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On Oct. 16, more than 150 people attended the second of two scheduled community forums that were sponsored by the Board of Education. A total of 35 participants shared their views about what's working in MCPS and how the school system can improve. The information will be used to help set priorities for the FY 2010 Operating Budget and help update the school system’s strategic plan.
Wheaton Woods Elementary School teacher Theresa Baker was surprised with “A Day Made Better Award” and $1,000 worth of office supplies for her class from OfficeMax as part of a national campaign to reward teacher excellence. As a Boost teacher, Baker provides extra support for students in grades 3 through 5 to help boost their achievement, with her class roster changing frequently, based on students’ needs. Baker symbolizes the enthusiasm and commitment of all Woods staff to students.
The second of two community forums sponsored by the Board of Education will be held Oct. 16, 7–9:30 p.m., at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington. Speakers will respond to this question: "During difficult economic times, what priorities in the Montgomery County Public Schools strategic plan should we focus on for the 2009–2010 school year to improve achievement for all students?" Attendees can share their views online or by filling out response cards at the forum.
The Rockville High School library was turned into an Internet chat room recently so students and teachers could ask questions of science experts about alcohol and other drug use. Rockville piloted the program last year and this year was one of 100 selected schools across the nation who participated. For 10 hours, scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse were live online to answer questions. Associated Press television covered the Rockville event.
“Homework Hotline Live!” begins its 23rd season on Oct. 15. Teachers provide help for students on TV and over the phone on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. Students from all grade levels can call about any subject, including foreign languages. The program can be seen on Comcast 33, Verizon 35 and RCN 88 and online.
Enrollment has increased dramatically this fall, surpassing 139,000 students—1,600 more than expected. The Board of Education discussed implications of the increase at its Oct. 14 meeting. Most of the enrollment growth is in kindergarten and first grade, with 500 more kindergarten and 600 more first grade students this year compared with last year. The growing number of students increases the need for school capacity and could lead to a need for more portable classrooms.
The Board of Education's business meeting will be webcast live starting at 10 a.m., Tuesday, October 14. You need the free Windows MediaPlayer on your computer to view the meeting.
Hispanic employees new to the school system were welcomed during a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration sponsored by the Hispanic Employees Association of MCPS. Participants enjoyed food, entertainment, networking and meeting new friends. The association presents scholarships to students each year. Hispanic Heritage Month ends Oct. 15.