Great Falls Education

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Great Falls Grange Reopens

President of National Grange to speak at Great Falls Historical Society Program on March 11.

In a special program to celebrate the reopening of the Great Falls Grange building and to explore the history of the National Grange movement, Ed Luttrell, the 22nd President (Master) of the National Grange will be the keynote speaker at the March 11 program of the Great Falls Historical Society.

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Stem Night at Great Falls Elementary

Great Falls Elementary students put their science skills, as well as imaginations, into action at the school’s third Annual STEM Night on Feb. 3. The Children’s Science Center brought its Mobile Labs to the school where students and their families got the opportunity to try various hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experiments and activities.

Spelling Bee Champion

Great Falls Elementary fourth through sixth grade students took the stage at the school’s annual Spelling Bee on Feb. 4. After 33 rounds of spelling words ranging from "ignominious" to "quintessential," sixth grade student Ariana Sanjideh became the champion with the word "synthesis."

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Langley High Orchestra to Present Spring Concert

The Langley High School Orchestra presents their "Start Spreading the News" concert on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Due to the undergoing renovations at Langley High School, the concert will be held at the nearby Oakcrest School at 850 Balls Hill Road, McLean.

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Langley High Choirs Complete Fall/Winter Season

The Langley High School Madrigals recently completed a busy fall and winter season with a performance at the Providence Baptist Church Twelfth Night Feast on Jan. 8. The Madrigals, a small vocal ensemble that performs mostly Renaissance music with an emphasis on independent and a cappella singing, also took part recently in a Tallis Scholars Masterclass with Peter Phillips at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.

Week in Great Falls

Langley Pyramid Helps Stop Hunger Now

For the fourth year in a row, Langley pyramid schools are raising money for the Stop Hunger Now. This year the goal is to raise $25,000, which is enough money to purchase 100,000 meals for school age children. To contribute to this fundraising effort, visit Stop Hunger Now at http://events.stophungernow.org/LangleyPyramid2015. Each 25¢ raised = 1 meal.

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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

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