Friday, May 24, 2013
In budget approval, school board members divided on how best to keep teacher pay competitive moving forward.
After months of debate on how to fairly compensate Fairfax teachers and keep pace with salaries in other jurisdictions , the Fairfax County School board voted for a $2.5 billion budget Thursday that will give employees a 2 percent mid-year market-scale adjustment — making good on a commitment from school board members to provide some sort of compensation relief during this fiscal year. Much of the Fiscal Year 2014 spending plan, which passed on an 8-4 vote, is dedicated to changing demographics and unprecedented student growth — 3,089 students are expected to join the system next year, pushing total enrollment to 184,625. To view the full budget, click here. The pay raise was the biggest hurdle in this year's budget, school board …
The students will perform May 30, 31 and June 1.
The West Potomac High School chorus will have its 2013 Spring Show at the end of May. Advanced tickets for the three-night performance are on sale now. The group will perform at 7 p.m. May 30, 31 and June 1. Advanced tickets are on sale online for $10. On the day of the performances, tickets will be on sale for $12 at the door. For the May 30 show only, FCPS students may purchase ticket for $5. West Potomac recently hosted the concert for Women's Choir from the University of Economics, of Yekaterinburg, Russia. The choir, Vito in Canto, performed a free concert April 9 in West Potomac's Springbank Auditorium. The school's chorus is led by Choral Director Ernest Johnson. Keep up with Greater Alexandria news and events by signing up for our …
Saturday, May 18, 2013
The theater department put on the performance earlier this spring.
The West Potomac High School production of "Young Frankenstein: The Musical" has received seven Cappies nominations, including Best Musical. The theatre department put on the performance earlier in the spring at the high school. Other nominations include: Click here to read the Cappies review of the school's performance of "Young Frankenstein: The Musical."
Friday, May 17, 2013
The athletes prepare to graduate at the end of the school term.
West Potomac High School varsity baseball will say farewell to some of its players as they prepare to graduate. This year, the varsity team has an overall record of 12-8. The team is currently playing in the Patriot District Tournament. Congratulations to PJ Braun, Michael Berrigan, Garrick Willis, Alex Hauser, Paul McClure, Patrick Benson and Jayme Murray on a strong high school athletic career and graduating this year. For more information on West Potomac sports, click here. Keep up with Greater Alexandria news and events by signing up for our newsletter. Learn more here!
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
The students took home three first place trophies in early May.
The Technology Student Association at West Potomac High School recently received major recognition at the Virginia State Competition in Richmond. The group took home three first place trophies and one second place trophy at the competition on May 3-5. Congratulations to the following students: The students also participated in other categories in the competition including, Engineering Design, Biotechnology Design, Geospatial Technology, Technology Bowl, On-Demand Video and Structural Engineering. Keep up with Greater Alexandria news and events by signing up for daily newsletter. Learn more here!
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
Officials say no funding for consultant as school board members say there is a "facilities crisis and a capacity crisis."
The Fairfax County School Board decided Monday to postpone re-evaluating how to determine the order in which county schools are renovated. Heeding the recommendation of the county’s Facilities Planning Advisory Council, Board members agreed they need more time to discuss the matter to implement any real changes. The board develops its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) every five years, which includes new schools, renovations, capacity enhancements, additions and infrastructure management. Schools currently receive improvements in the order in which they're ranked on the system's renovation queue, driven by a list of weighted criteria ranging from how the buildings serve "Fundamental Educational Requirements (FER)," to their age and physical …
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Democratic gubernatorial candidate laid out platform at George Mason's Arlington campus.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said Thursday he would push to reform the state's Standards of Learning, or SOL, tests if he is elected in November. "The current, once-a-year, high-stakes, multiple-choice testing isn't working for students, parents or teachers," he told a crowd of more than 300 people at George Mason University's Arlington campus, to rousing applause. Under the current system, a fifth-grade teacher who raises a child from a first-grade reading level to a fourth-grade reading level is considered a failure, he said. Teachers who want to break up the test into smaller portions, or test at different levels based on student achievement should be encouraged, he said. McAuliffe also said he would establish a "…
Friday, May 10, 2013
About 250 students biked to school Friday morning.
Hollin Meadows Elementary School in Mount Vernon District joined schools across the country this week to celebrate in this year's National Bike to School Day . The event was supposed to take place Wednesday, but due to weather conditions, it was postponed until Friday. About 250 students biked or walked to school with the help of parents, teachers and community leaders as chaperones. Del. Scott Surovell was one of the many chaperones leading a ride-in group of students from Sherwood Hall Lane. Walk/Bike to School Day events were established by the National Center for Safe Routes to School to raise awareness of the need for safe routes for bicycling and walking and to emphasize the importance of physical activity, pedestrian safety, …