QuickNotes: Your Information Connection to Montgomery County Public Schools
Vol. 1, No. 2

Mark Your Calendar
MCPS Monthly Calendar (PDF)
School calendars
The following testing dates are scheduled for October.
Oct. 8: SAT administered
Oct. 12, 15: PSAT administered
Testing calendar
Guide to special programs

Instructional TV Highlights
"Our Schools Today," which airs on MCPS Instructional TV, Cable Channel 34, helps keep parents updated on important school system issues. The program is available in six languages.
Our Schools Today

MCPS Instructional TV

Parent Connection: A quarterly printed publication for parents of MCPS students. Available in six languages.
Navigating the System: A parent’s guide to Montgomery County Public Schools. In multiple languages.
Aim High/Working Together: Publications about what parents should know to help their children excel. In multiple languages.
The Bulletin: A weekly publication for MCPS employees and other constituents.
Other publications

Other Links of Interest
Enroll your child
Bus transportation
Breakfast and lunch menus
Frequently called phone numbers
Guide to Special Programs
Parent Web page
Contact us

Grading for Learning

MCPS is continuing efforts to reform the grading policy to ensure that grades more accurately reflect what students know and are able to do. During the 2005–2006 school year, teachers in Grades 1–12 will base report card grades on academic achievement only. Information about behavior and effort will be reported separately as learning skills at the elementary level. In Grades 6–8, teachers will report class participation and assignment completion as learning skills.

To help parents more clearly understand the MCPS grading policy at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, MCPS has created a new web site and parent brochure. The brochure is being distributed in every school. It also is available on the web at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/grading.

Homework Questions? Call the Hotline!

Homework Hotline Live! kicks off its 20th year Oct. 5 to help MCPS students solve the daily dilemmas of homework. Teachers are standing by to answer questions about most subjects on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Cable Channel 33. Students can call in with questions at 301-279-3234.

For more information, check out Homework Hotline Live! online at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/

Reporting Bullying

Each MCPS school has access to a new form available on the MCPS web site to assist parents, students and close adult relatives in reporting an incident of bullying. As in the past, charges of bullying will be investigated by school administrators and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Parents also may obtain a copy of the new bullying reporting form from the web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/forms/.

MCPS and all school districts in Maryland are now required to report information about bullying to the state Department of Education under the Safe Schools Reporting Act of 2005.

Saturday School Helps Students Close Achievement Gap

Parents who want extra help for their children in math, language arts, or reading are encouraged to sign up for Saturday School at one of 14 Learning Academy centers across the county. Though the program is open to all students who want to improve, it works to close the achievement gap that exists for African-American and Hispanic students. Operated by the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, the program’s focus is on assisting kids with learning and studying strategies, providing mentoring, and enhancing academic performance. Sessions are held 8:30–11 a.m. from October through May. To register, parents need to provide a copy of last year’s report card and pay a $15 fee.

All lead tutors are certified teachers. Additional tutors are needed, so if you have a few hours to give on a Saturday, please consider volunteering. Call 301-320-6545 to sign up or to volunteer. | George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy.

Parent Workshops Offered

Parents are invited to find out more about MCPS and how to better help their children learn and succeed in a workshop on Oct. 27 from 7-9 p.m. This session will focus on improving children’s math skills and effective communication in parent/teacher conferences. The workshops, coordinated by MCPS’ Division of Family and Community Partnerships, will be held simultaneously at A. Mario Loiederman and Silver Spring International middle schools, and at Gaithersburg and John F. Kennedy high schools. There will also be a Spanish-language workshop available at each school.

For more information, call 301-279-3100 or visit the web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/

Upcoming SAT Testing

For the second year in a row, MCPS seniors achieved an average SAT score above 1100, with more seniors taking the test than ever before. A full report on the 2005 SAT scores with a school-by-school breakdown is available on our web site at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/

The first administration of the SAT this fall will take place on Oct. 8 with additional test dates on Nov. 5 and Dec. 3. For more information about SAT preparation courses at MCPS, click here www.mcps.k12.md.us/adulted/satprep/

For SAT registration, students should go to www.collegeboard.com or contact their school guidance office for assistance.

The PSAT will be administered on Oct. 12 and Oct. 15.

Parent Meetings Coming Soon

A parent information meeting on the Montgomery Blair High School magnet program is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Montgomery Blair gymnasium. Eighth graders with a strong interest in science, math and computer science and their parents or guardians are urged to attend. Applications to the program are due Dec. 5.

An informational session for the countywide International Baccalaureate program at Richard Montgomery High School is slated for Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. The IB program at Montgomery is for students interested in pursuing rigorous, pre-university coursework in high school. Eighth graders who are enrolled in at least Level 1 of French, Chinese or Spanish are eligible to apply. Applications to the program are due Dec. 5.

Dates to Remember

Oct. 4: Rosh Hashanah – no school for students and teachers
Oct. 6: Board of Education strategic planning forum, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: Board of Education all-day business meeting, 10 a.m.
Oct. 13: Yom Kippur – no school for students and teachers
Oct. 21: MSTA Convention – no school for students and teachers
Oct. 24: Board of Education evening business meeting, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31: First marking period ends
Nov. 1: Professional day for teachers – no school for students – report card prep/planning


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