Back to school checklist



Not yet registered at RCES?

Contact the main office at 240-740-1840 


Buy school supplies 

Download the 2019-20 printable list of teacher requested school supplies here*

*This is the list of supplies requested by our RCES teachers. This list is more specific and may contain more requested items than the MCPS county-recommended supply list posted on the RCES website. Purchase whatever supplies you can, all kids receive the same education regardless of the school supplies they bring at the start of the year! 


RCES school supply lists are now available on Target's School List Assist! 

Select online ordering or in-store pickup and Target will shop your supplies from available stock. 


Make sure you know how your child is getting to school

See the Transportation section for more information


Fill your child's lunch account

The school cafeteria uses a computerized cash register system. Every student has an account with a PIN (personalized identification number). To access the account at mealtime, students enter this PIN on a keypad. If you don't know your child's pin, ask their teacher.


My School Bucks allows you to make prepayments on your child’s cafeteria account, view recent purchases and check balances. There is a $1.95 convenience fee for each transaction.

Prefer to pay by check? Write the student’s name and PIN number on the front of a check payable to the school cafeteria. Place the deposit money in an envelope with “Cafeteria” written on the front.

At the start of the school year, any money left on the account from the previous year will be available for the new school year.


More lunch-related questions answered below in the FAQ section


Read The Chronicle

If your child is enrolled at RCES, you are automatically signed up for the Chronicle, the weekly newsletter emailed each week by the Administrative Team (aka the "A Team"). It's a great summary of what's going on at the school. Your year will go much smoother if you spend 3 minutes each week reading it.

If you're not receiving the Chronicle by the end of September, please contact the office. PTA does not maintain this mailing list, but uses this same list for important PTA communications.


Follow us!

Like the RCES PTA Facebook page. Not on Facebook? We frequently cross post to the Kentlands neighborhood on Nextdoor.


Explore volunteer opportunities

There's opportunities to fit everyone's busy schedules, from becoming a Room Parent to donating chalk for recess. Read about all of our opportunities here.

Not quite ready to jump into the volunteer pool? That's ok, check out some ways to ease into becoming an involved RCES parent


Complete volunteer training

If you plan to come into the school at any point while school is in session, you will need to complete a volunteer background check. It's quick, so why not take care of it today?


Attend Sneak Peek

See date and times below

Meet your child's teacher, drop off school supplies and reconnect with old friends or meet new ones! While you're there, stop by the PTA table to ask questions and...



Join PTA

Wondering why you should join? Read more here


Stock up on Spirit Gear

Order now, or see what's available at Sneak Peek! 



Fill out your Keep on Learning Summer Challenge

While there are no specific summer homework requirements, all Herons are challenged to practice Reading, Writing, Word Study, Math and Technology skills during the Summer. Download your worksheet here. Sheets are due by Friday, September 6. 


  Have a great year!





The Basics

The building opens for students at 8:40 and the late bell rings at 9:00. Students arriving after 9:00 must sign in and get a hall pass from the office. 


On half days, dismissal begins at 12:55 pm


Report absences online, or call the office at 240-740-1840. Students who are absent from school are expected upon their return to bring a note from a parent explaining the reason for the absence.


Parents who need to take a child out of school for an appointment are asked to sign him or her out in the office before 3:05 pm.






Bus Routes


Driving to school? For your convenience, our parking lot is available as a “Kiss and Ride” area for drop-off and pickup. Please read through the following Kiss and Ride guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and parents alike. 


As you drop off or pick up your child each day:

  • If you are the first car in line, please pull forward to the “Kiss and Ride” sign to allow as many cars as possible to have closer access to the sidewalk and school.
  • As you are in the Kiss & Ride line, please pull forward as much as possible.
  • In the morning, please stay in the line, rather than passing cars on the left.
  • In the afternoon, please look all around your car before pulling into the left lane to depart.
  • Please have your child exit and enter on the right side of the car.
  • Please only allow students to enter and exit your car in the area between the two Kiss & Ride signs, unless there is a RCES staff member available to ensure students safely walking up from beyond the signs. There are cones marking where the Kiss and Ride begins and ends.
  • Please remain in your car


And most importantly, be patient! We have a lot of students, which means there are a lot of cars driving around. Please respect our amazing crossing guards and patrols!






People You Should Know

Meet your A Team


M Deneise Hammond




Amanda Dali




Gina Bannon







After School Care

Bar-T Kids Club provides after care in the RCES All Purpose Room. See their website for more information.



We coordinate with a number of vendors to provide a wide array of after school enrichment opportunities. See current offerings at





Welcome Events

The start of a new school year can be stressful. Attending events helps kids, and parents, feel that they are part of a safe, engaged and exciting community. Mark your calendars for these welcome events:



Sneak Peek, the first event of the new school year, is an opportunity for you and your child to meet their new teacher! The grade specific schedule is:

Grades 3-5 at 1:00

Grades K-2 at 2:00

Kindergarten playdate at 3:00


Once again, Carmen's Italian Ice will be available for cash only purchase during sneak peek. A portion of proceeds will be donated to RCES PTA. 


Should you bring school supplies to sneak peek? 

You're more than welcome, but not required to. It can be helpful to bring supplies for younger kids, so that they don't have to carry them alone on the first day of school.


Should supplies be labeled?

You can label supplies, but it's not necessary. Many teachers will have bins set up at sneak peek, to collect shared classroom supplies. Others will ask students to organize their own supplies in a personal bin or cubby. Big supplies like headphones or computer mice should be labeled.


Attention Kindergarten Parents!

Plan to stick around after the KG sneak peek for the kindergarten popsicle playdate! Give your kids an opportunity to check out their new playground and cool off with an ice pop while you meet other kindergarten parents and talk with PTA reps about any questions you have before the school year starts.


We also know that you you may need a little extra reassurance on the first day of school. Join us once the kids have settled into their classrooms for our New Parents Tears & Cheers Coffee.

See our Events page for more PTA sponsored events throughout the year!  





Get Involved

Are you a little overwhelmed? We were too once! Ease into becoming an involved RCES parent by starting with



1 - Join PTA

Use your powers for good! Learn more about what we do and why you should join. The Fall Membership Appeal is our biggest fundraiser of the year, so there's no better time than now!


2 - Attend a school wide event

School events give your kids the opportunity to show off their knowledge of the school and the school community, and to feel a sense of ownership. Let them share that with you, while having fun together! See our full list of PTA sponsored events


3 - Have a lunch date with your child

...while also lending a hand to our cafeteria staff and getting to your your child's classmates. See the Chronicle for information about volunteering at lunch & recess. Parents are always welcome and appreciated!


4 - Attend classroom parties

Join your child for the 2 annual classroom parties - Halloween and Valentine's Day. Let them show off their classroom, and get to know their classmates and other parents.


5 - Help plan parties

Room parents provide support to the classroom teacher, communicate with other parents, and help plan parties and coordinate teacher gifts. Even if you're not able to commit to all of that, Room parents are often looking for additional parents to help plan and provide food or games for the Halloween and Valentines parties.


6 - Chaperone a field trip

Chaperone a small group of 3-4 kids, get to know some of your child's classmates and have fun! Chaperones are coordinated through your teacher. A limited number of spots are available for bus transportation with the students, but additional parents are typically welcome to drive themselves to the destination to help out.


7 - Take part in a discussion

Help us advocate for our children! Whether you're interested in school improvements, or would like to find out more about cluster-wide discussions, including overcrowding at RCES, there are places to share your opinions. Come to a monthly PTA meeting or keep an eye out for announcements of School Improvement Plan (SIP) meetings. All parents are welcome at both meetings. The PTA will also announce any special cluster or county meetings in which discussions relevant to RCES are being held on our Facebook page.


8 - Do just a little

Now that you've attended some events, maybe you're ready to take on a volunteer role. Or perhaps you're comfortable enough in the classroom that you'd like to be the Art Enrichment parent. Or maybe you're more comfortable playing a behind the scenes role, or only have time to contribute occasional supplies rather than volunteer hours. Anything helps! No matter your availability, there's something for everyone. What do YOU want to do? Read more about the variety of volunteer opportunities


Want to do even more? We would LOVE to discuss available leadership roles with you. Contact the appropriate PTA Board member or email





More Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if school is delayed/closed for weather emergencies? We follow Montgomery County school closures, which will be announced on area radio & tv stations. You can also:


download the MCPS app

sign up for MCPS alerts sent directly to your phone


Can I eat lunch with my child? Yes! Kindergarten parents, in particular, are encouraged to sign up to help at lunch & recess for the first month of school. Look for signups at the Kindergarten playdate.

Parents of all grades are also welcome to sign their child(ren) out of school for lunch/recess periods. 


Is RCES a nut-free school? No. Children are allowed to bring nut-containing lunches. However, depending on the allergies in your child's classroom, most teachers will request only nut-free classroom snacks.


What if my child has allergies? Children with food allergies are given the option to sit at a separate table in the cafeteria. Other students are allowed to sit with them to keep them company, as long as they are aware of all allergy table guidelines and pack lunches accordingly.


Where can I find the school lunch menu? Printed menus are sent home with your child each month. They are also available here, and through the MCPS app. Information about loading money into your child's lunch account can be found above


What if my child loses their coat/hat/backpack? Lost & Found is located behind the nurse's office. Check in at the front desk and the office staff will be happy to direct you there. Items not claimed after a certain period of time will be donated.


Does RCES offer opportunities for SSL hours? Yes we do, check out our Volunteer page! SSL hours (or Student Service Learning hours) are a requirement for all MCPS middle and high school students. See more information about SSL hours here.


Do you have questions not answered here? Contact the appropriate PTA board member, or email if you would like to suggest additions to this page or to the website.