September 2012: Vol. 4, No. 2

FCPS Achieves First Place
Closing the Achievement Gap
The FCPS focus on closing achievement gaps is yielding impressive results. Share the facts:
1stInMdSuccess Story #1FCPS 5th grade Maryland School Assessment (MSA) special education scores are the highest statewide! The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has taken notice. To share our effective strategies, MSDE is developing a video to show at October's State of the State leadership conference. We will publish the video's URL after the MSDE posts it on the Maryland Learning Links professional-development site. It includes interviews with Jason Anderson, Daniel Martz and Waverley ES staff and students.
Success Story #2 FCPS 5th grade MSA scores are the highest statewide in reading, second-highest statewide in math and 3rd in advanced science performance. In the past five years, advanced performance for our elementary students has increased from 29 to 42% in reading and from 27 to 45% in math--that's a 13-point gain in reading and 18 points in math. We've narrowed the elementary reading-achievement gap by more than 70% for children of poverty and by more than 60% for special education students. We've narrowed the gap in math by 60% for children of poverty and by 30% for special education students. 
Success Story #3:  Our MSA results in math--and our significant improvement there--were spectacular. We focused on math instruction, fine-tuning curriculum and using targeted interventions to remove barriers that were holding students back. Our efforts worked: Countywide, 93.3% of our elementary students scored proficient or better in math. That's an impressive 3-1/2 points above 2011 performance.
With the highest percentage of low-income students, Hillcrest ES achieved the biggest gain in 5th grade math of all county elementary schools--an increase of 32.5 percentage points.
Success at the Secondary Level:  The College Board's 2012 Advanced Placement data reveal that more FCPS students than ever are taking challenging college-level AP exams. The 5,460 AP exams they took in 2012 represent an increase of 223 compared to 2011. Nearly three-fourths of FCPS students—71.1%—scored high enough to qualify for college credit.
And FCPS 2012 SAT results soar as our students continue to outperform their counterparts state- and nationwide.
First-Class Leadership and Service
Thanks to You, Public Education Succeeds
CeceliaPeteSmithCustodian Support Specialist Cecelia "Pete" Smith has won four First-Class Employee Awards!
On behalf of the North Frederick ES community, Principal DeVeda Coley nominated Pete for her most recent award. 
Pete not only worked with North Frederick's custodial team, teaching them new maintenance techniques, Ms. Coley said, but when the school was "short a custodian all summer, Pete went above and beyond to ensure that our inside and outside were shining...."
"Our grounds look WONDERFUL because of the help, time and support she gave to our school. This summer, Pete definitely showed that she is a team player and a first-class employee."
Congratulations to staff earning First-Class Employee awards since our last newsletter: Peggy Rice.
It's easy to nominate a deserving employee!
IT'S EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS MONTH  Career & Technology Center (CTC) TV/Multimedia teacher Adam Frank (second from the right) stands with his students who won the Maryland Emergency Management Agency's first statewide Public Service Announcement competition to promote emergency preparedness.
The students earned the CTC a $100 Target gift card to purchase supplies. See the award-winning PSA:
In the photo, left to right: MEMA project manager Robert Ward, students Michael Wall, DeAnna Kinzie and Carm Saimbre, CTC instructor Adam Frank and MEMA branch manager Angela Bernstein. 
Read the news release: Students Produce Winning PSA.
Also commended for Emergency Preparedness Month contributions: FCPS and School Security coordinator Cliff Cornwell as key stakeholders and an integral part in our community's emergency management work. See a photo of the Board of County Commissioners' proclamation event. (Mr. Cornwell is fourth from the left in the back row.)
NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT Six CTC students earned medals at the 2012 SkillsUSA National competition in Kansas City.  Ten FCPS students achieved semifinalist status in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. And 26 achieved the highest national honor for AP achievement
SHOW STOPPERS The Tuscarora HS Titan Tempo Show Choir got to sing backup with the multiplatinum rock band Foreigner on the chart-topping I Want to Know What Love Is at this year's Great Frederick Fair! Kudos to music teacher Terence Moore.
HONOR BESTOWED FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab directors Mark Bowman and Jeff Grills were surprised to find their names engraved on the plaque at the Natelli Observatory Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony:  See photos!
News to Use
EMPLOYEE PERKS  FCPS uses PerkSpot to bring special discount offers to employees. Have you signed up? Find out more! And did you know you can show your ID at any Frederick-area Roy Rogers and get 15% off on weekdays?
SOLID GOLD Take a break from politics the day before the election and visit the FCPS Earth and Space Science Lab's 50th Anniversary Celebration Open House Monday, November 5. With an astronaut visit, anniversary film, t-shirts and book, Ausherman Planetarium shows, Natelli Observatory visits, Scales and Tales, South Frederick Arboretum Tour and Scavenger Hunt, Telescope Raffle and more it will be way too much fun to miss!  
RECYCLING CONTESTS The Frederick County Department of Solid Waste Management is sponsoring recycling contests, with applications due now through November 1. The Department can provide data about how many pounds your school recycles. Schools can win awards, grants and more. See elementary and secondary contest rules and additional opportunties. Help make green one of your school colors! 
TwitterTownhallASKTERRY@FCPS.ORG The PTA Council of Frederick County invites everyone to attend or tweet or e-mail a question to Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban at a Town Hall Meeting, Monday, October 1, 7 p.m. at Walkersville HS. Twitter: @fcpsmdsuper #AskTerry
WELCOME to new Transportation Director Fred Punturiero!

FREDERICK HS RENOVATION  If you have or anticipate connections to Frederick HS, past, present or future, FCPS invites you to share your insights about its upcoming renovation.

CALENDAR UPDATE  Character Counts! Week is a week later than listed in the FCPS Calendar Handbook. The correct dates are October 21-27.
FCPS TV  Check out the newest programs, available on demand*
*The BACK arrow will return you to this page.
FCPS Factoid
dollarsQ:  What was the value of scholarship awards offered to the FCPS class of 2012?
A:  The Maryland State Department of Education reports that the state's high school class of 2012 was offered almost $1 billion to continue their education.
FCPS graduates accounted for more than $56 million of those offers.