Tag: Fairfax County Public Schools

Washington AIDS Partnership honored for their work in the fight to end AIDS

Last night, the Washington AIDS Partnership (WAP) was recognized by DC Appleseed for their work in the fight to end AIDS in the District. Beginning in 2015, WAP embarked on a new initiative with DC Appleseed, local experts, and the D.C. government to create a plan which would identify barriers to end HIV/AIDS, gaps in services and infrastructure, and capacity needs among community-based organizations. At the event, both D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health spoke to the need for D.C. to set the example for the rest of the nation and end the epidemic in the city. Within the District, 80 percent of individuals are linked to care within three months of testing positive for HIV, 62 percent are retained in care, and 40 percent are virally suppressed. These numbers are above the national averages for HIV care; however, WAP, DC Appleseed, and the D.C. government are committed to bringing the number of individuals linked and retained in care to 90 percent by the year 2020. WAP will continue to fund and support innovative programs that look to treat, prevent, and educate individuals in D.C. about HIV in an effort to bring the epidemic to an end in the city.

– New data on income and poverty in 2014 by the Census Bureau finds income growth, wage growth, and poverty rates remained unchanged from 2013. (NPR, 9/16)

– Mapping the Difference Between Minimum Wage and Cost of Living (City Lab, 9/10)

HEALTH/YOUTH | In a new blog post for the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) superintendent Dr. Alvin Crawley  explains why integrating health and wellness goals into the day-to-day activities at schools, just as ACPS plans to do beginning this fall, is so vital for staff and students alike. (NVHF, 9/16)

PHILANTHROPY | Check out how thinking more like a designer may be a great method to apply to the field of philanthropy over at Exponent Philanthropy‘s blog. (PhilanthroFiles, 9/17)

EDUCATION/VIRGINIA | Opinion: As Fairfax County Public Schools face severe budget cuts, officials of the nation’s 10th largest school system with 190,000 students, discuss what under-funding could mean for the very near future. (WaPo, 9/17)

FOOD | A study from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity examines the dietary habits of Americans and finds that there is a growing gap in the dietary quality of wealthier people and people in poverty. (WaPo, 9/17)

DISTRICT/ECONOMY | D.C.’s ward 8 will soon see a big public investment in the form of a new sports and entertainment complex on the St. Elizabeths East campus. (WBJ, 9/16)

When it comes to autumn, Denali Park just “gets it.”

– Ciara 

Fairfax County schools face major budget cuts

As enrollment surges in one of the country’s biggest school systems, a task force has been looking into ways to cut $100 million from the Fairfax County schools budget. (WaPo, 8/4)

The 36-member citizen task force was charged with finding $100 million in savings. On Monday night, the district released an early draft of potential cuts, but they are far from official, and it is early in the budget process. Some of the task force’s ideas are sure to be controversial, such as saving nearly $11 million by eliminating high school sports and more than $12 million by axing activities such as yearbook and student newspapers, curtailing music and drama programs, and reducing middle school after-school activities.


Fairfax County schools are facing some of the same tough choices as districts across Northern Virginia. This year, Prince William County schools, dealing with a potential cut in revenue, weighed cuts to all school services not required by law – including full-day kindergarten, bus service and athletics. Ultimately, most of the budget was funded.

WORKFORCE/EQUITY | A remarkable look at the gap between black and white unemployment (WaPo, 8/4)

PHILANTHROPY/INEQUALITY | Opinion: Professor of  history and director of the urban studies program at Simon Fraser University, Karen Ferguson, raises questions about philanthropy’s relationship with African Americans throughout the nation’s history, and ponders the implications of the ways philanthropy has worked to respond to racial inequality. (HistPhil, 8/3)

–  To Reduce Inequality Among Neighborhoods, Make Inclusion the Central Goal (Rockefeller Foundation, 8/5)

ENVIRONMENT | City Lab takes a look at the details from President Obama’s finalized Clean Power Plan and how it may affect low-income communities. (City Lab, 8/4)

The region has gained a new national historic landmark.

– Ciara

Arlington, Montgomery counties top list of healthiest counties in the area

A new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute places Arlington County and Montgomery County at the top of their annual healthiest counties ranking in the region. (WTOP, 3/25)

The rankings looked at 30 factors, including poverty, education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, access to healthy foods and access to medical care.


In Maryland, Howard County ranked second healthiest, followed by Frederick, Carroll and St. Mary’s. In Virginia, Albemarle is listed as the second healthiest county, followed by Fairfax, Loudoun and York.


Nationally, D.C. saw the greatest decrease in premature deaths, a factor the report says “is the single most important health outcome that we measure and is given the highest weight in our calculations.”

POVERTY | Opinion: How Poor Are the Poor? (NYT, 3/25)

WORKFORCE | A new study of census data out of the Brookings Institution finds that the number of “nearby jobs” – those within a typical commute for residents of major metropolitan areas – dropped by seven percent between 2000 and 2012. The numbers were even more out of reach for minorities and the poor living in surrounding suburbs (WSJ, 3/24):

Minorities and poor Americans, who have moved to the suburbs in droves, fared worse. The number of nearby jobs fell 17% for Hispanic residents and 14% for blacks over this time period, compared with a drop of 6% for whites. Typical poor residents saw a drop in job proximity of 17%, versus 6% for the nonpoor.

– Beginning next school year, Fairfax County plans to implement a class size cap. The proposed cap is in an effort to relieve some schools in the county that have struggled with high student-to-teacher ratios as a result of cuts over the past few years. (Fairfax Times, 3/20)

– Ahead of the results from her public school and public charter school lottery submission, a former education reporter visited schools across the District and shared some of her takeaways in pursuit of the best school for her child. (Medium, 3/23)

D.C. Public Schools plans to offer international trips to middle schoolers (WaPo, 3/24)

In Seattle, there’s a new reason to embrace the rain.

– Ciara

Jennifer Pryce named new CEO of the Calvert Foundation

COMMUNITY | Today the Calvert Foundation announced that Jennifer Pryce has been named President and CEO. Since 2009, Jennifer has served in several roles at Calvert, including U.S. Portfolio Manager, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, and Chief Strategy Officer. Outgoing president Lisa Hall has taken a new position as Managing Director of Impact Investing with Anthos Asset Management in Amsterdam.

Says WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland,

Congratulations to both Jennifer Pryce and Lisa Hall. Lisa and Jennifer have been valued members of the WRAG community for some time. Lisa brought her financial acumen and insights to WRAG via her service on the Board’s Finance Committee. And, Jennifer was an active and early participant in discussions about bringing the Evergreen model to our region. We here at WRAG, as well as the larger philanthropic community in our region, look forward to working with Jennifer in her new role. What a powerful transition for our region and for the global community.

NONPROFITS | Capital Business profiles the DC Social Innovation Project, an organization that serves as a start-up “accelerator” for new local nonprofit organizations. The group provides small grants, as well as pro-bono technical assistance in areas like marketing, legal, and finance, to help get promising ideas off the ground. (WaPo, 9/1)

– Fairfax County Public Schools is starting the school year off with a new superintendent, Karen Garza (WaPo, 9/2):

Rather than waiting for school to start Tuesday, when 184,625 students are expected to take their seats in county classrooms, the new superintendent already has developed a plan for significant change.

The veteran Texas educator says she wants to close achievement gaps, expand gifted education and provide iPads to every student. She said she will push for later high school start times, would consider supporting charter schools and wants to focus on the needs of the county’s poorest students.

D.C. parents push for more recess (WaPo, 8/30)

YOUTH | Why Is D.C. Abandoning an Effective Program That Keeps Kids Out of Jail? (Atlantic, 8/29)

Minimum Wage Increase On The Table In Montgomery County (WAMU, 9/2)

– Among large metro areas nationwide, the Greater Washington region’s workforce has seen the greatest average wage increase since 2009. (Atlantic, 9/2)

– Over the last 10 years, the number of U.S. workers over the age of 65 has increased by 67 percent, thanks — real shocker here — to the recession. (WaPo, 8/31)

Doesn’t this make you wish you had a treehouse? Or at least some really clever friends?