High, Middle Schools Get Ready

High, Middle Schools Get Ready

Vienna schools prepare for new year.

James Madison High

2500 James Madison Drive

Vienna, VA 22181


Principal: Mark Merrell


Web site: www.fcps.edu/MadisonHS/

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m.

James Madison High School will continue the successful student assistance period started last year, wrote assistant principal Michael Yohe in an e-mail interview. In this half-hour period from 9 to 9:30 a.m., students can meet with their teachers for extra help or make up work, wrote Yohe.

Renovations at Madison are complete. The school has two trailers, wrote Yohe, and next year hopes to have none. Madison is now wireless, he wrote, and all teachers will be able to use the wireless lab carts, which consist of 16 computers and a printer. Most rooms have 32-inch televisions outfitted with combination DVD/VCR players in them, Yohe wrote, and by December, all classrooms will have this setup.

Faculty and staff will continue to focus on a nonfiction writing initiative for students in all areas of study, wrote Yohe. Madison will be at capacity this year, at about 1,890 students and growing.

“We are also committed to our students having fun learning, developing a sense of awe and wonder in the subject material they are learning, and getting involved in school activities,” wrote Yohe.

George C. Marshall High School

7731 Leesburg Pike

Falls Church, VA 22043


Principal: Leslie Butz


Web site: www.fcps.edu/MarshallHS/

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m.

This year at George C. Marshall High School, the focus will be on increasing student achievement and school morale, said activity director Bill Curran. The school hired two faculty members to assess student achievement and to find out “what is behind school success and how to bring students who are not succeeding into that fold,” he said.

School spirit has been on the rise, said Curran. “Number one, the association with Marshall is stronger for the students, and two, this is a good place to be,” he said.

Marshall has a new, fully inclusive weight training facility where all students, not just athletes, can exercise, said Curran. The school is also focusing on student writing.

There are 1,327 students enrolled at Marshall, said Curran. The school has also hired 20 new staff members, he said.

Oakton High School

2900 Sutton Road

Vienna, VA 22181


Principal: John Banbury


Web site: www.fcps.edu/OaktonHS/

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 p.m. for ninth and 10th graders

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m. for 11th and 12th graders

No major changes are expected at Oakton High School this year, said principal John Banbury.

The school’s goal is to focus on content literacy, said Banbury. It is important for students to understand not just the concepts of a particular subject but also the language used to explain the concepts, he said. It is a major schoolwide undertaking, he said, and will be used by teachers in all subjects.

Enrollment at Oakton this year is projected at 2,370, said Banbury.

Luther Jackson Middle School

3020 Gallows Road

Falls Church, VA 22042


Principal: Carol Robinson


Web site: www.fcps.edu/LutherJacksonMS/

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

Construction for a 14-room addition at Luther Jackson Middle School began in July, wrote principal Carol Robinson in an e-mail interview. Along with the addition, renovation plans include realigning the road that circles around the back of the building, redesigning the landscaping and erecting a gated opening between the school and the shopping center next door.

“With good weather and superb construction work, we will enjoy completion in April, at which time we will say ‘good bye’ to 14 outdoor classrooms,” wrote Robinson.

Luther Jackson’s enrollment is down from previous years, wrote Robinson. The school is expecting under 1,000 students.

Teachers and administrators are focusing on reading comprehension, nonfiction writing and technology in the coming year, wrote Robinson.

Kilmer Middle School

8100 Wolftrap Road

Vienna, VA 22182


Principal: Deborah Hernandez


Web site: www.fcps.edu/KilmerMS/

Back-to-School Night: Thursday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m.

The two main goals at Kilmer Middle School this coming year are enhancing communication and implementing a schoolwide focus on nonfiction writing, wrote principal Deborah Hernandez in an e-mail. Kilmer will also continue its Cougars Read program, where the entire school spends time reading on Friday afternoon before dismissal. Teachers and students talk about and share their reading materials with each other.

“Students are very excited to share great book ideas with their peers,” wrote Hernandez.

Murals, welcome mats and new benches outside the building have been added to the building, wrote Hernandez.

Kilmer will also be one of the first middle schools in the county to have benches in the hallway where students can sit down, said assistant principal Mike Fentress.

Just over 950 students enrolled at Kilmer this year, wrote Hernandez, and about 10 new staff members to replace retired or relocating teachers.

Thoreau Middle School

2505 Cedar Lane

Vienna, VA 22180


Principal: Mark Greenfelder


Web site: http://www.fcps.edu/ThoreauMS/

Back-to-School Night: Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

Thoreau Middle School continues working in the Professional Learning Communities model and will be adding a learning-assistance program this coming year, wrote principal Mark Greenfelder in an e-mail. The program, “Time to Soar,” “is based in part of the great success that both Madison and Marshall high schools have had,” wrote Greenfelder.

Thoreau will also have a new technology lab, with state-of- the-art computers and technological tools.

Thoreau has 710 students enrolled this year. This is an increase from its original projection, wrote Greenfelder.

As for key goals, Thoreau will also implement an assessment program to make sure all students are learning successfully, wrote Greenfelder.