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TJ Admissions – School Board Approves New Policy
Without a doubt, something has gone wrong in the TJ admissions process. A high percentage of students requiring math remediation impacts the quality of the school as a whole. Clearly, math admission standards need to be raised and the process needs reworking.
In response to these concerns, on September 12, 2013, the School Board voted unanimously in favor of Policy 3355.4, which defines TJ as a school for “students with exceptional quantitative skills.” Revised Part III of Policy 3355 also would give the new FCPS Superintendent, Dr. Karen Garza, authority to cease using the old “sliding scale” approach to selecting semifinalists.
This vote was preceded by testimony from 10 speakers, all of whom supported the proposed changes to Policy 3355:
According to TJ principal Evan Glazer, who serves on the administrative committee that Dr. Garza formed to revise Regulation 3355, “I support a rigorous process to ensure the students with greatest potential in STEM are not overlooked.”
This change has been in the works for over a year. Significant time and energy has gone into the wording of Policy 3355.4, and there is still much work to be done in revising Regulation 3355. Implementation of the new policy can now begin.
Scheduled School Board Work Session-Advanced Academic Program Review Next Steps
On July 15, 2013 the Fairfax County School Board is scheduled to discuss the "Next Steps" following the review of Fairfax County's Advanced Academic Programs. The worksession is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am at the Gatehouse Building, with the AAP agenda item scheduled for 11:00 am. The detailed agenda for this item may be found here.
Documentation pertaining to the review is posted on the FCAG site here.
Please Join Us for the Next FCAG Meeting Featuring Intel ISEF Winners Jack Andraka and Andrea Li
Jack Andraka is a 16-year old sophomore from North County High School and lives in Crownsville, Maryland. He won Intel ISEF in 2012 for developing a novel paper sensor that could detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer in 5 minutes for as little as 3 cents. He conducted this research at Johns Hopkins University. He is also on the national junior wildwater kayaking team, has won awards at multiple national and international math competitions, and enjoys playing with his dog and folding origami.
Andrea Li is a 16-year old junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She won the Governor's Award and the First Grand Prize at the State Fair and a $3,000 First Grand Award at ISEF for her project in Biochemistry. Her research focused on minimizing breast cancer and leukemia cell proliferation.
FCAG Special Events
On Sunday, February 24th, FCAG sponsored a fun lecture by Professor Arthur Benajmin of Harvey Mudd College. Also known as "The Mathemagician", Professor Benjamin is the author of "Secrets of Mental Math". Professor Benjamin's TEDTalk may be viewed here.
If you have a suggestion for a special program, please contact us here.
Math Acceleration at FCPS Middle and High Schools
Data from 2001-02 to 2011-12 on the number of students at each middle school taking the Geometry SOL test and scoring pass advanced may be found here.
Data from 2011-12 on the number of 9th graders at each high school taking the Algebra 2 SOL test and scoring pass advanced, along with the number of TJ 10th graders taking the Algebra 2 Sol test and scoring pass advanced, may be found here.
Proposed Changes to FCPS AAP Programs
In Spring 2012, an FCPS staff task force was convened to consider changes to the elementary and middle school Advanced Academic (AA) Program. Task Force documents provided to the School Board members included:
On December 8, FCPS staff posted revised AAP restructuring recommendations on the FCPS web site.
On December 10, the School Board held a work session to consider whether to move forward with some or all of FCPS staff's proposed restructuring of the AAP elementary and middle school programs. More details about the inital and revised staff proposals are described in the documents posted on the FCAG GT/AAP in FCPS page.
Documents that FCPS staff provided to the School Board at the Dec. 10th Work Session:
At the School Board meeting on December 20, the following revised documents were posted that would open 4 new elementary school AAP Centers at Lemon Road, Westbriar, Navy, and Silverbrook and 4 new middle school AAP Centers at Cooper, Herndon, South County, and Thoreau.
The proposal will be discussed at a work session on January 14. At an evening meeting on January 24, the School Board will vote on one or more AAP-related motions.
- School Readiness Checklist
- New Proposal for AAP Centers Elementary
- New Proposal for AAP Centers Middle
- ATTACHMENT A of Strauss amendment
- ATTACHMENT B of Strauss amendment
For more information and suggestions about how to effectively express your views about the FCPS staff's AAP proposals, please read this flyer.
TJ Admissions Update
November 12, 2012 Work Session Update
On November 12, the School Board decided to ask the School Board's Governance Committee to draft changes to Policy 3355 that would increase the emphasis on academic ability and achievement in admitting students to TJ. These changes to FCPS Policy 3355 will be brought to the School Board for a vote this winter or spring of 2013.
School Board members talked about putting greater emphasis on aptitude and achievement in the first paragraph of the policy and incorporating language the State uses about a Governor's School, which can be found on the FCAGhere.
September 24, 2012 Work Session Update
At the Sept. 24, 2012 work session, the School Board asked its Governance Committee to take a look at the current TJ policy 3355.3 to see if it needed to be changed in light of community concerns. The Governance Committee met on Oct. 1, 2012 and talked about the ambiguity of a few terms in the regulation and asked FCPS staff to provide working definitions of terms for the School Board by the Nov. 12, 2012 work session. The definitions can be found here.
For more information about prior School Board meetings on this issue, please scroll through the TJ Info Tab on this website.