Takoma Park Elementary School
January 15, 2023
School is closed tomorrow January 16, 2023, in honor of the Dr. King Holiday.
A Message from MCPS
Dear MCPS Students, Families and Staff,
As we now settle into the middle of the winter weather season, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is improving its process for informing the community when weather requires an operational status change and when a closure might justify a shift to virtual instruction. When it is determined that conditions are unsafe for students and staff, we have six operational status options, which will now be reported by easy-to-understand, color-coded messages. They are:
The safety of students and staff remains the top priority, and MCPS understands the inconvenience these situations can cause for families and staff. Operational changes due to emergency weather conditions are only made when necessary and after careful review.
In making a decision, MCPS leadership reviews information from national and local weather experts, local emergency management officials, and the operating status of other government and neighboring school districts. Additionally, leadership gathers information from state highway administrators and relies on key MCPS personnel who inspect the conditions of roads, sidewalks, MCPS parking lots and bus lanes.
Code Purple, which will indicate a shift to virtual learning, will ensure teaching and learning continues during weather emergencies. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has provided this opportunity to local school systems, and the Montgomery County Board of Education approved the virtual plan during its Jan. 12 business meeting. The approved plan has been sent to MSDE and this option can be used after receiving final approval. Available technology and previous virtual learning experience will enable MCPS to continue working with students even during inclement weather and emergencies. There are essential guidelines so staff and students can be fully prepared. These guidelines include:
- Is the impacting event predictable?
- Is the impacting event part of a multi-day scenario (such as a blizzard) or isolated to a day?
- Can prior preparation and communication with families, students and staff take place?
Communication is vital to ensuring that students, staff and families can easily transition. MCPS will follow these steps to let students, families and staff know:
- A “Get Ready” announcement (meaning weather is imminent) will be made districtwide.
- The decision to offer virtual learning will be made by noon the day before any potential weather.
- Student Well-Being Teams will contact identified students and families as a reminder about virtual start times.
- Schools will message families to remind them that it is a required school day and how to log in to classes.
When the weather is a concern, MCPS aims to ensure you are kept up to date with timely and accurate information. Please be sure to monitor weather-related delays, closings, and early dismissals and cooperate with school personnel as we work to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
Check your ParentVUE accounts and, if needed, update the contact information. This will ensure you receive all necessary school operational status updates.Montgomery County Public Schools
From Our Counselors (A brief synopsis of what the children are learning)
Kindergarten: This week we will learn how to lead our learning. Leading our learning includes asking questions and listening to feedback by using hand signals. Invite your learner to teach you some of the strategies we learned this week to lead our own learning.
1st Grade: This week we will learn the power of using question words to find out information. Great questions can help us take charge of our own learning. Engage in a discussion with your learner asking these important questions:
· Why do we ask questions when we learn?
· How do you know if you are asking a question?
· Can you ask me a question?
· What question would you ask your teacher about this week’s learning target?
2nd Grade: This week, students will engage in a collaborative problem-based learning experience where they choose a problem and work to find solutions. In doing so, students practice student-led learning and leadership skills like thinking Win-Win, seeking first to understand, and synergy. Work together and brainstorm a list and discuss solutions to this question: What are some things you may want to change at home or in the community?
Recently we have had a number of families bring loads of things for birthday celebrations at school. Please remember, we do not have birthday parties during the school day. We welcome a small, store bought treat and singing of birthday songs. Please see the policy from the summer parent letter below.
Students are permitted to bring in goodies to be shared with classmates. Given the current demands of the curriculum, we cannot have birthday parties for students (no balloons, candles, party favors, hats, etc.). However, parents can arrange an appropriate time for treats to be shared with the class by contacting the classroom teacher. It is the parent’s responsibility to make arrangements with the teacher to identify a date and time to honor your child’s birthday. Non-MCPS or TPES children are not permitted in the classrooms. In the event that a Non-MCPS child must accompany you, teachers can arrange for the celebration to be held in a common area of the building.
Virtual Parent Academy Workshops
Montgomery County Public Schools is hosting workshops for parents on a variety of subjects. Please use the link below to access the web page that outlines the workshop topics during the months of January, February and March.
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