January 2014: Vol. 5, No. 6

Need a Little TLC?
Technology for Learning and Collaboration

ComputerGirlsTLC usually stands for Tender Loving Care.  At FCPS, TLC = Technology for Learning and Collaboration.

Did you know that the general life of a computer by typical industry standards is 3 to 5 years?  At FCPS, 64% of our computers are 5 years or older, and 31% are 8 years or older. Many operate very slowly or are unable to run updated software programs.

Given these facts, you probably face frustration with technology that limits efficient teaching and learning as well as efficiency in completing any administrative tasks you need to accomplish. 

These are some of the reasons Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban is asking for $6 million outside the FY2015 normal operating budget request. Consider what students and you could achieve with updated technology resources. Let the BOE (Board@fcps.org) and the Board of County Commissioners know your priorities. 

Speak at this year's budget hearings, both at Oakdale High:
BOE Wednesday, February 5, 7 PM
Board of County Commissioners Tuesday, May 6, 6 PM

Be an education ambassador with handy quick facts about Building Frederick's Future, Protecting the Promise of Public Education.
See the proposed 2014-2015 (FY2015) budget, and see what you missed at the FCPS Promise event via FCPS TV links under News to Use. Learn more.

Employee Excellence
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

Have you thanked your building's custodians for the extra work they do outside on these cold days?  Students and staff at Centerville ES appreciate those who care for their school. They affectionately refer to custodian Opal Killion as "Miss Bobbie."  Teachers nominated Miss Bobbie for First-Class Employee recognition, citing her "hard work and dedication."  Here are some of their accolades: "She goes above and beyond with consistent attention to details...always wears a smile and sees the positive in everybody."  Even if it means adding more responsibilities to her list, "she never hesitates to ask what teachers need." 

Miss Bobbie visits each classroom in the beginning of the year to introduce herself to the students and share her expectations. She shows the students all the pencils, erasers, crayons... that she finds on the floor at the end of the day so they can see the waste: "Students' mouths fall open when they realize they are not being careful and responsible with their supplies. This immediately changes their behavior.  She works to help them be responsible!"

"When the students show responsibility, Miss Bobbie takes the time to leave whiteboard notes of praise. She helps instill a sense of pride in each student...just as we teachers do each day. She never ever complains and just makes our hallway a fun and beautiful place to work."

FirstClassRibbonKudos to other staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter: Susan Day, Jeanne Fanning, Sarah Flora, Lori Regnier, David Smith, Julia Ramos and Jody Vanderlinden.

Take a moment to appreciate a co-worker who give you first-class service!



IntelLogoNATIONAL FINALIST  A Gov. Thomas Johnson HS senior is 1 of only 40 competitors in America to achieve finalist status in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. An Urbana HS student was a semi-finalist.

YEAR'S BEST The Maryland Chapter of Educational Theatre has named Tuscarora HS Principal Kathleen Schlappal Administrator of the Year for her exceptional support of the arts. 

DIVING IN THE AQUARIUM During an upcoming Middletown ES field trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, enrichment specialist Abbe Harman will scuba dive in the Coral Reef Exhibit! To add to Ms. Harman's excitement, she also earned her school a Maryland Department of Natural Resources grant for a "Trout in the Classroom" program in which students raise trout from eggs to fingerlings in partnership with Middletown HS biology students. 

IT'S ACADEMIC See Urbana HS students compete on the nation's foremost high school quiz program Saturday, February 8, 10 AM on WJZ, Channel 13. Kudos to faculty coaches Del Hayes, Mark Kavanaugh and Barbara Tarrant.

fcpsBlocksPROTECTING THE PROMISE  Thank you to Oakdale HS Principal Jeff Marker and staff for hosting this year's Building Frederick's Future: Protect the Promise of Public Education event January 9 and to all staff who helped students participate, especially: Russell Beaton, Visual and Performing Arts curriculum specialist; Tina BruleyCrestwood MS Cavalier Chorus director; Michael Copen, Susan Copen and Terence Moore, Oakdale HS Illuminations and Tuscarora HS Titan Tempo Show Choir directors and choreographer Thomas Murphy; Jessica FitzwaterOakdale ES Dance Club director; Emily Hornbaker, Oakdale HS Drumline director; John Karos, Tuscarora HS Titan Jazz Ensemble director; Linganore HS NJROTC Lt. Commander Henry Lane and Lancer Marching Band director Kevin Lloyd; and Mark Smith, Gov Thomas Johnson HS Necktie Club advisor. Thanks also to Communication Services staff.

ARTS PROS Linganore HS music teacher Kevin Lloyd designed sound for the Off-Broadway premier Playing Sinatra at Theater for the New City in New York. Legendary British playwright Bernard Kops flew in from London for the opening, directed by Kelly Morgan and starring Austin Pendleton (My Cousin Vinny, NCIS, The West Wing, Fiddler on the Roof), which received such positive reviews that the run was extended. Mr. Lloyd has designed sound for over 100 professional plays over the past 20 years, and this was his 12th in New York. In addition, two Linganore HS art teachers have their own successful lines of original art: Christian Madenspacher in pottery and Georgia Geisser in jewelry. 

CBTrustLogo$$$ Linganore HS environmental science teacher Mark Sunkel secured a $4,294 Chesapeake Bay Trust grant to involve 200+ students in a project about invasive species removal and native planting. Catoctin HS science teacher Becky Hurley secured a similar $2,200 grant to help AP Environmental Science students participate in a 3-day field trip to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Smith Island Study Center.

STATE & NATIONAL RECOGNITION The Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer has presented its statewide Coach of the Year award to Urbana HS Coach Scott Schartner. Mr. Schartner teaches at Urbana ES. In addition, Sports Illustrated's January 20 Faces in the Crowd issue features one of Coach Schartner's senior soccer student-athletes!

ROLLING STONE FCPS media artist Steve Blickenstaff was surprised to find his artwork featured on the cover of the January 30, 2014 Rolling Stone!  His art, designed in the '80s, is printed on the shirt that teen pop-chart topper Lorde wears in the cover photo.

VIVE LINGANORE!  Linganore HS students in Dragana Blonder's class placed 3rd in the American Association of Teachers of French video/animation contest.

News to Use

FCPS IN THE NEWS  For your convenience, there is a new tab at the top of this newsletter to provide you easy access to FCPS in the news. Note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of information others publish. For accurate information, see the news releases FCPS has published by the month.
FINANCIAL WELLNESS This is a reminder that HR is using the new email address benefits.office@fcps.org to keep employees informed about benefits. If you see this address in your email from line, please open it. You may respond to that address with questions, requests for forms and more. HR will make sure the appropriate employee responds.

UNCERTIFIED STAFF  The Maryland Retired School Personnel Association has scholarships available for uncertified FCPS employees enrolled in a program leading to teacher certification. Applicants must hold at least a high school diploma or GED certificate and intend to teach in Maryland. If interested, apply online through the Community Foundation by February 15. A letter of reference and transcripts are required: www.FrederickCountyGives.org.

SNOW CODES  Need a snow codes refresher?  http://www.fcps.org/snow  Staff can also find the confidential employee-only hotline number here: http://insidefcps/snow.cfm

THINKING AHEAD  MSDE is offering a regional series of conferences for teachers, administrators and central office personnel this summer. These free College and Career Readiness Conferences will take place in regions around the state. MSDE is hiring Master Teachers as presenters, similar to the Educator Effectiveness Academies in previous summers. Friday, February 21 is the Master Teacher application deadline. For more information, contact your Key Communicator or Linda.Civetti@fcps.org.

FCPS TV See recent videos not listed elsewhere in this issue:  FCPS Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration 2014
TVProtecting the Promise of Public Education*
A Teacher Protecting the Promise. See Centerville ES teacher Beverly Lloyd.
Technology in Our Schools. See Walkersville MS teacher Korbin Shoemaker.
Reflections on High School: A Student's Perspective. Frederick HS
Building Frederick's Future 
Dr. Theresa Alban Unveils the Recommended FCPS 2015 Budget

*The BACK arrow will return you to this page.

FCPS Fast Fact

TheFactBookQ:     Of Maryland's 24 school districts, how does FCPS rank?

A:     20th in funding per student
        22nd in Bachelor's Step 10 teacher salary*
        23rd in Bachelor's Step 1 first-year teacher salary*
        24th in Central office student support

*Neighboring Washington County ranks 11th

See details in FCPS Progress Report #25, Volume 1

The Fact Book, Maryland State Department of Education