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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.

Churchill High School Class of 1996 offers its 10-year reunion Saturday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at Union Jack's, 4915 St. Elmo, Bethesda. To receive the e-vite or for more information e-mail Marisa Leshinsky at Marisa_Leshinsky@hotmail.com.

Staff, parents, students, and community members are invited to give their input on the proposed goals and strategies to strengthen the middle school program in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). A public forum will be held Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Silver Spring International Middle School, 7-9 p.m. Free child care will be provided at the forums. Interpreters for Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and French will be available. Sign language interpretation will be provided, if requested at least one week prior to the event, by calling 301-517-5539 or 5582 (Voice/TTY). Visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/msreform.

Parents of prospective Washington Episcopal School students are invited to attend an open house at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3. The school is located at 5600 Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda. The program begins with a panel presentation and question/answer period, followed by a tour of the school. Washington Episcopal School offers small, coed classes for children in Nursery (age 3) through grade 8. Call the Admissions Office at 301-652-7878, e-mail

admissions@w-e-s.org or visit website, www.w-e-s.org.

The Board of Education has requested community comment regarding its revised Policy IEB, Middle School Education. The policy is designed to support the formulation of a comprehensive plan for middle school that increases and sustains student achievement.

A copy of the draft policy is attached. Copies also are available through the Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391.

Individuals who wish to provide comments should respond in writing by Dec. 12. Board members specifically requested public comment on alternative language presented in Section C.4. Extended Learning Opportunities, lines 277-299. 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.

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.

The Board of Education met on Tuesday, Nov. 14, and, among other items, approved a legislative platform and tentatively approved an amendment to Policy JFA, Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Board also approved secondary-level pilot courses and an administrative appointment. The Board discussed feedback on the strategic plan and operating budget process and approved preliminary plans for additions to three elementary schools. American Education Week and recognition of veterans of the armed forces also were approved. The Board deferred action on a process for external audits.

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.

Lucy Boyce Kennedy, a student in the Connelly School of the Holy Child's class of 2007, has been identified as a Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the achievement category. As a finalist, Lucy Boyce will be offered an annual scholarship of $3,000 to attend a Maryland college or university. Four other Holy Child seniors also received designation in the Distinguished Scholar program. Zeina Boustani and Erika Wright were given honorable mention in the achievement category, and Meredith Hickman and Abigail Holtz received honorable mention in the talent category.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is among several school districts across the United States featured in a new book describing successful approaches to early childhood education. "Building Blocks: Making Children Successful in the Early Years of School" describes the critical role of the primary grades as the foundation for later success. The author, Gene Maeroff, is director of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York. The book highlights the strategic approach embodied in the MCPS Early Success Performance Plan and the data that show that MCPS is closing the achievement gap by race, ethnicity and poverty by improving literacy skills at the very beginning of a child’s education.

An "Open House for Explorer Post #1986" is Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Membership is open to residents of Montgomery County ages 14-20 who are in good health, can pass a background investigation, and are enrolled in an educational program at middle or high school, college, or a continuing education program. Explorers, a program allowing young people to learn about public safety careers first-hand, assist in events such as the Montgomery County Fair, community day parades, child fingerprinting and more. Located at the Public Safety Training Academy located at 9710 Great Seneca Highway in Rockville. For more, call Officer Charles Carpenter, at 301-840-2697.

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.

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, Sept. 25 and, among other items, approved an administrative appointment and tentatively approved the Comprehensive Master Plan. Call the Office of the Board at 301-279-3617.

Ken Woodard, Holy Child history teacher, will be presenting at the Oral History Association’s 40th Annual Meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas from Oct. 25-29. With the help of seniors Jenna Riemenschneider and Erika Wright, Woodard will lead a workshop titled "Archives, VideoGear, and Edit Decision Lists: Oral History and Television Documentary Production on a Shoe-String Budget." In addition, the School has been awarded a $500 stipend for travel.

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.

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.

Twenty-four Bullis students have earned Advanced Placement awards from the College Board. Both Cindy Cheng '06 and JN Gallant '06 were named National AP Scholars for receiving an average grade of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and grades of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

The Grand Opening celebration of The Siena School was held Oct. 5. Local and state politicians attended and a number of professionals well known in communities within the DC area received awards.

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.