Monday, May 20, 2013
The early education program helps prepare students for K-12 education, but more than 800 are waiting for services.
Lillian Hill’s Head Start classroom at Camelot Elementary School is bustling and filled with kids the Friday before Mother’s Day. Hill teaches 16 kids -- a full classroom. Head Start has 89 classrooms across 62 Fairfax County elementary schools, but it's not enough to meet the demand. The program is at capacity but a lack of funds for expansion, partly because of sequestration, means 800 children will stay on a waiting list for Head Start, leaving them less prepared than their peers to enter kindergarten and to learn. The White House estimates that because of the sequester, 70,000 children nationally who would have been served by Head Start will not have access to the program by the end of the year. On this day in Hill's classroom, she is …
Friday, May 17, 2013
Fairfax County School Board will hold listening sessions next week to help develop a strategic plan for digital learning.
Teachers, students and parents in Fairfax County didn't have the smoothest experience with digital learning in 2012-2013. As Fairfax County Public Schools rolled out a new online math program in Fall 2012, students and teachers complained they had difficulty navigating the books, saying there were publisher errors and inconsistencies, technology roadblocks and student difficulty in accessing the information, among other complaints, like a lack of teacher buy-in to the program. They said the program, instead of advancing learning and achievement, was pushing it back, calling the $10.4 million initiative "a big disaster" with no clear solution. The short-term solution was to re-negotiate contracts to get some hard copy books back in the …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Stone path built in honor of longtime principal who retired in 2011.
Students, teachers, alumni and their parents gathered at Forest Edge Elementary on Tuesday to dedicate a walkway in honor of Frank Bensinger. Bensinger led the school from 1990 until his retirement in 2011. The PTA received about $8,000 in donations to pay for the walkway, says Forest Edge PTA president Tara Cranford Teague. River's Edge Landscaping did the design and stonework. The walkway connects the garden built in honor of late teacher Gina Rolfs with the school. There is a plaque honoring Bensinger "who guided the steps of a generation of Reston's children."
Teacher pay and foreign language cutbacks are also concerns as Fairfax County School Board looks for another $30 million in reductions for next year's budget.
If push came to shove, Jane Lipp would give her right kidney to keep an instructional coach at her school. The principal of South County High School, which has a 49 percent minority population, said that's the kind of sacrifice she'd make, drama aside, to keep a position that's been 'instrumental" in helping her teachers push the school's diverse student body to succeed. More than a dozen of the 40 speakers who addressed the school board Tuesday night in a public hearing about Fairfax County Public Schools' budget spoke about the role coaches play in the day to day lives of teachers and students, including their help toward narrowing student achievement gaps. The public hearing comes as the school board prepares to adopt a $2.5 billion …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Some school board members say "disconnect," mistrust still exists between principals, parents.
As the Fairfax County School Board prepares to vote on another round of changes in a years-long push for reform of its discipline policies, board members are struggling to find common ground on when parents should be notified if their child could be suspended or expelled. Fairfax County Public Schools staff returned to the school board Monday with a number of proposed changes to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, some of them based on a list of 52 recommendations to overhaul discipline practices systemwide a community committee put forth earlier this spring. See all proposed changes here. But parental notification — an issue on which there has been little agreement since the push for reform began following the suicide of two…
Monday, May 13, 2013
Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools had surgery for an aortic aneurysm May 7.
Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Dale was released from the hospital Sunday after emergency heart surgery May 7. FCPS spokesman John Torre told Patch in an email Monday that Dale had been released from the hospital to recover from surgery at home. Dale was taken to INOVA Fairfax Hospital on May 7 after telling coworkers he hadn’t been feeling well that day. He had surgery after suffering an aortic aneurysm that night. Torre said Dale was expected to return to work sometime in early June. “He is making progress and is not expected to return to work until early June on a part time basis,” he wrote in his email. Dale is planning to retire this summer. Deputy Superintendent Richard Moniuszko is managing superintendent duties …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Post your prom photos right here on Patch!
South Lakes High School's Junior-Senior Prom is Friday. The upperclassmen - dressed to the nines, of course - will gather at the Dulles Hyatt for a night to remember. After you take your pre prom (or at-the-prom) pictures, upload them here so your neighbors can see the prom night magic.
Students take on teachers and administrators, and the public is invited to watch.
Herndon High School’s own Iron Chef competition is underway, allowing the school’s students, teachers and administrators to show off their culinary skills. “We have a ton of ingredients to choose from, and they get inspired to make what they want to make,” said Jacquelyn Dresser, the head of the family and consumer science department and a teacher. This is the first year the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club is hosting the competition, which was an idea brought to the administration by student Aki Bredahl. The competition started last Friday and will continue in two additional rounds until the final showdown on May 24, Dresser said. Two chefs compete to create the best dish, which are judged by a panel of …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Dale underwent surgery for an aortic aneurism Tuesday evening.
Jack Dale, the outgoing Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent, underwent emergency heart surgery Tuesday evening after suffering an aortic aneurism. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Dale, 64, was conscious and resting at the intensive care unit of Fairfax Inova Hospital in Falls Church. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance Tuesday evening after telling coworkers he was feeling unwell, the Post reported. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was in stable condition. Hospital officials were unable to comment further on Dale’s condition Thursday afternoon. Dale is planning to retire this summer but it’s unclear whether he will return to his post after recovering from surgery. FCPS spokesman John Torre told Patch on …
New required financial class may mean fewer chances for special electives for FCPS students.