November 2016: Vol. 8, No. 4

Expect Excellence Everywhere
Striving to Achieve 5 Strategic Goals

Each month we see powerful evidence that FCPS delivers on the promise of public education. From October's headline that Dr. Theresa R. Alban is the 2017 Maryland Superintendent of the Year to this month's news that FCPS Continues to Outpace State and Nation on AP Scores....from winning not one but two National School Public Relations Association coveted Golden Achievement Awards to our newest Chesapeake Chapter Award of Excellence for your FCPS Insider employee newsletter, FCPS Voices and more, FCPS has solid reasons to expect excellence everywhere.

While Maryland ranks among America's top 3 states for high-quality public education (Education Week's Quality Counts reports from 2009-2016), FCPS achievement exceeds Maryland's (and the country's) with scores that consistently surpass state and national averages on measures such as the College Board SAT. And year after year, we see every one of our high schools making The Washington Post Challenge Index ranking among the nation's top 10%.

In this season of Thanksgiving, we can give thanks for employees dedicated to helping all students succeed. From the least to the most privileged student, our mission to Expect Excellence Everywhere guides us as we strive to accomplish our strategic goals:

  1. Hire, support, and retain staff who champion individual, professional, and student excellence.
  2. Pursue and utilize all resources strategically and responsibly to achieve identified outcomes and inspire public confidence.
  3. Equip each and every student to be an empowered learner and an engaged citizen to achieve a positive impact in the local and global community.
  4. Nurture relationships with families and the entire community, sharing responsibility for student success and demonstrating pride in all aspects of our school system.
  5. Promote a culture fostering wellness and civility for students and staff.

See Dr. Terry Alban's important post-election Superintendent's Message About Civility in Our Schools

FCPS All-Stars
Achieving the Promise of Public Education

MarisaSedilloMarisa Sedillo is one of the first FCPS staff members to greet our English language learner (ELL) families when students enroll. She is the ELL Community Liaison/Registrar at our International Office, which is based in two portables at 191 Waverley Drive, Frederick. ELL elementary and middle school students register there, while high school ELL students register at Frederick HS.

Ms. Sedillo does an outstanding job welcoming students and their families, making sure that their initial contact with FCPS is a positive one, says ELL Supervisor Larry Steinly, who prepared the nomination for her recent All-Star Award.

Ms. Sedillo offers effective tips and important details about what new families need to do to help their children have a successful experience in our great school system, Steinly says.

He commends her for excellence helping FCPS achieve Aspirational Goal 4, Priority 7 to "encourage and sustain collaborations with families and the entire community to support student success."

Find out more about FCPS ELL services.

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

Meet FCPS All-Stars Sam Seibert, Tuscarora HS Special Education instructional assistant, and
Diane Herndon, Career and Technology Center teacher


WalktoberCHALLENGE ACCEPTED The group with the most points in the FCPS Walktober Challenge--153.4--is Viking Strong, from Valley ES. On the team: Mary Cooley, Laura Gilmer, Lisa McQuay, Elna Morin and Amy Temporado! Walkers with the most minutes earned systemwide are Katherine Aguirre from Hillcrest ES, Kathy Baker from Frederick HS, Heather Fulton from Whittier ES, John Ridenour from Lincoln ES and David Stellitano from Thurmont MS. The school/office with the most participants: Central Office, with 150 walkers.

MUCH APPRECIATED See the special Veterans Day Tribute of thanks that Communication Services prepared from the photos staff sent in. 

GIFTS The following schools submitted winning Gifts for Education and Gladhill Fund for Agriculture Education grant proposals to enrich student learning: Brunswick ES, Brunswick HS, Career & Technology Center, Carroll Manor ES, Catoctin HS, Frederick Classical Charter, Kemptown ES, Monocacy Valley Montessori, Oakdale ES, Oakdale HS, Walkersville HS and West Frederick MS. Anyone interested in donating funds for FCPS may call 301-696-6818 or email

ART AWAarmadilloRDS Three of Linganore HS's 12 art students juried into the Scholastic 144 competition won awards, placing 2nd in photography, 3rd in sculpture (see Armadillo at right) and earning Honorable Mention awards in ceramics and sculpture. Kudos to digital photography teacher Tracey Ellis-Guss, jewelry and small sculpture teacher Georgia Geisser and ceramics teacher Christian Madenspacher for excellence in teaching that helped their students win these awards.

PUBLISHED A Frederick HS National Spanish Honor Society student's poem appears in the November Albricias (page 17), a publication that the American Associaton of Teachers of Spanish and Portugese sponsors. It takes great teachers to help our students achieve success. “¡Felicitaciones! to Spanish teacher Jo Hultslander, who also chairs the school's World Languages Department, is lead mentor teacher for the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and advises the Spanish Club.z

CARING Many of our schools have collected items to replenish local food banks, and many are continuing. Brunswick ES, for example, collected 2,000+ pounds of food and nearly $1,500 for the Caring Cupboard. They wrapped up the successful drive with a Walk to End Hunger.

News to Use

BunitskySchaeferKerr NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES Congratulations to recently elected Board of Education members: Michael G. Bunitsky, Joy Schaefer (re-elected) and Dr. Kenneth Kerr (left to right in photo), who will take the oath of office for their four-year terms on Wednesday, December 7, 10 AM, in the Central Office Board Room. Dr. Zakir Bengali and Kathryn B. Groth's terms are ending. Brad W. Young, Liz Barrett, Colleen E. Cusimano and Dr. April Fleming Miller will remain on the Board. We will publish names of those serving as president and vice president in December.                                              

We also bid farewell this month to Communication Services Web Experience Coordinator Brandon Oland and welcome Katie Nash to manage FCPS social media and oversee school websites.

YOUR PAYCHECK The FCPS pay date scheduled for Thursday, December 22, 2016 is changed to Tuesday, December 27, 2016. This change is necessary because of the long weekend (December 23-26) and the tight timeline required to prepare all end-of-year documentation. Here's a link to the updated pay date calendar for FY17.

SHOWING THANKS FCPS Chief Operating Officer Ray Barnes is hanging up the hard hat and retiring after 23 years with FCPS (and 12 more with the county government). Please join in showing thanks for his excellent service and wishing him a fond farewell at an Open House on Tuesday, December 6, 3-5 PM, in the Board Room. RSVP TODAY to

$$$  Please join Superintendent Alban and the FCPS budget team to provide your input for the 2017-2018 school year budget (FY2018) Wednesday, November 30, 6 PM-7 PM in the Central Office Board Room. Please RSVP here by Monday, November 28. Looking ahead, additional budget events take place Thursday, December 8, 7 PM-8 PM Twitter Chat; Tuesday, December 13, 7 PM-8 PM Community Budget Meeting, Gov. Thomas Johnson MS (snow date Thursday, December 15, Board Room); and  Thursday, January 5, 7 PM-8 PM Superintendent Unveils Proposed Budget, Board Room (snow date Monday, January 9).
FCPS invites employees expecting an addition to the family to a special health fair Wednesday, November 30, 4:30-6:30 PM at Walkersville HS. See the flier for a list of exhibitors, activities, giveaways, registration info and more. Benefited staff: Register and attend for a chance to win $100 in your paycheck!

CATERING FCPS Food and Nutrition Services offers catering. Find out more from your FCPS-networked computer.

CHARITY  Your donations to the FCPS Combined Charities Campaign are due by Monday, November 28. Please remember people in need in our community, and give generously. See the flier.

BadgeCOMINGS AND GOINGS There are new procedures for employees (and their supervisors) coming on board and later bidding farewell to FCPS. Property issued such as ID badges, keys, parking permits and any other FCPS property must be noted on a new form and returned when employment at a particular location ends. While supervisors are responsible for monitoring the procedures, all employees are advised to submit an Employment Status Change Form to HR when leaving FCPS due to retirement, resignation or leave of absence. See details. Watch for more info in upcoming meetings.

SNOW  Are you planning snow dates for winter events and letting folks know how to check school status? Do you know how to find out if the Snow Emergency Plan is in effect and that it cancels FCPS-sponsored weekend and afterschool activities?
Do you know How FCPS Decides to Cancel or Delay School During Bad Weather. Watch the video and learn more about school closings and delays. Then from any FCPS-networked computer, get employees-only essentials such as the confidential number for the employee hotline for closing and delay information. Learn about the FCPS Liberal Leave Policy and more:
FCPS Regulation 400-2: Closing of Schools Because of Weather, Maintenance or Other Reasons

FCPS YouTube
To view YouTube videos from a work-based desktop computer, you may need to sign in to YouTube using your usual FCPS email login and password information. If you get an error message, make sure you have signed in to YouTube from the sign-in link in the upper right. For additional help, please call or email the HelpDesk x45310, 301-644-5310 or

Watch FCPS TV Live

FCPS Fast Fact

CalendarBlankQ: When will school start next year?

A: FCPS has posted the 2017-2018 Draft Academic Calendar online for public and staff review and comment by Wednesday, November 30.

See the full news release.

Please share your views!