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Annandale Students, Families, and Community:
I hope you had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Break. I took a quick trip to Staten Island for Thanksgiving and returned the following day to coach my daughter’s basketball team. And, of course, Thanksgiving weekend wouldn't be complete without watching The Game (aka Ohio State v. Michigan). Although the outcome was not what I was hoping for, The Game reminds me of what I cherish most about high school sports and activities: the dedication of the players, performers, teachers, and coaches to their teams and their school. I am constantly amazed by the time and effort our students invest in representing Atom Nation on the field, on the stage, and in the classroom, as well as the number of staff and community members who volunteer their time to support our students at games and events.
Over the next three weeks, there are several opportunities for you to see our students represent Atom Nation through performances and athletic events. Orchestra, chorus, and band will each perform this month. Winter sports competitions, including basketball, wrestling, indoor track, gymnastics, and swim & dive, also begin this week. I highly recommend attending one of these events with friends or family. It's inspiring to see how our performing arts department and athletic teams provide students with opportunities to develop and showcase their talents! Visit the Annandale Activities and Athletics website for a complete list of upcoming events.
As a reminder, tomorrow, students will begin their new PRIDE Time assignments. Those who have been identified as needing additional academic support will begin their new PRIDE Time intervention and possibly After School Academic Support (ASAP) assignments. PRIDE Time assignments have been updated in StudentVUE. Please ask your student about how they are using PRIDE Time to work with their teachers or complete work and encourage them to use this time well.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, and Go Atoms!
Shawn DeRose, PrincipalImportant Dates
November 26 - Student & Community Check In Survey Due
November 27 - PRIDE Time 2.0 Begins
November 27 - After School Academic Program (ASAP) Begins
December 1, 5, 7 - Course Selection Presentations
December 4 - Winter Band Concert, 7pm
December 5 - 15 - Second Annual Deck the Doors W4 Contest
December 7 - Orchestra Winter Concert, 7pm
December 7, 12 and 13 - Annandale Choirs in Concert and Community Caroling
December 11 - W4 Activities Day
December 11 - 15 - Holiday Spirit Week
December 18 - 29 - Winter Break
January 1 - New Year’s Day (No School)
January 15 - Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday (No School)
January 17 - Rising 9th Grade Open House, 6pm
January 25 - 2 Hour Early Release (End of the 2nd Quarter)
January 26 - Student Holiday
Today - Student & Community Fall Check In Survey Due: With the school year well underway, we want to hear from our staff, students and families. Specifically, we would like to hear what is going well for you and your student, what is a challenge you would like to work together to problem-solve, who is someone who has helped you, and answer any questions. Check your email for a link to our Fall Check In Survey. We would appreciate your feedback by Sunday, November 26. In the coming weeks, we will share survey trends as well as how we are responding to your feedback. Thank you for providing an important perspective that will help us continue to get better!
November 27 - PRIDE Time 2.0: Students will begin their new PRIDE Time assignments on Monday, November 27. Those who have been identified as needing additional academic support will begin new PRIDE Time intervention and possibly After School Academic Support (ASAP) assignments. PRIDE Time assignments have been updated in StudentVUE.
November 27 - After School Academic Program (ASAP) Begins: Beyond the support we provide during the school day, teachers also stay after school to work with students who need additional help. Our after-school academic support program (ASAP) will begin November 27 and will run three days per week on late-bus days: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Students assigned to ASAP received an email outlining the day, teacher, and location to which they are assigned. Parents have also been notified of these assignments. We ask for your support in ensuring students stay after school on their assigned date.
December 1, 5, & 7 - Course Selection Presentations: Counselors will be presenting the 2024-2025 course selection process to students in W4 Advisory on December 1, 5, & 7. The presentations will cover important information including course options for next school year and the process for how to select their courses. The presentation will be recorded and posted on the Student Services Webpage for students who do not have a W4 class. Students should reach out to their counselor if they have any questions.
December 4 - Winter Band Concert, 7pm: The Annandale High School Bands will present Winter Winds, their annual winter concert on Monday December 4 at 7:00pm in the AHS auditorium. The concert will feature all of the AHS band students in a collaborative presentation of Holiday favorites, including our traditional “Sleigh Ride.” Doors open at 6:45pm; admission is free.
December 5-15 - Annual Deck the Doors W4 Contest: Annandale’s Leadership Class is excited to lead our annual Deck the Doors holiday contest. Each W4 class will decorate their door in the theme of Winter/Holidays. Three classes will be chosen as winners in the categories of Best Overall, Runner-Up, and Most Creative. Prizes will be awarded to the winning W4 classrooms.
December 7 - Orchestra Winter Concert, 7pm: Orchestra will hold their Winter Concert on Thursday, December 7 at 7:00 pm with Crescendo (CAT B) Orchestra’s debut! The challenging program has pushed students to the next level and spotlights sections in several of the ensembles. Support the program by purchasing baked goods (including our famous giant chocolate chip cookies!) after school by the auditorium and by coming to hear the student’s hard work in the evening. We encourage you to come wearing an ugly holiday sweater or festive hat!
December 7, 12 and 13 - Annandale Choirs in Concert and Community Caroling: The choirs at Annandale have been busy preparing for a wonderful season of concerts during the month of December.
December 7, 12pm - Caroling for the Shepherds Center Luncheon: The Annandale Singers and Chamber Ensemble will be providing a program for the Shepherds Center Luncheon in Wright Hall of the Annandale United Methodist Church (6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA) at noon.
December 12, 7pm - Winter Concert: Glow: Our Winter Concert with the Annandale Singers, Atom Chorale, Men's Chorale, and the Chamber Ensemble at 7:00pm in the Auditorium.
December 13, 12pm: Noonday Noël: Annandale Singers and Chamber Ensemble sing for the Noonday Noël at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House at 12:05pm (323 South Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA)
December 11 - W4 Activities Day: On Monday, December 11, we will hold our monthly W4 Activities Day. There will be no PRIDE Time on this day. There will be a short W4 lesson for students. Following the lesson, students will be dismissed to their assigned activity. If you have questions, please reach out to Bryan Harris.
December 11-15 - Holiday Spirit Week: With just a few days left before Winter Break, let’s bring the Holiday spirit early to Annandale.
Monday - Holiday Colors: Dress up in any festive holiday colors. This may be red, green, yellow, light blue, etc.
Tuesday - Flannel/ Plaid: Bring on the winter vibes by dressing up in your favorite flannel/plaid.
Wednesday - Elves vs. Santas: Who will win this little competition, our little elves or Santas? Dress in green or wear an elf hat. Maybe you have elf ears you’d like to show off! Wear them! Not feeling the elf vibes? That’s okay, dress like Santa if you’d like! Don’t have a Santa suit just laying around, that’s okay too! Wear red, white, and/or a Santa hat! This competition is sure to make the North Pole smile.
Thursday - Blizzard Out: Forget doing the snow dance, dress in white and feel the snow! It will be like walking in a Winter Wonderland! Maybe we’ll get lucky this winter and have some big snow storms!
Friday - Ugly Holiday Sweaters: Time to dust off your favorite sweaters of the year. Wear your ugliest, weirdest, not so fashionable Holiday sweaters.
January 17 - Rising 9th Grade Open House, 6pm: On January 17 from 6-8pm Annandale HS will host an Open House for our rising 9th grade students and families to learn more about what high school at Annandale is all about! We will offer short optional sessions on our various programs, and teachers will be in their classrooms throughout the evening to share all about our core and elective courses for 9th graders. The goal is for students and parents to leave this event excited about all the opportunities students will have as an Annandale Atom and prepared to complete the course request form when students meet with their middle school counselors!
Breakout Sessions on the following topics will be offered throughout the evening: Welcome to Annandale, Course Request 101; IB/MYP Program; Activities and Athletics; English for Speakers of Other Languages Program; Special Education Office, and Student Life.Donate Gift Cards for AHS Staff
At events throughout the year, we recognize staff who go above and beyond with gift cards donated by community members at the beginning of the year. It has been a huge hit and I am requesting your help again since we are not permitted to use any kind of FCPS funds, local or otherwise, for this purpose. It is amazing how much a $5 or $10 gift card is appreciated. If you are so inclined, please feel free to drop them off at the main office or place them in the mail. Attention: Jen Buchanan. It can be for any business you want to support, in any amount. Nothing is too small.Awesome Atoms
Annandale Theater Company Puts on Radium Girls: Congratulations to Annandale Theatre Company for their wonderful performance of “Radium Girls." The cast did a great job of bringing life into characters, navigating the historical gravity with emotional nuance. Set design and lighting transport the audience to the 1920s, and costumes evoked the era's essence. Through powerful dialogues, the production entertained and provoked contemplation about societal injustices, showcasing Annandale Theatre Company's commitment to excellence in this poignant tale.
Students in Nursing Academy Supported Vision and Hearing Screening: Students in the Medical Assistant program at Falls Church Academy had an opportunity to put their learning into action for the vision and hearing screening at Annandale High School. In class, students learned the steps to the screening process. Then, guided by our school health aide, they supported vision and hearing screening for all tenth graders at Annandale High School.
Annandale Hosts In Plain Sight: Annandale high school hosted Hidden in Plain Sight - an interactive program for adults to be educated about the signs of risky behavior in teens and young adults. The program, offered through the Fairfax County Police Department, provides parents with an interactive, hands-on, display of items teens are using to hide illegal drug and alcohol use and other risky behavior. The Annandale PTSA will be hosting another session in the evening in January. Stay tuned for more information.
Annandale Hosts Strengthening Family Program For Spanish Speaking Parents: The Strengthening the Family program for youth ages 10-14 (SFP 10-14) was recently held, offered by one of our community partners SCAN, this is a class developed by the University of IOWA as one of the more effective and better studied prevention methods. Although many prevention programs only involve youth, SFP 10-14 focuses on the family, so parents and youth learn together. The objective of the program is to reduce the use of addictive substances and behavioral problems in young people during their adolescence. The program improves parenting skills and develops peer pressure resistance capabilities in youth. In seven two-hour sessions, parents and youth attend separate groups to develop skills during the first hour and spend the second hour together in family activities that allow them to deepen connections within the family.
AHS Celebrates Students of the Month: Congratulations to Zukhruf Ali, Steven Benitez Rios, Ainsley Bolin, Nathalie Jasmine Dela Cruz, Thomas Gamez Fernandez, Meilhi Leon Terceros, Maria Martinez Duarte, Pamela Navarrete Amaya, Jeffrey Pewett, and Saul Zalles Villatoro for being selected as our October Students of the Month. Each month we ask a different department to recognize students who exemplify our Atoms Agreements of Empathy, Determination, and Safety. November was designated for nominees from the Science and department and focused on Safety. Congratulations to all for being selected as our Student of the Month winners!Academic Support
Need Help in Your Class? Stay With Your Teacher After School! Annandale High School offers late bus transportation three (3) days per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. All teachers stay after school at least one day a week to provide academic support for students. Please refer to this list to see which day your student’s teacher is available after school.
Annandale Tutoring Center Open Mondays: Students can now get tutoring from AVID and honor society members, every Monday in Room 287 from 3:00-400pm. Tutors will be available to help in math, science and social studies. Contact Ms. Lukacs with questions.
Sign Up for a Writing Conference with the Atoms Writing Center: The trained peer tutors of the Atoms Writing Center will continue to provide support for students with writing in any class during the 2nd quarter. Use this link to sign up for a writing conference during 3rd quarter. If you haven’t already, you should also join our Schoology group to get important updates and announcements from the AWC all year by going to “Groups” > ”My Groups” > ”Join Group” then putting in this code: 9MSF-KSDM-B7HCP. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AtomsWC. Contact Mrs. Hanson with any questions.Important Information
First Quarter Attendance Report Mailed Home: Annandale recently mailed a 1st Quarter Attendance report with specific attendance data to families for each student, including total number of days and classes they were reported late or having missed completely. In addition, the report provides statistics on the long-term negative impacts of poor attendance, and ways parents can encourage and support student attendance. If you have any questions about your student’s attendance, please call the Annandale Attendance Office at 703-642-4107.
PSAT Scores and National Merit Scholarship Information: Students who participated in the PSAT on Wednesday, October 11, are now able to access scores via the College Board BigFuture School App or their College Board accounts. A video tutorial for accessing and understanding Digital PSAT scores is available on the College Board website. Eleventh grade students who participate in the PSAT may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program and can find additional information on the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website. Families may reach out to Nick Zubieta if they have questions regarding digital PSAT score reporting or the National Merit Scholarship Program.Opportunities
Now through December 7 - Orchestra Merchandise Available:The Orchestra Merchandise store is LIVE and can be found at tinyurl.com/AHSOrchMerch. The store is ongoing, but order by Thursday, December 7 to get items by the holidays!
December 4 - ASVAB Testing, 9am – 12pm: The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test measures a young adult’s strengths and weaknesses and provides feedback on potential for future career success. Students are encouraged to take the test because it is a valuable career assessment tool which can help identify which career is best for each student. Though the test is developed by the Department of Defense, it is not just for those going into the military. It’s a great start to finding the perfect career for students by highlighting those skills which students naturally have. To sign up for the ASVAB test you may email your school counselor or Mr. Yeagley to register.
Winter Olympics Camp for Students Grades 2-8 - December 18-20: Annandale High School will be sponsoring a 3-day Winter Olympics Camp at Poe Middle School for students in 2nd through 8th grade during Winter Break. Camp will be held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8:30am-3:00pm. Cost is $100. Payment will be accepted during drop off on the first day. Register at https://bit.ly/Olympics23Poe.
NOVA Early Online College – Spring 2024 Semester: NOVA Early Online College (EOC) allows current high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take up to 2 tuition free college courses. EOC courses for the Spring semester begin on January 30, 2024, and end on April 22, 2024. The deadline to register is January 8, 2024 at 5pm. Courses are asynchronous, online, and for college credit only. 13 different courses are offered along with courses that fulfill the IT Technical Support Career Studies Certificate. EOC courses are selected because they meet the requirements for most of NOVA’s associate degrees as well as being highly transferable as general education requirements for most colleges and universities.
The A-Blast Subscriptions Available: The A-Blast will publish usually the last week of each month, and you can always pick up a copy in the newsstand in the main lobby or subscribe for home delivery. It’s a great way to keep up with the news of AHS through the perspective of student journalists. The newspaper is published monthly and it is often ranked in the Top 10 of all high school newspapers nationwide. AHS is the only school to have a printing partnership with The Washington Post, which prints the newspaper for free. Donate any amount, and email your home mailing address to Alan Weintraut to subscribe.
No Cost Therapy for High Schoolers: High school students can access virtual mental health services at no cost through an FCPS program with Hazel Health. Hazel Health therapists are licensed and also trained in teen-specific challenges. Students can be referred by a guardian or designated staff member and participate in weekly video therapy sessions. The therapists will work with students until they achieve their therapy goals, or they can help connect the family with long-term mental health services in the community if needed. Learn how to opt your students into this service.News from Student Services
College & Career Planning Google Site: Check out the College & Career Planning Google site, which provides up-to-date information on the college application process; college representative visits; financial aid and FAFSA/VASA workshops; military options; information on apprenticeships; as well as resources for finding a job. The website also provides contact information for our School Counselors, as well as our College and Career Specialist.
Transcript Requests for College Applications & Scholarships: Seniors need to request official high school transcripts one month prior to application deadlines. For example, if a college application is due on December 20, the Transcript Request Form is due on November 20. We will be receiving a very high volume of requests in the coming months, and our Student Services staff needs adequate time to process them. Early Action and Early Decision application deadlines are quickly approaching. For step-by-step instructions and forms for submitting Transcript Requests, go to the College & Career Planning Google site.
Thursday College Application Workshops: Every Thursday from 3:00-4:00pm in Room 90 (near the Cafeteria), Counselors and AVID students will be assisting students with various topics: Making a College List; Transcript Request Form; Common App; Recommendation Requests. Students are welcome to drop in with questions about any aspect of the process.
Register For College Rep Visits: Are you interested in hearing from college admissions representatives from colleges you are interested in applying to? Please follow the directions below to register. (Juniors and Seniors ONLY). Log into Naviance and click "Student Naviance Login." Click on "Colleges" at the top of the page and then click on "college visits." You will then see a list of all the colleges that are visiting, along with the dates and times. Click "register now" for the visits you would like to attend. Students must show the email to their teacher and get permission to attend. Students who are not registered in Naviance for a college visit will be denied entry. Please note that students are limited to registering for up to six college visits!
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Opening in December: The FAFSA is needed to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid. Families of current seniors should be thinking about completing financial aid applications in order for students to be eligible to receive financial help to cover the costs of post-secondary education. With the late opening of the FAFSA, there are some things families can do now (English only). A funding opportunity is available for students who are unable to complete the FAFSA — the Virginia Alternative State Aid (VASA) program. Find out which aid option is right for your family on the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia website.News from the Activities Office
We hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! We kick off the first week of the regular season this week so make sure to get you Atoms Booster passes and check out some exciting action this winter!
Check out the latest information from the Activities Office in their weekly newsletter. In addition, learn more about Annandale High School Athletics and Activities by visiting their website or the AHS Athletics Twitter page. Please email Brandon Sutphin if you have any questions.
Baseball Winter Skills Camp - Sundays in January & February: Annandale Baseball is hosting their Sunday Skills camps starting in January. Each camp will be held in the main and auxiliary gyms at Annandale High School. Information and sign up for the Sunday Baseball Camps here. Cost is $115 for all, or $25 each.
Monday, November 27
Winter Athlete Meeting - 3:00pm
Wednesday, November 29
JV Wrestling Jamboree - 6:00pm (Auxiliary Gym)
Varsity Girls Basketball @ Gar-Field - 7:30pm
Gymnastic @ West Springfield - 5:00pm
Thursday, November 30
Varsity Girls Basketball vs Mountain View @ Gar-Field - 5:30pm
Friday, December 1
Boys Basketball @ Marshall - 8:00pm
Swim/Dive vs Hayfield @ Lee District - 6:00pm
Saturday, December 2
Wrestling Tri-Meet - 10:00am (Auxiliary Gym)
Boys Basketball vs Herndon @ Marshall - 2:30pm