Mr. Carothers Weekly Update June 7-13, 2020

Hello, Poolesville Students, Staff, and Parents,

Good afternoon.  As protests have continued throughout the week, I want to thank the staff and students that have engaged in powerful conversations about racial inequity and injustices of our society and systems.  There is still much work to be done as a society and as a school community, and I look forward to continuing that work together.  To help provide all staff, students, and families with timely and relevant supports and resources, the MCPS Equity Initiatives Unit developed An Educator’s Guide to this Moment.  

This week is the final week of the Continuity of Learning online model.  There will be limited live instruction on Monday and Tuesday, as staff will be participating in Teacher Close-Out and the Class of 2020 virtual graduation ceremony.  This past week, students received information in their email concerning the finalization of their second semester grades.  Students will be assigned a Pass or Incomplete for MP4 by their teacher, based on the established criteria sent on May 3.  Students have the option of a letter grade or Pass/Incomplete for the final semester grade.  Please use the detailed directions sent to your email and this HELP GUIDE to access the Grading Options Tool.  Students must make their choice for each class by June 12.  

This Tuesday, June 9, at 12:00 will be the Poolesville High School Class of 2020 virtual graduation.  The ceremony will be available on the PHS website. MCPS will provide the link to the graduation ceremony through our website at the assigned graduation time.  I encourage all staff, students, parents, and community members to view the ceremony at noon on Tuesday.  Additionally, I also encourage all members of the PHS communities to view the MCPS systemwide Universal Graduation Celebration this evening at 6:00 p.m.  This celebration will pay tribute to more than 10,500 seniors and feature Jose Andres, chef, humanitarian, and founder of World Central Kitchen as the commencement speaker.  You can view the Universal Graduation Celebration on the MCPS website, Cozi TV, or MCPS TV.  In a show of solidarity with our seniors, the PHS staff shared photos from their senior years to create a VIDEO.  Congratulations, Class of 2020 graduates!

As a reminder, your most updated and official area for information are the MCPS Coronavirus and Continuity of Learning websites.  I have provided some resources and information below:

  • The June 7 MCPS Community Update includes information on summer school programs, the new grading options tool, and the end-of-year close out process.  
  • Food Assistance Resource Map: The Montgomery County Food Council created an interactive map of food assistance providers and benefits application assistance sites in Montgomery County. It is searchable by location, food assistance type, accessibility and many other special features. This resource can give principals and families a quick view of local resources in their area. The information indicates where, when and how to access the resources. **We would caution parents and staff supporting parents to pay particular attention to how one qualifies to access food as some sites state requirements.
  • Weekend Bag Program: MCPS, Manna Food Center, and Women Who Care Ministries are distributing weekend backpacks with groceries to the families of MCPS students each Friday. The location of distribution sites and times are listed at the bottom of the webpage.
  • Mental Health Resources: Sheppard Pratt Hosts Virtual “Lunch & Learn” Series for Mental Health Awareness Month, Virtual Crisis Walk-In Clinic, and Behavioral health

Next week’s update will include the final information for students’ retrieval of personal items and textbook/materials return, to occur beginning June 16.  Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, and I will continue to keep you informed with any updated information. 

Falcons Fly High!

Mark A. Carothers
Poolesville High School