Principal's Message from Mr. Stokes


Greetings Panthers,

                As we turn another page in the calendar to November, we take steps forward in our school year.  The theme of “Our World, Our Journey” continues to provide many chances to connect our students’ learning with moments and themes beyond the walls of our school.  With the idea of “our world” in mind, we strive to create experiences that will help students see that they are part of a larger community.  One of these powerful experiences is our annual Veterans Day program and recognition on Monday, November 11. For the fifth year in a row, we hosted 60 active duty and retired veterans from all branches of the Armed Forces.  These men and women spent time speaking with our students in small groups, sharing the stories behind their decisions to serve the country and the impact of their service.  For many students, these conversations broadened our students’ worlds by shedding new light on the work and duty of our service members.  Meanwhile, the veterans appreciated the chance to interact with our students.  Our morning concluded with a music performance from the West Point Alumni Glee Club.  A sincere thank you to each veteran who shared their time and journey with us.

                On the instructional front, our school is immersed in developing impactful instructional practices, in particular – the use of instructional technology.  There are many powerful learning opportunities that are facilitated using digital tools.  We are fortunate to possess a solid array of laptops and other tools for our students to use in different methods throughout the day.  However, it is crucial to understand that technology is another tool in a teacher’s toolkit.  As a staff, we are engaged in learning on how to use technology to supplement the engaging strategies, collaboration, and interactions that form the core of powerful instruction.  During the School Planning day on November 5th, teachers presented to their colleagues on how they use certain tools to meet a variety of learning goals.  This work is part of our learning journey as a staff.  I encourage you to read more about the work going across FCPS through FCPSON to move closer to this 21st century learning environment.

                Another proud element of our school is our outreach to our community.  A key method for this outreach is our Carson Cares initiative.  A committee that collaborates with our SCA and PTA, Carson Cares gathers resources that are distributed families in need within the Carson community or are provided to local organizations.  We are in the midst of our Holiday Food Drive.  All students and families are encouraged to provide non-perishable items for this drive.  Items should be dropped off in the cafeteria during lunches.  Each item donated provides those students and staff members a chance to be selected to choose the warning bell music for a day.  The drive concludes on November 22.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

                Thank you for your great support as we continue this year’s exciting journey.


Gordon Stokes



Hello Panthers,

                Greetings from Rachel Carson Middle School.  Reaching different points in our school year offers a chance to reflect on this year’s theme “Our World, Our Journey”.  We are near an important marker on our educational journey as the end of the 1st quarter approaches.  Each day, it is a thrill to see our students engaged in meaningful learning while also building positive relationships with their fellow students and their teachers.  It is also a thrill to see the work being done to help us realize our school mission.  In particular, students are engaged in meaningful learning experiences.  Whether practicing writing by exploring themes in English, improving fitness as a life skill in PE, or understanding a new language, students are consistently involved in building skills that will carry them on their journey far beyond the two years of middle school.  I want to highlight some past and upcoming experiences that are notable landmarks on this year’s journey.

                Last week was Digital Citizenship week.  Students engaged in conversations about the use of technology and its impact on their lives both inside and outside of school.  With technology constantly evolving, it is important to discuss how to use these powerful tools wisely.  We have posted a series of resources to help continue the conversation at home. 

                There are several things to look forward to in the coming weeks.  At the start of November, we will begin a new way of recognizing our students with the Positive Panther program.  Our school thrives because of the many heroes in our midst.  The kind, respectful, and helpful actions of our students bonds and sustains us on each year’s journey.  We intend to provide ongoing kudos to our students for their everyday demonstration of positive character and contribution to our school community.  Each day, two students who are selected by our teacher teams will be highlighted on our morning news program.  It is important for all students to hear about the positive impact made by their peers.  We are excited to build upon this spirit of positivity.

                Monday, November 11 is a special day as we will take part in our annual Veterans Day celebration.  Now in its fifth year, this tradition is a highlight of our school year.  We are honored to host over 60 veterans who will spend their morning speaking with our students in small groups.  These men and women (both active duty and retired) will share their stories of motivation, duty, and sacrifice to help us all better understand the importance of this service to the country.  The morning’s activities will conclude with a performance by the Army Glee Club.  We hope that this experience brings about meaningful reflection about the commitment of the members of our military.

                We will continue with outreach to share important updates.  In addition to our weekly News You Choose messages, please visit our website ( regularly to learn more about our school.  If you are on Twitter, follow us @RachelCarsonMS to see a glimpse of what happens during the school day.  Please reach out to us if a question or concern emerges. 

                Thank you for your great support as we continue on this year’s exciting journey.



Gordon Stokes