QuickNotes: Your Information Connection to Montgomery County Public Schools
Vol. 1, No. 6: February 2006

Information in Your Language
We've created webpages in multiple languages to help you find what you need to know about Montgomery County Public Schools.
Information in Multiple Languages

Mark Your Calendar
MCPS monthly calendar (PDF)
School calendars
The Superintendent's FY 2007 Recommended Operating Budget: Learn more

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.
Take 10: Listen in on discussions about our students, our schools and our community. It's 10 minutes you won't want to miss!
MCPS Instructional TV

Citizens Budget (2.4MB PDF): Essential highlights on the superintendent’s recommended operating budget.
Parent Connection: A quarterly printed publication for parents of MCPS students. Available in six languages.
Options: A guide explaining the application and choice programs offered by MCPS. Information available in six languages.
Middle School Brochure: Overview of the middle school program.
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.
Summer Search:: This 2006 catalog of summer opportunities offers information on more than 100 courses, academic and arts programs, and university and college programs.
Other publications

Other Links of Interest
Budget information
Enroll your child
Breakfast and lunch menus
Colleges, careers, financial aid and more
Frequently called phone numbers
Guide to special programs
Graduation schedule
Parent Web page
Ride by the Rules
Contact us
Weather Decisions
Where to find it

Online Course Bulletin Helps Plan Out
High School Years

High school course selection is a critical component in achieving college and career goals, but it can sometimes be overwhelming. Montgomery County Public Schools makes the process easier for students and parents with the online course bulletin. This great tool includes a brief description of all approved courses and helps students, parents and guidance counselors plan a four-year high school program. The bulletin is searchable in a variety of ways, such as by course title, type (for example, Honors), discipline (for example, math), and keywords in course descriptions. Students can shop for courses and add them to a printable four-year planning worksheet. High school registration occurs during February and March, so start planning today.

Printed copies of the course bulletin also are available at each high school.

Online Course Bulletin

Student Service Learning Hours Can Be
Filled in Many Ways

To complete their student service learning requirement, some students choose to visit homeless shelters, serve food at soup kitchens or collect food and clothing for the homeless. Others organize charitable fundraisers or join an organized march for a clean environment. What will your student do? There are hundreds of options available to help your student meet the Student Service Learning (SSL) graduation requirement in Maryland. Encourage your child to get involved early. Students are required to put in 60 hours of service work with a nonprofit organization before graduation, and they can begin accruing hours the summer after the 5th grade. SSL hours also can be accumulated through involvement in specified middle and high school courses, school clubs and approved community activities.

Student Service Learning

DCC, NEC Consortia Meetings Set

High school assignments will be mailed home in early February to 8th grade students and parents. Transfer and new students, as well as those who did not receive their first choice, may participate in Round Two of the Choice Process. During Round Two, students may resubmit their choices by writing or by calling the Division of Consortia Choice and Application Program Services office. The deadline is March 14. School assignments will be mailed to students’ homes in mid-April.

For parents of 8th grade students accepted to a Downcounty or Northeast Consortium high school, information meetings will be held later this month and into March. Students also are welcome to attend. The meetings will focus on courses students should take, attendance and the 9th grade schedule. The meetings will be held as follows:

  • For DCC schools Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Northwood and Wheaton high schools, the meeting will be held at each school on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
  • For NEC schools
    • Blake High School: Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.
    • Paint Branch High School: Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.
    • Springbrook High School: March 1 at 7 p.m

Ninth through 11th grade students already attending an NEC or DCC school who wish to change schools can participate in the Change of Choice Process. Forms are available in the counseling office of the high schools. Forms are due back to the Consortia office by March 14.

Parents may write the Division of Consortia Choice and Application Program Services at 11721 Kemp Mill Road, Silver Spring, Md. 20902, or call 301-649-8081.

Downcounty Consortium
Northeast Consortium

Testing Upcoming for Second Graders

Second graders are scheduled to begin a round of testing March 1. The multiple-choice tests will be given through March 7. The TerraNova 2 tests, formerly the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS), are given annually to second graders and measure basic skill achievement in reading, language, math, language mechanics and math computation. The new test will help the school system more accurately compare the skills of MCPS students with students across the country. Contact your local school to learn more on when the tests will be given at your child’s school.

Testing Information

Testing Tips

Middle School Magnet Assignments
on Their Way

Parents of 5th graders in the Middle School Magnet Consortium will be notified of their child’s middle school selection or assignment in late February.

Parent information meetings are being held Wed., March 8 at 7 p.m. The meetings, to help parents and students make decisions on course selection, will be held at the individual middle school magnets: Argyle, A. Mario Loiederman and Parkland. (Note that Parkland is temporarily located at 6300 Tilden Lane in Rockville).

Middle School Magnet Consortium

Easing Transitions to be Topic of Talk

Transitioning from elementary to middle and high school can be a challenge and sometimes results in questions and concerns for parents and students. Parents are invited to learn how to ease this transition in a workshop Thu., Feb. 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. The same workshop will be held simultaneously at Albert Einstein, Seneca Valley, Springbrook and Watkins Mill high schools. There also will be a Spanish-language workshop available at each school. The snow date is March 2.

For more information or to see a list of workshops, call 301-279-3100 or visit the Family and Community Partnerships web site.

Thomas Edison HS Open House Set

Parents and students are invited to an open house at the Thomas Edison High School of Technology on Wed., Feb. 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The snow date for the event is Feb. 15.

Thomas Edison offers advanced career technical education in a variety of areas. In all, it has 19 programs, including biotechnology, automotive technology, building and construction, information technology, plumbing, cosmetology, masonry and restaurant management. Some of the programs, including automotive trades, construction trades and information technology, are offered through the Montgomery County Students Trades Foundations Office in partnership with MCPS and the local business community.

Staff, current students and industry partners will be available at the open house to share information. Enrollment applications also will be available. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply to the school. Applications are due by the end of March.

For more information, call the school at 301-929-2175 or visit the Thomas Edison High School of Technology web site

School Transfer Season Beginning

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 upcoming transfer season, which will be held from Feb. 1 through April 1.

Except for students in the Northeast Consortium (NEC), Downcounty Consortium (DCC), and Middle School Magnet Consortium (MSMC) areas, MCPS students are assigned to a school on the basis of their place of residence and are expected to attend their home school. Assignment changes of students from one school to another are permitted under the following limited circumstances:

  • Older sibling in the requested school
  • Continuation in a feeder pattern from middle school to high school, except when affected by boundary changes
  • A documented hardship situation

The transfer process begins in the home school, where parents may request an assignment change form and an information booklet that describes the process and provides useful information. Assignment change forms and the information booklets will be available in schools beginning the first week of February and on the Student Transfer web page. The booklet will be available in both English and Spanish. Every effort will be made to notify parents of the assignment decision by May 15.

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. They are: 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.

For information about assignments for students residing in the NEC, DCC, or MSMC areas, call 301-649-8081.

Student Transfer (Change of School) Request

Chinese Immersion Program Offers
Open Houses

College Gardens Elementary School is hosting open houses to offer information on its partial immersion programs in Chinese. The program, which teaches Chinese to students in subjects such as math and science, is open to students countywide. The open houses are Wed., Feb. 15 from 10 to 11 a.m. for incoming kindergarten students, and Wed., March 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. for incoming 1st and 2nd graders.

The school is located at 1700 Yale Place in Rockville. Please call the school to schedule the date you wish to attend. In case of snow on either date, the event will be moved to March 13 from 10 to 11 a.m. (for incoming kindergartners) and 1 to 2 p.m. (for 1st and 2nd graders).

For more information, call Chen Chiu, the Chinese immersion coordinator, at 301-279-8470 or visit College Gardens Elementary School web site

Dates to Remember
  • Feb. 1-28: African American Heritage Month
  • Feb. 2: Report cards distributed
  • Feb. 2-3: No school for Head Start students
  • Feb. 4: All-County Junior and Senior Bands and Orchestras Gala, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 6-7: Head Start home visits (no classes for Head Start students)
  • Feb. 7: Sixth grade All-County Bands and Orchestras Gala, 7:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 7-11: School Counseling Week
  • Feb. 14: Board of Education meeting and adoption of proposed operating budget, 10 a.m.
  • Feb. 20: Presidents Day holiday (schools and offices closed)
  • Feb. 23: Board of Education cluster meeting (Bethesda-Chevy Chase), Carver Educational Services Center, 7:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 23-26: All-State Senior Orchestra, Junior and Senior Bands, Baltimore
  • Feb. 27: Early release day K-12 – Grading/planning
  • Feb. 27: Board of Education meeting and boundary alternative work session, 6:30 p.m.


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