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F.C. Schools Chief Says Initial #s Show Big Enrollment Growth Due

Falls Church Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones told a community meeting at the American Legion lodge tonight that preliminary numbers are indicating a major uptick in enrollment at George Mason High School from 880 at the end of the year in June to 940 for the start of the new school year next month. She said that all the School system’s $150,000 contingency fund will “probably be gone tomorrow” as new classes in English, math and science are being contemplated to accommodate the surge of enrollment growth.

img 5310F.C. Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones spoke at the community issues meeting tonight about the robust growth in enrollment coming at George Mason High. (Photo: News-Press)

Falls Church Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones told a community meeting at the American Legion lodge tonight that preliminary numbers are indicating a major uptick in enrollment at George Mason High School from 880 at the end of the year in June to 940 for the start of the new school year next month. She said that all the School system’s $150,000 contingency fund will “probably be gone tomorrow” as new classes in English, math and science are being contemplated to accommodate the surge of enrollment growth.

Her report came in the midst of a community forum organized by the Falls Church Republican Committee which, because more than two F.C. Council members were scheduled to appear, had to be hastily converted into a special meeting of the Council by the City Clerk. Since Freedom of Information Act laws prohibit more than two Council members from assembling together to talk about items that may come before it, Clerk Kathy Buschow said the formal step of converting tonight’s meeting into a special session called by the acting city manager was required.

Mayor Nader Baroukh and fellow Council members Ron Peppe, Ira Kaylin, Johannah Barry and David Tarter were on hand to listen to citizen input and answer questions on a range of subjects, but the hottest issue was how the Schools’ need for $500,000 in technology upgrades can be met, given that the Council voted against utilization in surplus funds to meet that need this Monday night.

The question of whether or not the issue could be revisited at the Council’s next meeting on Aug. 10, although pressed by meeting moderator Harry Shovin, was not clearly answered by any Council members, although Mayor Baroukh acknowledged that needed funding for other programs, such as the City’s dues to WMATA, will need to be revisited on Aug. 10. It is felt that could open the door for a revisiting of the Schools’ request, as well.

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