Tysons, VA

A Thoreau Middle School teacher, who allegedly sexually abused a student, is facing another felony charge after a second teen victim was identified, according to Fairfax County police.

Back in October, police arrested 31-year-old Maryland resident Matthew Snell in El Paso, Texas for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a minor. NBC 4 reported that the investigation started after the mother of a Thoreau student “found inappropriate messages from Snell on the student’s phone.”

Earlier this fall, Snell was charged with carnal knowledge of a child and taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship.

Now, he faces an additional felony charge of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship, FCPD announced today.

Snell is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center as the investigation continues, police said.

“Detectives are seeking anyone who has information or may have had inappropriate contact with Snell to call our Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800,” police said.

First image via Google Maps, second image via FCPD

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Fairfax County voters will soon get the chance to decide the fate of a school bond referendum next week.

The general election ballot will ask voters if they want to approve a $360 million bond referendum for Fairfax County Public Schools.

For families in the Tysons area, the bond includes:

  • $19.5 million in construction funds for adding an addition to Madison High School in Vienna
  • $49.6 million in construction funds for renovating Cooper Middle School in McLean
  • $1.7 million in planning funds for renovating Louise Archer Elementary School in Vienna

The bond also includes $2 million in planning funds for a new “Silver Line elementary school.”

Madison High School is one of nearly a dozen high schools in Fairfax that is over 100% capacity, Tysons Reporter previously reported.

Fairfax County uses bonds to pay for renovating and building new schools.

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Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is hiring bus drivers again.

FCPS held two hiring events in July and August to bring onboard new bus drivers. Back in July, FCPS was short-staffed by roughly 100 drivers — primarily in the McLean area, FCPS Director of Transportation Francine Furby said.

Now, FCPS has 80 bus driver openings to fill, according to a press release.

“FCPS is seeking full-time bus drivers to join its force of 1,120 drivers who drive more than 16,000,000 miles each year,” according to FCPS.

The pay is $19.20 per hour and drivers would need to work at least 30 hours per week.

The bus driver fair will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Gerry Hyland Government Center (8350 Richmond Hwy) in Alexandria.

“In order to qualify to work as a bus driver with FCPS, applicants must be at least 21 years old; have a good driving record; pass a physical exam, drug screening, and background check; complete a five-week training program, take the commercial driver’s license road test, and obtain a commercial driver’s license,” according to FCPS.

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Heres What’s Closed Today — Government facilities, transit options and community centers are affected by Columbus Day — also known as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in some areas — today. [Tysons Reporter]

FCPS OKs CBD Oil — “The Fairfax County School Board has approved a policy on the storage, dispensing, and administration of cannabidiol oil and THC-A that aligns with Virginia law that became effective on July 1.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Reston Hospital Center Coming to Tysons — “The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 24 unanimously approved plans by Reston Hospital Center to convert an existing three-story restaurant/bank building at 8240 Leesburg Pike into a freestanding emergency room  that will be associated with Reston Hospital.” [Inside NoVa]

New Owners for Tysons Office Building — “American Real Estate Partners (AREP) has acquired 1660 International Drive, a 212,731-square-foot, Class A office building in McLean, Va., from NewTower Trust Company in a $71 million deal, according to AREP.” [Commercial Observer]

Vanpooling in Tysons — “Tysons is aiming to increase the number of residents to 100,000 and the number of employees to 200,000 by 2050. It also wants to reduce the number of cars on the road… In order to accomplish both of these goals, Tysons has to help people get to work without driving themselves alone.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Voter Registration Deadline on Tuesday — The voter registration deadline is on Tuesday (Oct. 15). [Virginia Department of Elections]

Rabid Raccoon Found in Falls Church — “City of Falls Church Police report the Fairfax County Health Department confirmed Wednesday, Oct. 9, that the animal put down on Oct. 4 was suffering from rabies. Police say no human was exposed to the sick raccoon but warn that residents should be aware of the endemic threat of rabies to the area.” [Falls Church News-Press]

The View Moves Forward — “The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted 10-0 Thursday night to recommend approval of the View at Tysons, setting up a final vote Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Parents and disability rights groups are suing Fairfax County Public Schools for allegedly using seclusion and restraint improperly for students with disabilities, the Washington Post reported last night (Tuesday).

One of the parents suing, Jennifer Tidd, reportedly lives in Reston and her 12-year-old son attended Kilmer Center, a public special education school in the Vienna area that is run by Fairfax County.

“Tidd’s son was secluded on at least 745 occasions and excluded from class several hundred more times over seven years, according to court papers,” the Washington Post reported.

An investigation by WAMU earlier this year discovered hundreds of cases where FCPS students were restrained or put in seclusion multiple times — despite FCPS repeatedly telling the federal government otherwise.

The WAMU investigation highlighted stories from parents who alleged that improper seclusion and restraint happened at Armstrong Elementary in Reston and Eagle View Elementary in Fairfax.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, according to the Washington Post.

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Haycock Elementary School’s new principal has been placed on administrative leave just a month after joining the Falls Church school.

Scott Bloom was placed on leave involving a personnel matter, Lucy Caldwell, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools, told Tysons Reporter.

“Personnel matters are confidential. Employees are on leave for a wide variety of reasons and those reasons vary with each employee. We cannont share personal information due to confidentiality/privacy regulations,” Caldwell said.

It is unknown how long he will be on leave, which started yesterday (Wednesday).

Bloom began his position as the principal at the elementary school (6616 Haycock Road) on Aug. 15 but was originally hired by FCPS in 2012 as the principal for Freedom Hill Elementary School, according to the Falls Church News-Press.

Bloom has over 12 years of experience as an educational administrator, Assistant Superintendent Fabio Zuluaga said in a previous press release.

Caldwell said families and staff received the following email this morning:

Good Morning Haycock Staff:

I am writing to inform you that Principal Scott Bloom is on leave. We are thrilled to announce the return of Mr. Augie Frattali to Haycock, who will now serve as our interim principal.

As many of you may know, Mr. Frattali is a retired principal with over 30 years of service to FCPS. Augie served as principal at Rachel Carson Middle School from 2003-2015. Under his leadership, Haycock was recognized as a School to Watch by the National Forum for Middle School Reform and received the Virginia Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence numerous times.

He has worked as a teacher and administrator both at the elementary and middle school levels. Augie was named FCPS 2010 Principal of the Year and was the recipient of the Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.

We are confident that Augie will help us ensure the highest level of academic excellence for our students and that his presence will continue to support our wonderful learning environment for Haycock students, staff, and community.

Thank you for your continued support of Haycock Elementary School.

Photos via FCPS Region 2/Twitter and FCPS

Catherine Douglas Moran and Ashley Hopko contributed to this report.

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As scrutiny continues of public building and road names tied to the Confederacy, the Fairfax County School Board is looking to revamp its renaming guidelines for schools.

A proposal under consideration by the school board would allow the school board to rename schools to “reflect an inclusive, respectful learning environment as outlined in our adopted One Fairfax Policy.”

Two local elementary schools are named after individuals with Confederate ties — Haycock Elementary School (6616 Haycock Road) in McLean and Shrevewood Elementary School (7525 Shreve Road) in the Falls Church area, according to the school board.

They are apart of six FCPS schools and one facility owned by the City of Fairfax School Board that have names with Confederate ties.

The school board has been discussing the issue over the past year, Reston Now reported, adding that school board members recently said noted that “Confederate values are ones that do not align with our community.”

The school board is scheduled to vote on a proposal this Thursday (Sept. 26).

If the proposal is approved, it is unclear how soon the schools and facility might undergo name changes.

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Local Schools Receive “Common Sense Recognition” — Chesterbrook Elementary School in McLean and Cunningham Park Elementary School in Vienna are two of the 23 Fairfax County Public Schools recognized for their digital citizenship. [FCPS]

Ramen Chain Coming to The Boro — “A Japanese ramen chain that has 61 shops in 10 countries will make its D.C. area debut this fall, when it’s expected to open a branch in Tysons Corner… [Santouka] is expected open inside a modern, brick-lined space in the new Boro mixed-use development (1636 Boro Place, McLean) by early November.” [DC Eater]

Parking May Arrive Along Maple Avenue — “A consulting firm aiming to squeeze some additional parking in Vienna’s commercial core has come up with a unique option: Turn parts of Maple Avenue into parking strips.” [Inside NoVa]

Capital One Hosting Code Fest — “Girls Computing League, a nonprofit working to empower underrepresented groups in technology, will host its first national code fest InnovateGCL later this month. The Sept. 14 event at the new Capital One headquarters in Tysons Corner, Virginia, will have over 150 students showcase and develop new ideas on the topics of artificial intelligence, health, finance, education and many more.” [WashingtonExec]

Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Falls Church Pawn Shops — “An Arlington man previously convicted of a pair of bank robberies in Alexandria is facing more jail time. Budder Khan, now 29, pleaded guilty today to robbing two pawn shops in Falls Church, federal prosecutors announced. [ARLnow]

USAID Deploys Fairfax County Rescue Team to the Bahamas — “Members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team [were] deployed to the Bahamas as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) responding to Hurricane Dorian.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Blue, Yellow Line Metro Stations Reopen — “The six Blue and Yellow line stations south of Reagan National Airpor — Braddock Rd, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield — will reopen as scheduled Monday, September 9, with completely rebuilt platforms and several customer improvements.” [Metro]

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School is back in session, and a local McDonald’s is hosting a fundraiser for public education.

The McDonald’s at 3009 Galls Road is donating 5% of their profits to charity now until Friday (Sept. 13). Each day — with the exception of the weekend and Monday — the proceeds will benefit a different school in the area.

The store will also offer students free ice cream cones from 3-5 p.m.

Community members can come to support specific schools on the days shown below.

  • Wednesday (Sept. 4) — Camelot Elementary School
  • Thursday (Sept. 5) — Stenwood Elementary School
  • Friday (Sept. 6) — Fairhill Elementary School
  • Tuesday (Sept. 10) — Pine Spring Elementary School
  • Wednesday (Sept. 11) — Woodburn Elementary School
  • Thursday (Sept. 12) — Jackson Middle School
  • Friday (Sept. 13) — Falls Church High School

“As owners of the restaurant and members of the community, we wish to honor the schools in our market area to celebrate,” a press release said, adding that the owner wants to use this event as an opportunity to celebrate the location’s recently remodeled building.

Photo via Moving Merrifield Forward

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Dominion Energy Backs Electric School Bus Push — “Dominion Energy announced an initiative to bring electric school buses en masse to school districts around Virginia. The effort comes amid a Fairfax County group’s call for its school district to transition to all electric buses.” [Patch]

McLean Program Encouraging Green Thumbs — “The McLean Trees Foundation’s Neighborhood Tree Program returns for its sixth year… For $50, the foundation will help McLean homeowners select a tree and then deliver it, help to plant it and offer instructions on caring for it.” [Inside NoVa]

Transforming Tysons Into a Walkable City — “According to its comprehensive plan, Tysons is aiming to become ‘a true urban downtown for Fairfax County’ by 2050. But the question on a lot of people’s minds is how they will get there, and how they will get around within the four-square-mile area.” [Greater Greater Washington]

New Track at McLean School — “Fairfax County officials, school staff and students on Aug. 22 dedicated a new track on the grounds of Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean… The soft-surface track is 1,550 feet long, or just more than one-quarter mile, and will be used by Franklin Sherman Elementary students and community members.” [Inside NoVa]

Foust Shares His Favorite Local Spots — Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust shared some of his top picks of things to do and places to go around McLean in a guest article. [Connection Newspapers]

Therapy Dog Comes to Vienna School — “The student services department at Thoreau Middle welcomes therapy dog Jackson Granados as part of their clinical team. Jackson will be at Thoreau part-time with school social worker Joy Granados visiting select classrooms and students and traveling the hallways at arrival and dismissal times.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

New HQ in Tysons Building — “Strategic consulting firm Dean & Company has signed a 36,205-square-foot lease at 1600 Tysons Boulevard, with plans to move its corporate headquarters [there]… The company currently operates out of 8065 Leesburg Pike in Vienna.” [Commercial Observer]

Silver Line Work Affecting Tysons — “Beginning later this month, pedestrians and drivers will encounter daily lane and partial sidewalk closures along eastbound and westbound Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) and northbound and southbound Route 123 (Dolley Madison/Chain Bridge Road), along the Silver Line Phase 1 alignment in the Tysons area.” [Inside NoVa]

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