Montgomery Blair High School Parent Teacher Student Association
Volume 11 Issue 1 October/November 2005
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Welcome to Montgomery Blair High School. The 2005-2006 school year has gotten off to
a terrific start. Your students are our first priority. Our goal is to provide all students with
the tools and support required to be successful. Please encourage your son or daughter to
come to school prepared (ID, Student Assignment Book, class assignments), get plenty of
rest, and eat breakfast. Working together, we can ensure the success of our students as
they develop into young men and women who will soon graduate and begin a new
adventure in college or the workforce.
IN THIS ISSUE As part of the 9th Grade Academy, we have begun a Saturday Enrichment Program for
our 9th graders. The plan is to assist students with additional academic support and to
offer an alternative to in-school suspension (ISS) for students who have difficulty staying
focused in class. Our objective is to keep students engaged and in class during the regular
school day. We have already received positive feedback from the parents of students that
have participated in the Saturday Enrichment Program.
After Prom All students have been issued a Student Assignment Book. The Student Assignment
page 4 Book remains an excellent resource for communication between home and school. I
encourage you to set aside a regular time each week to review the contents of your
New Grading Policy child’s Assignment Book with him or her.
In addition to using the Student Assignment Book, you may also contact a member of our
staff by telephone or via e-mail. The Montgomery Blair Parent Handbook is another
great reference for you. The Parent Handbook was mailed to each home at the beginning
of the school year. Included in the Handbook you will find the 2005-2006 school year
calendar, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, information on BEN, attendance, athletics,
etc. If you did not receive one, please contact our Main Office.
Membership Form Together, we can provide a positive and successful high school experience for your child.
Volunteer Needs Phillip F. Gainous, Principal
PTSA Calendar ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
Infor mación en Español
Se puede encontrar en la página web de la PTSA http://ptsa.mbhs.edu el formulario en
español para la compra de frutas cítricas. (La venta de frutas recauda fondos para el
beneficio de Blair High y sus estudiantes.) También tenemos el formulario para afiliarse a
la Asociación de Padres de Familia, Maestras y Estudiantes (PTSA por sus siglas en
inglés.) Para más información sobre la PTSA y sus actividades, llame a Rosa Sánchez
301-270-8667 o RosaSanchez1@verizon.net
Montgomery Blair High School on the Web at www.MBHS.EDU
2 Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer
Welcome to 2005-2006 at Blair!
For several years now, your PTSA has emphasized three We’ve made some progress in increasing teacher use of
themes – student achievement, communication, and BEN, so you can check in on your student’s classes
outreach. We’ve made some important progress on each electronically. (Don’t have a BEN account? Sign up on
theme. the Blair website, www.mbhs.edu.)
Lots of research (as well as common sense) links student Luckily, we have a great communications team. Barbara
achievement with high expectations from adults who care Tobias heads up the Blazer staff, backed up by Carol
about the students. The most important adults in most Lindeman, Virginia Kelly, Rosemary Hodges, and Michael
students’ lives are their parents and other family members. O’Hora. Together, they write, edit, assemble, and distrib-
Young people learn from what they see as much as from ute this wonderful newsletter to every Blair family. Barry
what we tell them. If they see you volunteering at Blair, Johnson keeps our web page up-to-date and looking good
they can’t help but realize that you value education. We (http://ptsa.mbhs.edu). And what would we do without
are a very lucky community to have found Beth Martin to Dave Ottalini, listserv manager extraordinaire! (If you
step into Bonnie Malkin’s shoes as Volunteer Coordinator. haven’t yet done so, go to the web page and join the
Beth is recruiting Blair parents and guardians, as well as listserv to get up-to-the-minute information and keep up to
other adults, to volunteer in classrooms, clubs, sports, the speed on issues of concern.) At the top of our communi-
office, and special events. If you have time and interest in cations wish list is a parent or team of parents who would
volunteering at Blair (tutoring students, assisting a volunteer to spearhead an analysis of communication
classroom teacher, supporting our overloaded administra- gaps and a public relations campaign to let the wider world
tive and counseling staff, or doing any of the other things know about Blair’s triumphs, events, and ongoing needs.
that help make Blair a great school), please contact Beth
(301- 587-8404, or email@example.com). We’ve worked very hard to improve PTSA outreach,
especially outreach to underrepresented groups. Last
Bonnie Malkin, meanwhile, has moved up. As PTSA Vice year, the PTSA’s Counseling Advisory Committee
President for Academic Issues, she will make sure we partnered with the Blair Counseling Department to
know about the County’s new Grading and Reporting sponsor a special Transition from High School program, in
system, so we will understand how teachers are measuring Spanish. The PTSA is planning to purchase simultaneous
student achievement. Our November 15 meeting will focus translation equipment this year, to make it easier for non-
on grading and reporting. English-speaking parents to participate in various meet-
ings at the school. The PTSA also helped bring
As we all know, however, there is more to student achieve- Conquista Tus Suenos to the Blair Cluster—a six-session
ment than grades. There are as well those infernal tests, parent empowerment program to help Spanish-speaking
and more tests, and more tests. Some of us think parents/guardians learn how to navigate the school
America’s mania for testing has gone way, way over the system to support their children’s education, and to
edge, but since our schools (as well as our students) are achieve their own dreams as well. One outcome of our
judged by test scores, it is incumbent upon all of us to get popular and well-attended Conquista program was a
those test scores up. The PTSA plays a supporting role in promise from Board of Education president Pat O’Neill that
this enterprise, with the students and faculty in the lead. the Blair Cluster would have another Conquista program
For example, Vice President for Administration Ron this year. Another outcome is that Conquista participant
McClain and other PTSA members have weighed in on Rosa Sanchez volunteered to lead the PTSA’s Latino
Blair’s School Improvement Plan. Also, with support from Family Outreach efforts. Now, we need a similar program
PTSA Secretary Sara Rosen and representatives of MCPS in Amharic, for all our Ethiopian families.
and community groups, Blair staffer Jose Segura led the
Blair AfterSchool Sports Academy, organizing students continued on page 3
into soccer leagues, and providing them with academic
support as well. Sports Academy students’ grades rose,
Montgomery Blair PTSA Blazer
and discipline referrals declined. The PTSA is working
Printed by Omniprint
with County Council President Tom Perez to ensure
continuing funding for that program. Editor: Barbara Tobias, VintageB1@aol.com
Communication continues to be a struggle, especially in
Assisted by: Virginia Myers Kelly, Carol Lindeman,
such a large school where so many different languages are
Rosemary Hodges, and Michael O’Hora
spoken. We continue to strengthen our partnership with
the administrative and teaching staff at Blair to make sure Next copy deadline is November 15, 2005
you get the information you need, and to get your
questions answered—often the same day—on the listserv.
Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer 3
Comm unication is key
Principal chats with Phil Gainous
Continued from page 2
Special thanks are due to many, many people. We’ll name
just a few here. To Treasurer Sonni Mallinoff, who is Mr. Gainous, MBHS principal, is again hosting “Principal’s
dragging us kicking and screaming to meet the Maryland Chats” this year in an effort to communicate better with
PTA’s high standards. To Cluster Representative Ray Blair parents. The first chat took place in late September;
Scannell, and MCCPTA Delegates Linda Simon and Herb the next is scheduled for Thursday Nov. 10, from 7 to 8
Edelstein, for ably representing Blair’s interests. And most a.m.
of all, to Principal Phil Gainous and Assistant Principal
(and PTSA liaison) Linda Wanner, who attend all our Come prepared to join Mr. Gainous and some of the PTSA
meetings, listen to our complaints, address our issues, and leadership for a cup of coffee and informal conversation.
keep things on a generally even keel. Other PTSA leaders There is no agenda, so come with whatever questions or
are featured elsewhere in this issue of the Blazer, and will issues are on your mind. (The only thing that will be off-
show up in future issues as well. Luckily, we have such a limits will be issues concerning your individual child only;
large team of leaders that it is impossible to mention all this is NOT the time to address those concerns.)
their names in this one letter! For those of you new to Blair, we initiated these chats last
Finally, please, join the PTSA (see related article on page year, when it became clear that, for many parents, the
12 in this issue). Even if you can’t make it to the meetings opportunity to hear from and talk with Mr. Gainous was
(generally the third Tuesday of the month, in the Media what they liked best about PTSA meetings. Mr. Gainous
Center), your membership in PTSA indicates your support will continue to report to us at those meetings, but this is
for all the parent volunteers, teachers, and students who another, less structured opportunity to exchange ideas
are working hard every day to make Blair such a terrific with him. Please stop in, whether you have something
place for learning and community. And don’t forget to specific on your mind or whether you just want to get to
order lots of healthy fruit through our Citrus Sale (see know our principal a bit better.
order form on page 5). Every orange you eat helps the
PTSA support our school.
Fran Rothstein and Deborah Stoll Donate your books to
Blair PTSA Co-Presidents omery
Blair’s 9th grade Connections classes need books that
students can read for pleasure. Having these books
readily available will help encourage students to read.
If you have books that you no longer need, please donate
CO-PRESIDENT them to Blair. You may ask your child to bring your books
Fran Rothstein 301-588-5976 to Blair’s media center, or you may email or call me and I
Fran.firstname.lastname@example.org will pick up books on Friday, October 21. Please leave the
Deborah Stoll 301--891-2676 books on your front porch, with my name on them.
email@example.com We need both fiction and non-fiction books in good
VP Academic Achievement condition that are appropriate for 9th grade
Bonnie Malkin 301-231-9859 students. (Please do not donate college level books).
firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for your support.
SECRETARY Bonnie Malkin, 301-231-9859, or email@example.com
Sara Rosen 301-622-2888
Sonya Mallinoff 301-589-4948 Keep up with the latest
firstname.lastname@example.org Montgomery Blair High School News.
Linda Simon email@example.com
Silver Chips Online
Herb Edelstein firstname.lastname@example.org http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/
4 Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer
NEW g r ading and r epor ting Community News
procedures for high schools
Free wireless Internet access available in
After considering extensive input from school administra- new Downtown Silver Spring
tors, staff, families, and organizations, MCPS has reconsid-
ered and revised its initial plans for implementing grading Fast becoming the hottest spot in town, Downtown Silver
and reporting (G & R) in Montgomery County high Spring now is also a hotspot for free public wireless
schools. Blair families received this information in multiple Internet access via the new Silver Spring Wireless Fidelity
ways: the county mailed the new procedures to every (SS Wi-Fi) network
students’ home in August; homeroom teachers distributed Thanks to a collaboration between Montgomery County
a handout to all students during the first week of school; and Atlantech Online, Inc. (AOI), outdoor street-level
teachers explained their grading processes the first week Internet access is now available in Downtown Silver
of school and at Blair’s Back-To-School Night (Sept. 8); Spring. The SS Wi-Fi service area is roughly bounded by
and information was e-mailed to all members of Blair’s Colesville Road, Fenton Street, Wayne Avenue and
PTSA listserv with a link to the Montgomery County web Ramsey Avenue. For an SS Wi-Fi service area map and
page on grading and reporting (www.mcps.k12.md.us/info/ more information visit http://www.silverspringwifi.com.
grading). If you have questions about grading and
reporting, here’s how to get answers: Wireless access is also available in five of the County’s
public libraries—Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Silver
1. Questions/concerns about your student’s grade on Spring and Wheaton. Users can bring their wireless-
assignments or in a particular subject: enabled laptop computers or other wireless devices to any
Contact the teacher. If your questions/concerns are not of these five libraries and get on the Internet for free.
satisfactorily addressed, follow the chain of command at
Blair, e.g., contact the department head/resource teacher.
(A directory of all department chairs is located on the Keep infor med—sign up
Internet at www.mbhs.edu/about/contact.html) and a list of listserv
for the PTSA listser v
all department chairs are on page four of the Blair Parent
Handbook mailed to all families this past summer. As much as we try, the Blair Blazer cannot possibly
accommodate all of the pertinent and useful information
2. Questions/concerns about how a Blair department is
that Blair families need. Enter the PTSA listserv. It is the
implementing G & R:
best way to keep on top of Blair school and community
Contact the department chair.
news. Send an e-mail to blairptsanet-subscribe@yahoo
3. Questions/concerns about Blair High School’s imple- groups.com to subscribe. If you want to be a part of the
mentation of the county G & R procedures: Yahoo group but do not want daily e-mails clogging your
Contact Jennifer Craft, Blair’s Staff Development Teacher inbox, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/, create a user ID
at email@example.com or 301-649-2800. and password, and once you are in the blairptsanet group
you can manage how you receive listserv postings by
4. Questions/concerns about the county G & R proce- clicking on “edit membership.”
Contact MCPS at http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/info/ Principal featured in
If you still have questions/concerns that are not being
satisfactorily answered through Blair’s chain of command Blair Principal Phil Gainous is featured prominently in the
or by the county, you may contact your Blair PTSA October issue of The School Administrator magazine
contact, Bonnie Malkin, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-231- addressing the dilemma posed by vending machines at
9859. She will try to put you in touch with someone who high schools. In an article titled “Mending Vending,” the
can help. principal discusses the challenge of generating funds
through the vending machines for essential student needs
All Blair families are encouraged to attend the PTSA
while addressing the nutritional merits of the snacks and
meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 7:30 p.m. in the Blair
beverages that are available. The magazine hired Chris
media center. At this time, Jennifer Craft will speak about G
Consolino, a photographer for Silver Chips Online, to
& R at Blair and answer audience questions. You do not
shoot a photo of Mr. Gainous for the article.
have to be a member of the PTSA to attend this or any
other PTSA meeting—all families are welcome. The article can be read on the magazine’s website
(www.aasa.org). Jay P. Goldman, father of a Blair senior, is
the editor of The School Administrator, a monthly
magazine for school superintendents nationwide.
Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer 5
MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL PTSA FUND-RAISER – CITRUS SALE
NOW THROUGH MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2005
This is the annual citrus sale
fund-raiser for the PTSA and we
are counting on you to help Last Name ______________________ First Name __________________
make this year’s sale a success!
We are once again ordering
Address ________________________________________ Zip __________
citrus fruit from Florida’s Indian
River. It will arrive in time for the
holidays. Your past support has Phone Numbers (H) (____)_____________ (W) (_____)_______________
been excellent. Please share
this information widely with E-Mail Address ________________________________________________
friends, family and co-workers.
ORDER DEADLINE: Item Size Number of Boxes Price Total
Monday, November 14, 2005
Navel Oranges 2/5 Bushel _____________ $ 18 _______
THE CITRUS SALE FEATURES:
Fresh Florida Indian-River
Navel Oranges 4/5 Bushel _____________ $ 30 ________
Citrus: Navel Oranges, Red
Grapefruit, Tangelos, and Hamlin
(juice) Oranges. You can order Red Grapefruit 2/5 Bushel _____________ $ 18 _______
either 2/5 bushel (about 20
pounds of fruit) or 4/5 bushel Red Grapefruit 4/5 Bushel ____________ $ 30 _______
(about 40 pounds of fruit).
Tangelos 2/5 Bushel ____________ $ 18 _________
FRUIT FOR SHEPHERD’S
TABLE: You can help our com- Tangelos 4/5 Bushel ____________ $ 30 _________
munity by buying fruit for
Shepherd’s Table in Silver
Hamlin Oranges 2/5 Bushel ____________ $ 18 _______
Spring. Indicate the number of
boxes you would like to donate
to Shepherd’s Table on the Hamlin Oranges 4/5 Bushel _____________ $ 30 _______
order form and the PTSA will
deliver them for you. Fruit for donation to Shepherd’s Table __________ $ 18 ________
SEND ORDER TO: I’d like to make a contribution to the PTSA $ _________
PTSA Citrus Sale
c/o Montgomery Blair HS
GRAND TOTAL (DUE WITH ORDER) $ ____________
51 University Boulevard East
Silver Spring, MD 20901
Make checks payable to Montgomery Blair High School PTSA
Fruit will be available for pick-up Complete the following to pay with your credit card.
on Saturday, December 10,
2005, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., at the
Blair stadium concession stand VISA Mastercard Amount $_________ Expiration date _______
on University Boulevard. You will
be contacted to remind you of
the pick-up date so be sure to _____________________________ ____________________
include a phone number and e- Card # V-code 3 digits from back of card
Name on card
Contact for more information:
Chris Simpson 301-589-8504 __________________________________________________________________
email@example.com Address (including zip)
Carol Lindeman 301-589-8578
6 Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer
Help us help a Blair kid After Prom—
over come alcohol and dr ugs It’s nev earl
It’s never too ear l y!
Blair, like many schools across Maryland, has a Maryland Blair parents will again be hosting After Prom in June.
Student Assistance Program (MSAP) intervention team. Think of After Prom as a large party/event that is free to
Our team CONFIDENTIALLY helps parents get help for all Blair students in the 11th and 12th grade. It is designed
children who are involved with drugs and alcohol. to show these students how happy we are that they are in
their final days of high school and to give them a safe
Parents, staff, and students refer names of at-risk students (drug and alcohol free) place to celebrate together. The
to our team. Then, our team collects data from teachers After Prom Committee will be sending out requests for
and other staff who might know the student. Then, donations and help starting soon—June may seem far
usually, our team contacts the parent and asks permission away, but early action is required to make this a success-
to schedule a professional assessor, possibly here at Blair. ful event.
The assessor talks with the student privately in the
structured assessment. Then the assessor reports to the If you are interested in joining the planning committee or
parent. Safe and Drug Free Schools pays for the assess- want to know what you can do to help us now, please
ment, so neither Blair nor the parent pays a penny. contact Will Ramsey, After Prom Coordinator at
William_Ramsey@fc.mcps.k12.md.us (301) 270-3305 or
Over the years, our work has revealed to Blair parents Carol Lindeman, firstname.lastname@example.org (301) 589-8578.
many serious conditions including depression, eating
disorders, as well as alcohol and drug abuse. Empowered
with this information and with referrals to treatment
programs, parents have helped their children manage their Counseling News:
situations. To ensure confidentiality, we do not share College application
student names with MCPS or anyone else. We destroy
our records every year.
Where do you fit in? TCCi Family Connections Program:
If students have not signed up for TCCi, they should
Please refer to us names of students who could use help. go to the Career Center to sign up. The TCCi program
Look for warning signs such as absenteeism, detachment has a variety of resources to aid students in the
Annual Mulch Sale
from parents, changes in friends, and decreased school
performance. Err on the side of safety—send us the name.
college/career search process and will help students
track their college application process.
Please encourage your son/daughter to refer names to us Seniors and Parents:
of students who could use help. Reassure them that Students who are applying to a college with a Nov. 1
MSAP referral does NOT lead to school punishment. Early Action or Early Decision deadline should have
You can give the names to me without including your own submitted transcript requests to the Registrar’s office
name. Email me at email@example.com or by September 28. Counselors visited all of the
leave a message for me at (301) 649-2851. There are also English classes at the end of September/beginning of
forms and submission boxes in the Blair Health Room October to explain the transcript request process to all
(Room 140), the Blair Media Center, and the Blair Guidance students. Comprehensive information about transcript
Office. Thank you! requests was also sent through TCCi. Please see your
counselor if you need assistance or have any ques-
Dave West, Social Studies teacher tions about the transcript request process.
Remember, we are here to help you through the
college process but we need you to do your part. Pay
SORRY, NO DELIVERIES
SORRY attention to the registrar’s deadlines for submitting
your transcript requests, and complete your Trail-
The staff reminds parents that when they bring blazer packet information in a timely fashion. We
forgotten items to the front office, students are guarantee that your transcripts will be sent by your
responsible for stopping by to pick them up without college deadline if you adhere to our deadlines.
any contact from the office. The office cannot deliver
such items or contact students in class. Money If you have any questions about any of this informa-
cannot be held for students under any circum- tion, please see your counselor.
stances. Thank you for your cooperation. Marcia Johnson, Resource Counselor
Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer 7
MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL
PTSA MEMBERSHIP FORM
PHONE (H) _____________________ (W)_________________________(cell)______________________
E-MAIL _________________________________________Child(ren)?s Grade(s)___________________
9 Basic membership $10.00.....................Full membership + Blair calendar
9 Educator membership $25.00.....................Above + 2 safety reflectors
9 Principal membership $50.00.....................Above + Blair T-shirt
9 Supt. membership $100.00...................Above + 1 (cultural) season pass all Blair student performances
9 Postmaster General* $250.00...................Above + 1 additional cultural pass + 2 passes for home athletic events
* Montgomery Blair served as Postmaster General in the Lincoln Cabinet
Please make check payable to BLAIR PTSA Or charge your credit card (see form at bottom)
Send to: PTSA Membership, 51 University Boulevard East, Silver Spring, MD 20901
or put in the PTSA box in the school office
Your help is needed in the school and on PTSA committees. Please try to give a few hours this year!
A volunteer coordinator will be in touch with you. Check areas where you want to help!
9 Blair Band & Orch. Patrons (B-BOP) 9 Blair African-American and Hispanic Issues Committee
9 Chorus Boosters 9 Special needs advocacy 9 PTSA Membership Committee
9 Athletic Boosters 9 Counseling Advisory Committee 9 Staff appreciation / recognition
9 Grant writing 9 NAACP Parents’ Council 9 Blazer – PTSA newsletter
9 General graphics / newsletter help 9 Blair Education Foundation 9 After Prom
9 Clerical work at home 9 Public Safety Committee 9 Mini Grants Committee
9 Clerical work at school 9 Conquista tus sueños parent 9 Citrus Sale
9 Classroom aid empowerment program 9 Silent Auction
9 Lunchroom monitor 9 Tutoring 9 Attendance checker
9 Academic excellence 9 Any task / as-needed 9 Translation
9 Monitoring / mentoring troubled students (SHARP) 9 Other __________________________
CREDIT CARD INFORMATION
9 Visa 9 Mastercard Amount: $__________ Expiration date_____________
Card # _______________________________________________________ V-code on back of card (last 3 digits)_________
Name on card_______________________________________________Signature______________________________________
Address (including zip)______________________________________________________________________________________
8 Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer
Pedestrian safety—a critical issue
In the mid-1990s, the local press was ablaze with contro- out of cars. And please emphasize to your children the
versy over the construction of a new Montgomery Blair importance of crossing only in crosswalks. Students and
High School at the intersection of Rtes. 193 and 29. faculty strolling into University Boulevard before and after
Concerned parents voiced their dismay that the county school risk serious injury or death themselves, and they
would erect a school adjacent to two major state thor- put even the most conscientious motorist in the position
oughfares, and near the I-495 exit and entrance ramps. of having to make quick, and potentially fatal, decisions.
As Christy Huddle stated at the August meeting, 40 m.p.h.
Fast-forward to 2005. Even though Blair’s entrances are
is a killing speed.
set back from both University Boulevard and Colesville
Road, students approaching and leaving the building do Sally Stokes
so at great risk. A combination of factors is at play. The
sheer size of the student population; the design of the
curbs and streetscape; the posted speed limits (exces- From the 9th g rade
sively high for a school zone); the configuration of the administrators
parking lots and lanes; student drop-off and pick-up
procedures; poorly-timed crossing signals; motorists’
Info on interims and parent/
driving habits; and, significantly, pedestrian behavior teacher communication
and judgment all contribute to an unwieldy set of
challenges. This year, 9th Grade Academy teams will once again
provide smaller learning communities for our 9th grade
The PTSA is very concerned about finding solutions to students at Blair. The structures put into place last year
all of these issues, and is committed to making sure that such as teams, the 9th grade wing and Connections helped
parents become good role models to their children, both our students to have higher grade point averages and
behind the wheel and on foot. At the August PTSA higher eligibility than any previous 9th grade class at Blair
meeting, those in attendance heard from Christy Huddle, since we started collecting this data 12 years ago.
head of the County’s Pedestrian Safety Team. Huddle
asked parents to confront their own driving and pedes- One of the most important parts of our strategy for
trian styles, and to consider whether they always stop at student success involves accurate and on-going commu-
stop signs, look carefully when turning right on red, nication of student performance with students and their
observe speed limits, and cross only in crosswalks with parents or guardians. An important facet of this communi-
the walk light in their favor. Students who see their cation is teacher prepared interim progress reports.
parents bypassing these safety principles believe that
Interims will be sent home to the parents/guardians of
it’s OK for them to do the same, thus magnifying the
each 9th grader twice each quarter, to be mailed on the
problem, Huddle said.
following dates (approximate): Sept. 15, Oct. 3, Nov. 17,
Thanks to the good work of Blair parent Debbie Reed- Dec. 6, Feb. 9, Feb. 22, May 3. (Due to breaks and HSA
Gillette, countdown lights will soon be installed at the testing interims will be mailed only once in 4th quarter.)
intersections near Blair. The Student Government Also, the Connections teachers on each team receive a
Association, under the advisement of Blair history copy of the interims for all of their students. These
department faculty member Rondai Ravilious, has interims are used as the basis of an academic conference
adopted pedestrian safety as a focus issue for this between the teacher and each student. Interims are also
school year. Lauren Nestuk, lead teacher in the Media used by the team teachers in team meetings.
Literacy Academy, last year created The Blair Walk
The interim system is only one of the available avenues
Project, a program for freshman students to teach
for communication among students, parents, and teachers.
second-graders in the Blair cluster about pedestrian
We encourage parents to contact their student’s team or
safety. Instructing the younger children, Nestuk reasons,
individual teachers at any time. Team leaders and other
will help instill intelligent pedestrian behavior in high
teachers can be reached by email or telephone. This
schoolers. Mr. Gainous and the PTSA have endorsed
information can be found in BEN or in each student’s
these efforts, and we hope to see some great results
unfold over the course of the coming months.
We hope to keep in close communication with you to
In the meantime, all Blair families are urged to exercise
assure the success of our students.
care at the wheel and on foot. When driving out of the
parking lot onto Colesville Rd., please remember to Mr. James Short, Assistant Principal
maintain a single lane. Watch for sleepy students getting Dr. Andrew W. Coleman, III, Assistant Principal
Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer 9
Ne w for m gives par ents
New for giv
orm parents Volunteerism—
more options in safeguarding hat
it’s wha makes school
it’s w hat makes our school GO!
their child’s privacy Many thanks to all the parents, students and community
This year, Blair parents may have noticed a new form in members who volunteered at Blair in August and Septem-
the information packet they received prior to the start of ber. More than 50 individuals helped with such things as
the school year. This form allows parents to request the the summer mailing to parents, Back to School Night,
school not to release their child’s contact information to answering phones, distributing student IDs, and dozens of
military recruiters, while still allowing their child to be other jobs in the main office and the guidance office. The
included in things like school directories and honor roll 200-plus hours that these volunteers gave over the last
notices in newspapers. The “opt-out” form is proving to few weeks helped smooth the very complicated process of
be very popular among parents who are concerned about opening school. School administrators and staff have
their child’s privacy. repeatedly said that they couldn’t have done it without
this support from the Blair community.
The newly-formed “Committee on Recruitment Issues at
Blair” (CRIB) is working on ways to make more parents If you’re interested in volunteering at Blair, there are still
aware of the opt-out form, which must be re-submitted plenty of tasks that need doing. If you can take on any of
annually. At Back-to-School Night on Sept. 8, parent and the projects listed below, contact the MBHS PTSA
student volunteers distributing the form discovered that volunteer coordinator Beth Martin at (301) 587-8404 or e-
many parents were still unaware of it and the reason it mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
exists. Many parents had no idea that a provision of the Senior Watch Volunteers—Senior Watch, a program run
“No Child Left Behind” Act requires schools to release by 12th grade administrator Linda Wanner, supports
their child’s information to military recruiters. They were students who are struggling academically. Ms. Wanner
relieved to learn that they had the right to opt out, and needs a few people to help photocopy student plan books
many elected to do so on the spot. Altogether, 155 forms on Mondays from 7 AM to 8 AM.
were completed that night and turned in to the Main
Office. This represents almost two thirds of the total 234 Math tutors—All levels, especially if you speak Spanish.
forms that Blair has received as of September 13. We can schedule you to tutor an individual, a small group
or as an aide in a classroom.
The National PTA supports legislation that would change
current law by providing for an “opt-in” policy Teacher aids—Work in classrooms or at home preparing
where interested students and families can instead choose materials. Let us know your area of expertise and we’ll try
to request contact from military recruiters. One such to find a teacher who can use your talents.
proposed amendment is H.R. 551, the Student Privacy Grant writing coordinator—Stay on top of grant opportu-
Protection Act of 2005. The “Leave My Child nities and find people to write grants, review draft propos-
Alone” nationwide campaign provides a web page where als, and oversee the review and submission process.
individuals can sign on as co-sponsors of this legislation
at http://www.leavemychildalone.org/ Giant/Safeway fundraising—Coordinate these two “easy”
index.cfm?event=signPetition&pid=1. fundraising projects.
CRIB is also looking at other issues related to the pres- NAACP parent’s council rep—The NAACP parent’s
ence of military recruiters at Blair that concern parents and council is composed of parents from area schools. Reps
students, such as how much access to students military act as liaisons between the NAACP parent’s council, the
recruiters should have on school premises. This is pretty school and the PTSA. Attend one meeting of the NAACP
much left to each school to decide, according to Laura parent’s council each month (Saturdays) as well as the
Steinberg, Director of the Department of Reporting and monthly MBHS PTSA meetings and executive board
Regulatory Accountability for MCPS. ”There is meetings. No experience needed and you don’t have to be
currently no county-wide policy on this,” she said. a member of the NAACP to be the rep.
CRIB is working with the Montgomery County Coalition
on Recruitment Issues (MCCRI) to propose more uniform Reflections Student Art Competition Committee—This
guidelines regulating the presence of military recruiters in will be the first time Blair has participated in the nation-
schools on a county-wide basis. For more information on wide PTA-sponsored competition. Categories of competi-
this and other CRIB activities, or to contribute your ideas, tion are visual arts, literature, photography and music. We
please contact CRIB and MCCRI member Madeleine have a Reflections coordinator but she needs a committee.
Fletcher, by e-mail at email@example.com, Parent volunteers will visit classrooms to get students
or by telephone at 301-920-0721. excited about participating, help with collecting entries,
and organize an exhibit/reception for the entrants.
10 Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer
Blair outdoor water fountain SAT help fr om
—finally a reality! College Board online
Montgomery Blair High School’s PTSA has raised the MCPS has given all students access to “The Official SAT
necessary money to purchase and install an outdoor Online Course.” It couldn’t be easier:
water fountain for Blair students and other community
members who use Blair’s track, tennis courts, and athletic Go to collegeboard.com/satonlinecourseschool.
fields. Laurie Checco, Blair’s business manager, said that In the “Students” box click “Register Now” and
the fountain installation may begin as early as this fall. enter Blair’s school code, 210965.
Ms. Cynthia Changuris, Blair’s Health and Physical Sign in with your collegboard.com account or create a
Education resource teacher and the champion of the new one.
fountain, is delighted. Over the past few years, she has Eileen Steinkraus
worked with the Blair PTSA to raise the needed funds.
She recently explained, “Coaches will no longer need to New teen driving laws
lug heavy water coolers, and athletes and PE students will
have a more accessible source of clean drinking water.”
go into effect
The water fountain is handicapped accessible. It will be
Maryland is concerned about the safety of new drivers,
installed on the side of Blair near the tennis courts.
and, in response to parental pressure, a high number of
Blair extends many thanks to the contributors to the water accidents within the last year involving teenage drivers,
fountain fund, including: and recent research from national automobile safety
Blair’s Health and Physical Education Department; The groups, has strengthened the laws, especially those that
Takoma Foundation; Mi Rancho Restaurant, the only apply to drivers who are eighteen years of age and
community company (Silver Spring location) that contrib- younger. The MVA outlines the requirements for all those
uted in response to a fundraising effort initiated by a who are learning to drive and are graduating through the
student, 11th grader Rebecca Vogel; Blair PTSA; Blair Maryland Rookie Driver: Graduated Licensing System on
Athletic Boosters; Blair magnet students and Blair’s their Web site at http://www.mva.state.md.us/DriverServ/
spirit club; and Blair families, many of whom made their ROOKIEDRIVER/lawcompare.htm. Please take special
contributions in honor of Andrew Helgesson. Blair note of all the changes that occur after October 1, 2005
families include: because anyone, regardless of when they received their
Nancy and Michael Kator, Emily van Loon and Thom learner’s permit or provisional driver’s license, will be
Wolf , Jan Shaver and Larry Ropeik, James Berry and affected by the new laws. For Blair students’ reaction to
Hali Edison, Bonnie Malkin and Robert Vogel, and an the new driving laws, see the Silver Chips Online article at
anonymous contributor. http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/inside.php?sid=5595.
PTSA Minigrant application
Calling all adventurous teens!
deadline: Oct. 28, 2005
Join Venture Crew 249
Through the Minigrant Program, the Blair PTSA supports
Venturing is for young men and young women
projects initiated by students, staff, parents, or guardians.
ages 14 to 20. It offers challenging high-adventure
Please apply for funding for innovative, enriching
activities, sports, and hobbies for teenagers that teach
gradewide or schoolwide projects (up to $500 per grant) or
them leadership skills, provide opportunities to teach
small-group projects (up to $200) that might not otherwise
others, and give them an opportunity to learn and grow
have been feasible. The simple application form and
in a supporting, caring, and fun environment.
procedures are posted on the PTSA website: http://
—BSA National Council
ptsa.mbhs.edu/ptsa/. Good luck!
Intrigued? Some of our adventures last year included
service projects, caving, shotgun shooting, a ski trip, and
a week exploring Iceland in the summer. Help us plan
upcoming activities; paint ball, horseback riding and A+ BonusBucks For Schools
rappelling are some ideas on the table. Venture Crew 249 Support Montgomery Blair High School
meets every other Thursday at 7 p.m. at Marvin Memorial
Church, located at the intersection of University and
Colesville. For more information on joining our crew,
including upcoming meeting dates, contact John
O’Donnell, adult advisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.giantfood.com/aplus/
Oct/Nov 2005 Blazer 11
Athletic Booster Club news
The Blair Athletic Booster Club is looking forward to
another busy and successful year. Thank you to all of the October
parents who visited our booth at Back-to-School night, 12 PSAT Exam Day
and have volunteered to help out in the concession stand 13 Yom Kippur—No school
at Blair home games. Thanks also to our many return 18 Blair PTSA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Media Center
volunteers from last year. 21 MSTA Convention—No school
25 Montgomery County Youth Chorus Performance,
In addition to supporting the athletics program, the 7:30 p.m., Northwest High School
Booster Club has responded to other donation requests, 26 Cookie Dough sale begins! See any member of
such as After Prom and the water fountain fund. The Chamber or Women’s Choir to order
Booster Club also sponsors the Athletic Awards Ceremo- or contact Paul Newport at (301) 649-2839
nies that take place three times a year. 29 Homecoming
31 End of first marking period
You don’t have to have a student involved in sports to
help out! If you do have a child on a Blair athletic team, 1 Professional day for teachers—No school
consider volunteering in the concession stand for an 2 SGA Canned Food Drive starts
alternate sport. 10 Report cards distributed
12 Junior Maryland All-State Chorus Auditions
Please consider supporting our great athletics program. 14 Last day to order citrus (see page 5)
Stop by the concession stand during a home game and 15 Blair PTSA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Media Center
pick up a Booster Club brochure to learn more, or e-mail 18 Fall Coffeehouse, 7 p.m., SAC
Diane Martin, Boosters president, at 19 Senior Maryland All-State Chorus auditions
DianeMartin4@yahoo.com. 24-25 Holiday—Thanksgiving
Fall Spor ts Sc hedule ...Go Blaz er s
Schedule ers 10 Citrus delivery, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Blair Stadium entrance
15 Winter Instrumental Music Concert; 7 p.m.;
Oct 15 JV Football at Wheaton; 10 a.m., Field Hockey v. Spring- Auditorium
brook; 2 p.m., JV Field Hockey v. Springbrook; 3:30 p.m. 20 Blair PTSA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Media Center
Oct 17 Girls Soccer at Wheaton; 3:30 p.m., Girls Tennis v. Kennedy; 26–30 Winter break—No school
3:30 p.m., JV Boys Soccer v. Wheaton; 5 p.m., JV Girls
Soccer at Wheaton; 5:30 p.m., Boys Soccer v. Wheaton; 7 p.m. January 2006
Oct 18 Field Hockey at Einstein; 7 p.m. 2 Holiday—New Year’s
Oct 19 JV Boys Soccer at Einstein; 5 p.m., Boys Soccer at 16 Holiday—Martin L. King, Jr., Day
Einstein; 7:00 p.m. 20 End of second marking period
Oct 20 JV Girls Soccer v. Einstein; 5 p.m., JV Girls Volleyball v. 23 Professional day for teachers —No school
Kennedy; 6 p.m., Football at Kennedy; 6:30 p.m., Girls
Soccer v. Einstein; 7 p.m., Girls Volleyball v. Kennedy; February
7 p.m. 20 Holiday—Presidents’ Day
Oct 21 Field Hockey at Paint Branch; 7 p.m. 21 Blair PTSA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Media Center
Oct 22 JV Football at Kennedy; 10 a.m. March
Oct 24 Boys Soccer v. Walter Johnson; 7 p.m., Girls Soccer at 21 Blair PTSA Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Media Center
Walter Johnson; 7 p.m. 31 Professional day for teachers—No school
Oct 25 JV Girls Volleyball at Richard Montgomery; 6 p.m., Girls
Volleyball at Richard Montgomery; 7 p.m.. April
Oct 27 JV Football v. Einstein; 5:30 p.m., JV Girls Volleyball v. 10–17 Spring break—No school
Seneca Valley; 6 p.m.. Girls Volleyball v. Seneca Valley; 18 Blair PTSA Meeting
Oct 29 Homecoming Game; Football v. Einstein; 2 p.m. May
Nov 1 Girls Volleyball at Wheaton; 3:30 p.m. 16 Blair PTSA Meeting
Nov 3 JV Football v. Blake; 5:30 p.m. Nov 4 Football v. Blake; 29 Holiday—Memorial Day
6:30 p.m. June
Nov 11 Football at Da.m.ascus; 6:30 p.m. 3 Prom
Nov 12 JV Football at Da.m.ascus; 10 a.m. 4 After Prom, 1 - 5 a.m., Blair High School
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
5 Graduation — No school
14 Last day of school for students
Prom your HELP.
After Pr om needs y our HELP.
Watch for future emails, articles and
fundraising for Blair After Prom.
Montgomery Blair High School PTSA
PA I D
51 University Boulevard East
Silver Spring, MD 20901-2451 Silver Spring MD
Permit No. 191
Next PTSA MEETING
October 18, 7:30 p.m., Media Center
(enter from the University Blvd parking lot.)
Citrus Sale 2005
Back-to-School Night is always the best opportunity for
PTSA Fundraiser Blair community members to join the PTSA—but by no
means the only opportunity. This year’s event was no
Navel and Hamlin Oranges, exception. We gained lots of new members, including
many who joined at the higher levels of Educator and
Tangelos and Red Grapefruit Principal! Many additional parents, guardians, and
from Florida’s Indian River teachers picked up forms to mail in later. Joining the
PTSA is incredibly important to support many crucial
You can also purchase oranges activities and to maintain a strong feeling of commitment
among the Blair community. Here are just a few examples
for donation to Shepherd’s Table
of what joining the PTSA means:
in Silver Spring and the
PTSA will deliver them for you. ♦ Supporting school activities like the instrumental
music and athletics programs ♦ Outreach to community
Order form programs ♦ Advising school committees ♦ Supporting
on page 5 or online After Prom ♦ Staff appreciation ♦ Keeping the entire
http://ptsa.mbhs.edu/ school community informed (directory, newsletter, etc.)
Anyone interested in joining can get the form on page 7
or from the Blair PTSA Web site. Complete it, and mail it
Order deadline: back to Blair (address on the form) with your payment.
November 14, 2005 You can even charge your payment right on the form!
If you have any questions, just call me (Carolyn
Lichtenstein, PTSA Membership) at (301) 949-4420.