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State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick introduced a new book on character education at Newport Mill Middle School Oct. 8. Character Education by Design: A Blueprint for Successful District and School Initiatives, was developed by a group of Maryland educators, including Newport Mill guidance counselor Timothy Rossini and former counselor Sarah Patterson (now a counselor at Rocky Hill Middle School). The school is a 2006–2007 National Schools of Character Winner.
South Lake Elementary School Principal Nicole Priestly (in center of back row) gathers with parents and their children in the school’s METS (Multidisciplinary Educational Training and Support) program during a tea at the school. Priestly talked with families about school processes and the importance of reading at home with their children. The METS program helps meet the linguistic and academic needs of English language learners who have had limited or no previous schooling.
Westover Elementary School is among the schools participating in National Learn and Serve Challenge Week Oct. 6–12 at the invitation of the Maryland State Department of Education. Highlighting its work during the year to collect donations for the Planet Aid bin, located on the school grounds, the school is holding its first annual scavenger hunt, keeping track of each classroom’s donations of clothing, books, electronics sporting goods and more.
Piney Branch Elementary School was one of a number of MCPS schools celebrating International Walk To School Day. The annual event focuses on child pedestrian safety, physical activity and strengthening community involvement. County and state elected officials and safety officers joined members of the Piney Branch community for the walk to the school and a brief press conference.
Arcola and Monocacy Elementary Schools were honored Sept. 23 for recycling at least 50 percent of their waste by the Montgomery County Council, which has been encouraging an increase in recycling at all institutions, businesses and residences.
Earle B. Wood Middle School honored Hispanic Heritage Month with a two-day symposium that featured guest speakers from the community. Students conducted research and presented their findings on Hispanic heritage in their social studies classes on the day following the symposium.
Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School has won a national award for its exemplary arts education program. Drew was one of five schools in the nation chosen as John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education. The school is one of three Arts Integration Model Elementary Schools in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Public Schools’ 2008 Annual Report to the Community is now available on the Web. This review of the highlights and accomplishments of the past school year—now in a shorter and more readable form—includes information about student achievement and the parents, staff, students and community members who play a vital role in the excellent teaching and learning that occur in our schools.