Welcome to the MLK PTSA

Welcome to the MLK MS PTSA website. In the weeks to come, we'll add information about clubs, announcements, events and more.  We encourage you to visit the Membership area of our site to learn more about what the PTSA does and why joining the MLK PTSA, or volunteering, are an integral part of our mission to support the MLK community.

MLK school

MLK MS PTSA Meeting on January 12 @ 7pm

Join us to learn about the latest news on school reopening, revisions to MCPS Secondary Grading and Reporting policy, how the new Study Sync and Learn Zillion curriculum are going and a presentation by Mr. Bostic, MLK’s Math Content Specialist, on MAP M and various resources to stretch and support our students. You MUST be logged into your student’s account to access the Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting   https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/5103636588?pwd=V0RoNEV5N3psL0IrZ1cwK3ZPazJ3dz09    Meeting ID: 510 363 6588   Passcode: 657469


Welcome MLK PTSA Special Education Committee Chair Brooke Levey!

If your student has an IEP or 504 or you are in the process of having your child evaluated, Brooke is here to help!  She knows the ins and outs of special education and is happy to offer insight. Feel free to email her with questions at blevey1@gmail.com.


PTSA with us!

Let's work TOGETHER! We encourage every family at MLK to become a PTA member to support the success of their child. We want a diverse membership base that reflects all of our families and the needs of our students. Your annual membership fee contributes to MLK programs after school clubs and scholarships, family events, enrichment opportunities, local, county, state and national advocacy for, staff appreciation, access to resources and events and more.

Membership is just $15. Join at https://mlkptsa.org/shop/ Email us with questions and/or suggestions at mlkptsaconnect@gmail.com.


1/12/21 @ 11a: MCCPTA Safe Technology Committee hosts a conversation with MCPS CTO Pete Cevenini to discuss the community’s most relevant tech topics.  All are welcome to attend.

Agenda includes:

What filters are on the MCPS system and can kids get around them?

What are Google "smart features" and why are they enabled on students' G Suite accounts?

What are some best practices for keeping an eye on our children’s internet activity during virtual learning?

Meeting can be accessed via link: https://mcps.webex.com/webappng/sites/mcps/meeting/download/4c4fd0a376d64e139aef937c9e8ada74?siteurl=mcps&MTID=mb3af4832649adc331da43d96ab9831c5

Meeting number (access code): 178 141 9639  Meeting passwrod: a3xJehABG84   Join by Phone: 1-650-479-3208 Call-in toll number (US/Canada)


1/16/21 @ 10a: Community update on MCPS Anti-Racism Audit

MCPS is working to ensure a school system not affected by racism or bias. The audit is evaluating school cultures, community engagement, equity achievement, pre-k though grade 12 curriculum review, work conditions and staff diversity.  MCPS is conducting an Anti-Racism audit and has an update prepared for the community.

Saturday, January 16th from 10:00am-11:30am   Community Update on the Anti-Racism Audit ~ Click here to receive the zoom link  http://bit.ly/engagejan

If this shortened link doesn't work then try https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Kb4sx2XWOUaucVHcvsfNwjFMCI2z4DVGuBbbGFlEDztUOVhEMzZLWVAxOFJZRVNXU1pEMjlaMDFPOC4u

To learn more about the audit, https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/antiracist/


The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) invites students to apply for their upcoming 12 week Explore Aerospace program.  Applications are due no later than 2/15/21. Space is limited.

https://obap.org/explore-aerospace/

OBAP’s exciting new Explore Aerospace (EA) program gives students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of aviation and aerospace through a hands-on STEM-based curriculum from the comfort of home. Over the course of 12 weeks, students will learn from industry professionals, about principles of flight, aerodynamics, aerospace careers, meet guest speakers, go on virtual tours and so much more!


MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee

The county PTA (MCCPTA) has a committee that focuses on the needs of MCPS’ gifted student population.  If you have a gifted student and would like to be included on the county PTA Gifted Child email list please email gifted@mccpta.org so that you can stay aware of supports, resources and updates.


2020-2021 Reflections Program

Congratulations to ALL MLK MS student artists who participated in the 2020-2021 National PTA Reflections Program.  We are so proud of each of them for sharing their talent and vision. This year’s theme, I Matter Because, served as inspiration for our students through their beautifully crafted artistic messages in the categories of Visual Arts, Music Composition, Film Production, Literature and Photography. Each student artist will receive a certificate and the students listed below will move on to the county competition hosted by MCCPTA where the opportunity to go on to the Maryland State Competition is a possibility!

The following students will move on to the county level adjudication: Belinda Adu, Jonathan Dastrup, Jillian Dove, Tharuli Edirisinghe, Maggie Howell, Lynn Njakou-Kuindja, Mehek Patnaik, Dhruvi Shah.


Student Service Learning Opportunities (English and Spanish)

SSL Opportunities: Volunteer Montgomery’s annual MLK Week of Service!!!! The wait is over! Please visit the Volunteer Montgomery website to learn about some of the MLK Week of Service volunteer opportunities and click here to sign up for those that interest you. More opportunities will be added to the website throughout the week.

Student Service Learning (SSL) hours remain a state graduation requirement for the 2020-2021 school year. MCPS students must earn 75 SSL hours to graduate. Students may continue to engage in MCPS SSL opportunities, including traditional in-person opportunities and select virtual/remote opportunities that follow the temporarily amended guidelines posted on the MCPS SSL webpage (www.mcps-ssl.org). All nonprofit-hosted SSL opportunities can be found on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center (MCVC) website (www.montgomeryserves.org); these opportunities will be tagged with the blue MCPS SSL banner and graduation cap icon. Students may also directly access nonprofit-hosted MCPS SSL opportunities at bit.ly/SSLOpportunities and bit.ly/VirtualSSL2020.

Culture of Respect Training Mandatory for Secondary Students

MCPS is committed to ensuring students are equipped with information to recognize signs of bullying/cyberbullying, harassment (including sexual harassment), hate-bias incidents, hazing, intimidation and student gender norms. An online student training lesson has been developed for students in Grades 6 through 12. The Culture of Respect online training lesson provides critical information that will help students better recognize the signs of inappropriate behaviors, including the various ways to report alleged/concerning incidents. The training includes a student survey that will provide school leaders with data to assess the current culture and climate of respect at their schools and determine potential next steps to plan for improvements. The training should take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be accessible to students via their myMCPS Classroom homepage beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Students are asked to complete the training by Friday, January 29, 2021. Students will earn 2 Student Service Learning hours when they complete the training.

Choose Respect Video PSA Contest Accepting Entries (English and Spanish)

The 11th Annual Choose Respect Montgomery video PSA contest is now accepting entries. This contest challenges middle and high school students to create an original 50- to 70-second public service announcement video to promote awareness of dating abuse and domestic violence among teens. The contest is open to students in Grades 6 through 12, and students may enter on their own or as a group. The top three videos win cash prizes. The submission deadline is Monday, March 1, 2021. More information can be found at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fjc/chooserespect/video.html.


If you have any questions, please feel free to call the school at 240-740-6350 and leave a message or use the MLK Parent Dropbox or refer to our MLK Staff Directory

Normal Weekly Schedule

WEDNESDAY EXPECTATIONS-   The purpose of Wednesdays during a full week schedule is for students to work on self-paced work and check-in with teachers for support.  Attendance is not recorded (taken) nor are the sessions recorded. All students default to present.   However, in our efforts to support students, we highly recommend all students check in on Wednesdays to ensure they are clear on weekly expectations to promote consistency with attention to learning during our virtual environment, and to get additional support when needed.  There will be no new learning during this timeframe.  In certain situations, teachers in collaboration with the parents can require students to attend Wednesday’s periods.  In this case, the teacher will communicate with the parent directly.


STUDENT ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES AND EXPECTATIONS-  It is expected that students attend all live sessions for each class.  Attendance will be taken daily in each class, including homeroom.  Students are considered present when:

  • They have logged in to their Zoom Session (teachers may use Zoom Reports for verification)
  • Teachers take a live roll call during the session
  • Teachers use discussion threads to verify attendance

Students are considered absent when:

  • They do not log into their live session and engage in the discussion threads or complete attendance checks in MyMCPS

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ABSENTWe recognize that students may need to miss live sessions due to illness, appointments, or other extenuating circumstances.  When a student must be absent, parents/guardians should call the MLK attendance line at 240-740-6351 or email Mrs. Cardea at Sherrie_H_Cardea@mcpsmd.org.  Absence notes from doctor appointments should be emailed to Mrs. Cardea.  Students will have 72 hours to access the posted recorded lesson for each class when they have missed a class. The recordings will be posted on the teacher’s classroom.  After viewing the recorded lesson, students/parents/guardians should complete the Live Virtual Absence Form located on the MLK Website (left side of the main page) to attest to viewing of the lesson.  This will allow the student’s absence to be changed from Absent to Present-Other.  Parents will be notified via ConnectEd and ParentVue of their child’s absence.


GRADING AND REPORTING- In 2020-21, MCPS will return to a letter grade system for marking period and semester grades. Students can expect graded assignments in each class each week, which will be entered into the Gradebook.  Teachers will also administer classroom, district, and external assessments that assess student progress and inform next steps for instruction. Some of these assessments will be used for grading purposes.  As a result of the transition to the Synergy Gradebook, common gradebook templates will be used across middle and high schools in MCPS:

  • In most courses, two grading categories will be used in the Gradebook:
    • All Tasks/Assessments    (90%) 
    • Practice/Preparation      (10%)
  • In English, ESOL, and mathematics courses that administer district assessments for Evidence of Learning (commonly referred to as Progress Checks), three grading categories will be used in the Gradebook:
    • All Tasks/Assessments     (80%)
    • District Assessment           (10%) 
    • Practice/Preparation       (10%)

Due Dates/Deadline Dates, 50% Rule and Use of Z’s and Zeros

  • All teachers will assign due dates and deadline dates. Teachers will follow the 50% Rule, in which no grades lower than 50 percent may be assigned to a task/assessment. However, if a student does no work on the task/assessment, the teacher may assign a zero, after appropriate support.  Teachers are encouraged to enter Z’s as soon as possible so that students and parents are aware of assignments that should be submitted.  Teachers will communicate with students and parents to support and assist the student with work completion.

Don’t Forget to Activate Your ParentVue Account (English and Spanish)

ParentVue is the brand new, powerful, single location for all information about how your child is doing in school. ParentVUE also is a new tool MCPS uses to stay connected with you.
When you are logged into ParentVUE you can:

  • See your child’s schedule;
  • Check your child’s grades (and report card);
  • Check your child’s assignments;
  • Send a message to your child’s teacher; and
  • Update your contact information.

Soon, you will even be able to see a report on Student Service Learning Hours (SSL). If you haven’t yet activated your account, please be on the lookout for an e-mail and/or a notification via U.S. mail because MCPS will send you a new activation letter. Once you’ve received your activation letter, simply visit www.MCPSParentVUE.org to activate your account.

If you haven’t yet activated your account, please be on the lookout for an email and/or a notification via U.S. mail soon.  Once you’ve received your activation letter simply visit www.MCPSParentVUE.org to activate your account.  If you have already activated your ParentVUE account, you will not receive a notification because you are already enjoying the benefits of ParentVUE.  If for some reason you do not receive your notification in the coming weeks, please contact the our school.

ParentVUE Accounts- Please see the ParentVUE Support Guide.  Additionally, if you need assistance with activating your account, please use our Parent Dropbox and the MLK office staff will assist you.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT GUIDE FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS-  Please see the following UPDATED LINK for more information.  The support guide has support guides for various technology including Zoom, MyMCPS, ParentVue, Synergy and a google form on the bottom to request technical support.


Saturday School - Learning Academy

Registration for the second semester of Saturday school will begin on December 1st for new students to the program at www.saturdayschool.org.  Please see the schedule for more information.


FREE Tutoring for K-8 students in MCPS

Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) has compiled a list of FREE MCPS HS student-led groups that are providing free virtual tutoring to K-8 students across the county. These student tutors have either an MCPS faculty or non-profit SSL sponsor and have been through a formal interview process. Tutors have also taken the MCPS Volunteers and Contractors: Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, online training course.

Many of these student-led groups have posted their services on a platform called Kiddo, which provides families looking for free learning support a single place to search and register for those services. This free virtual tutoring platform is the Central platform for families to search and register for free student-led tutoring services. Families can also contact the student-led tutoring services directly --

Stepping Stone Tutoring- Led by Montgomery Blair HS students

Montgomery County Virtual Tutoring Project- Led by Clarksburg HS students

MoCo Pineapple Tutoring- Led by Winston Churchill HS students

SparkStars Tutoring- Led by Montgomery Blair/Richard Montgomery HS students

Centro de Asistencia Social y Orientación - Led by Montgomery Blair and Richard Montgomery HS students

Generation Z Tutoring- Led by Richard Montgomery HS students

Aurora Tutoring- Led by Walter Johnson HS students

Note -- the student-led programs operate independent registration sites, but have joined this central platform. Kiddo is a local Montgomery County startup that is completely free to use for all families and service providers. It was built with the intention of being a central space for families and local enrichment service providers to connect, with a core social mission around driving extracurricular programming accessibility to underserved communities.


Peace Mountain Theater Company - a FREE program coming up in two weeks on Sunday, January 24. Please take a look at the Peace Mountain Theater Company Flyer to learn more about this fun virtual opportunity.


Visit the MLK MS PTSA website www.mlkptsa.org to learn about upcoming events and opportunities in our school and in the county.  If you’d like to join, you can do that on the site as well!.

Middle School Athletics- The middle school interscholastic athletics program this semester is available for students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade and consists of two more virtual sport seasons, including basketball (Oct. 26-Nov. 20) and soccer (Nov. 30-Dec. 18). The middle school virtual athletic seasons consists of two student-athlete and coach engagement sessions per week, for a total of six engagement sessions over the course of approximately three to four weeks.  The basketball virtual season is scheduled to occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays after-school (unless otherwise notified by the coach), beginning on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 and finishing on Thursday, November 19th, 2020.

All students participating in the basketball virtual season, as part of the MCPS interscholastic athletics program, must complete the online registration process between October 8th-23rd. Registration for basketball is done electronically through the MLKMS Athletics Registration form in English or in Spanish on the MLK WebsiteRegistration for soccer will be released at a later date. Students and parents/guardians who have difficulty with registration should contact Logan Neuman at Logan_S_Neuman@mcpsmd.org.


After School Activities this Week-

Online Chess Club through Silver Knights Enrichment

MLK families receive 50% off the first month with coupon code: mlk2020.  Play against other kids anytime, solve chess puzzles, track progress, and enjoy live interactive lessons. Money back guarantee if not satisfied in the first 2 weeks.  See attached flyer for more details. Visit https://www.chess.skenrichment.com/ to register.


GUIDANCE COUNSELORS

Guidance counselors spend three years with their students. Mrs. Boss will be filling-in for Mrs. Kuntz during her maternity leave for sixth grade.  Grade level guidance counselor assignments for this year are:


Student Engagement Website Features Information on Leadership, Service, and Extracurricular Activities (English and Spanish)

MCPS students can engage and access several different experiences through leadership, service, and extracurricular activities. Students are encouraged to participate at the school level. The new student engagement website includes information for additional learning experiences and information, which often are student-led. Be sure to check www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/student-engagement/  frequently as content and information will be updated throughout the school year.


MCPS Parent Message

Please see the MCPS Parent Message regarding the tentative plan for the second semester.  In particular, this short survey was completed to indicate whether your child(ren) will remain exclusively in a virtual learning environment or engage in a combination of in-person and virtual instruction during the second semester. Both options would allow students to participate in in-person athletics and extracurricular activities. Parents were also asked to indicate if their child needs MCPS-provided transportation. We want to reiterate that families do have the choice to remain in a fully virtual model if they are uncomfortable with sending their child(ren) back to a school building. Please note that once you’ve made your selection, changes may be made only under unique circumstances. Additionally, any family that does not make a selection will automatically default to the virtual-only experience in order to ensure we consider and plan for maximum staffing and space use. The survey closed on Dec. 7. Families will receive details on next steps and school-specific information in January.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:

  • We will move forward with our return plan only if health metrics are met.
  • We understand this is a difficult decision to make given that details on what in-person learning will look like are yet to be determined. We are asking parents/guardians to make a selection now because the number of students who want to return and other information shared through the survey will help inform the design of the in-person instructional model, the number of school buildings we can open, and scheduling. This one-page guide was developed to help parents/guardians determine what works best for their specific family circumstances.
  • Our planning also is dependent on staff availability. Staff members have been asked to submit their requests for leave or accommodations based on qualifying health concerns or dependent care needs. Staffing numbers will impact the way we provide in-person instruction and could vary from school to school. For example, your child’s teacher may qualify for an accommodation and may not return to the school building, but will continue to provide instruction virtually. If you opt for your child to return to in-person learning, it is possible that your child may not have that specific teacher in the building.
  • On Friday, November 6, we shared that families who select the in-person experience (which still will include some virtual components) can change to the all-virtual model at any time. Families that select the all-virtual option only can change their selection based on availability and unique circumstances.
  • The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. All students and staff who are in school buildings will be required to follow our COVID-19 safety protocols. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of face coverings, physical distancing of classroom desks, hand-washing and sanitizing, health screening protocols, and enhancements to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems, where needed.
  • Families can expect to receive more information about their school-specific plan and instructional model in January.
  • Available seats on school buses will be limited in alignment with safety protocols and we may not be able to provide transportation for all families who request it.

 

Parent Resources for Virtual Learning (English and Spanish)

The MCPS Parents page has been updated to include various online resources for families to help them navigate virtual learning. Visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/parents/ to see the list of resources.


FREE MEALS to ALL Children under 18.  They do NOT have to be MCPS students, school age, or eligible for free meals (FARMS). This means ALL children thanks to COVID FUNDING. IF you or someone you know needs food, here is the list of sites where MCPS is distributing FREE meals to ALL kids:  https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/reopening/meals/


FAMILIES HELPING FAMILIES is a coordinated community partnership between MCCPTA, MCPS, and the MCPS Educational Foundation.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has deeply impacted many families in Montgomery County. All funds donated to this campaign will be turned into gift cards and distributed to MCPS families in need through the MCPS Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement (OSFSE).  To learn more about the campaign and to donate, click here.


Gift Card Campaign to Help Families in Need

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted many families in Montgomery County. The MCPS Educational Foundation, Inc.; the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Association, Inc.’s volunteer network; and MCPS are asking the community to support the Families Helping Families campaign. Grocery gift cards will be purchased with funds donated to the MCPS Educational Foundation, Inc.’s Crisis Relief Fund—COVID-19. Learn more about how to donate here.


Equity Hubs for Children

The Children’s Opportunity Fund and the Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence are coordinating low-cost childcare and distance learning support for MCPS students at facilities across the county. Priority is given to low-income, kindergarten through 5th grade students, and students needing more assistance with virtual learning. Learn more at EquityHubs.org or by phone at 240-200-4999.


COVID-19 Rent Relief Program for County Residents (English and Spanish)

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is providing short-term rental assistance to eligible families that have experienced financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While funds are available, the program will provide up to $4,000 to eligible households to cover the cost for back rent (arrears) and/or a rent credit for future months.  The program is funded through a $20 million supplemental appropriation to DHHS. You can learn more and apply for the rent relief program at this website.

Join the PTSA....

Click on the link to join, and help us shape your child's future!

 

Useful Links