Tysons Corner, VA

Fairfax County Police are holding an anti-DUI and alcohol awareness event at Langley High School in McLean today.

The event, which is being held from 9 a.m. to noon, is timed to coincide with some key moments on the school calendar.

More from FCPD:

Prom and graduation season are quickly approaching, and we want to remind teens about the importance of being responsible at celebrations. We are partnering with Fairfax County Public Schools by hosting our Spring Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program.

Juniors and seniors at Langley High School will be given the opportunity to wear physical impairment goggles while being tested on both simple and complex tasks, such as driving a wheelchair through a cone course or going through a mock sobriety check with our officers. Students will also learn about Virginia’s underage drinking laws and the consequences for breaking them, as well as the physical and mental dangers that often come with underage drinking.

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Morning Notes

FCPS Isolation Practices Questioned — “For years, Fairfax County Public Schools reported to the federal government that not a single student was physically restrained or trapped in an isolating space. But documents obtained by WAMU reveal hundreds of cases where children, some as young as 6 years old, were restrained or put in seclusion multiple times. In some cases, a single child was confined to a room almost 100 times in a school year.” [WAMU]

Falls Church Budget Proposal — “Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields proposed a Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) budget of $99.3 million, which provides for a 2.4 percent ($958,408) increase in general government operating expenditures and a 2.5 percent ($1,044,231) increase in local funding for public schools, as requested by the School Board.” [City of Falls Church]

Local Students Emerge As State Chess Champs — “Students from four Fairfax County public schools won team championships in all four K-12 divisions at the Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships held recently in Charlottesville… The K-3 team from Spring Hill Elementary School won the team title in its age group.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

McLean Teacher’s Wedding Gets NYT Write-up — Sara Rhodin, a history teacher at the private, all-girls Madeira School in McLean, had her recent nuptials to former Obama speechwriter Tyler Lechtenberg written up in the New York Times’ wedding section. [New York Times]

Tysons Reporter Event Calendar — Tysons Reporter has launched its Tysons, McLean, Vienna and Falls Church event calendar. The calendar has been pre-populated with events from around the region to start, but expect to see more local events being added every week. You can submit events to the calendar here.

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Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Rd) in McLean wants to host an event to help children understand the daily life experiences students with developmental challenges face, but some adult supervision is needed.

The event is called Walk in My Shoes, part of a program put together by a group in Herndon. According to a post from Chesterbrook Elementary, this is the first year the school is hosting the event.

Adult volunteers are needed to help students through activities that help them understand fine motor skill challenges, dyslexia, ADHD and more.

“Your help is needed in running interactive hands-on activities designed to teach kids about a variety of challenges faced by some of their friends,” the school said in the post. “We welcome anyone who loves working with kids and wants to help make this world a more understanding place for those with learning differences.”

Volunteers from outside of the Chesterbrook community are welcome and recommended to attend a training session on Monday, March 18 from 7-8 p.m.

Photo via Facebook

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At 6 p.m. last night, Fairfax County Public Schools announced that schools would open on a two hour delay today, due to expected snow.

As of this morning, however, roads and sidewalks around the county were mostly wet, with some slick spots, while grassy areas had a coating of snow. Yesterday’s forecasts called for anything from no snow to 2 inches.

Given what was known last night, do you think FCPS made the right call?

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After killing the boundary change proposal to relieve McLean High School, the Fairfax County School Board is currently beginning discussions on a broader redistricting effort. But as it does, it’s having trouble escaping the shadow of McLean’s overcrowding.

“I’ve received a number of letters about the McLean area saying that they had a meeting and that staff members were there and there were decisions made,” Karen Keys-Gamarra, an at-large member of the School Board, said in work session on Monday. “In the letters I’ve received, they are expecting to get this boundary change, it’s just a matter of time, so they want to know why the Board is dragging its feet. I think we need a statement in a more official capacity.”

Overcrowding at McLean High School has been a contentious topic made worse by nearby Langley High School’s under-capacity status following extensive renovations.

Dranesville District Representative Jane Strauss had put forward a plan to shift some students in McLean High School’s feeders — elementary and middle schools whose students are planned to attend McLean High School — to Langley. But the plan faced pushback from other members, who said McLean High School needed to wait for the broader redistricting to take effect.

As the School Board is putting together its priorities, Fairfax County Superintendent Scott Brabrand said he will work on putting together more information for the McLean community.

“My own view is I want to work with the Board and get goals and prioritization clear before making boundary decisions,” said Brabrand. “I get that there’s tension, but I think we need to build this transparency… [this process] is based on prioritized factors or goals. When that’s done, then we can begin going through the boundary decisions to include that pyramid.”

School staff said the ongoing challenge is that any school-level changes that get made to address immediate overcrowding could conflict with the countywide plans being developed. Staff noted that a new modular facility will be installed at McLean High School, but that it will not eliminate overcrowding at the school.

But Brabrand assured McLean parents that the update would likely come within the month.

“In March, we will put together goals and hope to have a framework in place before the school year ends,” said Brabrand. “It could impact the 2021 school year.”

Photo via McLean High School PTSA

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The Fairfax County School Board is looking for a new student voice.

Every year, a high school student is selected to serve as a representative on the School Board.

Applications for the position are currently available online and are due March 18.

“The student representative is not a member of the School Board but serves in a nonvoting, advisory capacity, representing the interests of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS),” according to a post by FCPS.

The student representative will be required to attend meetings and engage in discussions with members of the School Board. According to the school board bylaws, the student representative will receive compensation for their participation in meetings, but not to exceed $50 per day.

Students in grades 9, 10, and 11 are eligible for the position.

Applicants will need to attend the election convention at Edison High School on April 11 and speak in front of the Student Advisory Council’s student delegates. The delegates will then elect a representative to the board.

Photo via FCPS

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Monday Morning Notes

Downed Trees Block Roads — A High Wind Warning is in effect for Fairfax County for most of the day. A number of trees are reported to have fallen in parts of the area, blocking roads, including in McLean on Old Dominion Drive at Franklin Park Road and on Georgetown Pike near the Beltway. [Twitter, Twitter]

Police Department Mourns Fallen K-9 — “Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. announced the unexpected death today, Feb. 22, of K-9 Doby, one of our K-9 officers.” [FCPD]

FCPS Gets More Than Half of Budget — “For the second year in a row, Fairfax County plans to grant all of the transfer funds requested by the county school board… FCPS accounts for 52.9 percent of the county’s general fund budget. Hill’s proposed county transfer to the public school system exceeds the $2.1 billion requested by the school board.” [Fairfax Times]

The Case for Suburb-to-Suburb Transit — “The Purple Line, which is expected to begin service in late 2022, will provide an important suburb-to-suburb link, and local officials should seriously consider constructing extensions to Tysons Corner and Largo.” [Greater Greater Washington]

More Childless Households in Falls Church — “While the 2.4 million population in the Northern Virginia region, overall, is characterized by a continuing growth in numbers of children, and households with children, this is not true for Falls Church… the number of households with children in the City has actually decreased by 5.3 percent in that same period.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Local Doc Goes on Medical Mission Trip — “On Jan. 26, 2019, a team from… Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery of McLean flew from Dulles Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic” on a medical mission trip to treat “both children and adults of Dominican and Haitian background.” [McLean Connection]

New Look for Tysons Reporter — Tysons Reporter is debuting a new, cleaner look for our site today. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Fairfax County Public Schools will open two hours late Thursday, giving road crews and mother nature extra time to clear slippery and slushy roads.

FCPS made the announcement earlier this afternoon.

Today’s earlier snow has given way to sleet and rain, including some freezing rain. Around 4 inches of accumulation were reported in places like Vienna and Falls Church.

The earlier Winter Storm Warning has been cancelled and replaced with a Winter Weather Advisory. From the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EST THIS
EVENING…
…WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED…

* WHAT…MIXED PRECIPITATION. ADDITIONAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN ONE INCH THROUGH MID AFTERNOON, THEN ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH THROUGH 10 PM. ALL FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED TO TRANSITION TO RAIN BY 10 PM.

* WHERE…PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

* WHEN…UNTIL 10 PM EST THIS EVENING.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL IMPACT THE EVENING COMMUTE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY.

Numerous crashes have been reported around Fairfax County today, including crashes involving overturned vehicles. Virginia State Police’s Fairfax Division reported 114 crashes and 111 disabled or stuck vehicles as of 3:45 p.m.

VDOT is still urging residents to stay inside and off the roads if at all possible today.

“Even as conditions improve, drivers are asked to remain cautious this evening as sleet and freezing rain continue through the region,” VDOT said. “Crews continue to plow and treat roads, but with mixed precipitation and temperatures close to freezing, roads may become slick.”

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(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed tomorrow (Wednesday) due to a winter storm that’s just hours away from reaching the area.

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued ahead of the storm, which is expected to drop several inches of snow and some sleet and freezing rain on Fairfax County.

Despite VDOT pretreating local roadways, authorities are urging residents to stay off the roads — if at all possible — after the flakes start flying early Wednesday morning. Delays and cancellations are likely for schools, governments and flights Wednesday.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY… * WHAT…HEAVY MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY. SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING AND MIX WITH AND CHANGE TO SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN DURING THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON HOURS WEDNESDAY. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO PLAIN RAIN WEDNESDAY EVENING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS LIKELY WEDNESDAY MORNING. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW, SLEET AND ICE WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY. &&

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Fairfax County public schools are planning to open on a two hour delay Monday due to possible snow and freezing rain overnight.

A Winter Weather Advisory is now in effect, as forecasters warn of a potentially difficult morning commute.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY… * WHAT…SNOW, SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE INCH AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ALONG WITH PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND, CENTRAL, NORTHERN AND WESTERN VIRGINIA AND EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 10 AM EST MONDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL IMPACT THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW, SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR THE STATE YOU ARE CALLING FROM CAN BE OBTAINED BY CALLING 5 1 1. &&

The Virginia Dept. of Transportation is urging Northern Virginia residents to expect icy conditions and, if possible, to telework Monday morning.

“VDOT asks that drivers be alert to a potential mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain to impact roads,” the transportation department said Sunday afternoon. “Crews have brined roads which will assist at the onset of the storm, but drivers are asked to prepare now for impacts to the morning rush hour.”

“If you must drive” in the morning, VDOT said, “add in extra time to drive slower.”

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