School Notes

School Notes

Fairfax County Public Schools will add the foreign language in the elementary school (FLES) program to four additional schools during the 2008-09 school year, as approved by the Fairfax County School Board as part of the FY09 budget. The School Board allotted $1.3 million to continue the FLES program to the next grade level in current schools and to expand the program to four additional schools for the next school year.

The four new schools are Waples Mill Elementary in Oakton, which will offer FLES in Spanish; Pine Springs Elementary in Falls Church, which will offer FLES in Spanish; Mt. Vernon Woods Elementary in Alexandria, which will offer FLES in Chinese; and Brookfield Elementary in Chantilly, which will offer FLES in Spanish. FCPS currently offers FLES in 25 elementary schools.

IB Physics II students from Mount Vernon High along with their teacher, Charlie Sabatier, helped fifth-grade students at Riverside Elementary School prepare for SOL science exams by conducting a science experiment testing Stomp Rockets on June 2, 3, and 4. The three days included designing an experiment, launching rockets and analyzing data in order to make some conclusions.

The following student from Stratford Landing Elementary was honored by the Northern Virginia District PTA in its PTA Reflections Contest.

Photography — Middle — Sarah McKeown, Stratford Landing Elementary School.

The Stratford Landing Elementary K-Kids Club hosted the school’s first Environmental Fair on Friday, June 6 in the Stratford Landing café. This student-run organization has arranged for a demonstration by the Raptor Conservancy, representatives from the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, Cool Neighborhoods, and the American Geological Institute as well as information from the National Wildlife Federation and Fairfax County Water Authority. Fair attendees learned how to live greener, checked out a Smart Car, learned which plants are best for their yards, played environmental games, and enjoyed healthful snacks.

Jeff Dietze, former director of student activities at West Potomac High School, has been selected for induction into the 2008 Virginia High School League (VHSL) Hall of Fame. Dietze, who recently retired as director of student activities at West Potomac High School after 33 years, is being honored for his contributions to athletics in Virginia. He was instrumental in developing a national certification program for athletic administrators while working with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and co-authored the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education state certification of state coaching education program. His work on the Virginia high school coaches’ education program, designed to educate coaches about local and state regulations, is credited with setting the standard for coaches’ education nationwide. Thanks to his leadership, Virginia has the only national certified coaching education program for high school coaches in the U.S. He is past president of the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and held several leadership positions in the VHSL.

Every summer for the past nine years, Groveton Elementary has offered the Groveton Summer Reading Van program to its students and families. Each Wednesday from July 9 through Aug. 13, teachers from Groveton drive around students’ neighborhoods in a van loaned from Tysons Dodge Jeep. They help students choose and check out books in order to continue to focus on literacy and prepare themselves for the coming school year. The teachers also talk to families to stay in touch and encourage children to keep reading over the summer.

Jennifer Alice Metcalf of Alexandria graduated from Lynchburg College with a degree in French on May 10. Lynchburg College is a private college in central Virginia enrolling 2,500 students in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional and grad studies.

Stratford Landing Elementary is honoring Safeway for its commitment to education by presenting them with cards of appreciation and gratitude. During the last year, Safeway has contributed $ 5,527 through the eScrip funding program to the school. The parents, students, and teachers at Stratford Landing Elementary School feel it is important to recognize the positive impact the contributions have had on the school and on the community. Thanks to Safeway and the eScrip program, they have been able to support cultural arts programs and after school enrichment programs, bringing new experiences to many children.

Christopher Newport University announces that the following Alexandria students have accepted scholarships for the President’s Leadership Program (PLP) beginning Fall 2008: Heather Drury, Allyson Foreman, Michael Kavros and Ryan Sheldon. The President’s Leadership Program attracts bright, well-rounded individuals desiring to lead and shape their communities, the nation and the world. The students are listed by hometown, and out-of-state students by their home state.

Rosemary Lena Genuario has completed a five-year Master's of Art degree in Education from the School of Education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg. She will receive a Virginia license to teach pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Rosemary graduated cum laude in December 2006 from Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and a concentration in Early Childhood Education. She is a member of the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education and the Student Virginia Education Association. Rosemary is a 2003 graduate of West Potomac High School in Alexandria. She will be teaching this fall at Belle View Elementary in Alexandria. Her parents, Louis and Laura Genuario, are proud of her accomplishments and hard work.

All Fairfax County’s 24 high schools have been designated among the most demanding public schools in the country and are featured in the 2008 Newsweek-Washington Post list of 1,358 top U.S. high schools, found at The 1,358 schools represent the top 5 percent of high schools nationwide.

Rankings for other Fairfax County Public Schools are: Oakton High School, 103; Centreville High School, 104; Chantilly High School, 122; South County Secondary School, 139; Herndon High School, 141; Westfield High School, 144; Madison High School, 148; Robinson Secondary School, 214; West Potomac High School, 216; West Springfield High School, 244; Marshall High School, 248; Fairfax High School, 252; Stuart High School, 322; Falls Church High School, 383; South Lakes High School, 515; Edison High School, 746; Lee High School, 791; Hayfield Secondary School, 796, Mount Vernon High School, 855; and Annandale High School, 938.

The Challenge Index measures public high schools’ ability to challenge their students. A school’s ranking is determined by dividing the number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge tests given by a school to all its students by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June. The index is designed to identify schools that challenge average students.

Woodlawn Elementary School in Alexandria is collecting used and unwanted cell phones in order to raise funds to purchase desperately needed computers, as well as Interactive Whiteboards to keep its students up to par with technology growth. The public can donate unneeded cell phones at Woodlawn Elementary School, 8505 Highland Lane, Alexandria, Monday-Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The school's goal is to collect 500 cell phones by the end of the school year. Call Gail Mulder Rossman at 703-619-4899.

Alexandria Archaeology will be hosting an archaeology camp for kids this summer, and registrations are being accepted now. Campers will learn professional excavating, recording, and artifact-processing methods as they help uncover Alexandria's buried past while protecting historical resources. The camp is open to children ages 12 through 15. There are two one-week sessions, which run from Monday, July 21 through Friday, July 25, and from Monday, July 28 through Friday, Aug. 1. The camp day starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m., and campers supply their own drinks, snacks and lunch. Camp costs $350 per session and some scholarships are available. Space is limited to just 15 campers per session and a non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to hold a slot. Each camper will receive a commemorative T-shirt. For more information or to register for camp, visit or call 703-838-4399.