March 2, 2009  |  Vol. 51, No. 13

Federal stimulus funds will improve services for Title I and special needs students

The school system will receive $21.4 million in new federal stimulus dollars to expand services for students with special needs and to provide more support for elementary schools highly impacted by poverty also known as Title I schools. The new investment enables the significant expansion of full-day Head Start and will restore teacher positions to reduce class size, support reading and math interventions, and support students for whom English is not their first language.

The funding is slated to be received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of the $21.4 million in federal grants slated to come to MCPS in each of the next two years, $15.3 million will be targeted to special education and $6.1 million will support Title I schools. The same amount is expected for FY 2011 as well. As a result of this additional federal funding, the amended FY 2010 budget request that the Board will now send to the county totals approximately $2.15 billion.

Listen: Gwen Mason, director of the Department of Special Education Services. talks about what the additional $15.3 million in funding will mean for special education students and staff. (mp3) (Real Media) 

Listen: Chris Richardson, director of Academic Support Initiatives, discusses how the additional $6.1 million will be used to support Title I schools. (mp3) (Real Media)

FY 2010 Operating Budget Amendments 

Voices of MCPS—Teresa Delgadillo, Pre-K and Head Start

Watch: Teresa Delgadillo discusses her role in helping families new to MCPS. video icon 

With the work she does as a social services assistant in the Prekindergarten/Head Start program, Teresa Delgadillo sometimes receives a kind word or a bouquet of flowers as a thank you. But occasionally, it’s much more than that.

Like the time a parent proudly showed off pictures of his daughter’s elementary school graduation. The parent smiled and thanked Delgadillo for being ready to lend a hand from the day the child was first enrolled in school. She had made a difference in their lives and he was grateful.

It’s those unforgettable moments she carries with her.

“He showed me those pictures and I was able to share that moment” with the family, says Delgadillo, who works with 160 families with children enrolled in Prekindergarten or Head Start, run by the Division of Early Childhood Programs and Services. “The parents are very appreciative. It makes you feel good.”

Delgadillo started with MCPS 16 years ago, as a paraeducator in the Head Start program. After a few years in that role, she got a job as social services assistant (also called a family service worker). She enrolls first-time students in prekindergarten and Head Start classes, then meets with the family to understand their needs and goals and to ease the child’s transition to school. She is often called on to use her bilingual skills to work with Spanish-speaking families.

“We are involving them as partners in their child’s education,” she says. “We want parents to ask questions. We want them to attend parent conferences. We want them to volunteer in the classrooms. We want them to help their children at home.” Parents involved with their children’s education from the beginning are more likely to continue that involvement as their child moves into middle and high school, she says.

Delgadillo works with families at three elementary schools—Rosemont, Summit Hall and Washington Grove. She meets with parents regularly at school and also makes home visits. She keeps up with student attendance and progress, and meets with colleagues to ensure the ongoing needs of the child and the parents are being addressed.

“For most of these families, we are their first connection with the school,” Delgadillo says. “We are that bridge they need to get familiar with the school system. They trust us. They see us as friends. … You realize that the work you do keeps students on the path to success.”

Prekindergarten and Head Start Programs

Early Childhood Programs and Services  




All aboard for WebTrips!

The Department of Transportation is debuting WebTrips, a new web-based tool that will enable schools to make online requests for buses for field trips. No more typing those old field trip tickets!

Training has begun with a pilot group of schools in the Gaithersburg Cluster and will continue through the end of March to include all schools. School staff members who normally request field trips are encouraged to sign up for one of the many training sessions, according to depot designation. Trainings will be conducted at the Center for Technology Innovation on Choke Cherry Road in Rockville. Register through Professional Development Online.  

Field trip request system 


Implementation schedule 


Writer's Workshop connects reading and writing

Writer's Workshop connects reading and writing

Watch: Katie Perlet works with second grade students in her classroom. video icon 

At Brown Station Elementary School, we use Writer’s Workshop to connect reading to writing. We know that when reading and writing are integrated and intertwined, students are more motivated, and become better readers and writers.

We read stories aloud and try to identify the author’s purpose. Why did the author write the story that way? How did the author keep you interested? We visualize a story’s setting. We talk about vivid verbs, adjectives, alliteration and onomatopoeia. Students understand that these techniques help paint a picture for the reader. They see the importance of using these approaches and incorporate them into their own writing. Students have an ‘aha’ moment where they see the reading and writing connection. They’re not only writing for themselves, but also writing for their reader.

Teachers reinforce the thinking skills necessary to become a good reader, like always being engaged in the text. When studying character traits, for instance, students learn how to make inferences based on what the character says or does.

When we come upon new vocabulary words in our reading, we chart them on a special board. Learning a new word means learning a new idea.

Students are encouraged to talk to each other before writing, because talking helps crystallize thoughts. They are given time to organize their ideas before they start writing.

Writer’s Workshop demystifies reading, and reading demystifies writing. When students understand this, they become better writers and are more successful with reading comprehension.



Equitable classrooms: Engaging all students in higher-order thinking

Higher-order thinking skills support students in making choices, forming and expressing opinions, solving problems, evaluating information, and using reasoning to learn and work in our complex world.

To help all students strengthen higher order thinking skills, teachers should ask questions that require them to give greater detail or explanation. This strengthens students’ confidence in their thinking ability.

Here are some ideas for giving all students opportunities to engage in complex thinking:

  • Use “think-pair-share” to encourage students to deepen thinking cooperatively. (Give students time to think about a question; pair students with a peer to discuss; invite students to share their thinking with the whole class.)
  • Ask students to “unpack their thinking” by explaining their thought process.
  • Emphasize “why” and “how” questions.
  • Use analogies: How is ____ like ____?
  • Use hypothetical thinking: What would happen if ____?
  • Encourage students to explain their perspectives/position on a subject.

Equity training and development  

Strategies for working with diverse learners 

Board publishes summary of accomplishments

For the second year in a row, the Board of Education has released The Year in Review, which chronicles the Board’s successes, challenges and future initiatives.

The publication includes information about the role and mission of the Board, highlights of the past year, priorities for the future, Board committees and the calendar for the remainder of this school year.

The full report is available on the Board of Education website. Comments are welcomed.

2008 Year in Review  

Highlights of Feb. 23 meeting

FY 2010 Operating Budget amendments
As a result of the new federal stimulus funding that MCPS is slated to receive through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Board of Education approved amendments to the FY 2010 Operating Budget request that will restore $21.4 million in total funding. (See top story on homepage.)

FY 2010 fees for summer school
The Board approved fees for the summer school revenue-based program. Full fees for FY 2010 will be maintained at the current FY 2009 rate ($335 for elementary courses, $300 for high school core courses and $310 for high school noncore courses, including student online learning). Reduced fees also will be maintained at the current FY 2009 rate ($85 or $120, depending on family income).

Adoption of committee work plans
The Board adopted work plans for its committees—Communications and Public Engagement, Fiscal Management, Policy, Special Populations and Strategic Planning—for the 2009 academic year and agreed to review the committee work plans annually.

Naming of Clarksburg Elementary School #8
The Board of Education submitted the following names to the new principal of Clarksburg Elementary School #8, which is scheduled to open for the 2009–10 school year, for consideration by the school naming committee: Lavinia Margaret Engle, Blair G. Ewing, William B. Gibbs, Jr. and Sandra Day O’Connor. The school’s naming committee will recommend its preference from among the list of names provided by the Board and up to two additional names recommended by the committee. The final responsibility for officially naming a school building rests with the Board.

Recognition of National Board Certified teachers
The Board recognized educators who earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in November 2008. MCPS continues to lead the state in the number of educators awarded this prestigious recognition of proficiency, with 100 new National Board Certified educators bringing the total number of MCPS teachers who have earned the certification to 478.
National Board Certified teachers 

Women’s History Month
The Board declared March as Women’s History Month in recognition of female students, staff, parents, business community members and community leaders who, by their hard work, vision and achievements, are creating a better tomorrow.

News release for Feb. 23 meeting 

Watch the Feb. 23 Board meeting 

Board of Education 


Paint Branch culinary arts students catch top awards in Rockfish cook-off competition

Tasty spices, corn and peach salsa, and homemade tartar sauce helped make Paint Branch High School senior Alison Bechtold’s Rockfish Tacos the top winner in the Maryland Waterman’s Junior Chef Rockfish Cook-off Competition, held recently in Ocean City.

Paint Branch junior Helena Kim’s Asian-style Rockfish with Veggie Stir-fry & Orange-scented Rice took second place. Senior Tiffany Taylor’s Baked Rockfish with Maryland Crab Sauce recipe received honorable mention.

Bechtold’s and Kim’s winning recipes will be published in the Maryland Waterman's Cookbook, an annual collection of recipes from well-known Maryland chefs using the state's local produce and products. But you don’t have to wait—cook up your own batch of rockfish tacos or Asian-style rockfish using the recipes below.

All three are students in Paint Branch’s Restaurant Management program, headed by teacher and chef Sue McWilliams. The program helps students develop cooking, kitchen and hospitality skills based on professional standards in a commercial kitchen. Students also run a restaurant at the school called The Panther Paw.

The cook-off sponsored by the University of Delaware Sea Grant program, the University of Maryland Sea Grant and the Maryland Seafood Marketing Program.

Alison Bechtold’s Rockfish Tacos 

Helena Kim’s Asian-style Rockfish 


Is working for MCPS a family affair?

Do other members of your family work with MCPS? Let us know if your son/daughter, parent, sister or brother, or other relatives also are MCPS employees. We are always looking for great stories to tell in the Bulletin about the people who work for our school system.       

Submit information 


Tuskegee airman inspires Parkland students

Tuskegee airman inspires Parkland students

The story of the famous World War II pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen, flew into Parkland Middle School in Rockville on Feb. 2. Col. Charles McGee, a decorated pilot who flew combat missions, talked to students about the challenges faced by the first African American military pilots.

Rigor conference to focus on challenging learners

The Fifth Annual Partners for Rigor through Relevancy Conference set for June 23 is expected to bring together individuals and organizations with a commitment to shaping education in Montgomery County.

The conference, “Challenging 21st Century Learners—Connecting Classrooms,” will be held from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. at Northwest High School. The one-day event is planned for educators who are seeking strategies to challenge 2lst century learners and connect classroom instruction to our global community.

Keynote speaker Ronald Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University, will address racial disparities in high-achieving suburban schools. Nationally renowned featured presenters and more than 25 breakout sessions targeting best practices within five conference strands will be offered.

The early-bird registration deadline for the conference is April 17, 2009. All registration is online and includes meals and materials. For more information, visit the conference website.

Partners for Rigor Through Relevancy Conference  


Help keep children safe in today's cyberworld

Watch: CyberSafety Video video icon 

The school system is participating in a collaborative cybersafety initiative that includes a website and brochure for parents in six languages. The purpose of the effort is to keep children safe when using the Internet at school and at home by educating instructional staff, parents, students and the community regarding Internet dangers.

The brochure for parents can be downloaded in English, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese from the website.  Hard copies of the brochure can be obtained by sending an e-mail to Juan Cardenas or calling 301-279-3939. Staff are encouraged to share these resources with parents.

The initiative was developed in cooperation with the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

CyberSafety website 

Our Schools Today on Internet safety 

High school students exhibit an artistic flair

High school students exhibit an artistic flair

Student art is on exhibit through March 27 at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus (JHU-MCC). Titled “Looking Out, Looking In,” the exhibit is made possible through a partnership between JHU-MCC and VisArts at Rockville.

Students from Einstein, Blair, Churchill, Damascus, Walter Johnson, Paint Branch, Poolesville, Rockville, Sherwood, Springbrook, Watkins Mill and Wootton high schools are represented in the show.

When: Jan. 15–March 27
Hours: 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Monday through  Friday; 8 a.m. –6 p.m. Saturday; closed on Sundays
Where: JHU-MCC, Atrium of 9605 Medical Center Drive, Rockville
Phone: 301-294-7000

Winning photos and information 

2nd Natalia Lemus
 2nd place: Who I’m From, Where I Am, Natalia Lemus, Springbrook HS


3rd Teresa Tinta
3rd place: Inventing Imagination, Teresa Tinta, Rockville HS


New work group to develop plan for strengthening math program

A K–12 Mathematics Joint Work Group has been established to develop a comprehensive plan for strengthening the mathematics program in Montgomery County Public Schools.  The goal is to improve the achievement of all students in mathematics systemwide.

Deputy Superintendent of Schools Frieda Lacey convened the first meeting of the work group on Jan.15. The 40-member multistakeholder team includes representatives from the employee associations, teachers, principals, supporting services staff and central services staff.  Parents also serve on the team, including representatives from MCCPTA and the NAACP.

The work group will gather input from staff, students and parents; identify issues and concerns; research scientifically based practices; benchmark exemplary models; and analyze data on the current state of mathematics in MCPS from January through October.  Initial recommendations and next steps will be developed and presented to Lacey in December. Periodic updates will be provided in the Bulletin.


Bravo! Cabin John music teacher wins state award

Bravo! Cabin John music teacher wins state award

Nearly 300 students at Cabin John Middle School in Potomac have become better musicians thanks to Scott Herman, their instrumental music teacher. Herman won the Outstanding Music Teacher of the Year Award from the Maryland Music Educators Association.

Master’s programs offered for teachers, administrators

Meetings are scheduled in February and March for five partnership programs leading to master’s degrees.

  • University of Maryland Master's in Human Development: March 3, 4:15–5:30 p.m., Northwest High School, Room 210.
  • Johns Hopkins University Master’s in Administration and Supervision: March 10, 4:30–5:30 p.m., Upcounty Regional Services Center, Room 3383,12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown
  • University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Master of Education in Instructional Technology: March 11 and 12, 2009, 4– 5:30 p.m., Universities at Shady Grove, Bldg. III, Room 3156, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville 
  • McDaniel Master's in Administration and Supervision: March 12, 4:30–6 p.m., Upcounty Regional Services Center, Room A (first floor), 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown

Partnership programs 

Staff development on the go!

Want to know more about how the brain learns? Or how to use Promethean interactive whiteboards? These topics and many more are available as podcasts.

Listeners can download 11 podcasts, focusing on research-based best practices, to an iPod, listen to them in iTunes or just visit the website and listen online.

Best practices podcasts 

96 schools earn state performance recognition awards

A total of 96 Montgomery County Public Schools at all levels earned certificates of recognition from the Maryland State Department of Education in the 2008 Maryland School Performance Recognition Program. The awards were based on performance for the 2007–2008 Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and High School Assessments (HSA).

Ten Title I elementary schools received $5,533.93 each for showing significant improvement. Sixty-three other elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and 11 high schools also received recognition based on overall achievement or for improvement within a subgroup from the 2007 to the 2008 MSA/HSA. Subgroups include race/ethnicity, special education, limited English proficiency, and students who are receiving free or reduced-price meals.

Highland Elementary School—recently named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School—was the only Title I school to be recognized for both overall achievement and for improvement within subgroups. Another Title I school, Viers Mill Elementary School, also was recognized for overall achievement.

For more information, contact Chrisandra Richardson, director, Academic Support Initiatives, at 301-279-3873.

Winning schools 


MCPS students tops in state writing contest

MCPS students won top awards while competing against students statewide in the Together We’re Better Contest, a program sponsored by a public/private partnership including the Maryland State Department of Education and The Arc of Maryland.

Competing students were encouraged to create posters and write essays and poems to explain why inclusive schools are good for students, families and communities.

Three MCPS classes won first, second and third place honors in the elementary poetry writing categories, and a student took third place in the high school essay category. Elementary class winners receive a class party, and middle and high school individual winners receive cash awards or gift cards. Winners were recognized at a Feb. 17 reception.

Other agencies supporting the awards program are the Maryland Department of Disabilities, Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council and Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education.

Read the winning submissions.

First Place: Westover Elementary School, Rosa Doxtater’s Kindergarten Class

Second Place: Westover Elementary School, Deborah Eskenazi’s Fourth Grade Class

Third Place: Summit Hall Elementary School, Gretchen Beckman’s Fifth Grade Class 

Third Place: Jennifer Kuo, Thomas S. Wootton High School 


Churchill teacher wins state AP award

Gary Rogers, an environmental science teacher at Winston Churchill High School, won the Siemens state teacher award for Maryland, recognizing his excellence in teaching Advanced Placement (AP) science. Rogers has been a teacher for 14 years, the past five in MCPS at Churchill. He received $1,000 and a plaque.

In addition, Montgomery Blair High School students Jonathan Gootenberg and Sneha Kannan were named state winners of the Siemens Award for AP for 2009. The awards, which include a $2,000 college scholarship, are given each year to one male and one female student in each state with the greatest number of scores of 5 on eight specific AP math and science exams.

ERSC corner: Spring retirement workshops

The Employee and Retiree Service Center (ERSC) will conduct a series of workshops for employees considering retirement within the next two years. Preregistration is not required.

Topics for each session include a timeline for retirement, eligibility, benefit formulas, leave, post-retirement health and life insurance, taxes and forms. ERSC staff will be available to answer questions and assist members with the retirement process.

There was a change included in the 2008–2010 agreement between the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) and the Board of Education for sick leave payout provisions upon retirement or termination from employment with MCPS. MCEA unit members retiring or terminating from MCPS who have at least five years of service with MCPS are eligible for a 30 percent payout of earned sick leave if they retire or terminate on July 1, 2009, and provide notice of their intent (through the submission of appropriate retirement or termination forms) by April 1, 2009.  Previously, the 30 percent payout was available only to unit members who had acquired 30 years of service.

Workshop dates and times as well as applicable forms are available on the ERSC website.

Retirement workshops 

Employee and Retiree Service Center 


Green tip: Phantom loads

Do you have phantoms in your school?

Yes, every school and office has phantom loads. They are electrical appliances plugged in that are not turned on but use small amounts of electricity to maintain a timer, light, etc. Coffeemakers, cell phone chargers, DVD players, radio chargers and more draw electricity when not in use.

You can save energy at work or at home by unplugging electrical appliances when not in use. Contact the School Energy and Recycling Team (SERT) office to borrow watt meters to audit the phantom loads in your school.

Use the SERT Scavenger activity packet to help guide staff and students to reducing the wasted watts that are found in offices and schools. Develop a plan to reduce your phantom loads and submit it to SERT. Great plans will be featured on the SERT website.



Tech tip: Mapping Outlook contacts

Do you have a person or business in your Outlook Contacts that you need to visit? If you’ve entered a complete address, you can easily view a map for that location. Here’s how:

  • Open an Outlook contact whose complete address is contained in the “Address” line.
  • Locate and click the map icon on the toolbar within the open contact. The map icon is a yellow diamond with a black curved arrow. It looks like a traffic sign.
  • Your web browser will open and present a map showing the location of that address in MSN Maps.
  • You can zoom in for a closer view, zoom out for a bird’s eye view and get driving directions to the contact’s address.

Print the map, and away you go. Drive safely!

March 2, 2009

Two MCPS teachers and one school have won awards from the Technology Association of Maryland. Dawn Moffitt, who teaches science at East Silver Spring Elementary School, won the Elementary School Teacher Excellence Award and uses technology in her kindergarten, first and second grade classes to engage students in innovative and creative thinking. Gerald Bush III, arts content specialist and technology education teacher at Earle B. Wood Middle School, won the Middle School Teacher Excellence Award. He is currently piloting the new standards-based course titled “Applied Robotics Engineering-Computer Aided Drafting and Design,” and is a frequent provider of countywide professional development.

Gail Kaplan-Wassell, instructional specialist for elementary and middle school math with Accelerated and Enriched Instruction, and Jesse (Larry) March, special education teacher at Roberto Clemente Middle School, were honored with Teachers as Leaders 2008–2009 Recognition Awards from the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted Education. They were among educators, students, state leaders and business/community partners honored at the Miller Senate Office Building in February. Work by Olney Elementary School first grader George Klees was among student research displayed at the event.

Ed Ross, athletic director at Watkins Mill High School, is the 2009 recipient of the District 2B Athletic Director of the Year Award. Ross has served as the school’s athletic director for nine years and is recognized as a strong colleague to the other 24 athletic directors in MCPS. Robin McCue, who has served as MCPS athletics secretary for the past seven years, received the 2009 District 2B Award of Appreciation for her contributions to the daily operations of the MCPS athletics program.

Submit an item 


March 2, 2008

Ronald T. Hegedus, resource teacher at Westland Middle School, died Feb. 11. He had worked with MCPS for 23½ years.

Submit a remembrance 


March 2, 2008

There are no retirements in this issue. Submit retirement information   

There are no retirements in this issue.

Submit retirement information 


March 2, 2009

Watch Jeopardy! Kara Mohler, a social studies teacher at James Hubert Blake High School, will be a contestant on “Jeopardy” March 3, 7:30 p.m., on ABC-TV. A 2002 Blake graduate, Mohler was captain of the school’s “It’s Academic” team, returned to teach at Blake in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland and is now an assistant coach with the team. 

Café Edison open for business. Café Edison, a student-run restaurant within Thomas Edison High School of Technology, is open for business. Student chefs from the Professional Restaurant Management program prepare the food in the restaurant, and student servers from the Academy of Hospitality and tourism program provide table service. The café is open Monday through Friday from March 3–April 2. Breakfast is served from 8:15–9:45 a.m., and lunch is served from 11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Call 301-929-2267 to make reservations (required).
Thomas Edison High School of Technology

Play ball. On March 20, the captains of the 56 teams in the Elementary Teachers Softball League will kick off the season in the annual captains game. The league was developed to build collegiality among elementary school staff. Interested in joining? Contact coordinator Kevin Burns, staff development teacher at Darnestown Elementary School. 

Support literacy. The Literacy Council of Montgomery County will hold an information session for volunteers interested in helping adults learn to read, write, or speak English on Monday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Library. Sessions are also scheduled at the Rockville Library on March 11 at 10:30 a.m., the Wheaton Library on March 24 at 7:30 p.m., and the Rockville Library on March 31 at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. For details, call 301-610-0030, e-mail the Literacy Council or visit the website

PreK and kindergarten registration. Registration for the Prekindergarten/Head Start Programs for low-income Montgomery County residents with children who will be 4 years old by Sept. 1 began March 1 for the 2009–2010 school year. A limited number of openings are available for Head Start-eligible children who will be 3 years old by Sept. 1. For information, call 301-230-0676 or check the MCPS website.
Registration information 
Submit information 


March 2009

  • March: Women’s History Month
  • March 4: Board of Education Facilities and Boundaries Hearing, 7 p.m., CESC
  • March 5: Student Member of the Board of Education Nominating Convention
  • March 10: Board of Education meeting, 10 a.m., CESC
  • March 13: Payday
  • March 14: SAT administered
  • March 18  Young Professionals Conference, Universities at Shady Grove  
  • March 16–20: MSA reading
  • March 23–26: MSA math
  • March 27: Third marking period ends; MSA reading/math makeup
  • March 30: Professional day for teachers—no school for students
  • March 31: Fourth marking period begins; MSA reading/math makeup

Calendar Central 

March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009

Westland Middle School received the Middle School Program Excellence Award from the Technology Education Association of Maryland. The award is given to the middle school program in Maryland that best demonstrates excellence in technology education. Daniel Vogelman is the principal, and John Swiatocha is the technology education teacher.

Haley Whitt, a sixth grade student at Rosa Parks Middle School, was named Maryland's top middle school volunteer for 2009 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Whitt organized a four-mile walk last year and raised more than $6,000 for the Montgomery Hospice Foundation, in memory of her grandmother. Three other MCPS students were finalists: Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School senior Peter Asmuth, who organized a 5K race and raised more than $2,500 for diabetes education; Wootton High School junior Jamie Burke, who has raised more than $115,000 for ALS research and care over the past several years; and Herbert Hoover Middle School eighth grader Richard Rothstein, who organized a dance marathon that raised $13,000 to send children to summer camp.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards 

Seoul brothers
Students from Korea visit Whitman High School. Students and representatives from Seoul High School visited Walt Whitman High School, their sister school, in February. Seoul students shadowed Whitman students in class, were welcomed by a party hosted by the International and Korean Clubs and SGA, and attended a tree planting ceremony.

Thomas Edison High School of Technology students won first place in 21 of 22 events at the 2009 SkillsUSA Regional Competition held at Edison on Feb. 4. Edison SkillsUSA students also walked away with 19 second place and 17 third place honors. Categories ranged from architectural drafting, computer maintenance and culinary arts to job interviewing, masonry and residential wiring. Students from Damascus High School competed in four of the 22 categories, and a Damascus student took first place in the automotive service technology. The three top winners in each category will compete at the state level March 21.

Rolling Terrace Elementary School partnered with Family Room Services, Linkages to Learning, PTA and the Silver Spring Judy Center to celebrate Black History Month. Storyteller Bill Grimmette entertained children with African folktales, and local shadow puppet artist Daniel Barash used Louis Armstrong’s song, “What a Wonderful World,” to tell a story with shadow puppets.  Assistant Principal Arienne Clark-Harrison also told families about what Black History Month means to her.

Caesar trial
Trial of Julius Caesar at Loiederman Middle School.
The verdict? “Guilty.” That’s how students in Carlos Landau’s social studies class at A. Mario Loiederman Middle School voted in the trial of Julius Caesar—charged with the crime of ending democracy in Rome. The mock trial is an example of how the school integrates the arts throughout the curriculum.

Roscoe Nix Elementary School recently received a Maryland Expanding Breakfast Award and a $5,000 grant for its Breakfast in the Classroom program. Nearly 60 percent of students participate in the program, which provides healthy morning meals at no charge for all students. Nix is one of 29 MCPS schools that participate in the Maryland Meals for Achievement program, through which all students can eat breakfast at no charge. The award program is funded by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and local dairy farmers.
Maryland Meals for Achievement 

Rock Terrace School is one of three recipients of grants from the National Environmental Education Week Small Grants Program, sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation in partnership with HSBC Bank USA. Rock Terrace received $1,000 to take part in a school greening project that reduces their carbon footprint and improves students’ environmental literacy. The school plans to use the grant money to build more raised garden beds for organic produce, establish a weather station to enhance math and science, and buy energy efficient light bulbs to use in school offices.