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Votes

Bells Mill Keeps Growing

Back to School -- Bells Mill Elementary

What is the biggest difference you foresee between this year and last year?

“We’ve added several new staff members and we are going to be implementing the new [mathematics] curriculum currently in grades 1-3. … We also implemented a new curriculum guide for the kindergarten [teachers].”

A third afternoon kindergarten session has been added at the school, as well as a fifth portable classroom. “There are four classes of 5th-graders instead of the usual three.”

“The reading language arts curriculum for 3rd-graders is now organized into quarterly semesters. … Teachers have attended training through the summer.”

Is there anything you wish parents would do more of?

“We would love to have more parents participate in working to support our programs this year. … We want and support even more participation.”

No only parents, but community members could get involved. They could “work with children, read to children, become involved in academic [programs].”

Is there anything parents should do less?

“No. We love having the community involved in school programs. We encourage that.”

What is a challenge that Bells Mill faces as a school?

“A lot of it is because of our school growing, and our facilities not growing with us. … Head Start and kindergarten share space.”

“Another challenge is coming together as a school family, really creating the relationships that are so important. … We are truly trying to become a K-5 vertical school, so all teachers have the big picture of expectations for students.”

What is your favorite thing about Bells Mill?

“We have a very diverse and dynamic community that works very well together and is a phenomenal support to us. … I also love the professional dedication and commitment of my staff.”

Bells Mill Elementary School

8225 Bells Mill Road

Potomac, MD 20854

Phone: 301-469-1046

Grades: Pre K-5

Principal: Jerri B. Oglesby

PTA President: Wendy Wilson

Special Programs:

Autism

Head Start

Head Start provides education and early childhood development services for low-income children. The program offers individualized services for medical, dental, and mental health, and encourages parent involvement.

Racial/Ethnic Composition

African American: 13.9%

Asian: 21.7%

Hispanic: 4.7%

White: 59.2%

% Receiving Spec. Ed.: 10.7

% ESOL: 6.7

% FARMS: 13.3

Student/Instructional Staff Ratio: 10.9

Average Class Size (Grades 1-2): 24.8

Average Class Size (Grades 3-5): 25.9

Average Class Size (Kindergarten): 21.0

Projected Enrollment/Capacity: 470/373*