School Notes

School Notes

Kenmore Middle School students Michelle Graham and Bernard Yves A. Bagalso were recognized in the 2005 Hispanic Heritage Local Art and Essay Contest during an awards ceremony and dinner reception at The Washington Post.

Graham, who is an eighth grade student, won second place. She is the daughter of Fred and Amy Graham. She received a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and Ford Hispanic Heritage Award Medal.

Bagalso, who is a seventh grader, earned the third place award. He is the son of Bernard and Nieves Bagalso. He received a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and Ford Hispanic Heritage Award Medal.

The contest was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and The Washington Post and was open to area students in grades four through eight. To enter, students had to research a person of Hispanic descent who has made a significant contribution to the community or their life and create a portrait of this individual. Students were also required to write a brief composition describing why they chose their subject.

Under the guidance of art teacher Jeff Wilson, Graham researched Salvador Dali and painted oil on canvas that reflected Dali’s ideas and personality. Bagalso created an illustration depicting the many people Cesar Chavez helped.

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

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.

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."

As part of career shadowing day at Kenmore Middle School, Emily Herman shadowed "The Today Show" host, Katie Couric. Herman took the train up to New York on Thursday, Nov. 18 to be in The Today Show studios bright and early on Fri., Nov. 18, to find out what it is like to be a morning news TV host. Herman first met Couric this last summer when she and her mother were two of the lucky few that were standing outside the NBC Today Show studios and invited inside to meet Couric.

As part of the career education program at Kenmore, students spend two days in the computer lab using the career interest inventory program called "Bridges." After answering a series of questions, the program generates a list of twenty careers that match your interests. Emily's top twenty list included TV host, News Broadcaster and News Journalist. Remembering her meeting with Katie Couric, Emily wrote a letter explaining her desire to shadow someone in TV Journalism as part of the Career Shadowing program at Kenmore.

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.