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The Student Grades and Graduation Credit Report is coming home with all high school students in grades 9–11 with their report cards on April 15. Students in grade 12 received their reports at the end of the first marking period. The report provides an opportunity for families to review their children’s grades and make sure they are meeting course requirements for graduation.
Board of Education Vice President Shirley Brandman presented testimony at the April 8 public hearing on the FY 2009 Operating Budget. She advocated strongly for the MCPS budget request, noting that the county executive’s recommended $51 million reduction would force the school system to turn back on most of the reforms implemented over the past nine years, impacting students who need the most help.
Sean Kelly, a teacher in the Emotional Disabilities Cluster Program at Clarksburg High School is the winner of this year’s Marian Greenblatt First-Year Teacher Award. Kelly is called a “natural teacher” by staff and parents, someone who celebrates the uniqueness of each student and advocates for them in every way. The award is given in honor of former Board of Education president Marian Greenblatt.
Potomac Elementary School highlighted its Chinese Immersion Program during a visit from Minister Counselor Shaozhong You and other Embassy of China officials. They also visited Thomas S. Wootton High School. Visitors from many countries visit schools and offices each year to learn what the school system is doing to provide a quality education for students. MCPS has Chinese, Spanish and French immersion programs at the elementary and middle school levels.
Elena Kim Perry, a 10th grader in the Richard Montgomery High School International Baccalaureate Program, won first place at the U.S. National Brain Bee Championship. The competition contains questions related to areas such as memory, intelligence, emotions, sensations, stress and brain disorders. Perry will represent the United States at the International Championship in Montreal in May and participate in a paid summer internship with a neuroscientist.
Five winter sports teams earned state championships in their divisions this year. Paint Branch High School girls’ basketball and Springbrook High School boys’ basketball were state winners. Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Poolesville high school girls’ teams and Quince Orchard High School boys’ team were top in indoor track. Athletes in 26 individual wrestling and indoor track events also were state champions.
The curtain is rising on spring theater productions throughout the school system, at both middle schools and high schools. Many are taking place this month. From “The Wiz” to “Les Mis,” there’s something on stage for everyone.
Students created an African village as part of a unit on African kingdoms during the Middle Ages in Richard Sprecher’s social studies class at Julius West Middle School. Creating life-size replicas for each kingdom, such as a mosque for Mali, hut and rain forest trees for the Congo, and the great wall of Zimbabwe, is one of many creative ways schools are bringing history to life.