Meetings on Magnets

Montgomery County public schools will hold informational meetings and open houses for parents of fifth-graders to discuss choosing schools in the Middle School Magnet Consortium, which includes Argyle, Loiederman and Parkland middle schools.

For families of students who live within the consortium's boundaries, informational meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at Loiederman Middle School, 12701 Goodhill Rd., Silver Spring; and 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at Parkland Middle School, 6300 Tilden Lane, Rockville. Each meeting will be followed by an open house. Information will be presented in English and Spanish.

The meetings will include discussions about the choice process, the consortium's programs and its bus transportation guidelines.

Families of sixth-graders who live outside the consortium's boundaries also can participate in school choice. For information, call 301-649-8081.

High School Rundown

The county public school system is holding an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday for parents of eighth-graders in private schools who live in the boundaries for the Northeast Consortium and are interested in public school options. The Northeast Consortium includes Blake, Paint Branch and Springbrook high schools.

An informational meeting for parents of eighth-graders in private schools who live in the Downcounty Consortium area will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Downcounty Consortium includes Blair, Einstein, Kennedy, Northwood and Wheaton high schools.

The meetings will discuss the choice process, the programs available at specific schools and student assignment procedures.

Both meetings will take place at the Spring Mill Field Office, 11721 Kemp Mill Rd., Silver Spring. Appointments are required to attend; call 301-649-8081. For information on consortium schools, visit www.mcps.k12.md.us.

Computer Lab Up for Grabs

The Montgomery County Students Information Technology Foundation is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations interested in receiving a donated "computer lab," including six computers and two printers.

The nonprofit foundation was established by the county public school system and the business community to provide hands-on training to high school students that will prepare them for the job market in information technology. The donation project allows students to practice their computer skills and earn community service while giving to charity.

Interested nonprofit groups should send applications to Judyn Rengers, 1251 Dalewood Dr., Room 1116, Silver Spring, fax them to 301-929-2192 or e-mail them to judyn_a_rengers@mcpsmd.org by Wednesday. To obtain an application, call 301-929-2197 or visit www.itfcareers.org.

Reaching Out to Parents

The county's Division of Family and Community Partnerships will hold a workshop for parents called "Making Connections: One Family at a Time" to offer ways to strengthen the family-school partnership, from 7 to 9 p.m. next Thursday at four schools: Loiederman Middle, 12701 Goodhill Rd., Silver Spring; Gaithersburg High School, 314 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg; Silver Spring International Middle School, 313 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring; and John F. Kennedy High School, 1901 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.

The discussion will focus on reading, writing and language arts as well as parental involvement at home. For information, call 301-279-3100.

-- Compiled by ARUNA JAIN