Annual College Fair

The annual Loudoun County college fair will be held Sunday at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.

Representatives of more than 175 colleges, technical schools and military groups will be available to answer questions from students and parents. For the first time, the fair will be held in two shifts: from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Parking at Stone Bridge is limited. Buses will leave from Loudoun Valley High School, Harmony Intermediate School, Heritage High School and Loudoun County High School at 3:30 p.m. and return from Stone Bridge at 6 p.m.

Buses will leave from Park View High School, Potomac Falls High School and Dominion High School at 6:30 p.m. and return from Stone Bridge at 9 p.m. Overflow parking will be available at Sanders Corner Elementary School, Hillside Elementary School and Broad Run High School, where shuttles will leave about every 15 minutes.

'Blue Ribbon' for School

C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary School in New Baltimore is the first Fauquier County school to be named a high-performing "blue ribbon school" by the Department of Education.

It was one of four public schools in Virginia and 250 across the nation selected because of significant progress in closing achievement gaps or because their students consistently achieve at high levels. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, schools must meet adequate yearly progress in reading and language arts and math. Each state sets its academic standards and benchmark goals.

Fauquier Superintendent J. David Martin said he was proud of Ritchie Principal Lee Bell and his staff, adding that the blue ribbon "truly exemplifies this school division's dedication to providing the finest education experiences for our students."

Bell, who has been principal of Ritchie since it opened in 1990, said he was surprised to learn Friday afternoon of his school's blue ribbon status. "Certainly, all the credit goes to the dedicated staff and the families we serve," he said.

Passport Processing

Beginning Nov. 1, passport applications will not be processed in the Loudoun County court clerk's office.

Gary M. Clemens, clerk of the Circuit Court, told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the U.S. Postal Service provides full-service passport offices at several locations in Loudoun.

Clemens said he planned to redirect staff and resources to the land records office, which has experienced overwhelming growth in the past two years.

He said most clerks in Virginia have discontinued passport services, including Fairfax County last year.

Post offices in Loudoun that provide all passport services are:

* Ashburn post office, 21731 Filigree Court.

* Middleburg post office, 113 W. Washington St.

* Potomac Falls post office, 46164 W. Lake Dr.

* Purcellville post office, 220 Hatcher St.

Clemens said the Leesburg post office on Catoctin Circle would begin providing full passport services soon.

-- Compiled by LESLIE SHEPHERD and ROSALIND S. HELDERMAN