Friday, January 25, 2013
Fairfax County School Board votes against expanding at Thoreau, Cooper, Herndon middle schools, asks for broader study of advanced academic program offerings as a whole.
Fairfax County School Board members voted Thursday to expand the system's Advanced Academic Program Centers to three additional elementary schools this fall in an effort to relieve overcrowding at several existing centers. But they stopped short of expanding the program across about a dozen and a half more elementary and middle schools in time for the next school year, as was proposed last fall, pending a broader discussion of what advanced academics truly means in Fairfax County, whether the system is in line with national best practices of gifted and general education and where board members envision the program going in the future. The decision came at the end of a four-hour discussion Thursday that stretched into the wee hours of …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Parent writes Vienna kids should be able to stay in Vienna and still receive Advanced Academic Placement Center services.
Wednesday, January 23
To the Editor: Upon graduating from Louise Archer, sixth graders are split into several different middle schools, to reconvene back to two High Schools: Madison and Marshall (or three if you count TJ) . Kids on the Eastern side of town tend to go to Kilmer Middle School, either for base or Advanced Academic Program Center (AAP) classes. Kids on the Western/Southern side of town have Thoreau as their base middle school, but those in the AAP program are sent out of Vienna into Falls Church (Merrifield) to Luther Jackson Middle School. Since Luther Jackson opened as an AAP center for Louise Archer, more than half of the students have "opted out" of AAP at Luther Jackson and remained at Thoreau, taking an all honors curriculum. The kids who …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Fairfax County school board members will vote on five-year school building, renovation plan later this month.
Parents and students told the Fairfax County School Board on Monday night it worried the 2014-2018 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) wouldn't adequately address overcrowding in all places. Doing small boundary adjustments to overcrowded areas and then readjusting the plan's renovation queue, which calculates the order in which major school repairs will occur, might be a better, more efficient long-term strategy, they said. The five-year CIP budget will total $871.2 million or roughly $174.2 million per year. Funds approved in the 2011 School Bond Referendum and previous referenda will address approximately $190.8 million of the five-year requirement, leaving a balance of $680.3 million unfunded. Officials expect another school bond referendum…
Monday, December 10, 2012
Fairfax County school board members say questions are unanswered, changes need to be part of broader discussion about future.
Fairfax County school board members said Monday they weren't ready to commit to an expansion of the school system's Advanced Academic Program Centers until there was broader discussion about the goals of the plan and whether a restructuring would address them — along with a more comprehensive view of the future of the program and the county’s vision for it. The majority of the board agreed at a work session Monday it would likely need to address the overcrowding at three of the system's elementary school Level IV Centers — Louise Archer, Haycock and Hunters Woods — in time for the 2013 school year. But how the board will proceed from there isn't clear. The recommendation this fall from a task force led by Joyce Van Tassel‐Baska, a national…
Friday, November 30, 2012
In final Fairfax County Public Schools outreach meeting about proposed AAP changes, parents tell officials the process seemed too rushed.
At a meeting Thursday night about a proposed restructuring of Fairfax County Public Schools' Advanced Academic Centers, parents echoed concerns shared by county parents at other input meetings this week: how administrators would ensure the quality of new centers, if the proposal was really a long-term solution for overcrowding and whether schools have enough room to handle an influx of students, among others. But the feeling among parents that the system had already made a decision to restructure the county’s Level IV program in time for the 2013 school year — that they'd been cut out of the process — at times seemed to overwhelm issues within the plan itself. Though school officials reiterated during a brief presentation Thursday night …
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Fairfax County Public School community meetings come after school board members, parents say plan seemed a "done deal."
As Fairfax County Public Schools looks to add more Advanced Academic Program Centers and address overcrowding at some that already exist, it is reaching out to parents and community members impacted by a potential shift — an outreach put in place after parents and some school board members claimed the system was moving forward without a proper engagement process and the restructuring was a "done deal." The primary focus of the meetings — scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday in the Kilmer Middle School cafeteria for children in Clusters 1, 2, and 3 (which includes Vienna, Falls Church, Annandale, Herndon and McLean) — is "a readiness check to see if individual schools and their parents are ready for this change for the coming school year, or …