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Panasonic Foundation officials visited schools to observe cutting-edge practices in middle school reform, rigorous instruction, diversity training and use of data for decision making. A November 2007 Panasonic publication focused on the school system’s sustained, successful efforts to narrow the achievement gap by race and poverty, featuring programs at Viers Mill ES and Gaithersburg HS. The foundation partners with school districts to develop models that support achievement of all students.
Sherwood High School in Silver Spring is "a community school and a school of academic excellence," says Principal Bill Gregory. One way the school excels is through its Global Studies Program, where there is a focus on international perspectives. This weekend students celebrate the 37th annual Rock & Roll Revival, a countywide favorite.
High school principals and staff explore interactive reports that allow them to view SAT performance and participation compared with the past five years. The new tool can show individual student data, use PSAT data as predictors of SAT readiness and compare school performance throughout the school system. The Class of 2007 set new participation records on the SAT and ACT, with double-digit increases in SAT participation for both African American and Latino students.
Literacy coaches, a vital component of middle school reform, guide teachers in embedding literacy strategies into instruction. For example, Ramona Howard-Turner of Benjamin Banneker Middle School works with art teacher Jennifer Espinoza to encourage students to read about Chagall to gain insight into his work. Literacy coaches are in four middle schools in addition to Banneker—Earle B. Wood, Sligo, Roberto Clemente and Montgomery Village.
The Transition Unit prepares special education students for independent living and success as they make the transition from high school to college, vocational training or employment. Staff and business partners work with about 5,000 students each year to provide services that include work and daily living skills.
The Board of Education's all-day business meeting will be webcast live starting at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 11. You need the free Windows MediaPlayer on your computer to view the meeting.
The school system has been named one of six Best Practice Districts in the nation by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC). Schools are narrowing the achievement gap for students with limited English proficiency through effective English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) curriculum, instruction and assessment. APQC’s case study about the county’s ESOL program can be used to improve services to English learners around the nation
A new Hip Hop Literacy Club at Maryvale Elementary School is helping students develop greater literacy through reading about and analyzing different songs. Club members, guided by teacher Kelly Hill, study a song then break into smaller “clubs” to write their own lyrics and letters, and create posters, presentations and a dance that reflects the meaning of the song.