Dr. Linda Jones enters her fourth year as principal of Carderock Springs Elementary School.
What is the biggest difference you foresee between this year and last year?
“The biggest difference of this year is that we’ve had the mathematics curriculum taught through all the grades.” Two years ago, MCPS changed the math curriculum to adapt to new state and federal educations guidelines and standards. Last year the new curriculum was implemented from kindergarten through second grade; it will be taught in grades 3 through 5 from this year on.
“It’s very problem-solving oriented. … They’re doing a lot of real-life, authentic mathematical tasks.”
“We have new entry doors, making them in line with codes [enabling] wheelchair access to all doors.… It’s providing a level of security that [was necessary] last year, unfortunately.”
Is there anything you wish parents would do more of?
“I couldn’t imagine what Carderock Springs parents could do more of. … We have outstanding support from the parents and the community. Anything we need for our school in terms of supplies [and] helping out with volunteering.”
“We’ve spruced up the appearance of the school. … We have some painting going on, and that’s a direct result of our parental community.”
Is there anything parents should do less?
“As school opens, all of the community members and parents need to be aware of the parking regulations and dropping of the students. … Some accidents and serious issues have come up on Persimmon Tree Road. ”
“The Carderock Springs community has no sidewalks, so all the students ride the bus. … Pedestrian safety in general is an issue [and] we want to remind everybody to look out for our kids.”
What is a challenge that Carderock Springs faces as a school?
“I don’t know that our challenges are unique [but] all of us are taxed in the county in finding space. … We are constantly challenged with space. Every space is utilized to the max.”
“In the best of all worlds, you would have a lot of small group rooms. … It would be lovely to have some private places to work with children. ”
“Everybody is always sharing [classrooms] and we try to make the best of it.”
What is your favorite thing about Carderock Springs?
“I love the same thing I’ve loved since the first time I walked into a classroom – it’s the children. … They’re happy to be there; they’re happy to be kids. … They challenge you, and they keep you young.”
“Any time I’m having a bad day, all I have to do is walk into a kindergarten class. They love me, and everything is right with the world.”
Jones doesn’t look to intimidate students, and even those who are in hot water find Jones’ office a cheerful place filled with dozens of teddy bears and a principal who is willing to forgive them.
“Everybody deserves a chance to rise above their worst mistakes,” said Jones. “As an adult, I’m still making mistakes. … When you’re in trouble, and that happens, it’s an opportunity to learn.”
The violence of Sept. 11, 2001 and the area sniper shootings last fall have changed the perspectives and outlooks of elementary school students, Jones said. “[Students] have to grow up faster, earlier. I think that some of us are concerned about the loss of innocence so early,” said Jones.
Carderock Springs Elementary School
7401 Persimmon Tree Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817
Principal: Linda Jackson Jones
PTA Presidents: Paula Laboy and Liz Sobrino
African American: 2.2%
% Receiving Spec. Ed.: 6.9
% ESOL: 3.1
% FARMS: 1.6
Student/Instructional Staff Ratio: 12.1
Average Class Size (Grades 1-2): 25.8
Average Class Size (Grades 3-5): 22.6
Average Class Size (Kindergarten): 17.0
Projected Enrollment/Capacity: 295/319