MCPS QuickNotes Newsletter - June 2012
QuickNotes: Your Information Connection to Montgomery County Public Schools (English)
Set for Aug. 25
Make the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Back-to-School Fair part of your fun this summer: Saturday, August 25, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville.
The fair is a great way for families to learn about school system programs and services, while enjoying music, entertainment, children's activities and more. Students will have the opportunity to take home backpacks filled with school supplies donated, thanks to sponsors such as Kaiser Permanente, ABC/7 WJLA, Washington Talent Agency and Montgomery College.
The event is organized by the MCPS Department of Family and Community Partnerships. Mark your calendars and keep checking the Back-to-School Fair website over the summer for updated information
A Message from Dr. Starr
As the first year of my tenure as Superintendent comes to a close, I want to say thank you to the entire Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) community for making this an extremely successful and important year in our school district's history.
Over the past 11 months, I have had the opportunity to talk to thousands of parents, students, staff and community members about what makes MCPS a great school system and where we can improve. I have appreciated the honest feedback and constructive suggestions I have heard from so many of you.
It's clear that the citizens of Montgomery County are extremely proud of MCPS and recognize that it is one of the best school districts in the nation. But I also think we recognize that in order for MCPS to continue to be a national model of excellence, we are going to have to make changes and improve in the areas that have the biggest impact on teaching and learning
Based on what I heard from the entire MCPS community, and in partnership with the Board of Education, we have identified three areas where we will place specific focus in the coming year:
- Professional Development: Making sure our employees are receiving the training they need so they can best serve our students;
- Interventions: Improving our efforts to identify students who are struggling and giving them timely, comprehensive interventions and support; and
- Community Engagement: Fully engaging our school community and collaborating with other agencies and organizations to provide a wide range of services to our students.
It's important to note that we are not increasing funding in these areas this year and we are not implementing any major new initiatives. Rather, we are seeking to make sure our efforts in these strategic areas are coordinated, collaborative and maximize the resources we currently have.
I want to thank everyone who turned out for all of the entry events I held over the past year, including 17 Listen and Learn events, four Student Town Halls, three Book Clubs and four Spring Forums on specific topics of interest to MCPS. More than 2,000 people attended one or more of these events, helping me understand what MCPS is all about. If you missed any of the events, you can watch them online on the MCPS website.
In closing, I also want to thank our staff for making my first year at MCPS a success. Leadership transitions can be difficult in any organization—especially one as large as MCPS—but our employees have continued to focus on the needs of students and we have continued to see great results. MCPS has the best staff in public education, bar none, and I am grateful for their collaboration and commitment.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing summer. I am already looking forward to next school year and all that is possible for the future of Montgomery County Public Schools.
Joshua P. Starr
Superintendent of Schools
When is Graduation?
The 2012 high school commencement season is under way and will end on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.
Graduation dates, speakers and locations for every high school.
Montgomery College Offers Summer Youth Programs
Montgomery College offers more than 200 exciting summer programs for students in kindergarten through high school. The classes are offered at all campuses from June through August.
Week-by-week class information
County Council Approves FY 2013 Budget
The Montgomery County Council approved a $2.1 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 operating budget for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on Thursday, May 24. The budget represents a 2.2 percent increase over the current year, the minimum increase allowed by state law.
The budget allows MCPS to keep up with its continued growth but includes no new major initiatives or programs. The budget also allows MCPS to provide a compensation increase to its employees, most of whom have not received an increase in two or three years, while asking them to pay more out-of-pocket expenses for health care services.
The FY 2013 operating budget approved by the Council includes a $22.2 million increase in local funding and a $28.5 million increase in state funding. The Council also will pay $27.2 million to absorb the partial shift of the state teacher pension costs, although additional revenue approved by the state will offset the added pension costs in FY 2013. The Board of Education is expected to approve a final budget for FY 2013 on June 14.
Learn more about the agreement with MCPS employees
Summer Adventures in Learning
Are you looking for a way to keep your child engaged and learning over the long summer break?
If your child is a student at one of the twenty-two Title I schools, then you might want to consider the Summer Adventures in Learning program. Twenty-two Title I MCPS elementary schools will offer a free, four-week-long summer learning opportunity for students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 from July 5 to July 31.
The program features a four-hour instructional day of reading, language arts, and mathematics. It is designed to reinforce what your child learned throughout the school year and provide a head start on the upcoming one. Bus transportation and free breakfast and lunch will be provided. You can register for the program at your child's school.
A similar program for middle school students will also be offered in July. Interested parents should contact the Middle School Extended Year Coordinator at their local middle school to get more information.
Extended Learning Opportunities
Students Will Receive Free Meals During the Summer
Students enrolled in many summer school or summer recreation programs will be provided meals as part of the Montgomery County summer food program. This program ensures that children in low-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months when school breakfasts and lunches are not available.
The free meals will be distributed at approximately 115 sites throughout the county every weekday starting June 18 and ending Aug. 17 (except July 4). Children 18 and younger are eligible to receive the meals, as are persons with physical and mental disabilities up to 21 years old.
Other community-based locations, such as religious and community sites and apartment complexes, may also be eligible for meal service. For specific information about site locations and meal eligibility, please send an email to SummerFoodProgram@mcpsmd.org
In addition, several schools will provide lunch daily to children 18 years and younger on a walk-in basis, from June 20 through August 19. Lunch will be served to children between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Rolling Terrace, Maryvale, Summit Hall and Fox Chapel elementary schools, Argyle Middle School and Kennedy High School. Lunches must be eaten on site.
For more information, contact the Division of Food and Nutrition Services at 301-840-8170.
Division of Food and Nutrition Services
Summer is a Great Time for Student Service Learning
Parents of middle and high school students should keep in mind that summer is a great time for students to get involved in community service. After completing Grade 5, MCPS students may start earning hours toward the service learning graduation requirement of 75 hours.
There are also a lot of opportunities for students to serve in leadership positions—both at the county and the state levels. Students are encouraged to visit the Student Affairs website for a full list of opportunities.
Drive for Supplies
Middle and high school student volunteers are needed to sort, box and organize donated school supplies for the Drive for Supplies project. This is a pre-approved student service learning activity. Sorting will take place in the cafeteria of Richard Montgomery High School on July 9-10 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Supplies come from MCPS students and staff, who collect and donate their gently used school supplies as they clean out lockers, desks and closets at the end of the school year.
The Drive for Supplies press conference and supply distribution will be held on Monday, July 16, in the Richard Montgomery High School cafeteria. Non-profit agencies may pick up supplies immediately after the press conference. Families may pick up supplies between noon and 6 p.m. Pre-registration is requested for nonprofits and schools.
Drive for Supplies
High School Juniors/Seniors Needed: Join the Election Day Team
The Montgomery County Board of Elections Future Vote Initiative is seeking high school juniors and seniors to serve as Election Judges in the upcoming 2012 Presidential Elections on Tuesday, November 6. Students that serve as judges earn $180. Training sessions will be held in August, September and October. For more information and to request an application, email Dr. Gilberto Zelaya.
Orientations for Middle and High School Students set for Aug. 23
Student Orientation Day is scheduled for Thursday, August 23, this year. Look for specific information from your child's school over the summer. Orientation Day is an opportunity for middle and high school students to meet their teachers for the upcoming school year, learn about class schedules, and ensure that students are ready for the first day of school. Classes start on Monday, August 27.
Contact your child's school for more information and questions regarding the school's programs and schedules.
Fall Athletic Tryouts, Practices Begin August 11
Athletic tryouts and practices start Saturday, August 11 for high school students interested in fall sports including football, field hockey, boys' and girls' soccer, girls' volleyball, girls' tennis, co-ed cross country, co-ed golf, and unified track and field. Students must have a yearly physical exam to play athletics at the high school level.
A Health Form, signed by the student, parent and doctor or nurse practitioner, a completed Emergency Medical Card, and a student-parent contract/permission form must be submitted before trying out for a team. Additional forms may be required. Contact your local high school for the forms. Schools will be able to provide information regarding specific practice and tryout times.
Registration continues through the summer for 2012-2013 Prekindergarten and Head Start programs for children who will be 4 years old by Sept. 1, 2012. For more information, call 301-230-0676.
The first high school session of summer school begins on June 25. The deadline to register for the second high school session is Friday, July 6. The second session will be held from July 17 to August 3.
The elementary summer school programs are only for students who have completed Grades K through 5. Parents must use mail-in registration forms available on the elementary summer school website. The deadline to register is Friday, June 15. The session starts on July 5 and ends July 31.
Parents should contact the Summer School Coordinator at their child's school with questions about middle school summer learning.
Summer School 2012