**To Print: In your browser select 'File > Print'.
MCPS Retirees Honored at Annual Reception
The Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jack R. Smith honored 635 retirees at the MCPS annual retirement recognition and reception on Thursday, June 8, at Richard Montgomery High School.
Certificates of appreciation were presented to the retirees to thank them for their dedicated service to MCPS students.
See the List of MCPS Retirees 2017. The list includes the retiree’s name, last assignment and years of MCPS service.
See a photo gallery from the event.
Board of Education Adopts $2.52 Billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2018
The Montgomery County Board of Education on Tuesday (June 13) unanimously adopted a $2.52 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The budget represents a $59.6 million increase over the current budget, which is a 2.4 percent increase over the prior year. This will allow the district to make targeted investments to manage significant enrollment growth and build the foundation and structure that is needed to ensure that all MCPS students are able to achieve at higher levels.
[Read the June 13 memo from Superintendent Jack R. Smith on the FY 2018 Operating Budget.]
“This budget is an important step up the ladder toward serving our students and addressing all the different challenges we face in the school system,” stated Board of Education President Michael Durso. “These resources will allow us to keep pace with growth and ensure all students have the opportunity to reach their potential. We thank County Executive Leggett, County Council President Roger Berliner, and the entire County Council for its unwavering commitment to the students of Montgomery County Public Schools.”
A majority of the $59.6 million spending increase will be used to maintain the successful practices that led to strong student achievement, ensure operational excellence and invest in new strategies to ensure all students are able to achieve at high levels.
The budget anticipates an enrollment increase of more than 2,200 students for the 2017–2018 school year and includes $19.25 million and 237 teacher and staff positions to respond to the growth. MCPS also is adding more space, including the opening of Silver Creek Middle School in August 2017 and adding Grade 8 to Hallie Wells Middle School, which opened in fall 2016.
The budget also funds five strategic accelerators for a total of $11.0 million:
Improve Teaching and Learning: $3.61 million
- Increase opportunities for students to participate in rigorous coursework, programs and co-curricular activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics
- Expand achievement-focused extracurricular programs to all middle school to increase outcomes and opportunities for students
- Expand home-school model special education programs
- Ensure effective mathematics instruction through robust materials, focused support and approaches to scheduling
Focus on Learning, Accountability, and Results: $2.68 million
- Improve understanding of data through implementation of comprehensive data systems
- Provide assessment opportunities for students who want to take the SAT, ACT, or career certification assessments
- Implement climate surveys for staff and students
- Implement systems that result in comprehensive and systemic college/career planning efforts
Focus on Human Capital: $1.27 million
- Implement required professional learning for teachers and paraeducators to include cultural competence, implicit bias and restorative practice
- Provide focused training for teachers on effective practices and content knowledge
- Develop comprehensive pathway programs for supporting services staff who want to become teachers
- Expand equity and excellence hiring efforts
Focus on Community Partnerships and Engagement: $1.25 million
- Develop and communicate resources and materials to provide parents and partners with information on available opportunities and improving outcomes for students
- Build pipelines from elementary schools to improve engagement and opportunities in arts, sciences, and mathematics programs
- Expand partnership with Montgomery College and The Universities at Shady Grove to increase number of schools in the Achieving College Excellence and Success Program
Focus on Operational Excellence: $2.20 million
- Create efficiencies and ensure effective operations through updating and enhancing business systems
- Enhance air quality, maintenance support and prevention programs
Five Questions … for Five Retirees
The Bulletin posed five questions to five retiring employees, who among them have 154 years of service to the children of MCPS.
- What’s your fondest memory from your time working for MCPS?
- What’s the top piece of advice for someone just starting out in your position?
- Who had the biggest influence on your time in MCPS?
- What are you going to do on the first day you wake up after retirement?
- Is there a new hobby you will now explore, or something new you want to learn?
Here are the interviews:
Years of service: 31 years
First MCPS job: Sixth grade math teacher, Redland Middle School
Current job: Principal, Clarksburg High School
Fondest memory: Opening Rocky Hill [Middle School] as part of the P.E. department. It was a brand new school where I could develop the department how I wanted. We did it with amazing people, like Jerry Lynch and Charlotte Boucher. It was a great experience.
Advice: You’ve got to love what you do. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a teacher or a principal. It’s about the kids. You have to keep kids in the forefront of what you do. I vowed when I went into administration that I wouldn’t lose the kid piece, that I would stay connected. It’s easy to get bogged down with the work. I may not be in the classroom, but I could still listen to students, still have a conversation, still find a way to teach.
Biggest influence: There have been so many over the years. As far as administration, John Nori and Jim Fernandez, who were both principals at Julius West, and Jerry Lynch at Rocky Hill. They made it real; they did things for the right reasons. They gave me an opportunity to make things my own, let me take risks and let me fail. They let me experience things without micromanaging. In my P.E. career, Tom Wheat at Redland, was hugely influential in how I lead and how I look at things.
First day after retirement: I am starting a new job on July 1. I’m going to be working for Special Olympics Maryland; my title is going to be senior director of athlete recruitment. I will be working with school systems around Maryland to get opportunities for kids with special needs to play sports. I have been working with them on a volunteer basis for years. I was selected as the head of the delegation for Team Maryland for the USA Games next summer in Seattle. Plus, I’ve coached kayaking and the ski team, and I’m my daughter’s golf partner. [Whiting’s daughter, Candace, was born with Down Syndrome and has competed in the Special Olympics World Winter Games.]
New hobby: I always want to learn; I guess that’s why we’re teachers. I like to run. I have been doing Ragnar Relays, they are 200-mile races that you run with 12 other people. I play ice hockey every Sunday. I’ve always tried to find time to balance; I don’t know how to live life another way.
Chrisandra “Chris” Richardson
Years of service: 32 years
First MCPS job: Part-time teacher, Infants and Toddlers special education class, taught at night
Current job: Associate superintendent, Office of Special Education
Fondest memory: My first full-time job was teaching a special ed preschool class at the Taylor Learning Center, I had a fabulous class. I worked with a great speech pathologist and paraeducator. We did so much innovative stuff; we brought Head Start students over to our class and sent our kids to the general education class. At the time, no one was really doing that. Special education classes were quite segregated. I saw the impact on all the kids; they made tremendous progress. That class really shaped my thinking about special education, how successful kids should be, and the benefits for them to have access to non-disabled peers and the benefits for non-disabled peers to have these kids come over to their class to play.
Advice: Celebrate the small victories. With special education, it can be different. When I was working with Infants and Toddlers, your small victories were everything from the child being able to sit upright to learning to talk. To say their first word, to take their first step. There are developmental milestones for everyone. For kids with special needs, you have to break those small victories into really tiny pieces sometimes. You have to celebrate every day.
Biggest influence: The person I had one of the longest affiliations with was Dr. Frieda Lacey. I loved her passion and her commitment. She had high expectations for everybody and you did not want to ever disappoint her. She was out there giving 1,000 percent every day. I would sit in meetings sometimes and watch how she ran the meeting. The language she used when she spoke to people was always respectful. Her demeanor was always so professional and so kind. You knew she expected you to do your homework and come prepared. She made you want to be at your best every single minute. She listened to everybody’s ideas and had really good advice. She made you want to think creatively, and if you had a crazy off-the-wall idea, she would encourage you to think it through, have a plan, think about who your stakeholders are and how you’re going to involve them, how you’re going to build relationships with those people.
First day after retirement: I grew up on a farm in northeastern Pennsylvania. And my family is still there on that farm. I’m the youngest of six. Most of my siblings either own a farm there or have their houses on that farm. It’s a little Walton-ish. On the Fourth of July, there’s always a big family party. My brother turned a portion of the farm into a campground. The relatives all come and bring their campers, even though they live across the street. Everyone brings their dogs. There is a lake and a creek. People fish. They bring their kayaks. There’s a pavilion and we have a huge picnic and a fabulous fireworks display. It’s grown to include friends, and my siblings have children who have children; there will be at least 100 people.
New hobby: I want to get back to the hobbies that I love. I love to hike. I have been an avid reader and I’m in a book club and often have not read the book. And I hope to do some projects along the way, maybe proposal writing or some consulting. I will help do childcare for my grandson, who’s four months old. And my husband and I are making a list of where to travel first. I’m definitely looking forward to that.
Years of service: 25 years
First MCPS job: Second grade teacher, Germantown Elementary School
Current job: Academic intervention teacher, Lake Seneca Elementary School
Fondest memory: When I first started teaching, I taught a combination class, first and second grades. My fondest memories involve going to weddings and baby showers for many of those students. I’m extremely close with many of my former students and their families.
Advice: Be flexible and tolerant. For three years, the day before school was to start, my position was changed. You have to be flexible because change is everywhere.
Biggest influence: Teri Johnson, the principal at Lake Seneca. I love positive affirmations. I give them to my students; I think everyone needs them. Teri is very positive; she brought me here. She saw in me what my students’ parents see in me. She appreciates my efforts and my hard work and my love of teaching.
First day after retirement: I’ve started a craft business and a baking business. I have been doing it for awhile, so now I can do more.
New hobby: I want to do more with my business. I also want to travel abroad. We go to the Poconos every summer. I might do some tutoring, but mostly I just want to enjoy myself.
Years of service: 33 years
First MCPS job: Bus driver, regular education route, Springbrook cluster
Current job: Radio bus operator, Randolph Transportation Depot
Fondest memory: All the kids. And the people. If you treat people right, they will work hard for you.
Advice: You have to treat people the way you expect to be treated. If you come off with an attitude, then people are going to have an attitude with you. Let people know what expectations you have for them and be honest with them. People appreciate that.
Biggest influence: My safety trainer told me a long time ago, ‘Doris, as long as when you look out your mirrors, you see the lines on each side of your bus, you know you’re in the center of the road. As long as you’re in the center, you’re good.’ It’s been an interesting 33 years.
First day after retirement: I will be in New York. My sister always has a big Fourth of July party, and I help her cook.
New hobby: I’m booked up until Thanksgiving. I’m going to be traveling a lot. I just returned from a Hawaiian vacation. I have a friend who is having her 70th birthday at National Harbor. Then I’m leaving to go to Hilton Head to visit friends. After that, my stepkids have been in Dubai; they are coming back and we are having a big party. Then, there’s a family reunion in Pennsylvania, then I’m going to Georgia doing a civil rights tour, then a crabfest in Southern Maryland. Labor Day, I’ll be in the Catskills with my sister. In October, my daughter turns 40, so I’m planning a dinner for that. In November, I’m going on a cruise for 10 days to the Caribbean.
My dream is traveling all over the place. I’ve never been to Europe. They asked me at work if I was going to come back and substitute. I might have to so I can pay for my traveling!
Years of service: 33 years
First MCPS job: Substitute teacher
Current job: Teacher, Parkland Middle School
Fondest memory: Mine is probably the same as a lot of other teachers. I love having students come back and tell me, ‘Oh, you were so hard on me, but I needed it. You prepared me well.’ That always make it worth it. It makes me feel good about what I’ve done and the legacy I’m leaving. I tell my students, ‘I may be hard on you, but you may be my doctor someday. Or you may teach my grandchildren math one day.’ Recently, I had one student come back to say, ‘Oh Mrs. Butler, you had to sign my agenda every day because I wouldn’t do my homework. Thank you for that.’ Guess what, he is a teacher who will be teaching science here next year. I’m leaving, but part of what I invested in is replacing me.
Advice: Get some sound financial advice. We are 10-month employees and don’t get paid in the summer. My first year teaching, I didn’t know that. I had to take a loan out to pay my rent that summer. Get some good, sound advice to prepare you not only for the year, but also for retirement.
Biggest influence: I had a principal who really encouraged me to try things. And there was a teacher who was head of our math department who encouraged me to step out and be a resource teacher.
First day after retirement: After I retire, I will wake up in Athens, Greece. My cousin who is turning 60 wants the family to go with her. So, I’ll be there.
New hobby: There is a lot I enjoy doing, like gardening and traveling. I love taking pictures, but I’ve never taken a photography class. I will be taking a class at Montgomery College, but I’ll wait until I turn 60 in February. Sixty-plus students pay no tuition. It will be good to be with family without having to grade papers. I am keeping my ears and eyes open, as I’m looking around to start a second career.
Important Summer Information from ERSC
Congratulations! Another successful school year is winding down. Before your summer plans get under way, consider these important items from the Employee and Retiree Service Center (ERSC).
Educational Systems Federal Credit Union’s Summer Pay Disbursement
If you have an Educational Systems Federal Credit Union (FCU) Summer Pay Account, the biweekly summer disbursements will be on the following dates:
Premium Summer Pay Accounts
- July 7 and 21, 2017
- August 4 and 18, 2017
Standard Summer Pay Accounts*
- July 7 and 21, 2017
- August 4 and 18, 2017
- September 1, 2017
*If you elected to receive one payment from your Standard Summer Pay account, then you will receive all of your Summer Pay savings on July 7. As you prepare for the summer, make sure your disbursements are set up the way you want them to be. You have the option to transfer the funds to an Educational Systems FCU checking or savings account or to an account at a different financial institution. To verify that your transfers are set up correctly, call Educational Systems FCU at 301-779-8500 by July 1, 2017.
For more information, visit the Educational Systems FCU Summer Pay web page and learn how you can start saving for next summer!
Most 10- and 11-month Employees to Receive Partial Paycheck on July 7
Most 10- and 11-month MCPS employees who work during the June 10–23 pay period will receive a partial paycheck on July 7, 2017. This paycheck will include pay for the number of days worked during this pay period. To determine your end-of-school-year work schedule for 2016–2017, please visit the ERSC website.
Plan Ahead for September’s Accelerated Pay Date
MCPS will be accelerating one pay date in September for the convenience of 10-month employees. The accelerated pay date enables 10-month employees to receive a full paycheck more quickly.
September pay dates will be:
- September 1, 2017
- September 15, 2017
- September 22, 2017
Pay dates will resume their biweekly schedule with the following pay date of October 13, 2017. Please plan accordingly and budget in preparation for this change to the normal pay schedule.
The full 2017–2018 pay date schedule is available on the ERSC website.
Salary Information Notices
Your online Salary Information Notice provides essential salary and position information. To access your Salary Information Notice at any time, visit the Employee Self-Service web page and click on the My Salary Information Notice link under the orange My Information banner. Log in using your Outlook username and password, which will take you to the Salary and Position Information screen. From there, you can click on the text highlighted in blue and your salary information will appear at the bottom of the screen. To request a PDF copy via your Outlook email account, click on the Email button at the top right of the screen, then click OK.
Well Aware Offers Ways to Stay Active This Summer
Well Aware, the MCPS employee wellness program, wants to help you keep healthy this summer. Make plans to join in during any of these summer wellness classes:
June 7, 14, 21
July 5, 12, 19, 26
August 2, 9, 16, 23
Café 45, 45 West Gude Dr., Rockville
Sit and Be Fit
Sit and Be Fit is a total body resistance training workout for beginners who may have limited mobility or those who aren’t ready for a traditional “body pump” gym class.
June 19, 26
July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
August 7, 14, 21
Café 45, 45 West Gude Dr., Rockville
June 8, 15, 22, 29
July 6, 13, 20, 27
August 3, 10, 17
4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Café 45, 45 W. Gude Dr., Rockville
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
beginning June 20
Clinic Room (first door, straight ahead after entering the building from the front)
Rocking Horse Road Center
4910 Macon Road, Rockville
To register for any of these classes, email Well Aware.
People On the Move
The Board of Education made 10 administrative appointments at its regular meeting today, Tuesday, June 13.
- Yolanda Stanislaus, director, Professional Growth Systems
- Jennifer L. Webster, director, Office of School Support and Improvement of High Schools
- Rachel Buckley, assistant director, Department of Certification and Staffing/Talent Acquisition
- Shoua F. Moua, supervisor, Assessment Data Management
- Edward K. Owusu, principal, Clarksburg High School
- Mark E. Craemer, principal, Darnestown Elementary School
- Deneise Hammond, principal, Rachel Carson Elementary School
- Lisa J. Henry, principal, Summit Hall Elementary School
- Xavier Kimber, principal, Brookhaven Elementary School
- Candace M. Ross, principal, Kensington Parkwood Elementary School
Fine Arts Coordinator Receives Community Service Award
Rick Penix, coordinator in Fine Arts, received the 2017 MCYO Chester J. Petranek Community award at The Music Center at Strathmore last month. This award is presented annually to an organization or individual for outstanding community service in enriching the musical life of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan Area.
The Honors of Speech Language Services for 2017 has been awarded to Lynne Stevens, speech language pathologist at Northwood High School. Lynne has shown excellence in service to students and colleagues.
—Cynthia A. Taylor, speech pathologist
Hundreds of MCPS Grads Receive Seal of Biliteracy
Dear MCPS Community:
As world economies and cultures become more integrated and reliant on one another, knowing a second language is quickly becoming an essential asset for career advancement and life. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to helping our students acquire the assets of bilingualism and biliteracy to ensure they are prepared to compete in the global marketplace and contribute to our society.
MCPS offers classes in 10 world languages. These courses provide students with the tools to read, write, speak and listen, but they also delve into the cultures behind the language. From Spanish and Arabic to Chinese and American Sign Language, we seek to provide students with the opportunities they need to know and understand language and culture.
In an effort to acknowledge the significance of being bilingual and biliterate, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Act in 2016. This distinguished award recognizes high school graduates who have attained high levels of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. This recognition is based on high levels of proficiency in one or several external assessments such as Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Language examinations, or others endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The Seal not only recognizes English speakers who gain proficiency in a second language, but also students who gain proficiency in English while maintaining their native or heritage language. [Read the Washington Postarticle on Biliteracy]
As students in caps and gowns cross the stage at MCPS graduations this year, many will see this seal as they accept their diplomas. As of March 2017, more than 700 current Grade 12 students have earned the Seal, and more than 1,000 other Grade 12 students are candidates to earn the Seal after graduation based on current course enrollment and scheduled AP/IB testing in May.
MCPS recognizes that it is never too early to begin the path towards biliteracy and bilingualism. We currently host eight (seven immersion and one two-way immersion) elementary and four middle school world language immersion programs across the county. These programs are based on an innovative educational approach in which students are taught the curriculum content through the medium of a second language. In this way, students not only learn the content on the MCPS curriculum, but also gain knowledge of the language in which it is taught. The programs also expose students to the cultures of the language in which they are immersed. For the 2017-2018 school year, MCPS will be expanding its elementary world language programming to include two new local elementary two-way immersion programs. Located at Brown Station and Washington Grove elementary schools, these programs will take advantage of a child’s early primary years—which is the optimal window for learning a second language—by providing literacy and content instruction in both the partner language and English.
As the need for and the value of biliteracy and bilingualism increase, MCPS will continue to develop a variety of opportunities at all grades and levels to ensure that our students are prepared to succeed in our community and across the globe.
Jack Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Chevy Chase Elementary School celebrated its 100th anniversary with a fun-filled afternoon of historical memories, games and music. There were tents of historical information, activities and games for each decade. There was a variety of entertainment for every age—checkers, chess, cornhole, volleyball and badminton, among others. There was a scavenger hunt, arts and crafts and a photography exhibit. The event also included tours of the school, poetry readings and song performances.
Held June 10, CheetahFest was the culminating event of months’ worth of celebrations in anticipation of the 100th anniversary. Each month, students dressed in period clothing, starting with 1917. The school worked with the Chevy Chase Historical Society to collect artifacts of the school’s past. They dug up class pictures, postcards, report cards and curriculum guides from the 1940s.
In 1917, the county opened its first official school building, a two-story art-deco inspired brick structure called the Chevy Chase School. Eventually, the high school students were relocated to regional schools, so that the school served first through seventh graders. In 1936, the school expanded by adding another brick building. The school underwent a renovation in the 1970s and, again in 2000, when the PTA, Montgomery County, and the Land Company funded the most recent renovation.
Some fun facts:
- Chevy Chase Elementary was the first school in the county to hire a secretary.
- The lunchroom in 1917 was on the basement level. No hot lunches were served, but students could purchase milk, juice and snacks.
- Some of the organized activities in the school’s early days were softball, dodgeball and track.
- From 1939 until 1965, the PTA ran the school library. It was the first library in a county elementary school.
- Parents were very active during the school year, specifically mothers: In the 1940s, mothers ran a health program, music program, the library and served as playground monitors.
Two Blair Students Given Top Ratings as Composers
Montgomery Blair High School students Steven Qu and Michael Yin have been award top ratings in the 2017 Young Composers Project. Qu received an excellent rating for his string ensemble piece, The Joyful Serenade. Yin received a superior rating for his string work, Iyauna Tomorrow. Both students were guided in their work by Blair instrumental teacher Michelle Roberts. These young composers received suggestions and compliments from the judges that will inform their future composing endeavors.
Their works will be presented at the Maryland Music Educators’ fall in-service conference in October.
The Young Composers Project is designed to encourage and enhance the instructional experiences of students and music educators through providing professional critiques, enhanced recognition, and selected presentations for the ongoing creative work of students in Maryland schools.
You can hear the works below.
The Joyful Serenade by Steven Qu, performed by the Blair High School Chamber Orchestra.
Iyauna Tomorrow by Michael Yin performed by the Blair High School Symphonic Orchestra. Other links here, here and here.
Outdoor Education Comes to Life for Clarksburg Elementary Students
Sixty students from Clarksburg Elementary School participated in a BioBlitz June 7. During a BioBlitz, members of the community and scientists work together to collect data on the diversity of living things in a specified area.
Led by local experts from MCPS, the Montgomery County Department of
Environmental Protection, county parks, and the Audubon Naturalist Society, Clarksburg students explored an aquatic station for fish and macroinvertebrates and then a terrestrial station for plants, mammals and other terrestrial animals.
Junior Achievement Offers Messages of Financial Literacy and Enterpreneurship to Woodlin Students
On June 9, Woodlin Elementary School held “JA in a Day,” an opportunity to engage parents and teachers in a day-long activity to teach elementary students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. This is the third year the event is being held at Woodlin, thanks to Junior Achievement (JA) of Greater Washington and support from the school PTA.
Volunteers and classroom teachers provided age-appropriate instruction to students in kindergarten through fifth grade on topics such as needs and wants, money choices, and jobs and careers. Volunteers led games, small projects and discussions to help students think about money, education, careers and their community.
The partnership was initiated three years ago when a Woodlin parent introduced “JA in a Day” to the principal Shoua Moua. “I partnered with JA at schools in Minnesota where I worked in the past, so I was very familiar with JA’s programs and their benefits,” said Moua. “One difference here is that Woodlin parents are so highly engaged.” Jeff Allum, co-coordinator of this year’s event, agreed. “As a parent, I always enjoy spending time with my son in the classroom. But this is a particularly important topic, and I am especially glad that so many other parents found the time to help.”
Junior Achievement of Greater Washington served more than 65,000 students, 5,000 volunteers, and 400 organizations in the Washington area during the 2015-16 school year. The organization served nearly 14,000 students in Montgomery County.
Four High School Students Win $50,000 in Scholarships from Essay Contest
An MCPS senior has won the grand prize, and three other students have been selected as winners in the 2016 Junior Achievement Essay competition.
Summer Oh, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School, is the grand prize winner in the contest, winning a $20,000 scholarship. John Merlo-Coyne, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School, won first place; Josephine Brane-Wright, a junior at Montgomery Blair, placed second; and Samuel Norman, a junior at Richard Montgomery High School, earned third place. These three students each won $10,000 scholarships. Additionally, Richard Montgomery High School won the Maryland award for having the most eligible applicants. Richard Montgomery will receive a $6,000 grant.
The competition, coordinated by Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, asked high school students from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. to compete for scholarships by writing an essay in response to the following question: “George Washington or Dr. Dre: Who would you consider a great entrepreneur and why?”
The competition is sponsored by David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager based in Washington, DC.
Read the essays.
Strathmore Elementary School Installs Mosaic Mural
Strathmore Elementary School has completed the installation of a large scale glass mosaic mural on the exterior of its building. Every student and many staff members took part in creating the artwork.
The school began planning for the project at the beginning of the school year. Preliminary design meetings were held with local mosaic artist Ali Mirsky, who agreed to work with the school to create the artwork. The mural measures 6 feet tall by 13 feet wide. Students came up with symbols to represent the school motto, “Dream Big, Work Hard.” Using many of the student ideas, Strathmore art teacher Sara Foraker created a design on paper.
The mural was created on six separate panels that were hung together to create the large finished piece. Production began in the art classroom with the students on April 27. Mirsky visited the school to teach each class how to handle the glass and create the mosaic, and students continued working during art class for three weeks. A grouting party was held on May 31 with students and staff members, and the finished mural was installed on June 6.
MCPS Celebrates Digital Citizenship Initiative
Media specialists from several middle schools gathered at Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville to celebrate completing the first year of an initiative that incorporates digital citizenship education in their schools. The curriculum, which covers issues such as privacy, cyberbullying, internet safety and other digital dilemmas, is made possible through a three-year partnership with Common Sense Education and a generous grant from the Delaney Family Fund.
Loiederman, Wheaton Students Create Bookmarks that Promote Literacy, Cultural Diversity
These bookmarks were created by Saloni Singh of A. Mario Loiederman Middle School, and Kriscia Flores and Frances Lowery, both of Wheaton High School.
Twenty-four students from A. Mario Loiederman Middle School and Wheaton High School took part in an after-school program that created multicultural bookmarks.
Students worked with teaching artist Leila Cabib to create bookmarks that promote literacy and reflect the cultural diversity of Montgomery County. Students illustrated quotations about reading, books and libraries. Many of the bookmarks are bilingual: in English and Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Nepali, Tagalog and Hebrew. The back of each bookmark lists the resources of Montgomery County Public Libraries, which is distributing the printed bookmarks to all of its
branches. The students’ original artwork will be on display at the Wheaton Interim Library, 2400 Arcola Avenue, through June 30.
Magruder Cluster Hosts First Health and Wellness Expo
The Col. Zadok Magruder Cluster presented a Health and Wellness Expo on May 16 at Redland Middle School. The focus of the event was to expand knowledge about alternatives to traditional medicine and to promote health and wellness. The program began with keynote speaker, Darryl Haley, a former professional football player, Ironman Triathlon competitor, and host of WHUR Radio’s Fitness Fridays. Haley gave a motivational talk about his childhood in California and how he turned to football to better himself and turn his life around. The event also featured panelists who answered questions on health, nutrition, exercise, mental health and wellness. Participants also toured exhibits to learn about massage, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, karate, kickboxing, meditation and relaxation, behavioral therapy and music therapy.
Support the 2017 Give BACKpacks Campaign
MCPS needs your help to raise funds to purchase backpacks filled with school supplies for students in need. This is the fifth year for the Give BACKpacks initiative, which is sponsored by the Partnerships Unit in collaboration with the MCPS Educational Foundation. During the 2016–2017 campaign, nearly 18,000 backpacks were given to students at 76 schools and through the School Counseling, Residency and International Admissions Office.
A $10 donation will provide a student in need with a new backpack, filled with school supplies. Consider donating at the following Giving Levels to reach more students: $300, $1,500, $6,500, $25,000 or $50,000.