Monday, October 31, 2011

Starr requests 9-percent increase in construction funds | Rachel Baye | Education | Washington Examiner

Starr requests 9-percent increase in construction funds | Rachel Baye | Education | Washington Examiner

Performance Variability in Student Newspapers

by Joseph Hawkins

For those following MCPS Superintendent Josh Starr’s Listen and Learn events, they know he constantly mentions “performance variability.” Here he is talking to high school journalists about it.

In the above Whitman High Black and White student newspaper article, Starr notes the following about MCPS: “This is a wonderful system, but there are differences between schools in performance and accessibility,” Starr said, citing variability as his greatest concern. “Not every school should look and be exactly the same, but there needs to be excellence in terms of performance.”

Well, excellence has a funny way of displaying itself in both small and large ways. I happen to think the small ways frequently reveal a school’s commitment to excellence. So, take something, for example, as small and simple as student run high school newspapers. Within MCPS, there appears to be lots of performance variability, and the variability seems related to geography.

(Note: For those unfamiliar with MCPS geography, former MCPS Superintendent Jerry Weast divided up the county geography into two zones—one green and the other red. Green zone schools are located in affluent Montgomery County neighborhoods and communities. Red zone schools are located in Montgomery County in poor neighborhoods and communities. To date, Starr has not signaled a move away from the zone concept so referring to schools as either green or red is still fair game.)

Specifically, green zone high school newspapers seem current, active—almost energetic.  Nearly all of these student newspapers have their own dedicated website and a serious online presence. Whitman’s Black and White ( and B-CC’s Tattler ( are certainly different—“not exactly the same,” as Starr points out—yet they both process a certain professional—almost lively—vibe.

With one notable exception—Blair’s award winning Silver Chips (, red zone high school newspapers seem controlled and pedestrian, and this is assuming you can even find a recent copy online. I could find no online presence for Wheaton, Einstein, Northwood, or Kennedy high schools. Springbrook’s Blueprint is online but one finds links to articles from 2008. In fact, the homepage of the Blueprint notes that it was last updated on Monday, November 17, 2008.  And the Blueprint website appears to be an off-the-shelf template—not a website designed by students.

I have never considered myself a journalist or an expert in journalism. Nonetheless, I wrote a newspaper (the old Montgomery Journal) column for more than 7 years and worked as a writer for a year at a magazine. So, I think I get what newspaper “excellence” ought to look like. And yet within MCPS, not all student journalists seem to get the same opportunity to excel. Excelling seems related to where one lives. It should not be that way.

Starr did not adhere to request to cut capital budget

Montgomery County schools seek $1.49 billion for school construction
Six-year plan calls for new schools, modernized buildings
by Erin Cunningham, Staff Writer
Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr is seeking $1.49 billion to build new schools and renovate existing buildings — about $130 million more than the previous six-year capital spending plan.
In his first budget proposal since taking over the state’s largest school system, Starr did not adhere to a request from County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) that he cut his capital budget by about $34 million.
About 30 percent of the school system’s capital funding comes from the state.
“Given that we’ve called for a reduction, if they’re calling for an increase, something would seem to be out of wack,” said Patrick K. Lacefield, a spokesman for Leggett...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Superintendent to be able to skip ICB meetings under Leggett legislation

On November 1, 2011 the legislation shown below will be introduced at the Montgomery County Council. 

For MCPS, this legislation means that the Superintendent won't have to show up at meetings of the Interagency Coordinating Board for Community Use of Public Facilities and can designate an alternate to attend in his/her place.

Don't need the Superintendent to show up at these meetings? Why not? What's the Superintendent's job? 

Who would be the alternate? We know one retired MCPS out-of-state consultant that MCPS uses for lots of committees! Would this be one more committee for that "pay by the hour" consultant?  

A Public Hearing on this legislation is scheduled for 11/29/11 at 1:30 pm.

Leggett to give Superintendent an out on ICB meetings

Weller Road ES at Planning Board


* Item 1  -  Consent Agenda includes...
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION (of past decision) - Weller Road Elementary School 
Modernization Forest Conservation Plan

To view entire Planning Board agenda, go to --in 
menu on left side of screen, click on "agenda".  The Board's agenda is now 
posted as an HTML document, which does not require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Sign up online to testify on an item before the Planning Board, up to 10 days 
prior to the hearing, by going to 
, or call             301-495-4600       before 4:00 p.m. the day before the meeting.  On the day 
of the meeting, see the clerk in the auditorium to sign up.

Starr wants 944 students for BCC Middle School #2

Update: Starr Recommends Middle School for Kensington Site

The project is expected to cost about $46.5 million.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Ordinary Football Game, Then a Player Dies

From The New York Times:

Published: October 19, 2011

PHOENIX, N.Y. — Football coaches and school administrators at John C. Birdlebough High School congregated in a small room off the library Monday, huddling around a computer for a most painful and unusual review of game video. They examined every play that one student was involved in, assuming the role of medical examiners.

“There’s nothing here; there’s still nothing there; there’s nothing there; there’s nothing there — and now he’s laying on his stomach,” Jeff Charles, the head coach, said while watching the sequence frame by frame.

As those who play and coach football learn new ways to improve safety — through training, medical response and equipment — sometimes they are left to contemplate this: brains remain vulnerable, and even the most ordinary collisions on the field can kill.

Teenagers are especially susceptible to having multiple hits to the head result in brain bleeds and massive swelling, largely because the brain tissue has not yet fully developed. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, Barden was the 13th high school player to die from a brain injury sustained on a football field since 2005 and the third this year. Including college and youth football players, there have been 18 fatalities since 2005.

Barden’s helmet, a Riddell Revolution, was purchased by the school two years ago directly from Riddell. It was reconditioned after last season and recertified for use in 2011 by Stadium System, a company based in Canaan, Conn., that reconditions helmets for hundreds of schools around the country.

Two certified athletic trainers and three student trainers from the nearby State University of New York at Cortland were on hand and treated Barden on the field, and emergency medical technicians arrived with an ambulance within minutes.

“You can have the perfect plan in place but if all of these things happen, it can still result in a catastrophic injury and death,” said Kevin Guskiewicz, the chairman of the department of exercise and sports science at the University of North Carolina and a leading researcher on sports concussions.

For the whole story go here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Starr recommends 7 new addition projects, 3 new schools

MCPS Capital Budget News: 

Superintendent Starr recommends six new elementary school and one middle school addition projects.
Seven new classroom addition projects at Arcola, Bethesda, Highland View, North Chevy Chase, Rosemary Hills and Wood Acres elementary schools and at Julius West Middle School.
Superintendent Starr recommends two new elementary schools and one new middle school.
New middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster and new elementary schools in the Northwest and Richard Montgomery clusters.

Starr budget to delay Farquhar MS, Wheaton/Edison HS and Clarksburg/Damascus MS #2 capital projects

From Superintendent Joshua Starr's FY 2013 Capital Budget:
...In order to create a six-year CIP that balances our capital needs with the funding limitations of the county, it was necessary to delay the secondary modernization schedule, starting with William H. Farquhar Middle School and WheatonHigh School/Thomas Edison High School of Technology, by one year as well as delay an approved project, Clarksburg/Damascus Middle School #2, by one year.  It is unfortunate that we must delay these projects and create further backlog of needs at a time when our enrollment continues to grow at a record pace, but the economic circumstances leave us with few options...

Starr's FY 2013 Capital Budget

Here is the Introduction to the FY 2013 MCPS Capital Budget. The rest of the Chapters of this publication can be found at this link.

CIP13 Introduction

Old Promethean Boards and New Computers Don't Mix?

the observer:  CHS [Churchill High School] gets new computers
With every new school year come changes and this year CHS students discovered new flat screen computer monitors in place of the old CRT monitors and an upgrade to the computer program Windows 7. 
...the computers connect to the Promethean boards differently than before. With the old computers, the Promethean board display was the same as the computer monitor, but now the two displays can be different.
“It is more of a learning curve for some teachers because they have to move from one screen to another now,” ...

MCPS Calendar Change

The calendar for the 2011–2012 school year has been revised due to a date change in the Presidential Primary Election Day.
The Primary Election will take place April 3, 2012. It had initially been tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14, 2012, but was changed by the state legislature. As a result:
  • All schools and offices will be closed on April 3, 2012.
  • All schools and offices will be open on Feb. 14, 2012.
  • Third marking period report card distribution will be on April 12, 2012.
  • The last day of school for students will now be one day sooner, Tues., June 12, 2012. The June 2012 exam schedule will be modified to accommodate the change of the last day for students. Further details will be forthcoming from the Office of School Performance.
  • The last day for teachers will be Wed., June 13, 2012, also one day sooner.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Board to Set Legislative Wish List

On Friday, October 28, 2011 at 11 AM the Board of Education's Strategic Planning Committee will take up the Board's  Legislative Platform for the 2012 Legislative session in Annapolis. 

Below is the draft of the Board's positions for the upcoming legislative session on funding, accountability, Maintenance of Effort, school construction, operating budget, special education, local Board authority, charter schools, compulsory age of attendance, early childhood education, nutrition and health, safety and security, home schooling, and on the voting authority of the student member of the Board.

2012 Legislative Platform DRAFT Changes

Gazette Letter: County, state, feds engage in wasteful spending

We are told that the federal government is $14-plus trillion in debt, and that the state of Maryland has a shortfall of close to $1 billion. One would think that with such money problems, the governments would be prudent and not waste money, at least not until they are once more on a solid footing. Yet, the extreme waste I see in one small area is enough to make one give up on "good government." 
Beverly Farms Elementary School on Post Oak Drive in the Potomac area has been leveled to the ground. At the same time, Herbert Hoover Middle School is in the process of being demolished. But, both buildings [are] substantial. They are constructed of brick, are well built, and can last another hundred years. I do not know how many other sturdy structures are being torn down to make jobs. Such destruction is almost criminal since the existing structures are solid and can be modified if need be. 
What has probably occurred is that under the plan to create jobs with federal money, that is, money borrowed from foreign countries, make-work projects are undertaken. How can Maryland turn down free money even if it is wasted and frittered away on worthless projects?Similarly, I see that everywhere in at least Montgomery County, serviceable concrete curbs are being ripped out and replaced — at great cost to the taxpayers. Check out the miles of Veirs Mill Road’s curbs that are being destroyed, The County Council says that curbs must comply with disability laws. But these curbs on the highway divider strips are not used by anyone, and there is nothing wrong with them. This may be an example of political payoffs. It is almost like hiring men to dig holes and others to fill them. Have politicians lost all regard for the taxpayers? They will certainly raise our taxes to pay for all this. 
Murray Katz, Silver Spring

Guest Post: Outrage at tearing down of school buildings

I live in Potomac, MD. I witnessed Cabin John Middle School being torn down and replaced by a fabulous building. I called the School Board and was told that schools are periodically torn down and particularly now because the unemployment rate is high. That outraged me more because it seems that massive construction is being done just for the sake of bringing down the unemployment rate even though there is no real necessity. I then asked the person if this was the county’s way of spending money on education? 
I now see that Hoover Middle school is being torn down. I called the County Council and the District 15 office and spoke to Ms Daphne Bloomberg to get some answers but no satisfactory one was given. I even contacted State Senator, Mr. Garagiola’s office and was told there is nothing he can do about it. Surely tax payer dollars can be put to better use to further education. Maryland operates in the ‘RED’, our infrastructure needs repairs, so it is inconceivable and obscene to see this massive and ridiculous waste of tax payer’s money. I was even told that there were many more schools scheduled to be torn down. 
My reason for writing to you [the Parents' Coalition of Montgomery County, MD] is to find out if there are others who share my outrage and if this can be stopped. I believe in the power of the people. I urge you to call the County Council, Roger Berliner at 240-777-7900, and the school board at 301-279-3617 or the Superintendent at 301-279-3383 and express your outrage and STOP this waste of our resources. 
Meher Desai

College chemical labs unsafe, report finds

College chemical labs unsafe, report finds | Homeland Security News Wire
...As evidence, the report detailed several other incidents including a chemical fire in 2008 where a UCLA graduate student died of her burns, a hydrogen explosion in which four University of Missouri students were injured in 2010, and an acid fire that burned two University of Maryland students last month...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Credit card purchases under review in MontCo

Credit card purchases under review in MontCo | Rachel Baye | Maryland | Washington Examiner

Weast's New Gig

On October 13, 2011, the Parents' Coalition broke the story that Superintendent Jerry Weast started a consulting business months before leaving superintendent post and that the business' paperwork was filed by Board of Education member Patricia O'Neill's husband.

Read about former Superintendent Jerry Weast's new business in the handout (shown below) provided the Minnesota school district reviewing his services.

Partnership for Deliberate Excellence Handout

Blast from the Past: When Montgomery Co. Audited County Credit Card Use

Here we are in 2011, anyone seen an audit of the $5.5 million MCPS Credit Card Bill?  Of course not. Why audit? Money is plentiful. 



MARCH 1999

Finding No. 1: Unauthorized Procurement and Use of Corporate Credit Cards by Fleet Management Services
Finding No. 2: Questioned Costs ($44,000) FMS Engaged in "Splitting" Vendor Invoices in Violation of Procurement RegulationsGoverning Direct Purchases
Finding No. 3: Some FMS Employees Made Personal Purchases Charged to the Unauthorized Credit Card Account and Did NotReimburse the County
Finding No. 4: Waste of County Funds for Payment of Annual Fees, Sales, Taxes and Finance Charges
Finding No. 5: Failure to Comply With County Procurement Regulations Regarding the Purchase of Commodities By Use of CreditCard
Finding No. 6: Some FMS Employees Used the Unauthorized Credit Cards to Make Personal Purchases Which They Later Reimbursed

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Update on MoCo Annapolis Delegation Calendar

Here is the update on the schedule for our MoCo Annapolis Delegation. Public hearings will be held
in November and December. Got a bill you would like your representatives to introduce in Annapolis this upcoming session? Want your gasoline taxes raised? Let them know. Go here to contact your representatives in the State House.

Monday, October 17, 2011 -- 2011 Special Session Convenes

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 -- Sponsor Approval Deadline for local and bi-county bills (This is the deadline for the requesting legislator to approve legislation in order to be guaranteed a hearing without the bill considered to be "late filed.")

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 -- Joint House and Senate Priorities Hearing -
7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 - This hearing is an opportunity for the public to respond to the Road Show and to bring other issues of importance for the 2012 Session to the attention of the legislators. The Priorities Hearing will be carried live over County Cable Montgomery (Channel 6 on Comcast and Channel 30 on Verizon).
Click here to sign up to testify

Monday, December 5, 2011 -- House Hearing for local bills -
7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 - Local bills refer to legislation affecting issues specific to Montgomery County.
Click here to sign up to testify

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 -- House Hearing for bi-county bills -
7:00 p.m. - 3rd Floor Hearing Room, Stella Werner Council Office Bldg., 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850 - Bi-County bills refer to legislation that requires the approval of the Montgomery County and the Prince George’s County Delegations.
Click here to sign up to testify

MoCo Council Town Hall Meeting November 2nd

From Council member Nancy Floreen (D-At-large):

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Town Hall Meeting in Wheaton/Northern Silver Spring
Let us know what matters most to you at our Town Hall Meeting for the Wheaton/Northern Silver Spring area on Wednesday, November 2, at Mario Loiederman Middle School (12701 Goodhill Road in Silver Spring) beginning at 8 p.m. with a pre-meeting reception at 7:30. You can voice your opinions on specific issues and ask questions of us in an organized, but informal, setting. I hope to see you there.

The meeting will be taped for later broadcast on County Cable Montgomery (CCM—cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). For more information about the Town Hall Meeting or about the broadcast times, call 240-777-7931.

MD Reporter: Alcohol tax money goes to districts that supported it

What do Cabin John Middle School, Farmland Elementary School, Garrett Park Elementary School and Cannon Road Elementary School have in common? Read this article from the Maryland Reporter.

It took some Annapolis deal making in order to get the new 3% alcohol tax passed at the tail end of this year’s legislative session, and charges are being levied that politics are being played with where those proceeds are being spent...
...“There’s some precision associated with that,” Kamenetz responded. “When the General Assembly agreed to create an opportunity for one-time funding using revenues from the alcohol tax, the delegation agreed those districts that supported the funding would be the beneficiaries.”Kamenetz said that the seven schools that got the funding were selected based on the “hard vote” taken by their representatives... 
...Sen. Jim Brochin, D- Baltimore County, represents District 42. His district has plenty of educational facility needs – he said that elementary schools are currently at 140% of their capacity – but they got no funds. 
In the General Assembly, Brochin opposed the alcohol tax because he thought the money should go toward the disabled. School construction already has solid funding sources, he said.“This is a very sophisticated shell game,” Brochin said.

Monday, October 24, 2011

CSPI: Food & Beverage Marketing Survey MCPS

For Food Day, take a look back at what the Center for Science in the Public Interest said about MCPS Food and Beverage Marketing. The full report is below.

Here's the link to The Washington Post story on this report. 


Where do your tax dollars go? Check out a Funding Database to find out.

Maryland Funding Accountability & Transparency

Montgomery County, Maryland Spending Disclosure website


Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Funding Accountability and Transparency

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oct 26th: MD Open Meetings Compliance Board Annual Meeting

The Open Meetings Compliance Board's annual meeting is scheduled for October 26, 2011, 10:30 a.m. at the Attorney General's Office, 200 Saint Paul Place, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202 - 19th Floor Sachs Conference Room.  If you plan to attend, please e-mail or call Kathy Izdebski at (410) 576-6327.

Open Meetings Compliance Board Members
Elisabeth L. Nilson, Esquire, Chairperson
Courtney McKeldin, Board Member
Julio Morales, Esquire, Board Member

Higher alcohol tax to pay for school projects

Higher alcohol tax to pay for school projects

...The increase in the alcohol tax is expected to generate $85 million per year. The legislature set aside $47 million for school projects in the first year, but all of the money will go to the state's general fund in subsequent years.
Most of the money was earmarked in the legislation for Baltimore City and for Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, drawing criticism from Republican lawmakers who called the allocation unfair. They said the earmarking was used to get votes for the measure from those counties...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Plans for Maryvale ES and Carl Sandburg School

Superintendent Starr has released a memorandum on the topic of "co-locating" Carl Sandburg School, currently a stand-alone special education school, with Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville. Curiously, the memorandum isn't signed.

The memorandum also cites the "Roundtable Advisory Committee" but doesn't list the members of the committee, or when they met. It does quite nicely outline concerns raised by the committee, and illustrate several possible building configurations.

Is the issue of "co-location" of Maryvale ES and Carl Sandburg School a foregone conclusion, or will the Board of Education carefully weigh the pros and cons of eliminating a valuable placement along the continuum of special education placements and services? Over the last ten years, the population served by Carl Sandburg School has changed, and the atmosphere and programming at Sandburg evolved to meet those needs. As the population of children with autism continues to grow, will MCPS regret losing a stand-alone special education facility for those children who need that setting?

Lastly: what does MCPS plan for the empty Sandburg facility if the children are moved? I suspect that MCPS has plans for that space that they haven't disclosed.


Concussions and the Marketing of Sports Equipment

Here is more testimony from the session that the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation (Jay Rockefeller [D-WV], Chair) held on October 19th, this past Wednesday. Alexis Ball is a senior at the University of New Mexico. According to her testimony, she has played soccer since the age of four, and as a junior at U-NM was captain of her team. Part of her statement is as follows:
Concussions are a very serious insult to your brain. People frequently
claim an athlete just sustained a concussion, like it is no big deal. Too often
coaches, athletes, and parents dismiss the severity of concussions because it is
not a visible injury. If an athlete tears their ACL or sprains their ankle, it
is apparent externally that they are injured. This is not the case with
concussions. A doctor or coach often cannot see the physical manifestations of a
concussion. Moreover, many of the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome are not
easily associated with the initial blow. I had no idea that my insomnia or the
sadness I had felt could be correlated to an injury that I had sustained months
prior. That is one message that I want to emphasize today. Athletes who have had
concussions must be aware that symptoms can last longer than a few days or
weeks. They can last for months and in some cases for life.
Read her entire testimony here. To read all the statements and additional testimony, go here.

WPost: BCC high’s Color Day turns violent

Police and school officials declined to elaborate on the reported assault, but several students and a staff member said that a freshman was beaten by an older student and might have suffered a cracked rib.
Full article here.

ABC7: Students Busted @ BCC High

Don't miss the students riding around on the back of a convertible...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Howard Co. Board of Ed. says No to Alcohol Tax for Artificial Turf

School board defers decision on turf fields, wants 'revised list of projects'

Senator Slams Companies on Sports Helmets

From the AP wire:

Senator slams companies on sports helmet claims
'Nothing is simple about this issue'

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Oct 2011, 3:15 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 19 Oct 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

FREDERIC J. FROMMER,Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee chairman said Wednesday that companies that market their sports equipment as helping to prevent concussions are making "empty, unsubstantiated" claims.

"Nothing is simple about this issue. That's why I find it so disturbing that some sports equipment manufacturers are exploiting our growing concerns about sports concussions to market so-called 'anti-concussion' products to athletes and their parents," Sen. Jay Rockefeller said in testimony prepared for the hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The West Virginia Democrat didn't name any companies. But manufacturers such as Riddell have come under criticism for claiming their football helmets reduce concussions. One company, Brain-Pad, claims its mouth guard helps reduce the risk of concussions.

Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, director of Michigan Neurosport, a clinic that diagnoses and treats concussions for athletes, testified that no piece of equipment can significantly prevent concussions.

For the whole story go here.

Gazette: Senator alleges backroom deal for artificial turf fields in Howard Co.

Howard school system was not pressured, delegate counters
by Andrew Ujifusa, Staff Writer
A Howard County senator is alleging that a backroom deal secured $2 million in alcohol tax money for new artificial turf fields at two county high schools.
Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Dist. 9) of West Friendship said Thursday that the Howard County Public School System was pressured to spend half of its $4 million windfall from new alcohol tax proceeds to install turf fields at Atholton and Hammond high schools.
The school system was told that the $2 million had to be spent in districts represented by legislators who supported the new alcohol tax, he said. The artificial turf funding was not part of the originally intended use of the money in the capital budget plan the school system approved earlier this year, but was added later, Kittleman said...

Starr says BCC Middle School #2 Plan would be "stress-tested"

At his "Listen & Learn" event last night in Silver Spring, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr said that the decision to build a middle school on the site of Rock Creek Hills Park would be "stress-tested"...
Save Rock Creek Hills Park:  Yes, let's stress-test!

Silver Chips Online: Blair fails to meet Adequate Yearly Progress

Limited English Proficiency falls just below set percentage
Blair is one of 12 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to miss the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) mark for the 2010-2011 school year. This is the first time in four years that Blair has not met AYP. Blair also fell short of the High School Assessment (HSA) English standards by a margin of two students last year...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Board Cancels Meeting, Scrubs Transition Report Update

The Board of Education has cancelled their Monday, October 24, 2011 regularly scheduled meeting. 

What was on the Agenda? Two hours and fifteen minutes of the Monday evening meeting was to have been devoted to the Superintendent's Transition Report
The rest of the agenda items are shown on the original agenda below. 


Drunk Students at BCC: PR Tofig says "a few students were showing spirit."

NBC Washington: Police Called to Bethesda Chevy Chase High School for Intoxicated Students

School spirit is in the air at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, and it may be in a bottle, too.
Montgomery County police officers responded Thursday morning to a report of several intoxicated students at the school.
"This week is homecoming week," school spokesperson Dana Tofig told News4, "and a few students were showing spirit."
Tofig said alcoholic beverages were found in a vehicle on school property.  Several students are being interviewed in the incident.

HCPSS told only spend Alcohol Tax $$ in Districts where Legislator Voted in Favor of Tax

Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and how the decision was made to use Alcohol Tax funds to buy artificial turf football fields at two high schools. Read the letter from Senator Allan Kittleman below.

Do you wonder if HCPSS will be putting out those artificial turf purchases for bids, or will you-know-who get the contract automatically?

Howard County Public Schools to use Alcohol Tax dollars for artificial turf football fields

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teacher testifies about her discipline methods | Emily Babay | Crime & Punishment | Washington Examiner

Teacher testifies about her discipline methods | Emily Babay | Crime & Punishment | Washington Examiner

MoCo Special Education Teacher Arrested, WTOP Reports

WTOP Reports:
WASHINGTON - A special education teacher in Montgomery County is under arrest and has been charged with several sex-related offenses.

Jeremy Earle Brown II, 28, teaches children with autism at Meadow Hall Elementary School in Rockville.
The Montgomery County School District, which was informed of the police investigation on Aug. 31, has placed Brown on administrative leave and is moving forward with dismissal proceedings, says district spokeswoman Dana Tofig.

To read the entire WTOP report, CLICK HERE.

Redistricting Petition Directed at Montgomery County Delegation

Support the Amendment to Congressional Redistricting Bill SB1

SB1 as passed by the Senate is unfair to Montgomery County residents, especially those living in diverse East County neighborhoods like Silver Spring. These neighborhoods will be placed into an oddly shaped congressional district that stretches to areas north of Baltimore City. An alternative is available that is fairer and will allow more Montgomery County residents to keep the same local congressional representation that they depend on. I look forward to your response.

Listen to the Maryland General Assembly

Click Here for Audio of current and past House and Senate proceedings in Annapolis.

New afterschool program

For Immediate Release: 10/17/2011
Montgomery County Proclaims October 20 as Lights On Afterschool Day 
County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Council President Valerie Ervin will proclaim October 20 as “Lights On Afterschool Day” in Montgomery County to bring attention to the importance of safe, quality afterschool programs for students. Leggett and Ervin will join students, parents, school officials and community partners when they present the proclamation at an event on October 20 at Mario Loiederman Middle School in Silver Spring.
Montgomery County Recreation, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families will showcase their new, collaborative Excel Beyond the Bell afterschool programs as part of Lights On Afterschool Day.
“We are very proud of our partnership with MCPS and the Collaboration Council that helps to keep kids safe and inspires learning,” said Recreation Director Gabe Albornoz. “This collaboration ensures that students have the extra enrichment they need in a safe, nurturing environment after the academic school day ends.”
The community is invited to visit one of the following afterschool programs that are being offered at four schools and to see first hand an afterschool model that includes a hot supper, bus transportation and professional development training for youth workers:
• Thursday, October 20 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. – Strathmore Elementary School, 3200 Beaverwood La., Silver Spring. At 5 p.m., there will be a program with refreshments served.
• Thursday, October 20 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Mario Loiederman Middle School, 12701 Goodhill Rd., Silver Spring. At 5:15 p.m., there will be a short program and Leggett and Ervin will present the proclamation.
• Monday, October 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. – Argyle Middle School, 2400 Bel Pre Rd., Silver Spring.
• Thursday, October 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. – Roberto Clemente Middle School, 18808 Waring Station Rd., Germantown.
For more information about these events, contact Judy Stiles at Montgomery County Recreation at            240-777-6875