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More than 1,300 parents, staff, and students have participated in candid and productive dialogues about race and student achievement since the Study Circles program began in 2003. Trained facilitators help participants build relationships, develop a better understanding of racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement, and plan steps to help students succeed. An evaluation of Study Circles shows lasting positive effects for participants and their school communities.
Charles Schuster of the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension offered Rock Creek Valley Elementary School students an opportunity to see the effects of water pollution firsthand as they poured liquids mimicking pollutants into their own “water supply.” Schuster is one of the many school visitors arranged by the Connection Resource Bank, which coordinates visits by experts in a range of fields.
Teachers and principals from Russia visited classrooms, talked with students and met with staff at Takoma Park Middle School during their recent study tour. Observing successful education systems in highly diverse schools was one of the visitors’ goals, along with learning about standardized methods of teaching and about professional development, networking with their U.S. counterparts and developing a strategic plan for implementing educational best practices in Russia.
Kingsview Middle School recently hosted a book signing and lecture by author John A. Stokes whose book, Students on Strike, focused on the Farmville, Va., school district that closed its doors for five years rather than integrate. Stokes recounted how he and his fellow students organized to improve conditions at their high school, which made him a plaintiff in the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education.
Flower Hill Elementary School resource teacher and Runner's Club coach Stephanie Jenkins leads students in a practice run. About 100 students trained to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run. The Runner's Club is just one way schools throughout MCPS are helping students to exercise and stay healthy.
Judges review a middle school project on “Which Sunscreen is Better” during the recent Montgomery County Science Fair held in the armory at the University of Maryland, College Park. Students in grades 6–12 were able to showcase the science projects they completed in a range of areas. The countywide event promotes students’ interest in science and is one of the largest science fairs in the nation.
William Tyler Page, namesake of the Silver Spring elementary school, wrote the American’s Creed expressing his love of country. Page students focus on their school as a community of learners with respect and support as cornerstones of their relationships with each other. “We work very hard on promoting a positive school environment, and I see it every day when the kids come in,” says Principal Deb Berner.
Rosemary Hills Elementary School staff brought families of English language learners to the Silver Spring Library recently to encourage reading. Parents and their children learned about resources available at the library during the school’s Literacy Night. The annual event is held so that more students will become interested in reading and that reading at home will become a part of family time.