Information You Need to Get the School Year Off

 To A Great Start 2018 -2019


Open House

You and your child are invited to attend the traditional WMES Open House on Friday, August 31, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. for students in Kindergarten and Grades 1-5. We also invite you to enjoy a box lunch from (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)  The WMES Open House is an opportunity for you to come to school with your student, visit his or her classroom, and meet the teacher. We look forward to seeing you on Friday, August 31 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  The PTA will have a table set up in the lobby at open house.  I urge you to join the PTA.  The PTA supports the students and staff at Watkins Mill in many ways in order to promote teaching and learning.


2018-2019  Classroom Assignments

All WMES students in Kindergarten and Grades 1–5 will receive a postcard from their teacher for the 2018-2019 school year. Postcards will be mailed on Monday, August 27 and will hopefully reach you before the Open House on Friday, August 31 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. In the event that your student does not receive his/her postcard prior to the Open House, class rosters will also be posted on the front doors of the school on Friday, August 31.  The first day of school is Tuesday, September 4.


School Schedule

School starts on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, for all students in Kindergarten and Grades 1–5. Head Start and Pre-K students will receive information about their first day of school as part of their home visit.

  • School Breakfast                                 8:55 a.m. in classrooms
  • School Hours (Grades K-5)                9:00 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.
  • Office Hours                                       8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Head Start (full day)                           9:00 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.
  • Pre-K (full day)                                  9:00 a.m. – 3:20 p.m.
  • Bar T (Before & After School Care)  6:30 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. &

                                                                        3:25 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.


Included in this packet is the bus schedule for 2018-2019. During the first week or school,

the buses may be a little early or a little late, as the drivers get accustomed to the run and the new time schedules. The front entrance lane of the school is reserved for buses during arrival and dismissal times. Cars are not allowed in the front entrance lane during school opening and dismissal hours for safety reasons. If you use the Drop-Off Circle, NEVER leave your vehicle unattended and be sure to pull all the way up to the curb before loading and unloading students. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated! ***If your student attends the School Based Learning Center (SBLC) you will receive information on transportation the week before school starts directly from the Office of Transportation.  IF YOU HAVE NOT HEARD OR HAVE A CHANGE IN PICK-UP OR DROP-OFF FOR YOUR CHILD, PLEASE NOTIFY TRANSPORTATION IMMEDIATELY at 301-670-8275

Student Dismissal and Parents:  Please read carefully!

Beginning Tuesday, September 4, we are asking parents to follow the schedule below when picking up their students:

CAR RIDERS - Parents picking up CAR RIDERS will be given a number on the first day of school for their student. Parents are asked to put the paper plate on the right hand side of the dashboard so that the staff members on car rider duty can see the number and call out the number. Please help your student to learn his/her car rider number. *A letter containing important reminders for Car Rider Parents/Guardians/Drivers is included in this packet.

HEAD START, Pre - K and KINDERGARTEN WALKERS – Parents who pick up Head Start and Kindergarten walkers should walk down the front sidewalk past the front doors and dumpster, then form a line in front of the double blue doors. The Head Start Teacher or Assistant and one of the Kindergarten teachers will be there to release your student to you or a designated adult. Parents whose child attends Pre-K should line up outside in front of the blue door opens to the classroom.

WALKERS IN GRADES 1-5 – Parents, babysitters, and middle/high school students are asked to wait outside the main front doors to pick up walkers in Grades 1-3 and outside the far doors for Grades 4 – 5. We are asking again this year for everyone to wait outside of the building so that students are able to get through the hallway and front doors quickly and safely.

BUS RIDERS---Will be dismissed from their classrooms.


I am happy to report that Watkins Mill ES is one of seven schools that has been selected to participate in the Universal Lunch Program. What this means is that all students in addition to breakfast will receive lunch free of cost.  There is no need to put money in your child’s SNAP account.

You will still have to complete and return the Household Application for Free and Reduced price meals as this determines our Title I status. It is critical that we maintain our Title I status.  Title I status entitles us to extra staff, parent programs, and additional funds to purchase instructional materials. You will receive this form during the first week of school. The form will also be available on line for you to complete.  NO INFORMATION IS SHARED OUTSIDE OF MCPS.  I will send out more information once school starts.


Arrive Late…Leave Early…Absent… Go Home with A Friend:

  • ARRIVE LATE – When a student is late, an adult must bring the student to the office to “sign him/her in” for the day. The student should not go to the classroom first.
  • LEAVE EARLY – A note should be sent to school with your student. Parents must come to the office to sign their student out. Parents are NOT to go to the student’s classroom to pick up the child --- office staff will call the classroom.  NO STUDENT WILL BE PERMITTED TO LEAVE SCHOOL UNACCOMPANIED FOR ANY REASON!! In addition, students will only be released to those adults who are listed on students’ emergency sheets. Adults may be required to show identification even if their name is on the emergency sheet.
  • ABSENT – Please call the school office by 9:30 a.m. (301-840-7181) to report your student’s absence.  The office opens at 8:00 a.m.; if you need to call prior to that time, please call and leave a message on the voice mail. When your student returns to school, a note explaining the absence (i.e. sick, doctor’s appointment, etc.) should be sent to the office.
  • STAY AFTER SCHOOL – If a student is to stay at school for an after-school activity, a note must be sent in by the parent or the student will not be permitted to stay.
  • WALK HOME WITH A FRIEND – If a student is to go home with a friend, a note must be sent in by the parent.
  • Students MUST bring a note to school if there is any change in the bus that they will be riding or how they will get home at the end of the day.


IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT STUDENTS REPORT TO SCHOOL NO EARLIER THAN 8:45 A.M., AS SUPERVISION IS NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL THAT TIME!  ALSO, STUDENTS REPORTING TO SCHOOL AFTER 9:00 A.M. WILL BE MARKED LATE. When students are late, they miss valuable instructional time. Please make sure that your child reports to school on time!  Thank you for your cooperation. Special Note:  If you are planning to videotape or take pictures of your student on his/her first day of school, please be sure not to include other students in your video/picture. Parent permission must be granted in order for other students to be included in your videotape or pictures.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Back-to-School Night

On September 11, 2018, teachers will provide specific information about our instructional focus and suggested strategies for working with students at home to support their learning. During the year, we will continue to communicate with you about student performance in many ways. Teachers will use report cards, conferences, progress reports, phone calls, email, and/or notes home to keep you up-to-date about your student’s performance at school.  Back-to-School Night begins at 6:30 p.m.


New Mascot

Many parents, students, and staff have asked that we adopt a new mascot.  The Viking mascot will be retired and a new mascot selected by the students and staff.  The school colors may also change


Tuesday has been set aside as the day when most of the general notices from the school and from the PTA will be distributed.

Messages to Students During the Day

Please communicate all messages to your student BEFORE he/she comes to school in the morning. Office staff are not permitted to call into classrooms to give students messages from their parents, as this poses a potential safety and liability concern. Your cooperation will help ensure your student’s safety!


Any money sent from home for field trips, school pictures, or other activities should come in an envelope with the child’s name, teacher’s name, amount enclosed and purpose.  Checks should be written separately for each child; checks for field trips should be made payable to Watkins Mill Elementary School.


Students are strongly discouraged from bringing cell phones to school.  If a student brings a cell phone to school, they may not turn it on/use it during the student day. It must remain in the student’s book bag/backpack. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that cell phones are turned off and out of sight during times of unauthorized use.  Cell phones may be confiscated by school authorities if used in a manner inconsistent with Montgomery County Board of Education policies. WMES has adopted a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate use of cell phones by students.  MCPS regulations or rules. MCPS will assume no responsibility or liability for loss, theft, or damage to a device or for the unauthorized use of any such cell phone.


Visitors to the School

For the safety and security of our students all visitors to the school - parents, grandparents, volunteers, everyone - must check in at the main office and present a valid, state-issued ID before going anywhere else in the building.  If you need to give your child a message, lunch money, homework, supplies, etc. please go to the office.  Do not go directly to a classroom for any reason.  All visitors must wear identification badges while in the school building.

Classroom Food

We strive to keep classrooms with students that have life-threatening allergies to peanuts and tree nuts free of these allergens.  To that end, all classrooms are nut-free. We ask your cooperation in following these guidelines:

No nuts

No homemade goods

No food items with disclaimers “may contain traces of peanuts” or “manufactured on equipment that also processes peanuts and tree nuts”.

All food items brought into school to be shared must have a list of readable list ingredients


No medication will be administered in school without the parent’s/guardian’s written permission and a physician’s statement. Medication forms are available in the school office and are required for each episode of illness and for each medication. If you have any questions, call our health technician, Ms. Jain.  The parent/guardian must hand-deliver the medication, properly labeled by a pharmacist, and the completed MCPS form to Ms. Sarita Jain. Our Community Health Nurse is Ms. Elizabeth Leatherman.


Health Room

A health technician is on duty from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm each school day. It is important for us to have every child’s emergency information on file so that we may contact parents quickly if necessary. Please notify the school of changes in your emergency telephone numbers. If your child becomes too ill to remain in class, you will be contacted and asked to pick up your child.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are becoming more and more prevalent in our country.  Each year, more of our Watkins Mill students seem to be affected.  While we do not attempt to provide a completely allergen-free environment for our students with food allergies, we at Watkins Mill strive to create a safe and respectful atmosphere for all students.  We focus on awareness, inclusiveness, and allergy education to ensure that all of our students remain safe.


You can find additional useful information on our school website on all school related topics.




Our vision is to create a school of excellence that is the center of the community.


Watkins Mill Elementary School is dedicated to celebrating the cultural diversity of our students, families, and community by building and strengthening positive relationships. We will provide all students with rigorous, culturally responsive and differentiated learning experiences to meet or exceed social-emotional and academic benchmarks. We will inspire, motivate and empower all students in developing a lifelong love of learning.







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