Attendance & Back-To-School Night Message

Hello, Poolesville Students, Staff, and Parents,

Good evening.  I wanted to provide updates on Back to School Night and Attendance Procedures.  In addition, please remember that we are following a ½ Day, B Day schedule this Friday, September 4.     

Back to School Night

Back to School Night is a wonderful opportunity to hear from your child's teachers and other school staff important to their school experience this year.  Though we cannot meet in person for the event, we have put together an informative set of resources for you that includes both pre-recorded videos and live Zoom meetings.  

Back to School Night will begin at 5pm TOMORROW (Thursday, September 3), when you will view teacher introduction videos for each class in your child's schedule.  You'll also hear from the administrative team, our counseling department, our library staff, and the PTSA.  From 5 to 7pm, you can "visit" teachers and the other groups listed; the links to their videos will also be available to you for viewing at a later date. 

From 7 - 8:30pm we will host Zoom meetings for each house (Global, Humanities, ISP, SMCS), grade levels (9, 10, 11, 12), and our athletics program.  You will need to be logged into an MCPS email account to have access to the meetings; you can use your child’s account for this purpose.  

All links, addresses, and passwords will be shared via Classroom/Canvas, ConnectEd (email), and the school website by 4:45 p.m. tomorrow.   

Back to School Night Schedule

5:00- 7:00pm   Visit teachers and other school staff (pre-recorded)

7:00- 7:25pm   House meetings (live Zoom session)

7:30- 7:55pm   Grade level meetings (live Zoom session)

8:00-8:30pm    Athletics/Booster Club meeting (live Zoom session) 

Finally, in order to make the most of our live sessions, I invite you to complete this brief survey that solicits information for teachers about your child and any questions you have about their house experiences this year.  The survey may be taken any time prior to Thursday night; we will address frequently asked questions in the results during the various live meetings. 

Please email with any questions or concerns.  


If your child is unable to attend a live lesson on the assigned day, please have them view the recorded lesson and complete the classroom tasks.  Once this is completed, you will fill out an attendance form.  You can find that form at this LINK.  It is also on the front page of our website, labeled “Live Virtual Attendance Absence Form.”  

I would also like to clarify the attendance procedures for the following special periods in our schedule.  

  • Falcon Advisory Period (Tuesday Afternoons) - Teachers will take attendance based on who attends the live activity.  If a student is unable to attend, they are encouraged to view the video or complete the activity and complete the Live Virtual Attendance Absence Form.  
  • Virtual Check-In (Wednesday Schedules) - Students only have to attend the live class if they need or support or the teacher has required them to attend for any extra help.  Attendance will be taken through a short “quiz” for each class, asking if a student needs support on that day.  Even if a student indicates “No,” meaning they do not need support, they have still engaged with the teacher in the class, and they will be marked Present.  Because Wednesday is still an instructional day, I want to be sure students are engaged with their teachers, even if through a brief, one-question “quiz” to determine attendance. 
  • Falcon Independent Time (FIT) (Friday Afternoons) - Unless they are involved in a club meeting or other activity, there is no live requirement for students during this time.  However, students will be asked to respond to a question on a discussion board in their Advisory/Homeroom myMCPS Classroom page indicating how they will be utilizing their FIT time.  This discussion board posting will be the method of collecting attendance for FIT.  

You can email me with any questions you may have about these procedures.  If you received notice that your student was marked absent from a class today, it will be adjusted to “Present” tomorrow due to a lack of communication on my part about these procedures and expectations.  

Consent Forms

Poolesville High School may utilize a variety of supplemental online digital tools to reinforce the district’s instructional program. In the list included on the Google Form below, you will find supplemental tools that may be used by Poolesville High School’s teachers. These tools have been evaluated to be safe for student use and are consistent with federal laws on student data privacy.

Poolesville High School requests your consent to allow your student to use the supplemental tools listed, as these tools may collect personally identifiable student information, such as first and last name, classroom teacher, or grade level. This information is typically collected by online digital tools to enable use of the tool and to track student progress.  The description, terms of service, and the privacy policy of the supplemental tools are provided on the MCPS Data Privacy and Security website.  If you choose not to provide consent for your student to use the above tools, alternative instructional activities will be provided.  Please complete the  Google form to submit your permission for these important supplemental digital tools.

Thank you for all of your support, and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow night. 

Falcons Fly High!

Mark A. Carothers