8 Middle Schools Host Consortium Meetings

September 29, 2003
A series of information meetings is scheduled during the month of October to help middle school students and their families living in the Downcounty Consortium (DCC) area learn more about the Consortium’s various academies and the school choice process.

Beginning this year, eighth grade students in the DCC will be able to choose from one of five high schools to attend in fall 2004, based on their interests. Each high school is developing special academy programs available to all students that will help students explore career pathways and prepare for higher education. The DCC high schools are Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Northwood (re-opening August 2004), and Wheaton.

The information meetings about the DCC will be held at eight middle schools between October 2 and October 22. The same information will be shared at each meeting. Interpreters will be available. The meetings, each scheduled from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., will take place at the following middle schools:

· Argyle—October 2
· Eastern—October 7
· E. Brooke Lee—October 8
· Newport Mill—October 13
· Parkland—October 15
· Silver Spring International—October 16
· Sligo—October 21
· Takoma Park—October 22

Transportation by MCPS buses as well as child care will be provided.

DCC students will begin their freshman year as members of a ninth grade team with a core group of teachers. These teams will aid in easing the students’ transition to high school by teaching them valuable skills necessary for achievement in school. Most of the academies begin in tenth grade, though some are four-year programs.

All students, regardless of which academy they choose, will take core courses required for a Maryland high school diploma. On-level, honors, and AP courses will be available at all schools. Students will be encouraged to participate in internships, senior research projects, and/or college-level courses offered within the academies. Students also may take courses at Thomas Edison High School of Technology. Some academies offer internationally recognized credentials and/or certifications upon completion of academically rigorous coursework.

To help students and their families further familiarize themselves with the various academies and the choice process, a newsletter is being mailed to all families of eighth grade students. Middle school counselors will work with eighth grade students to explore their interests and to provide information about the Academy programs and choice process.

In early December, families will select, in rank order, the high school(s) of their choice, based on the academies of interest. December 12 is the last day for eighth grade students to submit their high school choice to their school counselor. Students are guaranteed their base school, if it is listed on the choice form as their first or second choice. Base schools are determined by the elementary school to which a student’s home address is assigned.

For more information, visit the DCC website at the link below, or call the DCC office at 301-649-8081.

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