FCPS is again hosting an employees-only hotline that staff can call to find out if schools are closed or delayed because of weather. This link works only from FCPS-networked computers and lists the number for employees ONLY. Please do not announce the number to the public because the phone system cannot handle higher volume.
With Transportation staff checking road and walking conditions well before dawn, Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban typically makes decisions by 5 AM about closing or delaying school. Staff completes related communication by 5:30.
We publish FindOutFirst phone text and email messages to everyone who subscribes and provides the necessary contact information. We send an FCPS Outlook email message to all employees. And we contact about 30 local and regional radio and TV stations.
There is a Frederick County Public Schools system in Virginia; please be careful when checking status on radio and TV that the announcement pertains to us!
New this year, your FCPS Calendar Handbook has a full-color tear-out page with closing/delay color codes for employees. Keep page 5 handy.
Also new this year, on code red and yellow days, FCPS will no longer process printed paychecks. To avoid paycheck delays, make sure you are signed up for direct deposit.
Watch the new FCPS snow video everyone's talking about!
Plan and communicate in advance what will happen with your event if the weather's bad: http://insidefcps.fcps.org/
Accommodating holidays this time of year isn't easy! Our colleagues in Payroll must crunch about six days of work into only one or two days...and they will meet these tight deadlines more than once this fall and winter.
Karen Linton (right) works to ensure that paychecks are on time, no matter how daunting the task. Karen insists we also give a shout out to Payroll Officer Ann Hedges, Payroll Specialist Collee Miller and Administrative Secretary Lisa Hawker.
Accounting Manager Amanda Baugher says, "Karen is a wealth of knowledge, having worked for FCPS since 1993, almost entirely in Payroll. Karen is one of the key 'go-to' people," she says.
“I've worked with Karen for 15 years, and I can always count on her to be dependable and hardworking. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will find out and get back to you. Because of her quiet demeanor, Karen's contributions are not always recognized, so I'm glad to have this opportunity to commend an extremely valuable FCPS co-worker," says Amanda.
STATE FINALIST Monocacy MS 6th grade science teacher Andrea Maruskin is a 2014 state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science! Andrea was FCPS 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year.
GENERATION CONNECT Career and Technology Education coordinator Eric Haines is the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce's Young Professional of the Year. Frederick Magazine will feature Eric in an upcoming issue.
TRAILBLAZERS Facilities Services earned an Association of School Business Officials' Best Practices Award for installing wireless thermostats in portable classrooms. Remotely controlling temperatures when schools are closed yielded impressive cost savings and enabled FCPS to buy tablets so that all our mechanics could use the technology.
MOVING UP For the 3rd time, our Security and Emergency Management Office made Security Magazine’s “Security 500 Benchmarking Survey” list. FCPS moved up four spots to 7th in the K-12 sector. “The 500 enterprises and security leaders listed in the report are among the biggest and best security organizations in the world,” according to the magazine.
WELL PREPARED 99% of nearly 860 employers surveyed in 2014 indicated that FCPS students met or exceeded minimum job requirements for workplace readiness skills at the time of employment.
RECYCLING Heather Ridge teacher Janet Arsenault is proud of her students who earned special recognition in this year's Maryland Department of the Environment's “Rethink Recycling” Sculpture Contest. See what the students made of recycled and reusable materials, getting extra value from materials that would otherwise have gone directly to landfills. Find out what you can do to reduce, reuse, recycle and more.
GRATEFUL Thanks to the Knights of Columbus in Libertytown for raising $2,000 and shopping for 87 winter coats, distributed recently from our Judy Center. And to the employees who collected 15 boxes of food for the Frederick Rescue Mission: See the photo.
STATE CHAMPS Placing first in statewide sports: Brunswick HS boys soccer 1A with coach Alan Lescalleet, Catoctin HS boys cross country 2A with coach Terri Gibbons, Oakdale HS boys soccer 2A with coach Dan Mulcahey and volleyball 2A with coach Jim Dorsch. The state Maryland Public Secondar Schools Athletics Association Sportsmanship Award also went to Brunswick HS!
CARING Brunswick ES collected 2,000+ pounds for the Kids Helping Kids Food and Funds Drive: 1,177 pounds for the Brunswick Food Pantry and 1,008 for the school's “Caring Cupboard." They also collected $508 in spare change from classrooms, and parents and community members gave $2,800 for the “Caring Cupboard.” On October 31, staff and students exercised to music and walked around the school grounds in a stomp out hunger campaign. Special thanks to Cheryl Tregoning, secretary/homeless coordinator.
ABOVE AND BEYOND Maintenance colleagues John Hibbert, Ric Barnard and Travis Young (left to right, in photo) received BOE recognition for work well done in getting the Hillcrest ES 12-room portable open for students on a tight deadline. Also recognized but not in the photo: Roger Fritz, Tony Ray and Jim Rippeon.
AWARDS Four students in Phil Arnold's Computer-Aided Design engineering program at our Career and Technology Center wrote award-winning essays in ProJet Aviation’s ninth annual Aviation Education and Career Expo. See photo and more.
$$$$ Each year our students benefit from the community’s generous financial donations through the Community Foundation of Frederick County. Grants totaling nearly $9,000 from the FCPS Gifts for Education Fund and the Franklin and Bess Gladhill Fund for Agriculture Education are supporting student enrichment projects. Find out which projects won this year's grants.
LEADERSHIP We welcome new BOE member Liz Barrett and congratulate Colleen Cusimano on election following her appointed term and April Miller and Brad Young on their re-election to the Board, through 2018.
NAME THAT SCHOOL FCPS has launched the second opportunity for naming the future west-Frederick city area elementary school. The School Name Recommendation Committee has narrowed suggestions to 10 and is asking for feedback. See the names and share your comments using the online feedback form: www.fcps.org/wfcaes. The deadline is Friday, December 5, See the video in English or Spanish.
NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES Following Lea Woolsey's resignation, Christie Flayhart is promoted to Special Education Supervisor (secondary) and Carmen Working is promoted to Special Education Supervisor (elementary) In addition, Emily Quinlan is promoted to Special Education Coordinator (secondary). Following Ed Remus's retirement in February, Keivette Hammond will take over as athletic director at Frederick HS.
KNOW A ROLE MODEL? Nominations are open for The Washington Post-sponsored Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher and Distinguished Educational Leadership awards. See eligibility and nomination criteria, process information and selection guidelines: www.fcps.org/awards. Nominations are due to Communication Services by 3 PM, Friday, January 9. The Agnes Meyer winner will receive $3,000.
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Honoring All Who Served: Veterans Day
Q: How much have you and your colleagues pledged so far to this year's Combined Charities Campaign $69,843 goal?
A: 1) Pledges, due Friday, November 21, are less than $10,000 so far. Please return your form today!
If each of us pledges even $1 a week to the Combined Charities Campaign, we will make a tremendous difference. Please look over the list of participating agencies in your materials, and give as generously as you can to support the causes and issues that matter to you. If you choose to give via payroll deductions, they will begin in January. For more information: Tonya.Street@fcps.org