Elevated levels of lead were found in Blair's drinking water, according to the latest tests conducted by MCPS. A letter written by Principal Phillip Gainous and sent home with students today, Dec. 17, detailed the results of the testing.
Time after time, every single school tested for lead in MCPS shows signs of lead contamination. In some elementary schools, tests show peak lead levels of 35,000 parts per billion (ppb), far surpassing the 20-ppb maximum, and for nearly eight months now, MCPS students have been exposed to the possibility of drinking lead every time they take a sip from a water fountain.
Nine more MCPS schools reported excessive lead levels on May 20. Of the 23 schools tested so far, all have had several water outlets that surpassed the 20 parts per billion (ppb) limit set by the EPA.
Last year, sophomore Prabhjot Kaur met her best friend. He had been the new student; she and her friends offered to show him the ropes. From there, he and Kaur started going to each other's houses, watching movies, attending parties together, never as romantic dates but always as platonic friends. In the safety and security of their intimate friendship, she can reveal every confidence—except one: She has had a crush on him for two months.
Despite having different water providers, Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's county officials all reported lead water contamination in schools this spring after conducting tests on multiple samples. Testing for lead began in Virginia and Maryland after eight D.C. public school facilities were identified as having lead levels higher than the standard imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The scent of Popeye's chicken and biscuits slathered with honey pervades the YMCA room every other Thursday, mingling with the sound of laughing, chattering adolescent voices and chairs scraping to cluster around the large table. The din fades into respectful silence as one of the voices speaks out distinctly from the rest, calling the meeting to order. Suddenly, the group switches from casual conversation to businesslike discussion, the voices now adult in their maturity as they prepare for the financial decisions involved with giving away $25,000.
As the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision approaches, diversity in public schools once again comes under scrutiny. Touted as one of the most diverse schools in MCPS, Blair, an all-white school before Brown, epitomizes the case's impact. Blair's student population is currently 32 percent black, 28 percent white, 26 percent Latino and 14 percent Asian. However, statistical diversity does not reflect true integration. Under examination, Blair is not as integrated as it seems to be, and students need more interaction with the different cultures around them.
Thousands of students and teachers gathered in Annapolis on Feb. 9 for a rally sponsored by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and other organizations to demand full funding for the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act, commonly known as the Thornton Commission.
The English department requested the purchase of anti-plagiarism software last month to stop student plagiarism. The request was approved by Principal Phillip Gainous at a department meeting on Dec. 11.
Junior Alan Bateman carefully considers the choices on the green and purple screen in front of him. He forgoes commenting and selects a few numbers: two for easiness, five for helpfulness and four for clarity. She is a great teacher, albeit tough. A few minutes later, Bateman's grading of Magnet math teacher Judith Bishop appears on RateMyTeachers.com, a site that has turned the tables on teachers and put the power of evaluation in students' hands.