School Board snapshot

With Superintendent Morton Sherman’s presentation of the proposed Alexandria City Public Schools 2011 budget looming a week away, the School Board meets this Thursday with not as much on its plate as in weeks past, but with no dearth of items in need of reflection.

According to the meeting agenda, the Board will honor new National Board-certified teachers and ACPS school nurses will hear reports from its various committees. 

A work session on the current 2010-2011 division and Board goals, postponed from last week, will follow.

PTA ramps up to turn another page 

Building on the success of its first Turn the Page event a year ago, the Alexandria PTA Council has picked NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children as the book for this year’s program. The community reading program encourages parents, teachers and other Alexandrians to discuss books related to the future of education.

Participants will meet to discuss the book informally in small groups and NurtureShock co-author Ashley Merryman will make a presentation about the book during a special event on March 8 at T.C. Williams High School. In addition to her speaking engagement in Alexandria, Merriman has agreed to participate in one or more teleconference book discussions, which were popular last year.

An estimated 500 people parents, teachers, school administrators, city council members, business owners, and retirees read last year’s book, A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, according to the PTA.

Youth concerts on the horizon

The Cora Kelly Band and Orchestra concert originally scheduled for last Tuesday has been pushed back one week to this Tuesday, January 19, with performances scheduled for 1 and 6:30 p.m. at the elementary school. Also creeping closer is George Mason Elementary School’s Winter Concert a week after Cora Kelly’s on January 26. The school’s beginning and advanced band and orchestras as well as the newly developed choir program perform at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium.

Newcomers invited to Minnie Howard orientation

All ACPS students preparing to enter ninth grade this fall are invited to attend the annual orientation program for eight-graders at the Minnie Howard Campus of T.C. Williams at 7 p.m. on January. 25. Students will learn information about course selection and school technology and also get the chance to meet guidance counselors, administrators, teachers and staff, an ACPS spokesperson said.

Judges needed for T.C. science fair

For those out there with a burning interest in science or a passion to pitch in, ACPS is on the prowl for volunteer judges for the 2009-2010 Secondary Science Fair at T.C. Williams High School slated for January 27 at 5:45 p.m. with a snow date of February 3. Volunteer judges evaluate how experienced student scientists and first-time entrants utilized scientific methodology and analysis to tackle challenging questions about the natural world.

Interested volunteers can contact Melissa Hamilton by January 22 at 703-824-6680 or by email at