March 2012: Vol. 3, No. 8

FCPS to Launch HAL Program
For Highly Able Learners in Middle Schools
FCPS is preparing to offer highly able middle school learners greater academic challenge in language arts, math, science and social studies. Schools may identify students as highly able in one or up to all four of the core-content areas.
In the coming 2012-13 school year, all middle schools will open the Highly Able Learner (HAL) program to 6th graders based on their abilities. The following school year, middle schools will offer the clusters for 7th graders as well, and in 2014-15 implement the program for grades 6-8.
An articulation committee at each middle school will determine placements. Students must be able to learn material at advanced rates and levels of understanding, and must have demonstrated high ability through performance on a variety of specific data measures listed at
HAL teachers will receive specialized training in related instructional strategies. Principals, assistant principals and curriculum leaders will also participate in professional development.
For more, see In Focus with Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban, Middle Schools Director Tracey Lucas and Gifted & Talented Programs Coordinator Meg Lee and the full news release.
Newest Use for the Oldest Building
A Place for Employees to Learn
FCPS has opened a new Staff Development Center (SDC). It features conference rooms and computer labs at the renovated 1921 building formerly known as Walkersville B.
Although the new SDC is undergoing finishing touches, it includes the capabilities we had in the old Hayward location plus 3 more conference rooms of varying sizes, ready for reservation and use. More rooms are coming online soon. 
Go on a virtual visit from any FCPS-networked computer to http://InsideFCPS. Click the SDC logo to see room features, capacities and photos via the floor plan map. There is also information about how to reserve rooms, directions, mileage reimbursement details and a link to the room-request form.
FCPS expects to bring a facility manager on board in July. Parking is free.
First-Class Leadership and Service
Your Work Makes Us Proud
DianeRobertsDriver Diane P. Roberts (right) is one of many checking their buses in the March predawn hours before starting the morning's bus run. Her quick, professional response to a student's health emergency coupled with her everyday outstanding service led to Diane's First-Class Employee award. 
Diane recently helped a student with a heart condition, calling 911 while managing a bus full of young children. The Middletown PS teacher who nominated her says, "She is a Super Hero! Diane goes above and beyond the call of duty. She truly cares about the students."
Supervisor Mac McLean agrees. "Diane did an exceptional job with that situation and works extremely well with all children on the bus." She cares so much she is "like a mother to them."
First-Class Blue Ribbon
Congratulations to other staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter: Debra Barneski, Andy Brown, Kim Carioto-Krugle, Carole Carr, Heather Hyatt, Belinda James, Jonathan Kurtz, Linda Leggieri, Pamela Miller, Darlene Mitchell, Betty Pasternak, Brittany Poti, Karen Shomaker, Heather Spisso and Kathleen Steele.
2012 Support Employee of the Year Award nominations close April 13: The BOE will recognize one finalist from each of 8 support-employee job classifications:
  • Business Support
  • Custodial/ Maintenance/ Warehouse (nonschool-based)
  • Custodial (school-based)
  • Food Services
  • Instructional and Mainstream Assistant/ Community Liaison
  • Secretarial (nonschool-based)
  • Secretarial (school-based)
  • Transportation
Two of the 8 finalists―one school-based and one nonschool-based―will become the 2012 Support Employees of the Year.
The Hood College Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teaching Award nominations to recognize an FCPS teacher who has had a significant impact on young people are also due April 13.  Details
LIFE SAVING  Special Education teachers Laura Jones and Melissa Miller recently used skills they learned in the FCPS CPR/AED training to save student lives. They administered the Heimlich maneuver to a choking student in the SUCCESS Program while awaiting 911 response. Laura has helped two students this year. Health Specialist Christa Williams is seeking funds to train more employees; watch for notices from her office if you'd like to learn.
SHARED EXPERTISE The Maryland Department of Education was so pleased with the Common Core posters that Communication Services media arts specialist Jose' Rosapepe and video production specialist Paul Puglisi designed with secondary math curricululm specialist Peter Cincotta they have decided to replace the FCPS personalization and distribute them statewide.
EFFICIENT Energy/Recycling coordinator Charlie Dalphon completed energy audits of 40 schools. Earning an "A” for efforts to conserve energy: Glade ES, Hillcrest ES, Middletown PS, Myersville ES, Sabillasville ES, Thurmont PS and Walkersville HS. If your building is not on this list and you want it to be, contact to learn how.
StarAWARDS GALORE See the many FCPS national, regional, state and county awards below...and some of the teachers who helped students achieve them!
NATIONAL 7 FCPS students are National Merit Finalists: 2 from Brunswick HS, 1 each from Middletown and Tuscarora HS  and 3 from Urbana HS.
A Middletown HS student in Michael Malafarina's AP Computer Science class is 1 of 12 students nationwide to win Gold and Silver Key Awards in Scholastic's National Competition for Young Artists and Writers. He won in video-game design.
REGIONAL Three Linganore HS National Art Honor Society students won Northeast Region-at-Large 2012 Scholastic Art Awards for exceptional talent (see photos+): the Gold Key Award, Silver Key Award and Honorable Mention. Their art teachers are Georgia Geisser and Christian Madenspacher.
Destination ImagiNation teams advancing to state competition after winning at regional: a combined Linganore/Urbana HS team, a New Market MS team and 3 Windsor Knolls MS teams.
A Walkersville HS Engineering Club team, coached by technology teacher James Thuman, placed 1st among 23 regional teams in the Institute of Navigation's Mini-Urban Challenge that the Air Force Jet Propulsion Laboratory sponsors. They move on to national competition.
Typewriter Letter ASTATE In the Maryland Young Authors Contest, Catoctin HS students placed 1st in 12th grade poetry and 2nd in 12th grade short story. Their English teachers are Courtney Kelly and Mark Krasnansky.
In Maryland International Reading Association competition, Urbana HS students placed 1st in 10th and 11th  grade short story/essay and 2nd in 11th grade poetry. Their English teachers are Michelle Alcoser, Dave Britton and Stephen Ward.
Oakdale HS students won 2012 Maryland Society for Educational Technology awards in Desktop Publishing and Multimedia categories.
A Career & Technology Center Engineering CAD team placed 1st in state-level Real World Design Challenge. Their teacher coach is Phil Arnold.
Urbana HS student athletes won gold State Champion awards in girls’ pole vault and boys’ 4x800. Their coaches are CJ Ecalono and Andres Wright.
Our students won state-level Awards of Excellence in the Maryland Reflections Program in intermediate and middle school photography. They also won state-level Outstanding Interpretations Awards in music, photography, literature, visual arts and film production.
Ballenger Creek ES won the 2012 Maryland Schools of Character Award. School counselor Patty Quaglietta and Principal Karine Myers completed the in-depth award application. State-level winners have reached a standard of excellence to serve as models and mentors for other schools and educators for three years.
Gov. Thomas Johnson HS Forensics and Debate team members qualified at state competition for the NCFL Grand National Tournament in May. Kudos to their coach: Benefit Compliance Officer Michelle Dacey.
COUNTY Urbana HS won the 2012 Mock Trial county championship. Media specialist Jessica McBroom coached the team.
Middletown HS won the 2012 countywide Academic Tournament with teacher coaches John Kirkendall (social studies) and David Thomas (science). Oakdale HS Principal Dr. George Seaton won the tournament's 2012 Curriculum Specialists Award.
News to Use
Youth Art Month 2012YOUTH ART MONTH  Visit the Delplaine Arts Center this month for the free student art exhibit, guaranteed to brighten your day!
GOT CURIOUSITY? Check out the free countywide secondary Science and Engineering Fair, Saturday, March 24 at Walkersville MS, 3-4 PM.
APPROACHING 50, SEEKING MEMORIES  See how your experiences might be able to help our Earth and Space Science Lab celebrate its upcoming 50th anniversary.
CASH-OUT DEADLINE: APRIL 1 Employees in the FASSE and FCASA groups and FCTA  members in the old retirement system who did not cash out their leave limits last fall may do so until midnight, Sunday, April 1. FASSE employees may cash out a total 3 days. FCASA employees may cash out no more than 5. Pay-outs for eligible employees will arrive in April 30 paychecks with all applicable state and federal taxes deducted. To process a request to cash out leave, employees* MUST use the online feature before the deadline. Each employee may use only one type of leave.  FAQs
*except FCTA members whom Colette Baker has asked to contact for their cash out
PARTNERSHIPS The Global Wildlife Trust recently formalized a partnership with FCPS Porcupine
to make exciting resources more accessible for students at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. FCPS and Frederick County Public Libraries also became official partners this month. See photos and more: Zoo  Library
REMEMBER  1,000 FCPS benefited employees will receive an extra $25 in a May paycheck! March 31 is the deadline to enter the drawing by reading about our Wellness Program's Smart Choices and completing the brief questionnaire:
FCPS TV Check out the newest programs, available on-demand*
*The BACK arrow will return you to this page.