August 2013: Vol. 5, No. 1

Maryland's Premier School System
Brings You Resources for a Successful Year

CHB 2013-14
Welcome to a new school year!  You are invited to get oriented now with the freshly updated: 
2013-14 FCPS Organizational Chart.

Also see FCPS lists of:
2012-13 Retirees
and New Faces in Key Places ...as well as photos!*

We warmly welcome all of the 150+ teachers new to FCPSDid you realize we are the largest employer in Frederick County, with 5,650 fulltime-equivalent positions that equate to more than 7,000 total employees?

Thanks for everyone's hard work preparing to welcome 40,668 students on Monday, August 19. Enrollment includes the 280 students who will attend grades K-6 at our third and newest charter school: Frederick Classical Charter School. The FCCS is a few blocks off Gas House Pike near the county's Chamber of Commerce offices.

In school cafeterias, meal prices hold steady for students, and adult lunch prices remain $3.75.  Milk, when purchased separately, is 50 cents. FCPS has transitioned from CafePrepay to www.myschoolbucks.com for prepaying and monitoring meals. Cafeterias continue to offer whole-grain options, fresh vegetables and fruits, and low-fat choices daily.

In addition to the new Calendar Handbook (which is also available in Spanish), Communication Services has updated fcps.org, including the Fast Facts webpage, a helpful resource when you need talking points, FCPS demographics and more.

New this year: FCPS has scheduled half days off for parent-teacher conferences for elementary and middle schools only, and they are on November 25 and 26. See the one-page Calendar at a Glance.

Also new this year: FCPS makes it easier to report bullying incidents with a digital form for online completion and submission.

Our students will ride on buses that have digital radios with GPS.

Elementary report cards got a make over: See examples.

Enjoy a collage that shows just some of the many FCPS accomplishments over a very busy summer!

*Available only from FCPS-networked computers

Curriculum NOW

You've probably heard the words "Common Core." But do you know that the Common Core is not a curriculum?

Common Core standards are benchmarks or general guidelines that a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association launched with parents, school administrators and educators in many states across the country to help students become college and career ready.

Common Core state standards do not tell teachers what or how to teach; they simply outline the skills that all students should master to help them:
• Think critically
• Think creatively
• Communicate
• Collaborate

Curriculum NOW is the FCPS curriculum that we prepared for meeting the state standards.

Find out more:
Videos:  Introducing Curriculum Now
Dr. Alban Talks About Curriculum Now

Website: www.fcps.org/curriculumnow

Employee Excellence
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

2013 Support Employees
Congratulations to our 2013 Support Employees of the Year, featured in the photo, left to right: Central Office Secretary of the Year and the overall 2013 FCPS Central Office Support Employee of the Year: Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation senior executive secretary Debbie Wachter-Harne; Special Education Instructional Assistant of the Year and the 2013 School-Based Support Employee of the Year: Centerville ES instructional assistant Kelly Woodard; School-Based Registrar of the Year: Jane Nicholson, Thurmont MS; Business Support Employee of the Year: Transportation route surveyor  William “Bill” Crabill; School-Based Custodian of the Year: William “Bill” King Jr.Kemptown ES; and Central Office Maintenance Employee of the Year: Catoctin Cluster lead maintenance mechanic Michael Madrake.

Though the selection committee could only recognize one winner in each category, commendations also to all support employees nominated:  See their names!

FirstClass RibbonAnd kudos to staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter:  Kelly Barger, Laurie Bohanan, Karen Burrell, Lacey Finneyfrock, Beverly Flohr, Tina Ford, Lynn Foster, Tracy Hatch, Grant Keimig, Kevin Lewis, Roy McHaffa, April Miller, Christina Negrete, Yvette Peterson, Michele Roberts, Patricia Steele, John C. Treme, Kay Trout and Jill Wilton.

Nominate an employee.

***Accolades***

NATIONALLY CERTIFIED Congratulations to our most recent nationally certified teachers: Angela Biggus, Amanda Fishel, Alison Hardy and Stephen Seiler. Kudos to all FCPS teachers who have achieved National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification. To learn how you can achieve this high standard, please contact Kathryn.Crawford@fcps.org in HR. Also on the national certification front:  Urbana HS athletic director Kevin Kendro earned his Certified Master Athletic Administrator certification. This is the highest certification available from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

NATIONAL-LEVEL TRAINING Brunswick MS teacher Jennifer Bean was selected from more than 500 applicants to attend the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Institute. She developed primary-source-based teaching strategies to apply in the classroom and share with colleagues. Ms. Bean encourages all educators to learn about accessing teaching materials, tools and strategies with primary sources at www.loc.gov/teachers.

Golden Achievement AwardNATIONAL GOLD FCPS has stepped up our focus on effective communication and community engagement. In doing so, we earned a record 8 awards from the 2013 National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). The awards include 3 Golden Achievement Awards for exemplary public relations in campaigns to engage the community in the Frederick HS modernization, the Earth and Space Science Lab’s 50th anniversary and a campaign to boost enrollment in the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) at Linganore HS. The NSPRA president congratulated FCPS Communications, Community Engagement and Marketing director Michael Doerrer for his leadership. The remaining awards were in the Publications and Electronic Media category: 3 Awards of Merit for a minority recruitment pamphlet, a series of Rally Around the Promise public service announcements and a Time to Move Forward on Teacher Evaluations letter to the editor plus 2 Awards of Honorable Mention for work related to the Promise of Public Education and for social media use in building trust and easing fears in the aftermath of the crisis in Newtown, CT.

MORE NATIONAL GOLD Competing against 6,000 students, 11 FCPS Career and Technology Center students placed in the nation's top 8 during this summer's SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championships in Kansas City.  Awards included the gold medal for first place in Nurse Assisting. Photo and more

CARING The Thurmont MS Math-a-thon service-learning project raised almost $4,500 for St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital. Also, Lincoln ES teacher Jessica Myers' 3rd grade class operated an Alex's Lemonade Stand. With help from enrichment teacher Janet Manning and Rita's Italian Ice, they raised nearly $1,500. Half went to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to fight cancer and half to a Lincoln ES student who has cancer.

2013 Special Education AwardsOUSTANDING X10  Kudos to the 2013 Special Education Award winners! Shown in the photo, left to right: Outstanding High School Special Education Teacher Dawn Chrisinger from Brunswick HS; Friend of Special Education Brunswick HS volunteer Maria Johnson; Outstanding High School Special Education Instructional Assistant Jerry Williams from Frederick HS; Outstanding Speech-Language Pathologist Danielle Wilson from Urbana MS; Outstanding Achievement Award winner Speech-Language Coordinator Cathie Duncan; Outstanding School Psychologist Dr. Mitch Ginsburg; FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban; Board of Education President Jean Smith; Outstanding Elementary Special Education Instructional Assistant Sally Tokar from Thurmont PS; Outstanding Special Education Administrator Parkway ES Principal Betsy Little; Outstanding Elementary Special Education Teacher Alicia Krauss from Parkway ES; and Outstanding Middle School Special Education Instructional Assistant Douglas Biggus from Heather Ridge. [Not present: Outstanding Middle School Special Education Teacher Melissa Moller from Monocacy MS.]

YEAR'S BEST  Congratulations to FCPS Bus Driver of the Year Kay Ridenour and Bus Assistant of the Year Joann Kneer!  See the Frederick News Post coverage of Ms. Ridenour.

MORE YEAR'S BEST Of more than 800 schools with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs statewide, FCPS recently earned 19 Maryland State Department of Education awards: 17 gold and 2 bronze. Earning gold: Ballenger Creek ES, Brunswick ES, Brunswick MS, Green Valley ES, Heather Ridge, Lewistown ES, Lincoln ES, New Market MS, North Frederick ES, Orchard Grove ES, Parkway ES, Spring Ridge ES, Thurmont ES, Urbana MS, Walkersville ES, Walkersville MS and Windsor Knolls MS.  Earning bronze: Middletown MS and Whittier ES.  

TRANSPARENT For the 4th consecutive year, FCPS has earned the highest form of recognition for accurate and full disclosure in governmental accounting and financial reporting:  the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). "This achievement is a clear demonstration that FCPS is committed to transparency and responsible financial stewardship. We are committed to managing every dime of the taxpayers’ money responsibly,” says Leslie Pellegrino, executive director of FCPS Fiscal Services. Pellegrino commends Budget and Finance manager Robert Reilly and staff for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. Watch the video!

News to Use

BOE MEMBERSHIP Board of Education member James C. Reeder Jr., passed away July 4th. He is remembered for significant contributions to public education since his election to office in 2010.  Most recently, Mr. Reeder was chair of the Board's Facilities and Finance Committee. Jimmy, as he was known to many, brought a strong business background to the Board with his extensive financial experience. He was a consistent advocate to ensure that taxpayer resources were wisely used to gain the greatest efficiencies for students in public education countywide. “Mr. Reeder will be sorely missed by the entire board,” said Board President Jean Smith. Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban extended condolences to Mr. Reeder’s family and friends on behalf of all of us at FCPS. The Board of County Commissioners appointed Colleen E. Cusimano to fill the remainder of Mr. Reeder's term, which ends in December 2014. A swearing-in ceremony is planned for August 14. Please extend a warm welcome to Ms. Cusimano.

FCPS Wellness LogoNEED CHILD CARE? FCPS's employee assistance provider Deer Oaks provides nationwide resources to help employees searching for child care. They also offer information on parenting issues. The login and password are both fcps; click on Childcare Resources to register. Also see online tips on balancing work and home life.

STEP OUT FREDERICK! Decide to make a difference: Pre-register now for the Sunday, October 13, Walk to Stop Diabetes 5K in Baker Park. After pre-registering, sign in at noon for the 1 PM walk. Subway will provide food, and kids may enjoy a moon bounce, face and pumpkin painting and more. There are no registration fees or fundraising minimums. Proceeds will support diabetes research, advocacy and outreach efforts in and around Frederick.

SCHEDULED TO WORK? Employee work-year calendars are online for your convenience.

Alert BeaconSAFETY  FCPS has partnered with the Frederick County Division of Emergency Preparedness in securing a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant to install emergency notification devices in each school office. When activated through a weather alert or Central Office staff, the devices will emit a tone and flashing lights while displaying a text message. “Without Frederick County government’s partnership, the cost to the school system for these measures would be prohibitive,” says FCPS School Security coordinator Cliff Cornwell

PLEASE HELP!  FCPS plans to transition FindOutFirst emergency notices to school and grade-level data from our Student Information System. Make sure parents provide updated email addresses on Student Information Cards. Thank you to all who carefully collect and accurately enter this important information.

STEM PARTNERS  Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) Deputy Commander Keith Syring signed a recent partnership agreement to promote the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics—STEM subjects—in local schools and develop future STEM professionals. See the photo and find out more

NEED $$$?  Students benefit each year from citizens like Franklin and Bess Gladhill’s generous donations through the Community Foundation of Frederick County. This past year, more than $8,000 in earnings from donated funds supported student enrichment projects.  FCPS has posted the application online for the 2013-14 Franklin and Bess Gladhill Fund for Agricultural Education and the FCPS Gifts for Education Fund at www.fcps.org. Public school students, families, employees and any public schools, departments and program areas wishing to support student enrichment or enhance student learning through innovative means may apply for a grant. FCPS encourages collaborations that will combine and maximize resources. The application deadline is Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 4 PM. For more information, please call 301-696-6805 or e-mail Deb.Huffman@fcps.org.

SOCIAL MEDIA FCPS is everywhere: whenever and however you want school news. Find it at your fingertips with mobile apps for Android and Apple devices, on youtube.com/user/FCPSmaryland, on Facebook at FCPSMaryland, Twitter @FCPSMaryland, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Want help getting your school connected? Need help updating your school website? Contact Brandon.Oland@fcps.org

FCPS TV LogoFCPS TV  Programs not listed elsewhere in this issue are available for you to watch on demand*
Our Amazing Class of 2013
A June Message About Teacher Evaluations

*The BACK arrow will return you to this page.

FCPS Fast Fact

CTC LogoQ:  How many students will attend the FCPS Career and Technology Center this fall?

A:  725 high school students will spend half their days studying at our CTC, a specialized FCPS high school offering 21 career preparatory programs. Most CTC programs are open to students in grades 10-12 who have demonstrated good attendance and met other requirements.  Most require two years, and many prepare students for national and state certification and offer college credits.