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Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley visited Walter Johnson High School and College Gardens Elementary School Sept. 3. Both schools have received substantial construction funding from the state and county. Walter Johnson continues to undergo a multiyear modernization, and a modernized College Gardens reopened last January. The governor concluded his visits by speaking to Walter Johnson ninth graders in an AP government course and planting a tree in the College Gardens courtyard.
Sign up to speak at upcoming community forums on Sept. 18, 7–9:30 p.m., at Watkins Mill HS or Oct. 16, 7–9:30 p.m., at Albert Einstein HS. Speakers will address priorities for the 2009–2010 school year to improve achievement for all students. To sign up, call the Board of Education office at 301-279-3617, starting three weeks before each forum.
Kingsview Middle School students began their first day of school Aug. 26 looking toward the years beyond middle school. About half of the staff dressed in graduation regalia to help set a vision for the future. Staff members expect all students to leave middle school prepared to continue on the path of achievement for college readiness. All Kingsview eighth graders also are taken on college visits during October.
Aug. 16 marked the beginning of the fall athletic season, with practices for football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, tennis, volleyball, golf, cheerleading and pompons. About 22,000 students participate in interscholastic sports during the school year. Athletes also participate in the MCPS Sportsmanship Awards Program—in which they are rated and awarded points for sportsmanship—with 95 percent of varsity teams receiving an “A” rating last year.
Every Montgomery County public school holds a Back-to-School Night for families at the beginning of the school year. The evening is a great opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teachers, learn about the curriculum, and find out other important information about school procedures and expectations.
Students at Broad Acres and Arcola elementary schools were the proud recipients of 1,000 backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies, donated by Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications. Each unique backpack was made from recycled Discovery Channel banners. Hundreds of the company's employees made individual donations to cover the cost of the supplies.
Families of students who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals can apply for this service. Application forms will be sent home within the first few days of school and also are available at any MCPS school. Eligibility is based on family size and gross income. For more information, visit the Division of Food and Nutrition Services te.
Students headed back to school August 26 for the start of the 2008–2009 school year. Nearly 650 new teachers were hired for the school year, along with 13 new principals. The second year of a three-year middle school reform initiative gets under way, and interactive classroom technology is expanding to two-thirds of middle and high school classrooms.