Loudoun County’s public schools — approximately 90 in all – opened for the Fall 2016 semester on Aug. 29. Some 78,000 students will be in attendance this year. And, although it’s hard to give up the flip-flops for pencils and notebooks, students and teachers seem equally anxious to get the new year going.
LCPS Website: The LCPS website, www.loudoun.k12.va.us has a wealth of information on it. It includes a Student Rights & Responsibilities paper, links to the School Board’s Policy Manual, the LCPS School Profiles report, registration requirements, medical information, and more. The site also has fun feature articles and videos about students’ summer achievements, such as golf championships, conservation projects, writing campaigns, and food drives.
School holiday schedule: After Labor Day: Oct. 10, Columbus Day; Nov. 23-25, Thanksgiving; Dec. 22-Jan. 2, Winter Break; Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Day; Feb. 20, Presidents’ Day; April 10-14, Spring Break; May 29, Memorial Day; June 9, Last Day of School.
Over the next few weeks Sheriff’s deputies will be strictly enforcing speed and other traffic regulations around local schools. Sheriff Chapman also offers these safety tips for students, parents and drivers:
- In walk-to-school neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of kids to school. Make sure children know the route, and wear bright colored clothing. Pay attention and always use crosswalks.
- If riding your bicycle, always wear a helmet, ride on the right (same direction as traffic), use appropriate hand signals, respect traffic lights/stop signs, wear bright colored clothing, and ditch the headphones/cell phones while riding.
- For motorists – Make sure every passenger wears a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat, ditch the headphones/cell phones while driving, slow down and obey all traffic laws, and be alert for school zones. Watch for school buses, and stop when state law requires you to do so.
- Always buckle up when riding in a car, remove your backpack, and take the back seat – it’s the safest place for young people.?3 If you ride a school bus, learn and practice the safety rules for waiting at the stop, getting on and off, and riding the bus. Never wait for the school bus in the roadway.
- If you walk to school, use a sidewalk when available, look left-right-left when crossing the road, always walk facing traffic, and always obey traffic signs/lights and crossing guard instructions.?3 If you drive to school, avoid speeding and distractions such as texting, cell phones, eating, and adjusting the radio. Don’t overload your vehicle (everyone in a vehicle must use a safety belt). Be a good role model for your younger brothers, sisters, and friends by helping them learn and follow vehicle safety rules.
Locally – Woodgrove
Woodgrove is a good example of how high schools get started on the 2016–2017 school year. Over the summer, several dozen students and others took a break in their vacation to vote on a student theme for the year (“Cherish Today, Challenge Tomorrow”), hang up “Welcome Back!” signs, update bulletin boards, and paint hall directional signs. The Homecoming theme was set for 2016: “Vacations of a Lifetime,” with the four classes zeroing in on their own take on that: Seniors – Camping Adventure, Juniors – Beach Break, Sophomores – Island Getaway, and Freshmen – Cruise Excursion. Homecoming at Woodgrove is Oct. 2-8.
Education And Growth Outside Of School
Financial literacy is a big buzz word these days. The State of Virginia requires high school students to complete a financial and economic literacy course to get a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma. And, other organizations are getting into the act, too, combining financial literacy with the technological tools students and parents need to spark entrepreneurship, instill the values of saving and investing, and earn a little money in the neighborhood.
One such business is something called Leap Street of Loudoun County. With the tagline “Start earning money helping neighbors doing what you love,” the group is new, but like the students and teachers entering the new school year … it comes on the scene with lots of enthusiasm. Leap Street has 30 students signed up now – connected to and providing various services to 50 neighbors, and learning a little financial literacy along the way. Says Robin Greene, founder and managing director of Leap Street, “Success stories are already starting to come in.” For more information about Leap Street, go to www.leapstreet.org.