Frederick County public schools are preparing to welcome 43,000 students Tuesday, September 4.
Any parent or guardian with a child not yet enrolled should contact the local school as soon as possible. FCPS has posted enrollment details in the newly updated back-to-school Web section at www.fcps.org/back-to-school.
The Back-to-School section is a single-stop resource for school-supply lists, back-to-school events and orientation dates, forms, meal prices, transportation updates, the new Calendar Handbook and more that’s new for the coming school year.
Online bus routing is live in the back-to-school section. FCPS asks parents to please notify the school right away of any changes expected in transportation. Forms for reporting transportation changes are also posted online. FCPS is mapping routes, and changes can occur any time before the start of school; parents should check their children’s transportation information periodically through the start of school. Mechanics are prepping more than 400 yellow school buses to travel more than 42,000 miles each day as drivers safely transport nearly 31,000 kids to and from school.
This summer, FCPS refreshed its 15-year-old FindOutFirst (FOF) data. New this year, all parent/guardian email addresses are uploaded from the FCPS eSchool system to FOF with children’s associated schools and grade levels. In future years, school and grade-level relationships will update automatically. For now, parents must re-enter their smartphone numbers, carriers and the verification codes they receive to get emergency-closing text messages. When parents receive Student Information Cards the first school day, they should pay careful attention to confirming their email addresses and clearly print any changes, as these are the addresses at which their FOF notices will arrive. Parents should also re-select district-level areas of interest such as special education, calendar updates and news releases. Also new this year, high school students are registered to FOF and will learn about updating their accounts after school starts. FCPS encourages all other family and community members to re-subscribe at www.fcps.org/fof, as accounts created before August 1 no longer exist.
Also new this year, schools have strengthened campus safety. Upon entering any school or FCPS building, visitors are now required to present an ID, which may be scanned or manually entered into a new visitor-management system. Visitors without a US government-issued ID may show another form of identification. The system will check the visitor’s name and birth date for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders, who are not permitted on school property. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded. The system is not connected to any other database such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, and information is not shared with any other agency. Once entry is approved, the system will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date and purpose of the visit. Persons without ID must be escorted by a school system employee. A visitor’s badge is not necessary for those who visit simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.
Cafeterias will continue to offer whole-grain options, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat choices daily, with some schools adding salad and burrito bars. Corn-on-the-cob and seasoned skin-on potato wedges are new sides this year along with some locally sourced, farm-fresh seasonal foods, as available. Full-price breakfast is up 15 cents, coming in at $1.60 for elementary students and $1.85 for middle and high. Lunches are up 30 cents, at $2.65 for elementary students and $2.90 for middle and high. Milk, when purchased separately, remains 60 cents. Families may apply for free or reduced-price student meals using a Meal Benefit Form distributed to all students when school starts and online at www.fcps.org/meals. For prepaying and monitoring school meals, FCPS invites parents to use www.myschoolbucks.com.
Middle and high schools will continue to use the grades-online Home Access Center. Some teachers are also using the district’s new learning-management system, called Schoology, to provide parents access to their children’s coursework. Participating teachers will notify parents when school begins.
FCPS will provide students a new Calendar Handbook on the first school day, with additional important dates and information. The Calendar at a Glance and full-color Calendar Handbook are online: fcps.org/calendar.
Required immunizations are posted in the back-to-school section. Students must have up-to-date immunizations to attend school. All medications—including over-the-counter medications—require a written order from the student’s healthcare provider and must be transported to school by an adult in the pharmacy bottle or original, unopened container. Students may bring and apply over-the-counter sunscreen without a written order.
Butterfly Ridge Elementary will open on time. Urbana Elementary students are attending Urbana@Sugarloaf Elementary while the old Urbana Elementary is getting demolished and rebuilt to open in fall 2020. When the new Urbana Elementary opens, Sugarloaf Elementary will open as its own school and attendance area. The FCPS SUCCESS and Child Find programs are re-locating to 250 Madison Street across from Lincoln Elementary and the FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab.
From elementary to high schools, preparations are underway for the new school year. FCPS has even posted graduation dates for the Class of 2019. Check out the new FCPS Back-to-School page today!