Numerous Blair student groups sponsored a silent vigil to protest the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. Organizers estimated that approximately 250 students and staff participated, standing silently in a line outside of the SAC on March 26.
MCPS has begun to offer crash course SAT tutoring to a group of seniors who it believes has a strong potential to improve their scores. Between eight and ten students have been participating in the voluntary web-based course, which started three weeks before the March 27 administration of the SAT.
On Tuesday, March 2, Blair teachers and several hundred Blair students will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote for candidates for various public offices. A great number of races are being held this election cycle that will have a direct impact on the Blair community, the County, the State and the entire Country. Silver Chips is providing background on all the races pertinent to the Blair community and general information for those new to the political process. See the links below for more information on specific races and for a background for Maryland and Montgomery County politics.
In order to aid Blazers who will be going to the polls for the first time, Silver Chips has decided to provide background information on Maryland Politics and explain certain concepts that may not be fully understood, regarding who is elected to represent who, and at what level.
Due to congressional redistricting by the Maryland General Assembly and then Governor Paris Glendenning, Blair has fallen within the boundaries of District 8 since January of 2003. While District 8 used to contain mostly northwestern Montgomery County, and was represented by Republican Connie Morella, the addition of the more liberal areas of Takoma Park and northern Silver Spring gave Democrat Chris Van Hollen the edge in the 2002 election.
Before the boundaries were changed in 2002, District Four contained the majority of the Blair community and Blair itself. Now, Blair falls into the boundaries of District Eight, as do most Blazers. Incumbent Albert Wynn has represented District Four in the House of Representatives since 1993.
Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski have been the only two Senators from Maryland in recent memory. The Maryland Junior Senate Seat has been held by Incumbent Barbara Mikulski since 1987. Mikulski has a reputation of serving her constituents' interests, and is consequently likely to win the Democratic primary and the general election.
Much of the Blair community has become incensed by some of the recent actions by the Board of Education and Montgomery County Public Schools. Issues such as soda machines, funding for the Down County Consortium, educational tracking, and the achievement gap between minority and white students are all crucial in the Board of Education race for District Four. Valerie Ervin and Sheldon Fishman, who both have significant ties to the Blair community, are attempting to unseat incumbent Kermit Burnett, who has connections to the Kennedy Cluster.
English teacher Connie Ocelus will retire at the beginning of second semester after 30 years of teaching with MCPS. She has taught English at Blair for the past 16 years; she is the only Blair teacher retiring this semester.
Changes in the Algebra I curriculum brought about by the new Maryland High School Assessment Tests (HSAs) and a push by MCPS to have more middle school students take algebra have caused many students to be seriously unprepared for higher level math, according to numerous Blair teachers and administrators.
Take the thanksgiving quiz!
Delegates from all sixth period classes attended the first SGA senate meeting on Friday, October 3. Several important issues were discussed, including safety on University Boulevard, Homecoming themes, new clubs, spirit weeks and pep rallies.
Members of the BlairConnect program visited the Digital Edge Expo at the Washington Convention Center and obtained approximately 100 computers that will be refurbished and distributed to Blair students.
This school year is the first year that all non-magnet and non-CAP freshmen are required to take two semesters of Connections, a course designed to ease their transition into high school and to introduce them to the different academic programs and opportunities that Blair has to offer.
On Friday, March 7th, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Secretary of Education Ron Paige visited Blair. Their goal was to praise Blair and MCPS for their "leadership role” in securing schools in case of terrorist attack.