Send announcements about school achievements to the Mount Vernon Gazette, by e-mail to, by fax to 703-917-0991 or by mail to 1604 King St., Alexandria VA 22314.

The Westminster-George Mason Tutoring Program needs tutors and substitute tutors to work one-on-one with elementary school children who need extra help. Tutoring takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 2:35-3:35 p.m. in the library at George Mason Elementary School. Tutors are asked to make a commitment of one hour per week from October through May, excepting school holidays and snow days. Substitute tutors are also needed to be available once or twice a month to fill in for weekly tutors. Contact Kathy Hart at 703-706-4470 or to learn more.

Kindergarten Readiness for Preschool Parents – a presentation and question/answer session will be presented on Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Queen of Apostles Catholic School library. All parents of preschoolers are invited to attend. For more information call 703-354-0714 or visit

Mount Vernon High School has chosen the "I't's Academic" TV team for 2006. The team members are Coco Agbeyibor, Robert Reynolds and Steven Brown, with Brian Naylor serving as the alternate. The show will be taped on Oct. 28, at the NBC-Channel 4 studios in Washington D.C., with the legendary Mac McGarry serving as moderator. The TV broadcast of the competition will be on Nov. 11. If you have questions or would like to attend the taping, contact one of the co-sponsors at or

"Grease" is Mount Vernon High School Theater's fall show directed by David Schmidt. The show runs Nov. 10-11 and 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday evenings as well as a 2:30 p.m. Saturday matinee on both weekends. The cost for all performances will be $10.00 for the general public and $8.00 for students and senior citizens. Group rates are available. Call 703-619-3172 for reservations. All shows are in the Little Theater at MVHS, Entrance #4, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road.

The Fort Hunt Preschool has entered into a five-year lease with the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, its home for the past 45 years. The Fort Hunt Preschool will continue to provide a quality, cooperative, non-denominational education for 2, 3, and 4-year-old children. For information about the Fort Hunt Preschool, call 703-768-7584 or go to For information about the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, call 703-765-5950 or go to

Second Saturday Clean-up. Students and family of West Potomac High School meet in the senior parking lot on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. to do outside work to improve the appearance of the school campus. Bring gloves, and whatever tools you have. Need weed whackers, pruning/lopping tools, hoes, shovels, wheel barrows, brooms, rakes, and anything else you would like to use to get grass and weeds out of cracks, and clean up the gutters, haul mulch to the parking islands, prune dead branches, etc. For additional information, call Tom Swinson at 799-1583.

More than 100 parents, teachers, business owners, neighbors and other community members gathered Wednesday night, Nov. 1, to talk about issues and share ideas at a lively and informative town meeting about Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics. Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and the Alexandria City School Board held the event to gather feedback about the public’s priorities for the elementary school at 1501 Cameron St. Following tours of the building, participants gathered in the multipurpose room, where ACPS administrators facilitated small-group discussions at round tables. Topics included academic achievement, arts integration, school climate, special education and facilities. The event also included a skit by first graders, who dressed as different pets and described the care animals require; and fifth graders, who sang the school song and another musical number. For more information about Jefferson-Houston events and volunteer opportunities, contact the school at 703-706-4400 or visit the ACPS Web site at

Parents are encouraged to complete a survey that will assist Alexandria City Public Schools in improving transportation services to students. The online survey should take less than 10 minutes. The survey, which can be accessed at, will close Friday, Nov. 17, at midnight. Fliers with details about the survey will be sent to all ACPS parents, in English and Spanish, along with alternative instructions for people who prefer to take the survey by phone. For more information, contact the ACPS Department of Monitoring and Evaluation at 703-824-6638.

A new Online Career Center, school-based community college career coach and community college outreach counselor are helping Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students plan for life after high school. An Online Career Center created for ACPS students includes sections related to career exploration, researching occupations and colleges, job search skills, employment Web sites and more. The site also features a section for employers, parents and community members who are looking for opportunities to become involved with the schools. The Online Career Center can be found at: For more information about Career Center-related opportunities at T.C. Williams, contact the school at 703-824-6800.

The Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Special Education Parent Resource Center is presenting three upcoming events featuring topics of interest to parents of special education students. To register for any of these events, call Anne Lipnick at 703-706-4552 or email

* St. Elmo's Group, a gathering of parents of children with special needs, will meet from 8-10 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13, at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Special Education Teacher Jennifer Beza will give a presentation on "How to Talk So Teachers Will Listen."

* Learn to Use Boardmaker, a computer program for creating visual strategies for use in home and school, at a workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road, Alexandria. Interested teachers and parents can choose between two sessions, scheduled for 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Early registration is recommended, as space is limited by the number of computers available. Free babysitting is available. The workshop is pre-approved for ACPS opt-out credit and recertification points.

* A support group for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders will meet at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, at the Special Education Parent Resource Center at Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics, 1501 Cameron St., Alexandria. Enter through door No. 4 on Cameron Street. Autism Resource Specialists Deborah Hammer and Sarah DiGioia will present ÒA Sense of Calm,Ó focusing on increasing the understanding of autism spectrum sensory issues and learning calming strategies to use at home. Light refreshments and free babysitting (available by advance RSVP) will be provided.