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Welcome to Fairfax Underground, a project site designed to improve communication among residents of Fairfax County, VA. Feel free to post anything Northern Virginia residents would find interesting.
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8 years ago
APorIBMom
Several posters have asked about the security of the FCPS computer system. I do not know how secure it is in 2012, but FCPS historically was unwilling to acknowledge that its computer system security could be improved. Around 2001, I knew some middle school students who were proud of their ability to hack into the FCPS system and change their and other students' grades. Instead of changing the
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
The state gave local school districts a choice of implementing the full 5% VRS change in one year, or phasing it in over up to five years, such as by implementing it 1% in FY 2013, another 1% in FY 2014, etc. With each 1% shift, the employee's gross salary increases by 1% and the employee has to contribute an additional 1% of that gross salary to the VRS pension plan. The FCPS Superintendent pr
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
Homework guidelines are in inherently imprecise, because students need different amounts of time to do the same homework assignment. Wait until the schools start using "flipped instruction," which seems to be the latest education fad. That's where the kids teach themselves the material at home (how long will that take?), then come into class the next day to do the equivalent of homework problem
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
FCPS can kill multiple birds with one stone by requiring specialists, managers, coordinators and others who work at administrative headquarters buildings to do substitute duty on occasion. It will save money on substitutes. It should bring a small dose of reality to the bureaucrats. They also will have less time to concoct and implement unproductive schemes.
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
The Kings Dominion Law is interpreted so that most Virginia school districts are granted waivers every year. That's why they can start school before Labor Day. Fairfax County is being held hostage on this issue. Virginia resort-oriented businesses are concerned that they will earn less money if Fairfax County families have summer vacations that are better aligned with the rest of the state and
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
no child left behind Wrote: > > I think the school board put honors classes back > in the high schools so there are 3 or more > options. AP, honors, gen ed, remedial. Why aren't > these options available in the elementary schools? > Seems like elementary kids are stuck in regular or > AAP. If older kids need a bunch of choices, why > don’t the elementary kids? Elementary
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
In fact, some parents are concerned that this IB charter will be a magnet for the students who have the most academic potential and/or motivation, and who live in the neighborhoods that feed into Falls Church HS, Stuart HS and Annandale HS. this school will succeed Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > In that area, the "minorities" are language > minorities---wh
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
FCPS needs to rethink its approach to computer security. A decade ago, middle school students were hacking into the FCPS computer systems as a lark. I called the Department of Information Technology and suggested that they address this problem, but declined to provide them with the names of any students. Their response was that they did not believe any student could hack into the system, and n
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
Westfield Dad, I agree with your description of the current process. But, the best way to evaluate the results of that process is to look at the outcomes of tests or competitions that involve a large percentage if not all the students. That's why the number of ISTS semifinalists is better than the number of ISTS finalists. Even so, looking at the ISTS focuses on a small group of highly-moti
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
The process used to select Intel finalists (40 total) is opaque, and creativity may not necessarily be a key variable. In contrast, the process used to select Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists provides more insight into whether a high school promotes high-quality science research by its students. For example, some high schools in New York create special programs for budding scientists
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
usernmae44 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > boring schoool. all whites That's not correct. The FCPS web site indicates that Langley is about 70% White. http://schoolprofiles.fcps.edu/schlprfl/f?p=108:13:1932252146022932::::P0_CURRENT_SCHOOL_ID:020
Forum: Fairfax County General
9 years ago
APorIBMom
What's going on with the West Springfield HS biology class? I've heard some rumors about the principal experimenting with a new format, where there are no longer separate honors and standard-level (non-honors) classes.
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
The range of raw scores on the components of the TJ admissions process (test scores, student grades, essay ratings, Student Information Sheet ratings, teacher recommendation ratings, etc.), and translation of those scores as they are "weighted" during the process, has much more impact than people realize. When the range of raw scores as well as the weighting process is taken into account, the es
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
For additional data and other information, see http://www.fcag.org/tjinfo.html
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
Concerned Parents (or perhaps concerned FCPS employees?), FCPS PR materials have nothing to do with whether Janie Strauss has been misleading constituents on this or any other issue.
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
It looks like Janie Strauss is once again misleading parents, this time about high school graduation requirements. Janie supports central staff's decision to require FCPS students to take 4 credits of social studies/history, on top of the new state-mandated credit for personal finance/econ. Instead of admitting that FCPS chose to require 4 instead of 3 social studies/history credits, she's cl
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
This appears to be a problem across the board, not just with this issue. > > Don't be too harsh on Janie. She just signed the > pile of fibs that Barbara Hunter wrote for her to > sign without checking the veracity of the > assertions herself.
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
The proposed revisions to the student handbook are a good first step. However, FCPS central seems to be circling the wagon on yet another issue, to avoid discussing additional reforms. The only way that FCPS seems to pay attention to the public (in other words to care about input, rather than soliciting input and disregarding it) is when hundreds of people attend School Board meetings. That's
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
Salvaging this thread, Your concerns are shared by many other parents and teachers, from what I can see. I do not think that it's fair to blame this solely on No Child Left Behind, at least not in FCPS. Most FCPS students could pass their SOL tests without year-round SOL prep, but FCPS admins don't want to limit SOL prep to the kids who might need it. Salvaging this thread Wrote: ----------
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
In theory, merit pay for teachers sounds good. Good implementation is very difficult, though. I've seen excellent teachers and counselors harassed out of a school because the principal or another administrator doesn't like them. I've also seen mediocre teachers and counselors get special perks and public praise from FCPS administrators. It depends on the principals and other administrators wh
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
No Child Left Behind requires schools to give students state-designed tests, which are called SOLs in Virginia. Merely giving students those tests would not cost much. NCLB does not require teachers to spend all their time prepping kids for the SOL tests so that more of them get "pass advanced" scores. NCLB does not require require school districts to develop expensive eCART systems, or to pay
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
Irving Russo was a popular stylist at Eclipse for years, with a loyal clientele. When he left Eclipse recently, his clients were not provided with information on how to find him. When I called to make an appointment just after he left, I was told that Eclipse didn't have any contact information for Irving and the receptionist recommended that I try another stylist at Eclipse instead. Posting
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
Outside the Box, Great comment. I couldn't have said it better. Outside the Box Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > "We need teachers but right now Dale wants > teachers who can think outside the box." > > This is a big pile of hooey. One of the primary > reasons teachers are overworked, and parents are > pissed are the half-baked initiatives com
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
Yes, the Board of Supervisors allocates over 53% of the county budget to the school system. To some extent, that is because the FCPS gets less money per pupil from the Virginia state government than the average Virginia school district. It is possible to reallocate funds within FCPS. With a total annual budget that is roughly $2.5 billion (including all the funds, not just the main School Ope
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
One reason classroom teachers earn much less than former teachers at central headquarters is contract length. Generally, classroom teachers are paid for 194 days per year. In contrast, former teachers at central headquarters are paid for 260 days per year. Classroom teachers I know frequently work extra days for which they are not paid. Some chaperone events on weekends. Some work extra days
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
The state does not require FCPS to provide an assistant principal for any small elementary school, under the Standards of Quality. FCPS insists on hiring an assistant principal for small elementary schools. terelli Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > Don't have to pay for 2 administrators for 350 > kids. Nice.
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
The information and the decline in average CogAT scores of students admitted to the GT Center program was based on FCPS staff memos, which were provided to members of what used to be called the Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee. These are county-wide numbers. It's possible that the averages vary among GT Centers. In fact, staff's refusal to provide information for each GT Center suggest t
Forum: Fairfax County General
10 years ago
APorIBMom
804, please don't assume that no teenager is capable of writing well. I have known some teenagers who were excellent writers. 804 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > > And don't piss on my leg and tell it's raining, I > don't care what the avg. GPA of a swimmer is. > That is NOT a 16 year old student writing that > drivel. It's a pathetic parent
Forum: Fairfax County General
11 years ago
APorIBMom
I don't think it's possible to say "better" in general. If the question is whether the central headquarters is responsive to constituents, Loudoun wins. If the question is which school districts provides more generous special ed services, FCPS probably wins. If the question is which school district has nicer buildings, Loudoun wins. If the question is which school district has fewer boundary
Forum: Fairfax County General
11 years ago
APorIBMom
HokieMom, Your children must be at least in their 30s! The average Cognitive Abilities Test score of students admitted to the GT CEnters over the last 6-8 years has been around 120. Even for students admitted back in the 1990s, it was about 130. HokieMom Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Both my kids went to an FCPS GT Center where the > average IQ was 1
Forum: Fairfax County General
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