The City of Fairfax Schools welcome students this summer for fun, learning and preparation for the upcoming school year. With camps and programs designed specifically to help bridge the summer gap, City of Fairfax schools are providing a number of ways for students to continue learning and be prepared in September.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose up to two months of grade-level equivalency in math skills. Johns Hopkins studied Baltimore Public Schools and noted that some students lose more than two months in reading achievement over the summer months.
To combat this loss, city schools worked with Fairfax County Public Schools and the City of Fairfax to create specialized programs to aid a number of students. The goals of the programs are to strengthen basic skills through learning opportunities that challenge students, review content and use critical thinking skills. For example, students entering kindergarten with little or no preschool experience will be able to participate in school routines and social activities at both Daniels Run Elementary School and Providence Elementary School.
For older students, subject-specific classes such as Algebra will be available to provide additional time and support. In addition, selected rising 7th and 9th graders will be given opportunities to ease the transition from one school to the new school. There will also be advanced academic boot camps to help prepare students to the rigors of AP/Honors classes at Fairfax High School.
In all schools, there will be a strong literacy and math focus. Project LIFT is a research-based summer reading program for 4th and 7th grade students. At the end of the school year, school librarians assisted students to choose high interest, appropriate reading level books to increase retention. Both elementary schools will be holding “reading parties” in their school libraries complete with pizza and stories for students to enjoy.
Fairfax High School is working to promote literacy with a community-wide book recommendation – Peak by Roland Smith. Students, staff and family members are encouraged to read about a teenager sent to Thailand to live with his estranged father. The father and son climb Mount Everest and learn to set goals, “climb high, sleep low”, collaborate and use critical thinking to stay alive in the harsh environment. In keeping spirit with the goal, City of Fairfax School Board Members and staff all purchased the book to read this summer and plan to discuss in the fall with FHS students and staff.
“Study after study show teachers need to ‘reteach’ information from the previous school year because of the amount of academic loss over the summer,” said Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent of City of Fairfax Schools. “Working with parents, we as a community – through the schools, public library and free City of Fairfax cultural programs – can provide a number of opportunities for students to learn and engage.”
For more information on summer programs, please contact the schools directly. School contact information can be found on our website www.cityoffairfaxschools.org.
City of Fairfax Schools were honored at the NoVa Outside School Environmental Action Showcase (SEAS) on Wednesday, April 24th. The showcase, held at George Mason University in partnership with Agrium’s Caring for the Watershed, celebrated students, teachers, schools and non-profits in their environmental stewardship and efforts. Attended by over 350 elementary, middle and high school students from over 40 schools, the day long event showcased student work and projects in a variety of environmental areas. Groups presented projects and participated in activities such as robotics, renewable energy techniques and learned about oil spill clean up.
Lanier Middle School (LMS) Eco-Team won first place in the Agrium’s Caring for the Watershed contest. Ten finalists presented proposals for watershed related projects based at their school. Students were judged on background knowledge, feasibility and creativity of the project.
“Students participated in this contest with great enthusiasm and passion,” said Faiza Alam, Special Education Science Teacher at Lanier Middle School.”They stayed after school for many days researching and preparing. The students identified the problem, collected and analyzed data and proposed a plan to fix the issue. It was a great experience to see students connect to their learning to real life issues and be such great environmental stewards.”
“Winning first place in the Agrium’s Caring for our Watersheds Contest is a major achievement for Lanier’s Eco-team,” said Dr. Scott Poole, principal at LMS. “Student teams from across Northern Virginia submitted proposals, and Lanier’s idea was chosen as best by distinguished panel of knowledgeable judges. I am proud that our students are doing so much to help our environment and school while learning a great deal at the same time.”
Daniels Run Elementary School’s Eco-Action Team was one of six schools to earn the NoVa Outside Green School Award for their presentation of ongoing work. Students dressed as recycling bins to highlight their waste reduction efforts, one of the initiatives they introduced at DRES. Other projects by DRES students include a vernal pool, composting, donations of food to a local food bank, submerged aquatic vegetation and creating a series of Earth Day videos with ‘green tips’ for the students and their families. All students in all grade levels at DRES participate in at least one environmental project each school year in addition to whole-school activities such as recycling and lessons in the vegetable garden.
“I am really proud of how well our students represented Daniels Run Elementary School,” said Lori Huberman-Hayes, Science Technology Resource Teacher and Eco-Action Team leader. “They were able to give so many details about all of our projects and they spoke with such pride of our school. The students really care about our environment and want it to be healthy place for plants, animals and people.”
“We are so proud off all the students that came to the Showcase at George Mason University,” said Elaine Tholen, NoVa OUtside Co-Founder. “Student ‘Green Teams’ from across the region had the opportunity to showcase projects they’ve been working on to reduce energy use, to increase plant and animal biodiversity on the school grounds and to decrease the amount of waste their school generates – just to name a few.”
The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) has released its 17th annual VSBA Showcases for Success directory, highlighting successful K-12 programs in Virginia’s public schools. City of Fairfax Schools is one of 52 school divisions from across the Commonwealth that has programs featured in the directory.
Programs highlighted for the City of Fairfax schools include the STEM Lab at Providence Elementary School, the staff mentoring program at Fairfax High School and Lanier Middle School and the environmental programs at all four schools including Daniels Run Elementary School.
The full VSBA Showcases for Success directory is available at www.vsba.org/showcases. It includes division-wide programs, as well as those at elementary, middle, and high school levels. This year’s theme was the VSBA’s new tagline, “Leadership – Advocacy – Support”. As shown in the directory, the emphasis on leadership, advocacy, and support is found at every level of the educational process.
For more information about the VSBA Showcases for Success, contact Gina Patterson, VSBA deputy executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-295-8722.
Virginia School Boards Association, a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of Virginia school boards, promotes excellence in public education through advocacy, training and services. The Association offers conferences, information, training, and counseling designed to meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s educational leaders.
Daniels Run Elementary School and Providence Elementary School are now accepting registration packets for next year’s kindergarten class. If you have a child who will turn five years of age by September 30, 2013, please call the school offices as soon as possible. Kindergarten orientations will be held in April.
Daniels Run Elementary School (main office 703-279-8400)
Orientation date: Monday, April 22, 2013
2:00 – 3:00
Providence Elementary School (main office 703-460-4400)
Orientation date: Monday, April 29, 2013
1:15 – 3:00
For more information about the registration process go to the FCPS website. If you are not sure where your child will attend, you can go to the FCPS boundary page to find your neighborhood school.