SATURDAY 4/13: Bilingual Concert at MEH

In celebration of The Week of the Young Child (April 14-20), bilingual educator, children’s author, and recording artist José-Luis Orozco will bring his folk guitar and wide repertoire of songs from throughout Mexico and Latin America for an interactive concert on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 11 a.m., at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church.  Concert tickets are available at, $5 for children and $7 for adults.  Read more

City Property Assessments up 2.9 Percent – Individual Assessments Coming Mid-February

Monday, January 28, 2013

The total taxable assessed value for all properties in the City as of Jan. 1, 2013, is $3,324,120,300 ($3.3 billion), a 2.9 percent increase from January 1, 2012. The City plans to mail assessments for 2013 in February, so property owners should receive the notices on or after Tuesday, Feb. 12. Updated assessment information will be posted on the City website Monday, Feb. 11. Individual assessment information will not be available until after the mailing.

Overall residential real estate values increased 3.1 percent over the last year. Single family home values increased by 3.5 percent, townhomes increased by 3.6 percent, and residential condominiums had varying changes.

Overall commercial property values increased 1.6 percent since January 2012. The real estate value of multi-family apartments increased 5 percent, large office buildings are up 0.2 percent and large retail properties are up 3.9 percent. The value of City hotels remained flat.

As set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value. The City’s Office of Real Estate Assessment calculates property value annually using mass appraisal techniques that are standard in the real estate assessment industry.

Real Estate Taxes and Public Hearings

The notice of assessment is an appraisal of the fair market value of the property; it is not a tax bill. Property tax payments will be due in two installments on June 5 and Dec. 5; property owners will receive bills prior to these dates.

The real estate tax rate will be determined on April 22, 2013, when the Falls Church City Council adopts the Fiscal Year 2014 Operating Budget and Capital Improvements Program and sets the tax rate. Public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2014 Proposed Operating Budget will be held on March 25, April 8, and April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (300 Park Ave.). To see the complete budget schedule, visit

Assessment Appeals

Individual assessments will be mailed in February. After evaluating the assessment, homeowners wondering if their assessment is correct should ask the question, “Would my home sell for the assessed value if I put it on the market?” If the answer is “yes,” the assessment is probably accurate. If the answer is “no,” contact the Office of Real Estate Assessment at 703-248-5022 (TTY 711).

Deadlines for assessment appeals are Friday, March 15, 2013, for an Office of Real Estate Assessment review and Friday, July 5, 2013 for a Board of Equalization review. More information about the assessment review process is available online at


by stan


THURSDAY, 11/15: GMHS Winter Sports Info Night

The George Mason High School Winter Sports Parent Information Night is scheduled for this Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 7:30pm in the Mustang Cafe.  Parents of all Winter Sports athletes are invited to join Athletic Director Tom Horn to learn about GMHS’s winter season policies and practices.  All are welcome!

Hiscott to Lead Falls Church Education Foundation

November 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

November 10, 2012

The Falls Church Education Foundation has named Debbie Shantz-Hiscott as interim Director of the Foundation.

Hiscott is well known within the school community, having served as both President of the Falls Church Elementary School PTA and Vice President of the Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School PTA. In those roles she led more than 48 committee chairs and hundreds of volunteers in fundraising, membership, communications, programming, community building and advocacy.

Hiscott also served as Parent and Community Liaison on FCCPS’ Long Range Facilities Planning Committee and the Architectural Planning Committee addressing needs of students and faculty and has acted as an advocate on budget and class size issues with local government. She is active in youth sports, serving as a coach for both basketball and lacrosse as well as a board member for Cardinal Girls Lacrosse Club.

In addition to her volunteer roles, she has nine years of professional experience, including five as a Senior Manager, Business Development with MCI Telecommunications/Verizon and two as a Managing Director with a large trade association. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations and Psychology with an economics concentration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed an honors semester abroad at the London School of Economics.

“I am excited to build upon the successes of the Falls Church Education Foundation and to combine my professional and community experience to benefit the stellar schools in the City of Falls Church,” Hiscott said. “We have a strong volunteer community interested in keeping our public school system one of the best in the country. The programs funded by FCEF and its donors can help to ensure a top notch educational experience at all of our schools.”

“We are delighted that the FCEF will be continuing their great work through the leadership of Interim Director Debbie Hiscott,” said Dr. Toni Jones, FCCPS Superintendent of Schools. “FCEF is a valued partner and the funds raised over the past 8 years have made a tremendous difference for our staff and students.  We are incredibly grateful to FCEF for the many years of support.”

Hiscott will, with the help of Foundation volunteers, be tackling the responsibilities that were previously handled by its full-time Executive Director and a part-time administrative staff member.

“We believe that Debbie’s involvement with the Foundation will allow us to streamline some of our overhead functions so that we can focus even more on our mission of providing supplemental support to the Falls Church City Public Schools,” announced David Chavern, President of the all-volunteer FCEF Board of Directors.

“Over the next six months, the Foundation Board will assess whether a single part-time staff position, supported by a network of volunteers, may be sufficient to cover our staffing needs longer term,” added Chavern.

The structure of FCEF, which maintains a professionally managed institutional investment account, is designed as a vehicle to address large-scale, multi-year funding needs across the entire FCCPS school system. The organization presently stewards $1.3 million dollars in funds.

“To be responsible stewards of those funds, a certain level of expertise, continuity, and accountability is required and goes beyond reasonable expectations for a volunteer to fulfill,” Chavern continued. “We are fortunate to have Debbie willing to take on this role and assist us as we move through this transition.”

Funding for FCEF’s mission is derived both from unrestricted gifts as well as donor directed gifts, where the donor, not the Foundation, determines use of the funds. Unrestricted gifts are collected annually through the membership campaign as well as general proceeds from the Annual Gala, Run for the Schools and Thanksgiving Pie Sale. These contributions cover operational expenses and are used at the Board’s discretion, with input from the schools, for supporting projects related to FCCPS.

FCEF also maintains an institutional investment account for its restricted gifts, which are funds only available to fulfill the stated purpose of the donors and which includes several donor-backed scholarships awarded to graduating seniors of George Mason High School. Details of many of the projects supported by FCEF funding initiatives can be found on FCEF’s website.

The Foundation was formed in 2003 to ensure that the Falls Church City Pubic Schools maintain the highest standard of excellence in education and that all students are prepared to effectively meet the challenges of the 21st Century. For more information on the Foundation visit:


FRIDAY, 9/28: First Home Game for Mason Field Hockey Club

Field hockey has taken off in Falls Church!  In its second year, the George Mason High School Field Hockey Club has expanded to 40 girls and more than doubled the number of games. The club fields both varsity and junior varsity teams under new head coach Anne Steenhoek.  Assistant coaches are Elizabeth Garner, Kristen Terry, Briana Solomita, Mary Lancaster and Gussie Reilly.  The teams practice three times a week on the GMHS turf field. 

As the result of impressive fundraising efforts, the club has been able to purchase uniforms and goalie equipment. The teams will compete against teams in the Loudoun County-based Potomac Field Hockey Club. In addition, the club has games or scrimmages scheduled with several local public and private schools (McLean HS, Yorktown HS, The Potomac School, Madeira, Bishop O’Connell HS). 

George Mason will have its first home games at Moore Cadillac Stadium this Friday night September 28 against teams from Potomac Field Hockey Club.  The JV game will begin at 6:30pm and the varsity game will begin at 7:45pm.  Admission is free, but donations are accepted as the club does not receive school funding.

THURSDAY, 9/13: Field Hockey Fundraiser at Flippin Pizza

The GMHS Girls Field Hockey team will hold a fundraiser at Flippin Pizza Thursday, September 13 from 4-9pm to help buy new uniforms for the 40 girls now on its roster.  Flippin Pizza will donate 50% of proceeds from sales to patrons presenting the fundraising flyer.

THURSDAY, 7/19: Beatles Music with Apple Core

Apple Core will perform at 7pm Thursday July 19 at Cherry Hill Park as part of “Summer Concerts in Cherry Hill Park,” sponsored by the Village Preservation and Improvement Society and the City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department.   Apple Core is a very popular local band which recreates music from the Beatles.

The Summer Concert series, now in its 20th season, takes place at 7pm on Thursdays throughout the summer and features bands with a local connection.

Next up after Apple Core will be:

July 26 – Billy Coulter Band. Multiple WAMMIE award winner for album, song, vocalist and songwriter, Billy returns to Cherry Hill with his rock and pop sound

August 2 – Tom Principato. Tom’s band travels extensively and has won multiple WAMMIE awards, featuring rock and blues, with emphasis on Tom’s guitar skills.

Additional information is available at the City website.

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