Lanier Middle School Expands 1:1 Program
October 2, 2017
LMS students receiving laptops for school year.
Over 400 students given laptop for the 2017-2018 school year
Lanier Middle School is accelerating their plans to expand the 1:1 technology program with help from funds from the City of Fairfax. The 7th grade Cavaliers Team and 8th grade Patriots Team are both participating in the LMS 1:1 program, up from one team in the 2016-2017 school year. Each student in the two teams is loaned a laptop to use throughout the school year to use on school projects, research and group assignments.
According to Janel Justice, the 7th grade history and 8th grade civics/economics teacher for the two teams, the 1:1 program “helps cater to the individual needs of the learner.” She credits the program to help with flexible time frames for each student, offering the ability to pace themselves at school and at home. The program also supports the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) Portrait of a Graduate goal to contribute solutions that benefit the broader community.
Other teachers at LMS appreciate the opportunity for students to connect with current events around the world. Students are able to use a variety of tools to read articles or watch videos and are able to make connections which is essential for learning.
Another benefit of all students having access to technology is the ability to seamlessly work on group projects. In Ms. Justice’s class, students used Google Docs ® to collaborate on Westward Migration stories, plays or songs. Peer group-leaders helped assign roles and assured tasks were completed.
City of Fairfax Schools Allocates Over $230,000 in Instructional Grants to City Schools
September 27, 2017
The City of Fairfax School Board has allocated over $230,000 in instructional grant funding to its four city schools. The funds will support Professional Development, Intervention and Academic Support, Supplemental Materials and Innovative Practices.
“In these days of declining financial resources in school district budgets, I’m really pleased that we are able to continue target funds for student and staff learning; we know these funds support our schools’ efforts,” said Dr. Phyllis Pajardo, Superintendent of the City of Fairfax Schools. “We are proud to assist and enhance our schools as they focus on innovation, professional development, and academic support.”
The principals at the four schools work with the City of Fairfax Schools staff from project and material funding. The grants are divided into four main categories:
Professional Development: Many administrators and teachers will tell you one of the most precious resources they have is time. By providing funds to support professional learning, collaboration time and money for substitutes, the City of Fairfax School Board can give them the gift of time. The grants allow staff to plan, meet as grade-level or subject-area teams, attend professional training and take time to create innovative lessons for students.
Intervention and Academic Support: Each year the four schools are able to offer additional summer programming to support transitions to new schools, strengthen academic skills, and close potential academic gaps seen throughout the school year. For more information on the summer programming, see article here.
Supplemental Materials: The City of Fairfax School grants support a variety of curriculum enhancement programs such as environmental education, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics), and high school SAT preparations.
Innovative Practices: – During the June 2016 retreat, School Board members expressed a desire to bolster schools’ abilities to create and incorporate innovative practices. To progress this, innovative practices were added to the areas for which City Schools could request instructional grant funding (See Strategic Plan objective 2 at the bottom of this page). When DRES principal Adam Erbrecht requested $6000 of his school’s grant be designated for innovative practices, he knew just what to do: Ask his staff what they wanted. Erbrecht sent out a “request for proposals” to his staff and received over nine requests totaling $13,100. Instead of giving the green light himself, the principal turned the power back to the staff and had them analyze and review the proposals on what they felt would most positively impact the school. The challenge the staff found was that all the projects were worth funding. By combining the City of Fairfax Innovation Grant and a generous donation by the DRES PTA, all the projects received financial support. For an example of these Innovation Grants, please see article about DRES Counselor Emily Baldwin.
“We are thrilled to reward the innovative thinking of these groups and hope more can come from this in the future,” said Erbrecht. “We greatly appreciate the use of our City Grant Funds to foster these innovations.”
StrategicPlanSY2016-2022FINAL approved 2_17
Lanier Spinners Take 5th Place in National KidWind Competition in New Orleans
June 1, 2016
The Lanier’s SPINNERS team traveled to New Orleans for the National KidWind Competition in May. The students won the ‘Judges Award’ for the best prepared team and placed 5th overall in nation.
The KidWind Competition invites teams from around the country to solve various wind turbine challenges. The SPINNERS won the regional competition at George Mason in April.
Lanier Middle School Teams Earn Two First Place Awards at School Environmental Action Showcase
April 13, 2016
Students from Lanier Middle School won two first place awards at the fifth annual School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) held at George Mason University. Lanier teams took first place in the Caring for Our Watersheds competition with a plan to plant native grasses, and first place in their division of the KidWind Challenge for the most efficient wind turbine design. Lanier Middle School is a Fairfax County public school
LANIER MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS HEAD TO FCCLA STATE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN VIRGINIA BEACH
March 18, 2016
Three Lanier Middle School Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) students and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members hosted the school’s first sock drive for the homeless. The students, Nora Farid, Jules Welch and Sami Saghir collected only socks rather than other clothing items after discovering socks are the least donated clothing item. Upon doing research for their drive, they found the Fairfax-Falls Church region, has the second highest population of homeless in the area. The team found a homeless facility, the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter, located in Fairfax, to accept their donations. The February drive collected 649 pairs of socks.
The drive, known as Toasty Toes, is a community service project for the FCCLA State Leadership Conference to be held in Virginia Beach in April. The team will be competing in the STAR (Students Taking Action for Recognition) event, Chapter Community Service Display in the Junior category. If the group wins at the state level, they will have the opportunity to represent the state of Virginia at the National Leadership Conference held in San Diego this coming July.
“As their adviser, I am very impressed by the imaginative community service project these three students decided to do,” said Susan VonSchaack, Lanier Middle School teacher and FACS and FCCLA adviser. “The research proved that Fairfax County has a high homeless population which I believe gave Sami, Nora, and Jules even more determination in having a successful campaign.”