• BOE Approves Option for UES Modernization

    Posted by Emily Reedy at 11/24/2014 9:35:00 AM
    Replacement School with Temporary Relocation

    At last week’s meeting, the Board of Education of Frederick County voted unanimously to approve the Urbana Elementary School (UES) Feasibility Study Report and the steering committee’s recommendation to move forward with Option 3A as presented in the report. This option provides a new facility constructed in place of the current Urbana Elementary School while students and staff are temporarily relocated during construction to the forthcoming Sugarloaf Elementary School.

    Of the four options presented in the Feasibility Study Report, the approved option presented the lowest cost, shortest construction time, and the least disruption to the UES educational program. Additionally, the Great Heron Wetlands will be preserved.

    FCPS will seek planning approval from the State and funding approval from the County to begin design of the new school this summer. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017. The new school facility will use the FCPS elementary prototype design.

    FCPS and the feasibility study steering committee thank the community for their involvement during the feasibility study process. Community input played a valuable role in the development of the feasibility study and the steering committee’s recommendation to the Board.

    For more information, including the full feasibility study report, visit www.fcps.org/UESModernization. Email questions and comments are still welcome at UES.Study@fcps.org.
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  • Students to Match Wits

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 11/24/2014
    34th Annual Academic Tournament
    Academic Tournament teams from all ten Frederick County public high schools are preparing for heated competition in weekly matches slated to begin Friday, January 9, 6 p.m. at Linganore High. All matches are open free to the public.
    Matches will continue each Friday at 6 p.m. at Linganore High on Fridays, January 16, 23 and 30 and February 6, 13 and 20. The finals and championship tournament are Friday, February 27, 6 p.m., also at Linganore High. Snow dates, if needed, are Mondays, February 2 and March 2, 6 p.m. at Linganore High.
    In its 34th year, the local Academic Tournament promises to bring excitement as students go head to head, putting their knowledge and recall to the test. After all teams have competed in final matches on February 27, the three high-scoring teams will continue in the championship until a winner is declared that evening. The championship team gets to showcase the trophy for the year.
    Since 1982, Linganore teams have won the tournament nine times, Frederick High has won six, Gov. Thomas Johnson has won five, Middletown and Walkersville have each won four, Urbana High has won twice, and teams from Brunswick, Catoctin and Tuscarora have each won once.
    Walkersville High English teacher Tom Kollai will serve as master of ceremonies, reading questions at the event, with Academic Tournament coordinator Nick Diaz assisting. At a recent meeting, teacher sponsors agreed that Shakespeare will be the topic for the finals. Other special topics are anatomy the first week, sub-Saharan African geography the second week, the British Invasion the third week, comparative religions the fourth, 1965 history the fifth, the Italian Renaissance the sixth and Disney villains the seventh.
    Tradition also includes bestowing the Curriculum Specialists’ Award at the championship to an individual or group, to be announced, who has made significant contributions to the tournament’s success.
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  • FCPS Seeks Nominations

    Posted by Emily Reedy at 11/17/2014 2:30:00 PM
    Call for Nominations

    Frederick County Public Schools is accepting nominations for both the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Awards and the Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards. The Washington Post Educational Foundation sponsors these awards.

    Complete eligibility and nomination criteria, process information and selection guidelines are available at www.fcps.org/awards. Nomination packets are due to the Communication Services office, 191 S. East Street, Frederick, MD, 21701, by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 9, 2015.

    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 Post in May 2015. The 2013-2014 winner for Frederick County was Brunswick Middle language arts teacher Amy Nedrow.

    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 Post will honor winners at a reception in May 2015, at which time it will announce awards. Neal Case, Governor Thomas Johnson Middle principal, was the 2013-2014 FCPS winner.
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  • FCPS Presents Urbana Elementary Feasibility Study

    Posted by Emily Reedy at 11/17/2014 9:15:00 AM
    BOE Invites Public Comment

    The Board of Education of Frederick County invites the public to its work session and regular meeting on Wednesday, November 19 to hear Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates (CRA) architects and FCPS Facilities Services staff present the Urbana Elementary Feasibility Study Report and provide feedback. Both meetings take place in the Central Office Board Room at 191 S. East Street, Frederick.

    The Board work session is from 2:30-4:30 p.m., with the presentation presently scheduled last on the agenda. Public comment is welcome following the work session presentation. Comments are also welcome at the beginning of the Board’s regular meeting at 6 p.m. Later in the meeting, the Board will determine how to move the project forward.

    After months of work reviewing the building, its systems and location, as well as public feedback, the architectural firm prepared four potential options for the school’s modernization. To gather information for the Board, FCPS invited community members to submit their feedback at public meetings, in an online survey and via email to UES.Study@fcps.org. FCPS has posted the Feasibility Study Report and recommendations online at www.fcps.org/UESModernization. Email comments are still welcome at UES.Study@fcps.org before the Board meeting.
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  • FCPS Celebrates American Education Week

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 11/17/2014
    Communities nationwide are celebrating American Education Week. Frederick County is no exception.

    This week, FCPS joins school systems across the nation in observing the 93rd annual American Education Week. At its November 19 regular meeting, the Frederick County Board of Education will proclaim American Education Week for Frederick County Public Schools. The annual theme continues to be Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility, with encouragement this year from www.nea.org to Raise Your Hand for Student Success.

    Throughout the week, FCPS invites the public 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 66 schools during American Education Week to “experience first-hand what makes FCPS’s schools so successful for our students.”

    “FCPS touches so many lives in Frederick County. We’re grateful to the many families, businesses, and community members who support public education. And we applaud the tireless work of our employees who expect--and deliver--excellence everywhere across the system,” says Dr. Alban.

    According to the National Education Association’s Web site, “The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week. Distressed that 25 percent of the country's World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education. The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: ‘An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.’ The first observance of American Education Week occurred December 4-10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as the cosponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a cosponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.”

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  • Learn about New School

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 11/14/2014
    Slated for West-Frederick City Area
    Frederick County Public Schools invites the public to a meeting about the new west-Frederick City area elementary school, slated for construction on the south side of Butterfly Lane, opposite McCain Drive. The meeting is Tuesday, November 18 at 7 p.m. in the Orchard Grove Elementary cafeteria.
    Staff will discuss the naming process, design, construction schedule, redistricting process and opportunities for community engagement.
    The Board of Education of Frederick County welcomes the community’s comments and questions with regard to all aspects of this new school, scheduled to open in August 2017 if funding is available.
    More information is online in both English and Spanish: www.fcps.org/wfcaes.
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  • Students Win Essay Awards

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 11/6/2014
    Four students who study at the Frederick County Public Schools’ Career and Technology Center (CTC) competed and won prizes at ProJet Aviation’s ninth annual Aviation Education and Career Expo, held recently at the Leesburg Executive Airport.EssayWinners

    The event, which showcases careers and opportunities for regional high school and college-level students, targets youth ages 16-20 and features keynote speakers, industry leaders, performers and demonstrations for about 600 students, educators and parents. Representatives from more than 50 aviation and aerospace businesses meet with students throughout the day to share their experiences and opportunities for future employment.

    Among the 13 students winning scholarships and flight-training awards nationwide for essays describing their aviation aspirations are Ryan Kinzie from the CTC and Brunswick High, Nathan Eschbach from the CTC and Gov. Thomas Johnson High, Adrian Gairy Bobb from the CTC and Tuscarora High and Casey Jung from the CTC and Urbana High.

    According to CTC Principal Michael Concepcion, the students all attend instructor Phil Arnold’s Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Engineering Program.

    “Mr. Arnold does a fantastic job of preparing students for their engineering futures and maximizing their potential. Our students work hard and put in a lot of time. It’s nice to see them receive the fruits of their labor in these awards,” Mr. Concepcion says.

    In the photo, left to right, are the FCPS CTC CAD Engineering Program teacher Phil Arnold, students Ryan Kinzie, Adrian Gairy Bobb, Casey Jung and Nathan Eschbach and CTC Principal Mike Concepcion.

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  • Parent-Teacher Conferences

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 10/30/2014
    Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) invites parents of elementary and middle school students to parent-teacher conferences Monday, November 24 and Tuesday, November 25. There are no prescheduled conference dates at high schools. The Board of Education encourages parents of high school students to contact the teacher any time they have a concern or wish to schedule a meeting.
    FCPS urges parents of elementary and middle school students to schedule conferences on the above dates to learn about their child’s classroom, school performance and behavior. These conferences help parents and teachers work together to support the student. Schools encourage parents to bring their questions and contact the school for conference-scheduling information if they do not receive it soon.
    Students attend school as follows:
    Monday, November 24: Only elementary and middle schools open 4 hours later than usual. Elementary and middle school students attend school in the afternoon only, and conferences begin after they are dismissed. Those schools dismiss students at the regular time and do not serve lunch. Pre-kindergarten students do not attend. High school students attend the full day.
    Tuesday, November 25: Elementary and middle schools dismiss students 3 ½ hours early to allow parents time to meet with teachers in the afternoon. Students eat lunch before dismissal. Pre-kindergarten students do not attend. High school students attend the full day.
    For more information about conferences and the attendance schedule, please contact the child’s school.
    In other November school calendar news: All schools are closed Monday, November 3 or a teacher work day and Tuesday, November 4 for Election Day. All schools dismiss students two hours early Friday, November 21 for a teacher work session. All schools are closed Wednesday, November 26 for a BOE-approved holiday for students and some staff; schools are also closed Thursday and Friday, November 27 and 28, due to state-mandated observances of Thanksgiving Day and National Native American Heritage Day.
    The Board of Education determines the school calendar, typically in January for the upcoming school year. An FCPS Calendar Committee is seeking public comment to present to the Board before January. FCPS welcomes all feedback regarding the school calendar: Calendar.Committee@fcps.org.
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  • Name the Newest FCPS School!

    Posted by Emily Reedy at 10/28/2014 10:05:00 AM
    Elementary Slated for West Frederick City
    Frederick County Public Schools invites the public to participate in the process of naming the new west-Frederick area elementary school. The new school is slated for construction on the south side of Butterfly Lane, opposite McCain Drive in Frederick. It is scheduled to open in August 2017 if funding is available.

    FCPS has organized a School Name Recommendation Committee, charged with gathering potential school names and presenting three recommendations to the Board of Education (BOE) in December. Hillcrest Elementary Assistant Principal Marilyn Dolbeare-Mathews chairs the committee, which includes PTA members, parents from Hillcrest, Orchard Grove and Waverley elementary schools, community members and staff.

    “Selecting a name is very important in creating a unique identity for the school and the future school community,” says FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban.

    The committee invites the public to submit name suggestions through an online survey at www.fcps.org/wfcaes. Community members may also submit name ideas in written form using suggestion boxes in the front offices at Hillcrest, Orchard Grove and Waverley elementary schools. Submissions should include the person’s relationship to FCPS (e.g. FCPS employee, student, parent, community member, etc.), and a rationale for the suggested name. The deadline for public input is Friday, November 7.

    Those submitting names are reminded that there is a BOE policy about naming schools. According to Policy 201 (http://apps.fcps.org/dept/legal/201.pdf), the BOE may name schools for historical events or geographical features (local or regional landmarks or locations) but not for people.

    The committee will narrow suggestions to 10 names after reviewing historical documents, property information and community suggestions. On Monday, November 17, FCPS will post the names at www.fcps.org/wfcaes and publicize them through other communication channels.

    The committee will then open a second opportunity for community involvement and ask for public feedback on the selected 10 names. Another online survey will be posted at www.fcps.org/wfcaes and written comments will again be accepted at the three school front offices. Comments received will help narrow the 10 names to three; the deadline for this round of public input is Thursday, December 4.

    FCPS will take all feedback into account as the committee selects three names to recommend to the Board of Education at the December 17 meeting. The Board of Education will make the final decision in naming the new school.

    More information about the new west-Frederick area elementary is online in both English and Spanish: www.fcps.org/wfcaes.
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  • Community Gifts for Education

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 10/28/2014
    And Grants from the Gladhills
    Students in Frederick County public schools benefit each year from the community’s generous financial donations through the Community Foundation of Frederick County. Grants totaling nearly $9,000 from the Frederick County Public Schools Gifts for Education Fund and the Franklin and Bess Gladhill Fund for Agriculture Education are supporting student enrichment projects.
    This year, nine schools are receiving Gifts for Education Fund grants, as follows:
    *Frederick Classical Charter—$500 for an American Sign Language Club to teach students the benefits and fundamentals of sign language
    *Frederick High School—$478 for a Reading Advantage project to improve English Language Learners’ (ELL) reading comprehension and critical-thinking skills to increase their achievement, and $500 to implement a classroom library to promote English-language learning and improve assessment performance for beginning ELL students
    *Governor Thomas Johnson High—$312 for Let There Be Light, a program to help Learning for Life students learn about foundations of technology in electricity and circuitry
    *Governor Thomas Johnson Middle—$240 for a year-long Pulse Percussion Ensemble to develop students’ musicianship with weekly rehearsals and 10 community performances
    *Spring Ridge Elementary—$425 to help students create a butterfly garden, learning scientific variables during plant selection and applying math concepts to the garden’s layout
    *Thurmont Elementary—$500 for second and third graders to collaborate using Chromebooks to carry on dialogue about the writing process
    *Tuscarora Elementary—$500 for cameras to enable ELL students to photograph people, places, things and events for developing better oral and written language skills
    *Walkersville Elementary—$499 for a student-designed, planted and harvested Field-to-Fork Community Garden
    *Walkersville High—$500 for a schoolwide STEM Night, focusing on the school’s watershed and its conditions
    Eight schools are receiving grants from the Gladhill Fund for Agriculture Education to accomplish the following:
    *Career & Technology Center—$500 to install raised beds and plant flowers for use in Advanced Floral Design, and $500 to assist with National FFA Convention attendance costs
    *Frederick High—$500 for the FFA-sponsored Santa’s Workshop event for the community
    *Governor Thomas Johnson Middle—$500 to build the first FCPS middle school greenhouse for teaching in various academic areas
    *Middletown High—$500 to assist with National FFA Convention attendance costs
    *Tuscarora High—$500 to assist with National FFA Convention attendance costs
    *Urbana High—$500 to assist with National FFA Convention attendance costs
    *Walkersville High—$499 for a student-designed, planted and harvested Field-to-Fork Community Garden
    *Windsor Knolls Middle—$500 for a student-built outdoor classroom with seating for 35 students
    The Community Foundation of Frederick County accepts tax-deductible donations for the funds and has distributed nearly $150,000 in almost 300 grants since the endowments were launched in 1998. Anyone wishing to donate may call 301-696-6805. The next round of grants is in September 2015. Schools wishing to apply may contact Deb.Huffman@fcps.org.
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