"The number of homeless children is higher than its peak in 2008 and 2009, when the country was recovering from recession," according to a recent Frederick News-Post editorial.
"This is part of a discouraging national trend, in which about one in 30 children in the U.S. are without a place to live or a permanent roof over their heads, according to the latest national statistics, from 2013. That's about 2.5 million children in America--roughly 31,000 in Maryland--whose living arrangements are impermanent at best."
The FNP editorial goes on to state that locally many of the homeless adults suffer from chronic substance abuse, followed by mental illness, or a combination of both; 13 are veterans; and 56 have chronic health problems. Twenty, a number that includes children, have been victims of domestic violence.
By the end of the last school year, about 800 homeless students attended our schools, says FCPS Homeless Program administrator Cathleen Cullen. As of October 22, there are 502. Of these, 283 are white, 127 are black or African American, and 46 are Hispanic/Latino. Only 18 are English Language Learners, and there are slightly more boys than girls. Most live doubled up with other families, 49 live in a motel or hotel, and 41 in a shelter.
As you consider your donation to this year's Combined Charities Campaign (CCC), please remember that "the detrimental impacts of homelessness on children are well-documented, and can affect their health, cognitive development, education and social skills, and many other areas of their lives. Those early obstacles can cause setbacks for a lifetime" (The Frederick News-Post, October 23, 2015).
Many of the CCC charities offer services that make a difference in the causes of child and family homelessness due, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness, to the nation's high poverty rate, a lack of affordable housing, the continued ramifications of the recession, racial disparities, the challenges of single parenting and traumatic experiences including domestic violence.
For more about how you can make a difference, please read the CCC materials coming your way soon or contact FCPS CCC coordinator Tonya.Street@fcps.org, 301-696-6900.
Thanks to all who take the time and devote your resources to helping others, especially when many in the field of education today face economic challenges of your own.
Heather Ridge School math teacher specialist Lynne Bard "makes a difference through her tireless pursuit of different ways to help students learn and her positive attitude each day," says Principal Denise Flora.
"I love learning," Lynne says and credits her students' success partly to her continuous-learner approach and teamwork at her school.
Lynne is featured on the FCPS All-Star show with host Tiana Haile, FCPS Community Engagement coordinator: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyPqvhGcBuc. The show is about 6 minutes and reveals the three "P"s that guide Lynne's work. It also reveals what Lynne means when she refers to herself as an avid sports player on the Sand Toads team...and who she met on the B train!
Having completed her special education certification, Lynne enjoys keeping up with technology and spending time with her family.
NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON Kemptown ES achieved a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award. Congratulations to Principal Kristen Canning and staff! Find out more.
EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION Each year, FCPS holds a special ceremony to recognize employees who have earned degrees or special certifications. This year's event was held October 8 and recognized 101 employees. Of these, 47 were support employees and 54 were teachers. See their names.
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Custodial Services Manager John Carnahan won a 2015 Facility Maintenance Decisions Achievement Award in Personnel Management for helping 170+ maintenance workers improve their skills in a professional-development program.
EFFECTIVE FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Congratulations to FCPS teacher specialist for Family and Community Involvement Donna Quatman Wilder for winning the 2015 Konrad Lindenberg Memorial Award. Donna (center, in photo, flanked by Barbara Scherr on the left and Young-chan Han on the right) won by a unanimous Family Involvement Conference Awards Committee vote, based on her leadership in initiating, developing and promoting effective family/parent involvement programs, practices and partnerships.
POSITIVE Urbana HS Principal Jay Berno shares his school's lipdub video, kicking off a focus on positive school culture: https://youtu.be/VA6hCV4WPwY. Also at Urbana HS the marching band is off to a great start, advancing to the Bands of America regional finals (NC, VA, MD, PA, NJ, NY and OH) in the top 10 for the first time in school history and moving from 10th to 7th in the finals. Then the Mighty Hawks won first place, taking home best music, visual performance, colorguard, percussion and overall effect, in the US Bands Marine Corps Invitational IV Open and outscored every V Open band at the show. Way to go UHS and Mike Harrison, director of bands!
RUN4SHELTER Heather Ridge instructional assistant Michele Canzoneri shared the news that Principal Denise Flora, Assistant Principal Elizabeth Stiffler and other Heather Ridge staff participated in the local Run for Shelter 5K. Each person who ran earned one night of shelter for someone who is homeless.
GOLDEN At its 50th anniversary celebration, Sabillasville ES honored lead custodian Jody Miller and Special Education program assistant Michele Firme for outstanding long-time service to the school.
FIRST PLACE Technology teacher specialist Norm McGaughey represented FCPS and won the Harness Race at this year's Great Frederick Fair!
CONSTRUCTION has begun at Frederick HS. If you are visiting, please check parking conditions! Follow the progress here.
SABBATICALS Certified and support staff applications for 2016-2017 SY sabbaticals are due to Human Resources by December 1. At least 6 full years of active FCPS service by June 2016 are required. Staff may apply for half-year (July-December or January-June) or full-year sabbaticals. Sabbaticals are paid at 50% of the employee's salary. Certified staff may pursue an activity that will benefit FCPS by enhancing professional competence or enabling the employee to perform in an area of critical need. Activities might be study leading to a graduate degree with concentration in the individual's current field and/or certification areas, or study leading to a bachelor's degree for a nondegreed vocational teacher; study leading to a graduate degree with concentration in an area of specialization other than the current teaching field or assignment and/or certification areas; or study in an educational field as part of a doctoral program. Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program applicants must submit a sabbatical application to HR to meet leave-authorization requirements. Support staff may apply to pursue an activity that would lead to teacher certification. The most frequent request for sabbatical is to complete the internship requirements of a teacher certification program. Applications are on FormFinder at http://insidefcps.
NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES Check out changes in the FCPS International Office and English Language Learner Department. New online: Instructions for enrolling an ELL student.
Q: Do you know FCPS demographics systemwide by student group?
A: White: 63.8%. Hispanic/Latino of any race: 14.5%. Black or African American: 11.5%. Asian: 5.3%. Two or more races: 4.9%
Special Education: 10.3%. English Language Learners: 5%. Free or Reduced-Price Meals Eligible: 26%.
Source: FCPS Student Services Department