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Archive for May, 2013

Providence Elementary School Honored by FCPS with Blue Ribbon Mentoring Program Award

PES Mentoring Program Matched Over 40 Students with Trained Mentors

Providence Elementary School (PES) was honored this week by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for its mentoring program with the Blue Ribbon Mentoring Program Award at the Celebrate Partnerships award ceremony at the Mason Inn at George Mason University. The award was presented to PES principal Jesse Kraft, Sarah Rupp, PES school counselor and mentor program coordinator, and Bissan Alnaji, guidance counselor.

Working with employees at companies such as Apple Federal Credit Union and Your Recruiting Company Inc, PES has matched students with trained volunteers since 2005. The mentors commit to one hour per week with each student, assisting with homework or discussing every day challenges students face.

According to Principal Kraft, the mentoring program is working.

“It is more than a feel-good endeavor,” says Kraft. “Students with mentees see improvements on the Citizenship and Study Skills section of their progress reports and we see discipline referrals or behavior issues decrease for these students over the course of the year. It works!”

According to the non-profit research center Child Trends, students participating in mentoring programs had better attendance, a better chance of going on to higher education, better attitudes towards school and reduced negative youth behaviors. *

“Sarah Rupp and Bissan Alnaji coordinate the exemplary mentor program at Providence Elementary School,” said Shelley Prince, FCPS MentorWorks Specialist. “With the support of Principal Kraft, Sarah and Bissan adhere to Best Practices. Their attention to program details combined with the dedication of business, community and school system volunteers results in an extraordinary program that benefits all participants and is model for others.”

* Child Trends Research Brief, Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development

FCPS School Board Adjusts FHS/LMS Boundaries

The Fairfax County Public School Board approved a boundary change for Fairfax High School and Lanier Middle School on May 9, 2013.  The changes will be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year.

FCPS staff proposed three options in March and presented a fourth option as their staff recommendation. For background information, please see the FCPS website.

The board approved this staff recommendation with an added amendment. Highlights of the boundary change include:

  • Rising 11th and 12th graders in 2014-2015 FHS will be ‘grandfathered’ and allowed to graduate from FHS. Rising 8th graders at LMS will also be allowed to stay at Lanier. Rising 7th  and 9th graders in the 2013-2014 school year can attend LMS/FHS or begin at their newly assigned school with transportation provided.
  • The Greenbriar West Elementary School attendance area east of Stringfellow Road will move from Lanier Middle to Rocky Run Middle School and from Fairfax High to Chantilly High School. This eliminates the current split feeder assignment from Greenbriar West Elementary.
  • Fairfax Villa Elementary attendance area will move from LMS/FHS to Frost Middle and Woodson High School.
  • Penderbrook and Fairfax Farms area of the Waples Mill Elementary School will move from Lanier to Franklin in 2013-2014 and from FHS to Oakton starting in 2014-2015.

We at the City of Fairfax Schools would like to thank the FCPS School Board for their work on this issue.

City of Fairfax Schools and Virginia School Board Association Honor Businesses

VSBA Celebrates Business-School Partnerships with First Annual Business Honor Roll

City of Fairfax School Board honored seven Northern Virginia businesses Monday for their induction to the Virginia School Board Association’s first annual Business Honor Roll. The VSBA Business Honor Roll gives school divisions a way to say “thank you” to local businesses and recognize them for their valuable contributions to schools.

Lowe’s of Chantilly, Apple Federal Credit Union, Your Recruiting Company International, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Chick-fil-A of Fairfax, Sweet Frog of Fairfax and ExxonMobil were all nominated by principals at City of Fairfax schools for their support through financial donations or employee mentoring programs.

“Providence has been incredibly fortunate to enjoy the best business partnerships a school could ask for,” said Jesse Kraft, principal of Providence Elementary School. “We have almost 40 individuals who commit an hour a week to meet with mentees. Imagine that level of commitment! It is more than just a feel-good endeavor. Students with mentees see improvements on the Citzenship and Study Skills section of their progress reports and we see discipline referrals or behavior issues decrease for these students over the course of the year.”

Businesses were recognized for a wide range of support, including:

  • Apple Federal Credit Union and Your Recruiting Company International who send employees to mentor students with academic or social needs. Employees commit to one hour a week to meet with the same student and provide support.
  • Lowe’s of Chantilly provided a grant for $5000 to help improve living classrooms through Lowe’s Toolbox for Education.
  • Upon opening in the City of Fairfax, Bob’s Discount Furniture provided Fairfax High School with a check for $1000.
  • At Lanier Middle School, a team of seventh graders and teachers participate in Exxon Mobil’s Expanding Visions program to encourage students to succeed in math, science and technology.
  • Sweet Frog in Fairfax and Chick-fil-A were both recognized for their continuous efforts to support schools with gift cards for fundraisers, school group and community nights where the businesses donate a portion of sales to the schools and donations of food for events.

“It is important for businesses to get involved in education because schools are the pipeline to the future,” said Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent of City of Fairfax Schools. “Our schools are doing our best teaching students 21st century skills, and with strong business partnerships we know our students have a better chance to thrive.”


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