June 12 was the last regular teacher workday for 2016-17, but lots is happening at Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) this summer. The school system has transitioned to its summer four-day schedule with the Central Office open to the public from 7:30 am to 5 PM, Mondays through Thursdays and closed on Fridays. Employees who work year-round switched to a four-day week, working longer days, with all schools and offices closed Fridays until normal schedules resume Monday, August 28. This week is an exception, when employees had Tuesday, July 4 off and work normal hours the rest of the week including Friday.
More than 400 educators throughout the school system are revising, refining and developing curriculum and assessments as well as teacher support materials through July 20 in curriculum workshop that began in June.
FCPS Virtual School staff are overseeing the middle and high school summer programs. Principal Dr. Stacey Adamiak says the programs host about 680 students with 70 employees in a dozen locations and feature six programs for students engaged in learning for original credit, grade improvement or to meet standards for promotion to high school. Most summer high school classes began June 26 and run through July 26, while middle school summer classes are July 5-26, (closed Fridays except July 7). Many programs take place at Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle School, while each high school is also hosting summer learning options. The FCPS summer session graduation ceremony is Thursday, July 27.
From July 10-August 3, Mondays-Thursdays, more than 1,000 students from all grade levels will attend FCPS Extended School Year (ESY) programs at 13 elementary, one middle and one high school. Though only offered at certain schools, classes serve students countywide, and transportation is provided. The program helps students maintain and strengthen skills learned during the school year.
Numerous FCPS summer camps and various sports programs are engaging students across the county. Examples are the FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab summer camps--which still have openings--and Young Scholars programs at Hillcrest and Monocacy Elementary, Monocacy and West Frederick Middle and Gov. Thomas Johnson and Frederick High schools.
Maryland State Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants help another 300 students enjoy a Fun Academics in the Summertime (FAST) program at eight schools with more than 100 teachers, instructional assistants and other staff; the Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County, FC Frederick, Maryland Ensemble Theatre, TeamLink, Young Rembrandts and the YMCA of Frederick County partner with FCPS to provide this opportunity.
While Food and Nutrition Services staff are planning menus and Human Resources is staffing schools, Facilities Services crews are installing generators, replacing flooring, fire alarms, windows and doors, renovating auditoriums, modifying classrooms for new programs, relocating portables, repairing pavement, reconditioning and servicing competition playing fields and replacing and repairing HVAC systems. Teams of custodial professionals are cleaning their schools from top to bottom; they move all the furniture to wash and wax floors and shampoo carpets, scrub the desks and chairs, and more. Construction site work continues at Frederick High in preparation for opening the new building to students in September. Construction of the new Butterfly Ridge Elementary in Frederick and Sugarloaf Elementary in Urbana also continues while design begins for replacing Urbana Elementary and Rock Creek School.
The public is invited to join Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban’s annual summer book group discussions. This year’s read is The Happiness Effect, by Donna Freitas. Details are online at www.fcps.org/bookclub.
Watch for back-to-school resources including school-supply lists, coming later this month along with other updates to www.fcps.org for the new school year.
Workshops for new teachers are Monday, August 21 through Thursday, August 24, and all teachers report to work Monday, August 28 in preparation for the opening day of school for students, Tuesday, September 5.