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School Notes

To have an item listed mail to 10220 River Road, Suite 303, Potomac, MD 20854, e-mail to almanac@connectionnewspapers.com, or fax to 703-917-0991. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. Unless otherwise noted, all events are in Potomac. If you have any questions, call Rebecca Halik at 703-917-6476.

The Board of Education has requested community comment regarding its revised Policy FFA, Naming School Facilities, which provides a process by which the Board of Education adopts official names for county public school facilities after soliciting community preferences.

The revised policy would allow the Board to notify the community of its intent to designate a school name and waive the process for community involvement under certain compelling circumstances. Copies of the draft policy are available through the Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391.

Individuals who wish to provide comments should respond in writing by Dec. 15. All responses should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850. The responses will be shared with the Board of Education.

Montgomery County Public Schools has been named a Gold Medal school system for the twelfth consecutive year by Expansion Management magazine as a measure of the attractiveness of the school system to the business community.

The Board of Education has requested community comment regarding its revised Policy JFA, Student Rights and Responsibilities, which sets forth the scope of student rights and responsibilities, privileges, and expectations for conduct. The recommended revision states that a student’s conduct prior to election or appointment to the student government or other leadership position must meet a higher standard in order for the student to be eligible to attain, or retain, such leadership positions. Copies are available through the Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391.

Individuals who wish to provide comments should respond in writing by Jan. 19. All responses should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850. The responses will be shared with the Board of Education.

Johns Hopkins University in partnership with VisArts at Rockville coordinates ongoing art exhibits at the Montgomery County Campus of Johns Hopkins University. The art exhibit for February-March will be an exhibit of artwork done by Montgomery County high school students. There also will be a writing contest as part of this initiative.

Submit any original 2-D piece (painting, drawing, mixed media) for

review. The artists of the three "winning" entries will receive a gift certificate to Plaza Arts of Rockville (first: $150, second: $100, third: $75), as well as a year's subscription to an art magazine. Deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 23. Call Judith or Rachel, 301-869-8623 or email outreach@visarts.org for requirments.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has reached tentative agreement with its three employee associations on salary increases for the next three years, Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast announced Thursday.

The Montgomery County Board of Education has selected five candidates for interviews from among the 20 individuals who applied to become the District 4 representative on the Board. The position was left vacant by the election of Valerie Ervin to the Montgomery County Council. The remainder of the term extends to November 2008.

After reviewing the applications, the Board has announced that the following five individuals have been selected to be interviewed to fill the vacant District 4 Board of Education seat:

Christopher Barclay

Sheldon Fishman

Alies Muskin

Victor Salazar

Beth Wong

For the second consecutive year, the number of fifth grade students taking accelerated math courses has increased significantly, setting a new Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) record. Today, 44 percent of fifth graders are enrolled in sixth grade math or higher, compared with 37 percent last year—an increase of more than 660 students.

In the 2005-2006 school year, 69.7 percent of high school students in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) enrolled in Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses, an increase from 58 percent in 2000-2001. Overall, more than 30,400 students were enrolled in these rigorous courses at the school system’s 24 high schools—the largest enrollment ever.

Nineteen schools in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will receive $100 for each point made by Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas during home basketball games throughout the season.

A total of 224 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students—surpassing last year’s all-time high—have been named National Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars by The College Board for the highest level of performance on AP exams last spring.

Fine Foto, a successful photography business, won Montgomery Blair High School senior Thomas Dant second place and a $5,000 award in the first annual Smith Barney/NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge. The first-of-its-kind national youth business plan competition was held Oct. 26 in New York City.

Members of the Board of Education and Superintendent Jerry D. Weast met with the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils, the Montgomery County Junior Councils, student government association presidents, and other student leaders on Tuesday evening, Dec. 5, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The Board meets annually with student leaders from middle and high schools to gain a better understanding of students’ concerns and priorities. Among the topics that students discussed are field trips, bullying, class size, lunch lines and the time it takes to eat, use of cell phones, security, and lockers.

Newly elected members of the Board of Education, Shirley Brandman (At-large) and Judy Docca (District 1), and two returning members of the Board, Nancy Navarro (District 5) and Patricia O’Neill (District 3), were sworn in during a ceremony at the Carver Educational Services Center on Friday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m.

On Friday, Oct. 27 students at the Woods Academy in Bethesda, raised over $3,420 to Help the Homeless. On that day, The Woods held its annual "Help the Homeless" Walkathon, sponsored by the Fannie Mae Foundation.

Jewish Social Service Agency offers "Educational Consultation and Support" for parents of children who have been identified with a learning, attention, or other disability that impacts academic performance. This program helps parents identify and implement the services a child needs to achieve academic success. Available to families in Montgomery County. Adjustable fees based on family income. Other services to children with learning, attention or other disabilities include social skills therapy groups, workshops on parenting challenging children, individual and family counseling, and support groups. JSSA is located at 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 or 703-204-9100 for more.

Princeton Review offers an MCAT class at the John Hopkins University-Montgomery County Campus this fall. The MCAT course is on Mondays-Wednesdays 6:30-9:00 p.m. from Oct. 16-April 4, 2007 and some Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for practice tests. Cost of course is $1,699. To sign up for the course, visit www.PrincetonReview.com or call 1-800-2REVIEW

Montgomery College offers an array of new, non-credit courses that were formerly offered by Montgomery County Public Schools. These courses, offered primarily during evenings or weekends in public schools and other convenient community locations, are in addition to hundreds of other non-credit courses available through the College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education unit. A complete schedule of course offerings can be found online at www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce. Also, printed copies of the fall non-credit course schedule can be found at libraries, community centers and other such locations around the county. For questions about continuing education courses or to request a copy call 301-279-5188, visit

www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/mcps/mcps.html.