School Notes

Here are some people and events making news at your Fairfax County Public Schools.

  • Paying for College, a program sponsored by the Centreville High student services department, will be offered Monday, October 29, at 7 p.m. Information on the different types of financial aid programs, as well as how to apply for them, will be presented.  Middle and high school students and their parents are invited to attend.
  • Halley Elementary students will attend a bullying prevention kickoff assembly on Monday, October 29, at 9:30 a.m.  Each year during Bullying Prevention Month, Halley students learn to be aware of bullying behaviors and how to report these behaviors. They also learn that there are rules to protect them from bullying at Halley and that help is available.  Faculty and staff members teach the students strategies to help them defend classmates being bullied and stand up to students who are acting as bullies.  The school uses videos, projects, and presentations to send the message that bullying is not tolerated at the school.
  • Mason Crest Elementary will hold its first Walk for the Homeless on Monday, October 29, beginning at 9:30 a.m.   Students will learn what it means to be homeless, and will create banners in art class that they will carry during the walk.  The Mason Crest walk will benefit Northern Virginia Family Services.
  • Engineering design challenges will be the focus of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Night at Providence Elementary on Monday, October 29, beginning at 6 p.m.   More than 30 activities will be set up — each facilitated by a staff member — for families to explore and try.  Among the planned activities are strengthening bridges through the use of arches, exploring shapes that promote stability and choosing appropriate measurement tools for a specific task.  Families will be encouraged to practice communication skills as they work through failures, exhibit resiliency and celebrate accomplishments.  Providence also plans to highlight the work of student engineers in a STEM showcase; student-designed projects will be on display along with the accompanying engineering plans used to create the designs.
  • A display about the upcoming presidential election will be among the exhibits Rocky Run Middle students will visit when they travel to Philadelphia for a field trip to the National Constitution Center on Monday, October 29.  Election HQ includes hands-on exhibits such as news updates, campaign commercials, gumball polls and voter registration.  A voting booth exhibit featuring interactive technology will match students to the presidential candidate who most closely shares their views on issues.  An exhibit on the history of elections includes programs and activities to teach students about past presidents and historic elections.  The center’s new initiative, Address America:  Your Six-Word Stump Speech, allows students to share their election priorities in six words.  Students can also participate in interactive exhibits that show the significant role the Constitution has played throughout history.  They will be able to vote for their all-time favorite president, take the presidential oath of office, take a seat as a Supreme Court justice and honor the service people who have fought for and defended the U.S.  Students will also have the opportunity to take an active role by e-mailing elected officials and watching up-to-the-minute constitutional issues unfold.
  • The U.S. Air Force honor guard drill team will perform at Belvedere Elementary on Tuesday, October 30, in a school-wide assembly.  Following the assembly, fifth grade students will work with members of the drill team at Belvedere Park to remove invasive species and plant native plants.  The drill team supports the school’s efforts to go green and wanted to play an active role in the effort.
  • Hallowingo, bingo with a Halloween theme, will be featured at Cameron Elementary on Tuesday, October 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Students can choose to attend in their favorite costume, and there will be prizes for bingo players.  The school’s annual book fair will also be open.
  • Carson Middle will provide social workers and a school psychologist to speak to parents about bullying during a parent coffee meeting on Tuesday, October 30, from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.  One of the school’s assistant principals and the director of student services will also be on hand to help provide information about bullying prevention.
  • Spooky stories and creepy crafts will be offered in the library after school at Deer Park Elementary on Tuesday, October 30, beginning at 4 p.m.  Students and children from the community can come to the library for seasonal stories and to create Halloween- and autumn-themed crafts in a fun and safe environment while checking out what the library has to offer.
  • Annandale High theater students will be presenting Orson Wells’ radio version of War of the Worlds on Radio Fairfax on Wednesday, October 31, from 11 p.m. to midnight.  The show, which suggests that Earth is being invaded by Martians, will be streamed over the Internet.  The 15 students will be appearing on the Broadway Bound show with DJ Chris Alan, who serves as producer.
  • Characters on Parade, featuring students dressed as their favorite storybook characters, will be featured for the first time at Cunningham Park Elementary on Wednesday, October 31, at 9:15 a.m. for students in grades K-2 and at 2 p.m. for students in grades 3-6.  Students will follow a parade route around the school while carrying the book featuring their storybook character.
  • Fractions, fractions, everywhere! A Fraction Fiesta, the culminating math activity for fourth and fifth grade students, will be held at Mason Crest Elementary on Wednesday, October 31, during the afternoon.  Students will be able to use what they have learned during their fraction units by applying them to real world situations like sharing brownies and going grocery shopping.
  • Author Mary Quattlebaum will talk about the writing process with students at Springfield Estates Elementary on Wednesday, October 31, at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Quattlebaum, author of Pirate vs. Pirate, The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans, Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond, and the Jackson Jones series, will join in the celebration of reading and writing at the school by discussing how she creates her books.
  • Strings students will perform Spooky Strings, the annual Halloween-themed instrumental music concert at White Oaks Elementary, on Wednesday, October 31, at 10 a.m.  In addition, students wearing  Halloween costumes willperform seasonal, traditional music and entertaining narratives. Kindergarten students, wearing storybook character costumes, will take part in a parade prior to the concert.
  • Tribe-Ology, a trip back in time for second and third grade students studying Native Americans, will take place on Thursday, November 1, at Daniels Run Elementary.  The event combines art, music, and physical education and enables students to recreate some of the activities the Native Americans enjoyed in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Students can stop at an art station to create their own Native American shield, or at a music station where they can celebrate the music that Native Americans enjoyed.  There will also be three activity stations where students can play active games — including lacrosse — that date back to the early days of the Native Americans.
  • Waynewood Elementary students will participate in their 2012 Help the Homeless mini walk on Thursday, November 1, beginning at 9:25 a.m. and running throughout the school day during their physical education classes.  Registration fees go directly to United Community Ministries, a local non-profit agency that provides emergency and self-sufficiency services to people in the community.
  • Centreville Elementary, in partnership with Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM), will participate in a Walk for the Homeless on Friday, November 2, throughout the school day.  WFCM, which operates a food pantry, used clothing store, and helps people with bills, will teach students about the people they are helping during presentations throughout the day.  The school is also holding a canned food drive during that week with all donations going to WFCM.
  • Women who were homeless until recently will speak to students, staff members, and parents about their experience as a prelude to Mosby Woods Elementary’s Walk for the Homeless beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 2.  The women, now living at Mount Carmel House in Washington, D.C., will describe their experiences for the students.  The walk is expected to raise more than $20,000 to help the homeless, thanks to sponsorship from Fannie Mae.  Over the past eight years, Mosby Woods has raised approximately $225,000 to help the homeless.
  • White Oaks Elementary will hold its SCA community service project, the annual Help the Homeless walkathon, in support of Rachael’s Women’s Center, on Saturday, November 3, beginning at 9 a.m.  Walkers will meet at the school and are raising funds to support Rachael’s, which provides day shelter, meals, laundry and shower facilities, case management, employment and career counseling, mental health services and permanent supportive housing to homeless women in Washington.
  • Gunston Elementary has an active D.O.G. (Dads of Great Students) Dads program, which welcomes fathers as volunteers at the school.  Dads sign up for a time that is convenient for them and can be found doing everything from welcoming buses to leading the Pledge of Allegiance on the school’s in-house news show, reading to students, or helping in the classroom.
  • Herndon attorney Doug Landau of Abrams Landau Ltd. is doing his part to promote bicycle helmet use among students.  As part of his Helmet a Day campaign, Landau is giving away 365 free bike helmets this year.  He recently ensured that each sixth grade student at Herndon Elementary received a complimentary bike helmet, assisted by representatives from the Herndon Police Department and the Fairfax County Police Department, who made certain the helmets were adjusted and fit properly.

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