• FCPS Earns Award of Excellence

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/30/2015
    Frederick County Public Schools’ Career and Technology Education Supervisor Kristine Pearl has received great news. The FCPS Career and Technology Center (CTC) SkillsUSA program she nominated won Maryland’s 2015 Career and Technology Education Outstanding Student Organization Award of Excellence.
    CTC Principal Michael Concepcion commended the group’s advisor, Martha Lowry, for guiding student success in achieving the award. On behalf of the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Career and College Readiness, assistant state superintendent Katharine Oliver wrote that the Division “is delighted to recognize this organization for its work in providing leadership and professional development to its members.”
    The FCPS CTC is a total participation program chapter with 749 registered SkillsUSA members. Community service opportunities are an integral part of the group’s work. Examples have included Construction Trades students leading construction of small houses for donation to Habitat for Humanity’s collection boxes project and Academy of Health Profession students leading a blood drive. SkillsUSA also sponsors a well-attended yearly 9-11 Flag Raising Ceremony that Criminal Justice students lead with Fire, Rescue and Police representatives and guests including elected officials.
    All CTC students are encouraged to attend the annual Maryland SkillsUSA fall leadership conference. The chapter sponsors over 400 competitors in local championships. The Frederick SkillsUSA chapter averages 95 students moving on to state competition and 20-30 local students advancing to the SkillsUSA National Technical and Leadership Conference each year.
    Public outreach is a key component of the local chapter, as students and their advisor submit articles for publication and use social media to recognize student accomplishments and promote SkillsUSA activities. The Board of Education of Frederick County annually recognizes the group’s achievements. Finally, the chapter sponsors a door-decorating contest in conjunction with the CTC’s Open House to provide visual connections to the programs and SkillsUSA to over 1,200 visitors from the community.
    Five CTC students served as State SkillsUSA officers from 2006-2011. Alumni support is substantial. The chapter is one of the most active in Maryland, and members garner national recognition.
    Award presentations will take place Tuesday, April 28 at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore. The ceremony will begin with an afternoon reception at 4:30, followed by the award presentation at 5:30.
    The CTC welcomes all local support to help students attend competitions state- and nationwide. For more information, please contact Principal Michael Concepcion, 240-236-8500 or Kristine Pearl, 301-644-5121.
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  • Nominate a Support Employee

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/30/2015
    Frederick County Public Schools is accepting nominations for the school system’s 2015 Support Employee of the Year Award. This award recognizes outstanding members of FCPS support staff.
    Nomination eligibility, criteria and process information are available at www.fcps.org/awards. Nomination packets are due to the FCPS Communication Services Office, 191 S. East Street, Frederick, MD, 21701 by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
    FCPS will recognize one finalist from each of eight broad job classifications at the June 10 Board of Education meeting. The job classifications are:

    *Bus Drivers
    *Business Support (which includes Food Service, Transportation Office/Garage staff, Technology Services)
    *Non-school-based Custodian/Maintenance/Warehouse
    *School-based Custodian/Maintenance
    *Food and Nutrition Services
    *Instructional and Mainstream Assistant/Community Liaison/User Support Specialist
    *Non-school-based Secretary
    *School-based Secretary
    During the recognition, Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban will name two of the eight finalists―one school-based and one non-school-based―the 2015 Support Employees of the Year.
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  • National Finalists in MIT Project

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/30/2015
    The Frederick County Public Schools’ Career and Technology Center (CTC) announces that its Computer-Aided Design (CAD) engineering team qualified as national finalists for the Lemelson-MIT Program’s 2015-2016 InvenTeam grant. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Engineering administers the Lemelson-MIT Program, which became a national STEM initiative in 2003.
    On average, 15 schools are selected to participate each year. Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams include high school students, educators and mentors. They receive up to $10,000 to invent technological solutions to real-world problems.
    Educators for the national finalist teams are Excite Award recipients. FCPS CAD engineering teacher Philip Arnold will travel to MIT in June to attend MIT's EurekaFest 2014, meet the current InvenTeams, see their inventions and attend workshops in preparation for FCPS CTC students to have a team in the coming school year.
    To qualify as finalists, the CTC team submitted a proposal for a stand-alone water conservation system to function with shallow and low-flow wells. Students recognized that population growth and climate change are two issues that will continue to place pressure on worldwide water supply and food production. They researched drought and water supply conditions around the globe and found the following:
    • In Africa and Asia, over 741 million people lack daily access to fresh water.
    • Brazil is experiencing the country’s worst drought in 80 years. More than 40 million people there, in 96 cities, are having to ration water.
    • 93% of California is in a stage of severe drought, one of the worst North American droughts in history.
    Students tried to imagine the plight of rural families in Frederick County and around the world whose survival and independence are tied to their land. After several brainstorming sessions the students developed a simple solution that families can manage independently to increase reliability of their crop production and improve their quality of life. The students proposed manual-pump and solar-powered options for their system. They plan to work throughout the summer and submit a final proposal in September, hoping to be among the 15 InvenTeams announced in October from the pool of 35 national finalists.
    The CTC CAD engineering students involved in the initial proposal are: Brunswick junior Ryan Kinzie, Catoctin juniors Ricky Adkins, Noah Dell and Mark Goff, Frederick senior Noah Parker and junior Brittainy Sechler, Gov. Thomas Johnson senior Nathan Eschback, Middletown senior Paige Bussard and junior Nathan Fox, Oakdale juniors Allan Hitchcock and Sean McGaughey, and Tuscarora senior Adrian Bobb.
    For more information about this national STEM program, see MIT's website: http://lemelson.mit.edu/inventeams
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  • Nominations Open for Distinguished Teacher Award

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/27/2015
    Frederick County Public Schools is accepting nominations for the 2015 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award. Named for a former member of the Hood College faculty who encouraged young people to enter the teaching profession, this award will recognize an FCPS teacher who has had a significant impact on young people.
    Hood College presents this award annually to honor distinguished teaching in the Frederick County public school system. The award was established by a gift from the late Samuel Eig of Gaithersburg, MD. Hood College will recognize the winner during its Graduate School commencement on May 16.
    Eligibility and nomination criteria, nomination process and selection guidelines are available at www.fcps.org/awards. Nominations will be accepted from current or former students, teachers and support staff, parents, community members, administrators and supervisors. Nomination packets are due to the FCPS Communication Services Office, 191 South East Street, Frederick, MD, 21701, by 3 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2015.
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  • Countywide Science and Engineering Fair Winners

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/26/2015
    Two Going to International Fair
    Science students throughout Frederick County presented 157 projects at this year’s middle and high school Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday, March 21. More than 50 professionals from the Frederick community judged the entries.

    Of 16 participating high school students, Governor Thomas Johnson High School senior Rebecca Freed won the grand prize for her first-place Biochemistry project, Interrogating Ras Function with Protein Mimetics. First runner up this year is Urbana High School student Matthew Green for his first-place Animal Science project, JAWS IV: An Analytic Study of Shark Attack Patterns Based on External Factors and the Circumstances of the Encounter. Both qualify to represent Frederick County at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA, May 10-15.

    Other first-place high school winners are Brunswick student Alexander Beall in Engineering Mechanics and home-schooled student Caroline Pritt in Systems Software. In addition Linganore High senior Anna Spitale placed first in Booklet Cover Art Design.

    Second-place high school winners are Middletown students Morgan Hoffman in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Frederika Rentzperis in Physics and Astronomy.

    Third-place high school winners are Tuscarora student Mahnoor Khan in Earth and Environmental Science, tied with Urbana student Jackie Liu; Urbana student Nathan Davis in Engineering Mechanics; and Walkervsville student Arvind Ravichandran in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

    Of 141 middle school entries, Urbana 8th grader Brin Strouse won the grand prize for her first-place Earth and Environmental Sciences project, Don’t Acid Rain on My Outdoor Parade: National, Local and Habitat Studies of the Effects of Acid Rain on Outdoor Recreation Settings. The runner up was Urbana 6th grader Charlie Bundy, who placed first in Materials Science for Baseball Comparison.

    Other middle school first-place winners are Ballenger Creek students Krishnav Bose in Systems Software, Kaden Kettleman in Robotics and Intelligent Machines, and Sanskruti Patel in Engineering Mechanics; Urbana students Charlie Giglio in Microbiology, Charlotte Hively in Energy: Chemical and Physical, Grace Scheirey in Plant Sciences, and Sanjana Subramanian in Behavioral and Social Sciences; Visitation Academy student Noorul Waheed tied for first in Chemistry; Walkersville student Eleanor McMahon tied for first in Chemistry; West Frederick students Alanis Gonzalez-Quiles in Biomedical Health Sciences and Van Mawi in Environmental Engineering; and Windsor Knolls students Abigail Beckman in Animal Science and Evan Gobien in Physics and Astronomy. In addition Oakdale 7th grader Megan Chang placed first in Booklet Cover Art Design.

    Second-place middle school winners are Ballenger Creek student Brent Peate in Engineering Mechanics; Banner student Anisa Asad (tied with Emma Regan) in Animal Science; Urbana students Sania Khazi in Microbiology, Anya Knappenberger in Physics and Astronomy, Aahana Kothandaraman in Plant Sciences, Emma Regan (tied with Anisa Asad) in Animal Science, Chase Taras in Chemistry, and Soujanya Viswanathan in Embedded Systems; the Oakdale student team of Marleigh Beck, Lauren Pryor and Stella Zodet in Biomedical Health Sciences; Visitation student Katie Frutiger in Materials Science; and Walkersville students Ryan Frank in Earth and Environmental Science and Thomas Sniezek in Behavioral and Social Science.

    Third-place middle school winners are Ballenger Creek student Diego Ayala in Energy: Chemical and Physical; Banner student Aiden Green in Engineering Mechanics; Brunswick student Veronica Sadtler in Animal Science; Middletown student Aiden Murphy in Physics and Astronomy; Urbana students Vincent Galliani in Materials Science, Radhika Patel in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Isabella Slyman in Microbiology and Jessica Wu in Plant Sciences; Walkersville student Danny Morris in Biomedical Health Sciences.

    Middle school honorable mention awards went to Frederick Classical Charter School student Meghan Moberly in Plant Sciences; the Middletown team of Samantha Dillard and Jaime Nester in Chemistry and Kaatelyn Lakin in Biomedical Health Sciences; Urbana students Lucy Horn in Energy and Mukesh Loganathan in Microbiology; Visitation student Celia Thompson in Physics and Astronomy; Walkersville student Andrew Weiss in Animal Science; West Frederick students Allie Mitchell in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Chris Pondoc in Mathematics and the team of Jamie Roan and Nikolas Struntz in Cellular and Molecular Biology; and Windsor Knolls student Rylan Puderbaugh in Engineering Mechanics.

    The annual fair is sponsored through a partnership between Frederick County Public Schools and the Frederick Jaycees, with financial support from MedImmune, Inc.
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  • FCPS Delivers Strong Economic Value

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/24/2015
    BOE to Hear BEACON Report, Public Welcome
    The Board of Education of Frederick County anticipates good news at its regular 6 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, March 25 when the agenda includes learning about the economic value of the county’s public school system. The public is welcome to hear how Salisbury University’s Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) analyzed the economic, employment and fiscal impacts of Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS).

    The study examined the value of FCPS diplomas and other degrees earned, the impact on local wealth and the value of reduced future public costs. The report focused on four major categories of economic value. The categories are benefits from FCPS operations, value of diplomas and degrees awarded, economic development impacts and reduction in public costs.

    Analysis of economic and employment benefits from FCPS operations, the first category, includes the impact of dollars spent on salaries and local-vendor supplies and services. This direct spending that stays within the county creates a “multiplier” or “trickle down” effect as money is re-spent in the local economy. The study found that every $1 FCPS spends in operational monies retained in the county results in total local spending of $1.48. Similarly every $1 of capital spending retained in the county results in total local spending of $1.61. Every $1 in capital spending retained in Maryland results in total local spending of $1.80. Every $1 million in FCPS capital spending results in 8.4 additional in-county jobs.
    Examining the economic value of degrees awarded, the second category, the BEACON found that in recent years FCPS has annually graduated students who will realize additional lifetime earnings of about $883.45 million, in estimated present value. The county income tax to be paid on the additional earnings is about $1.8 million per graduating class. Based on the improved college readiness of FCPS seniors, about $1.2 billion in additional lifetime earnings can be attributed to FCPS graduates forecasted to graduate college. The present value of county income tax on these additional earnings is about $25.45 million per graduation class.
    Research into economic development impacts, the third category, indicates that additional economic activity generated by FCPS graduates who work and spend in the county positively affects property values and property tax revenues. Each graduating class is estimated to add $116 million in real property values and $1.23 million in real property tax revenues.
    Finally, analysis of reduction in public costs, the fourth category, revealed that over the past five years, each FCPS graduating class was associated with about $124 million savings in public healthcare costs, over $81 million savings in future crime-related costs and over $9 million in future welfare costs.
    FCPS has posted the full report online: http://www.fcps.org/beacon and under the www.fcps.org/boe section, at the link to The Economic Value of the Frederick County, Maryland, Public School System: Dollars & Cents and Beyond.
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  • FCPS Recognized for Financial Transparency

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/18/2015
    Earns Highest Possible Accolade

    Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). This is the sixth consecutive year that the school system has earned the highest form of recognition for accurate and full disclosure in governmental accounting and financial reporting.
    “Every year, FCPS earns national recognition for its stewardship of taxpayer dollars. The people of Frederick County can take pride in the fact that our school system is managing its budget responsibly and transparently. Responsible financial stewardship is a hallmark of FCPS,” says Leslie Pellegrino, executive director of FCPS Fiscal Services.
    Pellegrino commends Budget and Finance director Robert Reilly and all FCPS Budget and Finance Department staff for their dedication and hard work throughout the year in keeping the school system’s financial records in good order: “Our staff is committed to accurately handling and reporting all financial transactions. The dedication that they bring to their work on the behalf of taxpayers has resulted in this outstanding recognition. Every taxpayer in the county can be proud of their hard work. The financial accountability FCPS provides to the public and the resulting honors FCPS has received set our school system apart.”
    According to the GFOA--a nonprofit professional association serving about 17,500 governance finance professionals--attaining the certificate is a significant accomplishment for a government entity and its management. An impartial GFOA panel determined that the FCPS Budget and Finance Department meets “the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive ‘spirit of full disclosure’ to clearly communicate” the school system’s finances.
    FCPS posts budget information online at www.fcps.org/budget.
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  • FCPS STEM Community Night

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/12/2015
    On Thursday, March 19, the public is invited to Frederick County Public Schools’ 3rd Annual STEM Community Night at Oakdale High (5850 Eaglehead Dr., Ijamsville) from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Guests will have the opportunity interact with teachers and their students from elementary through high school levels about science, technology, engineering and math—STEM—education in public schools and see the various projects students are working on.

    This is a family event for all ages!
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  • "Life after High School" Transition Fair

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/9/2015
    Friday, March 27, 8:15 AM-1 PM

    The 20th annual “Life after High School” Transition Fair for Frederick County students who receive special education services or “Section 504” accommodations and their families will take place Friday, March 27 from 8:15 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Frederick Community College.

    Sponsored by Frederick County Public Schools, the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services and Frederick Community College, the fair provides information about post-secondary schools and services. Presentations will include information about employer expectations, the paperwork process, college expectations and services, certification and training programs, and employment options. The event will also include an exhibitors’ fair and FCC tours.

    Student registration forms and permission slips are available from school-based case managers and are due when completed to the school by March 16.

    For additional information, please contact the FCPS Special Education Office, 301-644-5300.
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  • Kindergarten and PreK Registration

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 3/9/2015
    Starts Monday, March 16

    Registration for Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) fall 2015 kindergarten classes begins Monday, March 16 at local elementary schools. Registration will continue on school days between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. FCPS recommends calling your local school for specific hours. Schools strongly encourage early registration so they have time to predict accurate class size and hire adequate staff.

    To enter kindergarten in the fall 2015, a child must be five on or before September 1, 2015. Those registering will need the child’s immunization record, proof of birth date and proof of residency. All kindergarten classes at public elementary schools in Frederick County are full-day programs, generally 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

    Applications for FCPS fall 2015 pre-kindergarten classes also begins Monday, March 16. FCPS recommends calling your local school for specific hours.

    To enter pre-kindergarten in fall 2015, a child must be four on or before September 1, 2015. Students are selected based on criteria such as eligibility for free or reduced-price meals or factors that increase a child’s risk of not being successful in school. Proof of eligibility is required.

    For pre-kindergarten applications, provide the child’s immunization record, proof of birth date and proof of residency. If planning to have the child enter with automatic priority status based on free or reduced-price meal eligibility, also provide the following: three consecutive pay stubs from the past six months, or a W2 form showing 2014 earnings, or a letter from an employer on letterhead stating the applicant’s family income, social services agency or foster care determination. If the child has a documented special need please provide a copy of the Individualized Education Program (IEP).

    With sufficient enrollment, FCPS will offer pre-kindergarten classes, all of which are half day, at the following elementary schools: Ballenger Creek, Brunswick, Carroll Manor, Emmitsburg, Glade, Hillcrest, Lincoln, Monocacy, Middletown Primary, New Market, North Frederick, Oakdale, Orchard Grove, Spring Ridge, Thurmont Primary, Twin Ridge, Valley, Waverley, Whittier, Wolfsville and Woodsboro. All other schools are paired with classes at these locations. Registration for all pre-kindergarten classes occurs at the child’s home school.

    The above information does not apply to charter schools, which enroll students by lottery.

    For more information please refer to http://www.fcps.org/page/45.

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