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Chantilly High School's Show Choir Makes Top Spot in “Parade” Magazine

A show choir, or more commonly known as a "glee club" because the recent Fox hit series Glee, is not your average standing choir. These groups have costumes, sets, choregraphy and are more like a vegas show or a broadway musical all mixed into one. Chantilly Highschool's show choir, "Touch of Class," which is their most advanced emsemble, comprised of sophomores through seniors, is having quite a year. Not only does this year mark the 25th season for the show choir at Chantilly High School, they most recently advanced to the Top 10 amongst thousands of entries in Parade Magazine's search for America's Favorite Show Choirs. Chantilly High School's "Touch of Class" came in 3rd!

Study Touts Economic Integration In Md. Schools

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) ? A new study shows low-income students in Montgomery County perform better when they attend affluent schools instead of schools with high poverty.

Human Rights Office Announces Annual Contests For Students to Highlight Human Rights Day

The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR) is sponsoring essay, poster and video contests for students -- with the theme “The Faces of Human Rights, Then and Now” --  in conjunction with its annual Human Rights Day Celebration. 

Participation will be open to all students who attend Montgomery County public schools, as well as private and parochial schools in the County, children who are home-schooled and students living in the County and attending school elsewhere.

Winners will be announced at the annual Human Rights Day celebration on Friday, December 10, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Montgomery College, Rockville Campus, Arts and Theatre Building.

Graduation Rate Rises to 90 Percent for Class of 2010- Rate Jumps for 24 of 25 MCPS High Schools

The graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools increased to 90 percent in 2010, spurred by dramatic gains among the district’s African American students. The graduation rate for the MCPS class of 2010 showed an increase of more than 2½ percentage points over the Class of 2009, with African American students gaining more than 4 percentage points.

“This is outstanding news for our district. More of our students are graduating on time with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful,” said Patricia O’Neill, President of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “Congratulations to the students, parents and staff that made these results possible.”
   The MCPS graduation rate of 90 percent is 3.4 percentage points higher than the rate for the state of Maryland (86.6 percent).

157 Montgomery County Public School Students Are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

There are 157 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in the 2011 competition, eight more than the previous year. The semifinalists will go on to compete nationally for scholarships that will be offered in the spring. The competition is sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

The MCPS semifinalists come from 16 high schools. The schools and their number of semifinalists are:

Bethesda-Chevy Chase: 8
Montgomery Blair: 40
Blake: 1
Winston Churchill: 13
Clarksburg: 1
Einstein: 1
Poolesville:  9
Quince Orchard: 2
Richard Montgomery: 30
Rockville: 1
Seneca Valley: 1
Springbrook: 3
Walter Johnson: 7
Walt Whitman: 24
Watkins Mill: 1
Wootton: 15

Maryland schools battle with limited funding and space as enrollment grows by Michael Bimbaum, WAPO

Michael Bimbaum for the Washington Post reports: More than 200,000 Maryland students streamed back to crowded classrooms Monday as school systems dealt with growth but little money to hire more teachers.

In Montgomery County, the state's largest school system, parents said they were anxious about increased class sizes but sanguine about the schools' future under a successor to Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, who is retiring in June. Enrollment swelled by 2,200 students -- 1.5 percent -- this year, hundreds more than forecast. Howard and Charles counties also returned to school Monday.

School Lunches Affected by Slow Economy and Budget Cuts

Education Week reports that due to summer school and transportation budget cuts in Montgomery County schools (and in counties across the country) fewer children are getting free lunches in at least one school district.

The recession has made an impact in school lunch and nutrition programs funded by the Department of Agriculture.  The number of free lunches provided to children in the summer has dropped drastically, and the outcome is proving to be detrimental to low income families.

While the cuts in free lunch assistance are heavy this summer, the program should be stabilized for the fall school year.

To read more, visit: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/08/16/01nutrition.h30.html?tkn=MMLFZq6PoVB8iFvgg7dQ1KSCyQH0m549TsDC&cmp=clp-edweek