Tysons Corner, VA

Fairfax County Voters Receive Mass Political Texts — “An unknown number of Northern Virginia residents have received anonymous, unsolicited text messages linking to WAMU’s coverage of an ethics complaint filed against a top candidate for chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors… The texts were not sent by WAMU.” [WAMU]

New Bike Trail Needs a Name — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation wants the public’s help with naming a new bike and pedestrian trail along the I-66 corridor. The online survey is open until June 30. [FCDOT]

Man Struck and Killed on I-495 Near Tysons — “Around 12:33 a.m. [on Saturday, June 8], a sedan traveling north on I-495 near Route 7 in Fairfax County when the car ran off the right side of the interstate and struck a concrete barrier and then the guard rail. The sedan’s driver, an adult male, exited his vehicle and was attempting to cross the northbound lanes of I-495 when he crossed in front of a northbound tractor-trailer.” [Inside NoVa]

Fires Erupted Around Vienna — Firefighters got a two-story house fire in the 9000 block of Edgepark Road under control yesterday (June 9). On Saturday, firefighters extinguished a deck fire in 8500 block of Pepperdine Drive. [Twitter, Twitter]

Local Students Win National Merit Scholarships — Students from James Madison and McLean high schools were among the 26 Fairfax County Public Schools students who won 2019 Merit Scholarship awards by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. [FCPS]

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Candidates’ Cycling Stances — The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling sent questions to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors candidates about where they stand on cycling issues. [FABB]

Stream Restoration Celebration — A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday (June 1) celebrated the completion of the Dead Run Stream Restoration in McLean Central Park, which included work on about 3,200 linear feet of stream.  [Fairfax County]

McLean Start-Up Bought For Millions —  “Just five years after opening up shop, McLean, Va.-based Verodin is giving its early investors a healthy return. California-based cybersecurity software provider FireEye has acquired the cybersecurity startup for $250 million, the companies announced Wednesday.” [American Inno]

Marshall HS Students Designed Violin Bow Prosthetic — “Marshall High’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Design and Technology students designed a violin bow prosthetic for a fourth-grade student at Centre Ridge Elementary… Some parts of the robotic arm were created using a 3D printer. Remarkably, the project team was able to work on the prosthesis virtually and has not met the Centre Ridge student, but hopes to do so soon.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

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Every Fairfax County high school student will soon have a school-issued laptop for the 2019-2020 school year.

The upcoming rollout is part of the plan by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to issue computers to every student by 2023 with an initiative called FCPSOn.

FCPSOn aims to help students access a digital device for learning at school and possibly at home depending on the school and grade level.

“This 1-to-1 computing initiative will better prepare students for college and careers,” according to an FCPS press release, adding that the computers won’t replace teachers.

Last week, the Fairfax County School Board adopted the FCPS FY 2020 Approved Budget, which includes $16.1 million for instructional programs — where the FCPSOn initiative falls under.

The budget includes a little more than $4 million to implement FCPSOn for the high schools and a new technology fee of $50 per high school student per year, FCPS said will cover repairs or replacements for equipment.

FCPSOn started as a pilot program in the Chantilly High School pyramid and eLearning Backpack high schools in the 2016-2017 school year. Phase 1 was funded through a combination of FCPS and the VDOE e-Learning Backpack grant funding.

The remaining timeline — pending approval — is:

  • school year 2020-21: middle schools
  • school year 2021-22 elementary grades 5-6
  • school year 2022-23: elementary grades 3-4

McLean High School is looking for volunteers to help with distribution from August 12-15 from 12-7:30 p.m.

Image via FCPS

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A bond referendum coming up in November could help fund capacity additions for James Madison High School in Vienna.

The Fairfax County School Board approved the request for the Board of Supervisors to put a $360 million bond referendum on the November 2019 ballot. Much of the items in the referendum focus on mitigating chronic capacity problems.

Madison is one of 11 high schools in Fairfax that is over 100 percent capacity.

Two other high schools — Justice and West Potomac — are also set to receive additions through the referendum, while Falls Church High School is scheduled for upcoming renovations.

According to the FY 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Program (CIP):

Capacity enhancement additions are needed at West Potomac High School, Justice High School, and Madison High School to accommodate forecasted capacity needs. The relocation of three modular additions is also proposed to provide additional capacity relief to schools in need.

While the budget does not list specifics on the James Madison High School, the CIP says capacity enhancements could include interior modifications, modular additions and temporary classrooms.

Photo via Google Maps

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (May 14)

  • FCPS Budget Public Hearing5:30-8:30 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Road) — The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers is planning a rally at the budget hearing to demand better pay, staffing, professional development support and more. The organization is asking members of the public to speak up and support local teachers.

Thursday (May 16)

  • DekaLash Grand Opening5-7 p.m. at the Mosaic District (2910 District Avenue) — The eyelash studio opening in the Mosaic District is hosting a grand opening celebration. Door prizes include free lash sets, hand massages, snacks and more.
  • Game of Thrones Trivia Night — 5-7:30 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — In celebration of the upcoming “Game of Thrones” finale, the Tysons Corner Center is hosting a “Game of Thrones” trivia night in BrandBox. The competition will include “Game of Thrones”-themed prizes for the top two teams and light fare with a cash bar available. Teams are limited to up to four people with a $25 entry fee per team. Space is limited to the first 32 people.
  • MPA Spring Benefit6-10 p.m. at The Falls — The McLean Project for the Arts’ fundraiser is being hosted in the most expensive home in D.C., which includes a property designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The event will feature food from Windows Catering Company, live painting and more. A raffle will also be held for two pieces of jewelry priced at $2,200.

Saturday (May 18)

  • 5th Annual Fundraiser for Colour Bar Studio10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Colour Bar Studio (8100 Boone Blvd) — The hair salon Colour Bar Studio is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a fundraiser to combat Lyme disease. The event will include product specials, raffles, special treats and prizes.
  • McLean Day — 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Lewinsville Park (1659 Chain Bridge Road) — The McLean Community Center’s annual McLean Day festival returns with a day of free live entertainment, food trucks, carnival rides and more. The event is set to include laser tag, a rock climbing wall, balloon animals and a free petting zoo. Tickets for carnival rides can be purchased on sight. The event will be held rain or shine.
  • Annual Korean Bell Garden Celebration11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — The free festive celebration, sponsored by the Korean American Cultural Committee, features traditional Korean drum performances, music, TaeKwonDo demonstrations and an array of Korean clothing, games and food. The events culminate with the ringing of the 6,000 pound Korean Bell of Peace and Harmony. Admission to the gardens is also free from 10 a.m.-noon
  • Beats and Brunch12-5 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — The Biergarten is hosting a brunch event with a DJ and specials. Rose and Mimosa specials are planned, along with a la carte food and spiked snow cones.

Photo via Facebook

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(Updated 11:20 p.m.) Tomorrow (Wednesday), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is planning the 8th annual “Bike to School Day” to help foster healthy habits in local students.

The activity is part of a series of events throughout the area focused around promoting bicycling.

Students are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work, with parents encouraged to accompany their children to school and organize bike trains or walking groups.

FCPS also has a list of safe routes to and from each school in the county.

Tysons area schools with Bike to School Day activities include:

  • Churchhill Road Elementary
  • Colvin Run Elementary
  • Cunningham Park Elementary
  • Fairhill Elementary
  • Graham Road Elementary
  • Haycock Elementary
  • Kilmer Middle
  • Lemon Road Elementary
  • Marshall Road Elementary
  • Spring Hill Elementary
  • Timber Lane Elementary
  • Vienna Elementary
  • Westbriar Elementary
  • Wolf Trap Elementary

For those without kids in the schools, Bike to Work Day is May 17. Locals are encouraged to bike to work, even if it’s just for one day, to try out the healthy commute.

Participants in Bike to Work Day can register online to access 115 pit stops throughout the region and link up to commuter convoys.

Photo via Facebook

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Several public high schools in the Tysons-area, including Langley and McLean high schools, made the cut for U.S. News and World Report’s annual roundup of best high schools on the state and national levels.

“Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation and how well they prepare students for college,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

Fairfax County Public Schools dominated U.S. News and World Report’s “Best High Schools in Virginia,” and five out of the eight Fairfax County schools included two in McLean, two in Vienna and one in Falls Church:

  1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology: Alexandria
  2. Langley High School: McLean
  3. McLean High School: McLean
  4. Oakton High School: Vienna
  5. Open High School: Richmond
  6. Marshall High: Falls Church
  7. Madison High: Vienna
  8. West Springfield High School: Springfield
  9. W.T. Woodson High School: Fairfax
  10. Deep Run High School: Glen Allen

The Tysons-area high schools bumped up a few spots for this year’s list. Last year, Langley ranked #3, McLean was #5, Oakton was #6 and Marshall was #8.

Their rankings on the national level hit the top 200 and 300 categories:

  • Langley: #123
  • McLean: #127
  • Oakton: #173
  • Marshall: #251
  • Madison: #261

Image via Google Maps

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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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