mount Vernon High School's (MVHS) Advanced Sports Marketing class are conducting a survey to measure shopping trends on the Richmond Highway Corridor. The results will be given to the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) which will use the research to market the Route One area to retail stores. The initial survey results will be presented to SFDC executive director Lara Fritts and board members Dan Storck and Kyle Talente on Jan. 31. The students leading the project are Corey Clark, Alexandra Jarding, Samuel Parker, Shameek DeLancey, DeíMarkus Lee and Kelsey Rybicki.

The Mount Vernon High School chapter of the Future Educators Association recently held their Installation of Officers and Initiation Banquet. FEA is a service organization that provides an opportunity to develop leadership skills and explore careers in teaching. Service activities have included decorating a float for the Homecoming parade and orchestrating a five-day celebration during American Education Week to honor students and teachers. Students are also preparing to compete at the National FEA Conference in San Diego, Calif. next month.

Pictured from left: Sarah Sefren, Christina Johnson, Tracy Fernandez, Candice Hoffman, President Emily Nicholson, Vice-President Stephanie Epes, Secretary Mariko Cook, Treasurer Yanet Takele, Anika Chowdhury, Kirsten Mummert, Lara Holmes, and Ryan Wilson.

Parents, teachers, and community members can share their interests and hobbies with enthusiastic students and earn some extra cash. Past intersession classes have included arts and crafts, dance, games, sports and more. Mount Vernon Community School and Samuel Tucker Elementary School are looking for people to teach intersession classes during the calendar breaks (both schools follow a modified calendar). Mount Vernon and Tucker students attend school the same number of days (183) as those following a traditional calendar, but have the option of attending up to 30 additional days of school during the intersessions. Mount Vernon's intersessions run from March 19-30. Tucker's intersessions run from March 19-30. The rate of pay is $180 per day ($90 for half-day) for people who do not hold a teaching license and $322 per day ($166 for half-day) for those who are licensed teachers. Those interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity to should contact Dawn Feltman, Assistant Principal, Mount Vernon Community School, at 703-706-4460 or dfeltman@acps.k12.va.us; or Gail Lovette, Intersession Coordinator, Samuel Tucker Elementary School, at 703-933-6314 or gail.lovette@acps.k12.va.us.

Mount Vernon Community School has hosted a special visitor for the past week. The school welcomed Inspector Olga de las Heras, who supervises six national inspectors and 23 district inspectors and is responsible for every elementary teacher and 440,000 elementary students nationwide in Uruguay. A goal of the program is to help implement change in Uruguay relative to a national evaluation system. Through her visit, de las Heras wants to gain perspectives on evaluation experiences that have proven successful in the United States. Mount Vernon Principal Lulu Lopez has hosted six Uruguayan educators in her home since the inception of the program. Ginny Doherty, current Performance Evaluation Program (PEP) specialist and former English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Mount Vernon, visited Uruguay one summer and taught teachers ESL strategies. During another summer, Lopez assisted principals in three regions of the country and also made presentations on bilingual education in the United States to educators in Montevideo. During her stay, de las Heras visited classrooms, attended dual language meetings, shared a special luncheon with Mount Vernon teachers and met Alexandria City Public Schools senior staff members.

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.

T.J. Cleary, class of 2008 at West Potomac High School, has been selected to participate in the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC), on Globalization And International Business this summer at American University.

Mt. Vernon High School's Poder Club, Teenage Republicans and Young Democrats host "GenerationEngage" on March 19 from 7-9 p.m. at Mount Vernon High School, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road. Free and includes food. RSVP to ChrisLewis@GenerationEngage.org or