School Notes

School Notes

To have an item listed mail to 10220 River Road, Suite 303, Potomac, MD 20854, e-mail to, 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.

Parents and students looking for summer programs that are challenging and fun will want to attend the 2007 Summer Search Family Night. The event, hosted by the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Division of Family and Community Partnerships, will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive, Rockville. Vist

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 for requirments.

Montgomery County parents who wish to request a change in school assignment for their children from their home school may begin the process during the current transfer season, which will be held from Feb. 1 through April 2.

For more information about the transfer process, parents are asked to contact the principal of their home school. Non-English speaking parents may receive more information by calling the Spanish Hotline at 301-230-3073 or the ESOL Parent Center at 301-230-0674. Language Lines also are available to leave a message for someone to return the call—Spanish, 301-230-5403; Cambodian, 301-230-5427; Chinese, 301-230-5428; French, 301-230-5429; Korean, 301-230-5430; and Vietnamese, 301-230-5432.

Students have a powerful new way to prepare for the English and Algebra High School Assessments (HSA). A resource on the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) web site called High School Assessment Information was launched on Nov. 30. It features HSA Prep Online, an interactive database of test questions, answers, and explanations that allows students to work independently as part of their preparation for the English and Algebra HSAs. The High School Assessment Information web site is at

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.

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.

Winston Churchill High School in Potomac has been named a Maryland No Child Left Behind/Blue Ribbon School of Excellence for 2006-2007 by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

Churchill High School will now go on to compete for the National Blue Ribbon School honor, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Class of 2006 broke Advanced Placement (AP) participation and performance records established by the Class of 2005 and capped a five-year trend of consistently higher performance for graduates from all student groups, a new Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) analysis shows. Fifty-six percent (5,282 students) took at least one AP exam and 45 percent (4,234 students) earned at least one AP score of 3 or higher.

The Board of Education met on Tuesday Dec. 12 and, among other items, elected a president and vice president and approved the school calendar for 2007-2008. Also approved were Board committee appointments and the observance of National Inclusive Schools Week. Preliminary plans for additions to Travilah and Washington Grove elementary schools and Thomas W. Pyle Middle School were approved. In addition, the Board reviewed the Annual Resource Conservation Plan for FY 2008. A proposed item of state legislation restricting the vote of the student member of the Board was not supported.

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 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 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