The week of February 8-12 has been designated as Kindness Week at Cub Run Elementary, with a focus on spreading kindness. Students will create a kindness chain made up of links representing an act of kindness performed by a student. Each day has a special theme and students and staff will dress up according to the theme, including "Don't Shout, Work it Out," "Brighten Someone's Day," "Put Name Calling to Rest," "Be a H.E.R.O.," and "Stand Up to Bullying.” Students are also encouraged to participate in a kindness challenge; each family has been provided with a list of ways in which a person can be kind. Students can check off items as they complete them in order to finish the challenge. The school counselors will focus on kindness during their classroom lessons throughout the month of February. Contact principal Jenni Coakley at 703-633-7500 or email@example.com or news liaison Laura Tapper at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Deer Park Elementary students will refresh their schoolwide anti-bullying efforts during Bucket Filling Week, February 8-12, with spirit days and messages to go along with each one. The counselors at Deer Park adopted the Bucket Filling program several years ago based on the award-winning book, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud. This book encourages positive behavior through expressions of kindness. Deer Park Bucket Filling spirit days include “Don’t Shout, Work It Out” where students can wear athletic or workout clothes; “Brighten Someone’s Day,” with each grade level wearing a different color, “Put Name Calling to Rest,” by wearing school-appropriate pajamas; “Be a H.E.R.O.–Help Encourage and Respect Others,” when students can wear superhero clothing or colors; and “Stand Up 2 Bullying,” where students can wear their Westfield Pyramid Stand Up 2 Bullying T-shirt or anything pink. In addition to the spirit days, the counselors have in-class lessons planned and will share them on the Deer Park morning news. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or email@example.com or event liaison Donna Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career Connections week at Fairfax Academy will feature discussions and demonstrations from professionals combined with hands-on experiences for students throughout the week of February 8-12. Career Connections was designed to enrich students’ study of communications and the arts in preparation for post-secondary education and careers, and enhance their college and career readiness skills. In the past, the academy has welcomed professional photographers, actors, dancers, videographers, musicians, and fashion designers into classrooms with the opportunity for discussions and collaborative projects correlated to the guests and alumni that visited. This year’s Career Connections week will include representatives from George Mason University’s Confucius Institute visiting the Chinese language class for interactive Chinese calligraphy activities and career discussions; a representative from Digital Media Positioning who will speak about careers, skills, and traits necessary to work in social media marketing; and Dance students participating in workshops taught by industry professionals that center around classical and modern dance. In addition, Music Computer Technology students will spend the day with musicians who work directly with the Discovery Channel, Song Writers Association of Washington, and the founder of FCPS guitar programs. Each class selects and welcomes Academy alumni and industry professionals from their specific field to further enrich the learning process. Contact academy administrator Diego Wilson at 703-219-2226 or email@example.com or news liaison Erin Bloom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Year Showcase, planned for Wednesday, February 10, at 7 p.m., is an opportunity for parents to get a sneak peek into the classroom at West Springfield Elementary to see what students are working on. First year band and strings students will perform their first instrumental music concert, using a concert format without the formality and pressure of a formal concert. Musical selections will include "Shark Attack," "Jingle Bells," and "Rolling Along." Contact principal Kelly Sheers at 703-912-4400 or email@example.com or event liaison Ahnika Emery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robinson Secondary presents a production of Disney's The Lion King based on the Broadway production February 10, 12, 13, and 14. The African savannah comes to life on stage with Simba, Rafiki, and a cast of characters who journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again in this coming-of-age tale. A Bulgarian puppetry artist lends her talents to this show, which is professionally choreographed and directed. Shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. on February 12 and 13 and 2 p.m. on February 13 and 14. The February 10 show at 7 p.m. is an autism-friendly, sensory-sensitive family production, geared toward audiences with special needs and produced with awareness of social engagement and environmental factors affecting people on the autism spectrum. Modifications to technical aspects (house lights will remain on, sound intensity will be lessened) and physical space (audience members can feel free to move about as needed) have been made to better suit the audience’s needs. Tickets can be purchased online. Contact event liaison Amy Hard at email@example.com or Quinn Moore at Quinnmooreva@gmail.com.
A martial arts presentation and dragon parade will be featured at the annual Cherry Run Elementary third grade Chinese New Year Celebration on Friday, February 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The day will feature Chinese crafts, food, and entertainment. Students will rotate through classrooms to participate in various learning activities. The dragon parade will feature dragons the students created as a learning project. Contact principal Mark Bibbee at 703-923-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org or event liaison Terry Tuthill at email@example.com.
Lake Braddock Secondary’s Minority Parents for Excellence in Education (MPEE) will host a Celebration of Jazz on Friday, February 12, at 7 p.m. This event is a fundraiser for scholarships sponsored by the organization as well as an opportunity for the community to celebrate 30 years of promoting excellence and the positive achievement of minority students. The highlight of the evening will be performances by the Lake Braddock Secondary Jazz Ensemble, as well as a guest performance by acclaimed jazz musician, Aaron Myers. Myers received critical acclaim for the release of his Jazz-Neo Soul album, “Leo Rising” in 2013 and was voted best singer in the 2015 Washington City Paper readers’ poll. The evening will also include a silent auction, raffle, door prizes, and CD sales. Tickets are $10, $5 for students. Contact principal Dave Thomas at 703-426-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or event liaison Teri Hampton at email@example.com.
Deer Park Elementary students will be jumping rope for health and supporting the American Heart Association as they participate in this year’s Jump Rope for Heart February 16-19. The program, conducted through physical education classes, increases awareness about heart health and raises money for cardiovascular research as part of National Heart Health Awareness Month. In class, students will be participating in jump rope stations, fitness stations, and nutrition stations. Leading up to the event, they will learn information about how to reduce their risk of heart disease in an effort to help them live healthier lives. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or event liaison Megan Jeter at email@example.com.
Key Middle students will present Edith in Wonderland, a spinoff of the classic Alice in Wonderland, February 18-20. Written by Key Middle drama teacher Scott Zeigler, the story is told from the perspective of Edith (Alice’s sister). After getting into an argument with Edith, Alice runs into the woods and falls down the rabbit hole. Edith feels bad that she has scared off her sister and goes to search for her. Performances are at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, and at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 19, and Saturday, February 20. Contact principal Christopher Larrick at 703-313-3900 or event liaison Scott Zeigler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westgate Elementary will celebrate the unique backgrounds of its families on Heritage Night, Thursday, February 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event includes student performances and artwork, plus the opportunity for participants to visit and learn about the many countries represented by Westgate families. Families will provide meals that represent their heritage. Contact interim principal Tim Stanley at 703-610-5700 or tastanley or event liaison Kathy Timmons at email@example.com.
Deer Park Elementary Bingo Night and Chili Cook-off will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 19. This fun event is held annually in an effort to foster relationships within the school and with the local community. The school’s Parent-Teacher Association organizes the event and staff members are on hand to call out bingo numbers and judge chili recipes. Contact principal Carol Larsen at 703-802-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org or news liaison Becky Hawryluk at email@example.com.
The trials and tribulations of 1930s Alabama come to life in Westfield High’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird February 19-21. To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of Scout and Jem Finch and their journey to figure out who people really are. When their father, Atticus, takes on a case to defend a black man accused of raping a white girl, Scout and Jem are faced with the challenge of trying to see the best in other people. In addition to their troubles in the courtroom, Scout and Jem are working on a case of their own: trying to get the mysterious Boo Radley to come out of his house. Susan McCormack-Pike directs the production. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. on February 19 and 20, and 2 p.m. on February 21. Seating is reserved and tickets are available in advance for $10 online at www.westfieldtheatreboosters.com. Contact principal Tony Copeland at 703-488-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org or event liaison Susie Pike at email@example.com.
Columbia Elementary will receive a $5,000 donation from the Falls Church Harris Teeter store in Barcroft Plaza on Tuesday, February 23. For the past few years, Harris Teeter has participated in the Virginia Lottery by selling tickets in its stores, and the company receives an incentive bonus when it sells a winning ticket. Harris Teeter donates these incentive bonuses back to schools enrolled in its Together in Education program when the bonus is over $1,000. Since that store sold a winning ticket in January, it received an incentive bonus and selected Columbia Elementary as one of ten beneficiaries to receive a $5,000 donation. Contact principal Michael Cunningham at 703-916-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org or news liaison Rekha Patel at email@example.com.
Mason Crest Elementary is the 2015 recipient of the DuFour Award for the outstanding professional learning community (PLC) demonstrating exceptional levels of student achievement. The award, presented by Solution Tree, recognizes PLCs that advance instructional best practices while improving student learning, and comes with a $25,000 prize. Teachers work together on collaborative teams to consider the needs of all students, who receive the support and resources they need to succeed from a variety of teachers. One parent says his children are challenged every day and learning at a rapid rate. A teacher adds that her classroom is “no longer about me; it’s about my students.” Contact principal Brian Butler at 571-226-2600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glasgow Middle has introduced a new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) opportunity for students. During activity time, teacher Anntoinette Lee works with students to develop a STEM project to support the Glasgow X-Men of STEM team. Club members serve as ambassadors to the USA Science and Engineering Festival and promote STEM at their school. They will participate in a STEM symposium where professionals in science and engineering speak to students in middle and high school in a TED-style format. Contact principal Shawn DeRose at 703-813-8700 or email@example.com or event liaison Anntoinette Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 10, 2016