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Middle East Watch

By Biruk Bekele | March 10, 2011, 2:39 p.m. | In Print News »

When senior Nadia Kadry arrived home from school on Feb. 11, she walked right into the middle of a party. Like her relatives on the streets of Egypt, Kadry's parents were celebrating the sudden fall of a dictator that ruled for the last three decades.

Get to know the SMOB candidates

By Philipa Friedman | March 10, 2011, 2:36 p.m. | In Print News »

In this year's election for the 2011-2012 Student Member of the Board, the competition has been narrowed down to two contestants: incumbent Alan Xie and newcomer Hal Zeitlin, both juniors. We asked them about their positions on key issues for the upcoming year and a little about their qualifications. Stay tuned for the "Meet The Candidates" TV show, which will air on the MCPS cable channel beginning March 21.

Community input considered in superintendent search

By Maureen Lei | March 10, 2011, 12:14 p.m. | In Print News »

The Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) and Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), the search firm assisting the BOE with the superintendent search, released the Leadership Profile Assessment on Feb. 17. The assessment identifies the characteristics that community members would like to see in the next MCPS superintendent, according to HYA President Hank Gmitro.

Media center addresses missing Promethean board tools

By Maggie Shi | March 10, 2011, 12:13 p.m. | In Print News »

Frequent Promethean board misuse by outside groups has prompted concern among Blair administration and Media Center specialists. Business Manager Jim Funk sent out an email to Blair staff members on Feb. 11 regarding the issue.

First ICC road segment opens

By Srividya Murthy | March 10, 2011, 11:56 a.m. | In Print News »

The Intercounty Connector (ICC) opened its 5.5-mile segment between Gaithersburg and Olney on Feb. 23, after nearly 50 years of debate and planning. According to Ray Feldmann, media relations manager at the ICC Project, driving on the ICC has proceeded smoothly during its opening weeks.

MCPS forms partnership with Navy

By Srividya Murthy | March 10, 2011, 11:49 a.m. | In Print News »

MCPS middle and high school students have started to contribute to Navy-based science and engineering projects as a result of a partnership signed between Montgomery County and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock Division. This is the first partnership between the Navy and Montgomery County and was entered at a signing ceremony on Jan. 24 at Shady Grove Innovation Center in Rockville, Maryland.

New bill would change tax laws to fund schools

By Biruk Bekele | March 9, 2011, 5:53 a.m. | In Print News »

Maryland State Senator Richard S. Madaleno (D-8) proposed a bill last month that would allow county governments to raise property taxes above the charter limit in order to fund education.

Dream Act proposed

By Biruk Bekele | Feb. 9, 2011, 1:43 p.m. | In Print News »

Maryland Senators Victor Ramirez and Richard S. Madeleno introduced a bill last month dubbed the "Maryland Dream Act" that would grant undocumented Maryland college students the right to in-state tuition. At the same time, Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit against Montgomery College accusing the community college of granting in-county tuition rates to students graduating from Montgomery County high schools regardless of their immigration status or residence.

USDA revises school lunch nutrition standards

By Eliza Wapner | Feb. 9, 2011, 12:21 p.m. | In Print News »

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed new guidelines for public school meals on Jan. 13. The initiatives would require healthy food choices, including more fruits and vegetables in every meal and snacks for after school activities. The new regulations are based on recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine and are updating the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids act of 2010, according to a USDA press release.

Diesel exhaust filters installed on MCPS buses

By Srividya Murthy | Feb. 9, 2011, 12:09 p.m. | In Print News »

MCPS has installed diesel exhaust filters on 70 MCPS buses in order to enforce the 2008 settlement with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for improved air quality in the local Washington D.C., area. The settlement additionally entailed the construction of an air quality monitor near the Capital Beltway, which would be able to provide the first hard data on the highway's pollution levels over the course of three years.

Edison and Wheaton possibly to merge

By Claire Koenig | Feb. 9, 2011, 12:07 p.m. | In Print News »

The MCPS Board of Education is examining potential plans to combine the Thomas Edison High School of Technology with Wheaton High School. If Superintendent Jerry Weast and the U.S. Board of Education (BOE) approve one of the arrangements proposed to integrate the schools, Wheaton may offer a new vocational Magnet program through Edison. Wheaton officials hope this arrangement would simultaneously allow more students to participate in the popular Edison program and solve under-enrollment issues at Wheaton, according to Edison Network Operations teacher Jesse McGee.

Ride-On introduces tracking features for commuters

By Philipa Friedman | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:51 a.m. | In Print News »

By the end of the summer, Ride-On, Montgomery County's bus transit system, will have instituted the fully operational Smart Traveler system, which will allow commuters to check locations and arrival times for buses due to arrive at specific stops, according to Montgomery County Public Information Officer Esther Bowring.

BNC launches new online aspect

By Philipa Friedman | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:40 a.m. | In Print News »

Blair Network Communications (BNC), Blair's media production organization, has made a number of changes since the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, including the introduction of a new online aspect and the addition of "That's All, Folks," a radio show hosted by sophomore Adam Maisto. "The Internet is the main thing I changed," said BNC's faculty advisor Paris Bustillos. "I really thought it should be a bigger part of BNC."

School system battles tough budget

By Maureen Lei | Feb. 9, 2011, 11:32 a.m. | In Print News »

MCPS Superintendent Jerry Weast recommended a $2.16 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 on Dec. 15. The budget is $60 million more than the FY 2011 budget.

MCPS pilots corollary sports teams

By Sebastian Medina-Tayac | Dec. 16, 2010, 2:45 p.m. | In Print News »

This year's inaugural corollary bocce ball team will begin its first season on Dec. 13, coached by science teacher and soccer and basketball coach, John Haigh. Blair's newest team, along with six other county high school teams, is part of an MCPS athletics program to bring in students not usually involved in athletics, including those with disabilities.

Community garden plans blossom

By Claire Koenig | Dec. 16, 2010, 12:14 p.m. | In Print News »

Plans for a new Silver Spring community garden on Fenton Street are underway, with high hopes for an opening in April. The Montgomery County Parks (MCP) service has collected a soil sample from the potential garden space at 7904 Fenton Street to ensure that the soil is safe and fertile enough for plant growth.

NEWS ANALYSIS: On bus fees, Montgomery County drives down a dangerous road

By Biruk Bekele | Dec. 16, 2010, 12:07 p.m. | In Print News »

In early December, Maryland State Senator Richard S. Madaleno withdrew a bill that aimed to allow the school system to implement bus fees for optional programs including magnet, immersion and consortium programs. According to Madaleno's Chief of Staff Adam Fogel, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) advised Madaleno that the bill was not sufficient enough to allow the county to implement bus fees, prompting the senator to withdraw the bill.

3:00 buses overflow

By Biruk Bekele | Dec. 16, 2010, 11:33 a.m. | In Print News »

Due to issues of overcrowding on local magnet and activity buses serving the Takoma Park Middle School and Eastern Middle School areas, Blair has implemented a bus pass system. According to Magnet Coordinator Peter Ostrander, bus drivers have seen a sizable increase in the number of non-Magnet and non-CAP students who want to ride 3:00 and 4:30 buses.

Delays freeze plans for ice rink

By Claire Sleigh | Dec. 16, 2010, 11:28 a.m. | In Print News »

Montgomery County officials have determined Tri-State Management, LLC as a potential contractor for the yet to be opened Downtown Silver Spring ice rink, following weeks of negotiations with multiple rink contractors. The county has tentatively set late December as an opening goal for the ice rink.

Majestic unveils IMAX

By Srividya Murthy | Dec. 16, 2010, 11:21 a.m. | In Print News »

On Nov. 19, Regal Majestic opened its first IMAX theater with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I." This is the first IMAX theater to open in Montgomery County, and is the first of four new IMAX theaters to be built in the Washington D.C., metropolitan area, according to Kirby Lawson, associate manager at Majestic.

2010 Election guide

By Biruk Bekele | Nov. 11, 2010, 1:24 p.m. | In Print News »

BSA cuts back academic program and tightens security

By Stella Bartholet | Nov. 11, 2010, 1:01 p.m. | In Print News »

Budget cuts and new security expectations forced the Blair Sports Academy (BSA) to make changes in its program this school year, affecting the study and recreational habits of students. After school, Blazers now have less time in the Media Center and must sign into the BSA in order to use the Student Activity Center (SAC).

Blair graduation rate increases

By Biruk Bekele | Nov. 11, 2010, 12:21 p.m. | In Print News »

After five years of decline, Blair's graduation rate rose to 88.1 percent for the class of 2010, an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous school year, according to an MCPS report. Similarly, the graduation rate for MCPS increased from 87.4 percent to 90 percent and the Maryland graduation rate increased from 85.2 percent to 86.5 percent.

Two football players recover from homecoming game injuries

By Eliza Wapner | Nov. 11, 2010, noon | In Print News »

Junior tight-end Lio Medal and Senior running back and corner back Jonathan Aiken were injured severely and sent to the hospital during Blair's homecoming football game on Oct. 22.

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