Frequently Asked Questions
Congratulations! You have enrolled your children in a warm, wonderful and exciting school where the students receive a top education in all subjects while acquiring Spanish language abilities that you absolutely will not believe. Plus, they have lots of fun along the way.
As exciting as this is, we understand that the first few weeks at a new school can be a bit baffling for both parents and students. We hope this “tip sheet” will answer your most pressing questions and help you and your child adjust as smoothly as possible to the new routine and environment.
Q: How do I find out what’s going on in my child’s day and life at school?
Have lunch with your child at school. You’ll find out from your child’s teacher what time that classroom has lunch scheduled; go to the sign-in book located on the podium outside the office to sign in and then just meet your child in the cafeteria! It’s a great way for you to get a feel for the place and to give your child a nice boost during the day. Having lunch early in the school year is especially helpful to new students as they adjust to the cafeteria. You do not need to make prior arrangements to join your child at lunch.
Get involved in the school. There are many ways for parents to be involved at Maxwell, and by being involved, you naturally become more aware of what’s going on. Don’t know how to get started? Read on!
Q: How do I get involved in the school?
I’m already pretty busy or I’m shy or I don’t know what to do… Maxwell offers a wide variety of ways that you can get involved with the school. No matter what your talents or the amount of time you have to offer, you can find a way to get involved, help out the school, and get to know teachers, staff and students in the process. Volunteer opportunities vary widely from one-time projects to occasional help to long-term commitments. Some things are done at school; others can be done at home. If the first thing you try doesn’t work for you, keep trying! It sometimes takes a few attempts to find the right fit. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
- Join and work with the PTA. The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) sponsors a variety of school activities to support our students and teachers. You will receive information about the many different committees and activities you can take part in at PTA meetings and in the backpacks. Also, look for the PTA membership and volunteer booth at orientation. The meetings are usually on the first Tuesday of the month. Watch for the exact day and time in the PTA Pilot newsletter. Everyone is welcome to attend.
- Ask your child’s teachers how you can help. Parents volunteer in the classroom on a regular or occasional basis.
- Come to meetings of the SBDM council and/or work on an SBDM committee. The SBDM is the Site Based Decision Making Council for our school; it’s our government and it really does make all the big decisions for the school. SBDM meetings are held the first Monday of every month at 4:00 p.m. in the school library. All parents are welcome to attend. However, the SBDM follows strict procedures for presenting ideas during meetings. If you would like to speak at a meeting or if you have an issue that you would like addressed, ask for an SBDM Agenda Inclusion Form in the office. Fill out the form, which describes the issue you want to discuss or have addressed, and put the completed form in the SBDM mailbox in the office.
- Get involved with Los Amigos. Los Amigos is a parent advocacy group for the Spanish Immersion Program that works at all three levels of the program (Maxwell, Bryan Station Traditional Middle, and Bryan Station High Schools). You’ll receive information from them when school begins.
- Read the Maxwell newsletter (PTA Pilot) and check out the Maxwell Web site (www.maxwell.fcps.net).
The newsletter comes out monthly, and the Web site is constantly being updated and improved.
Q: What are some of the logistical things I should be aware of?
- Drop-off is from 7:15-7:45 a.m.; students are marked late after 7:45. Students who arrive before 7:45 are supervised in the classrooms. If you drive your child to school, you can briefly pull into the bus lane to drop your child off.
- Pick-up for walkers/drivers is from 2:35 - 2:45 p.m. from the gym. Bus riders are dismissed to the front hall of the school, where teachers escort students to the buses. Do not park in the bus lanes during drop-off and pick-up times (7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.).
- Remember safety issues during drop-off and pick-up. Do not jaywalk, make U-turns in front of the school, or drop off or pick up from the other side of the street.
- Lunch and milk money can be paid in advance by check or cash for any number of weeks you wish. You can continue to pay in advance throughout the year by sending in a check for the cafeteria. Speaking of lunch – if you send lunch with your child, make sure any containers are easy to open.
- Sign in whenever you visit the school. Go to the sign-in book located on the podium outside the office, sign in, and pick up a visitor’s badge. When you leave the school, sign out in the same book and return the badge.
Q: Are there any special events I should know about already?
Meeting with teachers: Your child’s teachers will hold an informational meeting for parents early in the school year. Look for details from the teachers. You can find other events on the school calendar.
Q: Will my child learn in this strange new environment, learning in two languages? Yes!!
We hope that your first few weeks of school go smoothly! If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to call any of the PTA board members.