Principal Laura Siegelbaum enters her 10th years as principal of Beverly farms, and she has been in the Montgomery County Public Schools since 1980.
What is the biggest difference you foresee between this year and last year?
“Actually, we’ve been at a very stable transition. Typically we have four or five new teachers. … We have a more or less stable teaching staff which is great in terms of continuity.”
Due to county staffing guidelines, Beverly Farms was informed by the county last May that it had to cut three classroom teachers, a halftime kindergarten teacher, a part-time reading initiation teacher and part-time music appreciation/phys ed teacher. Most positions were reinstated over the summer. “The net loss was two classroom teachers.”
Is there anything you wish parents would do more of?
“The parents in our community are very involved in our children’s education. … Rather than say do more, I would say continue their high level of involvement.” One example: “Volunteering when the class sizes are very large.”
Is there anything parents should do less?
What is a challenge that Beverly Farms faces as a school?
“It’s not unique to our school, but we’re at a time of very rigorous academic instruction. … The challenge is to remember these are children. … Sometimes I think that gets lost with all this focus on academics and numbers.”
What is your favorite thing about Beverly Farms?
“There’s a special spirit, and a special feeling, and you can sense it when you walk in the door. … It’s just a very comforting place to be. I love that about this school.”
Another favorite part of Siegelbaum’s job is “just seeing students do their thing. … It’s just amazing to see the things they create.”
<lst>Beverly Farms Elementary School
8501 Post Oak Road
Potomac, MD 20854
Principal: Laura Siegelbaum
PTA President: Joanne Sperling
Learning and Academic Disabilities
African American: 5.3%
% Receiving Spec. Ed.: 11.1
% ESOL: 6.0
% FARMS: 2.5
Student/Instructional Staff Ratio: 11.8
Average Class Size (Grades 1-2): 22.4
Average Class Size (Grades 3-5): 26.5
Average Class Size (Kindergarten): 17.7
Projected Enrollment/Capacity: 497/627