Assignment Education

RCES Holds Kindergarten Open Houses

On Feb. 15 and March 15, Rachel Carson Elementary School (RCES) will hold Kindergarten Open Houses for parents who will be sending (or are considering sending) their children to kindergarten at RCES next fall. Both open house events will begin at 9:15 a.m.

Principal Larry Chep and/or Dr. Ocheze Joseph, the principal intern, will meet with prospective kindergarten parents to discuss the school’s programs and answer questions, and parents will have an opportunity to visit kindergarten classes.

These meetings are not for children. Parents and children will attend the school’s Kindergarten Orientation, to be held May 1 – 3. Appointments will be scheduled for Kindergarten Orientation dates.

Apply Now for CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarships

High school seniors who are city of Gaithersburg residents can apply now for a W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. Memorial CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship. Since the program’s inception, 63 high school seniors have received more than $130,000 to help with their continuing education costs.

Scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the Educational Enrichment Committee, and are based on the embodiment of the Six Pillars of Character, personal merit, community service, financial need, and the student’s commitment to further education. Previous scholarships have ranged from $1,500 to $3,000 each.

Applications are available through school guidance counselors, principals, senior class sponsors, and on the CHARACTER COUNTS! page of the city’s website at The deadline for application is 4 p.m. on March 1.

For more information, contact the Gaithersburg Community Services Division at 301.258.6395 ext. 3.

City Junior Mayor Contest

Fourth graders in the city of Gaithersburg are encouraged to share what they would do if they were mayor in a statewide essay contest sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League (MML) in partnership with the Maryland Mayors’ Association, Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund and Local Government Insurance Trust. The theme for this year’s contest, to be explored in 275 words or less, is: Vision for the Future. One winning essay will be selected from each of the MML’s 11 regional districts.

The city of Gaithersburg is taking the program one step further by selecting a winner specifically from our own community. Essays submitted to the statewide contest from students who are residents of Gaithersburg will be reviewed by members of the city’s Educational Enrichment Committee. Finalists will participate in a videotaped panel interview, and one winner will be selected as Gaithersburg junior mayor, with the opportunity to participate in a number of programs and special events throughout the year. The winning Gaithersburg essay will also be published on the city’s website.

Deadline for entries is March 1. For more information visit or call 301.258.6313 x2324.

AFS Host Families Needed

AFS (AFS) International Student Exchange has opportunities for about 15 Montgomery County families to host international high school exchange students for the 2013-2014 school year.

These carefully screened kids come from over 90 different countries and are eager to learn about America and take part in the activities of the host family and local high school. Two – and single-parent households, with or without kids, are eligible to serve as hosts. The host family provides a place to sleep (not necessarily a private room) and provides meals. Students bring their own spending money and have excellent health insurance.

Host families will work with an AFS volunteer to select an exchange student who is a good match for the family’s interests and lifestyle. All AFS students are above average scholastically and speak English.

To learn more, contact AFS volunteer Bob Rushing at 301.236.6809 (, or visit the AFS website at

Student Transfer Application Season Underway

Montgomery County parents/guardians who wish to request a Change of School Assignment (COSA) for their children from their home school may begin the process during the transfer season, running now through April 2.

Assignment changes for students from one school to another are permitted under the following limited circumstances:

  • An older sibling attends the requested school in the regular program, absent a boundary change;
  • A continuation in a feeder pattern from middle to high school, except when affected by boundary change, application program acceptance, or consortium choice guidelines;
  • A documented, unique hardship situation;
  • A student is selected for an exempt program.

The COSA Information Booklet that describes the process is available in schools and online at

There is a different process to access the elementary language immersion programs. Visit for more details.

For more information about the transfer process, parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the principal at their home school.