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  • Hear County's Top Student Musicians

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/30/2015
    Middle School Music Festival

    The 2015 All-County Middle School Music Festival is almost here, featuring the top 181 Frederick County public middle school music students. Eighty-three All-County Chorus, 54 All-County Band and 46 All-County Orchestra students were selected from a rigorous audition process to perform for the public on Saturday, February 7, in the Governor Thomas Johnson High School auditorium at 7 p.m. The snow date is Monday, February 9.


    Three conductors, who have selected repertoire to showcase student talents, will lead the groups in the concert. Beverly Mauck, who directs Manchester Valley High in Carroll County, will lead the chorus. The director of the Peabody Preparatory’s Young Artists Orchestra, Dr. Daniel Levitov, will conduct the orchestra. Catonsville High director Christopher Gnagey will conduct the band. FCPS will share their biographical information at: http://education.fcps.org/vpasec. FCPS will also post any bad weather announcements at that site.
     
    Admission, payable at the door, is $5 for adults and $3 for school-age children, with a $10 family maximum when families arrive together. Admission is free for FCPS employees with work ID and for guests under school age or age 60 and older. Revenue from admission tickets supports this and other countywide musical events.
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  • Oscar of Teaching Goes to Ms. Hawk of FCPS

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/28/2015

    Maggie Hawk Milken Educator Award Includes $25,000 Cash Prize

    The Oscar goes to…Yellow Springs Elementary first-grade teacher Margaret “Maggie” Hawk! The Milken Educator Award, which includes an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize, is known as the Oscar of Teaching. This morning, Milken Family Foundation co-founder Mike Milken joined Maryland State Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith and Frederick County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Theresa Alban, in a surprise visit to present the award to Ms. Hawk in front of her colleagues and first grade students.
     
    “We are so proud of Ms. Hawk and the amazing work she does with students each day at Yellow Springs,” says Principal Susan Kreiger. “Maggie Hawk was herself a student at Yellow Springs. Although she struggled with dyslexia, a developmental reading disorder, she overcame her challenges and became a good student through teacher and family support combined with her own hard work and determination. We are so glad she went on to graduate from Randolph Macon College and return to share her passion for teaching at Yellow Springs. Students blossom in her class, and they meet the high expectations she sets for them.”
     
    Whether co-teaching with other specialists to meet student Individualized Education Program needs or supporting students who already excel so they achieve greater heights, Ms. Hawk sees that students consistently leave her class above grade level in core subjects, confident and ready to learn more. She is committed to using technology and a wide variety of traditional and innovative learning techniques to help each student deeply understand the material. It’s not uncommon to hear students saying they want to grow up and become a teacher “just like Mrs. Hawk!”
     
    “Quality teaching is the best resource we can provide to students,” says FCPS Superintendent Alban. “Ms. Hawk is a perfect example of what a difference a highly qualified teacher makes in children’s lives. Results like hers are why it’s so important to support the best teachers in public education. It’s so rewarding to see a former student return to share the valuable lessons she has learned with today’s students.”
     
    The Milken Educator Awards program was launched in 1987 to recognize early to mid-career educators for what they have achieved and for the promise of what they will accomplish. The Maryland State Department of Education has participated since 1993. Awards alternate yearly between elementary and secondary educators. Teachers, principals and specialists interested in furthering excellence in education are eligible. More information is online at www.milkeneducatorawards.org.
     
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  • Public Meeting Planned to Discuss Sugarloaf Elementary

    Posted by Emily Reedy at 1/27/2015 2:15:00 PM
    Tuesday, February 3, 6:30 PM, Centerville Elementary
     
    Frederick County Public Schools invites the community to a meeting to learn more about the construction plans for the new Sugarloaf Elementary School, slated for construction in the Urbana North mixed-use development west of MD 355 and next to the older Urbana Community Park.

    The meeting is Tuesday, February 3 (snow date: February 10) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Centerville Elementary media center. FCPS staff and Grimm and Parker architects will present the site plan, floor plans and building elevations for the new elementary school and the proposed timeline for the project.

    The new school will address the continued growth of the Urbana community and will relieve overcrowding at both Centerville and Urbana elementary schools. The Sugarloaf facility is scheduled to open in August 2017, first to be occupied by the students and staff of Urbana Elementary School while the Urbana Elementary facility is being replaced. The commencement of Sugarloaf and the Urbana Elementary Replacement projects is contingent upon receiving requisite funding from Frederick County.

    Additionally, FCPS will initiate a redistricting study to create an attendance area for the new school upon the completion of the Urbana Elementary Replacement Project. FCPS anticipates that the attendance area will draw from the existing Centerville Elementary and Urbana Elementary attendance areas.

    Families of students at Centerville and Urbana Elementary schools and interested community members are encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the project, the forthcoming redistricting process and to submit comments and questions.

    More information about Sugarloaf Elementary is online: www.fcps.org/SugarloafElementary.
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  • All-County High School Music Festival

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/23/2015
    Saturday, January 31, 7 PM, TJ High
     
    The 2015 All-County High School Music Festival is almost here, featuring the top 147 Frederick County public high school music students. Fifty-seven All-County Chorus, 62 All-County Band and 28 All-County Orchestra students were selected from a rigorous audition process to perform for the public on Saturday, January 31, in the Governor Thomas Johnson High School auditorium at 7 p.m. The snow date is Monday, February 2.
     
    Three conductors, who have selected repertoire to showcase student talents, will lead the groups in the concert: Denise Achey Berry, who teaches at Waverley Elementary but formerly of Middletown High, will lead the chorus. Matthew Horwitz-Lee, teacher at the Peabody Preparatory and conductor of the Peabody String Ensemble, will conduct the orchestra. Stevenson University director and adjunct professor for McDaniel College and Carroll Community Colleges Mark Lortz will conduct the band. FCPS will share their photographs and biographical information at: http://education.fcps.org/vpasec. FCPS will also post any bad weather announcements at that site.
     
    Admission, payable at the door, is $5 for adults and $3 for school-age children, with a $10 family maximum when families arrive together. Admission is free for FCPS employees with work ID and for guests under school age or age 60 and older. Revenue from admission tickets supports this and other countywide musical events.
     
    Watch for the Middle School All-County Music Festival coming Saturday, February 7, 7 p.m. also at Governor Thomas Johnson High School.
    For more information, please contact FCPS Secondary Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Specialist Dr. Randy Rumpf: randy.rumpf@fcps.org or 301-644-5264.
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  • New Frederick School Named Butterfly Ridge Elementary

    Posted by Emily Reedy at 1/21/2015 11:30:00 AM
    Public Meeting Planned to Discuss Design

    The Frederick County Board of Education named the new west-Frederick area elementary school “Butterfly Ridge Elementary School” after a unanimous vote at their January 28 meeting.

    After reviewing historical documents, property information and more than 250 name suggestions that community members submitted, the School Name Recommendation Committee brought three recommendations to the Board for consideration. The Board chose Butterfly Ridge from among the three, which also included Greenstone and Woodland Fields.

    The committee recommended Butterfly Ridge Elementary because of Butterfly Lane, the existing road that defines the edge of the school site. “Butterfly” was also a popular suggestion among community members during both rounds of community engagement associated with the naming process.

    Butterfly Ridge Elementary is slated for construction on the south side of Butterfly Lane, opposite McCain Drive. The new school will address the growing population of the west-Frederick area by relieving overcrowding and balancing enrollment at Hillcrest, Orchard Grove and Waverley elementary schools. It is scheduled to open in August 2017 if funding is available. Additionally, FCPS will initiate a redistricting study to create an attendance area for the new school.

    FCPS invites the community to learn more about the design plans and construction schedule at a public meeting on Thursday, February 5 in the Waverley Elementary cafeteria from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Families of students at Hillcrest, Orchard Grove and Waverley elementary schools and interested community members are encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the project, the forthcoming redistricting process and to submit comments and questions. Spanish interpreting will be provided.

    More information is online in both English and Spanish: www.fcps.org/butterflyridge.
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  • Visit the FCPS Technology Fair

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/20/2015
    At the FSK Mall Tuesday, February 24

    What do All-Wound-Up Cars, Hovercraft and a Straw Bridge Engineering Challenge have in common? All are events in the Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) 22nd countywide Technology Fair, coming Tuesday, February 24 (snow date February 26) to the Francis Scott Key Mall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
     
    The 2015 Technology Fair showcases the skills that middle school students develop in technology-education classes. The fair features a special design challenge and will recognize students from podcasting and video game design challenges. The latter two events are computer based and held at a school site prior to the fair. The fair will also include an FCPS Career and Technology Center (CTC) Expo, highlighting about 20 of the CTC’s programs with hands-on demonstrations and activities at the mall’s center court.
     
    In All Wound Up, two sixth-grade students from Technology Exposition classes at each middle school construct rubber-band cars and adjust the specifications to travel the greatest distance.
     
    Constructing a Hovercraft in one hour is the challenge for two eighth-grade problem-solving teams from each middle school. The students must put their craft through a timed trial across a specified distance. The fastest Hovercraft wins.
     
    The Straw Bridge is also an eighth-grade problem-solving competition. Teams from each school design and build a soda-straw bridge that can span 20 inches and support a 6.5-pound toy truck for one minute. Design drawings, an oral presentation to a panel of local structural engineers, and the bridge’s weight factor into this contest. Winners will represent Frederick County at the Maryland Engineering Challenge.
     
    During the special design challenge, teams of sixth-grade Technology Exposition students and seventh-grade Invention and Innovation students have one hour to solve a design-challenge problem using only the materials provided.
     
    For the podcasting competition, seventh-grade students in Communication Techniques classes write and record a three- to five-minute public-service announcement on a given topic.
     
    In the video game design challenge, seventh-grade students use a Gamestar Mechanic computer program to design a video game.
     
    Winners from all events will receive recognition during an awards ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. in the center court. For more information, please contact FCPS Coordinator for Career and Technology Education Eric Haines or his administrative secretary, Brenda Blumenauer, 301-644-5188.
     
    “Save the date to come out and watch the fun as students from across the county compete!” Haines says.
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  • Plan to Celebrate World Language Day

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/16/2015
    Saturday, March 7

    To promote early interest in the study of world languages, Frederick County Public Schools invites the public to celebrate World Language Day on Saturday, March 7, 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., free, in the Tuscarora High cafeteria.
     
    Visitors may peruse displays featuring artifacts, post cards, photos and student work, see demonstrations of electronic language applications, listen to music from various countries, learn a German dance and enjoy a Chinese tea tasting and light refreshments. Students will each receive a "passport" on which to earn stamps after correctly answering a question about the language at each station they visit. Students with completed passports may enter a raffle for prizes such as book bags, school supplies, T-shirts and caps.
     
    FCPS will also honor students who demonstrated excellence in world language classes this past semester with T-shirts, medals and certificates. Some high school students will facilitate sessions and earn service-learning credits.
     
    Registration, though not required, will help FCPS determine refreshment quantities: 301-644-5261 or via email at the address listed below.
     
    If the Snow Emergency Plan is in effect on March 7, FCPS will postpone this event until Saturday, March 14 and change the location to Crestwood Middle.

    Tuscarora High is at 5312 Ballenger Creek Pike in Frederick.
     
    For more information, please contact FCPS World Languages specialist T. DeWayne Cash at the above number or dewayne.cash@fcps.org.
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  • Elementary Magnet Nominations Open Soon

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/15/2015
    Parents Invited to Program Overview
     
    All county schools that serve students in second through fourth grade—public and private—will have nomination packets on Thursday, January 29 for the Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) 2015-16 countywide magnet program for students in grades 3-5 with high academic performance. The FCPS Web site will also post information and nomination forms at www.fcps.org/advacademics beginning January 29.
     
    Magnet sites for the 2015-16 school year are New Market, North Frederick and Urbana elementary schools. Completed parent nomination forms are due, Monday, March 2, 2015.
     
    FCPS invites parents to a magnet program overview, Tuesday, January 27, at 6:30 p.m., at the Central Office, 191 S. East Street, Frederick, in the Board Room. (There are handicap-accessible parking spaces in the lot behind the Central Office.) The overview, for parents only, covers the characteristics of students for whom the program is designed and the processes leading to placement. FCPS will provide interpreters upon request, with five days notice required. The snow date is February 4 at the same time and location.
     
    In May, schools will host visitations for parents of students offered placement in the program.
     
    Parents of nonpublic school students and students receiving home schooling as well as anyone desiring additional information may contact FCPS Supervisor of Advanced Academics, Meg Lee, 301-696-6891.
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  • FCPS Superintendent Answers Your Questions

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/13/2015

    PTA Council Sponsors Meeting Set for Tuesday, January 20

    Do you have questions or thoughts about Frederick County Public Schools? Have some feedback for Superintendent Alban?

    FCPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban invites the public to the PTA-sponsored Superintendent’s Chat on Tuesday, January 20 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Middletown Middle School.  The snow date for this event is February 3.

    This is the second in a series of four PTA-sponsored Superintendent Chats this school year.  The first was held in September at Carroll Manor Elementary. The remaining chats this school year are planned for March 3 at Thurmont Middle and April 28 at Twin Ridge Elementary.

    “I’m looking forward to this opportunity to talk with members of the community,” Alban said. “We’re using every vehicle available to us to engage our community and hear what people have to say.”

    The Superintendent won’t be able to address specific personnel issues or questions about specific students, but all other issues are on the table.

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  • 25th Year of King Awards

    Posted by Dian Nelson at 1/13/2015
    Thursday, January 15, 7 PM, Gov TJ High

    FCPS invites the public and all former FCPS King Award winners to join current students and the public in celebrating a very special silver anniversary. It’s the 25th year that FCPS will honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration is Thursday, January 15, 7 p.m., at Governor Thomas Johnson High. If snowed out, the celebration will take place Thursday, January 22.
     
    “This celebration is a unique opportunity to recognize current and former students for their good character and willingness to serve their school community. Dr. King often spoke about the importance of service. Our students demonstrate that Dr. King’s dream is alive,” says Maria Whittemore, FCPS coordinator for Education That Is Multicultural.
     
    The program will include special musical presentations, remarks and recognitions. FCPS Arts and Communications Academy students Katelyn Claxton and Taylor Zentz will sing The Star Spangled Banner as a duet with Megan Cicerone as accompanist. Former Board of Education member Daryl Boffman will sing Lift Every Voice and Sing. Catoctin High School students Veronica Smalldone, Randy Stull and Taylor Zentz will preside over the ceremony, with Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban presenting remarks and assisting BOE President Brad Young in presenting awards. The Twin Ridge Elementary fourth and fifth grade chorus will perform Free at Last; the Frederick Classical Charter School choir will perform teacher Lori Bower’s original composition Look Back, Move Forward; the Emmitsburg Elementary fifth grade singers will perform One Nation; and the Deer Crossing Elementary third through fifth grade chorus will perform You Are Our Hero. Interim Minority Achievement Coordinator Denise Fargo-Devine will offer closing remarks.
     
    To earn the King Award, the student must have demonstrated leadership qualities characteristic of Dr. King and exhibited the Character Counts! pillars: responsibility, caring, fairness, trustworthiness, citizenship and respect.
     
    FCPS asks past King Award winners planning to attend to please RSVP to Ms. Fargo-Devine so she can reserve special seating. Her email address is Denise.FargoDevine@fcps.org.
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