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School Notes

To have an item listed mail to 7913 Westpark Drive, McLean VA 22102, 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 Matthew Razak at 703-917-6457.

United States Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is inviting high school students from Maryland's Eighth Congressional District to participate in the 25th Annual Congressional Art Competition, May 2-31. Participating students must complete a "Participating Student Information Form." This form needs to be completed and signed by the student and a faculty member and faxed 301-424-5992 no later than Friday, April 13. Information and forms are available at www.vanhollen.house.gov.

The Board of Education has requested community comment regarding its revised Policy IEA, Framework and Structure of Early Childhood and Elementary Education. The policy was revised to affirm the Board’s commitment to a challenging and comprehensive educational program for young students. Copies of the draft policy are available through the Public Information Office by calling 301-279-3391 or on the MCPS Web site at www.montgomerycountyschoolsmd.org.

Individuals who wish to provide comments should respond in writing by May 4. All responses should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. The responses will be shared with the Board of Education.

The Women's Association of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls is accepting applications for three Alexander De Filippis Scholarships of $3,000 each. Students must reside in Great Falls, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, McLean, Sterling, and Potomac or whose family are registered parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena. Applications and complete details are available on-line at: http://st-catherines.net or from the guidance office of the students high school. Strict adherence to the deadline of May 15, as well as to the completeness of the application is imperative.

Kindergarten Orientation. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will hold the 2007 Kindergarten Orientation Program from through Friday, May 25. Special registration and orientation programs are scheduled at elementary schools throughout the county. Kindergarten orientation is designed to help parents enroll their children, including the completion of health forms, and to assist students in becoming acquainted with future friends and the school environment. Visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org.

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.

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.

The Board of Education met on Tuesday, March 13, and, among other items, approved a policy on naming school facilities and set fees for summer school and evening high school. Tentative action was taken on a revised policy on early childhood and elementary education. Preliminary plans were approved for the modernization of Paint Branch High School and improvements to Ridgeview Middle School. In addition, the Board voted to approve positions on legislation before the General Assembly and approved a statement on High School Assessments. The Board also recognized teachers who earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The Montgomery County Schools (MCPS) Educational Foundation, Inc. will celebrate the Honorable Esther P. Gelman on Tuesday, April 17, at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville. Gelman, a former elected official in Montgomery County for twelve years, was instrumental in organizing the MCPS Educational Foundation and remains a compassionate advocate for Montgomery County Public School students. The evening will feature a children’s opera called "Puzzle to the Past" directed by Valia Vassila, a teacher at Beverly Farms Elementary, student-made centerpieces on each table, and musical performances by students from BCC High School. All proceeds from the event will benefit the MCPS Educational Foundation.

The Board of Education met Monday, March 26, and, among other items, reviewed an update on recommendations of the Latino Education Coalition and approved a plan for a school safety report to the public. The Board also voted to approve a bargaining unit for noncertificated supervisory employees, approved a boundary study for the Hampshire Greens community, and heard a report on legislation before the Maryland General Assembly. A number of observances were noted: Month of the Young Child, Arab American Heritage Month, National Autism Awareness Month, and National Student Leadership Week.

The Montgomery County Board of Education is seeking to fill one vacancy on its five-member Ethics Panel for a three-year term beginning on July 1. Applicants must be Montgomery County residents. Members serve without compensation.

Applicants must submit a letter of interest along with a resumé or other documentation to support the application by close of business on May 7, for appointment to be made at the Board meeting on June 12. Send a letter of interest and resumé to Roland Ikheloa, chief of staff, Montgomery County Board of Education, 850 Hungerford Drive, Room 123, Rockville, Maryland 20850, or Roland_Ikheloa@mcpsmd.org. Call 301-279-3301.