MCPS: Five Things To Know For October 26th

MCPS has sent its community message with five things to know for Thursday, October 26th. The full message can be seen below:

Halloween can be a fun time with friends and neighbors. However, it is also a high-risk time for injuries. Even if you are not participating in Halloween activities, you can take action to keep our neighborhoods safe:

  1. Drive slowly and carefully in neighborhoods where families are trick-or-treating. Pedestrians may be crossing roadways or driveway entrances.

  2. Review pedestrian safety with children and pre-plan safe routes with older children.

  3. Practice food safety. Be mindful of food allergies and choking hazards for younger children. Consider giving them a snack at home before trick-or-treating to prevent sampling from the treat bag. Be sure an adult checks the treats before kids dig in.

  4. Take precautions to prevent common halloween injuries, such as falls related to costume features that make it difficult to see or walk safely.

Additional resources: Halloween Health and Safety Tips / Cómo ayudar a que la Noche de Brujas o Halloween sea segura para los niños
National Fire Prevention Association: Halloween Fire Safety Tips
Allergy and Asthma Network: How to Stay Safe on Halloween with Asthma and Allergies

We Want to Hear from You! Join Us for Upcoming Operating Budget Forums on Nov. 2 and Nov. 14

MCPS is hosting a series of forums to learn more about the process for the 2024–2025 operating budget. Join us for a discussion with MCPS leadership and an opportunity to engage in breakout sessions. Please let us know whether you will attend and whether you will need Spanish or American Sign Language interpretation. Events will be held:

  • Thursday, Nov. 2, 6:30–8 p.m., virtual forum. This event will be livestreamed on the MCPS homepage. RSVP.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6:30-8, Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive in Bethesda. RSVP.

There is also a forum on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Gaithersburg High School, open to students only.

Applications Due Nov. 3 for High School Regional/Countywide Special Programs and the Maryland Virtual Academy

Grade 8 students can apply to Regional/Countywide Special Programs using the high school common application found in ParentVUE. Additionally, students in Grades 9-11 may apply for career readiness programs. Information sessions will be available for students and families. All dates can be found on the special programs webpage.

Applications are due by Friday, Nov. 3. Programs-At-A-Glance, eligibility, frequently asked questions and October open house dates are available on this website.


Applications for the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) for the 2024-2025 school are due Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Applications for the waitlist for Semester 2 of the Virtual Academy’s 2023-2024 year are also due on Nov. 3. Applications submitted after Nov. 3, 2023, but by Feb. 9, 2024, will be added to the 2024-2025 waitlist. Visit the MVA website for more information.

District Events and Opportunities

Waymaking Special on Student Mental Health on Nov.1

From 6–8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Richard Montgomery High School, former professional football player turned mental health expert and advocate, Dr. Jay Barnett, will speak to students about the importance of mental health, breaking down stigma and seeking help. Students may earn up to 9.5 Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for watching videos, attending virtual workshops and participating in follow-up advocacy action during Mental Health Awareness Week (Oct. 30-Nov. 4).


Read more about Mental Health Awareness Week events. 

Help the Environment and Earn SSL Hours!

Calling high school students: Join Us Nov. 1 for Environmental Volunteer Day at Gaithersburg High School, 101 Education Blvd. in Gaithersburg.

Make a PSA and Earn SSL Hours

Bright Spots This Week

Sports Insight is a TV and web video series highlighting student-athletes, teachers, coaches and support staff who make MCPS athletics an exciting addition to our community and a valuable learning experience for our students. Episode 30 features pickleball as a new corollary sport this fall. Hear from MCPS Athletic Director Dr. Jeff Sullivan, coaches and players about how the pilot is going, as well as the future of pickleball in MCPS.

First Annual Girls’ Summit

Nearly 900 people came out to the MCPS Girls’ Summit on Oct. 21. The summit provided informative workshops, fun activities and a culminating fashion show for middle and high school girls.

Athletics County Championships

Congratulations to students at six high schools for winning the following county and district championships:

  • Poolesville–2A/1A Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s (MPSSAA) District Championship in Golf

  • Winston Churchill–3A/4A MPSSAA’s District Championship in Golf

2023 MCPS county championships

  • Quince Orchard girls’ soccer team

  • Damascus boys’ soccer team

  • Winston Churchill field hockey team

  • Thomas S. Wootton boys’ cross country team

5th Annual STEAM Festival

Students of all ages and their families participated in the annual STEAM Festival at Wheaton High School on Oct. 21. The event included hands-on activities, talks, lab tours, nature experiences, exhibits and performances.

Band Showcase

Twelve high school bands delighted the crowd at Col. Zadok Magruder High School on Oct. 21 as they performed during the annual Marching Band Showcase.

National Principals Month

In honor of National Principals Month, second grade students at Fairland Elementary School surprised Principal Lakeisha Lashley and Assistant Principal Colleen Johnson with lunch and their rendition of Tina Turner’s hit, “Simply the Best.”

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FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

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