Parents must supply proof of full immunization compliance by presenting a Maryland Immunization Certificate 896 or a computer-generated printout from a doctor's office.
A physical examination is required for students entering Maryland public schools for the first time.
Change of school assignment
Parents may apply for a change of school assignment if they want their child to attend a county public school other than their “home” school, or school that serves the area in which the student resides.
A note from a parent is necessary to excuse any absence and must be submitted within three days of returning to school. Students are responsible for making up any work missed during absences.
Families who move while their children are enrolled in a school must notify the school of the new address.
Students not in their assigned classrooms at the sound of the bell are tardy.
School closings/delayed openings
Due to weather conditions or other emergencies, the superintendent may close schools, delay the opening of schools by two hours, or close schools early.
School start/dismissal times
Elementary schools are in session from 8:50 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. or from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nearly all middle schools begin at 7:55 a.m. and dismiss at 2:40 p.m. Most high schools begin at 7:25 a.m. and dismiss at 2:10 p.m.
Bus transportation is provided to elementary students who live more than one mile from their school, middle school students who live more than 1.5 miles from their school, high school students who live more than two miles from their school and some special education students.
Lunch is available in all schools, and most schools offer breakfast.
All middle and high schools have on-site security personnel available to students and staff to help maintain a safe and secure environment for learning. Elementary schools follow standard security procedures and have access to security personnel if needed for consultation and assistance.
MCPS has a comprehensive emergency response plan that is linked to function with local and state public emergency response plans and their respective public safety agencies. School administrators and other critical staff receive training on managing a crisis, including planning, organizing and using on-site emergency teams, mitigating emergency scenarios, communicating efficiently during actual incidents and using available resources effectively. Every school has an emergency crisis plan, which is reviewed and updated annually. Every school is required to conduct fire safety and emergency preparedness drills, which are identified as Code Blue or Code Red drills. For more information about crisis plans, contact your school. Information also is available at [ Link ].
Educational facilities officers
A partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Police (MCPD) and MCPS, the Educational Facilities Officer (EFO) program has placed uniformed police officers in selected schools throughout the county to assist staff and students in a variety of ways.
Safe schools hotlines
Three confidential (no Caller ID) hotlines are available to report safety and/or security concerns: the MCPS Safe Schools Hotline at 301-517-5995, the Montgomery County Drug Tip Hotline at 240-773-DRUG and the Maryland Safe Schools Tip Hotline at 1-877-636-6332(toll free).
All MCPS staff and high school students are issued photo identification (ID) badges to enhance security in all buildings and support a safe learning environment. Visitors to schools are required to sign in at the school's main office and receive a guest/visitor badge.
MCPS Safe and Drug-Free Schools
This program seeks to reduce drug, alcohol and tobacco use and violence through education, prevention and intervention.
General education program for your child
The general education program at each school uses a comprehensive, countywide curriculum, designed to help students meet and exceed state and national standards. Rigorous instruction in all disciplines helps students acquire strong academic and work skills and develop their intellectual capabilities to the fullest extent. The goal is to have all students continually challenged so they receive the best education possible. The following provides a brief overview of the general education program.
Both prekindergarten programs in MCPS - federally funded Head Start and the locally funded MCPS Prekindergarten Program - help children from low income families develop early literacy, science, math and thinking skills and promote healthy social and emotional development. The programs also provide a range of services in education and early childhood development; medical, dental and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement.
For more information on the programs and eligibility requirements, call the MCPS Prekindergarten/ Head Start Unit, 301-230-0676.
Elementary School: Kindergarten - Grade 5
All students receive instruction in the core areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, as well as in health and physical education, art and music. For more information on a specific grade level, from K-5, obtain the Parents' Guide for that grade from your school or check the Web site at
[ Link ].
Middle school: Grades 6 - 8
All middle schools offer academic programs, elective courses, sports and extracurricular activities, and special programs to address the academic, social and emotional needs of early adolescence. While each school establishes its own daily schedule and unique programs, all offer the MCPS curriculum in reading/English language arts, math, science, social studies, physical education, health education, art and music. For more information, obtain copies of the Middle School Program Brochure and Getting Set: A Guide for Middle School Students from your school or access [ Link ].
High school: Grades 9 - 12
Every high school provides a comprehensive program of studies to prepare students in Grades 9 - 12 for college and other postsecondary studies and employment. In addition to all courses required for a Maryland diploma, all high schools offer Honors, advanced-level and Advanced Placement courses to provide more challenging studies for motivated students and enhance opportunities for college acceptance and success. Course descriptions are in the High School Course Bulletin and on [ Link ].
In addition, students may take college courses at high schools and/or area colleges.
In addition to the general education program at each school, varieties of specialized programs help students develops their academic abilities and explore specific interests and career possibilities. Certain programs provide greater challenge for highly gifted students.
At the local school level:
Accelerated and Enriched Instruction (AEI)
Provided in all elementary and middle schools, this instruction consists of: Accelerated instruction, which allows students to move through the curriculum at a faster pace and with increased challenges, and Enriched instruction, which provides opportunities for students to learn in greater depth and breadth and includes a greater range of experiences that require students to apply their knowledge and creativity. For more information, contact your school or the Gifted and Talented Team, 301-279-3163.
Offered in high schools throughout the county, Honors courses in various subjects present rigorous and complex studies at a fast pace.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
These courses provide highly rigorous, fast-paced instruction and give students a chance to earn college credit or advanced standing based on their scores on AP Exams. High schools throughout the county offer AP courses in various subjects. For more information, see the High School Course Bulletin, available at your high school or at [ Link ]
These high school courses provide more advanced studies in certain subjects. Students must successfully complete the prerequisite courses to enroll in advanced-level courses. For more information, see the High School Course Bulletin available at your high school or at [ Link ], or contact your high school counseling office.
In the county:
Alternative programs provide academic and behavior support to students who have not been successful in the regular school program due to problems such as truancy, substance abuse, disruptive behavior and/or violent acts. The goal is to help students resolve these problems and be successful upon re-entering the regular school setting. Obtain details on these programs from the school counselor, the MCPS Web site, the Department of Alternative Programs, 301-517-8131; or [ Link ].
Centers for the Highly Gifted
Six centers offer rigorous studies to a limited number of exceptionally gifted students in Grades 4 and 5. Students from throughout the county are recommended for the centers based on above-grade-level academic performance in kindergarten through Grade 3 and on test scores. Recommendations are made in the second semester of Grade 3. For more information, check the Web site at [ Link ] or contact your school or the Gifted and Talented Team, 301-279-3163.
Foreign Language Immersion
In this method of foreign language instruction, the regular school curriculum is taught in another language. In total immersion, teachers conduct the entire school day, from the very first day of school, in the foreign language. In partial immersion, about half the school day is taught in English and the remainder in the foreign language. For more information on the immersion programs, contact your child's school, call the foreign language office at 301-279-3911, or check [ Link ]
International Baccalaureate (IB) programs
These rigorous high school programs allow students to earn an internationally recognized diploma and college credit with advanced standing. Check with your school to see if it offers an IB or other specialized program.
These programs offer middle and high school students from throughout the county challenging learning opportunities in science, math, humanities, computer science and communication arts.
For more information, call the Gifted and Talented Team, 301-279-3163, contact your school or check [ Link ].
These programs offer a curricular focus in specific academic and career areas such as the arts, science, environmental studies and law. For information on programs call the High School Initative-Northeast Consortium office, 301-649-8081.
Thomas Edison High School of Technology
Students may choose from 20 career-focused and college-preparatory programs on topics such as biotechnology, construction trades, automotive technology, restaurant management, graphics and electronic media, and network operations. Students from any county high school may attend Edison while continuing studies at their home school. For more information, call Edison, 301-929-2175.
Visual Art Center
Intensive instruction helps students develop their artistic abilities, gain recognition for their talents and prepare for college and other postsecondary studies in the arts. For information, call the Visual Art Center, 301-962-1027
Various internship programs help students improve and apply their skills and explore various careers. For more information, on internships, check with your school and with the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education (MCBRE), 301-279-3100.
The Montgomery County Tech Prep Program allows students to earn up to 20 college credits while in high school. For more information, check with your school counselor.
Home and hospital teaching (HHT)
A student may be eligible to be taught at home, in a hospital or at another location if he/she will be absent from school for one month or more due to a physical illness, emotional crisis or pregnancy. Referrals for HHT may be made by school administrators, counselors, pupil personnel workers, teachers, parents, physicians, psychologists and students. For applications and information, call the HHT office, 301-657-4963.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
All children who live in Montgomery County, regardless of their ability to speak English, are welcome in all Montgomery County public schools. Upon enrollment, students whose native language is not English are tested to determine their level of proficiency in English and what services may be required to ensure that they learn the academic language needed for success in the class room. Testing takes place either at the ESOL Testing Center or at the local school, depending on where the student begins the enrollment process (see Enrollment and International Students, page 4). All elementary and middle schools that have ESOL students offer ESOL programs. High school students receive ESOL services at 17 centers. Once students become more proficient, as demonstrated by their performance on an English language proficiency test, they no longer receive ESOL instruction. Parents also may elect to waive ESOL services. In addition to instruction, the Division of ESOL/Bilingual Programs offers various services to help students and families adjust to the school system and to a new culture.
For more information on ESOL programs and services, call the Division of ESOL/ Bilingual Programs, 301-230-0670.
Students must take a number of tests to assess their performance throughout their school experience. Some tests also help determine the most appropriate level of instruction, while others are necessary for high school graduation and college acceptance. Your child should meet with his/her counselor by the end of Grade 8 to develop a four-year plan of study. Your child and counselor should meet again by the end of Grade 9 to review that plan and to outline a personal testing schedule to meet all graduation requirements and prepare for college acceptance. Most tests are timed. If you believe your child has a learning disability or other kind of disability that places him/her at a disadvantage in taking timed tests, talk to the school counselor regarding how to seek accommodations (see Section 504 accommodations, page 11).In addition to the county-wide assessments, teachers give tests to monitor progress and performance in individual courses.
1) English - 4 credits
2) Fine Arts - 1 credit (satisfied by selected courses in Art, Dance, Drama/Theater, and Music)
3) Technology Education - 1 credit
4) Mathematics - 4 credits (1 credit Algebra, 1 credit Geometry) Students who have successfully completed a Calculus course offered by MCPS may be exempted from the 4-credit requirement in mathematics.
5) Science - 3 credits (must include 1 credit Biology and 1 credit Physical Science)
6) Social Studies - 3 credits (1 credit U.S. History; 1 credit World History; and 1 credit National, State, and Local Government)
7) Physical Education - 1 credit
8) Health Education - 1/2 credit
9) Foreign Language - 2 credits; or Advanced Technology Education - 2 credits; or successful completion of a state-approved Career Development Program
1) 60 hours of student service learning experience, or prorated amount for students entering MCPS after Grade 7 (see below)
2) Pass the Maryland High School Assessments (beginning with students entering Grade 9 in fall 2005, pending approval by the Maryland State Board of Education)
Student Service Learning (SSL)
Student service learning is an unpaid activity within the school or community that addresses a real school or community need. Students may begin earning the required student service learning hours the summer after Grade 5. For information on SSL, contact your child's counselor or the SSL coordinator in any middle or high school, or check [ Link ]
Certificate of Merit
In addition to the Maryland high school diploma, students who meet the following requirements may be awarded the Maryland high school Certificate of Merit:
1) At least 12 credits must be earned in advanced courses identified by MCPS as applicable to a
Certificate of Merit.
2) Students must earn at least a 3.0 un-weighted cumulative grade-point average.
3) All courses counted toward a Certificate of Merit must be taken for a letter grade.
Credit earned in middle school
High school credit will be awarded to a student who has completed high school courses while in middle school, after the student has passed the final examination and the course. For more information, contact the student's high school counselor.
Maryland High School Certificate
Students with disabilities who follow the alternative fundamental life skills curriculum receive the Maryland High School Certificate upon graduation.
As parents, you have a key role in the education of your child. This role involves supporting your child at home and, whenever possible, at school. At home, ways to support your child include making sure he or she attends school regularly and on time, has the necessary supplies and a quiet place to do homework, completes and submits all assignments on time, and has homework help available. In addition, you should stay informed about the many opportunities, both at school and in the community, to enhance your child's skills and interests. Whichever ways you choose to become involved in your child's education, one fact is clear: working closely with the teachers and other school staff members will help your child receive the best education possible. Research has shown a direct correlation between parent involvement and student achievement.
Quick reference guide
NUMBERS TO KNOW
General information: 301-279-3000
Emergency announcements: 301-279-3673
MCPS Safe Schools Hotline: 301-517-5995
Maryland Safe Schools Tip Hotline: 1-877-636-6332 (toll free)
Montgomery County Crisis Center: 240-777-4000
Maryland Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-422-0009
FREQUENTLY CALLED NUMBERS
Board of Education: 301-279-3617
Superintendent of schools: 301-279-3381
Community superintendents: 301-315-7377
Deputy superintendent: 301-279-3474
Directors of elementary, middle, and high school instruction: 301-517-5007
Extracurricular activity fee: 301-517-5000
International Student Admissions Office: 301-230-0686
Change of school assignment appeals: 301-279-3997
ESOL Parents Center: 301-230-0674
Family and Community Partnerships: 301-279-3100
Hispanic Hotline: 301-230-3073
Montgomery County Business
Roundtable for Education (MCBRE): 301-279-3100
Montgomery County Council of PTAs
Parent Information and Training Center/
The Parent's Place at Newport Mill MS: 301-962-3818
Parent information message lines:
Parenting Resource Centers: 301-929-5648
Parents' Council of the NAACP: 301-657-2062
Gifted and Talented Team (includes magnets): 301-279-3163
Adult Education: 301-517-5005
Alternative Programs: 301-517-8131
Child Find: 301-929-2224
Early Childhood Programs and Services: 301-230-0691
ESOL/Bilingual Programs: 301-230-0670
Head Start: 301-230-0676 or 301-230-0678
Northeast Consortium/Downcounty Consortium: 301-649-8081
Special Education: 301-279-3135
Summer School: 301-517-5005