Welcome Back To School: From Tessie Wilson, Braddock School Board Representative

It’s always a scramble for all of our schools to be ready for the first day, but this year it seems we faced some additional challenges. This year we added full day kindergarten to all schools without the program (including Wakefield Forest, Oak View, and Fairview, Canterbury Woods and Ravensworth). We also faced an earthquake and hurricane Irene! I am pleased to report that all schools are ready and our staff is eager to welcome back our returning students as well as new students to the buildings. And please join me in welcoming several new principals to our Braddock District schools: Dotty Lin at Kings Park, Renee Miller at Keene Mill, Nick Rousos at Laurel Ridge, Vince Randazzo at Annandale High School, Gail Kensey at Fairfax Villa, Chad McRae at North Springfield and Twila Mack at Olde Creek.

Great things are happening inside of our classrooms as well. Last year, 92 percent of our students passed the Virginia Standards of Learning tests in Math and 93 percent passed the English language tests. The minority student achievement gap continues to decrease, and more and more students are passing some of the tests at the advanced proficiency level. More information about individual schools test results will be available shortly. Your continued involvement in your child’s education makes these results possible, and I hope you will continue to attend parent-teacher conferences, volunteer at your child’s school, help with homework and reinforce to your children how important education is.

As many of you know, the magisterial boundary lines where redrawn this year as part of the ten year process following the latest census count. I would like to welcome the parents and students of Eagle View Elementary School to Braddock District. And while Annandale High School and Annandale Terrace Elementary School are no longer physically located in Braddock District (they are now part of the Mason District), there are still students who attend those schools and still reside in Braddock District.

And even though the November election is several months away, I would like to alert everyone that there will be a referendum for schools bonds on the ballot. This year, there are several projects which will directly impact Braddock District schools. Renovation money is on the bond for Canterbury Woods and Terra Centra Elementary School. Planning money for renovations at North Springfield and Keene Mill are also on this year’s bond. And additions (paid for with prior bond funding and savings from prior projects) will begin shortly at Kings Park and Fairfax Villa. I would ask that you all vote yes for the referendum so that these projects can move forward.

Schools in Braddock District were (or will be) affected by several boundary changes enacted by the School Board this past year. Fairview, Bonnie Brae, Oak View and Fairfax Villa will all be receiving new students as a result of the Southwest boundary decision. And for the 2012-2013 school year, residents of the Wakefield Forest attendance area will now all attend Frost Middle School and Woodson High School, instead of being a split feeder between Poe/Annandale and Frost/Woodson.
Please let me know if you have questions on any of these issues, or any other issues. I can be reached at Tessie.wilson@fcps.edu or at 571-423-1088. I hope that all students, parents and staff have a wonder school year.

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