Area school officials are busy preparing for the first day of classes.
At Northeast High School, Principal Joseph Carducci and his faculty have planned an orientation at 7 p.m. Wednesday for new students and parents.
"We hope to begin this school year on the same positive note we struck last year with our orientation program," Carducci said.
Drama students, under Ron Price's direction, will present a short play, "A Haunting on Duvall Highway (My First Day as a Freshman) -- The Return."
Following the play and some brief remarks from administrators, Student Government and National Honor Society members will offer school tours.
Student activity representatives, fall sport coaches and members of the Sports and Music Boosters, PTSA and CAC will discuss school participation.
* George Fox Middle School will offer a student orientation at 7 Thursday for incoming sixth-graders, new students and parents.
Principal John Brown and administrators and counselors will provide general information about the school and building tours.
Students who will be walking to school and their parents should attend a special safety meeting at 6 p.m. that evening.
"We will be discussing problems with traffic in the area and the special routes students should take to school," said school spokeswoman Christine Stubbs.
A brief reminder to parents: School administrators are asking that incoming sixth-grade students have their MMR boosters before starting school this year.
Questions? Call the school at 437-5514.
* Chesapeake High School invites all ninth-graders and their parents to attend an orientation program at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Principal Harry Calendar and his administrators will present a brief overview of the school. Students will receive their first-semester schedules and spend a "mini-day" touring classrooms and meeting teachers.
While the program is geared to incoming ninth-graders, new students entering grades 10 through 12 and their parents also may attend and tour the facilities.
* Eight students enrolled in the summer leadership program at Fort Smallwood Elementary School recently completed their training.
The students are Eric Fileta, Matthew Knutsen, Pamela Hemmings, Emily Ison, Erin Kemp, Samantha Lee, Becky Marks and Stefani Zalewski.
The students worked on ways to alleviate conflicts and improve public speaking skills and citizenship activities, explained school counselor Carolyn Keenen.
"They will be helping our school population this year, in their own fifth-grade class and in the primary and intermediate grades," Keenen said.
* The Parent-Student Evening Speaker Series, offered by the Chesapeake High School guidance department, will offer eight community programs.
"Our purpose is to provide information [that is] relevant to parents and students of the high school, as well as to parents of middle school and elementary school-aged children," said counselor and series coordinator Edie Picken.
"Several of the topics we will be offering this year are extremely important to all parents because of the timeliness of the issue being covered," she added.
Series presentations will take place at 7 p.m. every first Wednesday in the school cafeteria.
Monthly topics are:
* Sept. 2 -- High school and post-high school planning.
* Oct. 7 -- Preparing for the options: Gaining skills for work during high school.
* Nov. 4 -- Financial planning for the future.
* Dec. 2 -- Financial Aid: What is it, and what should I know?
* Jan. 6 -- What's college like? Chesapeake alumni will discuss their college experiences.
* Feb. 3 -- The changing work force: What can I do to meet the challenge?
* March 3 -- Gaining experience: Summer employment.
* April 1 -- Using summer to explore.
As always, if school is closed due to inclement weather, the presentation will be rescheduled.
For more details, call Picken at 255-9600.
* Travel to the Jersey Shore on Friday for a day of sun and casino fun at Trump Plaza with the Orchard Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
The bus will leave at 9:45 a.m. from the fire hall on Solley Road and return at 11 p.m.
The cost for this mini-Atlantic City vacation is $20 per person. Participants will receive $5 in coins.
For more details, call 255-7464 or 255-1607.
* The Anne Arundel County Volunteer Firemen's Association invites everyone to the annual Miss Fire Prevention and Junior Miss Fire Prevention contest Sunday at the Riviera Beach Fire Hall on Fort Smallwood Road. The county-wide contest will begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Ten candidates representing local volunteer fire companies will compete for the titles: four in the seniors category and six in the juniors.
In the seniors division, the following young ladies have entered: Jennifer Davis from Harwood-Lothian; Kimberly Muhl from Earleigh Heights; Christina Gies from Herald Harbor; and Pamela Chrisman from Glen Burnie.
Junior misses competing are: Lauren Guzik from Armiger; Heather Appenseller from Maryland City; Amber Coffman from Linthicum; Nicole Leighton from Galesville; Danielle Berry from Glen Burnie; and Erin Owings from Herald Harbor.
"It's not a beauty pageant or talent show," said contest co-chairwoman and former title holder Tracey Austin.
About the only similarity to normal beauty pageants is an evening gown competition for the seniors, explained pageant chairman Henry Brewer.
The young ladies will be judged on their general appearance, poise, speaking ability, personality and fire prevention knowledge.
Contestants must submit an essay on what fire prevention means to them. Judges also will ask them fire prevention questions during the pageant.
Winners will be crowned on Sunday evening by the current Miss Fire Prevention, Christine Mudd, and the current Junior Miss Fire Prevention, Christina Weedon.