Education/Training

(See educational news and bulletins below)

 

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(8/11/2002) The Fairfax Journal has an article school registration who doesn't speak English as a first langauge.

The Journal Newspapers Online

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(8/11/2002) The Springfield Times reports that Fairfax County Planning Commission is recommending the Board of Supervisors adopt a pared-down version of a controversial plan asking home builders to fork over cash to help the school system accommodate additional students from their new developments.

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Springfield Times    

 
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(8/9/2001)  Driving down Hooes Road this morning, between Silverbrook and Furnace, one of our readers noticed a large sign saying "Future Home of Accotink Academy."  She found out that they have pre-schools and also a school for learning diabled and emotionally disturbed 7th through 12th graders.  Accotink Academy, which was founded by Elaine
McConnell, being built on this site.  After calling the Academy, she found out that The plan is to initially build a pre-school, with construction beginning in 2002, and to continue adding on to the school until it encompassed pre-school through 8th grade.  It would not be an alternative school for LD and emotionally disturbed kids.  

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(3/26/2001) The following article came from the Springfield Times.
Dip dims chances of extra money for schools

Fairfax County revenues for this year are lagging $7.5 million behind expectations, leaving a shrinking stash of cash for schools and other projects.
County finance chief Edward L. Long Jr. told supervisors on Monday that this could be one of the tightest budget years in recent memory, adding "We'll be lucky if we come out even."  Long and his staff had predicted a $14 million year-end surplus, but the drop in revenue coupled with a few extra expenses have whittled that figure down to $2.38 million--out of a total $2.1 billion spending plan for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Supervisors, who are just days away from holding three nights of marathon public hearings on next year's spending plan, called the revised fiscal outlook "scary" and "sobering."  Supervisor Sharon Bulova (D-Braddock), chair of the board's budget subcommittee, said afterward that it will be a challenge to further assist the school system, which is pleading for more money to foot larger teacher salaries and boost school construction.  Without their normal year-end cash bonanza, supervisors will be forced to cut items from County Executive Anthony Griffin's proposed $2.3 billion spending plan for next year in order to fund other needs.  Griffin provided school administrators with more money than expected in his proposed budget, but they're still staring at a $22 million deficit, which doesn't even include new money for raises and building renovations.

School Board Chairman Jane Strauss (Dranesville) said the school system could not afford to cut millions of dollars from its own budget as it did last year, and Supt. Daniel Domenech has already said he intends to absorb any shortfall, meaning he'd increase class sizes before cutting other areas.  Adding to their concerns is a growing frustration among supervisors who are continually criticized for "cutting" school funding when, technically, they've almost always given the schools more money just not as much as requested.  Mitch Luxenberg, president of the Fairfax County Council of PTAs, acknowledged the misperception and said he's working hard to tone down the rhetoric from his members.

If the county's projected surplus holds up, 40 percent of it--about $1 million--would automatically be put into the county's rainy-day or reserve account.  That leaves roughly $1.4 million for the supervisors and schools to split evenly.  Last year at this time, county budget doctors projected a $15.3 million surplus, which later grew to $32.8 million. Supervisors gave $25 million to the schools and spent $7.8 million on other projects.  The sharp decline in this year's revenues--not to mention the revenue projections for next year's budget--can be directly tied to the shaky national economy, according to Long.  For example, the county has seen a drop in its return of interest on investments this year because of recent interest rate reductions and those returns are expected to fall even more sharply next year.

Local sales tax and personal property tax revenues, which account for the bulk of county revenues outside real estate assessments, are up slightly but well below their average annual growth.  The 7.5-percent growth in next year's proposed budget is driven mostly by the real estate tax since all other county revenue sources grew by a combined 1.5 percent.  The latest real estate assessments, which account for just over half of all county profits, are up an average of 11 percent countywide.

Supervisor Gerry Connolly (D-Providence) warned that assessments often lag about a year behind current economic conditions. The last time the county saw double-digit assessments, just before the early 1990s' recession, they were followed by negative assessments.  "But let's keep this in perspective," said Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville). "These are not real cuts. They're cuts from what we were expecting ... we're still going to spend about 8 percent more than we did last year."

Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully), who said supervisors are squandering millions on tax exemptions and frivolous programs, said he still intends to ask for a 1- to 2-cent reduction in the real estate tax rate despite the likelihood of being rebuffed by the board's Democratic majority.  Each penny on the real estate tax--which is now $1.23 per $100 of assessed value--is worth about $10 million.

 

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(10/2/2000)  Silverbrook Elementary School in Fairfax Station will hold a seminar for parents titled "If Not ADHD, What Then?"

The seminar, set for Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., will be led by teachers Peggy Cantey and Carol Froehlich, who specialize in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder diagnosis and treatment.

Cantey and Froehlich will provide an overview of differential diagnosis, its relationship to ADHD, and the procedures a parent may follow to identify a child's stumbling blocks to success in school.

The seminar is for parents of children who have the characteristics of ADHD but haven't been diagnosed. Parents interested in attending should call the school and reserve a space to participate in this interactive seminar.

In addition, Froehlich and Cantey will hold a workshop called "Best Practices for Managing the AD, HD Student," on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. This workshop is designed for parents of children already diagnosed with the disorder. They will address the complexity of needs of the ADHD student, including social, academic and medical assistance. Call Principal Robert Holderaum or Peggy Cantey at 703-690-5100.

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(5/12/2000) The Fairfax County Public Schools Education Foundation has awarded an $86,000 grant to the school system's Quest program, which prepares highly motivated minority students for opportunities in mathematics, science and technology.  Through the Quest program, about 180 students participate in two Saturday sessions each month during the school year and in four
weeks of weekday sessions in the summer at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The Quest students take challenging courses in science, mathematics and engineering; interact with minority professionals one-on-one; participate in enrichment experiences and perform science experiments in the school's laboratories.  The nonprofit foundation, active since 1984, is the single largest source of private funding for the school system.  

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(2/5/99) The Fairfax County School Board voted last week to put a proposal for a $45,000,000 secondary school in the South county area on the list of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). This is intended to relieve overcrowding at Hayfield Secondary School due to the rapid population growth in the area. Currently, there is an available site at the corner of Huntsman BLVD and the Fairfax County Parkway, known as the "Pohick Site." In addition, the School Board added $400,000 to the CIP budget to study building a new middle or secondary school in the area. The next required step towards getting the school built is to obtain funding in the form of a bond resolution. A bond recommendation will be presented to the School Board on 25 MAR 99, followed by a working
session on 26 APR 99. There will be a combined meeting and vote on 29 APR 99. After that point, the bond proposal will go to the Board of Supervisors, which has the power to sell bonds.
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School Superintendent Daniel Domenech and the School Board are hoping to obtain $30,000,000 in state funds over the next two years as a result of GOV Gilmore's proposal to channel state lottery funds into Virginia's public schools.  More word on this development will be coming in March.

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Interesting facts: According to the Springfield Connection, Fairfax County has only been receiving 4% of state education funds while the county has 14% of the state's student population.  Fairfax County has the same number of students being educated in 550 trailers as Roanoke's County entire school poluation!

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To visit Silverbrook Elementary School's web site, click on:  http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/SilverbrookES/

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To learn more about local schools in general, click on: http://www.fcps.k12.va.us.

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