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for the week of May 13-19, 2010

History Comes Alive at Civil War Day This Saturday

Celebrate Memorial Day in Falls Church City

Step back in time to witness Falls Church during the Civil War. Cherry Hill Park plays host to Civil War Day on Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This free event features reenactments, drilling exercises, live music, and more! This year will also feature soldier and civilian reenactors with a focus on the African American experience during the Civil War, and a special 19th century mourning exhibit by nationally known collector Georgia Meadows. For more information, call 703-248-5171 (TTY 711) or visit The City of Falls Church is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation for any type of disability, call 703-248-5077 (TTY 711).

Planning is underway for the City’s 29th Annual Memorial Day Parade and Festival on Monday, May 31. This free event will be held rain or shine from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Falls Church City Hall grounds, located at 300 Park Ave. Those who have served in the armed forces will be honored at a Veterans Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in front of the Community Center, 223 Little Falls St. The day also features the Don Beyer 3K Fun Run at 9 a.m. The Memorial Day Parade steps off at 2 p.m. under the direction of this year’s Grand Marshal, Edna Frady. Throughout the day, festival-goers of all ages will enjoy amusement rides, pony rides, arts and crafts, food, civic and business booths, public safety tips, stage entertainment, and more. Live musical entertainment will be provided by the Annapolis Bluegrass Coalition, Big Tow, the City of Falls Church Concert Band, and Judo Chop. For more information, visit

Free Leaf Mulch Loading

Wednesday is Waste Day

Saturday, May 22, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Property Yard (217 Gordon Road)

Beginning June 2, Wednesday is Waste Day in the City of Falls Church. For current residential customers, refuse, recycling, yard waste, bundled brush, special collections (by appointment) and seasonal Christmas tree collection will all be collected each Wednesday for the entire City. For more information, visit or call the Solid Waste Hotline at 703-248-5160.

Need leaf mulch? Let us do some of the work for you! Operations Division staff will use heavy equipment to load pickup trucks and open-bed commercial trucks for free at the Property Yard on May 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Staff will only load open-bed vehicles. Be prepared to sign a waiver prior to vehicle loading. You do not need to be a City of Falls Church resident or business to participate. There is no limit to the number of loads available per customer. For more information call 703-248-5176 (TTY 711). Leaf mulch improves the quality and structure of soil and provides nutrients and retains moisture for healthier plants. It is produced by doublegrinding leaves collected from City streets in the fall. Leaf mulch is also available for self-load at the Recycling Center (next to the Property Yard), daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Customers must bring their own tools and containers.

Composting for Beginners


Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. Cherry Hill Park Picnic Shelter (223 Little Falls St.) Learn how to turn leaves and yard trimmings into rich organic compost for your garden at a free presentation. Topics will include handson composting demonstration, making compost tea, proper food waste composting, and vermicomposting (composting with worms). Participants will take home a free portable yard waste compost bin. To reserve your spot, contact Master Gardener Sandy Tarpinian at 703-536-7186 or e-mail

Residents Invited to Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Calming Plan Kickoff The City has contracted KLS Engineering to examine every City street to find deficiencies in pedestrian and bicycle access and to develop a plan for improvement. The City invites residents to provide input on the areas that need improvement and learn more about the project at kickoff meetings on Saturday, May 22. Bring walking shoes or bike to get a first-hand look at what will be studied. The meetings will be at 9 a.m. in the Community Center, 223 Little Falls St., and 11 a.m. at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, 601 South Oak St. Look for more information in next week’s edition of the City Focus. - The official site for City of Falls Church news

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Questions or Comments?

City of Falls Church, Harry E. Wells Building 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046 703-248-5003 (TTY 711) The City of Falls Church is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This document will be made available in alternate format upon request. Call 703-248-5003 (TTY 711).

George Mason High School student, Grace Housman, is the winner of this year’s Ro Pa Sci contest. The 8th grader and a few of her friends were treated to an hour-long ride in a limousine, including a stop at a restaurant, courtesy of Don Beyer Volvo. Teacher Joel Block established the coed Ro Pa Sci fraternity contest to help keep his students engaged on their studies all year long. “My past experience has been that student grades go down in the third quarter,” (l to r) Grace Housman and her friends Ellie Johnson, Brooke Strong, and Reca Sarfat get ready for an afterBlock said. “It is partially because the noon of chauffeured food and fun as part of Grace’s material gets harder as we build on Ro Pa Sci induction. the year’s learning, and it is partially due to the winter blues transitioning into distractions associated with spring fever.” To become a member of Ro Pa Sci, students must complete all of their homework, maintain or improve their grade from grading period to grading period and exhibit good classroom behavior. The students who “get in” earn a certificate of recognition for their hard work and become eligible to compete for the grand prize. The final competition is a big rock, paper, scissors contest, hence the fraternity name, Ro Pa Sci.

FCC-TV Spotlight: Falls Church History Integration Tune in to Falls Church Community Television (FCC-TV) to learn from longtime Falls Church City resident, Jessie Thackrey, as she answers questions from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School students about integration and the Civil Rights Movement. As the mother of five and a former school board member, Thackrey shares her personal insights with fourth-grade students. You can see the presentation on FCC-TV or at at the following times: • Thursday, 5/13 at 7 p.m. • Friday, 5/14 at 12 p.m. • Saturday, 5/15 at 12 p.m. • Sunday, 5/16 at 5 p.m. Times not convenient? Watch the program on your schedule via the video archives at FCC-TV also airs in the greater Falls Church area on Cox Channel 12, Verizon Channel 35 and RCN Channel 2.

GMHS Begins Exam Absence Policy George Mason High School is giving students the option of selecting up to five “rest and study” absences related to AP and IB exams this month. This is the first year this is being allowed at the school. “GMHS is the only high school I’ve worked in that didn’t have an exam absence policy in place,” said IB Coordinator Asheesh Misra. “Last year, I noticed a high level of stress among students as they were required to take very rigorous exams often five days in a row for up to 12 days in the month. To then ask them to go to a normal class and think cognitively is asking a lot.” Students who completed a pre-exam form which was approved by their parent/guardian and teachers are being allowed to arrive late to school on an exam day or dismissed early following an exam. Student taking only a morning exam with no exam the following day are required to remain in school. A maximum of five days can be selected for early release or late arrival. Students are reminded that coursework continues in non-IB/AP classes during May and they will be responsible for making up any missed assignments.

Artists Inspire Preschool Paintings Who knew that preschool children would take to the works of artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollack and Henri Matisse? Preschool teachers at Mount Daniel Elementary School spent the past six weeks introducing the techniques of legendary artists to their young students, and the end result was an impressive show of talent at the first ever Every Picture Tells a Story preschool art show May 4th at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church.

This Sunday!

BIE Partner of the Week Cesar Arias

Don Beyer Volvo School involvement: As the limo driver for Don Beyer Volvo, Cesar awards the prize to the student winner of the Rock Paper Scissors Competition. (RoPaSci) Here’s how it works: In order to combat the third quarter doldrums, teacher Joel Block challenge his students to keep working hard. Students who complete math assignments during the quarter are invited to participate in a Rock Paper Scissors Tournament. The winner gets a ride home in the Don Beyer Volvo limo. Why Cesar is a BIE partner: “Every day I see so many nice people from Falls Church, driving Volvo owners to the metro or to work. My daughter graduated from George Mason in 2002, so I know that it is a wonderful school. I look forward to this trip because the students are so excited to get a ride home from school in a limo.” For more information about sharing your expertise through the BIE Partnership, visit or contact Marybeth Connelly at

Foundation Footnotes FCED launches new Web site Thanks to the hard work of Falls Church Education Foundation Board Member, Peter Behr, FCEF recently launched a new Web site to further promote the efforts to provide additional support to the Falls Church City Public Schools. Information on the site includes a listing of board members, donors, upcoming activities, projects funded by the foundation, scholarship applications, grants and GMHS alumni news. To see the new look, and to find out more about the foundation, visit The Falls Church Education Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. School content published in The Schools Focus is written and edited by the Falls Church City Public Schools. For more information, visit - the official site for Falls Church City Public Schools news.

4-year-old Abel Saberhagen proudly points out his masterpiece at the ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ preschool art show at Creative Cauldron in Falls Church on May 4, 2010.

Falls Church Elementary PTA Home and Garden Tour

Noon to 4:00 p.m.

For ticket information: hgtour

Calendar for May 13-20, 2010 Testing Now - 14 Now – 24 Now – 28 Now – 6/4 5/17 – 6-4 May 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

SOL Term Grads (GM) IB Exams (GM) PALS Post Test (MD/TJ) DRA/QRI Posttest (MD/TJ) SOL (TJ/MEH/GM)

7:00 p.m. Elementary PTA Home & Garden Tour Mtg. (TJ) 5:00 p.m. Rappahannock Co. @ Mason (Baseball/Softball) 6:00 p.m. Rappahannock Co. @ Mason (G Soccer) 7:00 p.m. Mason @ Rappahannock Co. (B Soccer) 10:00 a.m. JV Soccer Car Wash (GM) 9:00 p.m. Junior-Senior Prom 12:00 p.m. Elementary PTA Home & Garden Tour 6:00 p.m. EIP/HEP Tutoring (GM) 5:30 p.m. Agnes Meyer Awards Ceremony (MEH) 6:30 p.m. Art Show & Ice Cream Social (TJ) 7:00 p.m. Manassas Park @ Mason (B Soccer) 7:00 p.m. Mason @ Manassas Park (G Soccer) 7:45 a.m. BIE Partnership Council (TJ) 7:30 p.m. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – (GM)

For more calendar information, visit (MD) Mt. Daniel School (TJ) Thomas Jefferson Elementary (MEH) Mary Ellen Henderson Middle (GM) George Mason High (CO) Central Office


Housman Inducted into Ro Pa Sci

Falls Church City Focus 5-13-2010  

Falls Church City Focus 5-13-2010

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