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Students from schools participating in the first year of middle school reform shared exciting things they are learning at the May 27 Board of Education meeting. From programming robots to interacting with Promethean whiteboards to analyzing data, students in five Phase 1 schools are benefiting from interactive teaching and learning. Reform efforts may be extended fully to six more schools and partially to another four schools next year.
Educators from about 20 different Montgomery County schools learned about building a character education program at a conference held recently at Thomas Edison High School of Technology. Ron Axelrod, a national consultant for the Character Education Partnership, was the keynote speaker. Newport Mill Middle School, named a 2007 National School of Character last year, sponsored the conference.
The Board of Education's evening business meeting will be webcast live starting at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 27. You need the free Windows MediaPlayer on your computer to view the meeting.
Luxmanor Elementary School has begun a Young Minority Scholars Program for fourth and fifth grade students. Participants meet monthly to work on team building and goal setting, and hear about careers from guest speakers. The aim is to increase academic achievement, close the achievement gap and increase the number of students in accelerated academics. Students can continue with the program at Tilden Middle School and Walter Johnson High School.
Arcola Elementary School, opened last fall after being completely rebuilt on the site of the original school, celebrated its dedication May 17. Arcola has a core capacity of 640 students in prekindergarten through fifth grade, including a full-day Head Start program. The energy-efficient building has wireless technology, interactive learning systems and state-of-the-art data/voice/video network systems.
Engineers from Northrop Grumman worked with second graders in Lisa-Helen Rotter’s classroom as part of the "Discover-E" program. The outreach effort began as part of Engineering Week. It continued as engineers came to the school to talk with students about their jobs and show a video and PowerPoint. The engineers worked with students to build two structures, incorporating principles students had learned during the school year.
The Riderwood retirement community in Silver Spring honored a record 71 high school seniors from four counties—including 34 from Montgomery Blair, James Hubert Blake, Paint Branch and Springbrook high schools—with scholarships to support their pursuit of higher education. The Riderwood Scholars Fund provides scholarships of up to $4,000 to support student staff members as they continue their postsecondary education at college, trade or vocational certificate programs.
More than 35,000 students come from families without an English language background. To improve outreach to these families, staff are being trained to use a Translation Management System. The system enables MCPS to provide more translated documents to schools and offices in a timely fashion.