QuickNotes: Your Information Connection to Montgomery County Public Schools
Vol. 1, No. 8: April 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
April calendar (PDF)
School calendars

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
FY 2007 Operating Budget
Enroll your child
Breakfast and lunch menus
Colleges, careers, financial aid and more
Frequently called phone numbers
Guide to special programs
Graduation schedule
High School Online Course Bulletin
Parent Web page
Ride by the Rules
Summer School
Contact us
Where to find it

Public Forum to Focus on
Middle School Reform

Parents, students and staff are invited to attend the final public forum to discuss ways to strengthen the middle school program in MCPS. Feedback and suggestions from the public will help guide the school system's Middle School Reform initiative

The last forum will be Monday, April 3, 2006, 7-9 p.m. at Francis Scott Key Middle School at 910 Schindler Dr. in Silver Spring. Interpreters for Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, French and Amharic will be available.

Child care will be provided. Sign language interpretation can be provided by calling 301-517-5539 or -5582 (Voice/TTY).

Middle School Reform

Hundreds of Admissions Officials Will Be
on Hand for Annual College Fair

High school juniors will be able to meet with hundreds of college admissions representatives during the Montgomery County Public Schools College Fair, an annual two-day event that brings the students in contact with nearly 300 colleges, universities and technical schools from more than 30 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign countries.

This year's College Fair will be on Wed., April 26, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and on Thurs., April 27, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be held at the Montgomery County Agricultural Center at 16 Chestnut St. in Gaithersburg. Students will be transported to the fair by bus.

An evening session open to the general public will be held on April 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This session will provide an opportunity for parents to talk with college admissions representatives and for sophomores and younger students to get a start on gathering information for their college search process. There also will be a financial aid workshop. Entrance to the fair is free.

More information
College Fair | 703-836-2222

Parent Workshop to Discuss Improving
Your Child's Math Skills

Today's math lessons are more than adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. More than ever, teachers are working to make math skills taught in the classroom relevant to students in their everyday lives.

Parents are invited to learn how to improve and support their child's math skills in a workshop April 27 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.

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

Montgomery County Council
Schedules Budget Hearings

The Montgomery County Council has scheduled public hearings in April on the MCPS Fiscal Year 2007 Operating Budget. The Board of Education adopted the school system's $1.8 billion Operating Budget on Feb. 14, and on March 13, County Executive Doug Duncan announced that he would recommend fully funding the Board's budget.

Public hearings are set for April 5 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Anyone wanting to testify should call 240-777-7931. Final action on the budget by the County Council is expected in mid-May.

The meetings will be held in the Montgomery County Council office building at 100 Maryland Avenue in Rockville. Petitions or other written material may be presented to the Clerk of the Council at the time of the hearing or may be mailed or delivered to the Council's Office of Legislative Information Services on the 5th floor of the Council building.

Montgomery County Government

Survey on Its Way to
Parents of Second Graders

Parents of second grade students will be mailed a survey to gather information about their child's strengths. This survey, which is to arrive in mailboxes before spring break, is a critical part of the global screening process that takes place at the end of Grade 2. Through the global screening process each elementary school collects additional information such as testing information, and parent and staff surveys to plan challenging instruction for students. Parents are asked to complete the survey and return it to their child's school within a week of receiving it.

Copies of the parent survey are available in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, French and Korean at each school and on the Accelerated and Enriched Instruction web site.

Scholarship Sites Can Help
College Bound Students

Saving for a child's college education is often a daunting, monumental prospect. Although scholarships and grants are readily available to eligible students, they can be difficult to find. Increasingly, students and their parents are turning to the Internet for help. Several web-based sites provide an easy, comprehensive approach to finding scholarships. Among them:

  • www.fastweb.com: The largest and most accurate personalized scholarship search that compares your background with a database of awards. Only those awards that fit your profile are identified as matches.
  • www.finaid.org: A list of several scholarship databases as well individual scholarships and awards aimed at assisting students pursuing specific majors or courses of study.
  • www.srnexpress.com: The SRN database focuses on private-sector, non-need-based aid, and includes information about awards from more than 1,500 organizations.
  • www.studentjobs.gov/d_scholarship.asp: Scholarship programs through the federal government for students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and the desire to further their education in a field of study.
  • www.collegenet.com/mach25: This database contains more than 600,000 awards totaling over $1.6 billion. Keyword Search offers a quick way to narrow down to a particular scholarship or group of scholarships.

College and Career: Web Scholarship Searches

Appointments Now Being Scheduled for Kindergarten Orientation

MCPS will hold kindergarten orientation throughout April and May. Orientation is designed to help parents enroll their children, complete health forms and help students get acquainted with future friends and the school environment.

Children who will be five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2006, are eligible to begin kindergarten in August. Parents should register children for kindergarten on the date scheduled for the elementary school that serves their neighborhood. Parents uncertain of which elementary school serves their area should contact the boundaries office at 301-279-3331 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Each school has additional information on registration procedures, and parents are asked to call their home school to make an appointment to register on the school's specified orientation date. Parents will be mailed the required forms for kindergarten, and they should bring the completed forms and the child's birth certificate, proof of address and health immunization records to their orientation meeting.

An early entrance to kindergarten application process is available to serve children who will reach five years old between Sept. 2 and Oct. 15, 2006. Parents who seek early entrance consideration for their children should ask about it at their home school.

Boundary Information
Early Childhood Programs

Registration Open for
Head Start and Prekindergarten

The Head Start and prekindergarten programs are recruiting children who will be four years old by Sept. 1, 2006. The programs are open to families of students who qualify for free and reduced price meals. There also are a limited number of openings for Head Start-eligible children who will be three years old by Sept. 1, 2006. Classes will begin in fall 2006.

In addition, limited Head Start community-based, full-day/full-year, three- and four-year-old openings are available for parents receiving Working Parents Assistance (WPA) or Purchase of Care (POC).

MCPS prekindergarten and Head Start programs provide preschool education, health and social services, and parent involvement for low-income families, including children with disabilities.

Registration will take place at the following locations and times:

  • April 4-East County Community Center , 11 a.m–2:30 p.m.
  • April 19-Rocking Horse Road Center, 3–8 p.m.
  • April 26-Martin Luther King Swim Center, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • April 29-Rocking Horse Road Center, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • May 12-Long Branch Community Center, 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • May 20-Rocking Horse Road Center, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • May 25-Upper County Community Center, 12:30 p.m.–8 p.m.

For more information, contact the Prekindergarten/Head Start Unit at 301-230-0676.

Early Childhood Programs

School Assignments on Their Way
to Participants in Choice Process

Parents of students who participated in Round Two of the Choice Process will be notified by mail of their school assignments this month. Parents of Grade 5 students who participated in the Middle School Magnet Consortium (MSMC) Choice process will receive either an assignment letter (for those who live within the MSMC attendance area) or a notification letter of selection (for those who live outside the MSMC attendance area). Round Two was open to transfer students within the consortia areas, students who did not get their first choice in Round One and new students.

Parents who wish to appeal their student's school assignment may write a letter explaining why the assigned school is unable to meet the child's needs. Send appeal letters to: Director, Division of Consortia Choice and Application Program Services, Spring Mill Field Office, 11721 Kemp Mill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20902. For questions, call the Consortia office at 301-649-8081.

Downcounty Consortium
Northeast Consortium
Middle School Magnet Consortium

Encourage Your Kids To Vote in Elections

Secondary students can exercise their civic duty to vote, starting with the election of Student Member of the Board of Education later this month.

Last month, two candidates were chosen to serve as the 29th student representative on the Board. The students, Lindsay Abbett, a junior at Quince Orchard High School, and Sarah Horvitz, a junior at Springbrook High School, were selected from a field of five candidates.

On Wednesday, April 26, all secondary students will have the opportunity to vote for one of the two at their school. Election results will be available on the MCPS home page the following day.

In addition, any high schooler who is a U.S. citizen and will be 18 years old by Nov. 7, 2006, can register to vote in local, state and national elections. All MCPS high schools will be conducting a voter registration drive from April 18-26. Students can register to vote through their school.

Student Member of the Board of Education Candidate Information

Homework Hotline Live!
Now Offers Closed Captioning

MCPS Instructional TV now offers live closed captioning of its flagship program, Homework Hotline Live! The new service provides hearing impaired students with an opportunity to view Hotline. Closed captioning also provides benefits for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and for individuals whose native language is not English; English language captions improve comprehension and fluency. Captions also help improve literacy skills.

Instructional TV

Dates to Remember
  • April 1: SAT administered
  • April 10-13: Spring break (no school for students and teachers)
  • April 14, 17: Easter holidays (schools and offices closed) (note: Passover begins at sunset on April 12)
  • April 19: Report cards distributed
  • April 20: Board of Education meeting, Carver Educational Services Center, 10 a.m.
  • April 26-27: MCPS College Fair, Montgomery County Agricultural Center
  • April 26: Student member of the Board of Education election
  • April 27-30: Elementary and Middle School Arts Fair, White Flint Mall
  • April 28: Media Festival Showcase, AFI Silver Theatre, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.


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