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The Northern Virginia Problem

Top Virginia Universities are harder to get into: checking why and how to help.

Many Northern Virginian students are biting their nails, waiting for their college admission letters this week. But in a sea of overachievers, NoVa students are coming across a pervasive issue with in-state colleges—what is being dubbed the "the Northern Virginia Problem." Many residents of Fairfax, Alexandria City, Loudon, Fauquier, Prince William and Arlington counties are spreading the word that top Virginia universities—the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee and William and Mary are becoming harder and harder to get into.

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‘The Best High-School Musicians in Virginia’

Three Madison students to play in All-State Band.

Three Madison High students will be performing this weekend in Blacksburg with the Virginia All-State Band. The talented musicians are senior Go Eun Jeong, junior Daniel Schwartz and sophomore Mike Niebergall. Only the top musicians in their district bands got to audition for All-State Band. Auditions were held Feb. 22 at JMU, with hundreds of students from across Virginia vying for a spot. Each had to play various scales, plus an excerpt from a song written solely for that audition. They also had to sight-read new music and play it on the spot.

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‘The Children’s Hour’ at Langley High

Classic Lillian Hellman play to run April 3-5.

A dainty redhead who pops into a room with daffodils behind her back is yelled at by one teacher after another until she feigns a heart attack.

Letter: Improving Children’s Education

To the Editor: The CLIPUS Foundation is an organization that focuses on school supplies as a gateway to improving children’s education. Our members and volunteers share this same passion for children’s education and together we push forward, coming up with unique ways to raise money and ultimately providing supplies to children in need. With our main program designed to collect used toners from companies, schools, and individuals, we help spread environmental awareness while receiving the funds needed to buy the school supplies.

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Friendship Blooms at Spring Hill Elementary

School welcomes Japanese exchange students with ceremony.

Friendship is a transcontinental experience. That is what Spring Hill Elementary students learned during a cultural and vibrant friendship ceremony with a small group of Japanese foreign exchange students on March 27. The morning ceremony welcomed the students to the nation’s capital with song, dance and hundreds of pictures drawn by Spring Hill students.

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‘Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles’

Liberty Middle presents the musical, ‘Fiddler on the Roof Jr.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 45, Liberty Middle School presents “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.” Show times are Thursday-Saturday, April 3, 4 and 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and during school lunches.

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Fairfax County Hosts Students from Japan

23 students also visited Japan last summer.

Last summer, 23 students studying Japanese at Lake Braddock, Hayfield and South Lakes High Schools received a full scholarship to visit Japan for ten days as part of the KAKEHASHI Project, a cultural exchange program that aims to connect students from Japan and the U.S.

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Lee High School Students Visit Port Isobel

IB environmental systems and societies students learn about the Chesapeake Bay.

Before beginning their trip to Port Isobel, an island in the Chesapeake Bay, students in Rachel Clausen’s International Baccalaureate (IB) environmental systems and societies class at Lee High School had to do something that today is almost unheard of: turn in their cell phones and watches and spend some time without technology.

FCPS Students Earn 27 National Scholastic Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools students earned 27 national awards in the National Scholastic Art Awards program sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Nima Jeizan of Marshall High School earned an American Visions Medal—equivalent to a best in show for the nation—and Elisabeth Hughes of Oakton High School earned a Gold Medal and Best in Grade Award. Gold Key award-winning entries from the Fairfax region were judged at the national level against winning artwork from across the country where they earned Gold Medals, Silver Medals, American Visions Medals, and Best in Grade Awards. National medalists will be celebrated at an award ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City in May. Select national award winning work will be included in an exhibition in New York, and a traveling exhibition over the coming year.

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Wolftrap Elementary Wins Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from Wolftrap Elementary School competed at the NoVa North Odyssey of the Mind Region 9 Tournament, which took place at Oakton High School on March 8. Wolftrap Elementary's Division II Team competing for Problem #3,“It's How We Rule” placed first for the second year in a row, and will advance to the State Tournament in Rocky Mount, Va. on April 26. This was the first year that the sixth grade team participated in Division II where they competed against sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams from across the region. Team members are: Kiran Gowda, Wendy McHone, Ruhi Mehta, Valerie Nayak, Michael Shi, Katarina Stefanik and Lauen Van Stone, coached by Rachelle Stefanik and Tracy McHone.

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GRACE Opens Emerging Visions Exhibit

Art of local high school students on display.

At the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), a new exhibit has opened displaying the art of 62 students from three area high schools, Herndon, Oakton, and South Lakes. The exhibit, “Emerging Visions: Complexities” is the second exhibit GRACE is showing to celebrate Youth Art Month. The gallery is immersed with artwork including drawings, paintings, mixed media works and photography. “I am hoping to go to Rochester Institute of Technology,” said Ellie Hughes, a senior at Oakton High School who has a sculpture piece on display in the exhibit. Hughes also participated in the 2013 art exhibit held at GRACE for high school students. “I am mostly interested in photography,” said Hughes. “That’s her love,” said her father, Jim Hughes who was impressed with the quality of the art exhibit.

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Local Student Starts Foundation

Katharine Jiang’s contribution grants 100 D.C.-area students notebook-laden backpacks.

Few high school students can say they have created a foundation. Sixteen-year-old Katharine Jiang of Great Falls is one of those few.

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Langley High Orchestra Inspires Florida School

The smiling high school senior held her violin in her outstretched hands, offering to show the 6-year-olds how to play it. As she plucked the strings, a child recoiled in surprise, afraid that he was close enough to hurt the instrument. Twenty minutes later, that same child was holding the violin and the bow, exclaiming,"I want to play this."

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Churchill Road Science Olympiad Team Wins First Place at the Regional Tournament

The Churchill Road Elementary School Science Olympiad team turned in a fabulous performance at the Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament on Saturday, March 1, at Madison High School in Vienna. Competing against 20 other teams from area elementary and middle schools, Churchill Road’s team won First Place. The school’s fifth and sixth graders competed against other fifth and sixth graders, as well as seventh and eighth graders, in science topics that included Life Science, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Technology and Inquiry and Nature of Science. CRS students placed in the top five in 14 events, and they placed in the top 10 in most other events.

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Churchill Road Elementary Receives Safe Community Coalition Grant

Churchill Road Elementary School received a $1,000 grant from the Safe Community Coalition (SCC). Debra Maes, Churchill Road’s Environmental Studies Educator, said that the grant will be used to help maintain the cold frames built by the fifth grade students. These cold frames protect the plants from freezing.