April 2017: Vol. 8, No. 9

Nation's Best High Schools
Maryland Ranks #1

BestHighSchoolsGraphicUS News & World Report recently published the news that Maryland has a higher percentage of top-ranked high schools than any other state in the nation.

The Report ranked the following FCPS schools in the top 30% of all public high schools in the U.S. Earning national "Silver Medal" status as high-performing schools, with their Maryland ranking provided, are:

  • Urbana #15
  • Middletown #21
  • Oakdale #24
  • Linganore #28
  • Walkersville #31
  • Brunswick #48
  • Gov. Thomas Johnson #53

Congratulations to all employees working to support high school student success. Watch for The Washington Post's 2017 Challenge Index list, coming soon!

FCPS All-Stars
Achieving the Promise of Public Education

About Middletown PS teacher Lindsay Hall's All-Star Award, Principal Karen Hopson had this to say:

"Mrs. Hall is a stellar teacher. Working with special needs students in the Challenges Program is her passion. She takes great pride in providing the highest quality experience for each of her students along with supporting their families. Her communication with families, dedication to the needs of her students and overall ALL-STAR work are incredible. It is with great appreciation and honor that I've had the opportunity to work with Mrs. Hall."

Throughout FCPS, the Challenges Program serves the needs of students with autism or severe communication disorders. The program uses a variety of instructional strategies based on individual needs. Classes are staffed with a high adult-to-student ratio, and opportunities are available for inclusion in general education, as appropriate.

Mrs. Hall supports the FCPS goal to nurture relationships with families and the entire community, sharing responsibility for student success and demonstrating pride in all aspects of our school system. She does excellent work encouraging and sustaining collaborations to achieve this goal.

Congratulations to Mrs. Hall and to other staff earning FCPS All-Star Awards: Ken Lawson and those featured on video since our March issue: Sarah Gunter, Melissa Lococo, James Rollins and Susan Verdi and the Frederick Impact Club.

Know someone who deserves All-Star recognition? See All-Star nomination criteria and forms.


FINALISTS Congratulations to the four finalists for FCPS Teacher of the Year: Cathlyn Babb from Tuscarora ES, Kevin Lloyd from Linganore HS, Karima Sharper from Centerville ES and Carrie Mehl from Oakdale HS. See their bios and more: Four Finalists Named for FCPS Teacher of the Year. See this year's nominees from each school.

ADVANCING Linganore HS and Oakdale MS Destination Imagination teams have qualified to represent Maryland at global finals next month. Teacher Marie Wiehler coaches the Linganore team. For more, see Two Local Teams Qualify for Global CompetitionCatoctin HS students, advised by science teacher April Wells, placed 1st in the countywide Envirothon and move on to state-level competition.

CERTIFIED GREEN Myersville ES is the only FCPS school to achieve 2017 Green School certification. Principal Kathy Swire commends teachers Michelle Carpenter and Melissa Hargreaves for managing the application.

AWARDS Career & Technology Center teacher Phil Arnold has earned a Lemelson-MIT Excite Award for leading a year-long CTC student-invented water-treatment design program to help the Melka Opa School in Ethiopia. See Excellent Career & Technology Education: Awards for Internship Program and Staff.

MORE AWARDS School Resource Officers (SRO) Supervisor Corporal Tim Grove and Urbana-area SRO Deputy First Class Brian Stocks received Outstanding Performance Awards at this year's Frederick County Sheriff's Office Citizen Advisory Committee Awards Banquet.

EVEN MORE AWARDS Once again, FCPS earned the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International's Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting, this time for our Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending 2016. FCPS also, once again, earned the Government Finance Officers Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. These awards confirm our Budget and Finance Department staff's commitment to financial accountability and transparency. Kudos to Chief Financial Officer Leslie Pellegrino and her excellent team.

STATE'S BEST The Institute for Museum & Library Services named FCPS Library Media Services Supervisor Mary Jo Richmond one of Maryland’s two 2017-2018 Lilead Fellows. She will participate in a program with supervisors from 24 other school districts nationwide.

News to Use

SCHOOL SAFETY On April 26, Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban sent all employees this Special Message About Safety. Please make sure you understand and follow the procedures outlined in FCPS Regulation 200-29 on School Security and Facility Access at all times, as outlined in Dr. Alban's message. Thank you for all you do to maintain school safety. FCPS also posted an Important Message from Superintendent Alban about school safety on March 28 as a follow up to messages issued from the Catoctin HS FindOutFirst service on March 23 and March 28. In addition, we posted an important Message from BOE President Young.

GREAT PARTNERS  The FCPS and National Cancer Institute's Werner H. Kirsten Student Intern Program has earned one of just nine 2017 Awards of Excellence from the Maryland State Department of Education. In other partnership news, FCPS recently signed agreements with the Frederick Reading Council and Nymeo. Benefits to students and staff are described in the news releases: FCPS Partners with Frederick County Reading Council and FCPS Formalizes Partnership with Nymeo.

GO! The Great Frederick Discovery Race is Saturday, May 13. Register here today to support the FCPS Young Scholars program and have fun discovering the "hip and historic" City of Clustered Spires! This event is perfect on your own, with family or a team of friends. See a video about FCPS Young Scholars.

FREE TO STAFF Bring your ID badge for free admission to the Weinberg Center for the Arts on Wednesday, May 3, 7 PM, to hear the FCPS Elementary Honors Chorus. Your badge also provides free admission to school-sponsored theater and other events such as the Saturday, April 29 All-County High School Jazz Ensemble. See the calendar of upcoming plays and other arts events.

IT'S OFFICIAL See FCPS Announces Last Day of School Friday, June 9 is the last day of the school year for students, and Monday, June 12 for teachers and other 10-month staff. As we reported in March, FCPS will begin observing 4-day workweeks Monday, June 12 and return to the regular 5-day workweek on Monday, August 28. There is an exception the week of Independence Day. See details: http://insidefcps

YOUR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS May 1-26 is the time that all benefited employees may change insurance coverage and enroll or re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program. It's also a good time to update your life insurance beneficiaries if you've had a change in family status. Employees not wishing to make any change in medical, dental or life insurance coverage do not need to take any action, but FSA enrollment requires annual selection. Sign in to the Employee Self-Service Portal to indicate any changes by Friday, May 26 at midnight. See the 2017 Open Enrollment cover letter and enrollment packet information. Learn more about enrolling in FSA, life insurance and medical/dental coverage.

IS IT YOURS? FCPS has new procedures for employees coming on board, transferring or leaving employment. There are forms required for tracking property such as ID badges, keys, parking passes, phones, computers and more. Please watch this short video to understand employee and supervisor responsibilities: FCPS Property Procedures


FCPS In a Minute: April 7   April 14   April 28   Full Playlist

Tweets of the Week: Urbana MS Principal Peter Daddone
Career and Technology Education Coordinator Norm McGaughey
Director of Communications, Community Engagement and Marketing Michael Doerrer

Board of Education Meetings  Conveniently searchable by date and content--Watch gavel to gavel or only the topic you need

FCPS Fast Fact

VansShoesContestEntryCHSQ:  Can you the name the only Maryland school featured in the Vans shoes custom culture contest top 50 this year?

A: Catoctin HS made it, a second year in a row.

YOU can help them win by voting once daily through Wednesday, May 10: http://customculture.vans.com/

Their theme is depicted in the photo!

Additional views are online at the voting site.

Accolades to the lead Catoctin HS teacher on the project, Laura Day, and to the school's Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair Theresa Hutchinson, who took the photos.