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

3/27/20

Hello MLK Families,

I want to share a message from the MCCPTA President, Cynthia Simonson, who has been in regular contact with MCPS leadership and has been involved in various conversations about how students will be supported as we continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  MCPS is gearing up to rollout its distance learning plan for its 160,000+ students.  Please see Cynthia’s message below.

As a reminder, MCPS has established a specific website with up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 impact on students and the various supports and plans it has in place for students. Please check it regularly here https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/.

MCPS has an Education Foundation that supports various initiatives.  A Chromebook campaign has been started.  Should you wish to contribute, you may do so here:

https://www.mcpsfoundation.org/chromebooks-donation-page

Stay well!

Audra Dove

MLK MS PTSA President

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

From: MCCPTA President <president@mccpta.org> Cynthia Simonson

All –

Today is the day… each of us will learn the Continuation of Learning plan going into place next week. I know there are a lot of anxious parents.  I’m not sure when this will get released – this morning, this afternoon, later this evening -- so here’s a little morning report…

SPED

First, Special Education as I know that is a concern for many (whether you have SPED students or not).  Last night, I was part of the Special Education discussion and, like the rest of the meetings I’ve attended this week, I know there are a lot of people working hard.  Unlike the rest of the calls, we were asked to be part of a call next week too.  And, the week after that... and, the week after that… and, the week after that!  I think that is a clear signal, they know this is going to be evolving and they will continue to adapt, as needed.  SPED families – it sounded to me like much of this will be very personalized for your students and they have a host of approaches they are going to try in the coming weeks to come as close as they can to delivering many of the services your student has been receiving, short of in person meetings.  I was really impressed hearing the examples of some of the ways they are planning to work with subsets of students.  Of course, lots of unanswered questions from our call, but the key takeaway – patience.   If after these first couple of weeks there are needs that aren’t getting met, please reach out to our MCCPTA Special Education Chair, Maria Blaeuer, specialedchair@mccpta.og.  And, as always, keep your questions and ideas coming.

CHROME BOOKS

I’ve asked, confirmed, asked again, confirmed again – each student needs a device that connects to the internet.  There was some confusion yesterday about “one per family”… each student should have a device (as live opportunities will be occurring simultaneously so two students, two devices) but iPads and Kindles (with internet access) can meet this need.  Please make sure to visit the schools today to pick up chrome books, as needed.   If you now think you may need another device but missed the opportunity yesterday, please contact your school principal.  Start there.

EXPECT A SOFT OPENING

For all of us, what to expect – please, please, please be ready to have a lot of questions but exercise patience and have perspective as you view this new world.  I would urge our families to set expectations for a “soft opening” and anticipate we will be slowly rolling into “full instruction mode” for the next couple of weeks. I don’t know the final plan. I saw many of the pieces of feedback incorporated from sessions earlier in the week.  I saw other pieces last night that didn’t make this version, but I know they are still tweaking things. What I do know is we have a lot of kids that need to “finish” MP3 and we have a lot of teachers who will be touching this technology for the first time next week.  All of this happening while anxious parents are watching. Let’s pledge to take an extra breath or two as this is rolling out and find an extra measure of patience and support for our teachers.

GOING FORWARD

I know we are all coming at this from different directions with varying experiences -- feeding our emotions of excitement/dread/fear/frustration. We are going to do this. We are going to get to the other side. We are going to have a lot of lessons learned and I hope we keep good notes of things that worked well and where those “opportunities for improvement” lie so we can have a good, thoughtful discussion when we are through this.  I am really looking forward to that conversation (I have a LIST!).  But for today and tomorrow and the days after that, let’s focus on supporting each other as best we can to ensure our students continue their journey, smoothing out the bumps as we go.

Hang in there and keep in touch as the questions you’ve raised have helped us get good info out to lots and lots of folks.  You can send those directly to me and/or Gillian (MCCPTA School Climate and Safety Chair) or put your comments/questions/concerns on the MCCPTA Main Facebook Page -- https://www.facebook.com/MCCPTA/?ref=bookmarks or the MCCPTA COVID-19 RESPONSE page  https://www.facebook.com/groups/630013914466313/  We’ll keep trying to keep information flowing up and down the chain.

Let your grace continue to be contagious (virtual elbow bump),

Cynthia Simonson

MCCPTA President


This week:

There will be no school for students through Friday April 24, 2020 at MLK or any Montgomery County or Maryland public school.

Please see MLK adjusted office hours below in the event you need to contact the school.  We will also be checking our school's voice mail daily.  As a reminder, the MCPS Instructional Activities Center which can be found at the following link: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/contingency/index.aspx.  Paper copies of instructional activities are available in our main office for students who do not have computer access.   

Upcoming Events:  

April 3rd - deadline for SSL Hours for Superintendent Award (8th graders only)


Changes to the School Calendar and Information on Phase One of Remote Learning in MCPS

Dear MCPS Students, Parents, Staff and Community Members,

As we shared earlier today in our community message, Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon have extended the closure of all Maryland public schools through April 24, 2020. In addition to our school buildings being closed until April 24, all extracurricular programs, athletic programs and community use activities are canceled.

The district will continue to provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to all children at more than 40 sites throughout the county. Details on times and locations can be found on the MCPS Coronavirus webpage. This is an incredibly difficult time for our community and we want you to know that we also will continue to provide supports and services to address the social-emotional, psychological and physical well-being of our students. These resources can be found here.

As a reminder, MCPS will begin laptop (Chromebooks) distribution tomorrow, Thursday, March 26. Details are here. These laptops are reserved for students who do not have access to a computer or laptop at home. The distribution will take place outside of the school building (similar to our meal distribution sites). Families will not have an opportunity to enter the school building.

Below are some important updates regarding the 2019-2020 school year calendar and the first phase of our continuity of learning plan. Rolling out a remote learning plan in a district as large as MCPS will undoubtedly take a significant amount of training and coordination. We have some of the best teachers, support staff and administrators in the nation and they are up to the task. We are confident that instruction in our new model will be delivered successfully and effectively.

School Calendar
On March 18, we shared that we would not be changing the current dates for our spring break. Given today’s announcement of the extended closure, we have revised our plan with support from our employee associations and will be making the following adjustments to the calendar:

  • Schools will be open (for remote learning) on Monday, April 6,; Tuesday, April 7; and Wednesday, April 8
  • Schools will be closed on Thursday, April 9; administrative offices will be open
  • Schools and administrative offices will be closed on April 10 (State holiday)
  • Schools and administrative offices will be closed on April 13 (State holiday).

We understand that this is different from what was originally announced. Please understand that this is a rapidly evolving situation and school districts across the nation are working hard to find ways to maximize opportunities to provide students with instruction in light of these emergency closures.

Continuity of Learning: Phase One
MCPS staff have been working diligently to develop a continuity of learning (distance/remote learning) plan that addresses the academic and non-academic needs of our students. On Monday, March 30, we will launch the first phase of our remote learning system that will provide students with structured school experiences. During the week of March 30, students and families will have the opportunity to:

  • Reconnect with their teachers
  • Complete their end of the third marking period assignments
  • Take online tutorials to learn how to use myMCPS Classroom
  • Engage in online lessons (created by central office instructional staff) and practice interacting with the online tools and submitting assignments in myMCPS
  • Develop a home schedule that outlines when each student in the home will engage in their lessons

For our staff, they will be focused on:

  • Reconnecting with students
  • Participating in professional development on a variety of topics, including the use of new and familiar technology tools to support student learning
  • Setting up their myMCPS classrooms
  • Reconnecting with colleagues and professional learning communities
  • Working with students on third marking period grades and assignments

We ask that our community be patient and understanding with us as we make this transition.    We will share more details about phase one of our plan, including information on supports for Special Education and ESOL students, on Friday, March 27.

I am extremely grateful for our staff and how they are stepping up to meet this challenge as we face this global pandemic together. We will get through this together and we are better together.

Sincerely,

Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools


Coronavirus (English and Spanish)

Parents/guardians can stay up-to-date and find information on the coronavirus and to see the school system’s efforts on the MCPS website at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/.


Social Distancing
Slowing the spread of COVID-19 requires everyone to do their part. An important piece of this effort is social distancing. This means avoiding gathering in groups; playing contact sports;  going to the mall for non-essential shopping trips; and avoiding social visits. We know our students want to connect with their peers, especially in a time of crisis. Regardless of the intent, social gatherings have the potential to increase the spread of COVID-19. We ask that all members of the community follow the guidance that has been provided by the CDC and federal, state and local health officials.


Additional Meal Service for Students
We are pleased to share that as of March 19, dinner will be provided at all of our MCPS meal sites. Additionally, we continue to add new locations for meal service. Please visit this site to view the most up-to-date list of meal sites. To date, we have provided more than 18,000 meals, and we look forward to continuing to provide nutritious meals to as many children as possible.


School Calendar/Spring Break
After careful consideration, MCPS has decided to keep spring break intact and not use it for make-up days. This closure and the ongoing global crisis is having an impact on many areas, including teaching and learning, standardized test administration, Advanced Placement exams, athletics and art events, among many others. MCPS staff continues to work through these challenges and await further guidance from the state on any changes to the calendar. Additionally, no decisions have been made by the Board of Education on changes to the school year calendar.


Third Marking Period and Continuity of Learning
This two-week closure is being treated as an emergency closure (similar to inclement weather days). This means that teachers are not working and will not be providing new instruction or giving new assignments to students. As we shared last week, learning activities and materials were posted online through myMCPS Classroom for the March 16-27 school closure. MCPS has developed FAQs (link) for students having trouble accessing the materials. For students who are unable to access the internet in their homes, printed packets are available. Schools are communicating directly with the families they serve around opportunities to pick up materials.

The instructional resources and materials are meant for review and to practice information that has already been taught. We encourage families to read, play board games, write in journals, and join in on any other activities you think are appropriate for your child. We will provide additional external online learning experiences and resources, as well as tips and ideas to engage your child on the MCPS website and on our MCPS social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook).

Additionally, as many of you know, the third marking period is scheduled to end on March 27.  Given that schools were closed prior to the end of the third marking period, many teachers did not have an opportunity to enter grades or give remaining assignments and quizzes. Therefore, when school resumes, the third marking period will be extended. It is important to note the following:

  • No previously assigned work will be due between March 16-27.
  • No teacher instruction should take place during this period.
  • Teachers will have an opportunity to enter grades when school resumes.

Should school closure be extended longer than two weeks, MCPS is working to develop a long-term learning plan for students and will provide guidance to teachers on grading previous assignments and new learning.


Access to MCPS Facilities
Schools are closed but school administrative offices will be accessible on a limited basis as system needs arise. We will continue to reassess as the situation evolves. As a system, we will continue to ensure continuity of operations. We are following the guidance of state and local officials to transition our central office teams to a more remote-based model of work.


Be Well 365: Supporting Our Students
MCPS has also developed resources to support the physical, social and psychological well-being of students during this difficult time. These resources can be found here.


MLK Lost and Found

MLK has acquired a collection of student lost and found items.  If you child is missing items, please remind them to check in at the main office's lost and found.


Congratulations to the MLK MS team on winning medals and ribbons in nine events at the MD Science Olympiad Regional

Special thanks to our Poolesville HS coaches, Ms. Ski, the parents, and the PTSA for their support.

Team A (7th Graders):
3rd place - Game On (Jordan Go, James Kim)
4th place - Dynamic Planet (Nirav Akkanapragada, Jordan Go)
1st place - Fossils (Nirav Akkanapragada, Sushma Katta)
6th place - Meteorology (Sushma Katta, Rithvik Kondragunta, Arth Babbar)
1st place - Ornithology (Jordan Go, James Kim)

Team B (6th Graders):
5th place - Game On (Jonathan Dastrup, Ethan Chou)
5th place - Circuit Lab (Charles Hu, Caitlyn Yee)
6th place - Machines (Dhruvi Shah, Akshaya Mushti)

6th place - Road Scholar (Ananya Saridena, Akshaya Mushti)


PTA Reflections Honorees

We are so very proud of every MLK student who participated in this year’s National PTA Reflections program!  The following MLK students were selected as honorees by the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) and will move on to MD PTA’s state adjudication. Congratulations everyone!

Film Production: Eland Bui, “Mindset”  AND Juliana Ruffner, “Look Behind the Mask”

Literature: Nirav Akkanapragada, “A Better Life”

Photography: Tanisha Sharma, “Translucent” AND Joanna Sumlinski, “Forest of Hope”

Visual Art: Victoria Munuo, “The other side of the grass is golden”


New MLK PTA Board members are needed for next year!  If you want a PTSA next year, please consider one of the positions. All current MLK PTSA Board members reach their term limit in June.  New parents need to step into these roles.  Contact megkaminski@comcast.net if you are interested in learning more.  These positions do not take up a ton of time but yield a lot of benefit for our students.  Open positions include: President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary and Fundraising.

Our next PTSA meeting is April 14th.

The PTSA needs YOU!  All current MLK PTSA Board members will reach the end of their terms in June 2020.  In order for MLK to have a PTSA next year, parents will need to step into these roles. Don’t fear the PTSA!!  All of these very important and rewarding roles come with free training and lots of people in the county eager to help you do the best job you can!! Each role is for a one year term (with a two term limit).  Please contact megkaminski@comcast.net with questions about any of the positions.

President

Lead the PTSA toward specific goals as agreed upon by the members.  Lead Board and PTSA meetings at least 5 times per school year.  Bridge communication between PTSA and administration.  Work closely with Treasurer to maintain budgetary objectives and compliance documents.  Work with school to provide opportunities and communication that further support students and staff.  Coordinate with the SVHS Cluster Rep to communicate pertinent information to advocate for MLK MS. Work with Board members to optimize engagement, fundraising and advocay.

Vice President

Assist the President and help lead the PTSA toward specific goals chosen by its members.  Take ownership of PTSA’s online presence by coordinating content and ensuring broad distribution of information to the MLK school community.  Seek out opportunities for community engagement and student opportunities. When necessary, step in for the President.

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.

Treasurer

Keep accurate records and file documents to maintain tax-exempt status in compliance with local, state and federal laws.  In conjunction with the Board, create and present the recommended budget for the September membership meeting vote.  Prepare a monthly treasurer report for membership that shows income and expenses. Pay bills and make deposits.

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.


MLK MS PTSA Boon Supply Online Fundraiser

Help the PTSA raise funds at the Boon Supply Fundraiser. Every purchase you make through the PTSA Boon Supply website below sends 40% right to our cause. Browse the pretty online spring catalog to find beautiful waste-free and eco-friendly products, as well as delicious regular and gluten-free treats. Don’t forget to check out the Sale page! Together, we can make great things happen for our students, teachers and the school. Thank you for your support!

Boon Fundraiser Site

Boon Fundraiser Shipping Rates

Fundraiser ends 4/30/2020


Poolesville High School Robocamps- Poolesville High School's Robotics Team, Team 4099 The Falcons, is hosting RoboCamps this summer! RoboCamps is a robotics camp for students ages 8-13 to get a basic understanding of robotics through coding, designing, and engineering a robot. Please fill out  this form if you or your child would be interested in this or email us at contact@team4099.com if you have any questions! More information can be found at: https://www.team4099.com/programs/robocamps/


A reminder from the MLK attendance office: If your student is out for the day, please give the main office or our attendance line a call to let us know your student is not coming to school. Upon their return, please send them in with a signed note from a parent or with a doctor’s note. We hope everyone stays healthy! Main Office: 240-740-6350 / Guidance: 240-740-6360 / Attendance Line: 240-740-6351 / Health Room: 240-740-6352 / Humanities: 240-740-6359 As a convenience the old telephone numbers will be forwarded to the new numbers, for a period of 3 months.  After that 3 month period, the old numbers will expire.


A reminder from the the Health Room:  It's that time of year again and plenty of germs are circulating around MLKMS.  Please see the document, FS-25 When to Keep Your Child Home From School, from Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services-School Health Services for detailed information.

Help Improve How You Get Information From MCPS

How do you like to receive news and information?  What MCPS news is important to you?  Take the below survey about your communication preferences.  your responses will be used to improve how you get news and information from MCPS. Link to survey:   https://mcpsweb.wufoo.com/forms/2020-communication-survey/  The survey will be open through February 28, 2020.


Shop with Amazon Smiles and earn money for MLK students

Start your online shopping at Smile.Amazon.com and select MLK Middle School PTSA as your charitable organization. Earn money for our students!


RespectFEST.  3/29/20 from 1p-4p @ Wheaton community Recreation Center

This free event is geared towards middle and high schoolers.  It is both a celebration of healthy relationships and an awareness of what an unhealthy relationship looks like.  Students can earn SSL hours by completing the activity booths. Click here to learn more about this event. https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fjc/chooserespect/


Meet the Board of Education Candidates event!  Monday 3/30/20 6:30p-9p @ Carver Auditorium in Rockville.

This is REALLY important.  The BOE is the boss of MCPS.  The BOE members make all the decisions—what school buildings get funded, what curricula gets used, what school boundaries get set, what technology gets purchased, whether kids are taught cursive.  THEY make the final decisions so YOU need to make sure they know what they’re doing and they share the same priorities regarding education as you do.  Here’s your chance to find out.  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/board-of-education-candidate-forum-registration-96232709625?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=eventcard


Attention MLK Humanities Program Parents

We know it can be hard for your children to participate in after school activities when they live outside of the MLK boundary area and have no access to activity buses. We’d like to help. If you would like to be connected with parents of other Humanities students, please send an email to mlkptsaconnect@gmail.com.  Let us know your name and your child’s name and grade; we will contact you with information about how to get connected with other Humanities parents.  You do not have to be a member of the PTSA to take advantage of this connection opportunity.


A message from your PT(S)A Cluster Coordinator:

The Seneca Valley community is getting ready to open a flagship high school, welcoming new students in the Fall of 2020.  Students in elementary and middle schools can look forward to attending one the best high schools around.  Parents were instrumental in the success of this project.  Parents also recently worked with MCPS to bring you new curriculum in elementary schools.  Parents were also instrumental in expanding BeWell365, the mental health component to help students with social emotional issues.  MCPS administration is very welcoming of parents ideas, thoughts, and opinions!  Parent Engagement is a key initiative of Superintendent Jack Smith.

 

The SV cluster schools have an opportunity to provide 3 parents as cluster representatives to the county workgroup that assists schools, students and staff, and families.  These Cluster Coordinators look out for SV, MLK, RCMS, Neelsville, Waters Landing, McAuliffe, Sally K Ride, and Lake Seneca.  If any of our schools are in need of something, the coordinators make the request known and have county level assistance.  They also have access to fellow coordinators who have lots of resources to help. The county work group helps schools with curriculum, student safety, school security, special education, technology, esol programming, lgbtq inclusion, building maintenance, highly able learners, athletic fields, arts contest, and celebrating parents and school staff with awards.

 

Right now we have 1 parent as a coordinator whose term is ending. Mentorship and training is provided. The county work group is very strong, organized, and helpful.

We have 3 open spots for parents to join!  Cluster Coordinators can come from any school - parents from all levels, elementary/middle/high are all eligible! Multiple coordinators can share tasks and you won't be overloaded.

 

Are you interested in advocating for our schools at the county level?

Are you interested in representing our half of Germantown in reference to educational interests and needs? 

Are you interested in overall upgrades that impact all the students?

 

This is a great time to join this work group!  Want in?  Have additional questions?  

Please contact Melissa Regan at sv@mccpta.org

Join the PTSA....

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

 

Useful Links