Frequently Asked Questions
THE SCHOOL DAY AND CALENDAR
What are the hours of the school day?
The school day officially begins at 9:25 and any student who arrives after that time will be marked late. Students may be dropped off no earlier than 9:10. Kindergarten students are dismissed at 3:45 and grades 1–5 are dismissed at 3:50. On special early release days kindergarten is released at 1:15 and grades 1–5 are released at 1:20. The children do eat lunch at school on early release days.
Is there a school calendar for KP or MCPS?
Each year the PTA and the school work together to create a combined calendar which lists all the dates of both the school and PTA events. This is updated in September and can be found on the PTA website www.kppta.org. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) creates the official school calendar stating all of the days school is in session. This can be found on the MCPS website www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/calendars/.
STUDENT DROP-OFF, PICK-UP, BEFORE/AFTER CARE
How do I know if my child can take the bus?
The county provides bussing for students who live more than a mile from school. MCPS publishes school bus routes on their website www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org. The 2018-19 bus schedule information (with routes and “colors”) is also enclosed in this packet.
If my child is a walker how do I drop him/her off? Can they bike to school?
Children are welcome to walk/bike to school. Bike racks are located on the lower level at the front of the drop off lane. Students on foot/two wheels are asked to mind cross walks and to use major intersections when traveling to school.
What about by car?
Please use the lower parking lot (entrance on Franklin) to drop off your child. Drop offs can begin at 9:10am but not earlier. Pull into the lower lot and follow the line of cars—this is the “Kiss and Ride” loop! Pull up as far as you’re able to keep the line moving. No line-jumping or pulling in front of the dumpster. Children can be dropped anywhere along the main length of sidewalk. Because of the late bell time (and many working parents) Kiss and Ride is a speedy, well-oiled machine! Conversations, lengthy goodbyes or after school instructions should be completed before entering the loop. There are adult helpers (and safety patrol) to help your child to the door, so please do not get out of your car or linger. If you need extra time, park on Franklin, Saul or a side street and walk your child over. Do NOT use the top entrance for drop off unless it is after bell time and you need to sign your child in.
What if I need/want to walk my child to his/her class for some reason?
Please enter through the front doors of the school and sign in on the school visitor log.
Are there special pick up procedures for Kindergarteners?
Yes. Kindergarteners must be dismissed to a parent or designated adult. The teachers walk down to the lower entrance (the parking lot on Franklin) with the Kindergarteners. If you walk to school or park on the street or in the school parking lot and walk to the entrance, then your child can leave with you once the teacher has acknowledged that she sees you. If you use the carpool line, please do not get out of your car. One of the student patrols will approach your car and ask you if you are picking up a kindergartener. You can tell the student your child’s name and teacher and he/she will walk up and get your child from the teacher and personally walk him/her to your car.
What if my child will be going home with another student at the end of the day?
If the student rides the bus, then please send two permission slips, one for the teacher and another for the bus driver. The note should include with whom your child will be going home and which bus the student rides. If the other student is a walker, then please write a note explaining with whom your child will be going home and that he/she is a walker. In the event of a last-minute change to a student's dismissal plans, please call the main office prior to 12:00 pm. DO NOT EMAIL THE TEACHERS WITH SAME DAY DISMISSAL CHANGES, as staff does not always have an opportunity to check email during the day.
What to do if my child needs to be picked up early?
That morning please send a note in to your child's teacher explaining the details of when you need to pick your child up. When you arrive at the school proceed to the front office. The office will call down to the classroom and ask your child's teacher to send your child to the main office to meet you. Please note when making mid-day appointments that require taking your child of out school that it can be difficult to pick them up during their recess/lunch hour. Lunch hours can be found on the Recess page.
I have an appointment at KP- where should I park?
Families should avoid parking in the upper lot and lower “kiss and ride” through-lane during school hours. Street parking is available throughout Parkwood, but be mindful of signs, driveways and crosswalks.
Does KP offer before/after care?
Bar-T offers before and after care for families right at KP. Drop ins are available if there is space but fills up fast. Visit the Bar-T website for more information: http://www.bar-t.com/school-year/
VOLUNTEERING AT KP
Can I volunteer at KP?
Each teacher sets his/her own policy to determine how s/he handles parent volunteers. Back to School Night (the first week of school), generally offers sign-ups for volunteers and Room Parents. Some classes have a volunteer coordinator, who will solicit volunteers, usually on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, and create the volunteer calendar for the class. Many teachers ask parents to volunteer during reading so that the teacher can work directly with different reading groups while the parent volunteer facilitates one or more reading centers with the rest of the class. Some teachers ask for help in math, and others request help for special days or special projects. Almost all teachers welcome help photocopying materials for the class.
All volunteers must now take child abuse and neglect training. Go to the MCPS website and click on the module, “recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect for volunteers.” The completed form can be submitted to the main office.
Volunteering (playground): Parent volunteers are a huge help on the playground and in the lunch room. KP posts a calendar each year that requests volunteers from specific classrooms for each month, but parents and guardians can volunteer any time of the year. Playground times are as follows:
K and 3rd: 1:00-1:35pm
For a complete guide to volunteering on the playground, check out this handy guide: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/uploadedFiles/schools/parkwoodes/about/KP%20Recess%20and%20Lunch%20Volunteers%2013-14.pdf
Volunteering (lunchroom): Lunchroom volunteers are always needed. Those working the kindergarten shift will spend a lot of time at the Kindergarten tables helping open food, passing out napkins, etc. (especially for the first half of the year). There are usually “seasoned” parents roaming about and a number of staff- don’t be shy about asking for an assignment.
Kindergarten, 3rd: 1:35-2:05pm
How do I join the PTA?
The PTA membership information is on the KPPTA website. Print and fill out the form with your membership dues and send it back to school with your child. You can also join at the school’s open house (end of August) and Back to School Night.
How do I volunteer for PTA and School Events?
Each event coordinator will send out an email via Eaglenet (the school listserve) and ask for volunteers. You are always welcome to contact the designated chairperson to volunteer. This information is on the KPPTA Website under Committees and in the school directory published in the fall.
LUNCH, SNACK, AND PARTIES
How does my child buy lunch?
Each child has a lunch account and associated PIN. They are given their PIN at school and are asked to remember it. If parents so choose, they can fund their child’s account by writing a check to the KP Cafeteria and sending it to school with their child or they can sign up for www.mylunchmoney.com and fund it online. It is the parent’s responsibility to maintain sufficient funds in the account. When the account is low, the cafeteria sends a note home letting you know it is time to add more money. If you use MyLunchMoney.com, they will send you an email when your account is low. The school lunch menu can be found online every month:
How much does lunch cost?
For the 2017-2018 school year: Lunch, including milk, costs $2.55. Breakfast is available for $1.30 each day. Your student can choose to purchase only milk for $.60.
I heard my child could buy ice cream once a week; what does that mean?
Ice cream is available to buy on most Thursdays at lunch. For the 2017-2018 school year, the ice cream costs $1.00. Cookies (also 1 buck) are available for purchase on Tuesdays. Kids can bring cash in their lunch box or get a ticket when they buy hot lunch.
Are there any restrictions on what my child can bring for lunch?
No. However, to accommodate classmates with severe food allergies, special seating arrangements may be made and your child may be asked to change his/her seat in the cafeteria to lessen the chance of cross contamination. Also note that some classes are designated as "peanut/nut free." If your child is in such a class, you will be notified by your teacher.
Is there “snack time” during the day?
There is generally not an opportunity to have snacks during the school day outside of lunch. However, some grades do have snack due to their very late lunch time. You will be notified by your teacher if this is the case. Students in these grades should bring a small, healthy (nut-free) snack that can be retrieved from backpacks and consumed quickly without the use of utensils.
How do students celebrate birthdays at school?
The principal acknowledges birthdays daily on KP-TV. Interested in celebrating in the classroom? KP has a strict “no food” policy. Pencils, stickers, bookmarks, or any other small item are welcome! Make sure to pack enough for everyone in the class!
How can I learn information about school and PTA Events?
The school’s website is www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/Schools/Parkwoodes/. The school posts as much information as possible there in order to reduce the amount of paper circulated.
The PTA website is www.kppta.org/. The PTA sends out a monthly newsletter that comes home in your child’s backpack.
Another great way to communicate with other parents, ask questions and learn about school events is through the KP listserv (Yahoo Group) called Eaglenet. It is a closed listserv, but you can request to join by sending an email to the listserv moderator, Michelle Patail at firstname.lastname@example.org who will send you an invitation.
PTA meetings are typically held the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Media Center. Babysitting is provided for children 3 and up and potty trained.
How do I communicate with my child’s teacher?
Most teachers prefer email communication when possible. A staff directory of email addresses is available on the school website. Teachers are often very busy during the day, so 24 hours is a typical response time. If you have an urgent matter for the teacher regarding your child (such as an early pick up or family emergency), please call the main office.
How can I contact my student’s classmates and their parents?
The PTA publishes a KP Directory in October of each year. Once the directory has been printed new family information cannot be included until the following year. However, the PTA also maintains an online version of this directory, which is updated as necessary. Please email email@example.com to submit your student/family contact information. While we do want all families to be listed in this directory, PTA membership is required in order to have access to other families’ information.
AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES AND SPECIAL EVENTS
How do I learn about after school activities?
Information about PTA-sponsored after school clubs or other classes/activities provided by third party companies can be found on the PTA website. Flyers about these programs also may be sent home in kids’ backpacks throughout the year. KP partners with Enrichment Academies Inc. to provide an exhaustive list of afterschool clubs for KP students. The clubs run in fall, winter and spring sessions, mostly directly after school, and range from Lego club and yoga to language arts and drama. Catalogs come home early in the school year, but more information can be found here: http://www.kppta.org/activities
Other school community activities:
Girl Scouts (and Brownies and Daisies): There are several troops at KP! Interested families can contact the KP Troop Coordinator, Chris Fogg (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Boy/Cub Scouts: The KP community’s cub scout troop is Pack 460! Learn how you can join at www.mdpack460.org.
Sports: Although KP does not offer school-sponsored sports teams, there are a variety of sports opportunities that your children can engage in outside of KP. KOA (in Kensington, http://www.koasports.org/) runs baseball, football and field hockey clinics and teams for all ages. Brit-AM (www.brit-am.com) and MSI (www.msisoccer.org) both run soccer teams by grade level. Basketball and other sports are also offered through MoCo Parks and Rec. Often times, teams will form organically through the KPEaglenet listserv at the beginning of the school year (this is also a great place to advertise if you are looking to start a team).
Running Clubs: During the fall and spring seasons, the KPPTA organizes “running club” for students during recess. This is very popular with the students- it helps burn off the pent-up energy from desk time (plus they get a collectible charm for participating each week). Running club always needs volunteers! Look for postings on Eaglenet. There are also KP groups for both Girls on the Run and Let me Run (for boys). Look for information on Eaglenet.
What sort of school events happen during the year?
The KPPTA organizes many school events throughout the year- it’s a great way to meet other parents! They include:
· Kensington 8K (Mid-September): Raises money for the KP, North Bethesda/Silver Creek and WJ and also offers a 1 and 2-mile fun run for kids. More at: http://www.kensington8k.org/
· Parents and pastries (family breakfast social): throughout the year
· Auction/Spring Party: A KPPTA-sponsored even to raise money for KP; timing varies
· Halloween parade: this takes place the afternoon of the Halloween party on the playground
· Family Fun Day is, as advertised, really fun! FFD is every May on a Saturday, and offers moonbounces, face painting, food, music, etc.
· Science Fair: The science fair takes place in the spring and is a non-competitive, all ages opportunity for students to test and demonstrate experiments.
Events are advertised through the school newsletter and Eaglenet.
ACADEMIC INFO, ARTS INTEGRATION AND SPECIAL PROGRAMMING, AND LEARNING STUDENT PROGRESS
Where can I find information on school supplies?
Lists of school supplies by grade are shared on the KP main website over the summer, under “Back to School Information.” In the late spring, however, you’ll start seeing notices for Schoolsupplyfly.com. Schoolsupplyfly was started by a KP student and is a one-stop shop for all school supplies, which are delivered directly to your child’s classroom (an amazing timesaver and a portion of the proceeds go to charity!).
Do students have homework?
All students receive homework. Kindergarteners get monthly “packets” to complete and return to school. Homework for grades 1-5 range from weekly to daily assignments.
How do I learn about the curriculum?
Back to School night (usually the second week of school) is a great way to find out what your student will be working on, testing, etc. Parent-teacher conferences typically take place in November, offering an opportunity to get 1:1 time with your child’s teacher. Depending on the grade, teachers will often send completed work home. KP offers many resources to its families on its classroom page (http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/parkwoodes/classroom/), including great educational websites, schedules, word wall lists, monthly homework (Kindergarten) and more. Report cards are sent home each quarter (4 times a year) for students grade 1-5. To understand how to read your child’s report card, visit https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/info/grading/report-cards. The parent resources page on the KP website also has a lot of information.
How can I access how my child is doing and resources?
MCPS and KP offer a new parent portal called the MCPS Parent and Student Portal that allows parents to track academic progress, attendance. You will receive information on sign up shortly after starting with MCPS.
Does KP offer field trips? How do I pay for a field trip?
KP offers field trips for each grade throughout the year. A slip will come home from the teacher a few weeks ahead that you must sign. Occasionally it will also solicit volunteers. If there is a cost involved (nominal), you can either send in money or pay using the school’s new online payment system: http://osp.osmsinc.com/montgomeryMD.
What is Arts Integration?
KP is an Arts Integration Model School. Arts Integration is an approach to teaching in which students
construct and demonstrate understanding through an arts modality. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets in-depth objectives in both.
All of our teachers go through CETA (Changing Education Through the Arts) training at the Kennedy Center. KP is committed to having all of its teachers complete the three year training program where they further develop and refine their skills for teaching in, through, and about the arts.
How does KP pay for Arts Integration?
When Arts Integration was first introduced, KP received a grant from the Department of Education. Since the 2007–2008 school year, KP has had to fund the program itself. The school is very committed to keeping the program going and they allocate funds and hold fundraisers, such as Dine Out Nights, to raise revenue. In addition the PTA contributes funds towards teacher training, materials and resources.
Does KP offer music or drama?
Instrumental music (band and orchestra) and KP Singers (chorus) is offered during school hours for 4th and 5th graders (https://sites.google.com/a/mcpsmd.net/kpsingers/home). Children need to rent their own instruments (resources for this are generally provided). Performances are held in the winter and spring.
Do the kids learn a second language in school?
The KP PTA coordinates with the International School of Language (formerly Language Fundamentals) to offer language instruction after school in French and Spanish. More information
is available at www.languagefundamentals.com.
My child forgot their lunch/homework. How do I get it to them?
Forgotten homework, lunches, etc. can be dropped at the main office during the school day.
My child has allergies. Who do I notify?
If you child has allergies (food, bee stings, etc), make sure the school knows. Although KP is not a nut-free school, classroom food (for parties) is strictly enforced for the safety of all students. Students with food allergies have the opportunity to sit at designated tables with their peers in the lunch room to avoid cross-contamination. If your child requires any auto injectors at the nurses office, please fill out and submit the following form: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/forms/pdf/525-14.pdf.
I think my child is being bullied. What should I do?
Bullying is taken very seriously at MCPS. Learn more about handling bullying at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/parkwoodes/about/
My child lost their coat/lunch box/sweater/etc.
Clothing, lunchboxes, etc. are placed on a rack in boxes throughout the year in the lower hallway just outside of the cafeteria/gym. Please remember to label your child’s clothing (jackets), backpacks and lunch boxes!
My child is sick, but is he/she too sick for school?
If your child is ill, please call the school office at (301) 571-6949. The school asks that if your child has a fever over 99 degrees F to keep them home until they are fever-free for 24 hours. In addition to fever:
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): Conjunctivitis signs and symptoms: redness of one or both eyes with or without discharge. Incubation period: 24-72 hours. Children can return to school 24 hours after treatment begins.
Lice is one of those milestones most—if not all—families will endure at some point. Lice does not discriminate. We ask that if you find lice on your child, please notify the school immediately. Please keep your child home until the lice are eliminated. A letter home will inform families if there is a case of lice reported to the school or if a case is discovered in school (names are not used). If a child is sent home with lice, the child is not admitted back to school for a 24-hour period to give the family time to properly treat the home, the child, and other family members who may require treatment. Children, whom our school health room technician or nurse discover have lice, will not be permitted to ride the school bus home and must be picked up from school by a parent or guardian. The child may not ride the bus back to school after being sent home with lice. Instead, the parent or guardian must bring the child to the health room for a final check before the child can be admitted to class. The parent must also bring proof of treatment, according to MCPS policy. This includes a signed statement and medicine box top, or, in the event of a repeated case, a doctor’s note.
What is KP’s emergency protocol?
Very rarely, schools encounter emergencies that impact the safety of the school population. Teachers/staff are well-versed in dealing with a variety of these situations. The school organizes drills to prepare the students as well. Schools participate in 1 lockdown, 1 shelter in place and 10 fire drills each year. The school makes every effort to keep families apprised of emergencies through phonecalls and e-mail. The following are procedures for such emergencies:
· Shelter in Place: Danger outside the school, parents/guardians are not supposed to enter
· Lockdown: Danger in the school. No one allowed in or out until lockdown is lifted.
· Weather: weather conditions may result in early closure or the need to keep students in the building after regular dismissal time. Families are notified as soon as possible in these cases
It snowed last night. Is school cancelled?
Snow days are reported through Alert Montgomery (sign up at https://alert.montgomerycountymd.gov/), the MCPS website and through all news/radio/online outlets. MCPS allows for five excused school days; after that, extra days MAY be tacked onto the school calendar. This is announced in the early spring by the School Board.
There is a snow delay. When does school start?
Snow delays mean school starts two hours late: 11:25 AM.