The Frederick County Public Schools’ Frederick Scholastic Chess League will hold its fourth annual Holiday Chess Invitational on Tuesday, December 10 from 4-6:30 p.m. at Lincoln Elementary.
From 10 schools countywide, more than 100 elementary and middle school students will compete in the contest. Lincoln Elementary enrichment specialist Janet Manning coordinates the event so that students can meet to play other county chess players and have fun while learning.
Parents are invited and asked to bring donations for the food bank. Ms. Manning encourages all students to wear festive holiday or winter-themed hats and their team shirts. The school mascot will pass out candy canes, she says. Although winners will not receive awards, the program will include raffles to award prizes.
The United States Department of Defense and the Maryland Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) recently recognized Frederick County Public Schools’ Cluster Maintenance Program Manager Curtis Orndorff with a framed Patriotic Employer award.
“By employing members of the National Guard and Reserve, you join a patriotic group of American employers who willingly share our greatest national resource—the men and women who voluntarily and devotedly serve our nation. We are as proud of you as we are of them,” wrote Maryland ESGR Awards Director Jeffrey A. Teller. Mr. Orndorff received the framed award and letter during a visit from Department of Defense representative Ron Pitts. Chief Petty Officer Michael Madrake nominated his FCPS supervisor, Mr. Orndorff, for the award because of his outstanding support during CPO Madrake’s work at FCPS and in the Navy Reserve. “I’ve worked for Curtis for quite a while, and he has always been very willing to help me fulfill my commitments to FCPS and the Reserve.” Madrake said.
Prepare to Match Wits in MathCounts and Challenge 24
Students will sharpen their pencils and prepare to match wits during the upcoming Frederick County Public Schools student math competitions! MathCounts and Challenge 24 tournaments are coming.
The Frederick CountyMathCounts Open is scheduled for Saturday, January 4*and the MathCounts Regional for Saturday, February 1* Both will take place at Governor Thomas Johnson (TJ) Middle, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and competition starting at 9 a.m.
More than 170 middle school students are expected to compete in MathCounts this year. They will come from every public middle school and the Frederick Christian Home School.
In the regional competition, schools are limited to teams of four. Winning teams go on to the state tournament at Johns Hopkins University, Saturday, March 1. Challenge 24 is an elementary competition. This year’s tournament—expected to draw about 100 local fourth and fifth graders—is slated for Tuesday, March 18 at Lincoln Elementary. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. for competition at 6 p.m.
“These competitions are the culmination of before- and afterschool clubs that have met for months with the help of highly dedicated teachers who want to see our nation’s math achievement reach number one,” says TJ Middle MathCounts Coach Joe Daly.
*In the event of inclement weather, the January 4 event will take place January 11, and the February 1 event will take place February 8.
Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) will use color codes to help staff understand their responsibilities when schools close due to inclement weather. There are five color codes: green, orange, blue, yellow and red. The codes apply only to emergency or weather-related school status changes.
Code green will apply when schools must unexpectedly open late or dismiss students early. During a code green status, all 12-month employees report to work on time, while 10- and 11-month employees adjust their schedules to reflect the delay or early dismissal. Code orange will apply on days when schools are closed due to inclement weather or other emergency. Code orange signals that all 12-month employees report to work on time, while 10- and 11-month employees do not report to work. Code blue will apply when schools are closed due to inclement weather for students and 10- and 11-month employees. Code blue signals that 12-month employees report to work but may request liberal leave. During code blue, emergency personnel must report and may not use liberal leave. Code yellow will apply when schools and offices are closed to students and employees except emergency personnel, who must report to work. During code yellow, liberal leave is not authorized for emergency personnel. Code red signals that schools and offices are closed to students and all employees. When code red is in effect, all FCPS buildings are closed to all personnel and others. Details are found in FCPS Regulation 400-2: Closing of Schools Because of Weather, Maintenance, or Other Reasons, updated November 14, 2013. All FCPS regulations are posted at www.fcps.org under the BOE tab.
Frederick, MD (November 18, 2013) – Frederick County Public Schools is accepting nominations for both the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award and the Distinguished Educational Leadership Award.
Complete eligibility and nomination criteria, process information and selection guidelines 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 Friday, January 10, 2014.
The Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards recognize teachers who exemplify excellence in their profession. Each winner will receive $3,000 at a special ceremony hosted by The Washington Post on May 13, 2014. The 2012-2013 winner for Frederick County was Linganore High physical education teacher Barbara Ferguson.
The Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards recognize principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their position to create an exceptional educational environment. The Washington Post will honor winners at a reception on May 6, 2014, at which time it will announce awards. Stephen Raff, Tuscarora Elementary principal, was the 2012-2013 FCPS winner while principal at Centerville Elementary.
For more information, please contact FCPS Community Engagement Coordinator Emily Ahalt, 301-696-6902.
Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) made the 2013 Security 500 list, ranking eleventh nationwide in the education (K-12) category. This is the second time in three years that FCPS has made the top 500 list.
Security Magazine ranks the 500 top security organizations by industry to showcase the profession’s leaders and their organizations. According to the magazine, organizations that made the list are proven as both accomplished security executives and exceptional business leaders. School systems were measured and evaluated on metrics among peer organizations. FCPS was one of 17 school districts selected this year. Others included Montgomery County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, Los Angeles Schools, the San Diego Unified School District and more.
FCPS security coordinator Clifton Cornwell III was among more than 50 school employees completing the nationwide Security 500 survey to see how the local school system stacks up to other American school systems.
Surveys for each of the 500’s sectors – from agriculture to utilities – ask unique questions intended to provide meaningful and useful feedback to survey participants. Many sectors have a ‘coach’ who crafts the key data points necessary to achieve meaningful results. This was the case with the education (K-12) category.
“I am proud that FCPS made the list again,” Mr. Cornwell says. “We work hard to train staff across more than 60 schools and offices to maintain security for more than 40,000 students and 5,600 employees. A key part of our success is maintaining effective partnerships with local law enforcement and government agencies. Another major factor is emergency preparedness, keeping abreast of ever-changing security-related technology and engaging in peer review processes.” FCPS also ensures that families know what to expect in emergency situations, sharing important procedures in the annual Calendar Handbook, which goes to every student’s family and every employee. The school system’s FindOutFirst email, text messaging and social media services as well as FCPS Television and website at www.fcps.org also help keep the community informed. Mr. Cornwell characterized the school system’s rank as evidence that the district conducts its security-related activities “within a fiscally responsible budget, ensuring a high return on taxpayer investment.”
Frederick County Public Schools has posted the 2014-2015 proposed academic calendar online for public review and comment. Calendar Committee members presented the draft to the Board of Education at its regular meeting last night. The Board is scheduled to take action at its regular meeting Wednesday, December 18.
FCPS encourages the public to review the calendar at www.fcps.org/calendar and to address comments to Calendar.Committee@fcps.org. Responses will go to the diverse group of Calendar Committee members and to the Superintendent and Board of Education.
Committee members include FCPS parents, teachers, administrators, a student, a business representative and others. They based the proposed calendar on maximizing instructional time for students, legal requirements and recommendations received from two community-engagement forums, written comments including email and a Twitter Town Hall, and from representatives of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Council of Frederick County, Frederick Association of School Support Employees, Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association and the Frederick County Teachers Association.
The proposed 2014-2015 academic calendar includes the following:
• Students attend school 180 days, as Maryland law requires.
• Teachers work 190 days. On the days that teachers work when school is not in session, they review assessments, prepare lessons, evaluate student work and engage in professional development. • School will start for students Monday, August 18, 2014, comparable to this school year’s August 19 start date. • 2014-2015 parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for the fall only and include only elementary and middle schools, which open late on November 24 and close early November 25. The 2014 Thanksgiving break is November 26-28. • Winter break begins December 24, 2014, and schools reopen January 5, 2015. • Spring break begins April 3, 2015 with schools reopening April 13, 2015.
• There are 5 snow days built into the calendar.
Additional considerations and a roster of committee members are online at the above-referenced Web address in the committee’s full report.
Five Frederick County students will serve as pages, and one as alternate, for the Maryland General Assembly 2014 legislative session. All are high school seniors.
Gillian Craig, Gov Thomas Johnson High, is Student Government Association president and president of the school’s Political Awareness Club. Gillian, who has lettered in academics and tennis, received a Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange study abroad scholarship and traveled to Germany to attend an honors high school, meet with local politicians and co-teach an English course while living with multiple host families. Gillian’s list of volunteer and extracurricular activities is a long one that includes basketball, field hockey, tennis, theater, church and other school activities. Aaron Metheny, Catoctin High, a National Merit commended scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, has earned high honor roll distinction and attendance recognition throughout high school. Aaron is National Honor Society treasurer, National English Honor Society secretary and a Rotary Club of Carroll Creek Leadership Program participant. Aaron’s extracurricular activities include soccer and tennis, Model UN--in which he earned the Best Position Paper Award in 2010 and 2011, It’s Academic, STEM, Astronomy, Latin and Spanish Club, Earth & Space Science Lab docent and many more. Zachary Parnes, Oakdale High, led a National Honor Society Cancer Awareness Week fundraiser, is sports editor for the school newspaper, lead anchor for school announcements and active in his high school theater program. His extracurricular activities have included significant journalism work on camera and in print, as well as golf, Unified Tennis and wrestling. An official member of NBA Media, Zach hosts a weekly Internet talk radio show during NBA season and was one of six nationwide selected as a print and video reporter with Sports Illustrated for Kids Magazine. Tessie Robertson, Linganore High, is an AP Scholar with Distinction and member of the National Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, National Art Honor Society and National Junior Classical League. Tessie is National English Honor Society president, National Social Studies Honor Society historian, Latin Club historian and Linganore’s Harry Potter Alliance chapter Order of the Spear co-founder and president. Tessie’s other extracurricular activities have included American Legion Auxiliary Maryland Girls State Program and the school theater program. Bronwen Schriml, Frederick High, has earned academic excellence awards and Maryland Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Awards throughout high school. She has served as National Honor Society president, Latin Club co-president/co-secretary and FHS Senior Executive fundraising chair, and she interns at the Frederick County Circuit Court. Bronwen is a member of the National English Honor Society, Interact Club, Mock Trial, Model UN and National Math Honor Society. Her extracurricular activities have also included award-winning participation in field hockey, swimming and track. Sarah Cover, from Middletown High, will serve as an alternate page. Sarah is an AP Scholar and member of the National Honor Society, Model UN, Academic Team and Equestrian Team. She earned the Diving Team’s Diver of the Year Award in 2013 and is active in extensive school and community volunteer work. Having studied German and Spanish, Sarah is interested in learning additional languages to experience travel and cultural immersion opportunities in Europe, Central America and beyond. Serving as a legislative page is a unique opportunity for students to learn firsthand about the workings of the legislative process in Maryland. Apportionment of pages, by county, is based on the census taken at the beginning of each decade. Maryland pages must be senior high school students residing in the state. For more information, contact Frederick County Public Schools Secondary Social Studies curriculum specialist Michael Bunitsky, 301-644-5265.
Governor Martin O’Malley has proclaimed November 11-15 as School Psychology Week in Maryland.
Comprehensive school psychological services are available at every Frederick County public school to help educators and parents foster healthy child development and help schools apply sound psychological principles to instruction. School psychologists also work with teams that manage special education services and crisis counseling.
In addition to performing psychological assessments, school psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. They help FCPS meet the educational needs of a culturally diverse population, and they promote measures to ensure student success such as providing professional development to staff, parents and community members. They also evaluate and address violence-risk concerns and provide assistance with positive behavior intervention plans, offering short-term individual and group counseling.
“To address the needs of a 40,700-member student body in 2013, FCPS has 21.5 fulltime-equivalent school psychologist positions. The FCPS ratio of about one school psychologist to 2,000 students far exceeds the one-to-700 ratio that the National Association of School Psychologists recommends,” says Ann Hammond, supervisor of FCPS Psychological Services and School Therapists. “This is an area in which we consistently try to obtain additional funding to secure additional positions;” she said, “for example, in May 2003, the FCPS ratio was one school psychologist to1,884 students, or 21 school psychologists for 39,000 students.”
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised internship. Their training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law and systems. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work. They may also be National School Psychology Certification Board certified. They follow the National Association of School Psychologists ethical and training standards for practice and service delivery.
In short, FCPS school psychologists collaborate with educators, parents and other professionals to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school and the community for all students.
During the week of November 18-22, school systems across the nation will celebrate the 92nd annual American Education Week. At its November 13 regular meeting, the Frederick County Board of Education will proclaim American Education Week for Frederick County Public Schools. The annual theme is Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.
After reading the proclamation, Frederick County Teachers Association president Gary Brennan, Frederick Association of School Support Employees representative Mike Joy, Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association president Michael Bunitsky, and PTA Council of Frederick County president Julie Marker will speak about the contributions of their association members.
During the week, FCPS will join schools across the country to honor education as the foundation of a free and democratic society. Schools welcome visitors and remind parents and other guests to announce their arrival and sign in at the main office before visiting classrooms.
Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban extends an invitation to elected officials to visit any of the school system’s 65 schools during American Education Week to “experience first-hand FCPS’s exciting work to reach, challenge and prepare our 40,715 students for successful futures.
“FCPS is indebted to the many families and community members who support public education and to employees for expecting--and delivering--excellence everywhere across the system,” according to Dr. Alban. Here is a sampling of FCPS American Education Week activities: *Ballenger Creek Elementary invites families to breakfast in the cafeteria Monday (grades 1 and 5), Tuesday (grade 2), Wednesday (pre-k and kindergarten), Thursday (grade 3) and Friday (grade 4). The school will showcase grade-level musical performances under Sarah Alderman’s direction. In addition, the cafeteria will feature Character Counts! displays. Principal: Stephanie Brown, 240-236-2500
*Ballenger Creek Middle invites parents to visit classes and eat lunch with their children Tuesday (grade 8), Wednesday (grade 7) and Thursday (grade 6). Principal: Mita Badshah, 240-236-5705
*Deer Crossing Elementary will host a Books and Breakfast event.Principal: Heather Michael, 240-236-5900
*Glade Elementary invites parents to visit classrooms Monday morning: pre-k (9-10:30 and 1-2:30) and kindergarten (9-10:30); Tuesday (grade 1), Wednesday (grade 2), Thursday (Grades 3 and 4) and Friday (grade 5). Glade will kick off American Eduation Week with a Flag and Proclamation Ceremony on Monday. Every day, guests will read to students. Tuesday students will draw or write about their favorite teacher. Wednesday students and staff will form a “hug around the school” (weather permitting). Thursday students will make a small-group or class poster about the importance of education. Friday will conclude the week with a slide show and music to honor military families. School Counselor, Administrative Intern: Virginia Covington, 240-236-2095
*Hillcrest Elementary invites parents of fifth graders to attend a field trip with their children on Monday. Pre-kindergarten parents are invited to participate in classes on Friday. Principal: Kimberly Seiss, 240-236-3200
*Lewistown Elementary plans a theme around their 2013-2014 slogan, “Challenge Yourself.” Fifth graders will deliver broadcasts daily, using PowerPoint to inform the school about winter Olympics. Third through fifth graders will create flags, medals and sports posters in art class. All students will use a Sochi Olympic medal-shaped graphic organizer to write a challenge for themselves to achieve (for example: learn multiplication tables to six). Lewistown will also hold a GOLD MEDAL Book report contest with medals and reports on display all month. All classes will prepare interview questions for guest speakers, who are winter athletes including TJ Burns, a world-class bobsledder. Wednesday features a Thanksgiving luncheon. Thursday are Athlete Interviews (9:35-10:30), and Friday is a Dads and Donuts event (8 a.m.).Media Specialist: Debby Jones, 240-236-3717
*Myersville Elementary will highlight the six pillars of Character Counts! They will focus on a pillar each morning during announcements and via classroom activities throughout the week. Students and staff will dress for each pillar’s symbolic color. Additionally, they will hold a food drive to support the food bank in Middletown. Their goal is to collect 1,000 food items! Monday--Citizenship (wear red, white, or blue), Tuesday--Respect (wear yellow), Wednesday—Responsibility (wear green), Thursday--Fairness or Caring (wear orange or red), Friday—Trustworthiness (wear blue). Principal: Kathy Swire, 240-236-1902
*New Market Middle invites parents to spend part of a day with students: Monday (grade 6), Tuesday (grade 7), Wednesday (grade 8). Students will write thank you notes to teachers who have made a difference in their lives.Principal: Jennifer Bingman, 240-236-4600
*New Midway/Woodsboro Elementary invites families to visit throughout the week. Family members and volunteers are invited to participate in a STEM-based activity with children. STEM engages learners through hands-on lessons that integrate science, technology, engineering and math. Parents will join children for lunch/recess after the activities.Principal: Giuseppe Di Monte, 240-236-1500
*North Frederick Elementary invites parents for lunch Thursday and Friday. Thursday from 5-9 p.m. NFES will participate in a Barnes and Noble reading night, during which administrators and some staff will read each half hour.Principal: Deveda Coley, 240-236-2000
*Parkway Elementary invites families to celebrate Thanksgiving on Tuesday and Wednesday. Principal: Betsy Little, 240-236-2600
*Thurmont Middle invites parents to visit classes the week of November 11: Tuesday (grade 6), Wednesday (grade 7) and Thursday (grade 8). A Tuesday Awards Assembly will celebrate all students who made the honor roll and/or had 95% attendance or better (grade 6 at 7:30 a.m.), (grade 7 at 9:45 a.m.) and (grade 8 at 12:45 p.m.).Principal: Jennifer Powell, 240-236-5100
*Walkersville Elementary students and staff will wear colors with specific education-related themes: Monday, purple represents Education Is Powerful; Tuesday, red means Education Is Red Hot; Wednesday, green signals Go for Education; Thursday is Orange You Glad You’re at WES? and Friday, blue/gold say Our school is cool! Peer mentors will make posters to go with each day’s theme. Throughout the week staff members will tell what each day’s theme means to them and share an inspirational story. Other features will include: writing thank you notes, a bulletin board of staff photos from high school graduations, with college accomplishments displayed underneath, hosting parents and grandparents for lunch [based on the first letter of their last name (Wednesday A-L; Thursday M-Z)]. School Counselor: Renee Shawver, 240-236-1011
*Wolfsville Elementary parents visit classrooms Thursday (k-grade 5 from 11-1:30; pre-kindergarten from 10-11). Also on Thursday parents and families are invited to a traditional turkey meal with all the trimmings.Principal: John Festerman, 240-236-2245