A Fair and Night on College

The Fairfax County school system will hold its 29th annual college fair Oct. 17, followed a day later by a college night.

The fair, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Mall, will bring together representatives from more than 350 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. They will talk to prospective students and parents about admission requirements, athletic programs, financial aid, considerations for students with disabilities, strategies for minority students and more. Two-year, four-year, technical, business and nursing schools will be represented.

The college night will be from 7 to 9 Oct. 18 at Hayfield Secondary School. It will offer college-related workshops in which students and parents can learn about attending and affording private colleges, receiving financial aid and writing a successful college essay. There will also be workshops for college-bound minority students, students with disabilities, students interested in college-level athletics and students pursuing the arts.

Fair Oaks Mall is at 11750 Fair Oaks, Fairfax. Hayfield is at 7630 Telegraph Rd. in the Alexandria section of Fairfax. More information is at www.fcps.edu/DSSSE/CollegeFairNight.

Scholarship Workshop Set

The Reston Community Center will hold a free scholarship workshop for parents, high school students and undergraduate and graduate students from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 16.

The seminar will help participants conduct scholarship searches, write essays and learn interview strategies. The workshop will be conducted by author Marianne Ragins, who won more than $400,000 in scholarship money to pay for her own college education. It will be held at the Hunters Woods center, 2310 Colts Neck Rd. For more information, call Shauna Cole at 703-476-4500 or visit www.scholarshipworkshop.com.

Parent Clusters Scheduled

Fairfax School Superintendent Jack D. Dale will participate in all parent cluster meetings this fall, school officials said.

Among the topics are the No Child Left Behind Act and Dale's vision for the school district. School Board members will also attend the meetings.

The school system is divided into eight clusters, each consisting of two to four high schools and their feeder elementary and middle schools. Each cluster is led by a director. Cluster IV was scheduled to meet last night at Whitman Middle School.

All meetings start at 7 p.m. The remaining schedule:

* Clusters I and II: Nov. 10, Marshall High School, 7731 Leesburg Pike (Route 7).

* Clusters III and VI: Nov. 11, Woodson High School, 9525 Main St., Fairfax.

* Cluster V: Oct. 25, Hayfield Secondary School, 7630 Telegraph Rd. in the Alexandria section of Fairfax.

* Clusters VII and VIII: Oct. 28, Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Rd., Vienna.

Students Run Credit Union

Annandale High School will open a student-run branch of Apple Federal Credit Union today during lunch periods beginning at 10:26 a.m. at the school.

The school becomes the latest county school to open a branch of Apple FCU, a financial institution.

A new branch at Edison High School will open Oct. 14, and branches at other county high schools are being planned. Currently, there are branches at Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, Herndon, Langley, Lee, Marshall, Mount Vernon and Oakton high schools and Robinson Secondary School.

Students can open a savings account with a $5 deposit. Products and services offered by the credit union are available to students and their parents at the branches.

Four students in advanced accounting classes will staff the Annandale branch as managers and tellers. Daily operations such as deposits, withdrawals and new member processing can take place at the student branch. The students are responsible for day-to-day operations of their school branches.

For more information, visit www.applefcu.org.

Applications for Jefferson

Applications for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology are available in county middle schools and many private schools in participating school divisions. The deadline for applications is Oct. 29.

Thomas Jefferson, which is in the Alexandria section of the county, offers a college preparatory program emphasizing the sciences, mathematics and technology.

Each middle school counseling office has applications, brochures and newsletters about the admissions process, along with information about obtaining a test handbook.

There will be an open house from 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 16 at which students and parents can hear presentations about the school program and admissions. Teachers and current students will be available to talk about classes, homework and other activities.

For more information, call 703-750-8335.

Meeting on Va. Standards

The Virginia Board of Education will hold a meeting about the proposed revisions to the Standards of Quality at 7 p.m. next Thursday at Marshall High School.

These standards define what constitutes a basic quality education in Virginia's public schools. Those wanting to speak at the meeting may register at 6:30 p.m. and will be limited to three minutes each. Speakers also will be asked to provide a written copy of their comments and are asked to identify the standards they are addressing.

A copy of the proposed revisions are available at www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/VA_Board/Meetings/2004/.

Comments also can be sent to the Virginia Board of Education, attention Margaret Roberts, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Va. 23218-2120.

Marshall is at 7731 Leesburg Pike (Route 7).

-- Compiled by DIANE MATTINGLY

and STEPHEN C. FEHR

With the new south county high school, meetings are scheduled to determine its attendance area. Story, Page 9.