February 2015 "
Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Abraham Lincoln
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We’ve already had our share of snow and ice; let’s hope that Punxatawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow!
In between snowstorms, we will be very busy this month.
Please put the PTA meeting on your calendar for next Tuesday, February 3, and support the PTA by ordering
Domino’s Pizza. Cashell’s Variety Show is always one of the major highlights of the year, so be sure to get
your tickets to head Back to the Future at next Friday’s show at Magruder!
Cashell’s Sixteenth Annual Jump Rope for Heart was a huge success! Students AND parents had a fabulous
time jumping the day away! Kudos to Mrs. Leber for organizing this great program that not only promotes
fitness for our students and their families, but also raises money to support the American Heart
The first week of February is National School Counseling Week, and I want to give a Shout Out to Mrs.
Blumberg for the fantastic job that she does every single day. It seems that she can be found everywhere:
teaching classroom guidance lessons, welcoming new students, having a lunch bunch or friendship group,
sorting out a misunderstanding between friends, helping families in crisis, or keeping the principal sane.
These are just a few of the many challenges she takes on every day with a smile and a positive attitude!
If you were not so pleased with your child’s report card, please remember it’s not too late to register for
Saturday School. The George B. Thomas Learning Academy runs every Saturday morning at Magruder High
School and reinforces reading and math skills. Registration forms are in the office!
Check out this resource to support your child with reading at home!
I’m sad to report that things have not gotten better with the car pool. Last week a parent yelled at our
neighbor across the street to hurry up and get off his own lawn so they could park there!!! Stakes are
now blocking any parking. I hope our other neighbors will do the same. In spite of multiple pleas on my
part, lack of courtesy and common sense continue to be issues. If the parking lot is full and you can’t
enter, please be considerate of others and simply drive past, turn around, and come back. It will only
take a few extra minutes, but it will make a world of difference for our neighbors.
Stay informed about all the great events at school! Please check our website for the most up-to-date
information about school and PTA events and activities. Thanks go to Aldona DeBold for all the hard work
she puts into keeping the web site current. Carrie Headen, our PTA president, also sends out a weekly
message in the CougarGram. This is another great way to keep up with the latest news. If you’d like to be
added to this list, send an email to [email protected]
Testing Reminder: Cashell students and teachers have been working hard to implement the new
curriculum and to prepare third, fourth, and fifth graders for the new PARCC assessments that will take
place in March. Please remember not to schedule any appointments during the school day from March 2
through March 18. If you’d like to learn more about PARCC, please visit: There you can find links to the PARCC website
and even try some practice tests!
Kindergarten Orientation will take place on FRIDAY, May 1. Kindergarten classes will be canceled on this
day. Kindergarten Orientation is for parents and their kindergarten children. Children who will be five
years old on or before September 1, 2015 will be eligible to attend kindergarten this coming school year.
If you have a child entering kindergarten next fall, please call Mrs. Dailey to request a registration packet.
If you know of friends or neighbors with kindergarten age children who are considering attending Cashell,
please have them call the school as soon as possible. We want to ensure that we are reaching all the
families who may have children attending kindergarten at Cashell next year.
Prekindergarten/Head Start Registration Starts March 1. Parents who want to register their child for an
MCPS prekindergarten or Head Start class for the 2015-2016 school year can do so starting Monday, March
2. Children must be four years old by Sept. 1, 2015, and families must be income-eligible to apply. Walk-in
applications will be accepted Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rocking Horse Road
Center at 4910 Macon Road, Room 141, Rockville, Md., 20852. Parents can also call 301-230-0676 for
information about required documents and the application process.
School Transfer Applications Available from Feb. 1-April 1. Parents who want to request a Change of
School Assignment (COSA) for their child from their home school may begin the process now. The transfer
process begins in the home school, where parents and guardians may pick up a Change of School
Assignment Information Booklet that contains the COSA form, describes the process, and provides useful
information. The COSA booklet, printed in English and Spanish, will be available as of Feb. 1 in schools and
online. Programs that are exempt from the transfer guidelines are listed in the information booklet.
Language assistance for non-English speaking parents and guardians is available by calling ASK MCPS at
301-309-MCPS (6277).
Colds and flu are really hitting us hard again this year! Both staff and students are coming down with
headaches, sore throats, NASTY stomach bugs, coughs, and fevers. I’ve often talked about keeping your
children home when they are ill, but some students are still coming to school sick. If your child has a fever
or throws up in the car on the way to school, PLEASE keep him/her home!
Also, it’s VERY important that we have the most up-to-date contact information for your child. We should
have at least two phone numbers where you can be reached, and at least one other person (preferably 2)
who can be called in an emergency. We have had students who were seriously ill waiting for over an hour
in the Health Room because we could not reach anyone to pick them up.
Contingency Calendar for 2014–2015 School Year
If MCPS has to make up instructional days in the 2014–2015 school year due to emergency closings, MCPS
will follow the already approved contingency calendar for the 2014–2015 school year. MCPS will add days
onto the end of the school year, unless a waiver is granted by the Maryland State Department of Education.
MCPS will not open on holidays, reduce spring break or cancel negotiated professional days.
The contingency plan, indicating when days will be made up if the number of emergency closings
exceeds four days, is as follows. If the school year is disrupted by emergencies and schools are closed—
5 days—the school year will be extended by one day to Monday, June 15, 2015;
6 days—the school year will be extended by two days to June 15 and June 16, 2015;
7 days—the school year will be extended by three days to June 15, 16 and 17, 2015;
8 days—the school year will be extended by four days to June 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2015;
9 days—the school year will be extended by five days to June 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2015.
You can find the school contingency calendar online at
Winter Weather: Stay in Touch with MCPS
Winter weather is here! MCPS offers numerous ways for parents to learn about school closures, delayed openings,
and early dismissals due to inclement weather – there’s no excuse for missing the information.
Visit for more information.
AlertMCPS: Receive text messages or emails from MCPS during weather-related emergencies and other
major events that impact school system operations. Parents can also sign up to receive alerts specific to
their child’s school. Subscribe to AlertMCPS at
MCPS homepage:
QuickNotes email news service: Subscribe at
MCPS cable channel: Comcast 34, Verizon 36 or RCN 89
Recorded information (English and Spanish) 301-279-3673
301-309-6277. Staff take calls from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, in
English and Spanish.
Local radio and TV stations all carry updated closing information. My favorite is WTOP 103.7 FM