Under sunny skies with temperatures in the comfortable 70s but projected to reach the low 90s, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) opened all schools on schedule today, the first day of the 2018-2019 school year. The weather was perfect for the outdoor flag-raising ceremonies many schools across the county held to launch the first day.
FCPS school bus drivers safely picked up students on 352 bus routes with an on-time arrival rate at nearly 98%, according to Transportation Director Fred Punturiero. The first few weeks of school is a time that bus drivers and students adjust to new schedules and routines. FCPS invites parents to check the following webpage for a list of buses running later than 10 minutes: www.fcps.org/busdelay.
Parents, teachers, administrators and guests all over the county shared stories about the first school day. At the brand new Sugarloaf Elementary, where Urbana Elementary students attend until their new school opens in 2020, the bulletin board in Karen Wills’s third grade classroom declares “Our future’s so bright we’ve got to wear shades.” Below that the teacher has posted photos of each student sporting sunglasses.
Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban started the day with an early tweet reminding the public to drive safely as buses are rolling and students are walking to bus stops and schools across the county. At Oakdale High School, she saw students responding to an environmental science video, discussing leadership with County Executive Jan Gardner and solving math equations. When doors opened at Oakdale Middle and New Market Middle, she saw students getting acclimated to new schedules. Her next stop was New Market Elementary, where first graders seated on a carpet were sharing ideas about the word “jitters.” She joined Oakdale Elementary students as they learned math, noting how the standards and rubrics helped them focus in a classroom where the teacher posted encouraging messages like “It’s not the finish line that matters; it’s having the courage to start.”
“I’m extremely proud of all our FCPS staff members, students, and families. We had an awesome start to the school year. Our students were clearly ready to learn, and our teachers and staff were clearly excited to welcome students back,” Superintendent Alban said.
“Despite hot and humid weather on the first day of school, FCPS facilities experienced no major issues; FCPS maintenance staff did an outstanding job of ensuring that all our facilities were ready to welcome students and staff,” added Michael Doerrer, FCPS director of Communications, Community Engagement and Marketing.