The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently named North Point High School seniors Christain Barnes and Njuguna Thande as semifinalists in the 2015 National Achievement Program.

Barnes and Thande are two of 1,600 high school students nationwide eligible for 800 achievement scholarship awards, worth more than $2.5 million, that will be announced in the spring. Students are considered for the program when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT) as high school juniors.

Semifinalists are designated within geographic regions and are the highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up specific regions. A total of 1,300 semifinalists will advance to the finalist level. Finalists are selected for high academic performance and SAT scores, principal recommendation, and student and community leadership activities.

Barnes is enrolled in the engineering program at North Point and plans to study the field after graduation. He is researching engineering programs at well-known colleges such as Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. Barnes is president of the North Point National Honor Society, a member of the Key Club and enjoys participating in school-related community service projects, coding video games and writing musical lyrics.

Thande is also enrolled in the engineering program at North Point. He is interested in attending either Carnegie Mellon University or Princeton and plans to study mechanical engineering. Thande has participated in robotics programs at North Point and is a member of Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA). He also enjoys creative writing and likes to write short stories.

During their summer break from school, both Barnes and Thande attended Carnegie Mellon’s Summer Academy of Math and Science, known as the SAMS program. The program is a six-week experience designed to increase the number of students from diverse backgrounds who pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the college level. The program is designed for high school juniors and seniors, and focuses on coursework, standardized test preparation, hands-on science and engineering projects, and opportunities for personal and social development. Interested students must apply for admission.

More than 160,000 students nationwide entered the 2015 National Achievement Program. In order to advance to the finalist level, semifinalists are required to submit a detailed scholarship application that includes academic record information, examples of participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, honors and awards received. Finalists will be announced later this school year.

Finalists are eligible for two types of scholarships: a one-time National Achievement $2,500 scholarship; or a corporate- or business-sponsored scholarship for students who meet criteria set by the grantor.

The NMSC is a non-profit organization that was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Program. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC’s funds and more than 500 business organizations and other educational institutions with the goal of honoring the nation’s scholastic students and the pursuit of academic excellence. Visit www.nationalmerit.org.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

The Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) recently named four Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) physical education teachers as 2014 Simon McNeely Award recipients. They are Jillian Genua of J.P. Ryon Elementary School; Patrick Hoiler of Malcolm Elementary School; Pomie Radcliff of Mary H. Matula Elementary School; and Melissa Williams of Milton M. Somers Middle School.

The annual awards program recognizes teachers who demonstrate outstanding innovation in teaching physical education, along with active involvement in school and community affairs. The award is named for Simon McNeely, who was a special education teacher and longtime member of the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and the United States and International Olympic committees.

Genua began her teaching career with Charles County Public Schools in 2006 at John Hanson Middle School. She moved to Ryon the following school year and is in her ninth year of teaching physical education. She said she was honored to be nominated for an award that highlights goals for her students. “I teach physical education to give my students the movement foundation they need and the knowledge of the health benefits that come to those who participate in physical activity in hopes that they become lifelong participants of physical activity,” she said.

Hoiler is in his first year of teaching students at the elementary school level, and previously taught physical education at La Plata High School. He said his nomination for the McNeely award is a bonus for his career. “I truly enjoy getting up and coming to school each day and then to be nominated for something that you love doing anyway is an added bonus,” he said.

After graduating from Salisbury University with a degree in physical education, Radcliff started her career with CCPS at the elementary-school level in 1984. She first taught physical education at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School and joined the staff at Matula in 1992. Her career with the school system spans more than 30 years. Radcliff said she is honored to be chosen as an award recipient. “On behalf of all the wonderful students at Matula who make teaching such a joyous experience, it is my pleasure and privilege to accept this award,” Radcliff said.

Williams is in her first year of teaching at Somers and previously taught physical education for five years at Matthew Henson Middle School. She said her passion in the field of physical education is strongly supported by her peers, as well as system administrators. “I am very honored to be named an award recipient with three other colleagues. Ivy Hodges, CCPS content specialist for health and physical education, has set high standards for all of her teachers and we are all rising to the occasion. Her passion in the field drives us all to follow in her footsteps,” Williams said.

All award recipients will be honored at the annual MAHPERD convention Oct. 17. Hodges nominated the teachers for the recognition, and the last time a CCPS teacher received the McNeely award was in 2008.

MAHPERD promotes personal wellness and healthier lifestyles through educational and community programs, and supports the enhancements of health and wellness of Maryland residents. MAHPERD also provides advocacy and professional development opportunities designed to advance and unify the professions of health education, physical education, recreation and dance education. For more information, visit http://www.mahperd.org/AboutUs.aspx.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

The Charles County Public Schools communications department recently received five top awards in the 2014 National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) National School Communications Awards program.

Department staff received two Golden Achievement Awards, which recognize exemplary work in all aspects of school public relations, communication, marketing and engagement. The awards highlight communications plans used for teacher retention efforts and developing an international language center.

Recognized with awards were the communications plans used to implement the New Teacher Bus Tour held in conjunction with new teacher orientation activities, and outreach tools used with the launch of the Secondary Academy for International Languages (SAIL) at Maurice J. McDonough High School. The two awards are among more than 90 Golden Achievement Awards distributed to school systems nationwide.

Three videos produced by communications staff also received awards in the Publications and Electronic Media portion of the awards program. This area of the contest recognizes outstanding work in all types and forms of education communication, including print, electronic, video, audio, websites and social media.

A video titled “The Portfolio of James Richmond” received an Award of Merit, which is the second highest electronic media award given by NSPRA. The video features the longtime educational career of former CCPS Superintendent, James Richmond.

Two videos – “The Evolution of Telepresence in CCPS,” which highlights the use of Telepresence technology used in CCPS, and the “Port Tobacco One Room Schoolhouse,” which highlights how the school system uses the schoolhouse to teach students about history, each received Honorable Mention awards.

Communications department staff includes Katie O’Malley-Simpson, director of communications; Kyle Graves, video production specialist; Kara Gross, communications multimedia assistant; Shelley Mackey, communications specialist; and Gary Nagel, web developer.

This is the second consecutive year that the department has received awards through the NSPRA Communications Contest. Each year, NSPRA sponsors a national communications contest to recognize school districts for their efforts in school public relations. NSPRA was chartered in 1935 and provides school communication training and services to school system leaders throughout the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Dept. of Defense Dependents Schools worldwide. For more information on NSPRA, visit www.nspra.org.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

Charles County Public Schools has been named to the Maryland School Breakfast Hall of Fame for achieving more than 70 percent breakfast participation systemwide during the 2013-14 school year. A total of 17 schools and centers were also recognized for high breakfast participation rates last school year. According to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Charles County Public Schools had the third highest breakfast participation rate of 71 percent across Maryland counties.

Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School topped the list in Charles County with a participation rate of 104 percent. Gale-Bailey Elementary School had the second highest participation rate, with 103 percent, followed by J.P. Ryon Elementary School with nearly 101 percent. Participation rates include reported meal totals for November 2013 and April 2014.

Additionally, the following schools and centers were named to the Maryland School Breakfast Hall of Fame:

  • Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School, 100 percent;
  • Mary B. Neal Elementary School, 99 percent;
  • F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, 98 percent;
  • Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, 97 percent;
  • J.C. Parks Elementary School, 94 percent;
  • Indian Head Elementary School, 94 percent;
  • Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School, 89 percent;
  • C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School, 86 percent;
  • Henry E. Lackey High School, 85 percent;
  • Eva Turner Elementary School, 84 percent;
  • Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, 83 percent;
  • Arthur Middleton Elementary School, 76 percent;
  • Piccowaxen Middle School, 74 percent; and
  • General Smallwood Middle School, 72 percent.

As an overall school system Hall of Fame inductee, Charles County Public Schools will receive a Governor’s citation and each school and center will receive a recognition certificate for their participation in the school breakfast program. A recognition ceremony will be held later this fall to honor schools and school systems for their Hall of Fame selection. Staff from Neal and Lackey was asked to represent CCPS at the ceremony.

The recognition program is part of the 2014 Maryland School Breakfast Initiative, which focuses on providing children with a healthy school breakfast. The initiative is a statewide effort launched through Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, with support from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, MSDE, the Maryland Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.

The initiative also includes the Maryland Breakfast Challenge, which seeks to expand the state’s school breakfast program to 10,000 additional students through challenge prizes and incentives and by emphasizing the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, which can raise academic performance and reduce absenteeism. Principals can enroll their schools in the challenge – and interested parties can find more information about the program – at www.MarylandBreakfastChallenge.org.

The 2014 Maryland School Breakfast Challenge partners include the No Kid Hungry campaign, the Maryland State Department of Education, Action for Healthy Kids, Family League of Baltimore, Maryland Hunger Solutions, Maryland State Education Association and the Mid Atlantic Dairy Association.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has reinstated its athletic trainer program.

Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill signed a contract with the Rehabilitation Center of Southern Maryland (RCSM) on Sept. 18 that restarted the program Sept. 22 and will gradually restore full services over the next month. The Board of Education in June eliminated athletic trainers as part of a $5.5 million budget reduction to cover funding shortfalls.

“Athletic trainers were the highest priority on our list of things to restore if we were able to reallocate funds. Through cost-saving efforts, we have been able to redistribute enough funds to reinstate trainers. Savings included minor adjustments to other programs, such as summer school, without major effect,” Hill said.

The contract with RCSM will provide the services of athletic trainers to the seven CCPS high schools once all trainers are hired. Initially, one trainer will rotate among the seven high schools providing services on a weekly basis. Once fully implemented, the athletic trainer program provides for evaluations of injuries, return-to-play decisions and implementation of concussion protocol, field assessments of concussions, treatment of injuries using first aid, administration of ImPact concussion testing and other services for student athletes.

Athletic trainers serve more than 2,500 athletes annually, and in the 2013-14 school year trainers treated 1,200 major injuries such as broken bones, knee and shoulder injuries and concussions, said A.K. Johnson, coordinator of student activities for CCPS. Last school year, trainers monitored 81 students for concussions. Additionally, the trainers treated more than 1,000 minor injuries, from bee stings to broken nails.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is meeting the challenge to end childhood hunger through its school breakfast program. Celebrating a more than 150 percent increase in breakfasts served over the past four years, Charles County officials joined students to share pancakes, cereal and conversation about the importance of starting each day with a healthy meal.

This morning, CCPS touted its breakfast participation success at J.P. Ryon Elementary School and Henry E. Lackey High School as students and officials kicked off the state’s 2014 Maryland School Breakfast Challenge. CCPS increased by 157 percent the number of student breakfasts served from slightly more than a half a million in 2010 to 1.4 million last school year.

The aim of the state’s breakfast challenge is to increase participation in the school breakfast program and to ensure all children who need a healthy school breakfast get one. CCPS has already earned state recognition as a 2014 Hall of Fame school system for its success at increasing the numbers of students eating breakfast at school. The state also named 17 CCPS schools and centers, including Lackey and Ryon, as members of the 2014 Maryland School Breakfast Hall of Fame.

“Skipping breakfast is never a good idea,” Hill said. “Eating a healthy breakfast provides the fuel your brain needs to get you through the day. Children can’t learn well if they are hungry,” Hill said.

Ryon Principal Robert Opiekun talked with officials about the importance of school breakfasts and the program at Ryon, which has increased the number of breakfasts served by 66 percent since 2010. Ryon, a Title I school, has 59.2 percent of its students eligible to receive free or reduced-priced meals (FARMS). Since 2012, Ryon has participated in Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA), a successful state program that provides breakfast in the classroom for all students, not just those qualifying as FARMS. Since 2010, Ryon has increased the number of breakfasts served from 19,200 to 31,945 in 2014. There are 12 CCPS schools participating in MMFA.

Lackey tripled the number of breakfasts served when it started a second-chance breakfast during the 2011 school year. Principal James Short, looking for ways to entice high schoolers to eat breakfast, developed the second-chance breakfast that allows students to purchase breakfast after their first period class and eat their food in the classroom at the start of second period. Kiosks dot the hallways, allowing students to quickly navigate lines, select breakfast and get to class on time. “We have five locations for students to grab breakfast – three kiosks set up in different locations in the school, and two cafeteria serving lines. Our food service workers do a great job at serving kids quickly. The second-chance breakfast is a privilege for students and is all about the kids. It works for us here at Lackey. It makes the kids happy, and building services staff happy because the kids do a great job cleaning up after themselves,” Short said.

Lackey’s breakfast participation jumped 336 percent since 2010; it increased from 12,500 to 54,500 breakfasts served last school year.

All CCPS schools have worked to make breakfast more available to students. Schools offer breakfast at kiosks in the halls or at the front door, move students through service lines quickly, offer second-chance breakfasts and offer in-class breakfast.

“We understand the importance breakfast has on a student’s ability to listen, learn and participate. Our principals and food services staffs have done an outstanding job by thinking of ways to make breakfast more attractive and available to students. Our numbers show great success, but we aren’t finished. We are accepting the state’s challenge to make healthy breakfasts even more enticing and accessible to our students,” Hill said.

About the Maryland Breakfast Challenge

The Maryland Breakfast Challenge seeks to expand the state’s school breakfast program to 10,000 additional students through challenge prizes and incentives and by emphasizing the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, which can raise academic performance and reduce absenteeism. Principals can enroll their schools in the challenge – and interested parties can find more information about the program – at www.MarylandBreakfastChallenge.org.

The 2014 Maryland School Breakfast Challenge Partners include the No Kid Hungry campaign, the Maryland State Department of Education, Action for Healthy Kids, Family League of Baltimore, Maryland Hunger Solutions, Maryland State Education Association and the Mid Atlantic Dairy Association.

About Charles County Public Schools

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

North Point High School hosted the 17th annual Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) College Fair on Sept. 17. A total of 4,000 parents, students and community members attended the fair and met with college representatives.

The CCPS College Fair provided high school juniors and seniors a chance to speak with representatives from more than 135 participating colleges, universities and branches of the military. A representative from Congressman Hoyer’s office also attended the fair providing information to students about congressional appointments. Colleges provide information about tuition, scholarship opportunities and academic programs. The fair is split into two sessions – a day session for students from the seven high schools, and an evening session for students, parents and the community. The morning session was for students only; 2,200 students attended. The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) provided two evening financial aid workshops, with Christian Zimmerman, director of financial aid for CSM, conducting the workshops. More than 1,800 parents and students attended the evening session.

Students were given 40 minutes to visit booths, and college representatives asked students to fill out contact cards to receive further information. Student Board Member and Westlake High School senior Georgia Benson went to the college fair with an open mind. She plans to study political science after graduating from high school and is looking for a college to meet her needs. During her 40 minutes, Benson walked aisle-to-aisle talking with numerous college representatives.

The school system is also hosting financial aid nights at each of the county’s seven high schools. Sessions are open to the public.

The schedule is

  • Henry E. Lackey High School, Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m.;
  • La Plata High School, Nov. 18, 6 p.m.;
  • Maurice J. McDonough High School, Nov. 3, 6:30 p.m.;
  • North Point High School, Dec. 18, 6:30 p.m.;
  • St. Charles High School, Spring 2015;
  • Thomas Stone High School, Nov. 19, 6 p.m.; and
  • Westlake High School, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m.

For more information about a school’s financial aid night, contact college and career advisor at the school.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) and the Charles County Department of Health successfully worked to ensure most CCPS students were able to meet the state’s immunization requirements by Monday’s deadline.

CCPS students had until today to get immunized or be excluded from school. As of this morning, 11 CCPS students had not provided proof of immunization. State law requires all students receive specific vaccinations by the 20th day of school or be excluded from school until they receive all required vaccinations. This year, the state required additional vaccinations for both kindergarten and seventh-grade students.

At the beginning of September, more than 700 CCPS students were missing proofs of vaccination. During the past month, CCPS and the Health Department provided additional opportunities for students to receive vaccinations including free clinics and transportation to clinics. Last week, schools and school system staff personally contacted families of students who were still missing updated shot records.

“I am so appreciative of the monumental efforts of our staff and the Health Department that resulted in only 11 students who are out of compliance today. When you talk about a commitment to keeping kids in school, our school nurses, pupil personnel workers and school staffs showed extraordinary dedication to helping students receive the required vaccinations,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

The Maryland State Department of Education on Monday notified school districts that they could apply for a waiver to the 20-day temporary enrollment rule; however, only school systems with more than 250 students out of compliance were eligible for the waiver.

The Health Department is offering another free vaccination clinic this afternoon from 3-5 p.m.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

 

 

The Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously voted to increase grade and attendance requirements for students participating in extracurricular activities and athletics.

The new requirements take effect next school year, but students’ grades the second semester of this school year will impact their eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities in the fall of 2015. The new rules require students to maintain a 2.25 grade-point average with no failing “F” grades to participate in any extracurricular activity, including sports. Additionally, students may not be absent more than 9.5 days in the previous semester.

The change raises the standards from a 2.0 grade-point average and takes effect with the 2015-16 school year. Incoming ninth graders are no longer automatically eligible to participate in fall sports or clubs the first semester; the student’s second semester grades in eighth grade will determine eligibility. Students promoted from fifth to sixth grade are automatically eligible to participate the first semester.

Currently, students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 and receive no more than one failing grade per quarter in order to participate in extracurricular activities.

The Board also approved the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Eligibility for fall extracurricular activities will be based on a student’s second semester grade-point average at the end of the previous year.
  • Eligibility for winter extracurricular activities will be based on a student’s second semester grade-point average at the end of the previous year.
  • Eligibility for spring extracurricular activities will be based on a student’s first semester grade-point average.
  • If a student receives a failing grade in any quarter, they are ineligible for the remainder of the season and semester. Students cannot gain eligibility at interim.
  • Any student who receives a failing grade for the semester is ineligible for participation for the following semester.
  • Students academically ineligible at the end of the second semester cannot regain eligibility by enrolling in summer school.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

More than 200 people took a trip to the moon Saturday night at the James E. Richmond Science Center’s sold out International Observe the Moon night.

Moon night was the debut community event for the Science Center, which opened in late August at St. Charles High School. Moon night observers toured the Earth’s nearest neighbor in the digital dome classroom and examined it up close on the center’s six-foot diameter Science On a Sphere. Outside the dome, children created the moon’s phases using Oreo cookies, designed space patches and launched hand-made rockets.

International Observe the Moon night was the first in a series of special events planned at the Science Center this fall. “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure,” a 25-minute show featuring Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky, is now showing through October on Monday through Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and all first and third Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 12 p.m. The show also includes a 20-minute planetary tour and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are required; cost is $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors and military; and children three and younger are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.ccboe.com/sciencecenter/.

Next up is Science Stories, a family story series that explores the science behind folklore and combines storytelling with a digital dome sky presentation. Geraldine Buckley, an award-winning storyteller and educator, will present mythical stories, modern stories and poems about the change of the seasons, the night sky and the constellations. The event is Saturday, Sept. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and show times are 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Learn more about the event on the Science Center website, http://www.ccboe.com/sciencecenter/.

Other upcoming events include:

  • A fall festival featuring a special one-night screening of ‘Super Volcanoes” on Saturday, Oct.18, from 5 to 7pm.; and
  • Flight Night, featuring the movie “Dream to Fly” along with an audience with aviators from 5 to 7 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 1.

The James E. Richmond Science Center contains a state-of-the art digital dome classroom, a discovery lab and Science On a Sphere. It offers a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) resources for all Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students and teachers as well as family events on weekends and evenings.

The center allows students to study the impacts of the environment, such as storms, climate change and ocean currents, on Earth and the atmosphere.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.