What is the biggest difference you foresee between this year and last year?
“The Baldridge training is a big deal.”
“We’re offering Chinese I for the first time in any [county] middle school. This is a bona-fide high school-level Chinese class.” Chen Chiu who teaches the Chinese immersion program at Potomac Elementary will teach the Chinese I courses part-time at Cabin John.
“Our school-based special education program is doubling in size. … It’s just that the need is larger. … The movement is to get [more special education students] into their home school areas.”
Cabin John also started an anti-bullying initiative at school, trying not only to stop students from bullying, but to get students to intervene when they see it happening.
“When you get to school, you want to be safe from things like snipers, [but] if you don’t feel comfortable and safe [among your peers], you can’t learn.”
Is there anything you wish parents would do more of?
“No; they’ve been very supportive.”
Is there anything parents should do less?
“I don’t think so, because it’s really refreshing to be in a school where parents are interested in what the students are doing. … We welcome their support. We need it.”
What is a challenge that Cabin John faces as a school?
“It’s not unique to Cabin John … closing the achievement gap, because the majority of students do great. … But we also have students who are below where they should be achieving on the national and state tests. … We need to reach them.”
Two ways Cabin John attempts to meet these needs are a double-period language arts class for 6th-grade students with difficulties in English, and a “Cat”apult course for 7th- and 8th-graders, for students whose academic performance has been up and down. “They may be bright kids but the aren’t achieving [their potential].”
What is your favorite thing about Cabin John?
“The kids; what else? It’s hard to capture it, but it’s a school where the teachers give everything [and] the students not only learn but enjoy being here. It’s a comfortable place.”
“It’s very collaborative.”
Cabin John Middle School
10701 Gainsborough Road
Potomac, MD 20854
Principal: Donna S. Hollingshead
PTA President: Suzanne Weiss
Learning and Academic Disabilities
Learning for Independence
African American: 9.0%
% Receiving Spec. Ed.: 10.7
% ESOL: 2.7
% FARMS: 7.3
Student/Instructional Staff Ratio: 12.0
Average Class Size (English): 23.9
Average Class Size (Other): 25.6
Projected Enrollment/Capacity: 992/947*