langley eNews 
12/17 /2015 

planning for next year 

curriculum night : In an effort to help families make the best decisions about courses for the 2016-17 school year, LHS will host a Curriculum Night on Wed, Jan 13. The program will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by breakout sessions that provide info about course offerings. This evening is targeted to the parents. The sessions typically cover these topics:

- Amount of homework given nightly
- Teachers' expectations of their students
Projects due throughout the year
- Skills needed for success in the course
- Differences between general level/honors level/AP level
- Time management, commitment & work ethic requirements
course registration 2016-17:
For rising seniors, presentations during Saxon time Jan 11-12; registration in English classes Jan 20-Feb 3.

For rising juniors, presentations during Saxon time Feb 8-9; registration in History classes Feb 10-22.

For rising sophomores, presentations at Saxon time Feb 25-26; registration in PE classes Feb 29-Mar 8.
Your eNews editors wish everyone at LHS a peaceful, relaxing and safe winter break. We'll be back with all your news on Jan 7, 2016! ~ Lezlie, Jane & Anne
Extra clicks make a real difference! Thank you for taking the extra time to click through the  PTSA website before making your purchases on Amazon. When you shop through the link on the PTSA website, you send 6% of your total to Langley PTSA. We appreciate your support!  
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The PTSA eNews is published by volunteers who try to present only news that pertains to FCPS, LHS & PTSA. Any opinions expressed therein are those of the submitter & not necessarily those of FCPS, LHS or PTSA.
top 10 (or more!) things to do during break 
Are we there yet? How many times did I utter those words as a kid in the back seat on the way to visit relatives for the holidays? I now appreciate occasional boredom as a good thing. But too much teen boredom plus an increase in family togetherness . . . well, it's only a matter of time before we get to DEFCON 1 in my house. I appreciate having two weeks for winter break, but studies show that teens with too much free time may engage in risky behavior, such as trying alcohol at an unsupervised party. Even if they're home, it's hard to compete with Snapchat, Netflix, and YouTube.
So I thought I'd share some of the things I'm hoping to do with my kids over the break, in hopes that you or your teen might find something appealing, too. Balance and moderation are my goals. I'll let them sleep till noon (a few times), and have a few movie marathons. But power-watching Breaking Bad, The Wire, and Game of Thrones may be too much time on the couch.
Growing up in Indiana, David Letterman's "Top Ten List" was how we started high school each day (right after the Pledge of Allegiance), so I'm a big fan of lists. Here's one that's ten-plus:
  • Bake cookies. Keep half, and give the rest away.
  • Learn to cook four meals. (This can get you through college.)
  • Visit Rent the Runway in Georgetown. Try on lots of dresses, then go eat cupcakes.
  • Take a DC Ducks Tour. (We love this!)
  • Go ice skating.
  • Write an actual letter to a grandparent. Or record a conversation with the "This I Believe" app.
  • Go see the new Star Wars movie on an IMAX screen at the Udvar Hazy Air and Space museum.
  • Take a midnight drive to the Washington memorials and take selfies.
  • Take a hike at Scott's Run, Roosevelt Island or Great Falls Park.
  • Go to a game, concert or play (Goldstar is a great app for discount tickets).
  • Clean out overflowing closets and drawers full of clothes.
  • Have each person in the family pick a different restaurant to try.
  • Take a class in something you've never tried. Kick boxing? Pottery? Hot yoga?
  • Visit the Newseum or the National Portrait Gallery (my favorite for teens).
  • Service! See a list of opportunities below.
  • Learn how to do laundry. (No one will do this for you at college.)
Have fun, relax and stay safe. See you next year!

~ Terri Markwart, PTSA President
holiday shopping on amazon 
As you are shopping for the holidays, please take 5 extra seconds and click through the PTSA website to make purchases on Amazon. LHS typically earns 6-8% of purchases made immediately after clicking into Amazon from the PTSA Website. If your family spends $1,000 in purchases for your home/family over the holidays, LHS would earn about $70 for LHS - just because you clicked first on the Amazon link on the PTSA Website and completed your purchase in that session
Please note that LHS does not receive credit for purchases made from shopping carts, gift registries, or direct access to Amazon.  If you have any questions or would like to know specifics to ensure large purchases generate revenue for LHS , please email .
staff spotlight  
With both a passion for research and a love for young-adult novels, Kathleen Ortiz helps the Langley library stay intact and improve.
Ms. Ortiz earned a BA in English and a minor in Russian literature at Vanderbilt and a Master's degree in English at Georgetown. She worked as a law librarian until she took a break after having kids. Eventually, she got her Master of Library Science degree at Maryland and began working at Langley. "I'm fascinated by information and how we organize information as a society," Ms. Ortiz explains. "I love to find stuff. It's like candy for me."
Ms. Ortiz enjoys teaching about research, and her top priority is the students. She strives to make sure that students have the right resources and support. "The library is for you guys. It's not my library, it's yours," says Ms. Ortiz. She is most proud of the research projects developed for students through collaborations with teachers.
Outside the library, Ms. Ortiz has been practicing and teaching martial arts for ten years. "My big passion is teaching women how to empower themselves and defend themselves in different situations," she explains.
Her advice for Langley students is to find a passion and enjoy life. "I want you guys to take the time to enjoy life a little bit and make sure that you're not completely stressed out," says Ms. Ortiz. She believes that the key to balancing work and leisure is time management. "Colleges look for time management and research skills. So work on those and it'll stand you in good stead throughout the rest of your life."
~ Donya Momenian, Saxon Scope reporter
be an anti-bully 
This has been LHS's annual anti-bullying week. Bullying takes many forms, but always involves repeated, offensive actions toward a student, usually with a power imbalance. LHS took a stand against bullying and looked for areas in which we can improve. The week's events, organized by Student Services and the Active Minds club, included a social media hashtag challenge, #LHSANTIBULLYING. Video clips on morning announcements included  a daily challenge to combat bullying. Friday's boys' varsity basketball game will feature a neon out against bullying. Students, parents and teachers are encouraged to wear their brightest colors to the game. Wristbands will be distributed Fri morning for the students to wear.
service during winter break 
thanks to our heroes: Many active duty military will be alone during the holiday season. Receiving a letter of thanks would brighten their day and reinforce how important their service is to our country. Letters should be addressed "Dear Soldier" and mailed to Rep. Barbara Comstock, 21430 Cedar Drive, Suite 218, Sterling, VA 20164. For more information, contact Rep. Comstock's office at  703-404-6903

red kettle bell ringer:
Ring the bell and spread holiday cheer while raising critical funds for the Salvation Army's Fairfax County programs. Email Major Kim Feinauer at

fair girls/tysons holiday gift wrap: FAIR Girls
(formerly FAIR Fund) prevents the exploitation of girls worldwide with empowerment and education. Volunteers are needed to help wrap gifts at the Tysons Galleria. Sign up here.
lift me up!: Volunteers are needed to assist with grooming and tacking horses for therapeutic riding lessons and also with horse leading and side-walking during the lessons. Click here for more info on Life Me Up! and to download a volunteer application. Go to "Volunteer" and print out the PDF file marked Application.
best fit, not best school 
Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be  goes against everything you've heard at cocktail parties: Do anything to get your son or daughter into the absolute best university you can; take practice SAT tests and hire tutors; talk to alumni; in short, do everything!
Instead , our goal as parents and educators should be to build authentic discovery and self-esteem for students, and help them find a best-fit, transformative, affordable college  where they will thrive and grow. It's not where they go to school that's important -- it's what they do with the experience when they get there!
Join the PTSA Book Club, Director of Student Services Sonya Williams and Career Center Specialist Hannah Wolff on Thurs, Jan 14 at 9 am (location TBA) to discuss Frank Bruni's book Where You Go is Not Who You'll Be.
the 2016 stop hunger now event!  
Again this year, all the schools in the Langley pyramid will come together to Stop Hunger Now! In partnership with this 4-star rated organization, meal packages will be prepared for distribution to schools and orphanages across the world.
The impact can be profound -- the donation of just $1.00 can provide meals for 15 people! The goal this year is to raise $29,000 that will feed over 500,000, through donations from families in our community. Parents can make tax-deductible donations by clicking here. Students are encouraged to donate loose change and cash from their jobs or piggybanks.
Volunteers -- adults and children welcome -- will be needed for the packaging event on Feb 6. Register for a time slot at the event by clicking here.

You can learn more about the good work that Stop Hunger Now does by visiting their website. Please make this community-wide event part of your giving for 2015 and 2016. For questions, contact Felix Whipple,
positive social networking  
We worry about our kids' use of social networking sites. What are they exposed to? What are they posting? And how can we help them when we cannot begin to monitor all their interactions? Here are some suggestions: 
  • Build our own awareness. Most parents are probably already on Facebook, but many kids now are not. Other social networking sites are more relevant to them. You can start with Instagram and Snapchat, but there are hundreds. 
  • Be alert. What are our kids doing on social media sites? What are risks we should watch for?
  • Be involved. Help them form a positive identity, maintain good relationships, and create a positive reputation online. 
  • Join the social networking sites that your kids are using. Connect with them. 
  • Remind your child that online interactions are with real people with real feelings.
Click here for more details in the FCPS article Tips for Parents: Help Your Child Successfully Navigate the Ins and Outs of Social Media. The Common Sense Media article 15 Apps and Websites Kids Are Heading to After Facebook has a good overview of social networking sites popular with kids. To read more, click here. 
marching band
The LHS Marching Band had a great season! It was their first time in real uniforms; they participated in their very first marching competition at the Parade of Champions at JMU; and they made us all proud in their second ever marching-band assessment!
boosters news 
extraordinary custodians: Our wonderful custodial staff exceeds expectations all the time. They do so many things: power wash our stadium bleachers; clean up after our athletes at all hours; stay on top of renovation dust; keep our gyms and locker rooms in great shape; and always assist our volunteers. A huge thank you to Jorge, Yanci, Minh, Victor, Nana, Marlenys, Kiet, Clifton, Loc, Hue, Abena, Mario, Yanira, Long and Tuan.

holiday spirit wear orders: The deadline for holiday orders has been extended to Fri, Dec 18. Orders can be placed at

turf loan: The turf loan is paid in full! In 2011-12, fundraising efforts and Fairfax County contributions fell short $200,000, so Boosters took out an 8-year loan. Generous sponsorships and record-breaking concession sales enabled us to pay off the loan in 3½ years! To everyone that has made a gift to Boosters, sponsored our athletic programs, volunteered to help with concessions, or even just bought popcorn, thank you!

grant allocations: Ice hockey received $1,500 towards new uniforms, and crew received $4,000 towards upgrading equipment. 
Dec 17
Choral concert
Dec 18
Two-hour early dismissal
Dec 19-Jan 3
Winter break!
Jan 7 Senior coffee
Jan 12 Financial aid night
Jan 13 Curriculum night
Jan 18 Martin Luther King Day - school holiday
Jan 19 Touching Bases - parent/teacher conferences
Staff development day
Student holiday
Jan 20 Science fair

For additional details about these events, visit the Langley calendar