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Annandale Students, Families, and Community:
I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I will be spending my Sunday coaching my son’s 3rd grade basketball team. Our team name is the “tater tots.” Needless to say, we have a lot of fun. Right after that game, I will be heading off to Hayfield to watch my 7th grade daughter’s basketball game. I plan on spending the rest of the evening relaxing and watching football.
This past Thursday, I hosted a virtual Winter Principal Check-In. At the check-in, I shared the ways we are working together through our systems and structures to ensure that our students can achieve their full potential. The work of our teams and our collaboration as a school is a driving force for our improvement. Every member of our staff plays an important role in our students’ success - and we have so much to celebrate.
This week we celebrated our Student of the Month winners at a VIP breakfast for each winner and two of their guests. Check out the photos below.
Our students are also being recognized outside of our school building for their contribution to our community and the Arts. For example, an Annandale student was recently named as a Fairfax County Peace Awards Recipient. Four of our students were selected for All District Band, and five for Regional Orchestra. In addition, two of our Art students were honored at the Regional Scholastic Art Awards.
Students are also being honored for their academic achievements. We recently learned Annandale is one of two high schools in Virginia that boast two Jack Kent Cooke Semi-Finalists and this week, ten Annandale students were selected to advance to the Regional Science Fair. Earlier in the year we celebrated over 80 students who received the MYP certificate, up from just 20 last year. And just this month we celebrated 63 IB Diploma students, which represents the highest participation rate in our diploma program history
Our students carry these experiences and achievements with them beyond high school. In fact, when our IB Diploma Recipients returned for the ceremony, they said over and over again how their experiences here at Annandale prepared them for success after high school. Our students are having more success than ever. As we look toward the second semester, the upcoming testing season, and graduation, I am excited to see the many ways our students will continue to excel both inside and outside the classroom.
Have a great week, Atom Nation. As always, reach out with questions.
Shawn DeRose, PrincipalImportant Dates
Now-February 1 - W4 Check-ins
Now-February 6 - SIS ParentVue & StudentVue Unavailable
January 30 - PRIDE Time 3.0 Begins
February 1 - WiDA Testing Begins
February 6 - After School Academic Program Begins
February 6 - Atoms Athletics Booster Club Meeting, 6pm
February 13 - W4 Activities Day
February 20 - Presidents Day (No School)
February 20 - Spring Sports Begin
February 21 - PTSA Meeting, 7pm
March 2 - 2 Hour Early Release
March 3 - Student Holiday
April 3-7 - Spring Break
April 13 - End of 3rd Quarter
April 13 - 2 Hour Early Release
April 14 - Student Holiday
April 21 - Eid al Fitr (No School)
Now thru February 1 - W4 Check-ins: The social and emotional wellness of our students continue to be a priority at Annandale. Similar to last year, teachers will be conducting one-on-one check-ins with students in their advisory (W4) class now through February 1. These conversations are another opportunity to build a caring and trusting environment for all students, cultivate positive relationships, and identify student needs. The W4 lesson on January 5 asked students to reflect in order to prepare them for their check-in.
Now Thru February 6 - SIS ParentVue & StudentVue Unavailable: FCPS Weekly Progress Reports will not be sent to parents now through Monday, February 6, during second quarter grading and report card generation. Additionally, the GradeBook and Report Card modules in ParentVUE and StudentVUE will be closed now until Monday, February 6, at 6:00am.
January 30 - PRIDE Time 3.0: Our next round of PRIDE Time will begin tomorrow, January 30 and will run until February 28. The focus of PRIDE Time 3.0 is to support students completion of Social Studies PBAs, provide remediation for seniors needing to pass SOLs, and support students in raising their grades. PRIDE Time 3.0 assignments have been updated in SIS.
February 1 - WiDA Testing Begins: WiDA testing will begin on Wednesday, February 1 with more than 645 students at Annandale will be scheduled to complete the four-part WiDA. Federal law requires that all Level 1-5 English Learners (ELs) participate annually in an English language proficiency assessment. WiDA ACCESS for ELs consists of the following parts: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking. Students will take the four parts of WiDA over 3 test sessions. This assessment determines a student’s English language proficiency level, eligibility for ESOL services and testing accommodations. It also provides teachers with information they can use to plan for and support their students’ learning.
February 6 - 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 Monday, February 6 and will run each week on our late-bus days: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Students assigned to ASAP will receive notification of their day, teacher, and location, this week. Parents will also be notified of these assignments. We ask for your support in ensuring students stay after school.Awesome Atoms!
AHS Celebrates Students of the Month: Congratulations to Hector Alvarez, Rahaf Bahr, Abu Bangura, Williams Boateng, Anthony Campos, Hosana Ghirmay, Nooria Luddin, Anthony McCants, Gia Bao Nguyen, Thanh Nguyen, and Lebith Rojas Ruiz for being selected as our November Students of the Month. Further congratulations to Sosan Barakzai, Takoda Calvin, Santiago Carmona Nerio, Michelle Collins Escobar, Theresa Lee, Angel Andre Lopez Polo, Ahsanullah Luddin, Fatmata Musa, Pamela Navarrete Amaya, Maryam Parwana, and Yonatan Umana Bonilla for being selected as our December Students of the Month. Each month, Annandale teachers nominate one student who exemplifies one of our Atoms Agreements of Empathy, Determination, and Safety. In November, our focus was on Safety. In December, our focus was on Empathy. Congratulations to all for being selected as our Student of the Month winners!
Ten Annandale Students Advance to Regional Science Fair: A huge shout-out to all of the teachers who guided students through the science fair project process. Over the last few months our science teams have been working to support students as they prepare their Science Fair Projects. On Monday, January 23, Annandale held our in-school science fair. From there, Annandale will send 10 projects to the Regional Science Fair that will take place the weekend of March 17-19. A big thank you to all of our students and staff members who participated in making this year’s science fair a success!
Annandale Places 2nd in One Act Competition: Annandale Theatre 3 and 4 students took 2nd place at the VHSL One-Act Sectional this past weekend with their play, Burglars, Bunglers & Neighborhood Thieves. They will be advancing to Regionals. Congratulations to Tim Hurd, Casey Visscher, Kaya Thomas, Sammetta Worzie, Hang Minh Nguyen, Sandy Rocha, Mars Crowley, Hárū Hernández and Ms. Brunberg.
Annandale Students Attend Music Leadership Symposium: Orchestra students Asia Pham, Melanie Lam, Hector Alvarez, and Alison Coria-Tarazona attended Scott Lang's Music Leadership Symposium on Thursday at Lake Braddock SS. They had the chance to learn leadership skills that apply both in and outside of the music classroom and hear about why music education is so important. A huge thank you to FCPS and Fairfax Arts Coalition for Education for sponsoring this clinic.
Welcome Todd Diamond, Art Teacher: We are excited to welcome Todd Diamond as our Art Teacher. Todd has spent the last 20 years working in academic support in higher education, simultaneously moonlighting as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. Upon deciding to finally take the plunge and commit himself fully to his passion for art, he first completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing, immediately followed by a Master’s in Art Education, both from George Mason University. Having recently graduated in the Fall of 2022, he is excited to take the first steps in his new career.
Annandale Students Participate in Virginia Governor’s School for Humanities: Congratulations to juniors Christina Abouzeki and Shane Gomez for attending the Virginia Governor’s School for Humanities at Radford University last summer! After applying last winter and making it past the school, county, and state levels, they were two of approximately 150 students throughout the entire state of Virginia selected for the prestigious four-week residential program. The program is described as “extremely competitive, [with] most students selected ranking in the top 10% of their class”. The two took collegiate level classes taught by renowned professors from various educational backgrounds. They had the opportunity to conduct hands-on research on a discipline of their choosing, and for their final “Gov-Stock” project, the two compiled a presentation analyzing statistics on political polarization and self-censorship.
Annandale Hosts Annual Pizza & Pizzicato Event with US Army Band: On Wednesday, Annandale High School welcomed 260 Orchestra and String students from our pyramid to our annual Pizza and Pizzicato event. We were honored to host SGM Woods from The United States Army Band clinic with each school and put on an inspiring performance that was standing room only. A huge thank you to our pyramid teachers and the Annandale Orchestra students who pulled off an amazing event!Important Information
High School Academy Open Houses: FCPS high school academies are now hosting open houses. A high school academy is a center within a high school that offers advanced technical and specialized courses that can prepare students for postsecondary education and/or career fields. Students enrolling in Academy elective courses will be provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of career experiences including shadowing, mentoring, and/or internships with local businesses. Click here to learn more and find the calendar of Academy Open Houses.
Free Live Tutoring Service Available to Annandale Students: Our Atoms Agreement of Determination means that we try, even when it is difficult; do our best; are present and engaged; show up on time; and create goals and strive to achieve them. To support students in demonstrating Determination, a recent W4 lesson shared detailed information about ways students can take control of their own learning, including preparing for retakes and accessing supports such as Tutor.com. We will continue to use W4 lessons to build students skills around self-advocacy and determination. Click here to learn more.Opportunities
Chaperones for Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dance needed! The class of 2023 needs your help! We are in search of volunteers to chaperone the Valentine’s Day Sweethearts Dance on Saturday, February 18 from 8:30pm-11:00pm at Annandale High School. This dance is a fundraiser event to raise money for the prom and our Senior class would greatly appreciate any support from teachers and parents to help out with the event. Even if you are only able to support us for part of the event, please consider helping out for an hour! Here is the link to a form to let us know you are coming!
Sign Up for a Writing Conference with the AWC: The trained peer tutors of the Atoms Writing Center will continue to provide support for students with writing in any class. Use this link to sign up for a writing conference. 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.
SAT & ACT Test Prep Support: Did you know Tutor.com can help with more than just homework? This free, on-demand tutoring service also offers a comprehensive range of resources that include exam prep for AP, SAT, and ACT tests. Students can take practice quizzes at any time, and if they struggle in particular areas, they can immediately connect to a live tutor through voice or chat options for help. Learn more on the FCPS Tutor.com website.
February 1 - 2023 Gap Year Fair for Students and Families: FCPS School Counseling Services and Go Overseas are co-hosting the annual FCPS Gap Year Fair on Wednesday, February 1, at West Springfield High School from 6:30 to 9:00pm. This event is for high school students and parents who are interested in learning more about the growing array of gap year opportunities. Students are encouraged to pre-register for this event. For more information, visit USA Gap Year Fairs or FCPS Gap Year Fair, or contact Pamela White, Special Projects Liaison, at [email protected] or 571-423-4431.
February 1 - CTE Summer Academy Registration Opens: This is a week-long enrichment program that allows students in grades 7-11 to dive deeper into CTE program areas, develop skills, and begin career exploration. Visit the CSA website for more information and registration.
February 3 - Virginia Boys State Interest Form Due: Virginia Boys State is a week-long study of government and the operation, laws and procedures of the Commonwealth of Virginia. AHS Student Services is currently identifying Juniors, who are interested in submitting applications for this summer enrichment opportunity. Participants represent AHS at the 2023 Boys State convention. To participate students must be United States citizens or legal residents of the United States. Candidates are evaluated on their leadership abilities, interest in government, service to others, and academics. For more details, go to the Virginia Boys State website. Boys State will be held at Radford University from Sunday June 18 to Saturday June 24, 2023. If you are a Junior and interested in applying, please complete the Boys State 2023 Interest Form. Contact Cheryl Kim with questions.
February 4 - Edison Academy Open House - Edison Academy invites you to attend our in-person Open House event on Saturday, February 4, 2023 from 10:00am-1:00pm (snow date is Saturday, February 11). We are located at 5801 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA. Our entrance is located at Door #13. You will have the opportunity to tour our state-of-the-art facilities, meet our instructors and current students, and learn more about our incredible courses! Please feel free to contact Cassandra Deedy at (703) 924-8101 for additional information.
March 1 - Global Navigator Scholarship - Deadline Extended! The Global Navigator Scholarship High School Summer Abroad with the Council on International Education and Exchange (CIEE) offer programs and scholarships intended to open the world to students, helping them navigate across languages, connect with other cultures, and impact global/local issues in today’s interconnected world. Students still have time to apply, the deadline was extended to March 1. You can view the Summer 2023 Flyer to see what opportunities are available. Reach out with any questions to Meredith Hedrick or Laura Wells.
March 3 - 2023 VDOE Granville P. Meade Scholarship Application Due: The Virginia Department of Education’s 2023 Granville P. Meade Scholarship fund provides scholarships to students who have achieved academically, but who are financially unable to attend one of Virginia’s public or private colleges, universities, or community colleges. Each scholarship is in the amount of $2,000 per year for four years, provided the student continues to meet the scholarship requirements. Students may apply through the online application portal which opens on January 30, 2023. All students interested in applying must create an account to access the application, request letters of recommendation, and upload academic records.
March 6 - Preparing for Difficult Conversations about Drugs Presentation, 6-8pm: FCPS is dedicated to providing parents and community members with the most accurate and up-to-date information on youth substance use, prevention, addiction, interventions and available supports. Please join us and our partners from the Fairfax County Police Department and Community Services Board on Monday, March 6 from 6-8pm in the Annandale High School Library as we share knowledge and information that will help parents and caregivers engage in meaningful conversations with their students about drugs.News from the Student Activities Office
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.
Highlights from the Activities Office: Boys basketball lost two tough games to defending state champion Hayfield and a gritty Falls Church team. They look to right the ship vs Justice and TJ this week. Girls basketball played hard but got cold at the wrong time during each game vs Hayfield and Falls Church. They travel to Justice and finish the week with senior night vs TJ. Wrestling held their annual Pack the Pit vs Mount Vernon for senior night on Wednesday. The results weren't what we wanted but the wrestlers battled. A young team with a lot of growth means the future is bright for the grappling Atoms. Gymnastics prepares for the National District meet Monday evening at Mount Vernon. Indoor Track prepares for the National District meet next Friday and Saturday evening. Swim/Dive competed in the National District competition Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Two divers will move on to regionals while many swimmers move to Saturday finals.
Monday, January 30
National District Gymnastics Meet @ Mount Vernon - 6:00pm
Tuesday, January 31
F/JV/V Boys vs Justice - 4:30/5:45/7:30pm
F/JV/V Girls @ Justice - 4:30/5:45/7:30pm
Thursday, February 2
National District Wrestling Tournament @ Lewis - 12:00pm
Friday, February 3
F/JV/V Girls vs TJ (SENIOR NIGHT) - 4:30/5:45/7:30pm
F/JV/V Boys @ TJ - 4:30/5:45/7:30pm
Occoquan Region Dive Competition @ Oak Marr Rec Center - Boys 8:45am, Girls 12:30pm
Occoquan Region Swim Prelims @ Oak Marr Rec Center - 5:30pm
National District Indoor Track Championship @ Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Arlington - 6:00pm
Saturday, February 4
Occoquan Region Swim Finals @ Oak Marr Rec Center - 5:30pm
National District Indoor Track Championship @ George Mason University - 2:30pm
Spring Sports Begin February 20: The first three days of tryouts are posted below. Before a student-athlete is allowed to tryout they must have three completed items: 1) VHSL physical, 2) completed activity registration, and 3) insurance. You can find more information by clicking the tryout information page on the AnnandaleAtoms.net website. If you have questions, please contact the Activities Office at (703) 642-4170.News from Student Services
Check out the latest information from the Student Services Department in their weekly newsletter. The newsletter provides important information, important dates, news from the college & career center and class news.
Now thru February 24 - Academic Advising: Our counselors began meeting one-on-one with students through their English classes. We began with our rising seniors and then will work through the other grade levels over the next several weeks. Students will be sent an email with their appointment time the weekend before they are scheduled to meet with their counselor. As always, students and families can get more information about course selection on our Academic Advising website. Below is the academic advising timeline:
- January 9-19: Juniors meet with Counselors
- January 19-February 3: Sophomores meet with Counselors
- February 3-17: Freshmen meet with Counselors
- February 24: Final deadline to change course requests
January 30 - Last Minute College Help Session: Students, are you still working on completing college applications before the final deadline to apply and need help? Complete this Google form to be requested during PRIDE Time on January 30 for extra help with your college application(s).
February 6 - 2nd Quarter Grades Posted: Grades for the second quarter and the first semester will be available to students and families through StudentVue and ParentVue by Monday, February 6.
Transcript Requests for College Applications & Scholarships: Seniors need to request official high school transcripts one month prior to application deadlines. 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 AHS College & Career Google site.
Early Online College at NOVA - Spring Session: Early Online College (EOC) allows current high school juniors or seniors the opportunity to take up to two tuition free college courses. EOC courses for the spring semester begin on January 31 and end on April 24. Courses are for college credit only and designed to jumpstart students' college experience. These courses were 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. For more information, contact NOVA’s Office of Dual Enrollment at [email protected].
Thursday NOVA Help Sessions: If you are planning to attend NOVA and need assistance, come to Room 90, from 3:00-4:00pm on Thursdays. Below is the topics for each session:
- Choosing a program - February 2, March 9
- Application and account set up - February 9, March 16
- FAFSA - February 16, March 23
- Course Planning - February 23, March 30
PTSA Committee Members Needed! The PTSA is seeking members for two important committees: 1) a nominating committee to identify, vet, and nominate a slate of candidates for next year’s PTSA Board; and 2) a scholarship committee to select the 2023 PTSA scholarship recipients. Please contact Annamaria Nields ([email protected]) if you are interested in serving on either committee.
- Nominating Committee: Each year the PTSA forms a committee to identify people interested in serving as PTSA officers. The Nominating Committee advertises the opportunities available and explains how to apply, receives nominations and identifies potential candidates, and presents a slate of nominees at the April PTSA general membership meeting.
- Scholarship Committee: The PTSA needs two additional people to join this year’s Scholarship Committee. The Committee works with Annandale’s College and Career Specialist to advertise the scholarship opportunities, collect applications, and determine the 2023 scholarship recipient(s). Additional information about PTSA scholarships is available here: https://annandalehsptsa.membershiptoolkit.com/home.
Annandale PTSA Pantry Needs Help Restocking! We need help restocking regularly. Please consider donating, every donation helps. Visit the pantry website here to learn more and about ways to donate.