News From Henley Middle School – 15 January

Editor’s Note: I’m re-printing the entirety of the Henley Middle School newsletter because there’s quite a bit of interesting stuff there – calendar, school budgets, trip to Panama, science fair needs judges … I’m sorry about the formatting, I do encourage folks to at least scan the bolded parts (which I’ve done) –


THIRD THURSDAY MOVIES – JANUARY 21

Come to the Library and see Rabbit Proof Fence, set in Australia. This is from a true story of girls who find their way back to the Outback after being taken during a re-programming program in Australia. Beautiful, excellent, if somewhat sad. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Shepherd at mshepherd@k12albemarle.org

SPONSORS AND JUDGES NEED FOR REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR

The 29th annual Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair (www.vprsf.org ) is right around the corner and judges are needed. Can you help us inspire and encourage around 300 students?

We are once again asking for volunteers to be a judge and/or recommend others who have a science/engineering background or related experience to judge at the fair. (Also, please pass this on to others you think would be a good judge.) If you know someone who would make a good judge or would like to volunteer for other Science Fair activities, please ask them to email Gary Henry via director@vprsf.org.

This year’s Science Fair will be held at the University of Virginia John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville on Wednesday March 10, 2010. Directions and parking will be provided. In particular, this year we need sponsors. Sponsors are needed at several levels and for each of the eighteen categories. Have your organization support the fair and encourage our region’s future scientists and engineers. Visit www.vprsf.org/be_a_sponsor.htm.

Approximately 300 middle and high school students from Piedmont Virginia and more than a dozen school divisions representing more than thirty different schools participate. Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Green, King George, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties are in the Science Fair region. Public, private and home school students are invited. Much more than a competition, the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair is an educational and motivating experience for students. Your involvement as a judge, in particular, is an opportunity to encourage and support these students. The “high point” of the fair experience for most of the students is their judging interviews. Your participation will help inspire and foster the interest and skills of our talented science students.

Our country needs to increase the number of students pursuing degrees to become scientists, engineers and technicians to remain competitive!

Judges commit themselves to the following activities:

Wednesday, March 10, 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
· Orientation begins at 9:00 a.m.
· Judging hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a 45 minute lunch break with lunch provided. Depending on the number of projects in your assigned categories, you may finish early in the judging hours. Best of Show judges may be needed until 3:30 p.m.
· Students will be present during the judging hours
· Donuts, bagels, coffee in the morning and sandwiches, chips, soda at noon are provided

Please visit the web site www.vprsf.org to see more about the 2010 fair. Registration for volunteers is available until March 7 at www.vprsf.org/register.htm for your selection of category preferences to judge.

Middle School students (Junior Division) and High School students (Senior Division) are judged separately in each category. The categories for projects are:

Animal Sciences
Behavioral & Social Sciences
Biochemistry
Cellular & Molecular Biology
Chemistry
Computer Science
Earth Science
Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
Energy & Transportation
Environmental Analysis
Environmental Management
Mathematical Science
Medicine and Health
Microbiology
Physics & Astronomy
Plant Science
Team Projects

If you know someone who would make a good judge or would like to volunteer for other Science Fair activities, please ask them to email Gary Henry via director@vprsf.org.

UPDATES FROM MRS. MERRILL AND THE GATEWAY PROGRAM

PANAMA TRIP
Mrs. Merrill and Mrs. Okano are planning a 5-day international affairs trip to Panama over spring break, for 6th-8th grade students. They will hold an interest meeting for students and parents on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27 at 6:00 p.m. in the Henley library. The estimated cost is $400-$500 plus airfare. Passports required. Contact Mrs. Merrill or Mrs. Okano if you plan to attend the interest meeting.

SCIENCE FAIR
Interested 6th, 7th and 8th grade students are currently being encouraged by their science teachers to sign up for the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair. If your child is interested in competing this year, please contact Mrs. Merrill for additional details.

HISTORY DAY
Students will be able to sign up for the National History Day competition in mid-January. If this is something your child may want to participate in, please contact Mrs. Merrill.

U.VA. SUMMER ENRICHMENT PROGRAM (SEP)
Forms are currently available online. There is a link posted in the “Announcements” section of the Henley home page, or you can print a copy from the U.Va. SEP website.

BOOK CLUB, CHESS, KNOWLEDGE MASTERS
Will continue to meet as scheduled; all are welcome. Chess: Mondays during STING, first 24 to arrive. KMO: Fridays during lunch, room 5, when schedule allows. Book Club: Third Thursday of each month at 8:15 a.m. in the library. See Mrs. Guerrant for the selection.

REMINDER
If you are interested in viewing a list of local and regional summer programs for middle school age students, contact Mrs. Merrill at jmerrill@k12albemarle.org.

GOVENOR, BOARD OF EDUCATION ANNOUNCE 2010 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE; DIVISION AND 15 SCHOOLS COMMENDED

Albemarle County Public Schools is among only 15 school systems in the Commonwealth to receive the Board of Education’s Excellence Award, the second-tier honor in the Virginia Index of Performance (VIP) program. Governor Tim Kaine announced today the recipients of the VIP Award for Educational Excellence, which commends schools and school divisions for outstanding academic performance, above and beyond state benchmarks. Four Albemarle County schools earned the Governor’s Award, while another 11 Albemarle County schools were honored by the Board of Education with either the VIP Excellence Award or VIP Competence to Excellence Award.

The multi-tiered VIP program was approved by the Board of Education in 2007 in response to Governor Kaine’s call for a formal system to recognize schools and divisions that exceed minimum state and federal accountability standards. The program awards points to schools and divisions based on the percentage of students achieving at the advanced level on Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments and progress made toward educational goals advocated by Governor Kaine and adopted by the Board of Education as part of its comprehensive plan for further strengthening public education across the Commonwealth.

Minimally, VIP Award recipients must meet all state and federal achievement benchmarks for at least two consecutive years. To qualify for the top-tier VIP Award for Educational Excellence, schools and school divisions also must achieve Governor Kaine’s goals for elementary reading; enrollment in Algebra I by grade 8; enrollment in college-level courses; attainment of advanced diplomas and career and industry certifications; and participation, if eligible, in the Virginia Preschool Initiative. Bonus points are earned for other performance measures, including the Governor’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard.

The following Albemarle County schools earned the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence:
• Baker-Butler Elementary
• Hollymead Elementary
• Meriwether Lewis Elementary
• Virginia L. Murray Elementary

In addition to meeting all state and federal achievement benchmarks for at least two consecutive years, schools and divisions receiving the Board of Education’s Excellence Award must have made significant progress toward goals for increased student achievement and expanded educational opportunities set by Governor Kaine and the board.

Joining the Division, the following three Albemarle County schools earned the Board of Education’s Excellence Award:
• Brownsville Elementary
• Scottsville Elementary
• Stony Point Elementary

Schools and divisions qualifying for the Board’s Competence to Excellence Award, the third-tier award in the VIP program, must have met all state and federal achievement benchmarks for at least two consecutive years, and made progress toward VIP objectives reflecting the goals of Governor Kaine and the board.

The following eight Albemarle County schools earned the Board of Education’s Competence to Excellence Award:
• Albemarle High
• Broadus Wood Elementary
• Crozet Elementary
• Monticello High
• Murray High
• Stone-Robinson Elementary
• Western Albemarle High
• Woodbrook Elementary

According to Assistant Superintendent Billy Haun, “Albemarle County’s recognition is a direct result of the significant effort on the part of teachers to provide the highest quality of intervention services and enrichment of the curriculum.”

Fourteen of the 15 Albemarle County schools commended this year are celebrating their third consecutive year as VIP Award recipients. Congratulations to the following:
• Albemarle High
• Baker-Butler Elementary
• Broadus Wood Elementary
• Brownsville Elementary
• Crozet Elementary
• Hollymead Elementary
(2nd consecutive year at top tier)
• Meriwether Lewis Elementary
(2nd consecutive year at top tier)
• Murray High
• Scottsville Elementary
• Stone-Robinson Elementary
• Stony Point Elementary
• Virginia L. Murray Elementary
(3rd consecutive year at top tier)
• Western Albemarle High
• Woodbrook Elementary

“We are pleased with the academic performance, accomplishments, and continued progress of our schools,” said Superintendent Pamela Moran, “and exceptionally pleased that, for the first time, Albemarle County Public Schools joins a select group of recipients to be honored with the Board of Education’s Excellence Award.”

MARK YOUR CALENDAR (NEW DATES IN ITALICS)

January 15 – End of 2nd 9 weeks and 1st Semester

January 18 – Martin Luther King Day, No School

January 19th – Professional Learning Day for Teachers, No school

January 27 – 8th Grade Visit to WAHS

February 2 – ACPS School Board Public Hearing: Proposed budget, FY 2010/11, 6:30 pm, Location TBD

March 3 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The County Executive’s recommended budget, Fiscal Year 2010/11, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB

March 31 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The BOS’s proposed budget, FY 2010/11 2010 calendar year tax rate, time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB

April 7 – Board of Supervisors Public Hearing: The BOS sets the 2010 calendar year tax rate. The BOS adopts its FY 2010/2011budget (during ACPS Spring Break), time TBA, Lane Auditorium, ACOB

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