The Chalkboard


Students to honor King with annual poster contest

Alexandria schoolchildren will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. again this year by taking part in the 20th annual citywide poster contest. 

The contest and exhibition are sponsored by the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage and the Alexandria Black History Museum. The posters will represent students interpretation of this years theme, Continuing to Keep the Dream Alive. 

Winners will be announced and will receive their prizes at a January 18 ceremony at City Hall where Councilwoman Alicia Hughes will provide the keynote speech. The artwork of all finalists will be on display in the Vola Lawson Lobby of City Hall through February 28. For more information, visit the Black History Museums website at

T.C. to host annual one-act competition 

T.C. Williams is preparing for its annual Winter One-Act Play Festival Competition to be held this Friday and Saturday in the Blackbox Theatre across from the auditorium. 

Performances are planned for  7 p.m. both nights as well as a 2 p.m. show Satuday afternoon. Saturday evenings shows will be judged.

The plays include Beyond The Door, written by Douglas Farr, student-directed by Maria Simpkins and starring Atiaya Hunt, Kahadeja Taha, Dafna Bliss, Brenda Nascimento and Antonio Sellers; Special Guest, written by Donald Elser, student-directed by Kyle Travers and starring Andrew Flack, Fatima Kazmi, Jessica Muse, China Jones and Zachary Frank; Ladying, written and student-directed by Andrew Flack, student stage managed by Samuel Jones and starring Maria Simpkins, Mary Carlton, Zachary Frank, Dylan Drury and Madeline Bryan; and Darling, written and student-directed by Marie Chapman and starring Joseph Powers, Giuliana Mortimer, Ben Ribler and Lily Carlise-Reske.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students, school employees and senior citizens.

Public schools update emergency plans via grant

Alexandria City Public Schools kicked off a project to update its emergency management plans on Wednesday, an effort made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education worth more than $500,000.

The new ACPS plan, to be developed with the City of Alexandria emergency management team, including the police, fire and health departments and mental health agencies, will be computer-based and site-specific, a school spokesperson said. The new plans should be in effect for the next school year, beginning in September.

ACPS obtained the grant through a competitive application process. ACPS Director of Educational Facilities Mark Krause will serve as project director and will manage the project for ACPS. The project will be implemented over the next 12 to 15 months.

H1N1 follow-up doses rescheduled

Due to snow closures last month, the second doses of the H1N1 vaccine were offered to students under the age of 10 who had already been immunized at James K. Polk and Douglas MacArthur elementary schools last Tuesday. Plans called for the follow-up doses to take place at Mount Vernon Community School on Tuesday after the completion of winter break.

NOVA announces extended winter break hours

Northern Virginia Community College has extended its hours this month to give students more time to complete registration transactions in person. Offices will stay open until 7:30 p.m. through today (Thursday) and from January 11 to 14. In addition, offices will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday. The college follows its normal business hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each of the next two Fridays.