Parents, students, teachers and community members countywide are welcome and encouraged to attend an important Drug Awareness Education program and Prescription Drug Collection event Wednesday, March 19 at the Brunswick High auditorium. The presenters aim to provide parents and all guests with a better understanding of today’s drugs and paraphernalia, the signs that children may be using drugs, and whom to call for help.
The Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force and Frederick County drug and mental health professionals will be in the lobby beginning at 6:30 p.m. to show actual drugs, drug paraphernalia, and to educate the public about community resources that are available to help those in need.
The Sheriff’s Deputies will also collect unused and expired prescription drugs at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby before and after the formal program, which begins at 7.
Frederick County Health Department Director Dr. Barbara Brookmyer advises: “The first step to controlling drug abuse in Frederick County is to get the unused and expired prescription drugs out of closets and medicine cabinets. Having a Prescription Drug Collection Event in conjunction with our Drug Awareness Education Program seemed like the perfect fit.”
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins says that late in 2013 the Office of National Drug Control Policy designated Frederick County a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
"The collaborative efforts among county agencies and the school system are critical in addressing this serious drug problem,” says FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. “Working together as a community is our best defense in keeping our children drug free."
Commissioner Billy Shreve emphasizes, “This is an extremely important and informative event. All parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers and community members are encouraged to attend. Community leaders are sponsoring this event as a response to the 300% increase in narcotics-related activities in Frederick County. We need to educate parents. We need to show them what kids are doing in 2014 and how to get help if they find their child has drugs or a drug-abuse problem. Twenty-five percent of 12th graders have used an illicit drug, and 42% have drunk alcohol. ‘Not my child’ is no longer an acceptable answer.”
Delegate Kelly Schulz agrees: "Parents should not wait until they are in a crisis situation to learn about the resources that are available to them and their children. The entire community can benefit from understanding where to go to find help for a family member or friend in a dangerous situation."
Immediate help is available from the 24-hour Crisis and Intervention Hotline by dialing 211 or the Frederick County Health Department at 301-600-1029.
Sponsoring agencies are the Board of County Commissioners, Frederick County Public Schools, the Frederick County Health Department, Sheriff’s Office, Frederick County Government, State’s Attorney’s Office, Municipal Governments of Frederick County (Towns) and the State Delegation.
Two students and their library media specialist earned an invitation to the White House today. The New Midway-Woodsboro Elementary Social Media Club entered the first-ever White House Student Film Festival and won a spot in the festival, competing with more than 2,000 entries!
Thanks to their winning entry, called Technology Is the Future: A Paperless Present, library media specialist Stephanie Bickford is accompanying fifth graders Emily Deck and Rahni Huff to the White House Film Festival. They are Tweeting their experiences @bookford. The hashtag for the event is #WHFilmFest. The festival is also live streaming at Whitehouse.gov/FilmFest.
“Ms. Bickford and teachers Leanne Kitsko, Holly Nyack and Susan Thyden formed the Social Media Club to help our students learn about communication, cyber safety and collaboration,” says Principal Giuseppe DiMonte.
“Our students did an outstanding job getting across a message I hear frequently across the county,” says Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. “They want technology resources that keep up with their pace of learning, help them collaborate and equip them for success. I am doing my best to provide students what they need to succeed when they graduate into tomorrow’s world.”
In addition to the two students representing the Club at the White House, the following students participated in producing the video: Ericka Ball, Stephanie Ball, Lanie Beall, Tyler Brookshire, Kelly Brown, Ry Brunner, Kylie Diehl, Sierra Dobbs, Tara Eyler, Jaiden Hagan, Ryan Hamburg, Chelsea Holland, Sophia Pigott, Heavin Puffenbarger, Rayvin Puffenbarger, Sarah VenDouern, Rhea Whipple.
Through the contest, created just for students in kindergarten through 12th grades, finalists not only have their short films shown at the White House but also featured on the White House website, YouTube channel and social media pages.
The Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) fall 2014 pre-kindergarten classes application process begins Monday, March 17. FCPS recommends calling your
local school for specific hours.
To enter pre-kindergarten in fall 2014, a child must be four on or before September 1, 2014. 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.
Pre-kindergarten applications require the child’s immunization record, proof of date of birth and proof of residency. Parents planning to have a child enter with automatic-priority status based on free or reduced price meal eligibility will also need to provide the following: three consecutive pay stubs from the past six months, or a W2 form showing 2013 earnings, or a letter from an employer on letterhead stating the applicant’s family income, or a letter documenting Social Services eligibility or foster care determination.
If the child has a special need that the FCPS Child Find process or the Frederick County Infants and Toddlers Program has identified, please bring a report card and/or notes from the most recent Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. If a parent does not have these and the child has a documented special need such as a hearing, vision or speech problem, he or she should bring an official report from the doctor.
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. Please call the local school for additional information.
On February 26, 2014 the Board of Education of Frederick County, Maryland (BOE) voted to forward to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) a Fiscal Year 2015 Operating Budget that supports Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban’s recommendations.
“While the budget does not represent everything that we may want for our outstanding school system, it does represent a reasonable picture of the basic needs of our schools and students. The BOE’s actions show that members recognize those needs,” Superintendent Alban said. BOE President Joy Schaefer noted that “The budget the Board approved tonight focuses entirely on what our schools need to continue to promote student achievement.” Below are some highlights of the complete BOE-approved budget: • The operating budget totals $548,348,808. It reflects an increase of $15,650,922 or 3.1% over the FY2014 operating budget. • The budget includes $13.7 million for a salary and staffing resource pool. • It reflects a $3.9 million increase for the continuation of programs and services including health and dental insurance increases due to inflation (subject to negotiations); retirees and temporary employees transitioning to permanent positions; funding for curriculum resources; and increases to county in-kind services. • Due to a modest projected enrollment increase for FY2015, formula-based staffing will increase. The budget reflects a net increase of $0.6 million as a result of enrollment. • The budget has a $1.3 million increase in mandated items mainly due to a net increase in pension expenses and the net growth in allocation to charter schools. • The Board also approved making a request to the BOCC for one-time funding for technology ($6 million) and Other Post Employment Benefits ($11 million). BOE President Schaefer also acknowledged the community’s involvement throughout the budget process. “The Board appreciated and listened very carefully to the input we received from the community at every stage – during work sessions, Board meetings, community forums, and through online tools. The budget we approved reflects the community’s important role in the budget process.” There is one final public budget hearing at which community members can share their views of the budget with the BOCC. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 6, 6 PM, at Oakdale High School. FCPS posts the full budget calendar online at www.fcps.org/budget. Final adoption of the BOCC operating budget is scheduled for June 5, 2014. The BOE is then scheduled to adopt the school system’s operating budget on June 11, 2014.
Academic Tournament teams from all 10 Frederick County public high schools are preparing for heated competition in the championship that begins Friday, February 28, 6 PM, at Frederick High. This event is open free to the public.
In its 33rd 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, 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.
Matches have taken place most Fridays since January 3, alternating locations between Linganore and Oakdale High. 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, and teams from Brunswick, Catoctin, Tuscarora, and Urbana have each won once.
Catoctin High teacher Dave Gadra will serve as master of ceremonies, reading questions at the event, with Academic Tournament coordinator Nick Diaz assisting. Teacher sponsors agreed that World War I will be the special topic for the finals because 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War. Other special topics were Middle East and North Africa geography and history; children’s literature; Soviet history and geography; 1950s music; astronomers and astronomy; superheroes and villains; and world religions.
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.
Frederick County Public Schools invites the public to participate in the process of naming the new Urbana-area elementary school. The new school is slated for construction in the Urbana North mixed-use development west of MD 355 and next to the older Urbana Community Park. It is scheduled to open in August 2016 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 in April. Tuscarora Elementary Principal Steve Raff chairs the committee, which includes PTA members, parents from Urbana and Centerville Elementary schools, Urbana business leaders, 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 name suggestions via email to UrbanaAreaSchools@fcps.org. Submissions should include the person’s name, 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 Wednesday, March 5.
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 5-10 names after reviewing historical documents, property information and suggestions. On Friday, March 7, FCPS will post the names at www.fcps.org/urbanaareaschools 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 5-10 names. The committee will welcome email comments to help narrow the 5-10 names to three at UrbanaAreaSchools@fcps.org by Thursday, March 20.
FCPS will take all feedback into account as the committee selects three names to recommend to the Board of Education in April. The Board of Education will make the final decision in naming the new school.
Eric Louers Phillips Recognized for Social Studies Instruction
Frederick County Public Schools Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Eric Louers Phillips has been awarded The Collins-Skinner Award for 2014. This award is presented annually to an outstanding elementary teacher in the Middle States region who emphasizes Social Studies instruction in the classroom.
The award is being presented by the Middle States Council for the Social Studies. The Council represents Delaware, The District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. It is the oldest Social Studies council in the nation. Mr. Phillips will receive the award at the Council’s annual meeting on Friday, February 21.
“This is award is a wonderful recognition of an outstanding educator,” said Jason Anderson, FCPS’s Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation. “Eric Phillips works every day to make sure the students of Frederick County receive the very best in the classroom. We are extremely proud of his work.”
It’s time for next year’s Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) high school juniors and seniors to apply for the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Engineering Innovation (EI) summer program offered at Tuscarora High. EI will enable them (and students starting college in the fall) to participate in a renowned college-level program that offers the potential to earn three college credits while exploring cutting-edge educational and career options. Students will also earn one FCPS elective credit.
|EI runs June 30-July 25, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the four-week program students learn about electrical, computer, chemical, mechanical and civil engineering while completing many hands-on activities. They also attend college-level lectures, complete team projects and attend guest talks by practicing engineers, as they learn to apply math and science concepts to engineering problems.
Engineering Innovation is available to FCPS students through an ongoing collaboration with JHU. Scholarships are available through JHU.
Applications are online at http://engineering-innovation.jhu.edu. FCPS recommends that students apply now, as enrollment for the local course is limited. Students interested in the program should contact their school counselor or Kim Day, FCPS STEM coordinator, 301-644-5126, for more information.
FCPS Announces Winners: Drug Awareness Poster Contest
Posted by Dian Nelson at 2/18/2014
Winners of the Drug Awareness Coalition’s poster contest were announced at the Middletown High School drug awareness event on January 29, according to Commissioner Billy Shreve of the Frederick Board of County Commissioners.
Frederick High senior Liana Sales won the first place grand prize. Her winning poster is on the Frederick County Public Schools web home page at www.fcps.org. Oakdale High 9th grader Payton Steele is the first runner up, winning second place. Middletown Middle 8th grader Maddie Wells is the second runner up, winning third place.
All FCPS students were eligible to participate in the poster contest. The theme was “Drug Abuse: What Parents Should Know and Do.” The next drug awareness coalition event is Wednesday, February 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (a time change from the previous event) at Governor Thomas Johnson High School, 1501 North Market Street, Frederick, MD. All posters will be on display at the event. The public is encouraged to attend.
On behalf of the drug awareness coalition, Commissioner Shreve expressed appreciation to the Whitetail Resort for donating the poster contest’s first prize and Famous Dave's for donating the second and third prizes.
Left to right are Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins; poster contest winners Liana Sales, Payton Steele and Maddie Wells; Maryland State Delegate Kelly Schulz; FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban; and Famous Dave’s Area Director Jonathan Carothers.
March brings vibrant colors to brighten even the dreariest winter day in Frederick County. Visit the Frederick County Public Schools’ All-County Student Art Exhibit at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center. Open free to the public, the exhibit features more than 300 imaginative two- and three-dimensional creations by students from each public school.
Catch the festive opening Saturday, March 1 from 3-5 p.m. The Center is at 40 S. Carroll Street in downtown Frederick. The show continues throughout March during the Delaplaine’s usual hours, 9-5 Mondays-Saturdays and 11-5 Sundays. The gallery is also open some evening hours when the Center offers classes; for the evening schedule, please call 301-698-0656 or visit www.delaplaine.org.
“This exhibit allows an inside look at the creativity and artistic excellence found in all of our art classrooms,” says Russell Beaton, FCPS curriculum specialist. “Having so many wonderful examples of student artwork in one place, to appreciate and admire, is a special treat. Thanks to our art students and their amazing teachers for sharing their talents with us in this show.”