langley eNews 
2/11 /2016 

Please join us for our sophomore class coffee on Fri, Mar 4 at NOON at the Markwart home, 6605 Heidi Ct, McLean (Langley Oaks). We will be having a lunch meeting, rather than our usual morning coffee, at the request of parents who can fit lunch more easily into their schedules.

Do you use Twitter? Do you support fully funding FCPS for next year? Then tweet your government officials who have the power to make that happen!
Barbara Favola @barbarafavola , Kathleen Murphy @kmurphyva, Sharon Bulova @sharonbulova and John Foust @johnfoustva.
great employees 
Do you know a Langley or FCPS employee who does ordinary things in an extraordinary way or goes beyond what is expected? Click FCPS Cares to share and let FCPS know. FCPS Cares cards are also available in the main office.
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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quick links
  Langley PTSA
Communications Committee
Lezlie McBride 
Jane Riddle
  Anne Whipple
editor's note: Send submissions and photos by deadline. To keep  eNews concise, submissions will be edited for style and length, and links added to the appropriate webpage.
Submit items by Tuesdays noon for publication on Thursdays to
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.
college . . . 
I'll bet that word got your attention! It seems to hold magical powers in our area. At last month's senior coffee Melissa Sporn spoke on preparing students for college and life after high school. She talked about living within a set budget, responsible use of a credit card, academic expectations, communication with parents, emotional support, sex and alcohol. Senior parents enjoyed the frank discussion and suggested parents of underclassmen would appreciate it as well, so Dr. Sporn will present an encore at our Feb 17 PTSA meeting.
Also at the Feb 17 meeting, Langley's Hannah Wolff will discuss the new Harvard report Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions, which was endorsed by more than 80 deans, professors and high school counselors. The report is part of a two-year campaign attempting to reshape the college admissions process, create and promote meaningful service opportunities, and redefine achievement.  
The Langley community has been talking about ongoing, meaningful service for years thanks to Sonya Williams, Dir of Student Services; the PTSA's Family Network chairs Betsy Shomaker and Julie Hohl; and Hannah Wolff in the Career Center. We discussed Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Anecdote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni at our Dec PTSA book club. The discussion had parents asking, "To what end?" One parent even suggested that someone with gravitas needs to take on the ranking-of-colleges industry that has created an admissions process that is out of control. Well, if Harvard can't do it, I'm not sure who can. Click here to read the Harvard report.
~ Terri Markwart, PTSA President
staff spotlight 
This opera major from Milton, PA turned into an English and journalism teacher! Christina Mitro, a cheerleader and homecoming queen in high school, attended Catholic University. "Undergrad, I studied vocal performance (which is longhand for opera), but I realized by my senior year that I didn't want to pursue that lifestyle of never knowing where my paycheck came from. I always liked English, and I wanted to work with people more, so I thought that teaching would be a good way to do that."
So she got her masters in high school English at George Mason Univ. She began working at Langley in Jan 2013. Ms. Mitro's favorite part of teaching is the students: "There are so many different personalities. I like the conversations you can get in with high schoolers. I originally thought about teaching elementary school ,but I'm happy I can talk to my students about meaningful things. It's inspiring, and I never leave here thinking that I want to do something else."
Ms. Mitro had a daughter named Lucy in 2014, and the 17-month-old is learning three different languages. "She knows English and Bengali. She doesn't speak much but she says mama and dada. My husband's family is Eastern Indian and his family's native language is Bengali . . . She's also learning sign language." 
~ Saxon Scope reporter Laura Coffey
ask student services
Q: Is it true that my child must take a virtual\online course during high school in order to meet their graduation requirements?

A: YES! Students must take an online course before graduation. This requirement is easily satisfied through another requirement -- that each student take the economics and personal finance course or AP Economics. Because of the strong online component of these classes, both the in-school and online versions (including summer school) count towards the online class requirement.
sadie hawkins dance 
It's on! The dance is Sat, Feb 20, from 7:30-10:30 pm in the gym. Tickets are on sale this week and next week at all lunches for $10. All proceeds go toward Langley counselor Georgia McKain's daughter's fight against SMA-Type 2. Although Sadie Hawkins is traditionally a dance where girls ask the boys, that shouldn't hold anyone back! No one should feel they have to ask a date. This is more casual than Homecoming. Students should feel free to come as a group, or meet friends there. This is a great opportunity to dance, hang out with friends and support Ms. McKain and her family!
survey on fcps grading policies
Please encourage your student to participate in an important survey they recently received via Blackboard seeking their opinions on FCPS grading policies. FCPS has spent 18 months reviewing the current grading policy to ensure fairness across our division. The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SAC) will share these survey results with Dr. Garza. In addition, these anonymous results will be shared with the teachers, principals, and other administrators currently revising FCPS policies. Each school's SAC representatives will be able to share results with the students in their school as appropriate.
student services news 
keep learning this summer: Registration is now open for some FCPS summer enrichment camps. Please click on each program for more information and to register: Institute for the Arts and Adult and Community Education (ACE) enrichment programs. Registration for other ACE programs including SAT test prep, study skills and driver education will open Feb 29. Click here for more information.

special education services and graduation: Graduation and Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities is an important workshop for parents to learn about diploma options, graduation requirements, credit accommodations for students with disabilities, and so much more. The workshop is Fri, Feb 26 from 10-11 am at the Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services. Click here for more information and to register.

open houses rescheduled: Fairfax Academy's Open House will be Tues, Feb 16. They've even scheduled an additional back-up snow date of Wed, Mar 2. No matter the date, it will be at 6:30 pm at Fairfax HS. Marshall Academy's Open House is now Thurs, Feb 18 at 5:30-7:30 pm at Marshall HS.

Ms Omasta
Ms Baldesare
our counselors: The PTSA thanked our awesome counselors last week during National School Counseling Week by providing breakfast and coffee. Thank you to Kathryn Hartman, PTSA Staff Appreciation chair, for taking such good care of our counselors!  The PTSA also surprised our teachers with a Coffee, Hot Chocolate & Donuts Day to celebrate the end of the semester.  
swim & dive champs 
Congratulations to the Langley Swim and Dive team! The boys won the Conference and the 6A Northern Region Championship for the first time in school history. The girls  came in second at Conference and continued their streak of finishing in the top 2 places at Regional s for three consecutive years!
Individual conference champions are: Carter Bennett (Langley record), Joanne Fu, Duncan Proxmire, Isabella Rongione, Justin Rose (Langley record), Casey Storch, all three boys' relays (one Langley record), and girls' 200 free relay.
Casey Storch is the regional champion in the boys' 200 IM in an Automatic All-American and -State qualifying time that set a new school record. Also at Regionals were five Langley records, eight All-American consideration times/scores, four automatic All-American times, 24 State qualifying times/scores, and 28 best times/scores.
Both the boys' and girls' teams will compete at the Virginia State Championship meet at George Mason University on Feb 20.

* * *  
Spring sports tryouts begin Mon, Feb 22. Click here for eligibility requirements. All requirements must be met BEFORE the first day of tryouts.

Visit for updated game schedule, field directions, and other information. Come out and support your fellow Saxons! Visit for membership, booster wear, Saxon sales and sponsorships. Follow us on Twitter  
writing award 
Langley senior Jessica Smith won a Silver Key for her personal essay/memoir in the 2016 Scholastic Writing Awards Competition. Winners will be honored at a special ceremony in March. Congratulations, Jessica!  
preparing for the class of 2020 

The student panel answered questions and tried to ease parents' anxieties at the rising freshmen  information session on Feb 4.
a difficult but important subject 
You are invited to a screening of The Hunting Ground on Mar 5 at American University Katzen Center, 7-9 pm. This Oscar-nominated documentary discusses sexual assault on college campuses, healthy sexual relationships, and how young women and men can protect themselves during high school and college. It's never too early to have conversations about sex and how alcohol and drugs can change the landscape of sexual encounters. Especially important for families with juniors and seniors going off to college,  The Hunting Ground is a movie you won't want to miss. Please bring your students with you to the movie and the 30-minute panel discussion after the film.
Click here for more information about the event and to purchase tickets. A primary topic in the documentary is a historic settlement against Florida State. Click here to read more.
student recipe contest
As part of its commitment to children's healthy eating habits, the Virginia PTA offers Power Plates, a student contest to encourage students to create healthy meals. Students in pre-K through 12 can enter recipes in five categories: breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner entrée or side dish, dessert. Enter original recipes in three easy steps: 1) write down the recipe, 2) fill out the student entry form, and 3) take a picture of the dish.

The deadline is Fri, Mar 4, 11:59 pm. For rules and entry form, click here. Email entries to   or mail to Power Plates, c/o Virginia PTA, 1027 Wilmer Avenue, Richmond, VA 23227. Winners and their families are invited to participate in the May 1 Virginia PTA's Student Awards Luncheon.
boosters support all athletes 
The LHS Athletic Boosters recently sent out their mid-year update, outlining the support they've provided all Saxon athletes so far this year. The Boosters use funds from parent contributions, advertising and sponsorships to fill in the gaps between what the Langley teams need and what FCPS provides. Here are just some of the needs that the Langley Saxons Boosters were able to fill:
    *    Football: helmets, a coach communication system, replacement uniforms
    *    Cross Country: entry fees for runners, a new tent to protect runners from hot sun on race days
    *    Golf: practice green fees for girls and boys, all tournament entry fees
    *    Cheer: registration fees for invitational meets
    *    Field Hockey: game goals, timers, and other equipment
    *    Volleyball: Tournament entry fees, Spirit Bus to State Finals in Richmond, uniforms
    *    Dance: Competition entry fees, warm-up suits, coaches' travel fees
    *    Basketball: New uniforms, early tournament entry fees, coaches' gear
    *    Wrestling: Tournament entry fees, new competition mat, mat cleaning system, coaches' travel
    *    Swim: Swim caps, new timing system
    *    Track: All entry fees to meets and invitationals, coaches' travel expenses
    *    Gymnastics: Entry fees, floor anchors, chalk and other supplies
    *    Soccer: New uniforms (boys), new game nets
    *    Lacrosse: New uniforms (girls), helmet reconditioning, indoor goals
    *    Baseball and Softball: Surface infield conditioner, paint, field maintenance contracts, field chalk
    *    Tennis: Balls, new windscreens
    *    Ice Hockey and Crew: grants to these club sports

These purchases benefit hundreds of Langley students across every sport. Thank you to hard-working Boosters parents and all those who contributed and sponsored the Saxons.
school board misses opportunity
The FCPS School Board has decided NOT to ask the state for a pre-Labor Day start waiver even though 1) FCPS qualified for the waiver, and 2) the School Board took the time to create two calendars -- a pre-Labor Day start and a post-Labor Day start -- and made them public the same day.
The School Board did not follow through with the waiver request despite pointing out that we do qualify in its Feb 9 press release: The VA Board of Education may waive the state requirement to begin school after Labor Day if a district is closed an average of 8 days per year during 5 of the past 10 years due to weather conditions, energy shortages, power failures, or other emergencies. FCPS qualifies for the waiver because, during five of the past 10 years, the district has averaged 8.4 days missed due to weather conditions and other events.
In 2016-17, students' first day of school will be Tues, Sep 6. Their last day will be June 23. If they had started pre-Labor Day, it would have been June 16.
~ Terri Markwart, PTSA President
Feb 11 Report cards to students
Feb 15
President's Day -- Holiday
Feb 17 Activity Day
Principal's coffee / PTSA meeting
Feb 19 Case Day
Feb 20
Sadie's dance
Feb 22 Spring Sports tryouts begin
Feb 25 Band concert at Herndon HS
Mar 1
Two-hour delay of school opening (Election Day)
Mar 4 Sophomore class coffee, 12 pm
Mar 6
Orchestra concert at South Lakes HS
Mar 7
Meet the coaches night

For additional details about these events, visit the Langley calendar