Saturday, October 15, 2016

Signs covered in Vines

I bet you can't guess what sign this is for.  It is almost totally covered in vines.  Imagine trying to read it while driving.

Here's the same sign with a bit of road for context, does that help you figure it out?  Notice how the vines are covering the whole area, not just the sign.

Here is another sign nearby the first.  This one is a bit easier since you can read the word Lane, but which lane is it?

Need a hint?  The vines covering the signs are porcelain berry, an invasive  deciduous, woody, perennial climbing vine with flowers and tendrils that is often confused with plants from the grape species.  It has taken over this section of River Road in Bethesda, MD.

This sign isn't covered in vines, but it is a well-weathered Ride-On bus stop sign just around the corner on Wilson Lane, MD-188. (Does that give away the answer to what the above signs say?)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Recomendations for WJ cluster schools

The superintendent of Montgomery County public schools (Dr. Jack Smith) has released his recommendation for how to address the continuing overcrowding at Walter Johnson cluster schools. He took into account sort and long term enrolment projections and the report of the Walter Johnson Cluster Roundtable Discussion Group to come up with his recommendations.  Here is a summary of the recommendations from the above linked PDF file.

  • For Ashburton Elementary School, reduce the approved addition project scheduled for completion in August 2019 from 881 seats to 770 seats, relocate the four special education Preschool Education Program (PEP) classes to Bradley Hills and Luxmanor elementary schools beginning in the 2017–2018 school year, and construct a modular classroom addition to open in August 2019 that can be relocated in the future after a new school opens.
  • Monitor the enrollment at Farmland Elementary School and consider the reassignment of students to Luxmanor Elementary School beginning in the 2020–2021 school year after completion of the revitalization/expansion project.
  • Utilize space in the annex facility adjacent to Garrett Park Elementary School to address the capacity deficit at the school.
  • Monitor enrollment in the cluster elementary schools and open a new school in the long term when the capacity deficit may support the need for the new school.
  • Continue with the plans for the addition at North Bethesda Middle School scheduled to open in August 2018 with a capacity for 1,229 students and a master-planned addition for up to 1,500 students.
  • Continue with the plans to revitalize/expand Tilden Middle School (and collocation with Rock Terrace School) with a capacity for 1,200 students and a master-planned addition for up to 1,500 students.
  • Convene a roundtable discussion group to include representatives from the Downcounty Consortium high schools a nd Walter Johnson High School to study the following:
    • Reopen the former Woodward High School to address the space deficits at Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, Walter Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Northwood high schools; and in addition
    • Explore the possibility and develop a potential model approach to address space deficits at these high schools as well as others countywide, by offering alternative programmatic, career technology education, or other voluntary educational options for high school students through use of non-traditional facilities, including commercial space.
  • Planning and construction funds will be included for the high school solution as part of the Superintendent’s Recommended FY 2019–2024 Capital Improvements Program in October 2017.

Note that these are just recommendations to the Board of Education, they may not be acted on, or may be only partially acted on.