H-B Woodlawn Chamber Singers from Arlington will join Grammy Award Winner The Washington Chorus as the 2005 "Side by Side" partner high school chorus. They will perform in the annual "Music for Christmas" concerts at John F. Kennedy Center and the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. The Kennedy Center performances are Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. and Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. The Strathmore performace is Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. The Chamber Singers will premiere a lively madrigal "There is No Rose," commissioned from Brian Bartoldus, a composition student at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. Tickets are available from the Washington Chorus Box Office at 202-342-6221 or securely online at Tickets can be purchased from Kennedy Center at 202-467-4600. Tickets range from $19-$56, with student, senior and group discounts available.

On Sept. 22, 100 APS student leaders participated in the Office of Minority Achievement’s Second Bi-annual Black Student Leadership Conference at the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University. Young student leaders were asked to participate in all aspects of the leadership conference, from opening the program to handling the introduction of the speakers. Coordinators from each middle and high school selected students to engage with a highly motivational group called Destiny Outreach. Its co-founders and workshop presenters Milano Harden and Danita Patterson challenged the students to find and fulfill their goals and dreams. The student leaders were asked to complete a goal-oriented personal assessment online prior to the workshops and used the results from their surveys to discover strengths, weaknesses, and to develop both short- and long-term goals for their futures. The day’s activities were a hit with the young leaders and they remarked that they were looking forward to using the information gained to get their futures off to a powerful start. ?

On Oct. 1, the Randolph Players held their first meeting. The purpose of the group, which was created by music teacher Mary Lopez, is to work with families to improve their English skills through music and performance. Using comedy and focusing on common usage and idiomatic expressions, this group will stage their own play, act, sing, dance, practice computer skills and make a TV show using the Wake-Up Randolph broadcast studio. For their first meeting, they were entertained by Lopez as well as several professional entertainers and the after-school activities coordinator Bridget Kraft. After the show, the group toured the Kennedy Center. The next meeting will be on Oct. 22.

On Sept. 20, Nottingham third grade teacher Martha Stewart traveled to New York City where she was an audience member during a taping of Martha Stewart’s new daytime television show. Nottingham’s Martha Stewart was one of 164 women named Martha Stewart in the audience. A taped video clip of Nottingham’s Martha Stewart, along with her third graders, was aired as part of the show. The audience made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest first and last name gathering with 164 Martha Stewarts.

Under the director of band director Ben Williams, the Yorktown marching band earned the top awards in its class for best percussion, best brass, best woodwinds, the first place/superior award. The band was also named a division champion. This is the fourth year in a row that Yorktown’s band has earned first place at this competition.

On Sept. 17, Drew, the Nauck Civic Association, and Drew Community Center collaborated to celebrate the 79th Nauck Civic and Community Pride Day. This year’s theme was "Unity." Activities included all day health screenings, a visit by Clifford the Big Red Dog, a car show, stage entertainment, and a basketball game between the Police Department and Drew Recreation. Drew’s teachers and staff volunteered their services during the day, including manning the moonbounce and operating the games for the kids that were provided by the Drew Model School Association. Dr. Jan Adkisson, principal, gave greetings to those in attendance from the staff. At the Drew table, books and gifts were given to the students. Vendors and tables included clothing, jewelry, and accessories, Arlington Emergency Preparedness, Arlington’s Sheriff Department, and various community service providers.

Career Center teachers Louise Vogel, language arts, and Dr. Ann Kennedy, reading specialist, gave two presentations at the South East Regional TESOL (Teachers of English as a Second Language) Conference on Sept. 23-24, in Myrtle Beach, SC. The presentations were titled "Putting the Means of Production in the Hands of the Students" and "Motivated Delayed Readers: What Works?"

ESOL/HILT Supervisor Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez has been appointed by the Arlington County Board to the Board of Directors of Northern Virginia Community College for a term ending Sept. 30, 2008.

Kris Martini, supervisor, Technology Education/Trade & Industrial Programs, has been elected president of the Virginia Technology Education Association.

Wakefield counselor, Amy Shilo, recently returned from two weeks in Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi, where she worked with evacuees in two shelters. Shilo was part of a group of 35 volunteer Red Cross crisis mental health therapists from across the country.

David Padmajerski of Arlington was awarded the Dean's Scholarship from Devry University.

On Oct. 19, 17 of Arlington’s newest students, who have relocated to Arlington as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, came together at Jamestown to have dinner. The event, which was hosted by the Arlington Rotary Club, was coordinated by APS behavior specialist Deborah Gilman, clinical psychologist Eleanor Lewis, and volunteer and partnership specialist Kim Durand. Superintendent Dr. Robert G. Smith and Jamestown principal Laura Annan Glascoe were in attendance to welcome the students and their families to the community.

Students in Andrew Paparella’s sixth grade American Studies class at Swanson spent Oct. 11 - 12 traveling back in time to the technological era of the 1600s. In order to understand the cultures that shaped early American history, students read about different approaches to similar problems faced by Native Americans and Europeans when they first met. These problems included communication, and finding things for cooking, making clothing, and making and firing weapons. Students simulated the difference between using spoken and sign language to communicate rather than writing and reading to communicate. They compared the making of woven baskets to the casting of iron kettles. They cut material for clothing with simple-edged implements versus scissors. Students even simulated the manufacture of a musket and lead ammunition as compared to the making of arrows; these students then attempted to fire them at targets to test out these different weapons’ capabilities. After experiencing these technological differences, students had to determine the benefits and drawbacks of Native American versus European technologies and explain which method would be better suited for life in North America 400 years ago. This activity was the opening of their unit of study on the cultures and colonies of the Atlantic coast in the 17th and 18th centuries. Students will focus on the cultural fusion and diffusion that occurred as a means of survival for Native American and European peoples in one of the three regions of British settlement: New England, Middle Atlantic, and Southern.

The Williamsburg Social Studies department is kicking off characer education lessons this fall. By combining facets of Williamsburg’s character education program with specific social studies lessons within the curriculum, Williamsburg staff plan to make character education a part of every classroom. Over the summer Williamsburg staff members used the Understanding by Design (UbD) model to create lessons. During this month’s department meeting, they presented the lessons to the entire staff. Sixth grade American Studies teacher Marcia Churchill and eighth grade World Geography teacher Chris McDermott created one lesson for each grade. In November, the sixth grade teachers will give a lesson on building responsible communities highlighting the character trait of responsibility. The seventh grade teachers will deliver a lesson during the Immigration Unit that focuses on caring during December.

Taylor students and staff kicked off their school-wide reading and physical fitness incentive program, Get Fit & Stay Smart: Read & Walk Across America on Oct. 11. The new program aims to encourage the two healthy habits of recreational reading and exercise and is the brainchild of reading specialists Mary Stoopman and Lynne Stein, along with physical education teacher Michelle Breedy.

The Tuckahoe community celebrated their new partnership with Sport & Health Clubs and Project Fit America (PFA) on Oct. 12 with kick-off activities. As part of the partnership, Tuckahoe students, parents, and community members now have $15,000 in fitness equipment at the school, have received training in using the equipment properly, and will continue to receive physical education curriculum support materials. As the sponsor, Sport & Health has donated funds to pay for all three of the components of the PFA program. Earlier this month Tuckahoe teachers completed a day-long training event led by a PFA fitness trainer on how to properly use the equipment.

Last spring, more than a dozen sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students at Swanson spent time after school painting a mural in the foyer of the school. Going by the name "Swanson Artists Alliance," the group of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, first sketched their ideas for the mural design. Principal Chrystal Forrester and assistant principal Mary Beth Pelosky, along with the five parent advisors involved in the project, chose aspects from almost all the student designs and incorporated them into one design. The mural, which took about two months to complete, contains colorful images representing the school’s logo, "Scholarship, Service, and Spirit."

On Oct. 17-19, Barrett students participated in grade-level mini-assemblies in the school’s Discovery Lab and hands-on math and science workshops in the classroom, led by NASA Educational Specialist Norman "Storm" Robinson, III. Robinson’s visit was one part of NASA’s Aerospace Education Services (AESP) Program during which professional educators, knowledgeable about aerospace sciences, mathematics and technology conduct workshops for educators, present assembly programs and work with students in the classroom.

Students had the opportunity to touch an authentic suit worn by an astronaut in space, hold meteor and lunar rock samples, and view additional artifacts related to the past, present, and future of NASA’s exploration of space.