The Takoma Park Middle School Parent Teacher Association (TPMS PTA) provides parents and teachers with a way to share our experience and knowledge, support our children’s education, and promote their health, safety and well-being. The mission of the PTA is “to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”
The active involvement of parents, teachers and students is essential to the success of the PTA. Studies have proven that parental involvement provides children with a greater chance of achieving in school. The PTA leadership and membership pledge to work together with teachers, school administrators, and the greater community to make sure every parent’s concerns are heard and every child’s right to a high quality education is realized.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who goes to Takoma Park Middle School?
Takoma Park Middle School teaches 993 students from grades 6 through 8 (updated as of Aug 5, 2014).
- Local students come from Piney Branch Elementary School and East Silver Spring Elementary School.
- In each grade, about 100 students from all over the county come to TPMS for the Magnet Math, Science and Computer Science program (which students had to test into and apply for in 5th grade). Many local students are in the magnet program, too. For those students, 3 of 8 classes are “magnet” classes: math, science, and computer science. All other classes are with the rest of the student body.
- Takoma Park Middle School has specific programs for students who are new to this country (METS), or whose home language is not English (ESOL). These students can be with ESOL teachers for one class or most classes.
What do 6th Grade Families Need to Know?
This is probably the biggest transition year since dropping your child off at kindergarten, so here are some practical notes…
- Classes start at 7:55am, school opens at 7:25am, breakfast is available in the cafeteria after 7:30. Students are dismissed at 2:40pm and buses leave at 2:47pm. Students may not be in the school after 2:50pm.
- Call the school when your child is going to be late or absent, provide a note when he or she returns to school.
- Lunch is more flexible and provides students more choices on an a la carte menu, which can lead to nutrition concerns and bigger expenses. Lines can be long in the beginning of the year.
- Your child will have a different teacher for each subject and will have to keep track of assignments for each class.
- Parent-teacher conferences are generally by invitation only from the school. Contact the school counselor if you want to meet with your child’s teachers.
What kind of activities and clubs are available at TPMS?
- Sports Interscholastic sports teams start in 7th grade: girls and boys softball, basketball, soccer, cross-country running and track. Students have to try out for teams, have a GPA above 2.0, complete health forms and pay a fee. These teams compete against other schools in the county. Practices are usually immediately afterschool.
- After School Clubs are run by TPMS staff on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The brochure listing the clubs will be given to students in early September. Activity Buses are available those days at 3:50pm to transport students. They begin running in mid-September, drop children at central locations, and do not run on the afternoon before a school holiday or on half days. For more information, contact the MCPS Transportation Department.
- Service Learning is 75 hours of community service that students must fulfill to graduate from high school. They can start volunteering in middle school. Students fill out forms, get them signed by the supervisor of the activity and turn them into the Main Office.
How does the TPMS PTA work?
- The PTA sponsors social activities (Books and Basketball, International Dinner), provides special treats for school staff during the year, organizes fundraisers for school purchases, brings in volunteers for school activities, runs email listserves and produces a phone directory of students.
- You and your child are part of the school community and can always come to any PTA-sponsored activity – even if you aren’t a member of the PTA. We want you to feel welcome at the school and with other parents and be active in school activities.
- PTA membership means that you have a formal role in participating in the school community. When you join the organization, the PTA will be able to share events and news with you, and it will be able to send requests for volunteers to help out for special events.
- Joining is free. If you choose to make a monetary donation, your money would contribute to our local school activities and to a local, county, state, and nationwide organization whose primary goal is to advocate for the educational needs of our children.
- You can join by filling out this online form, click here.
What do 7th and 8th Grade families need to know?
- The middle year of middle school brings increased homework, and the start of the high school choice process (see below).
- Seventh grade is the first year students can compete in sports for the middle school teams.
- Eighth grade is the year students choose a high school within the Downcounty Consortium (DCC). The purpose of the DCC (which includes Montgomery Blair, Einstein, Wheaton, Kennedy and Northwood High Schools) is to allow students more opportunities to choose programs that interest them. This is also the time to look at high school IB and magnet programs. Pay close attention to materials sent home throughout the year concerning informational meetings, open houses at each school and deadlines for forms. The PTA will host a panel discussion of students and parents from each of the high schools at the October meeting. Go to the DCC website for more information.