How can we help?
How is class placement decided for my child?
The student’s teachers make recommendations for class placement based on the student’s grades, test scores and work habits. Questions about how a student is placed should be directed to the classroom teacher or department resource teacher.
If I have a question about a grade my child received on her/his report card, whom do I contact?
With any academic concern, you should always contact your child’s teacher first. The classroom teacher is the one who is most familiar with your child’s academic performance and best able to address your questions.
How can I request a change to my child's schedule?
As a general practice, schedule changes are rarely made. Requests for teacher preference and placement with peers are not permissible. Changes to elective choice are extremely difficult after the initial registration period and are only considered when feasible.
How do I know what my child’s homework is?
All students are provided with a KMS agenda book and are expected to record their homework in it daily. In addition, teachers will use the MyMCPS portal tools (e.g. assignments, calendar, etc.) to post homework and may also use Google Classroom at their discretion. Refer to each teacher’s syllabus to learn how each teacher will communicate.
Who do I contact if my child has concerns in a particular class?
We strongly recommend that you contact your child's teacher to resolve concerns and address issues. After contacting or attempting to contact the teacher, should you need additional assistance, contact your child's grade level counselor for assistance.
What does a Parent-Teacher Conference look like in middle school?
A conference is scheduled when a student, his/her family, grade-level counselor, or teachers have academic and/or social and emotional concerns about a student. The conference will include a parent(s) or guardian(s), the grade level counselor, all available teachers of the student, and sometimes the student. Parent-teacher conferences are intended to be a collaborative, problem-solving process in order to better support the student and his/her needs. Please contact your child’s grade-level counselor in order to schedule a parent teacher conference.
What does it mean to be academically eligible/ineligible?
The quarterly Grade Point Average (GPA) is the determining factor for eligibility in MCPS. A student who receives a GPA of 2.0 or higher with no more that one E is considered academically eligible. As such, they are permitted to participate in after-school activities including trying out for KMS athletic teams. If a student is ineligible an academic intervention plan will be developed.
Sample Report Card
When does my child register for next year’s classes?
Our registration process for the next school year begins in January of the current year. Your child’s current teachers are asked to make course placement recommendations for their students. In February, counselors will visit classes and distribute personalized registration forms that include each student’s individual course recommendations along with a list of the next year’s elective course offerings. Students are expected to review these forms with their parents and/or guardians and return a signed form by the provided deadline.
If I disagree with the teacher recommendation, what can I do?
We ask that you attach a letter detailing your concerns and a course preference to your child’s registration form. Your child’s educational team will use this information and additional data available to make a decision around courses.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL QUESTIONS
Do school counselors provide therapy?
The general role or a school counselor is to remove barriers to academic achievement by providing brief solution-focused counseling support. If a student is in need of more significant counseling or therapeutic interventions, families are encouraged to seek out community-based resources. The KMS school psychologist is available for consultation with families if they are seeking outside supports.
How is a student invited to a counseling group?
Students may be invited to groups through self-referral, staff recommendation, and/or parent request and are based on student need. Counseling groups are run throughout the year and are designed to meet various student needs. Groups usually meet once a week for 6-8 weeks. Counseling groups are facilitated by KMS counselors, our school psychologist, and/or various community-based mental health professionals.
My 6th grader is nervous about coming to middle school. How can I help them through the transition?
We recognize that transitioning to middle school can be a stressful experience for our students. We highly encourage students to attend our orientation program prior to the start of the school year. As a school, we provide significant support to ease the adjustment for our new students each school year. If you have a specific concern about your child, please contact your child’s grade-level counselor.
As a first-time middle school parent, how can I prepare for the transition ahead?
Breathe! It will be okay. :) We encourage families to get involved in the KMS community, attend the new parent orientation evening, review all documents that are sent home about your child’s school year, and establish open communication with your child’s teachers. We are here to support you.
If you would like more resources on how to prepare you and/or your child for the upcoming school year, the following link may be helpful:
What is the best way to communicate with my child’s counselor?
All counselors can be easily reached by individual email or by phone at 301-601-4607. If you would like to meet with your child’s counselor in person, we are happy to schedule an appointment to meet with you. As counselors are frequently working directly with students, it is unlikely that we will be able to meet with you without a scheduled appointment.
6th Grade: Ms. Janet Moore - Janet_Moore@mcpsmd.org
7th Grade: Ms. Kelli Shelhorse - Kelli_L_Shelhorse@mcpsmd.org
8th Grade: Mrs. Katie Mendelson - Kathryn_M_Mendelson@mcpsmd.org
Resource Counselor: Mrs. Heather Cohen - Heather_M_Cohen@mcpsmd.org
What should I do when my child is absent from school?
Call the attendance secretary (301-601-4611), on the morning of the absence.
The child must bring a note signed by her/his parent to the attendance secretary when returning to school. The note must contain:
student’s full name
date(s) of absence
reason for absence
parent's phone number
How can I arrange to get work for my child when they are ill?
If your child misses 1 or 2 days of school, they should refer to each individual teacher’s procedure for student absences and/or check MyMCPS portal or Google Classroom. If your child misses 3 or more days of school, please call Cathy Hocker in the Counseling Office (301-601-4607) and arrange for available work to be collected. Please allow 24 hours for collection before pickup. We understand that circumstances sometimes inhibit student attendance, but consistent availability for instruction is a significant priority for a successful middle school experience.