Starting this month, we’ll be answering some frequently asked questions in each edition of QuickNotes. If you have a question, send it to email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org. This month, the questions are focused on budgetary issues.
Q. We keep hearing about how bad the local budget is, yet I just heard about a $1.5 billion plan for school construction. How is that possible?
A. The operating budget and the capital improvements budget are very different and are funded differently. Find out more about the differences and why this is the right time to build.
Q. I keep hearing that MCPS has a “$10 million public relations (PR) budget.” Is this true?
A. No, it’s not true. The budget for the Office of Communications and Family Outreach is about $10.6 million, but a very small portion of that goes toward press releases and public relations. Most of the budget is spent on direct services to schools, students and parents. Find out more.
Reaching Out to Help Haiti
Few people can watch the devastation in Haiti without being moved to action. No wonder that MCPS students, staff, and parents are busy raising money, collecting food and clothes, and providing supplies for the earthquake-stricken country.
Read about the variety of ways schools are contributing to the relief effort.
Meet and Greet Board Members
Parents can meet members of the Montgomery County Board of Education in an informal setting at a Parent Academy workshop on Thurs., Mar. 4, 7:00 –8:30 p.m., at the Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville. Board members will answer questions and discuss the Board efforts to improve achievement for all students.
Register for the workshop.
Attend a Parent Academy Workshop This Month
Registration is now under way for the winter lineup of Parent Academy workshops. Topics for February include financing a college education, helping middle schoolers get organized, communicating effectively with school staff and motivating children to succeed. A series of workshops for beginning computer users also is being offered. All workshops are free and are held in schools and locations throughout the county. Child care and interpreters are provided. The Parent Academy is a program of the Office of Communications and Family Outreach.
Register and get more information.
Parent Survey Coming Soon
WHAT: The Parent Satisfaction Survey for the 2009–2010 School Year
WHY: MCPS wants to know what parents think about their child’s school
WHO: A random sample of parents of MCPS students. If you are part of the random sample, your participation will help ensure a complete and accurate picture of parents’ opinions in your child’s school. Parents in the sample who may need a translated survey will receive one in the mail.
WHERE: Online through confidential password entry. Parents in the sample will be mailed information on how to complete the survey in early March 2010.
WHEN: Participants are asked to respond between March 1 and May 15, 2010
Registration for Prekindergarten/Head Start Begins March 1
Starting on Mon., Mar. 1, and running through the summer, prekindergarten and Head Start programs will be registering children who will be 4 years old by Sept. 1, 2010, for the 2010–2011 school year. This includes children with disabilities. Limited spaces are available in Head Start for children who will be 3 years old by Sept. 1, 2010. These programs are open to income-eligible children. Parents are encouraged to apply before July 31 to ensure placement.
Learn more about Prekindergarten/Head Start registration.
MCCPTA Special Education Committee Seeks Nominations
Parents, students and educators are encouraged to submit nominations to recognize those who have contributed to the success and acceptance of students with special needs. Educators, parents, students and programs are eligible to be nominated. The recognitions are being given by the Special Education Committee of the Montgomery County Council of Parent–Teacher Associations (MCCPTA). Those chosen will be recognized at a ceremony on May 10, 2010. Nominations must be received by Sun., Feb. 28.
More information, including nomination form.
Superintendent’s Leadership Program Seeks Applicants
Applications are now being accepted for the 2010–2011 Superintendent's Leadership Program, a year long honors internship for high school seniors that focuses on leadership and career development. Admission to the program is competitive; candidates are selected for their maturity, intellectual curiosity, and ability to learn in nonclassroom settings. The application deadline for the 2010–2011 program is Mon., Mar. 15.
Students should contact their high school guidance counselor or Kim Jones with questions.
Learn more and get application.
Stay Up to Date on the FY 2011 Operating Budget
The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the proposed FY 2011 operating budget on Feb. 9, 2010. On March 1, the budget will be submitted to the County Executive and County Council. The Council will be holding public hearings in April.
Learn more about the MCPS FY 2011 operating budget.
Did you know. . .
Montgomery County Public Schools is one of two school districts nationwide to receive a Grand Award for environmentally friendly cleaning practices from American School & University magazine. The MCPS Division of School Plant Operations was cited for its high standards in the selection of all cleaning materials, which includes a review by certified hazardous-materials managers, and occupational safety and other health experts. Many of the products used are in recyclable packaging.
Learn more about MCPS' environmentally friendly cleaning practices.
Students Can Apply for Medical Careers and Fire Science Programs
High school sophomores and juniors interested in exploring careers in the health care industry or fire science can apply for career pathway programs for the 2010–2011 school year. The Medical Careers program enables students to gain skills related to patient care practiced in hospitals and long-term care facilities; the Fire Science program educates and trains students to become firefighters and/or Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers in Montgomery County. Applications are due March 26, 2010, for the medical careers program and April 9, 2010, for the fire science program.
Program details and applications.
Watch: MCPS TV video about the Fire Science program.
Don't Forget. . .
- College Goal Sunday is Sun., Feb. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Student Services Center on the Montgomery College Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus. (The snow date is Feb. 21.) Collegebound students and their parents can get free assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)--the form required by colleges, universities and private career schools to qualify for federal grants and loans, as well as many state and private scholarships.
- Drop in for coffee and conversation at the ASK MCPS event, sponsored by the Office of Communications and Family Outreach, Sat., Feb. 20, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
- Students in the MCPS Automotive Body and Technology and Network Operations programs will be selling student-refurbished cars and computers from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sat., Feb. 20, at Damascus High School (Snow date: Feb. 27). The items for sale are donated, reconditioned and tested by students as part of their classroom studies. Pricing information is available at www.autocareers.org and www.itfcareers.org.
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) College Fair, Feb. 17 at John F. Kennedy HS, 6:00–8:00 p.m., sponsored by the United Negro College Fund and the NAACP.
- HBCU on-the-spot admission events:
- Feb. 11–John F. Kennedy HS: Bowie State Univ., 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Feb. 17–Richard Montgomery HS: UNCF/ NAACP/MCPS HBCU College Fair, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
- Mar. 10–Northwood HS: Coppin State Univ., 6:00 p.m.