May 2004 Newsbriefs

April 22, 2004, midnight | By Samir Paul | 16 years, 7 months ago

New after-prom restrictions to take effect
Juniors and seniors will only be allowed to bring a guest to after-prom, which will take place on May 30 from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., if they also bring that same guest to the prom dance. Last year, juniors and seniors who did not attend the prom were permitted to bring a guest from another grade or school, provided that both students showed identification. The PTSA After-Prom Committee changed the guest rule this year because "last year [there were] probably 100 to 200 kids who stood outside the door and just waited for a junior or senior to let them in," according to PTSA After-Prom Committee Chair William Ramsey. Blair's after-prom is free for all juniors and seniors. Food, activities and contests are all free, and this year, prizes will be given out every hour. To give the prize lotteries "more structure," after-prom attendees will wear new wristbands with specific lottery call numbers, said Ramsey. Students must enter after-prom before 2:30 a.m. and must show a picture ID at the door. After-prom has a zero-tolerance policy for the use of alcohol and drugs. No bottles or cans will be permitted, and once a student leaves the event, he or she may not re-enter.

Gainous wins education award
Principal Phillip Gainous received the Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision for his 20 years of service at Blair and over 30 years as an educational administrator. A May 6 MCPS Press Release stated Gainous was recognized for his "administrative style, which fosters creativity and innovation, focuses on students' ability to succeed and extends a commitment to the Blair community that goes beyond the walls of the high school, along with his commitment to elementary education and professional involvement." For more information, visit

Last day of school returns to June 15
Although Hurricane Isabel caused two missed school days last September, the last day of school for MCPS students will be June 15, as originally scheduled. According to an April 15 MCPS press release, a state waiver for the two days "recognizes the good-faith effort by the school system to schedule as many days as possible to ensure sufficient instructional time this year." Montgomery County built four emergency weather days into the school calendar for a total of 184 instructional days for students instead of the state-required 180 days. Schools have been closed a total of six days this year; two were due to Hurricane Isabel and four were due to snow. Even with those six emergency days taken, Montgomery County has still met the state's requirement for 1,080 hours of instructional time for elementary and middle schools and 1,170 hours for high schools this year. Exams will proceed as outlined in the planbook.

Breakdancing banned
Blazers were banned from breakdancing on school property for the rest of the school year following a dispute between one breakdancer and a building services worker. The incident that prompted the ban occurred after school on April 26 when building services instructed the breakdancers to leave because no adult sponsor was present, violating the rule that students must be supervised by a staff member after 3:00 p.m. Principal Phillip Gainous will allow the breakdancers to resume during the next school year, provided that they have a sponsor at all times. For more information, see the complete story on Silver Chips Online at

Volunteer tutors needed for summer program
The MCPS 2004 Summer Adventures in Learning program is seeking volunteer tutors for July 6 to July 30 for four hours each weekday morning. The program, according to the MCPS web site, is designed to "reinforce what children know and provide a head start on learning for the upcoming year." Students being tutored will enter kindergarten through fifth grade this August. Those interested in volunteering must participate in a two-hour training session on June 3 or June 10 and should contact Mentoring Coordinator Marina McKee at (301) 279-3100 or

Samir Paul. <b>Samir Paul</b>, a Magnet senior, spent the better part of his junior year at Blair brooding over everyone's favorite high-school publication and wooing Room 165's menopausal printer. He prides himself in being <i>THE</i> largest member of Blair Cross Country and looks forward to one more … More »

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