Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Public Invited to Attend Hooffs Run Park Playground Renovation Open House

For Immediate Release: September 18, 2013

Public Invited to Attend Hooffs Run Park Playground Renovation Open House onOctober 3

The City of Alexandria invites the public to attend an Open House for the Hooffs Run Park Playground Renovation located at 99 East Rosemont Ave. The Open House will be held at the playground on Thursday, October 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the Open House will be cancelled.

Residents will have an opportunity to learn about the upcoming playground renovation, interact with City staff, and view project plans. Water and refreshments will be available. If you are unable to visit the playground at these times, renovation plans will be available online and will be posted at the park. For additional information on the Hooffs Run Playground Renovation, visit

This project is funded by the Capital Improvement Program for Park and Playground Renovations. The program replaces deteriorating play equipment and provides small scale enhancements in playgrounds and parks throughout the City.

For questions or more information, contact Judy Lo, at 703.746.5490 or

The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the City’s Human Rights Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or to request materials in an alternative format, call Judy Lo, at 703.746.5490 (Virginia Relay 711) or e-mail

Notes from Meeting on Proposed Bike Lanes on King St.


From: Kellie Meehan <>

Here are my notes from this evenings meeting----

The presenter specifically stated that if your point was brought up, you should mention it or submit it again, so that City staff can see that several people have the same point. 

If you have comments/idea/suggestions/questions please submit them BY FRIDAY to 

AND Please take the poll - it reopens tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. 
city staff will be using this information to help make their decision. 

The process is as follows: 
Comments will be presented to the Traffic and Parking Board at their meeting - 9/23, at 7:30pm in the council chambers in city Hall
The Board will make their recommendation to the Director and he will make a decision. 
If you would like to have some additional impact on the decision you may contact members of City Council: 

Council members Justin Wilson and John Taylor Chapman attended the meeting this evening. 

King Street will be repaved from Janney's Lane to Callahan (Russell Rd.) 
From Upland to Janney's will be routine mill and pave with very little disruption. 
From Callahan to Upland it will need to be dug up, reconstructed and paved. 
The timeline is: 
1st week of October
night work, 8pm-6am, for 3 weeks (15 nights) 
Sunday through Thursday
City staff will be on hand to mitigate noise and disruptions
1 lane of King will be open at all times with construction crews directing traffic. 
there will be jackhammering and loud noise but they hope to keep it to a minimum and most of the noise all at one time not throughout the night. 
Parking restrictions could be in place during this time. 

Maintenance and work vehicles will not be parked overnight or parked on the adjacent streets overnight during this time.  

Questions were raised about:
- the drainage/runoff from King St, if that would be addressed during this paving. 
-the height of the curbs - that some curbs seemed very low along King 
City staff said they will look into them

The City is doing Complete Streets:
designed to consider all users in a safe and convenient way. 
in this order
1. pedestrians
2. transit
3. bicycle
4. cars

In taking Complete Streets strategy the following was considered: 
-a redesign of the King, Callahan, Russell Road intersection - to be addressed later
-new bike lanes on Janney's Lane
-the expansion of Capital Bikeshares and the existing bikeshares stations in Old Town
-creating bike lanes on King St. 

Bike lanes would: 
-begin North of W. Cedar St. - not having any impact on the intersection at Russell, Callahan and King. The left turn lane onto Russell from King will remain the same. 
    the bike lanes would just end and begin at Cedar St. 
-end at West View Terrace - the bike lanes would essentially just end and begin at West View
-would provide traffic calming - the neighborhood has asked for ways to slow traffic down. 
-create safe pedestrian crossings at un-signaled intersections
-narrow moving lanes 
-designate space for all users - pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles, with no conflicts. 

there would also be an installation of a rapid flash cross walk at Upland - like on Braddock Road near intersection w/ West St., near Braddock Road Metro.  

The existing street is 
23 feet of vehicle space and 7 feet of parking space. 
it will become
4 1/2 feet of bicycle lane,  21 feet of traffic space,  4 1/2 feet of bicycle lane

Per City staff - 
37 parking spaces would be eliminated 
     20 from Cedar to Carlisle
     7 between Carlisle and Upland
     10 between Upland and Janney's 

with an average of 2.5 spaces used on a regular basis.  

Neighbors pointed out: 
-That count could not be accurate, more ppl park on King than 2.5 regularly
-that several of the homes on the upper portion of King (after Upland) have been for sale, empty or have had elderly non-driving residents for some time
-that a portion of those spaces are not used because the homes on North View Terrace back to King St. and park in the front of their homes. 

There was a car count taken but specific #'s were not given. 
City staff recalled the #'s as
600 vehicles an hour Southbound at peak 
450 vehicles an hour Westbound at peak

There were no counts taken for bicycles or bicycle use on King St. 

It was suggested that there be a count of bicycle usage - at least to get a beginning #, and if cars were going to be counted, bicycles should be too. 
at least take a count of the bicycle usage on the new Janney's Lane bike lanes. 


-asked what the removal of the parking spaces would have on home values. 
     residents felt it would allow potential buyers to offer lower amts. 
     others stated that bike lanes would add value 

-suggested that there only be a designated bike lane going uphill.  
     That is not possible.  not enough room for parking, bike and traffic
-suggested asking the Masonic Temple to open gates for bicycle traffic. 
    They have been approached, not going to allow it.  
-suggested to encourage cyclists to use other roads in the neighborhood 

-can residents apply for a permit allowing parking for parties or guest parking - 
     no - no room for parking on the street

-how will residents move in/out of homes? 
     staff suggested the use of driveways or side streets
     can they apply for special permits? 
staff didn't know
this issue was raised again by a resident and staff said they would have to look into it. 

- how will trash be collected?  
    how is it collected now? 
        put the trashcans at the curb, but in empty parking spaces. 
             so put in the bike lane? 
  How will trash trucks pick up the trash 
     as they do in the rest of the city, traffic will back up behind them. 

-some pointed out that the parking lanes actually allow them the space to get in to/out of their current driveways, affording them better sight and distance

-some pointed out that the parking lanes actually seem to slow the cars down, 

-it was suggested to put a red light camera on the light at Highland

-it was suggested to move the traffic light from Highland to Upland to help slow traffic down and cut down on some of the cut through traffic from Duke St. 

-suggestion to add sidewalks and parking restrictions along side streets  - Highland and Upland 

-it was suggested that city staff look at data from accident reports and traffic citations at the Janney's Lane, West View, King St. intersections, that information should have some bearing on the current state of that area before adding cyclists

-several cyclists stated that they will not use King St as it is now, it is way too dangerous, but they would use it with designated bike lanes. 

-a resident stated that they are not near a cross street and thus would have nowhere for guests to park, or place for carpool to pick up/drop off

-it was stated that this plan for bike lanes has been in the master plan since 2008

-it was suggested to add speed bumps at the top of King st. where it levels off, to reduce speeds. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Addressing Mental Health Issues - A series of FREE Presentations in October

Mental Health Issues

at Home and in the Workplace
A Series of Free Presentations October 6 - 10
In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act

Location for all presentations: Large Meeting Room, Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304. Parking on premises.
For more information call 703.746.1751 or visit

Sun., Oct. 6, 2 p.m.
 Community Conversation: Creating Partnerships to Support Recovery
Speaker: Michael Gilmore Ph.D., Director, Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) and Executive Director of the Alexandria Community Services Board.
Everyone can help community members with mental disabilities by learning more about mental health conditions and treatment, by reducing stigma, and by making health care a priority in our city. This presentation will feature a discussion about how we can make Alexandria a supportive and inclusive community. Light refreshments available.

Mon., Oct. 7, 12 p.m. Recognizing and Addressing Mental Health Concerns in the Workplace
Raising awareness of mental health needs and providing means for early intervention in the workplace can increase productivity, save money, and help employees maintain their health. Data about mental health in the workplace and ways to address mental health needs will be highlighted. *Note: To reserve a free box lunch, RSVP by Sept. 23 to 703.746.1743 or email:
Speakers: Kate A. Burke, Associate Director, Partnership for Workplace Mental Health;
Constance J. Juntunen, Director of Community Support Services, DCHS.
Master of Ceremonies: John J. Renner, Chair of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce.

Mon., Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m. An Interactive Workshop: Youth Mental Illness & Risky Behavior
Young people are vulnerable to mental illness, and by nature, risk takers. As adults, it’s our job to make sure youth have the support and resources they need to live healthy lives. This interactive workshop will highlight the results of a local survey of teens about their behaviors, signs and symptoms to look for, and will provide resources on prevention, mental illness, substance use, teen pregnancy and gangs.

Speakers: Tricia Bassing, Chief, Child Behavioral Health & Youth Development, DCHS;
Mike Mackey, Coordinator, Alexandria Gang Prevention Community Task Force;
Noraine Buttar, Coordinator, Substance Abuse Prevention Program Coalition of Alexandria, DCHS
Tue., Oct. 8, 10 a.m. Helping Older Adults Stay Mentally Strong and Resilient
Learn what resources and tools are available to help you stay mentally strong and how to recognize the symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression and dementia. Be your own advocate and learn how to get the most from your medications, including what to ask your doctor and pharmacist about your medications and how to reduce your risk of problems associated with certain medications and alcohol.

Speakers: Pharmacist Kathleen Cameron, Chair, Northern Virginia Alcohol and Aging Awareness Group; Amber Nightingale, Associate Director, Community Outreach, AARP Virginia;
Russell Hunter, Psy.D, Older Adult Clinical Services, DCHS.

Wed., Oct. 9, 11 a.m. Teaching Pre-School Children Confidence and Resilience
This presentation will provide information to parents and caregivers on strengthening protective factors and promoting resilience in preschool-age children.

Speaker: An Early Childhood Mental Health professional from the DCHS.

Wed., Oct. 9, 7 p.m. A Special Book and Author Presentation
In her memoir, More Than Bipolar, Lizabeth Schuch discusses her twenty-five years of experience with bipolar disorder, sharing the wisdom attained to break the hold of stigma, shame and fear surrounding this illness.
She shares the truth, from its manic and depressive extremes to the life lessons of understanding and maturity necessary to live well in recovery.

Speaker: Lizabeth Schuch, author of More Than Bipolar.

Thu., Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m. Documentary Film Presentation: Bully (PG-13)
Bully (PG-13)
Acclaimed as beautifully cinematic and character-driven, Bully tracks the experiences of five kids and their families during a school year. Each story “offers a different facet of America’s bullying crisis.” Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch made the film because of his own childhood experiences. He told an audience he hoped the film would stimulate “advocacy, engagement, and empowerment not just in people who are being bullied and in their families, but by those of us who all too often stand by and do nothing.”

Location for all presentations: Large Meeting Room, Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304. Parking on premises.
For more information call 703.746.1751 or visit

Toys, Gift Card Donations Sought for Children’s Holiday Event

perfect service project for boy scout troop, girl scout troop, or church organization: 

Toys, Gift Card Donations Sought for Children’s Holiday EventEvery year the Domestic Violence Program organizes a holiday party for mothers and children who have been served by the shelter. At the party, the families are reunited with past shelter friends and staff.  They enjoy a holiday meal together and have their photos taken with Santa Claus. Each parent also receives a bag of gifts for their children to be taken home, wrapped and placed under the tree. Annually, more than 100 families participate in this event, which is made possible by the community's generous donations.

If you would like to donate to the Children's Holiday Party this year, please bring unwrapped toys and gift cards for the mothers to the Domestic Violence Program, 421 King Street, Suite 400. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.All donations must be received by Monday, December 16. If you have any questions, please call Neeley Hughey 703.746.4911.

Changes Planned in Virginia Health Care Programs

Changes Planned in Virginia Health Care Programs
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, becomes effective October 1, people will have the opportunity to use the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace to compare and shop for private health insurance plans, as well as determine their eligibility for tax credits to help pay for coverage. There will also be some changes to Virginia’s existing health care programs.
Virginia has not made a final decision regarding expanding Medicaid coverage to newly eligible groups. At this time, Virginia will not provide healthcare options through Medicaid; however, the Affordable Care Act does bring new coverage options through the Federal Health Insurance Market Place. 
Individuals who are currently covered by Medicaid/FAMIS will remain on the program with only a few exceptions resulting from a change in the method used to determine eligibility. At renewal, if a case is determined to no longer be eligible, the staff at the Department of Community and Human Services will assess and make a referral to the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, as appropriate.
Individuals seeking healthcare coverage are encouraged to use the CommonHelp website to apply for Medicaid or FAMIS benefits. Persons can apply online via CommonHelp Individuals may also apply via mail, fax or in person at the Department of Community and Human Services. Most applications that are ineligible for Medicaid or FMAIS will be sent to the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
For more information on health care coverage options in Virginia, effective October 1, visit
Effective October 1, persons can apply for Medicaid/FAMIS by calling 1.855.242.8282. This call center is solely for taking Medicaid/FAMIS applications.
Beginning October 1, individuals can learn more about the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace and receive help filling out their Federal Health Insurance Marketplace application by visiting or calling 1.800.318.2586. Individuals will also be able to see if they qualify for a subsidy to help offset the cost of the insurance.  (Spanish language website is

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

T.C. Williams No Longer Among State's Lowest-Performing Schools


T.C. Williams No Longer Among State's Lowest-Performing Schools
VDOE Announcement Confirms School's Exit from Priority Status
Alexandria, Va. - T.C. Williams High School is no longer among the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I and Title I-eligible Virginia schools, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) announced today in a news release identifying Priority and Focus Schools for the 2013-14 school year. T.C. Williams is one of 10 that exited Priority status.
"This news validates the many indicators of T.C.'s progress on its road to improvement," said Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) Acting Superintendent Margaret Walsh. "I am confident that the school will continue to make great strides in student achievement."
VDOE designates the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools as Priority schools, and another 10 percent of Title I schools are identified as Focus schools based on the achievement of historically low-performing subgroups. Jefferson-Houston School remains a Priority school for the second consecutive year.
John Adams and Patrick Henry Elementary schools are identified as Focus schools for the second consecutive year. (Focus schools retain their designation for a minimum of two years, unless they are subsequently identified as Priority schools or no longer receive federal Title I funding).
VDOE, under the two-year No Child Left Behind Act flexibility waivers granted in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education, established annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for reducing proficiency gaps between students in the commonwealth's lowest-performing and highest-performing schools. These objectives in reading and mathematics have replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets schools were previously required to meet under the federal education law. To be designated as meeting all Federal AMOs, participation and performance targets must be met for both English and mathematics for nine subgroups. All schools, excluding those with a graduating class, must meet 36 targets to receive the status "Met All Federal AMOs."
Eight Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) schools (George Washington 1 Middle School; Charles Barrett, Douglas MacArthur, James K. Polk, Matthew Maury and Samuel W. Tucker elementary schools; Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy; and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology) met all 36 Federal AMOs in both English and mathematics. This represents an increase of two schools when compared with last year's results. ACPS as a division met all 18 Federal English AMOs and 17 out of 18 Federal Mathematics AMOs.
"It is important to consider the increased rigor of Virginia's new reading and mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) tests before making conclusions about schools that missed annual objectives," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said in the VDOE's news release. "Virginia has raised the bar to prepare students for the realities of the 21st century. Our challenge - from the superintendent's office to the classroom - is to make sure students have the instruction and interventions they need to achieve the commonwealth's college- and career-ready expectations, regardless of who they are or where they live."
Additional information on the progress of Virginia schools and divisions toward meeting the goals of the commonwealth's NCLB flexibility waiver is available on the Federal Accountability page of the VDOE website. Read the VDOE news release.

Give your input on the Alexandria Civic Engagement Handbook

FROM ACTion Alexandria:

Hello Everyone,

The City of Alexandria is seeking feedback on The Civic Engagement Handbook, a handbook which will guide how the City interfaces with the community to make public decisions. A complete draft of the Handbook is now available for public comment. To learn more about the Handbook and to leave comments for The City, please visit: 

Help shape the future of civic engagement today! 

Thank you!

Kerrin Epstein
ACTion Alexandria, an initiative of ACT for Alexandria 

Alexandria Police Investigate Attempted Abduction on King Street

Alexandria Police Investigate Attempted Abduction on King Street

Alexandria Police are investigating an attempted abduction that occurred on Monday, September 9, at approximately 9:41 p.m., in the 2000 block of King Street. A 23 year-old female reported that a man attempted to abduct her as she was walking home from the King Street Metro station. The suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her, and attempted to pull her over a wall onto the grounds of the Masonic Memorial. The victim fought off the suspect. There were no injuries.

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’5” tall.  He was wearing a ball cap, a black and white striped shirt and tan shorts. He may be a smoker. The suspect was last seen fleeing on foot southbound towards Duke Street. 

The Alexandria Police Department would like to remind residents of steps they can take to protect themselves and their family members from this type of crime.
 Always walk in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
 Whenever possible walk with others. 
 Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when streets are deserted.
 Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
 If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. Don’t be afraid to yell for help. 
 If you have headphones on, make sure you can hear noise - like sirens or someone approaching you at a quick pace. Don't become so distracted with listening to your MP3 that you fail to see or hear signals of an oncoming attack. 
 Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Carry a charged cell phone.
 Call 911 immediately if you see something suspicious or are involved in a crime. 

Remember, if a crime does occur, immediately contact the Police Department.  Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

Anyone with information about this incident or who might have been in the area is asked to call Detective Amy Santiago at 703.746.6289

Detectives would like to remind witnesses that they can remain anonymous.

New from FACE

Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center
Welcoming Families Back to School!

As our students settle into the new school year, FACE would like to also welcome our families back to school. You may not be in the classroom every day, but each and every one of you plays a very important role in the educational process. In fact, four decades of research indicates that family engagement is one of the strongest components of student success. 

But why?  Why is family involvement so important to your child's success? Because your child wants to please you!  It is part of a child's natural development to seek the approval of his/her parents. So if you hold education up as a priority and establish high expectations for your child, he/she will naturally strive to do his/her best.  Your involvement matters so much!

 So welcome back to school. Let's make this year a great one!
Help Your Child Succeed in School:
Navigating the School System 

This workshop is designed to assist new and returning parents in their efforts to support your children's learning. Parents will gain valuable information and tools that will help you to:
  • Best advocate for your child
  • Navigate the school system
  • Build a strong relationship with child's teacher/school
  • Create a home environment that is conducive to learning
  • Conduct successful parent-teacher conferences
All workshops are FREE. A light dinner will be served and childcare and interpreters provided.

Community Lodgings
607 Notabene Dr. - 22305
John Adams
5651 Rayburn - 22311
Brent Place
Reynolds Street - 22312
Cora Kelly STEM
3600 Commonwealth - 22305
ARHA Ruby Tucker
322 Tancil Court -  22314

Alexandria Story Festival
T.C. Williams High School 
3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302 
 10:00 am - 1:00 pm 
  • Meet ten great children's book authors!
  • Participate in fun literacy activities!
  • Get free books!
Join us at this FREE event for families of children birth through middle school. Show your child how important and fun reading is. 

Visit for more information. 

Your Opinion Matters:
Middle School Survey
Alexandria City Public Schools is in the process of evaluating the George Washington and Francis C. Hammond middle school campuses.  Please take the opportunity to provide your feedback by completing the appropriate survey below.  You are welcome to share the following links with anyone who may be interested in participating.  All survey responses are requested byFriday, September 20, 2013.

Parents of students currently enrolled at any George Washington or Francis C. Hammond Middle School are asked to participate in the parent survey by clicking on the "Parent Survey" link above. The survey is available in both English and Spanish.

Any members of our local school community are encouraged to participate by clicking on the "Community Survey" link above. The survey is available in both English and Spanish.

New FACE Manager
Dear ACPS Families,
I am so happy to share with you that I have been promoted within ACPS and in addition to providing oversight to the FACE Center, I will also be coordinating volunteer and community partnerships for the school division. This is very exciting for me and I look forward to all the opportunities this new position brings. While I will miss seeing all of you so often, I am certain you will be well served by the new FACE Manger, Ms. Krishna Leyva.  She has a long history of working with students and families in Alexandria and is committed to carrying forward this movement which I have been so fortunate to have begun with each of you. 
Shanna Samson
Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Partnerships
If you are interested in volunteering in your child's school, please register here.

For questions regarding the volunteer process, please contact Linda Rodriguez at 703-824-6865 or    
The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) is Now Accepting Class of 2013 Applications 
Learn how to advocate effectively for your children's futures. For more information, visit the PLTI website.
Register for SCAN's ENGLISH and SPANISH
ABCs of Parenting Class
To register, participants must call 703-820-9001to make an appointment for a one-hour intake interview at SCAN's office that includes program pre-test
and review of class guidelines.
Contact Information
Contact FACE Manager,
Krishna Leyva at
Email Krishna

Family Night 2013


If you have not already done so, please take a moment to complete the survey so we know what worked and where we need to work harder.

Get contact information and follow up with all the great resources that are available to your family in the Alexandria community.
If you haven't already checked out the photos from Family Night, do so now!

 What is FACE? 
The Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center of ACPS is our way of involving all of Alexandria in the educational experience of our youth. Through freeinformation, resources, workshops and fun activities for students and adults, the FACE Center connects you and your family to the academic achievements of students.
Why is this important?
Family engagement is critical to the success of every ACPS student. Your parenting at home, our joint communication, community volunteers in the schools and collaboration with the City's leaders and agencies all set the stage for academic success. With your involvement, we can be sure your children will come to school prepared to learn each day, behave appropriately and participate, earn good grades and test scores, aspire to take advanced-level classes, graduate from high school and go on to a successful adult life.