Due to inclement weather forecasts, all Charles County public schools are closed on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. There is a code two for staff who follow the code system.

Visit the school system website, www.ccboe.com, or call the 24-hour information line at 301-934-7410/301-932-6656, for the latest school closing information and Charles County Public Schools updates.

Craig Storm, a seventh-grade student at Mattawoman Middle School, earned the title of top speller at the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 37th annual Spelling Bee held Feb. 20 at John Hanson Middle School. Storm spelled the word “pernicious,” which means something that can cause great harm or damage, or is highly injurious or destructive, to earn first place. As the Charles County winner, Storm advances to the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee scheduled for May 24-30 in Washington D.C.

Nicholas Gallegos, a seventh grader at John Hanson Middle School, earned second place in the competition. Additionally, teams from each competing school are awarded points based on student performance during each round. The team from Mattawoman earned first place for their team performance. Along with Storm, team members are eighth grader NeKara Smith, and seventh graders Jordan Bellamy and Shania Williams. Mattawoman eighth grader Amaya Nelson is the team alternate. The team coach is Elesa Ansell, a language arts teacher at Mattawoman. As the first-place team winner, the Mattawoman team was awarded a special plaque to display in the school.

The bee was aired live on the CCPS website and is available for view here. Students from all Charles County public middle schools and county private schools are invited annually to participate in the event. The spelling bee is sponsored by CCPS, the College of Southern Maryland, the Maryland Independent, Chaney Enterprises and Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SMECO).

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 36 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.

 

Ohayou gozaimasu. Konnichiwa. Konbanwa. Oyasumi nasai.

These are all ways to say hello in Japanese. On Feb. 18, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) said Konnichiwa to more than 30 Japanese education students as part of the school system’s partnership with Bunkyo University. During a two-week visit to Charles County, Japanese student teachers will visit numerous schools and the University of Maryland, College Park to learn about American education training programs.

While in Charles County, Bunkyo students will participate in practice lessons with CCPS students at several schools including Mary H. Matula, Malcolm, William A. Diggs, Arthur Middleton, C. Paul Barnhart, Gale-Bailey, J.C. Parks and Dr. James Craik elementary schools, and Milton M. Somers and Mattawoman middle schools. The lessons will feature content about Japanese history, how Tokyo has changed in the past 200 years and demonstrations of three different Japanese writing styles.

At the end of their stay, Bunkyo students will host a Sayonara party on Feb. 26 at North Point High School. The students will introduce school officials and members of their host families to traditional Japanese dances, songs and examples of Japanese fashion. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kimberly Hill said the school system’s partnership with Bunkyo University is a learning experience for both CCPS and Bunkyo students.

“Each school year, Charles County Public Schools welcomes aspiring teachers from Bunkyo University to obtain hands-on educational experiences in our classrooms. This longstanding partnership benefits our students as well as the aspiring teachers from Japan. Our students have the opportunity to learn about Japanese cultural and social traditions, while the Bunkyo students learn about American schools. This valuable exchange of cultures is something that we look forward to each year,” Hill said.

Bunkyo University is a private university located in downtown Tokyo that mainly offers teacher education. The school system has participated in the partnership with Bunkyo since 1987, when the program was organized and hosted by the University of Maryland. CCPS began hosting the program in 1992. Hotel accommodations are arranged for the first week of the visit, and students stay with volunteer host families in Charles County during the second week.

Each year, approximately 30 students from Bunkyo University, along with two professors, visit Charles County. The partnership is intended to provide the Japanese students the opportunity to learn about the American school system, to compare Japanese and American education, to experience American family life and practice speaking English.

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 36 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.

Due to inclement weather forecasts, all Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, Charles County Public Schools activities are canceled.

The Maryland State swimming and wrestling championships have been postponed. Wrestling is rescheduled for Monday; swimming will be rescheduled at a later date.

Visit the school system website, www.ccboe.com, or call the Charles County Public Schools 24-hour information line, 301-934-7410/301-932-6656 for the latest school closing information and system updates.

Twenty teams from 11 Charles County Public middle and high schools competed in the 2015 Southern Maryland VEX League Robotics Challenge held Feb. 7 at the College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) La Plata campus. The challenge is split into two levels of competition – one for middle school teams, and one for high school teams. The VEX League is sponsored by CSM and its science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) partners to support teams in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.

Eight Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teams qualified to compete in the VEX Robotics Maryland State Championship. Teams that earn the Excellence, Tournament Champion, Tournament Finalist and Design awards at the regional level advance to the state event. The middle school state competition is Feb. 28 at Hereford Middle School in Baltimore County. The high school state competition is scheduled for March 8 at Sollers Point Technical High School, also located in Baltimore County.

The Electropanthers team from Piccowaxen Middle School received the Excellence award among competing middle school teams. This is the highest award a team can receive and recognizes overall team excellence in dedication, devotion, hard work and team work. The Excellence award is also given to the team that finishes first in the league rankings at the conclusion of all qualifying events. In the VEX League, participating teams play in 15 matches during three ranking sessions, of which the final session is held at the regional level.

Student members of the Electropanthers teams include seventh graders Ahryel McManhan and Cameron Miskell, and eighth graders Andrew Fan and Jarrett Mulloy. Team coaches are Sandra Chisholm, a technology teacher at Piccowaxen, and Joseph Fan, a Piccowaxen parent.

The Electropanthers team also earned the Tournament Champion award, in which they competed in an alliance with the Mechanical Madness team, also from Piccowaxen, and the Iron 6 team from General Smallwood Middle School. As the Tournament Champions at the middle school level, all three of these teams will compete at the state event. Members of the Mechanical Madness team include Piccowaxen seventh grader Kyle Shymansky, and sixth graders Will Anderson, Reece Leonard and Sydney Robertson. Chisholm and Fan also coach this team. The Iron 6 team includes Smallwood eighth graders Dylan Abell, Lavell Kenney and Alex Thompson. Team coach is Jeffrey Gruszecki, a technology teacher at Smallwood.

Based on how the challenge is structured, more than one team can be named Tournament Champion. This year’s challenge, titled “Skyrise,” was divided into qualifying rounds, team alliance selection rounds and elimination rounds in which teams maneuver their robots in a 12-foot by 12-foot square field. Teams work together in alliances to attain higher scores than their opponent alliance by programming their robot to build a 6-foot-tall vertical tower.

Two teams from John Hanson Middle School, the JHMS Gold team and the VEXCELLENCE team, earned the Tournament Finalist award. A team from Mattawoman Middle School, the SMSL Hackers, also earned the Tournament Finalist award as part of a team alliance. This award goes to the top two runner-up alliance teams, which also compete at the state level.

Members of the JHMS Gold team are Hanson eighth graders Collin Gamble, Mikayla Hall, Sean Huber and Hailey Stern. Hanson’s VEXCELLENCE team includes seventh graders Lizzie Daniel, Cody Flerlage, Chris Moreno and Christopher Rand-Crawford. Both Hanson teams are coached by Daniel Meltsner, a technology teacher at Hanson. Students on the Mattawoman team include seventh graders Jabari Johnson, Ricardo Santos and Susanna Wynne, and eighth grader Kaya Shepherd. Jeffrey Wester, an art teacher at Mattawoman, is the team coach.

At the high-school level, the Angle Warriors team from La Plata High School earned the Tournament Finalist award as part of an alliance with two teams from Calvert High School. As a Tournament Finalist team, they will compete at the state competition. Student members are seniors David Beaton, John Hungerford, Matthew McElhaney and Kyle Morgan; juniors Sarah Dawson and Carolyn Gillespie; and sophomore Tara Cecil. The team coach is Garrick Baker, a technology education teacher at La Plata.

Additionally, a team from St. Charles High School advances to the state high school competition after receiving the Design award at the regional event. The Design award is given to a team that demonstrates an organized and professional approach to the design process, project and time management, and team organization. To be eligible for this award, teams must submit an engineering notebook to the judges for review.

Team members include freshman Hunter Donn, Francisco Monzon and Pio Samillano; sophomore Michael Bouyett; and juniors Jason Bowman, Rory Burke, Justin Robinson, Bobby Smith and Timothy Sprouse. The team coach is Ryan Novitski, a technology education teacher at St. Charles.

Teams from Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, and Maurice J. McDonough, North Point, Thomas Stone and Westlake high schools also competed in the event. A total of 55 teams from middle and high schools in the tri-county area participated in the competition.

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 36 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.

 

Due to inclement weather conditions, all Charles County public schools will open two-hours late on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015. There is a code two, which is a two-hour delay, for staff who follow the code system. The morning prekindergarten program is also canceled Feb. 20.

Visit the school system website, www.ccboe.com, or call the Charles County Public Schools 24-hour information line at 301-934-7410/301-932-6656 for the latest school closing information and system news.

The Board of Education presented three resolutions to Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students and staff at its Feb. 10 meeting. The Board votes annually to accept resolutions. The following resolutions were presented:

  • Fine and Performing Arts Month;
  • Read Across America; and
  • Women’s History Month.

CCPS recognizes Fine and Performing Arts Month in March. Fine and performing arts provide students with a well-rounded education and are essential to the education of children. Accepting the resolution were Timothy Bodamer, specialist in fine and performing arts for CCPS, and Piccowaxen Middle School seventh grader Madison Meiser. Board Vice Chairman Michael Lukas presented the resolution on behalf of the Board.

The National Education Association has proclaimed March 2 as Read Across America, which focuses on reading to children. CCPS participates in a local event, known as Read Across Charles County, where schools invite guest readers to support literacy. Accepting the resolution at the Board meeting were Sahana Venkatesh, sixth grade, General Smallwood Middle School; Linda Forrest, reading resource teacher, Smallwood; Rajan Venkatesh, second grade, Gale-Bailey Elementary School; and Diedra Barnett, reading resource teacher, Gale-Bailey. Student Board Member Georgia Benson presented the resolution on behalf of the Board.

The United States Congress and Legislature of Maryland have designated March as Women’s History Month. This year, the Maryland State Department of Education and the Charles County Commission for Women are celebrating Women’s History Month with the theme of “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives.” CCPS acknowledges the significant role that women play in history and the workplace, and encourages schools to incorporate women’s history into instructional learning activities throughout the year. Board Member Victoria Kelly presented the resolution to Dr. Sonya Ford, chairperson of the Charles County Commission for Women and school counselor at Matthew Henson Middle School, and Charles County Commission for Women member Robbie Wilson.

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 36 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.

 

Due to inclement weather conditions, all Charles County public schools will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. There is a code two, which is a two-hour delay, for staff who follow the code system.

Visit the school system website, www.ccboe.com, or call the 24-hour information line at 301-934-7410/301-932-6656 for the latest school closing information and system updates.