Gaithersburg High School ESOL Teacher Wins Governor’s Service Award
Margaret VanBuskirk, an ESOL teacher at Gaithersburg High School, is one of 12 recipients in the state of Maryland to receive a 2013 Governor’s Service Award for demonstrating excellence in service-learning. At Gaithersburg, VanBuskirk is the sponsor of the ESOL Environmental Club. For the past three years, the Audubon Naturalist Society has partnered with the MCPS Student Service Learning (SSL) Office to provide the club to ESOL students. The Audubon Society has contributed countless hours helping these students meet the SSL graduation requirement through participation in an environmental service club concept. Through active involvement in school club meetings and in community service projects, the students develop positive connections to the school and their community, while also meeting the graduation requirement.
Social Studies Resource Fair
You’re invited to a Social Studies Resource Fair from 3:30–6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Blake High School, 300 Norwood Road in Silver Spring. The fair is open to K–12 teachers, media specialists and staff development teachers. More than 20 local historic sites, museums and organizations will be on hand, and social studies publishers will showcase online and text resources. There also will be hands-on training of MCPS online subscription services and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) tools and features.
Wanted: TV Quiz Show Writer
MCPS TV is looking for a retired teacher to work as a part-time writer for Quizmaster Challenge, a question-and-answer competition featuring academic teams from MCPS high schools. Candidates must have strong writing skills and possess wide knowledge of subject areas. Familiarity with academic/scholastic quiz competitions is a plus. Candidates should not be affiliated with any MCPS school. Must be able to work under deadlines and be able to transmit materials electronically using Microsoft Word. Stipend is $3,900. Contact Mike DeGraba by Friday, Nov. 15.
Board Makes Administrative Appointment
At its Sept. 23 meeting, the Board of Education approved the following administrative appointment: Ashley Vancleef, as supervisor, Equity Assurance and Compliance Unit.
Congratulations to Mindy Postal, speech and language pathologist at Baker Middle School! Mindy received the Honors of Speech and Language Services from her peers for her leadership and commitment to MCPS students.
—Leslie Cox, support speech pathologist, Speech and Language Services
I would like to recognize Carole Thompson for her extraordinary production work. She has cranked out a record number of MCPS publications with tight deadlines efficiently and effectively. I have seen her handle the requests with professionalism and with a smile!
—Lisa Romano, graphic designer, Editorial, Graphics and Publishing Services
Amy Councilman is doing an amazing job getting teachers on board with cooperative learning structures as well as teaching and modeling their use! You work so hard for all of us each day and it shows! We are lucky to have you.
—Emily Madan, middle school team leader, White Oak Middle School
Congratulations to Tammy Benson, instructional data analyst, paraeducator and Green Team Sponsor, for having our Green Team recognized by 106.9 The Eagle’s program, Fantastic Scholars, which recognizes schools that are making a difference within the community.
—Sean McGee, principal, Damascus Elementary School
Congratulations to the special education routers and everyone in transportation for another successful opening to school, with buses running and changes taking place on a timely schedule. Great job to all for your hard work and dedication!
—Linda Albrecht, administrative secretary, Emotional Disabilities Services
Kudos to our wonderful new and returning Alternative Programs staff and the C2 Committee for all the amazing, creative and innovative work they’ve done to prepare for the return of our students this week. We are on F.I.R.E.!
—Amanda Hearn, psychologist, Alternative Programs
Recently Approved Policies and Regulations
On October 7, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation KLA-RA, Responding To Inquiries and Complaints from the Public. Revisions to the regulation respond to guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education. These revisions accompany revisions to Regulation JOA-RA, Student Records, which align the process for amending student records with a hearing process designated in the Code of Maryland Regulations.
On August 22, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation IKC-RA, Grade Point Averages (GPA) and Weighted Grade Point Averages (WGPA). Revisions to the regulation establish procedures for a student to retake a high school course for a replacement grade, without the lower grade being factored into the student’s GPA.
On September 10, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation JOA-RA, Student Records. Revisions to the regulation respond to guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education. These updates accompany revisions to Regulation KLA-RA, Responding to Inquiries and Complaints from the Public, which align the process for amending student records with a hearing process designated in the Code of Maryland Regulations.
On July 24, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation ACG-RC, Service Animals in Schools. This new regulation has been developed to respond to recent federal and state actions with respect to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Regulation ACG-RA provides guidance for meeting the needs of students, employees, and other individuals with service animals within the education setting.
On July 24, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation JNA-RB, Collection of Student Financial Obligations. This regulation has been updated to reflect current procedures and to include language from Regulation EDB-RA, Instructional Materials and Equipment, which is recommended for rescission.
On July 24, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation ECC-RA, Loss of MCPS Property. This regulation has been updated to align with Regulation COB-RA, Reporting a Serious Incident, and updated to reflect current MCPS procedures and Maryland law.
On July 24, 2013, the superintendent approved the rescission of Regulation EDB-RA, Instructional Materials and Equipment. Relevant language has been retained and relocated in Regulation JNA-RB, Collection of Student Debts and Obligations; Regulation DJA-RA, Procurement of Equipment, Supplies, and Contractual Services; Regulation EDC-RA, Control of Furniture and Equipment Inventory; and Regulation DNA-RA, Disposition of Board of Education Property.
On July 22, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation ACG-RB, Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications for Students Eligible Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The regulation has been renamed and updated. Procedures were updated consistent with guidance from the Office of Civil Rights. Further revisions include updating definitions to make them consistent, where appropriate, with definitions in the related MCPS regulation addressing Section 504 (Regulation ACG-RA, Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications for Individuals with Disabilities with Regard to Employment, Services, Programs, and Activities.)
On July 15, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation JED-RA, Residency and Tuition. The regulation has been revised to update directory information and change the practice of tuition payment from the option of quarterly or monthly to yearly or semester payment. New language requires MCPS employees to either use payroll deductions for payments throughout the school year or pay full annual tuition prior to the beginning of the school year.
On July 1, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation ISB-RA, High School Graduation Requirements. This regulation has been revised to clarify dual enrollment, update the student service learning hours requirement, clarify the requirement to pass a High School Assessment in government with respect to recent changes in state regulation, provide guidance about awarding high school credit for courses taken in middle school, and to provide additional guidance on approving courses offered by institutions other than MCPS.
On July 1, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation DJA-RA, Procurement of Equipment, Supplies, and Contractual Services.The regulation has been updated to reflect current procedures and to include language from Regulation EDB-RA, Instructional Materials and Equipment, which is recommended for rescission.
On June 20, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation JPD-RB, Emergency Care for Students Experiencing Anaphylaxis. The regulation title and content have been updated in response to recent changes in Maryland law requiring schools to establish procedures to provide emergency medical care to any student determined to be or perceived to be experiencing anaphylactic reaction.
On June 20, 2013, the superintendent approved Regulation CND-RA, School-Related Fund-Raising. This new regulation was developed to implement the recently amended Board Policy CND, School-Related Fund-Raising. Regulation CND-RA establishes procedures that safeguard instructional time, maximize the safety of students, support a common educational experience for all students, and include appropriate accountability provisions.
On June 13, 2013, the Board adopted Policy ABA, Community Involvement. This policy affirms the Board’s commitment to fostering and supporting community interest and involvement in Montgomery County Public Schools, because citizen support of the schools is essential to student success.
On June 13, 2013, the Board adopted Policy IGN, Preventing Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse in Montgomery County Public Schools. This policy provides a framework for creating and maintaining a safe environment for teaching, learning, and working within Montgomery County Public Schools that is free of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse.