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From the Principal
We are off to a smooth start and thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many parents at our Back to School Night.
October is an extremely busy and fun month! Our PTA is sponsoring a week long book fair and our
kindergarten students will be visiting Butler’s Orchard to learn about living things. Our fourth grade
students have many exciting events including enjoying an in-school demonstration by the King Arthur Flour
Company to learn that matter has properties which can be observed and measured. Students will also
identify the processes that can be used to change materials from one state of matter to another when making
bread. Students will then be given a bag of supplies and the instructions for baking two loaves of bread at
home, one to keep and one to be donated to a charity. The donated loaves of bread support King Arthur
Flour Company’s and Garrett Park Elementary School’s philosophies in giving back to and supporting
communities. Fourth graders will also better understand their connection to the Chesapeake Bay watershed
by learning about factors influencing the health of a stream in Rock Creek. They will observe conditions in
the neighborhood and the area around the stream and will learn how those conditions affect it. Lastly, the
fourth graders will also visit the Agricultural History Farm Park to learn how different farming techniques
affect the bay. Our 5th graders will go to the Annapolis docks for the Stanley Norman Skipjack trip where
students will learn about state history, ecology and conservation by sailing and oystering aboard the Stanley
Norman. They will also experience classical music in a concert hall setting by attending a concert at the
Music Center at Strathmore.
School Closed on These Dates
Parents should note that school will be closed on Friday, October 17 so that teachers are able to attend
statewide conferences. School is also closed on Friday, October 31 which is a professional day for teachers
to finalize first quarter report card grades.
Your Feedback is Important to Us!
On Back to School Night, we provided parents with a feedback survey to complete. In case you were not
able to attend or did not have time to complete the survey, it is attached to this letter. Mr. Drill, 5th grade
teacher, is helping to head a committee of staff who will compile the feedback to share with our School
Leadership Team in order for us to upgrade our practices. We are working on creating a document which
summarizes the names and emails for staff who can help answer questions related to specific programs.
Please feel free to email or call me at any point to also provide feedback. Lastly, we have a fish bowl on the
front counter of the main office with fish shaped note paper. Our fishbowl invites you to share an idea or
feedback when you enter the office – F(resh) I(deas) S(tart) H(ere). 
Walter Johnson High School Varsity Football Community Night, Monday, October 2
Walter Johnson High School’s varsity football team will compete against Magruder High School at 6:30 p.m.
Feel free to cheer on the Walter Johnson Wildcats! The concession stand will be open and spirit wear will
be sold (everything will be cash only).
Regular Season Admission Fees are as follows – Cash only is accepted at the gate:
$5.00 – Adult (free for MCPS employees who print their photo ID)
$3.00 - Student (12 years and older through high school with photo ID)
$1.00 - Child (7 to 11 years old)
No Charge - Children ages 6 and under and senior citizens with appropriate identification
Open House, Monday, October 13 (Columbus Day)
Parents are welcome to visit classes during our annual Open House on Monday, October 13 from 9:30
a.m. – 11:30 a.m. This is a time for parents, many of whom may be off work for the Columbus Day
holiday, to visit their child’s class and see firsthand the wonderful instruction your child receives. All visitors
must enter through the front office and be signed in. You will need to wear a visitor sticker throughout your
stay. If there is a class you would like to visit after 11:30 a.m., please let your child’s teacher know to
coordinate your stay.
PALS (School Goals) Spirit Week, Week of October 13
To help students learn our school behavioral goals, we are celebrating a PALS Spirit Week. During this
week, we will emphasize each goal and what to wear each day. We have attached a flyer to this newsletter
for you to hang on your refrigerator if you would like. 
Monday, Oct 13 – Practice Respect (dress fancy)
Tuesday, Oct 14 – Act Safely (safety gear)
Wednesday, Oct 15 – Learn Actively (super hero outfits)
Thursday, Oct 16 – Support Each Other (green/white or a GPES shirt)
Bus Driver Appreciation Week, Week of October 20
Bus Driver Appreciation Week is the week of October 20 - 24. Please be sure to help your child(ren)
recognize their bus driver.
Student Portraits to be Taken on Monday, October 20
Individual student portraits will be taken on Monday, October 20. We will send home a flyer with ordering
information when we receive them.
Lisa’s Talent Show, Monday, October 27
We are looking forward to hosting our annual Lisa’s Talent Show during the day and on the same evening
on Monday, October 27. This talent show was named after a former student, 5th grade Class of 2012, who
passed away in October two years ago. She very much loved singing and participating in the talent show
which was one of the highlights of her 5th grade year. As a staff, we have a love of always encouraging all
types of student talent and look forward to showcasing the strengths of our students at this show.
Halloween Parade and Class Parties, Thursday, October 30
Our annual Halloween parade in the Town of Garrett Park followed by class parties will occur on Thursday,
October 30 with the parade beginning at 2:15 p.m. Details regarding our Halloween festivities will be sent to
parents in a separate letter.
New Nurses
We have two nurses this year working at our school. Ms. Jamie Whitcomb works at Garrett Park on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays while Ms. Amy Roberts works at our school on Mondays and
Thursdays. Ms. Tamara Brewster, our temporary health technician, continues to work at our school daily
while Ms. Lindsey Shaw is on maternity leave.
Reporting and Investigating Incidents of Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation
Incidents of bullying, harassment and intimidation is not to be tolerated. Bullying, harassment, or
intimidation means intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct or an intentional
electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a
student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological
well-being and is:
motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital
status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic
status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability; or,
threatening or seriously intimidating; and,
occurs on school property, at a school activity or event, or on a school bus; or,
substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.
Please contact your child’s teacher, Ms. Schnaue or one of the administrators when you need help to resolve
any concern regarding bullying, harassment and intimidation. Parents are welcome to complete Form 23035: Bullying, Harrassment or Intimidation Reporting to alert the administration of an ongoing concern which
Sending Your Child to School After the School Day Begins
If you are sending your child to school after the school day begins, please escort your child to the front office
so that we can document the correct reason for being tardy.
Picking up Your Child Before the School Day Ends
If you need to pick up your child before the end of the school day, please sign your child(ren) out from the
main office.
Before/After School Arrangements
If your before/after school arrangements change for your child(ren) on any given day, be sure to let your
child’s teacher know as soon as possible as this also triggers a notification to staff on arrival or dismissal
Cell Phones
Please contact your child’s teacher if you would like for your child to keep a cell phone in his/her backpack
during the school day for after school use. We have created a contract that needs to be signed by the student
and his/her parent and then approved by an administrator.
Part-Time Work Available at Garrett Park
If you are looking for part-time work during the 2014-2015 school year, we are in need of substitute
lunch/recess aides. While some parents would not mind volunteering and do not want to be compensated,
we are in desperate need of a group of parents we can call on to be approved subs. Without school system
approval, we are not able to leave parent volunteers alone in a room or outside with students without staff
supervision. Being officially approved to be a sub allows staff to be freed from duties. Applicants need to
be at least 18 years old and will be paid an hourly rate. If this might interest you, please call Ms. Belinda
Cervas, administrative secretary, at 301-929-2170 for more information.
Save the Date! Third Annual State of the Schools Address Set for Nov. 11
MCPS will hold its third annual State of the Schools presentation on the morning of Tuesday, November 11,
2014, at the Music Center at Strathmore. At the event, Dr. Starr, Superintendent, will share his vision for
how we can prepare all students for success in their future. The event also will feature student performances
and artwork. Additional information about the event and an online RSVP are posted on the State of the
Schools website at www.mcpsstateoftheschools.org.
¡Reserve la Fecha! Estado de las Escuelas Programado Para el 11 de Noviembre
El Superintendente Joshua P. Starr pronunciara su tercer discurso anual del Estado de las Escuelas el martes,
11 de noviembre, en el Centro de Música de Strathmore. Los padres y miembros de la comunidad de MCPS
están invitados a acompañar al Dr. Starr mientras comparte su visión sobre cómo podemos preparar a todos
los estudiantes para que tengan éxito en su futuro. El evento también contara con las actuaciones y
exhibiciones de arte de los estudiantes. Visite el sitio de internet del estado de las Escuelas
www.mcpsstateoftheschools.org para obtener más información y hacer su reservación.
How to Receive Emergency Information from MCPS
MCPS parents can receive emergency information from the school system in a variety of ways, including
MCPS QuickNotes, Alert MCPS, Twitter, the MCPS website, MCPS TV, and a recorded telephone
information line. Please visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/emergency for more information on how to
keep in touch with Montgomery County Public Schools and stay informed in times of emergencies.
Cómo Recibir Información de Emergencia de MCPS
Los padres de estudiantes de MCPS pueden recibir información del sistema escolar en casos de emergencia
de varias maneras incluyendo MCPS QuickNotes, Alert MCPS, Twitter, el sitio de Internet de MCPS, MCPS
TV y la línea de información con mensajes grabados. Para más información de cómo mantenerse en contacto
con Montgomery County Public Schools y mantenerse informado durante emergencias visite
Fall 2014 Parent Academy is Under Way!
The MCPS Parent Academy is back with an exciting lineup of free workshops for parents. The 2014 fall
session is under way and includes sessions on positive discipline, study and organizational skills, student
service learning, preparing for parent-teacher conferences, special education, cybersafety, and more. All
workshops are free and are held at schools and locations throughout Montgomery County. The schedule of
workshops is available at www.mcpsparentacademy.org.
¡La Sesión
La Academia para Padres de MCPS está de vuelta con una variedad de talleres gratuitos para los padres. La
sesión de otoño 2014 está en marcha e incluye talleres sobre disciplina positiva, el estudio y la capacidad de
organización, aprendizaje mediante servicio estudiantil, preparación para las conferencias de padres y
maestros, educación especial, seguridad cibernética, y más. Todos los talleres son gratuitos y se imparten en
las escuelas y otros lugares alrededor del condado de Montgomery. El horario de los talleres está disponible
en www.mcpsparentacademy.org.
Internet Essentials Program from Comcast
The Comcast Internet Essentials Program provides discounted Internet service to households with children
who are eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals. While participating in Internet Essentials,
customers receive free internet training, a low-cost computer and affordable Internet at $9.95/month. For
more information, call 1-855-8-INTERNET or visit www.internetessentials.com.
El programa Internet Básico de Comcast proporciona servicio de internet con descuento a las familias con
niños que son elegibles para recibir comidas gratis y a precios reducidos. Al participar en Internet Essentials,
los clientes reciben capacitación gratuita de internet, una computadora de bajo costo y servicio de internet
asequible de $9.95/mes. Para obtener más información, llame al 1-855-8-INTERNET o visiten
Sign-up for MCPS QuickNotes
MCPS QuickNotes is a free e-mail service that provides subscribers with important news and information
about MCPS programs and activities, plus emergency information. MCPS QuickNotes is offered in seven
languages: English, Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Amharic. Visit
www.mcpsquicknotes.org to subscribe.
Suscríbase Para Recibir QuickNotes
MCPS QuickNotes es un servicio gratuito por correo electrónico que ofrece a los usuarios noticias e
información importante acerca de los programas y actividades de MCPS, además de información de
emergencia. QuickNotes se ofrece en seis idiomas: inglés, chino, coreano, español, francés y vietnamita.
Visite www.mcpsquicknotes.org para suscribirse.
Wish List Items for Teachers and Staff
We would love the following donated items. All can be sent to my attention in the main office:
 New or gently used indoor recess games
 Flavored regular coffee, tea and hot cocoa Keurig cups for our Keurig coffee maker
 Door prizes for staff throughout the year – ideas include sticky notes, note pads, cards, stickers or $5
gift cards to book stores, teacher stores, restaurants and coffee shops
 Individually packaged (non-perishable) snacks to give to needy students
 Paper plates, forks, knives and spoons – any style for our staff lounge
We look forward to seeing you at our Open House in addition to one of the many school and PTA sponsored
activities this month.
Elaine Chang-Baxter