January 2015: Vol. 6, No. 6

It's Time to Give Your Feedback
2015-2016 School Year Priorities

Education at a CrossroadThe Board of Education's public hearing on the FY2016 operating budget is Wednesday, February 4, 7 PM, at Oakdale HS.

FCPS faces a very serious funding gap, with $23.6 million more in projected expenditures than revenues. Even if the county, which funds nearly 46% of our budget, exceeds the minimum Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funding, Maryland, which funds 49%, may cut education funding to decrease a significant statewide deficit.

Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban presented her recommended budget to the public January 7 at Tuscarora HS; if you missed her presentation, you can see it here.  On January 14, Fiscal Services Executive Director Leslie Pellegrino presented the recommended budget to the BOE. Communication Services has posted the budget timeline and details at www.fcps.org/budget, where we will continue to post updates. 

To support education funding, contact your state legislators: http://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/

Email your priorities to the:
     *BOE at
Board@fcps.org     *Frederick County Executive at jgardner@frederickcountymd.gov
     *Frederick County Council members are all @frederickcountymd.gov
            President Bud Otis, Member at Large: botis
            Vice President M.C. Keegan-Ayer, District 3: mckeegan-ayer
            Tony Chmelik, District 2: tchmelik           
            Kirby Delauter, District 5: kdelauter
            Jerry Donald, District 1: jdonald
            Jessica Fitzwater, District 4: jfitzwater
            Billy Shreve, Member at Large: billy

Please remember: School construction, renovation and remodeling funds do NOT come from the operating budget. Rather they are issues to address when giving feedback on the capital, not the operating, budget. This article and the hearings referenced are only about the operating budget. 

Employee Excellence
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

In his 27th year at FCPS, Gerald "JR" Schultz does exceptional work keeping our buses running, and recent cold temperatures require extra dedication. Willing to come in early and stay late to get the job done, he goes out of his way, say co-workers, not only to make repairs right the first time but also to explain them to drivers. JR exercises topnotch mechanic skills with dedication and a sense of humor that can turn a bad day into a better one. Happy drivers who don't have to worry about mechanical problems make for happier students, as they share positive attitudes. Happier students cause fewer behavior problems and driver distractions. One driver says, "No matter whether you're walking into the shop or taking your bus for inspection or going to an in-service meeting, you can expect to see JR with a smile and a warm hello." Here are a few more of the 28 co-worker commendations received: "If JR sees a problem, he will fix it and not walk way away from it." "He cares about the driver not only the bus." "He thinks ahead to make sure that all of his buses are in the best condition possible to prevent breakdowns." "JR is an awesome employee."

First ClassCongratulations to staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter: Brittany Beresford, Norma Claro, Richard Conner, Colleen Hardy-Belt, Jennifer Orr, Mark Payne, Melissa Rollinson, Debbie Schroyer, Zelda Tribit and Steven Wolfe

Know someone who deserves a First-Class Employee Award?  Take a moment to nominate an outstanding employee!

***Accolades***

BEST IN STATE  Congratulations to Catoctin HS boys cross country coach Terri Gibbons, named the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Maryland Boys Coach of the Year!

BreakfastWalkersvilleESPHOTOGRAPHIC FINISH Walkersville ES won the Maryland School Breakfast Challenge pop-up photo contest in the No Kid Hungry Campaign. Kudos to photographer: guidance counselor Renee Shawver.

TAKE A BOW Tuscarora HS hosted the largest Maryland Thespian Festival, with 29 schools and 830 participants, raising nearly $1,300 for BroadwayCares/Equity Fights Aids. Tuscarora HS earned the top 3 awards for best lighting, best hair and makeup and outstanding one-act and placed third in the Tech Olympics prop swap. Kudos to FCPS drama teachers of 2015 All-State Thespians: Dorothy DeLucchi at Tuscarora HS and Heather McFadden at Walkersville HS.

CURTAIN CALL Urbana HS dance teacher Stephanie Weigelt choreographed a UHS Dance Company piece selected for the 2015 Maryland High School Dance Showcase. One of her students was named an All-State Dancer, and another won All-State Honorable Mention.

MUSIC Brunswick MS music teacher Chris Player won a $1,500 grant for orchestra sheet music.

News to Use

WINTERFEST is coming to the FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab, Monday, January 26, from 10 AM- 3 PM, with doors opening at 9:30 AM. Visitors can enjoy microscopes, telescopes, animals, and planetarium shows while supporting our ESSL. Tickets: $3: https://education.fcps.org/essl/

ADVANCED ACADEMICS Schools with grades 2-4 will have Magnet Program forms for grades 3-5 on Thursday, January 29; they are due March 2. More: fcps.org/advacademics

PIMA Nominations for the Parent Involvement Matters Award must be postmarked by Friday, January 30, and mailed to the Maryland State Department of Education.

LOTTERY TIME The Carroll Creek Montesorri, Frederick Classical and Monocacy Valley Montessori charter school lotteries for the 2015-2016 school year are open until Monday, March 9. More info is online about our Montessori schools: http://mmcimd.org/charter-schools/enrollment/ and about Frederick Classical Charter:  frederickclassicalcharterschool.org

ART, MUSIC, THEATRE  FCPS students have talent! See the Arts and Communications Academy Showcase Wednesday, February 11 at Gov TJ HS: 6:30 PM art displays with music/theatrical performances after. Employees with ID get in free.

WORLD LANGUAGE DAY Join in the FCPS countywide celebration Saturday, March 7 at Tuscarora HS, 11:30 AM-2 PM. Details

EPIC PI DAY  You probably know that mathematical 'pi' is a neverending or repeating decimal and shows the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. The first 10 digits of pi are 3.141592653. This year a once-in-100 years occurrence takes place when the date 3-14-15 matches pi. The FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab (ESSL) is hosting fun activities throughout the day on Saturday, March 14, beginning with a “Pi-K” family and individual fun run at 9:26:53!  See the Pi Day countdown clock, register for the race and find out about other cool activities planned: https://education.fcps.org/essl/.

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FCPS Crossroad Series:
Student Achievement   Family & Community Involvement 

Health & Safety   Effective & Engaged Staff   How We Use Our Resources   When I Grow Up

FCPS Fast Fact

StudentLunch
Q:  How much has poverty increased among FCPS students in the last decade?

A:  In the 2004-2005 school year, 13% of our students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  This school year, that figure is double at 26%.