February 2016: Vol. 7, No. 7

Graduation and Dropout Rates: Impressive
FCPS Achieves Maryland's Second-Lowest Dropout Rate

FCPS achieved impressive Class of 2015 dropout and graduation rates, according to data the Maryland State Department of Education released this month. Our 3.5% dropout rate is at its lowest and our 93.5% graduation rate at its highest level in six years. In fact, we have Maryland’s second-lowest* dropout rate, something we’ve accomplished four times since 2012, having achieved the state’s lowest dropout rate in 2010 and 2011.

“These results are outstanding,” says Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. “The work we do in FCPS to make sure that our students not only graduate but excel benefits our entire community. We know with certainty that young people who stay in school do better in life by every meaningful measure. And our community is stronger and more prosperous, too. I could not be prouder of our teachers, staff, students and FCPS families. We deliver amazing results for our community.” 

*For 2015, Carroll County achieved the state's lowest dropout rate.

For details, please see the full news release:  Graduation and Dropout Rates Released Today

FCPS All-Stars
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

MikeLivergoodMichael Livergood is an All-Star math teacher and Mathematics Department chair at Catoctin HS. Here's what Robert Phelan, a colleague and educator relatively new to the profession, had to say about what makes Mike an FCPS All-Star:

Mike quickly became someone who took on a mentor role for me. He was consistently available to respond to questions, concerns, successes and failures. He supports, encourages and pushes me to become a better teacher and has championed all my initiatives to create higher levels of learning throughout my classes. Our department is a very close and strong unit with Mike at the helm. As I see him working with a teacher intern, I appeciate his willingness to deepen this person's experiences through reflection on success and failure. I see him offering insight from his various experiences to questions our department members raise. He promotes and supports professional learning amongst his peers and is a shining example of lifelong learning, taking night classes, teaching online courses, working with the math honor society, serving on the FCPS curriculum-writing team, and helping students in the media center after school. Kids gravitate toward Mike's very positive and humorous personality, wanting to learn from him.

Congratulations to Mike and other FCPS All-Star winners not included in prior newsletter issues:  Carol Bates, Christina Brannon, Maureen Corio, Tabitha Jones-Wohleber, Billie Laughland, Karen McGaha, Charmane Nesbitt, Eric Phillips, Brett Querry, April Sprecher, Georgia Staley, Frank Taylor, Stephen Ward and Stephanie Weigelt.

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


FIT FRIENDLY FCPS won American Heart Association recognition as a 2015 Gold Fit-Friendly Worksite for our commitment to creating a heart-healthy environment in the workplace. Congratulations to dedicated Human Resources Division leaders Paula Lawton, executive director, and Colette Baker, senior manager, and to all our FCPS Wellness Champions.

UNDETERRED Students in Phil Arnold's Career and Technology Center CAD-Engineering program earned achievement awards and $500 from Club Z! In Home Tutoring. See the photo and find out more in Students Not Deterred by Setback and WJLA TV coverage. Also involved with the program are New Market ES teacher Mary Tielking and her students who assist in testing the CTC students' engineering designs.

MATHCOUNTS  West Frederick MS math teacher Richard Milauskas coached the team placing first in regional competition.

DISTINGUISHED Windsor Knolls MS science teacher Bonnie Johnson is one of four teachers selected statewide for the Northrop Grumman Foundation's Teachers Academy Fellowship Program.

SHARED EXPERTISE Maintenance director Bob Wilkinson and Planning and Construction director Roger Fritz were quoted in the national FMD Magazine for their expertise in K-12 facilities management. See the article.

TECHNOLOGY $$$  Oakdale ES received $9,000+ from three business partners to support technology and nears its goal of purchasing 180 devices. The partners: Green Home MD, Lennar Homes and Michael and Son Services. See the photo and full news release: Oakdale Elementary Receives $9,050.

News to Use

NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES Effective March 1, Tuscarora ES Principal Stephen Raff is promoted to director of elementary schools to fill the vacancy created when Dr. Keith Harris became executive director of the new Accelerated Achievement and Equity Department. Eric Louers Phillips was appointed supervisor of Accelerated Achievement and Equity, effective February 1; Mr. Phillips was elementary social studies curriculum specialist. Colleen Bernard was promoted to secondary social studies curriculum specialist, effective February 22, following Michael Bunitsky's retirement.

CLASSMATES4LIFE Voting is open through Monday, February 29 for the People's Choice Award-Winning video:  www.classmates4life.com Then on Wednesday, March 2, all are welcome to join Maryland's Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford at the Red Carpet Gala to view the winning videos and learn more about ending drug abuse. Visit information booths at 5:45 PM and enjoy the awards celebration, 6:30 PM at the Holiday Inn by the FSK Mall. 

ACADEMIC TOURNAMENT  The final matches and championship are Friday, February 26, free and open to the public, starting at 5:45 PM at Linganore HS. Head over to support your team!  Click here for the full news release: Students to Match Wits.

KINDERGARTEN AND PRE-K Please spread the word that registration begins Monday, March 14. Early registration helps FCPS plan adequate staffing. See the full news release for details: Kindergarten and PreK Registration.

ENGINEERING INNOVATION It's also time for interested high school students to register for the Johns Hopkins University summer program that FCPS hosts at Tuscarora HS. Find out more.

WORLD LANGUAGE DAY Coming Saturday, March 5, the popular (and free) FCPS World Language Day event will take place 11:30 AM-2 PM at Tuscarora HS. See the full news release: Celebrate World Language Day. For more information: DeWayne.Cash@fcps.org.

YOUTH ART MONTH Don't let March pass by without a visit to the FCPS Youth Art Month Exhibit at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center, March 5-28. Even before the first colors of spring arrive, the Center brings a vibrant relief to winter!

FCPS Fast Fact

Q:  Will FCPS seek a waiver for this year's snow days?

A:  That's a decision for the Board of Education. Typically leaders at the state level expect that school systems will first use the snow days built into their calendars before seeking any waivers.

As of February 24, FCPS has used only 6 of the 7 snow days built into this year's calendar.

If there are no further snow days and no waiver, the last day for students will be Friday, June 17.  FCPS will announce the official last day for employees and students later in the school year.