Adapting to the Post-High School World. When people with psychiatric diagnoses turn 18 , by law, they are emancipated from their families. Learn what parents can do to make this tranisition smoother. The meeting features a panel presentation by Arlington parents who have experienced the transition. The meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mt. olive United Methodist Church, 1500 N. Glebe Rd. Visit

Marymount University will host an education symposium on The Rewards of Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Thursday Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Marymount's Ballston Center, 1000 N. Glebe Road. Call 703-526-6847.

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The preschool children of McLean Children's Academy had great fun in their costumes at the Halloween Parade. Parents came for the parade and to hear "scary" halloween songs performed by the children. Pictured here in the back row, left to right,are Liam Keough, Dan Arnold, Morgan Hammock, Emily Brunner, Lidnsay Blum, and in the front row are Camden Hao, Cameron Guilmette, Timothy Sullivan, Ethan Davidson & Patrick Anders. The children live in McLean, Falls Church, Vienna and Arlington. Visit

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.

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.

For the last three years, Key students in grades three though five hold a grade-level Market Day event, during which they set up "stores" in the school cafeteria. Students sell items they have made and have the opportunity to purchase items from other students’ stores as well, using "sand dollars" they have earned by helping out with classroom responsibilites and demonstrating good behavior throughout the year. They are encouraged to discuss their items and have to use math skills to calculate change for purchases during the bilingual event. Third grade Market Day was held on Oct. 14. To prepare for Market Day, students do market research and prepare written marketing plans for items that they wish to sell. The event integrates various economic, math, and science concepts in a hands-on manner that allows students to practice what they are learning. Third grade teachers, Natalie Cañadas, Cristina Robles, Lee Granados, Rosa Berrocal, Leah Stein and Rosa Navas worked together to coordinate this year’s third grade Market Day activity. The fourth and fifth grade Market Day events will be held in February and June respectively.

Members of Kenmore’s newly-formed "Paws for a Cause" extracurricular club raised more than $300 during a bone drive on Oct. 14 - 17. Club members sold paper bones for $.50 each during lunch each day. Students purchased a total of 602 bones, collecting $301. Sixth graders purchased 282 bones, winning the competition. The money is being donated to the Humane Society of New Orleans. The new club is sponsored by special education teacher Bruce Merrill.

On Oct. 15, Career Center students in Michelle Wolpe’s classes participated in Teen Day at Ballston Common Mall. Throughout the mall were many activities in which teens could participate. Wolpe’s classroom-on-the-mall, and hospitality marketing classes hosted a fashion show, using clothes on loan from mall merchants and models who are APS high school students.

From Oct. 11–14, Glebe students and their parents have had the opportunity to get to know the school’s new vocal music teacher, Bernadette Villanueva. Villanueva invited parents to attend their child’s music classes to observe. Many parents took the opportunity to come and meet Villanueva and even participated in the lesson, learning to dance the "Flamenco" with their children.

Battelle Science & Technology International has donated $15,500 to Arlington Science Focus to purchase a variety of scientific and technical equipment to better outfit their classrooms for science related instruction. Battelle was able to donate to ASF through their annual giving program.

On Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., poet and performer Sebastian Lockwood performed his one-man show, "Caesar, Cato, Cicero" at H-B Woodlawn. APS and Fairfax County Latin students were invited to attend the event, which was also open to the public. The event was sponsored by the Washington Classical Society and coordinated by H-B Woodlawn Latin teacher Paul Weiss. Yorktown Latin students hosted a bake sale during the event to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as well as the annual countywide Latin event in December.

Long Branch students, staff, and community members collected $5,000 during their mini-walk for the homeless on Oct. 12. The Fannie Mae Foundation matched that amount, bringing the total amount collected to $10,000, all of which is being donated to the Reading Connection. The Reading Connection is an Arlington based non-profit organization dedicated to bringing books and a lifelong love of reading to children in a housing crisis. The activity was coordinated by guidance counselors Brenda Kahan and Benta Sims, teachers Alyssa Watkins-Dove, Rocky Belk, and Meredith Grasso, and members of the PTA for their work in making this event happen.

Approximately 70 teachers participated in the educator’s reception at the Clarendon Barnes & Noble on Oct. 17. Dr. Mark Johnston, assistant superintendent of instruction was the keynote speaker for the event. Break-dancers from Barcroft provided entertainment for the evening. ThinkFun Games hosted a Math Dice Competition for teachers and students alike. Representatives from ThinkFun Games were on hand to talk with teachers about all of their teaching tools. Teachers received gift bags filled with educational materials and enjoyed refreshments from Bertucci’s throughout the evening.

Nearly 200 parents and students attended Abingdon’s first ever Library Night on Oct. 17. The theme for the evening was, "The Magic Of Reading." Students were treated to a magic show from Chuck Magic and books were given away as door prizes. Everyone enjoyed free pizza and drinks, and students were given bonus library check-out time. Abingdon’s next library night is Nov. 17. The theme will be "Wild About Reading" and will feature a guest speaker from the Long Branch Nature Center. Future library nights are scheduled for Jan. 10, Feb. 8, March 16, and April 27, and are organized by library media specialist Kristy Nienstedt, lead reading teacher Bobbie Moyer, and Title I teacher Susanna Smith.

Williamsburg eighth graders in Margaret Feldman’s English classes, and Jamestown kindergarten students in Emily Rekstad, Laura Hansen, Fran Doud, and Sara Pugh’s classes have joined efforts via distance learning technologies. ITCs Carolyn Griglione and Camilla Gagliolo are spearheading the "Sharing Live" project to enhance students’ understanding of community relationships, literacy skills, and character traits. The year-long project has the kindergartners meeting their eighth grade buddies every few weeks via two-way audio and video. Eighth graders teach and mentor kindergarten students about assigned topics, and the kindergartners present information learned back to the eighth graders. The kindergartners will have the chance to meet the eighth graders later this year.

Under the direction of ITC Camila Gagliolo, the Jamestown fifth grade students are producing a weekly podcast. Podcasting is similar to radio reporting in digital format and is posted on the internet at each Tuesday. Students use microphones in the school’s TV studio, a G5 Macintosh computer and an iPod with a recording device attached to it. They record projects produced pieces they have writen, including poetry and short stories in conjunction with Jamestown’s school wide writing initiative.

On Oct. 12, Key fourth and fifth grade students, and their families, learned more about audiobooks during a Family Literacy Night event in the school library. Library sciences supervisor Liz Hannegan led the presentation. The event was coordinated by school librarian Lois Deringer.

The artwork of two Drew preschool students will be published in the VDOE’s 2005-06 FUNdamental Calendar of Activities and Ideas for Early Childhood Parents and Educators. The students, who are both in Bonnie Greer’s early childhood special education class were the only APS students selected to have their art published. The Department of Education has awarded the class with $100 to purchase classroom supplies and materials. The calendar has been distributed to classrooms, teachers, students, and parents who have an interest in early childhood activities. Drew art teacher Connie Usova worked with the students as well.