Great Falls Education

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Schools to Expand by $856 Million

Capital Improvement Plan approved, rising enrollment causes concerns about classroom space.

Five more school buildings and renovations for several existing ones may be approved by 2020. The Fairfax County School Board approved the $856 million Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at the Jan. 22 meeting to set priority on the projects the school system wants done in the next five years.

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Demolition at Langley Begins

Three-year renovation project will update local school.

Phase one of Langley High School’s renovation project has begun. The building, built in the 1960s, will receive its first major overhaul in an effort to update the building to create a more effective learning environment for students.

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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova Releases 2015 State of the County Address

Despite a projected shortfall of nearly $100 million facing Fairfax County going into the FY 2016 budget, Board of Supervisors chairman Sharon Bulova remains encouraged by a 2014 that she said was full of accomplishments.

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The $2.4 Billion Question

FCPS Superintendent presents next year’s budget.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza is proposing a $2.4 billion budget for the 2015-16 school year. The proposed Fairfax County Public Schools’ budget includes funds for full-day Mondays, teacher compensation and later high school start times while still finding room for $55.4 million in cuts.

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Langley Principal Leaves for South County

Matthew Ragone created “Saxon Country,” says school family network committee co-chair.

For six years, he was the glue that brought Langley High School (LHS) together. LHS Principal Matthew Ragone has left the school to boost South County High School’s academics as its new principal.

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Irresistible? How Karen Garza Creates Change in Fairfax County Schools

Karen Garza is a good listener. And once she’s listened, she is, admittedly, not very patient. “If there's a real issue, I don't think it has to be debated for 10 or 15 years,” Garza said in an interview. “Either we're going to do something about it or not.”

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FCPS Chief Karen Garza and Her Previous Life in Texas

“When I hired Karen in 2005,” former Superintendent of Houston Independent School District (HISD) Dr. Abelardo Saavedra said, “the position of chief academic officer had been open several months. I went looking for her. I’d never met her but I’d heard about her. There is a big difference between a mid-sized district and a larger one; the dynamics are completely different. I was taking a risk because she came from a mid-sized one of about 40,000 in Corpus Christi, and ours was much bigger. She adjusted very quickly.”

Fairfax County Public Schools Needing Community’s Help

Superintendent Karen Garza begins and ends her Listening Tour meetings with a plea to those in the room — parents, teachers, employees, unions — to help her achieve what needs to be done for their school system. “I am going to need your help,” she says to audiences who voice concerns about class size, resources for special education, and teacher salaries.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza Bio

Current Position: Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent

Timeline of Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza’s career in education.

1986-1991: Elementary School Teacher, Yoakum, Texas (1,539 students, 38% white and 50% Latino and spends about $8,000 per pupil).

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An Essay To Remember

Local educators offer advice on acing independent school admission essays and interviews.

While many are knee-deep in wrapping paper and eggnog, some students are holed up with computer keyboards and books of quotations. In addition to driving to the mall for holiday shopping, some parents are throwing rapid-fire questions at their children to make sure they are fast on their feet.

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Fairfax County Facing More Budget Strain

County Executive and FCPS Superintendent present adverse forecasts.

Days before the traditional loosening of belts for Thanksgiving, Fairfax County officials discussed the need for tightening theirs.

Area Students to be Featured in Sleepless in America

Students from Langley High School and Oakton High School, Superintendent Karen K. Garza, and Fairfax County School Board member Sandy Evans will be featured in Sleepless in America, a television show on sleep deprivation produced by the National Geographic Channel, premiering Sunday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m.

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Uncovering Family History

A note of warm greetings from Mark Turner III.

I would like to thank everyone who attended last Wednesday’s Great Falls Historical Society program. It was great to see new & old faces and be able to share the history of my family who resided at the Turner Farm property on Georgetown Pike and Springvale Road from 1840 until the time the last five acres with the farmhouse was sold to the Fairfax County Park Authority in 2011.

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‘An Evening in Vienna’ at Langley High

The Langley High School Orchestra performed its first concert of the year on Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Langley HS Auditorium.

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