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Votes

A New School Year in Great Falls

Cooper encourages critical thinking; Langley revamps Saxon Time; Highlander Kickoff on Aug. 27.

Ellen Reilly, McLean High School principal

Ellen Reilly, McLean High School principal Photo by Sandy Cho

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Frank Stevens, Cooper Middle School assistant principal

“This year, Fairfax County Public Schools are upping the rigor; this doesn’t necessarily mean more work, but it will be more challenging. We’ll be asking students to think critically, look for creative solutions, and work in collaboration with one another. We’re working within the curriculum to find extensions that will bring about these skills. Of course, Cooper will also be welcoming new seventh-graders, and I advise them to come in with an open mind and take advantage of the opportunities to make new friends, because five elementary schools come together here. We will also have new Spanish, French, mathematics and band teachers. We’re looking forward to a great year.”

—Frank Stevens, Cooper Middle School assistant principal

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Jessica Statz, Langley High School assistant principal

“I think the most exciting change that is coming to Langley is just our emphasis on teacher and student morale in the building. Although this is first and foremost a place for kids to learn, we still want kids and teachers here to be happy and have a good time. We’re trying to come up with creative ways to really establish a school culture that embraces the aspect of students still having some fun and doing that without affecting their grades entirely. In terms of new changes, we are revamping our Saxon Time, which is our intervention period that we have during the school day, and the new guidelines will be coming out in the next two weeks, so that will give kids a little bit more freedom and free time.”

—Jessica Statz, Langley High School assistant principal

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Ellen Reilly, McLean High School principal

“One of the things that we’re starting this year is that we’re having a Highlander Kickoff on Aug. 27. We’re trying to find a way to welcome the community and the kids back, and make it a fun atmosphere for everybody. It is a day for students to come get their schedules, pick up their parking and uniforms, meet some coaches, and for clubs to sell some stuff and start fundraising. It’s a day for everyone to get back in the mood and get ready for school. We’ll have food, cheerleaders, and the band. It will be the first time we’ll ever be doing it.”

—Ellen Reilly, McLean High School principal