Dranesville Elementary Holds Back to School Night

Dranesville Elementary Holds Back to School Night

Parents and teachers reconnect at school event.

Michelle Blanchet with her husband Dan Blanchet attended the Hendon Dranesville Elementary Back to School Night in September and spoke with school Principal Kathy Manoatl.

Michelle Blanchet with her husband Dan Blanchet attended the Hendon Dranesville Elementary Back to School Night in September and spoke with school Principal Kathy Manoatl. Photo by Ryan Dunn.


Parents had the opportunity to meet and connect with teachers at Herndon Dranesville Elementary during the September Back to School Night.

Herndon Dranesville Elementary hosted its annual Back to School Night on Monday, Sept. 15 for parents to meet the teachers and individuals who support their children. The event was for parents and guardians only so families could understand the aspects of their child’s education. The format of the event included grade level teams meeting with parents followed by visits to classrooms. “This year parents could have an individual session with their children’s teachers,” said Principal Kathy Manoatl.

“I spoke with a great group of parents, we want the same thing for the kids,” said Erika Keville, a second grade teacher at Dranesville Elementary and resident of Herndon. Keville has a son who also attends Dranesville Elementary. High expectations are held for student performance in all areas of the curriculum with an emphasis on developing thinking and problem-solving skills. Students are required to apply what they learn about basic reading, writing, and math to solve problems that they identify in the curriculum, the classroom, and the environment.

“I think the event was good,” said Dranesville Elementary PTA president Jack Reda. “I enjoyed getting information on how the school will be using the STEM lab.” Several of Reda’s children have been taught at Dranesville, and he has a son in second grade. Reda took the opportunity to share with other parents and neighbors about the school PTA and the upcoming Nov. 14 Dragon Dash, which is a big fundraiser for the entire year. Dranesville partners with Northwest Federal Credit Union and MITRE corporation to encourage additional Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) problem solving.

Dranseville Elementary now has an advanced academics program so students enrolled in the program do not need to leave to study at Clearview Elementary. A parent information session regarding Fairfax County's programs for Advanced Academics will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. Information will be provided about levels of service offered at Dranesville, as well as information about the screening processes for part-time, school-based services. The meeting is open to all K-6 parents.

“I am looking forward to starting the string program next week,” said music instructor Allison Devereux, who has taught for seven years at Dranesville.


Dranesville Elementary fourth grade teacher and Herndon resident Sandy Coyner.

“I love meeting all my kids’ parents,” said fourth grade teacher Sandy Coyner, a resident of Herndon for 22 years. “It is a great way to communicate with parents,” said sixth grade teacher Sean Gray. “We get to explain things and field questions.”

“I think that the goal is to get parents acclimated to this new school year and have parents comfortable with us and to also build a community within this school,” said Giselle Morris, a fourth grade teacher at Dranesville ES. “It has been informative and welcoming,” said parent Natalie Salehi, who attended Herndon High. “The administrators and teachers do a wonderful job with our children.”

“It is a great way to learn about the school,” said Michelle Blanchet who attended the Back to School Night event with her husband, Dan Blanchet. The couple’s daughter will be their first child to go through public schooling. For more information on Dranesville Elementary, visit www.fcps.edu/DranesvilleES/.