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.
Ms Martinez in the Counseling Office speaks Spanish; her phone is 301.650.6460. If you need help with translation into another language, the school counselors can help find someone for you. Or you can contact the Outreach Committee of the PTA (Susan Fleck (Spanish), 301.270.1960 or Tebabu Assefa (Amharic), 301.891.2002).
- Advanced classes in Social Studies and English have above-grade-level content. Parents can ask to have their child placed in an advanced class.
- Foreign language electives start in 6th grade. Your student must be reading on-grade-level to sign up. Spanish for English speakers, Spanish for Spanish speakers, and French are offered. These are taken for the full year.
- Art, Home Economics (called FACS), TV Studio, Dance and Computer Applications are all half year courses.
- Reading. Students who are below-grade-level in reading are required to take Reading during the elective period.
- Music electives are Orchestra for string instruments and Band for wind and percussion. These are full year courses.
- 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.
- All classes are held in a 90 minute block on an alternating odd and even day schedule
- On odd days, students go to classes 1, 3, 5, 7
- On even days, they attend classes 2, 4, 6, and 8
- School calendars and agenda books note whether a school day is odd or even. If school is closed due to snow or other emergency, the schedule remains the same as it is in the agenda books
- Students receive report cards once a quarter, or 4 times a year, at the same time as all other schools. If your child does not bring home the report card, go to the school to get a copy from the school counselor. The final report card of each year is mailed home.
- The grading system remains the same as elementary school: A is excellent, B is very good, C is average, D is poor, and E is failing.
- Grades are calculated as grade point averages for academic eligibility: A is 4.0, B is 3.0, C is 2.0, D is 1.0, E is 0 points. Add up the grade points and divide by the number of classes to get the grade point average, also called the GPA.
- Poor grades may mean your child will not be able to participate in team sports or organized school activities. They must have at least a 2.0 GPA and no more than one E in the previous semester to play a sport, be in student government or official student activities like plays.
- Some grades in middle school count towards the high school GPA: All levels of foreign language – Spanish and French; Algebra 1 and 2 and Geometry count towards high school’s GPA – they will show up in the student’s high school record. Your child has only one chance to take a class again if she receives a D or E.
- Parents should all use the computer-based internet site called MyMCPS to monitor your middle and high school children’s grades between report cards.
- You can contact teachers or call the school counselors at 301.650.6460 to ask for help in understanding each class’s homework policy.
- If your child is getting a C, D or E, you and your child may want to get help with studying, organizing, or reading understanding. Counselors have an organization group for students, and Afterschool Homework Club can be helpful.
- Interim reports are mailed halfway through each marking period.
- Unexcused Absences affect your child’s grades in high school, so develop good habits now. Parents must call the attendance secretary before 7:45am at 301.562.5210 when your child is absent. If your child is not on time for a class, she is considered absent. Attendance is taken in all classes. The first class starts at 7:55. Be sure your child is at school in time to go to the locker and arrive to class on time.
Sra. Martinez, una de las consejeras, habla español. La puede llamar a 301.650.6460. También puede llamar a los padres de familia que son los enlaces del PTA para padres y apoderados que hablan español (Susan Fleck y Nery Durón, 301.270.1960).