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

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


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:
  1. All Tasks/Assessments    (90%) 
  2. 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:
  1. All Tasks/Assessments     (80%)
  2. District Assessment           (10%) 
  3. 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.

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- After School Activities are back and will begin meeting the week of October 12th!   MLK staff members will sponsor the clubs and activities listed below.  Click on the link to see a description of each activity, the name and contact information of the sponsor, and the date/day of the week the club will meet.  To sign up, students may access the following student registration link and list the activities in which they would like to participate.  You may contact the activity sponsor directly if you have any questions.


The Community Club 8th Grade Homework Club Young Scholars Program
Panther Gazette Club de Tarea en Español Student Council
Math Team Outride Riding for Focus Virtual Bike Club Junior Leaders

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.

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


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:

Grade 8 Common Application (For 8th grade Students and Families)- Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) offers a wide range of high school application programs for students entering Grades 9 through 12. These programs have a centralized admissions process, which begins with a common online application. The admission process opens in early October 2020. Please take some time to look through the links to see the variety of programs offered. For 2021–2022, the regional/countywide high school application process admission, timeline, and program information is available at this website:http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/specialprograms/.

MCPS has streamlined the Grade 8 high school application process by providing one common online application for all programs via Synergy. .  The application season for these programs is now open. You and your student can only access the high school common application in the parent/guardians ParentVUE account. If you need guidance in setting up your Parent Vue, please contact us at Martin Luther King MS (240.740.6350)Program eligibility is based on the student’s address and middle school for current Grade 8 students; and for current Grades 9–11 students, it is based on the home address only. (Attachment A)All MCPS parents/guardians of students in Grade 8 and Grades 9–11 received a flyer regarding the application programs during the weeks of September 14 and 21, 2020, respectively. The flyers are posted on the website. (Attachment B).  The criteria-based application programs will continue to use multiple measures and require teacher recommendations as part of the application process. Given the conditions associated with COVID-19 and virtual learning, options for the administration of an external assessment as part of the admissions process are still being explored.

Important Dates:

  • November 6, 2020—Application Deadline (Grade 8)
  • The Teacher Recommendation Process for the HS Regional/countywide criteria-based programs will open after the November 6 deadline.
  • December 4, 2020—Teacher Recommendation Deadline (Grade 8)

Links/Additional Information


Be Well 365 Recovery Student Supports and Interventions- Please see the attachment regarding student supports and interventions.  We will begin Social Emotional Learning Lessons this week in our advisory periods.  Our socio-emotional lessons will be focusing on current events (COVID-19 and Social Injustice) and assisting students with processing current events in a structured environment.  If you have any questions, please contact your child’s grade level counselor- Erin Boss, Sixth Grade, (Erin_E_Boss@mcpsmd.org),  Jason Ingram, Seventh Grade (Jason_R_Ingram@mcpsmd.org), Ariana Frangou, Eighth Grade (Ariana_H_Frangou@mcpsmd.org ).

Student Service Learning Opportunities (English and Spanish)

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.


New MLK PTA Board members are needed!

Open positions include Secretary and Fundraising.  Please contact megkaminski@comcast.net if you are interested in learning more.  These positions do not take a lot of time but yield a lot of benefit for our students.  No experience necessary and current Board members will train their successors.

Secretary - Keep accurate records of all MLK PTSA and Board meetings. Read past meeting minutes at the beginning of each PTSA meeting fro member approval.  Send out copy of meeting notes to Board and members.  Work with fellow Board members to support the goals of the PTSA.

Fundraising - Seek out, secure and manage fundraising and promotional opportunities such as local restaurant Dine Outs, spirit wear, Got Sneakers.  Work with PTSA President, VP and school secretary to communicate the fundraising opportunities to the MLK school community.


Additional Bus Stop Locations Added to Meal Service Program (English and Spanish)

MCPS is expanding the number of meal service sites for the community. In addition to the 74 school sites, students and families can pick up meals on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at several bus stop locations throughout the county from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. More information is available at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/reopening/meals/.

County Offers Immunizations for Children Returning to School (English and Spanish)

County health officials are offering free immunizations to eligible children so that immunization requirements are met for the 2020–2021 school year. Immunizations for students new to MCPS and children in kindergarten through Grade 12 are available Monday through Friday, by appointment, at locations in Silver Spring and Germantown. Appointments are available at: Dennis Avenue Health Center, 2000 Dennis Avenue, Silver Spring; Phone: 240-777-1050 and Germantown Health Center, 12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown; Phone: 240-777-3380. There will be two additional clinics offered on Saturday, September 12 and Saturday, September 19 at the Dennis Avenue Health Center location. Parents/guardians can access their child’s vaccination record online at no cost on the Maryland Department of Health’s web portal. Users can view and print official copies of vaccination records without a request to their health care provider. More information about Maryland’s immunization requirements can be found on the Maryland Health Department’s website.

Online Resources for Families During Distance Learning- Virtual Learning can seem like a daunting journey.  MCPS school library media programs and your school media specialist are your guides and collaborators who can help.  MCPS has the many free online resources available to all students at every level to support instruction and take students beyond Google.  On October 15th from 6-7, the Parent Academy will host a free virtual workshop run by MCPS media specialists from both primary and secondary levels to help parents navigate these resources.   Please see this flyer for more details.

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.

Fall 2020 Survey

MCPS is soliciting feedback from parents/guardians, students, and staff as part of ongoing efforts to ensure students, staff, and families have the resources and support needed to successfully engage in virtual learning. The survey can be completed here.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (English and Spanish)

The Board of Education has proclaimed Tuesday, September 15 to Thursday, October 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. Throughout the month, MCPS schools will be celebrating the unique culture and traditions of students, teachers, staff, and community members who trace their roots to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in MCPS, with 32 percent of the student population, representing 21 Spanish-speaking countries. We want all MCPS students, parents/guardians, and staff to celebrate with us! Share a picture that represents your Hispanic heritage and MCPS may feature it in a virtual gallery. E-mail pictures to pio@mcpsmd.org. Watch this video for more information.

Parent Academy Holding To-Go Virtual Webinars, Chats, and Workshops

Families and students can stay engaged throughout the school year with Parent Academy TO GO. Parent Academy TO GO is a series of virtual webinars for families to watch at home. In addition, there are several virtual chats and workshops coming up that may be helpful for families. Among them:

Monday, October 12, Mental Health Monday Virtual Chat: Minimizing Meltdowns at Home, 6:00 to 6:45 p.m.

Join us for a virtual chat focused on compassion and grace. We will discuss crisis prevention and intervention strategies to help minimize meltdowns and support your child’s social/emotional needs during a dual pandemic. Recommended for families of elementary, middle, and high school students. Facilitated by a nationally certified school psychologist.

Tuesday, October 13, Virtual Chat, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

(Facilitated in English, Spanish, Amharic, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean)

Online learning is very challenging for some of our MCPS families. This virtual chat is a collaborative, community event built on the five primary languages in MCPS and created to listen to the technology needs of parents/guardians. It will create solutions with parents/guardians in real time so they can learn more about how to help their children online and how to solve problems when the technology stops. Presented by MCPS staff and recommended for families of elementary, middle, and high school students.

Townhall on Preventing Sexual Harassment and Assault Set for October 13 (English and Spanish)
Let’s Talk Respect: Preventing Sexual Harassment and Assault, a student-led town hall, will be held via Zoom webinar at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13. MCPS is collaborating with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Police Department, the Victim Assistance Sexual Assault Program, Choose Respect Montgomery, Coaching Boys Into Men, EveryMind, and Identity, Inc. to provide a forum for students and the community. For more information and to register bit.ly/RespectRSVP.

Monday, October 19, Mental Health Monday Virtual Workshop: An Overview of Social-Emotional Learning, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Join us for an overview of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL is a process through which adults and children deepen their expertise in understanding and managing emotions and learning how they impact a person’s choices, relationships, and outlook in life. MCPS staff will discuss and answer questions regarding SEL and how it impacts your child. Recommended for families of elementary, middle, and high school students and presented by MCPS staff.

You can find the complete list of virtual workshops, chats, and webinars on the Parent Academy website at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/parentacademy/.

Student-Led Free Tutoring Available to High Schoolers (English and Spanish)

Do you know a high school student needing help with science, English, social studies, or a world language this school year? Youth Creating Change (YCC) has restarted its tutoring program. The free program is open to all high school students; the tutors are student leaders who are hosting weekly Zoom meetings. Students can see the schedule and sign up here. YCC is partnering with Pineapple Tutoring, which is affiliated with the Montgomery County Region (Maryland Association of Student Councils) Student Government Association.

Naviance Moves to Google Single Sign-On (English and Spanish)

Starting the week of Monday, September 21, students and staff will have an easier way to sign in to Naviance, a web-based program that supports middle and high school students in exploring and developing post-secondary plans. Naviance is moving to a Google Single Sign-On that will allow students and staff to access the platform through their MCPS Google accounts. They will no longer need to use a separate username and password. All users will have access to Naviance via their Google Waffle, which is located in the top right-hand corner of the Chrome browser. Students can also continue to access Naviance through their student log-in page. Naviance always is available to middle and high school students and they are encouraged to access it during virtual learning to explore colleges and careers, as well as participate in academic planning.

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.

Board Committee to Host Community Conversation on Virtual Learning (English and Spanish)

The Board of Education’s Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Committee is hosting a community conversation about virtual learning on Monday, October 19 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. You can watch at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org, youtube.com/mcpstv or on MCPS-TV (Comcast 33, Verizon 36 and RCN 88). You can submit questions in advance at www.mcpssubmitquestion.org.

Black and Brown Coalition to Host Virtual Conversation

The Black and Brown Coalition for Education Equity and Excellence is hosting a virtual forum at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 15. The forum, Seeking Accountability on Promises Made to Black and Brown Children, will discuss what progress has been made on the pledge to achieve educational and racial equity for Black and Brown students. The event will also address the impact of virtual learning and challenges regarding the recovery of learning loss. You can register for the free event here.

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