Mr. Carothers Weekly Update May 10-15, 2020

Hello, Poolesville Students, Staff, and Parents,

Good afternoon and Happy Mother’s Day. I hope everybody has an opportunity to tell their mothers, grandmothers, and all maternal role models in our lives how important they are. Thank you to the mothers of our students for entrusting us with their care and education, and thank you to the mothers on staff for caring for our students like you care for your own children. I hope you have enjoyed the day.

Last week, MCPS announced the multiple measures that will be considered when determining if a student will earn a “Pass” for the fourth marking period.  You can find that announcement HERE.  Teachers will continue to use their gradebooks as a tool to provide feedback and track assignment completion, but the traditional meaning we attach to these grades have changed.  Instead of seeing “0”s or “Z”s, you may see a blank or “X”; please follow up with your student to ensure the assignments that are blank have been completed.  If you have any questions about the recorded assignments, please reach out to the teacher for clarification.  Students’ successful completion of the course for MP4 will be determined by meeting at least two of the following measures:

  1. Assignment Completion: Completes assignments on a consistent basis (at least 50 percent of assignments)
  2. Content and Skills: Demonstrates understanding of concepts or applications of skills on assignments turned in through grades, scales, or other rubrics.  
  3. Engagement: Consistently engages by attending scheduled teacher check-ins, ongoing communication with the teacher, or other activities, such as discussion boards or digital classroom activities.
  4. Teacher Professional Judgment: Based on the body of evidence and holistic view of a student’s performance within the context of the circumstances caused by the pandemic, when it benefits the student.  

Student engagement remains the primary focus, so I want to encourage students to attend their scheduled check-ins with their teachers and have attached the schedule we have been using since April 27.  Many teachers are creating wonderful learning and extension opportunities, relationship-building activities, and additional areas of support to help unscramble confusion and ensure success on the week’s meaningful assessments.  When you are able, please attend these check-ins so you are able to have your learning reinforced. 

This is a busy week for Poolesville High School.  AP exams start tomorrow.  I have attached resources that were sent on Friday afternoon to help with student access and preparation for these assessments.  Teachers will also be supportive and flexible with students as they prepare for and take these assessments under unprecedented circumstances.  I wish all of our Falcons the best of luck on their exams!

In honor of the first week of the AP Exams, the PHS SGA is sponsoring a Mindfulness Spirit Week to encourage students to take a moment to de-stress and be mindful.  I look forward to seeing the participation on social media.  Be sure to tag me in your posts (@MrCarothersPHS on Instagram and Twitter), so I can see how you find times to focus on your own mental and emotional wellness!  See below for the schedule for the week:

  • Mindfulness Monday (5/11) - Show us where you relax and find peace
  • Take a Stroll Tuesday (5/12) - Post where you like to go on walks
  • Waggy Wednesday (5/13) - Introduce us to your adorable pets
  • Thank you Thursday (5/14) - Share a message to show gratitude
  • Food for Thought Friday (5/15) - Let’s see your favorite healthy snack or meal

Our PTSA is hosting a virtual PTSA meeting this Thursday (5/14) from 7:00-8:30 pm.  This meeting will provide opportunities to ask questions and receive clarity on a variety of topics of concern, such as grades and GPA, graduation, AP tests, Prom and Post Prom, Athletics, Continuity of Learning, and the SAT/ACT.  Please use this LINK to enter the Zoom meeting.  The meeting ID is 785 7141 1620 and the password is 7VZ0vH.  I look forward to seeing you there. 

As a reminder, your most updated and official area for information is the MCPS Coronavirus website:  Coronavirus - MCPS.  I have provided some resources and information below:

  • MCPS Continuity of Learning webpage 
  • May 10 MCPS Community Update - This message includes information on Phase III of online learning, recovery plans, and celebrations for the Class of 2020.  
  • Marking Period 4 Grading - This link includes information and a helpful video that provides an overview of the grading and reporting concepts (semester grades, GPA) that the Board of Education will discuss on May 12.  
  • Coronavirus Update - This is an update from MCPS after State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced that all Maryland schools are to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.  
  •  Food Assistance Resource Map and  Weekend Bag Program - These links provide information regarding food/grocery access beyond the MCPS school meal sites.   
  • Reminder: you can pick up or exchange Chromebooks and MiFi devices at 45 West Gude Dr. from 10:00 am-12:00 pm each weekday.  Families should wear masks and bring their child’s student ID number with them.  For the technical needs of any student or parent during remote learning, the technology help line is 240-740-7022. 

Thank you to all of the parents and students that sent personalized messages to make our staff feel appreciated this past week.  We may be separated due to the pandemic, but I was touched by the messages of mutual appreciation and togetherness I saw this week.  Thank you.  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

ap-student-exam-day-checklist.pdf (1597.7 KB)
CoL_-_Beginning_April_27.pdf (138.1 KB)
Disable_the_Grammarly_browser_extension_for_AP_Exams.pdf (186.8 KB)