September 2017: Vol. 9, No. 2

FCPS PARCC Results Exceed State's
Urbana Is Maryland's Top-Performing High School in Algebra I

PARCC imagePartnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) results are in. FCPS 2016-17 achievement ranks us in the top quartile overall statewide, considering performance levels 4 and 5 (on a 5-point scale where 4 is met and 5 is exceeded expectations).

FCPS scores surpassed state averages in every assessed content area and grade level.

Of Maryland's 24 school districts, we rank 5th statewide in math and 6th in English/language arts.

Certain grades and content areas stood out:

*In English/language arts, we increased performance at all tested grade levels
*In Algebra I, Urbana HS was Maryland’s top-performing high school
*Of students achieving levels 4-5 in algebra, FCPS performed 23 percentage points higher than statewide averages
*In math, our 7th graders ranked 2nd and our 8th graders 3rd statewide
*Our 3rd graders also ranked 3rd statewide in language arts
*Our African American students ranked 2nd in English/language arts and 3rd in math statewide
*Algebra scores for our African American students increased from 24.6 to 33.5 points and for our Hispanic students increased from 30.8 to 41.3 points
*Our students receiving free or reduced-price meals increased performance at the middle and high school levels in math and at all levels in English/language arts

As the state board plans to continue to raise minimum proficiency scores in the coming years, and our goal is to eliminate achievement gaps among student groups, we will need to meet an even higher bar:

"We must continue our intense focus on high standards and emphasize access to rigorous courses for all students," says Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban. "I extend my thanks to all staff whose work contributes to increasing our student achievement."

FCPS All-Stars
Achieving the Promise of Public Education

April Clark
is the middle-level recipient of the 2017 Maryland Association of Science Teachers (MAST) Outstanding Educator Award for exceptional contributions to science education. She teaches 6th grade science at Oakdale MS.

Ms. Clark came to FCPS in 2014, after teaching science at two schools in PA, to teach at West Frederick MS. She's written curriculum for science and the FCPS Highly Able Learner program and served as a STEM leader, Science Department chair, Maryland Science Olympiad coach, STEAM Fair coordinator, Teacher Ranger program participant for Catoctin Mountain National Park, curriculum participant and in numerous other STEM-related roles.

She will receive her Outstanding Educator Award at a special MAST luncheon in October.

Congratulations to staff earning FCPS All-Star Awards since our May issue: Kayla Conner, Christine Hobble, Michelle Kerbel, Cindy Morris, Janet Putman, Amy Routzahn, Wanda Russell and Doris Toms.

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


Cake100 DAYS FCPS honored the 175 substitute teachers who worked 100 days or more in the last school year. See their names with special kudos to the 65 who achieved this milestone a 2nd consecutive year.

SPIFFY Getting ready for a new school year is difficult work for custodial crews. Making sure schools look pristine and welcoming inside and out is an FCPS priority. For the 5th year, FCPS distributed Curb Appeal Awards to schools where staff went above and beyond ensuring exteriors were well-maintained: Ballenger Creek ES, Middletown HS, New Market MS, New Midway ES, Rock Creek School, Thurmont ES, Thurmont MS, Urbana ES, Urbana MS, Wolfsville ES and Woodsboro ES. See which school has won all 5 years and the names of employees commended for these awards.

EXCELLENT FCPS is 1 of only 26 school districts in the US and Canada to receive the National Procurement Institute's 2017 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award. Purchasing Manager Steve Starmer commends the department’s staff for the outstanding work they do keeping purchasing costs low to funnel maximum resources to classrooms countywide. He named assistant purchasing manager Kim Miskell, purchasing agents Billie Laughland, Bill Meekins and Shane Ryberg, procurement card administrator Hope Miller, executive secretary Michele Graham, and purchasing associates Amy Beall, Joni Carlo and Krista Long as contributors to the Achievement of Excellence Award. See the full news release.

News to Use

Wellness logoPREPARED September is Emergency Preparedness Month. Please see the FCPS School Emergency Preparedness flier and the Frederick County Government emergency resources including recommendations for a basic supply kit. Also see

WALKTOBER  Registration opens Monday, October 2 for this year's 31-day Walktober challenge, starting Monday, October 9. The first 100 people who register will receive earbuds. Teams and individuals with the most steps can earn Fitbits and other prizes; the work site with the most participants will win fitness classes. To find out more about this great way to incorporate walking as a wellness routine:

GOT MAIL? It’s possible for our courier mail to go to all county governmental offices, not just to FCPS. Please address interoffice courier envelopes beginning with “FCPS,” followed by printing the first and last name of the employee and the full department name or location. Make sure the previous employee’s name and department information are crossed out with a dark-colored marker. If you need courier envelopes, contact Outgoing US postal mail must have a Mail Request Form attached to it; find the form online:

LET'S GET AN "A" IN CCC Please watch for forms coming soon about this year's Combined Charities Campaign. Your generosity can go a long way in helping those less fortunate in our community.

GREAT PARTNERS FCPS has a proud history of collaboration with our business and community partners. Check out our new Educational Partnerships Annual Report.

HONORING VETERANS  FCPS invites staff to submit photos to be featured in an FCPS video tribute for Veterans Day. The photos can show FCPS veterans or FCPS employees with a favorite veteran. To participate, enter your information here and then submit your photograph to before Friday, October 20.

NEED COPIES? The FCPS Career and Technology Center offers copying and finishing services. Find out more.

SNOW DAYS If you're planning December-March events, please include snow dates. Watch for snow closing resources in next month's FCPS Insider. Regulation 400-2 and the FCPS Calendar Handbook, page 5, provide guidelines that apply to school events.

SEE OUR NEWEST VIDEOS  In a MinuteSeptember 8     September 15     September 22

Tweet of the WeekFormer West Frederick MS Students, Now At Frederick HS Nisha and Gia    
Elementary Health and PE Curriculum Specialist Jamie Hitchner    
Brunswick MS Principal Jay Schill    
Community Engagement Coordinator Tiana Haile    
Equity Teacher Specialist Toby Heusser    

FCPS Proud: June     September

FCPS Fast Fact

Q:  How much larger is the new Frederick HS than the old one? What age was the old building?

A:  At 270,618 square feet, the new school (shown at the top of the photo) is 36,516 square feet larger. Its capacity is 1,826 students. The old school (shown at the bottom of the photo before demolition) was 78. Its capacity was 1,603, not counting portables.

Curious to see the new Frederick HS? Take an SGA-guided tour Friday, October 6, 5-8 PM!

More Frederick HS Fast Facts:
*Seats in gym: 1,200
*Seats in auditorium: 850
*Anticipated utility savings from geothermal wells: 40%
*Savings from stream restoration instead of underground stormwater management facility: $100,000
*Average daily workers on project: 150

See the stadiumSee the commons area.