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Special Education Graduates Could be Impacted by Possible Budget Cuts

Families will speak against these cuts at public hearing on April 10.

Lynn Ruiz’s daughter Lydia, who has Down syndrome, will be graduating from Fairfax County Public Schools this June. Ruiz, a Springfield resident, had originally planned for her daughter to participate in an employment program that helps students with special needs transition into adulthood.

Three New Members Join ACT for Alexandria’s Board

ACT for Alexandria, Alexandria’s community foundation, has added Lynnwood Campbell, David Frantz and Lori Murphy to its board of directors. Campbell, a retired federal worker, is a former member of the school board and presently serves a board role on a number of other Alexandria nonprofits including Senior Services of Alexandria, the Alexandria NAACP and the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Campbell’s experience in business and accounting, both in the private and public sectors, will aid ACT in the business, accounting and audit arenas.

After-school Program Thrives at Gunston Elementary

Program includes stem components, helps students learn in safe environment.

There is a dull roar of talking and laughter emanating from the cafeteria at Gunston Elementary School, and it is not lunch time. Instead, the after-school program is about to get underway and students are chattering with each other as they find a seat at a cafeteria table. Ms. Ephraim, Gunston’s Guidance Counselor, calls the group to attention and explains that it is time to start working on their homework. Volunteers and other staff members hand out snacks as the kids start focusing on their work.

‘Goal Is to Spot Kids in Crisis’

Police, others take suicide prevention training.

Although there have been four recent incidents of teen suicides in Fairfax County, the Police Department has planned to offer Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training for its officers since October 2013.

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‘Luck, Be a Lady Tonight’

Paul VI presents ‘Guys and Dolls.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 90, Paul VI High presents one of Broadway’s most popular musicals ever, "Guys and Dolls." The school’s Cappies show will burst upon the stage Friday-Saturday, April 11-12, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13, adults; $8, students and senior citizens, at, and $15 and $10, respectively, at the door. "The actors are creative and enthusiastic, and they really wanted to do ‘Guys and Dolls,’" said Director Katherine Miller. "They knew the songs were terrific, and this show has lots of roles for boys – and I’ve got lots of male actors this year. I’ve also got tremendous singers, comic actors and physical actors, all dedicated to this show."

Fairfax County Calendar

For those looking to fill their calendar with some home-brewed, Fairfax County fun stuff (read: entertainment and diversion), The Connection's Fairfax County Entertainment Calendar has many options: weekend jaunts and larks; date night inspiration; winter-to-spring fun; day-long festivals and events; art-outings; family fun-and-learning fusions; plays and shows; beyond-Small Business Saturday local shopping and bazaars; markets of handcrafted wares; music; 1Ks to marathons... the list goes on. If you know of an event not listed in our entertainment calendar, email it to for happenings in south Fairfax County or for entertainment in the northern parts of the county.

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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.