Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for New Matsunaga Parents
Q. What does the PTA do?
A. PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association. Our PTA at Matsunaga Elementary/Longview School works under the National PTA and the Montgomery County PTA (MCCPTA). PTA is a volunteer child advocacy association and provides children, parents and teachers a voice to speak on behalf of every child while providing tools to help their children be successful students. At our school, the MES/LV PTA works with membership dues and fundraising dollars to provide valuable resources to our students and teachers in the classroom. Along the way, we hope to make it fun for students and to make memories that last a lifetime!
Q. What do you do when your child is absent from school? What do you do when your child will be absent for a long period of time?
A. Whether for one day or a longer period of time please either call and/or email your child’s teacher and the school secretaries.
Q. What do you do when your child arrives to school late or needs to leave early?
A. You will need to walk your child into the office and sign them in or check them out. There is a sign in/out sheet and you will work with the school secretaries in order to drop off/pick up your child.
Q. How do you inform the teachers or secretaries of an early dismissal?
A. Ideally, we recommend you inform the teachers the day before an early dismissal. You can also contact the school secretaries.
Q. What if we want to change our kids’ transportation pick up for that day?
A. Please contact the school secretaries as soon as you are aware of the change.
Q. Who do you call or report to if there is a problem on the bus?
A. Call the school secretaries and they will put you in touch with the appropriate staff to handle the concern.
Q. Is it permissible to have lunch with your child? What about visiting our child other times of the day?
A. Parents are welcome to visit the school during lunch to eat with their child. Other visiting times should be coordinated with the child’s teacher.
Q. How do children pay for lunch? How do we fund lunches for students?
A. Your child will pay for lunch by entering a private PIN number at the end of the lunch line. We recommend visiting www.mylunchmoney.com, which provides options to fund lunches. When your child’s account is low, you will receive both email alerts and a letter home from school. Lunch funds can be replenished by sending a check to the school with your child, or by dropping a check off with one of the secretaries.
Q. What options are available if my child forgets their lunch?
A. Your child can borrow up to $10 in loans for lunches. After that, a cheese sandwich is provided.
Q. How do I volunteer and get involved in the school?
A. Matsunaga has a strong volunteer community at the school every day. You will coordinate volunteering with your teacher or the PTA. Please talk to you teacher and visit www.meslvpta.org to sign up for PTA volunteer opportunities. During school hours, you are required to sign in and wear a ‘volunteer’ sticker.
Q. What is a room parent, and what are their responsibilities?
A. The room parents at Matsunaga are responsible for planning the Halloween and Valentine parties for their child’s classroom. They also typically work with the teacher on other matters involving the classroom or communication with other classroom parents.
Q. What other resources are available at the school?
A. The teachers are likely the first point of contact for most needs; however, there are other staff (such as counselors or administrators) that are also available to parents.
Q. Is there a dress code at Matsunaga? What type of shoes is allowed?
A. During the child’s PE class, the child is required to wear tennis shoes.
Q. Where do I park when visiting Matsunaga?
A. There are a limited number of visitor parking spaces. You are also allowed to park in the bus area during 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., however this area needs to be cleared for the buses during drop off and pick up. You are also allowed to park in the surrounding neighborhood just as long as it does not block a neighbor’s mailbox.
Q. When are the PTA meetings and what is the purpose of these meetings?
A. PTA meetings are held 4 times a year (October, December, February and May). We encourage all parents to attend these meetings and actively participate.
Q. What is the primary means of communication with the PTA?
A. The PTA maintains an automatic emailing list to send updates and information for PTA-related activities and programs. You can sign up for the email list at our website which we encourage you to visit, www.meslvpta.org, or just send an email to the PTA Corresponding Secretary at email@example.com. The PTA will also periodically send information home with students. In addition, the PTA maintains a Facebook presence entitled “Matsunaga/Longview PTA.”
Q. Does the school have English translators?
A. At special meetings, Korean, Chinese, Spanish and French could be arranged. Please check the MCPS website for further information: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/.
Q. How involved do Matsunaga students get with Longview? At what age do they do the buddy system?
A. In 4th grade, students have the option to participate in a recess time buddy club.
Q. May parents request parent-teacher conferences or progress reports from teachers anytime of the year or is it just the beginning of the year?
A. We encourage all parents to sign up for a parent-teacher conference during Back-to-School Night. After that, the conferences are held if/when a parent requests it.
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