May 2016: Vol. 7, No. 10

Be an FCPS Ambassador!
Share What You Know

StudentsComputerThis is the last FCPS Insider for the 2015-2016 school year. As you interact with families, current (and potential!) business partners and community members at end-of-year events and throughout the summer, remember that your work makes a great difference in the lives of Frederick County's children. Below is a snapshot of some achievements our public school students and staff have accomplished and more:

  • Maryland has ranked among America's top 3 states for top-quality public education from 2009-2016 [Education Week's Quality Counts reports].
  • Maryland has led the nation in success on the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) exams for 10 consecutive years.
  • FCPS achievement exceeds Maryland averages with scores that consistently surpass state and national averages on measures such as the College Board SAT.
  • All Frederick County public high schools rank in the nation’s top 10% for encouraging students to take challenging Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate tests, according to The Washington Post 2016 Challenge Index. For 10 consecutive years, every one of our high schools with grades 9-12 has made the Index list!
  • Our 2015 dropout rate at 3.5% is Maryland's second lowest, a rank we’ve accomplished four times since 2012, having achieved the state’s lowest dropout rate in 2010 and 2011.
  • 99% of more than 1,000 employers surveyed indicated that FCPS students met or exceeded workplace readiness standards.
  • 40,720 students enrolled in FCPS this school year (an increase of 400 in the past decade). They are a diverse group: White--63.5%, Hispanic/Latino--14.3%, Black--11.4%, Asian--5.2%, 2 or more races--4.9%, American Indian/Alaskan Native--0.5% and Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian--0.2%
  • Of nearly 5,700 fulltime-equivalent employee positions, we have about 3,000 teachers, 150 principals and assistant principals, 135 counselors or psychologists and 845 instructional assistants. The remainder of our staff are bus drivers, food service workers, custodians, office staff and other central office support and administrative staff. Our administrative staffing ratio is extremely low.
  • We are on track to graduate about 2,970 students in the class of 2016.
FCPS All-Stars
Fulfilling the Promise of Public Education

TOYScottStraitBrunswick MS social studies teacher Scott Strait is the FCPS 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year, winner of the school system’s most prestigious award to recognize outstanding representatives of the teaching profession.

Mr. Strait gets to drive an Audi on a six-month free lease from Audi Frederick, thanks to General Manager Greg Thornton’s partnership with FCPS to support our Teacher of the Year.

“We had 83 outstanding Teacher of the Year nominees,” said Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban. "Congratulations to each of them!"

Like many young boys, when he was a child Mr. Strait had career aspirations of becoming a fighter pilot, astronaut, farmer, scientist and soldier. However, the adults and teachers who took the time to ensure that he was successful inspired him to want to do the same for others. This is why Mr. Strait became a teacher.

"We are proud to have him representing the many excellent teachers who serve in Frederick County Public Schools,” said Dr. Alban.

When Brunswick MS asked Mr. Strait to complete their Teacher of the Year nomination essays, he wrote, “Commitment to service is the main reason I entered teaching. My love of helping students reach their potential is why I remain in the profession and why I love going to work every single day.” 

The Board of Education will honor Mr. Strait at their meeting on Wednesday, May 25. He and other Maryland district Teachers of the Year will receive honors at a state-wide gala on October 7 at Martin’s West, Baltimore. Of the 24 local Teachers of the Year, the Maryland State Department of Education will select one Maryland Teacher of the Year to go on to compete for the National Teacher of the Year award.

See the Superintendent's Prize Patrol as they surprised Mr. Strait!  More photos and details
Spirit of America Day at Brunswick MS

Congratulations to Mr. Strait and employees who've received FCPS All-Star Awards since our April issue: David Clipp, Jennifer Cofone, Tracey Frank, Bobbie Killion, Kathy Osborne and Lisa Snyder.

Meet FCPS All-Star:  Bonnie Robinson from Yellow Springs ES

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


HISTORY DAY West Frederick MS teacher Amy Howser received the District Teacher Award for outstanding leadership in local and Maryland History Day events. Teachers with students advancing to national competition are: Amy Howser and Scott Strait.

ENVIROTHON Once again, Urbana HS students won the countywide Envirothon and will represent FCPS at the Maryland Envirothon. Advisors of the winning team: Suzie Folk and Beth McCook. Catoctin HS students placed 2nd, and Walkersville HS placed 3rd.

FULBRIGHT-HAYES Monocacy MS French/Latin teacher Megan Porter Fleharty received a Fulbright-Hayes Group Project Scholarship to study French this summer in Senegal.

SHARED EXPERTISE FCPS hosted the National Association of Procurement Card Professionals (NAPCP) regional forum this month. Buyer Specialist Billy Meekins serves on the NAPCP Government/K-12 User Group Advisory Team and presented Pay It How?!:  Making the Case for ePayables. Billy also presented breakout sessions at the NAPCP annual conferences and achieved distinction as a Certified Purchasing Card Professional and Certified Professional Public Buyer.

SPECIAL AWARDS Congratulations to staff earning 2016 awards for outstanding achievement and dedication supporting students with disabilities: Outstanding Special Educators--Tracy Easterday at Brunswick HS, Amy Power at Gov. TJ MS and Kaitlyn Weis at Glade ES; Outstanding Special Education Instructional Assistants--Cathy Love at Crestwood MS, Martha Spencer at Carroll Manor ES and Mary Jo York at Linganore HS; Outstanding Speech-Language Pathologist--Marilyn McQuaide at Lewistown ES; Outstanding Special Education Administrator--Principal Lorcan OhEithir at Glade ES; Outstanding School Psychologist--Julie Kaufhold, Outstanding Related Service Providers--Kristi Bender and Meaghan Castle at Tuscarora HS; and this year's Friend of Special Education Award winner--Oakdale MS physical education teacher Brandon Long.

DISTINGUISHED  The 2016 Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award winner is Catoctin HS health and physical education teacher Mike Franklin. Watch as the Superintendent's Prize Patrol delivers the news! See the full press release: Franklin Recognized for Distinguished Teaching.

News to Use

LYNX AT FREDERICK HS FCPS moved a step closer to launching the LYNX School at Frederick HS when state legislation recently passed to support the concept of highly individualized plans for student success. LYNX stands for Linking Youth to New Experiences. Still in the early phases of development, and in competition for a $10 million XQ Super Schools grant that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs's widow has launched, our LYNX plan details are due to the Board of Education by September 30. "I’m excited to be able to share the vision for the school, although we must safeguard much of our proposal during the very competitive national grant process," said Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. "I invite everyone to find out as much as we can share through our new web page and video:” See the full news release.

STATE TESTING In late April, our BOE received a Maryland State Board of Education Declaratory Ruling about state assessments. FCPS has posted details online.

SUMMER CAMP The FCPS Earth & Space Science Lab offers cool summer programs for FCPS students entering grades 2-10. Camps fill quickly! Spread the word or register your own child today:

ZIKA In partnership with the Frederick County Health Department, FCPS is sharing important information about the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus. Fortunately, there have been no cases of locally acquired Zika virus in the continental United States. Please see the linked flyers for information and recommendations from the CDC:  Help Control Mosquitoes That Spread Viruses    Zika and Pregnancy   Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Updates

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Tweet of the Week: Web Experience Coordinator Brandon Oland   
Advanced Academics Supervisor Meg Lee 
Chief of Staff and Legal Counsel Jamie Cannon

FCPS In a Minute     Bike to SchoolDay       Superintendent Comments: May  April

FCPS Fast Fact

GraduationCapQ:  How many of our projected 2,970 graduates are expected from each school in the class of 2016?

A:  Brunswick: 164
     Catoctin: 229
     Flexible Evening High School: 13
     Frederick: 263
     Gov. Thomas Johnson: 364
     Linganore: 362
     Middletown: 273
     Oakdale:  286
     Rock Creek: 14
     Tuscarora: 349
     Urbana: 382
     Walkersville: 271

These pre-graduation numbers are unofficial and reflect the number of students expected to receive either a high school diploma or certificate.