Mr. Carothers Weekly Update May 17-23, 2020

Hello, Poolesville Students, Staff, and Parents,

Good afternoon.  This is another busy week for Poolesville High School, even though we are not in the physical school building.  This week is the second week of AP Exams.  I know you will continue to do well, Falcons! 

Also, the final day for seniors is this Friday, May 22.  As a result, there are several things seniors must complete this week as we await more information and planning for the Virtual Graduation Ceremonies for MCPS and PHS.  First, the Senior Naviance Survey is due TOMORROW, May 18.  Please follow the directions that were sent to you in order to complete.  Also, our Senior Awards Night is this Tuesday at 6:30 pm to recognize many of our seniors for their amazing accomplishments.  The invited seniors and parents were sent an invitation with the Zoom information through Naviance.  Please contact Ms. Martin at if you have any questions about the Senior Survey or Senior Awards Night. 

Our planning for the PHS Virtual Graduation Ceremony is in its early stages.  If any seniors are interested in speaking or performing, please send your submission video to Ms. Grubb at  Speeches and performances should be kept to approximately three minutes and the audition videos must be received by Wednesday, May 20.  The graduation committee will review all submissions and select the students that will be speaking and/or performing at the ceremony.  Also in preparation for graduation, look for announcements concerning the cap, gown, and regalia distribution in the coming days.  We are looking to collect senior items (books, athletic uniforms and equipment, etc.) when we distribute materials in the next week, so please get those items ready.  If you have not had the opportunity to purchase your cap and gown, please contact Ms. Grubb or Ms. Krouner ( if you have any questions. 

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:

  • May 17 Community Update - Includes information concerning Phase III of Online Learning, grading and reporting, academic eligibility for extracurricular activities, retrieval of personal items for schools, budget, SMOB, LGBTQ+ Virtual Town Hall, college admissions process, and the MCPS Teacher of the Year.  
  • The Board of Education has approved a revised grading policy for elementary, middle, and high school students for the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year.  As part of this change, secondary students will be able to choose between a “Pass” and a letter grade.  More information can be found HERE. I will provide more details concerning how this choice will be collected, when this will occur, and guidance on making the choice as they become available.  Any Incompletes from Marking Period 3 must be resolved by Friday, May 29.  
  • All In Blog Post by Dr. Smith 
  • SMOB Elections will occur on Wednesday, May 20.  Please see the link for the information about the candidates.  Additionally, a reminder will be sent out on Tuesday afternoon (5/19).  Please contact with any questions.  
  • There will be a follow-up college night for Juniors on Thursday, May 21, from 6:30-7:30 pm.  Information has been sent to juniors and parents through Naviance.  
  •  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.

Finally, I want to end this week’s message with two videos from PHS.  First, the PHS Hero Club, led by Ms. Nagy, created an inspiring and uplifting video featuring their club members and many members of the PHS staff.  You can view that video HERE.  The PTSA held a virtual meeting this past Thursday, where over 125 parents were able to ask and hear responses to many questions concerning graduation, AP exams, grading policies for the fourth marking period and second semester, item pickup/distribution, and student wellness.  Thank you to all that attended.  If you want to listen to the questions and responses, you can view the video at this LINK

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