January 2013: Vol. 4, No. 6

The Promise of Public Education
What Does It Mean to You?
Budget Book CoverAt the FCPS countywide Rally Around the Promise on January 17, Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban presented her Recommended FY14 Operating Budget to the public for the 2013-14 school year. Please click the document title to see details including this year's budget timeline, proposed staffing, enrollment data and more. FCPS also summarized contents in a handout distributed at the rally.
The recommended operating budget of $547.3 million reflects a 4.6% increase of nearly $25 million over the FY13 operating budget. $4 million is based on one-time revenue and expense due to the projected sale of four surplus properties in FY14.  
The budget addresses several priorities that the Superintendent heard reflected in Town Hall meetings and other budget feedback:
     *Retaining and attracting quality staff
     *Technology needs and equity
     *Security staffing and equipment
The recommended budget has $15.7 million more in expenditures than revenues.  At the January 23 meeting, the BOE decided to hear feedback through February 6 before making any changes to the recommended budget. The Superintendent will work with the BOE over the next several months to balance the budget request as revenues are more firmly established and expenditure requests are reviewed.  
Education employees are in a unique position to know what students need. Please share your budget priorities:
E-mail thepromise@fcps.org     Facebook  FCPSMaryland     Twitter @FCPSMaryland #FCPSPromise
Download the new smart-phone app: www.fcps.org/promiseapp 
Check out what people are saying: YouTube.com/user/FCPSMaryland
Attend and Speak at the Public Hearings:
Board of Education, Wednesday, February 6, 6 PM, Walkersville High
Board of County Commissioners, Tuesday, May 7, 6 PM, Urbana High
Employee Excellence
Public Education Succeeds, Thanks to You!
PeggyRiceLinganore HS secretary Peggy Rice is "reliable, efficient, friendly to all, and takes the initiative to streamline many protocols so we can best serve our community," says Principal David Kehne. 
Peggy is a triple First-Class Employee award winner, having been nominated numerous times because of the excellent customer service she provides in the front office. Described by a co-worker as the queen of multitasking, "in addition to receiving visitors, contractors, staff, students, happy people, sad people, angry people and, yes, even handling reports of an occasional farm animal looming on our campus, Peggy manages our school's key control program, property accountability program and emergency kit; supervises the office student aide; receives and accounts for deliveries; assists with student parking and the use of facility progam; coordinates the infamous, everchanging bell schedule...and often takes work home just so she can be timely in meeting her many customers' needs."
For many at Linganore HS, "Peggy provides the 'jump start' we need to get our day on its way to a good start."
Congratulations to other staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter:  Kim Long and Judith Michael.
#1 NATIONWIDE The Maryland public school system remains the nation’s highest ranked school system for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year.  Education Week, the nation’s leading education publication, looked at data in six critical categories over the past five years, and once again found that Maryland’s education system ranked at the head of the class. 
Flag artART  Middletown HS students in Karey Mattingly's art class won the grand prize (see photo), the creativity prize and the runner up workmanship prize in the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE’s) 11th annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest. The MDE sponsors the contest to educate and empower the public to reuse and recycle materials that would have otherwise gone into landfills. See photos of impressive student projects under Rethink Recycling: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdenvironment.
LEADERSHIP  Tuscarora HS drama teacher Dorothy DeLucchi went above and beyond as 2013 Maryland Thespian Festival coordinator. The festival drew 600 students, teachers and judges to Tuscarora HS and yielded student scholarships and prizes. Ms. DeLucchi is also on the group's Board of Directors.
BCES Awards
OUTSTANDING The Ballenger Creek Law Office presented awards to honor outstanding educators at Ballenger Creek ES. Left to right, winning $100 awards, are assistant principal Lori Snowden, second grade teacher Jean Blank, third grade teacher Kelley Hood, Ballenger Creek Law Office representative Colleen Rye (who formerly taught special education at FCPS), first grade teacher Tresa Kallarackal, and kindergarten teachers Suzy Llewellyn and Jenny McGinnis.
P.S. Can you tell it was Pajama Day in first grade?
CHAMPIONS Kudos to the coaches of FCPS teams winning state championships:  William King, Catoctin HS boys cross country division 2A; Ken Putnam, Brunswick HS boys soccer division 1A, Heather Kline, Middletown HS girls soccer division 2A; and Kevin Lynott, Middletown HS football division 2A.
FBI   Linganore HS students in Tracy Bozzonetti's computer graphics class designed the winning logo for the FBI’s newly established Baltimore Cyber Task Force.    
RALLY  If you were among the hundreds who attended a Rally Around the Promise event January 3, 7 or 17, thank you for your commitment to public education. Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban received very important information about our community's priorities for our FY14 budget. See what people are saying and track developments as the budget process progresses: www.fcps.org/thepromise.  
News to Use
Calendar2013-14 SCHOOL CALENDAR  FCPS received more than 700 e-mails about the coming year's proposed school calendar. See the BOE-approved calendar:  www.fcps.org/calendar
SOCIAL MEDIA  Are you following FCPSMaryland on Facebook and Twitter @FCPSMaryland? "Like us" to monitor the latest news! Links to both are on the home page at www.fcps.org. AND there's a new FCPS smart phone app: www.fcps.org/promiseapp  
INVOLVED  The Maryland State Department of Education is accepting nominations postmarked by January 31 for the 6th annual Parent Involvement Matters Awards. The award honors parents and guardians whose exemplary contributions to public education have led to improvements for Maryland’s public school children, teachers, schools, programs and/or policies. Details: www.fcps.org/awards
NEW FACES IN KEY PLACES The first principal for the Frederick Classical Charter School, slated to open in fall 2013, is Jacqueline PiroWest Frederick MS welcomes new assistant principal Brenda Whipp, following Bernard Pond's retirement.
Tell Maryland Survey LogoTEACHING, EMPOWERING, LEADING LEARNING: TELL The 2013 TELL MD Survey opens Monday, February 4 at www.tellmaryland.org. Principals will share details with school-based certified and instructional/clerical support staff soon.
FCPS TV  See if you recognize a friend in one of the new shows*
FCPS Factoid
 Old Computer
Q:  What percentage of FCPS computers are 5 years or older?
A.  In industry, the general life of a computer is 3 to 4 years. 
     57% of FCPS computers are 5 years or older.
     22% (nearly 4,000 of FCPS's 18,000 desktop and laptop computers) are 8 years old.