January 2016: Vol. 7, No. 6

2016-2017 School Year Priorities
Public Hearing Is Next Week!

FCPS blocksWinter Storm Jonas brought a halt to many regular FCPS activities, but the Board of Education's public hearing on the 2016-2017 school year (FY2017) operating budget is still on for Wednesday, February 3, 7 PM, at Oakdale HS.

The BOE wants to know how you would prioritize FCPS needs at a time when our school system faces a $24.2 million funding gap. Even if the county, which funds nearly 46% of our budget, exceeds the minimum Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funding as it did last year, state-level resources, which cover 49% of our budget, are unlikely to keep up with inflationary and other costs.

Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban presented her recommended budget to the public January 6 at West Frederick MS; if you missed it, you can read her recommended budget here and see her comments: Superintendent Budget Forum Message FY2017

On January 13, Fiscal Services Executive Director Leslie Pellegrino presented the recommendations 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 share your education funding priorities:

   *Speak at the BOE's public hearing

   *After the BOE-proposed budget is posted, you may want to contact your state legislators:

   *You may also email your priorities to the following people:

     -BOE at Board@fcps.org    
     -Frederick County Executive at jgardner@frederickcountymd.gov

   -Frederick County Council members via each username below @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

Or email the group:


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. 

FCPS All-Stars
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

TES_CustodiansCustodians all across FCPS dug in to clear schools and offices of record-breaking snowfall from Winter Storm Jonas, working when most other employees were home. Please thank all dedicated custodians for their outstanding work safeguarding our buildings and helping schools re-open! 

Shown, left to right, are Thurmont ES custodian Susie Cool, lead custodian Brenda Martins and custodian Wanda Frye.

If you haven't yet seen it, please check out Superintendent Alban's Snow Message to the FCPS Community, published January 27:

*     *     *
We also appreciate FCPS All-Stars like maintenance plumber Jason Wiles, who "goes well beyond his job requirements," says supervisor Richard Gue. Back in October Jason worked his regular shift and then through the night, digging a trench to repair a broken sewer line so a school could open on time the next day. 

"Although he had help with the repair, he always has the drive to get the job done," Gue says. "And Jason offers cost-saving ideas to improve our plumbing and heating systems."

Watch for a list of FCPS All-Star Award winners in our February issue!


STANDING OVATION  The Urbana HS dance company was among 17 chosen to perform in the Maryland State Dance Showcase this year. Their piece, Unstoppable, received the evening's only standing ovation! A round of applause goes to their teacher: Stephanie Weigelt! 

CURTAIN CALL  Theater Arts teachers Dorothy DeLucchi and Heather McFadden led their Tuscarora HS Titans and Walkersville HS Lions to achieve first-place awards in Maryland State Thespian Festival competition.

TRIPLE PROUD  The Maryland School Counselor Association named Kemptown ES's Dr. Laura Jones the statewide Maryland School Counselor of the Year. Windsor Knolls MS counselor Ruth Travis was among the top three finalists. And Kemptown ES's Kristen Canning is Principal of the Year!  Details

News to Use

ADVANCED ACADEMICS Schools with grades 2-4 will have Magnet Program forms for grades 3-5 on Friday, January 29; they are due March 1. More: fcps.org/advacademics

PIMA Nominations for the Parent Involvement Matters Award must be postmarked by Friday, February 5 (extended from January 29), 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 2016-2017 school year are open until early March. More info is online about our Montessori schools: http://mmcimd.org/charter-schools/enrollment/ and about Frederick Classical Charter:  frederickclassicalcharterschool.org

MUSIC FEST Our All-County High School Music Festival is on for Saturday, January 30 if the countywide Snow Emergency Plan is lifted by 8 AM that morning. It takes place in the Governor Thomas Johnson High School auditorium at 7 PM. The concert is free for employees with FCPS ID. The snow date is Monday, February 1. Come on out and enjoy the chorus, orchestra and band treats students have in store for you!  Details

ACADEMIC TOURNAMENT Matches are underway and open to all seeking an exciting Friday evening. Get the Academic Tournament schedule and details.

FUN WITH TECHNOLOGY Our 23rd countywide Technology Fair is Tuesday, February 23 (snow date February 25) at the Francis Scott Key Mall from 6 PM to 8 PM. Details

WORLD LANGUAGE DAY Join in the FCPS countywide celebration Saturday, March 5 at Tuscarora HS, 11:30 AM-2 PM. Details

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FCPS All-Stars    Mark Lastova      Charlie Zachmann

FCPS Fast Fact

WinterStormJonasQ:  What was Frederick County's total snowfall during Winter Storm Jonas?

A:    The National Weather Service reported the following measurements:

Ballenger Creek 31"
Braddock Heights 30"
Ijamsville 33"
Jefferson 32"
Myersville 32"
New Market 35"
Point of Rocks 35"
Thurmont 26"
Walkersville 35"
Wolfsville 29"

Details:  http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=nws&product=pns&issuedby=lwx