Superintendent Kimberly Hill, and members of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office reminded La Plata High School student drivers this morning that “We Care” about their safety and their driving.

La Plata High School student drivers were greeted Aug. 29 by their principal, the superintendent and officers who passed out fliers reminding the teens of driving rules and driving safety. Across the county, school resource officers also stopped and passed out safe driving flyers to student drivers.

“We care about you and we want you here,” La Plata Principal Evelyn Arnold told students as they drove into the parking lot. Hill reminded students of the dangers of texting and driving as she handed each a flyer with the rules of the road. “We want you to be safe,” she told drivers.

“Seven years ago, well before you were old enough to drive, a series of car crashes took the lives of nine teenagers in Charles County. This was a very sad and frustrating time in our community,” Hill and Sheriff Rex Coffey wrote in a message to students. Working together, the school system and sheriff’s office developed the We Care campaign to engage students in conversations about safe driving. We Care promotes safe driving through a series of checkpoints in school parking lots and school assemblies and other activities. Since 2008, Charles County Public Schools and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office have greeted high school drivers back to school with reminders about driving safely. The program is credited with reducing teen crash deaths in Charles County.

The school system and sheriff’s office plan to continue the “We Care” campaign throughout the year with various activities that keep teen driving safety in the forefront. School resource officers plan to do spot checks in school parking lots throughout the school year to ensure students are buckling up, limiting their passengers to those allowed by law and not texting or talking on cell phones while driving.

In previous years, the program has been highlighted at North Point, Thomas Stone, Westlake, Henry E. Lackey and Maurice J. McDonough high schools. The program was introduced today at the county’s newest high school, St. Charles.

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) serves a variety of breakfast and lunch menu items for students at low costs for parents. For the 2014-15 school year, prices for elementary school students are $1.25 for breakfast and $2.45 for lunch. Middle and high school students can purchase breakfast for $1.40 and lunch for $2.70. Some students may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals and CCPS determines eligibility through income guidelines established by the federal government.

The reduced price for breakfast is $0.30 and $0.40 for lunch. All Charles County Public Schools students receive an application for free or reduced-price meals either at school or through the mail. Applications, including a Spanish version, are also available at each school. Families with more than one child attending CCPS only need to complete one application per household.

Applications should be sent directly to Charles County Public Schools, Department of Food Services, 5980 Radio Station Road, La Plata, Md., 20646. There is a 10 business day turn-around time for all applications once they are received by Food Services. School system staff review applications for eligibility and incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Additionally, all provided information may be checked for eligibility verification.

Approved applications are only valid for one school year and need to be resubmitted at the start of each new school year. Benefits for the 2013-14 school year end on Oct. 7 or when notification that benefits for 2014-15 have been approved. Parents can also apply at any time during the school year.

Questions about the application process and free or reduced-price meal benefits should be directed to the Department of Food Services at 301-392-5575.

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 is hosting three public forums to provide information about a facilities report evaluating all Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) schools and centers as well as renovation and school construction recommendations for the next decade.

CCPS has scheduled the following sessions to present information to the public about the survey report, answer questions and accept comments:

  • Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, 6 p.m., Sept. 22, in the cafeteria;
  • La Plata High School, 6 p.m., Sept. 29, in the auditorium; and
  • Maurice J. McDonough High School, 6 p.m., Oct. 13, in the auditorium.

Last school year, the Charles County Commissioners approved payment for a comprehensive survey to assess the physical condition of each school building and site to determine its ability to provide students with a modern education program aligned with CCPS educational specifications. CCPS contracted GWWO Architects to compile and analyze data including school capacity, student enrollment, physical building conditions, staff survey responses, mechanical system conditions and site characteristics. The Board of Education, on Aug. 25, received the report from GWWO and the school system’s supporting services staff.

The next steps, according to Keith Hettel, assistant superintendent of supporting services, are to analyze the GWWO report, inform the public and solicit input; continue with current Capital Improvement Program (CIP) submissions; discuss affordability and forecasts with county government staff; revise CIP submissions at the county and state level; and work with the state on CCPS decisions on future renovations and new construction.

The complete report is located on the Board of Education’s Board Docs area at http://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/ccpsmd/Board.nsf/files/9NBNWZ61FB52/$file/GWWO-Study-DRAFT-description%20sheets_4102014.pdf.

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 will host more than 150 colleges at its annual Charles County College Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at North Point High School. The fair is open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. High school juniors and seniors attend the event during the school day as part of the system’s career readiness goal in the five-year plan.

Students are transported from school by bus and are able to speak with representatives and gather information from participating colleges. Students wishing to attend the fair during the school day must submit a signed permission slip to their school’s college and career advisor.

Community members are encouraged to bring their children to the public session. Two financial aid workshops will be held, one at 6:15 p.m. and one at 7:15 p.m., for parents and students to learn about the financial aid application process. There is no cost to attend the event. For more information, call your child’s school or 301-934-7334.

A list of local scholarships, including a link to Maryland colleges and universities, is also available on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) website at www.ccboe.com, under the students section.

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 of Charles County has appointed William Olmsted, a La Plata lawyer, to serve as chairman of the newly appointed Board of Education Ethics Panel. The panel is serving a four-year term that ends in June 2018.

Joining Olmsted on the panel are James Cornette of La Plata, Theresa Everette of Waldorf, Jessie Morris of Waldorf and Derrick Nunn of Waldorf.

The Board appoints the all-volunteer, five-member panel every four years prior to a Board of Education election. The ethics panel interprets ethics regulations and provides advisory opinions to Board Members and employees subject to the regulations. The panel also reviews complaints concerning any alleged ethics violation and receives and maintains all forms required to be filed under the ethics regulation.

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.

Thomas Stone High School is hosting the second annual 9/11 Memorial 5K Road Race and Fun Walk at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6. Proceeds from the event will support the 9/11 Memorial Scholarship Fund for Kris “Romeo” Bishundat, a 1995 Stone alumnus who was killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Proceeds will also support the nature’s revival forest trails rehabilitation and cross country teams at Stone.

The entry fee is $20 plus a $2.50 sign-up fee and interested participants can register online at www.runningmyraces.com. Select the event date of Sept. 6 and Maryland to find the registration link. The event is also being sponsored by the Black Leadership Council for Excellence (BLCE) and Property Management Enterprises.

Contact Bonnetta Adeeb for more information at 301-645-2601.

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.

 

 

Revised – 8/25/14

The Board of Education has scheduled a work session at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 25, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building at 5980 Radio Station Road, La Plata. There is a public forum scheduled at 6 p.m., followed by the work session.

The work session is scheduled to receive the report contracted by the Board and the Commissioners to survey the physical condition of each school building, geographical location, and projected demographics. The report provides information about optimum number, size and locations of schools countywide and will be used as a guide for the Charles County Board of Education to develop a 10-year capital improvement plan. The Charles County Commissioners have been invited to attend the meeting.

All Board of Education meetings are televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and rebroadcast throughout the week. Board meetings are also streamed live on the school system website www.ccboe.com. Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab. The following is the meeting agenda:

Call to order – 6 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum

Work session

  • GWWO school facilities study

Adjournment

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 is expanding the grade reporting feature of Blackboard/Edline to all 21 elementary schools this school year. Edline is a web-based portal that parents can use to view their child’s school records such as classroom assignments, attendance and grades. Elementary school parents will now be able to view their child’s grades and academic progress online through Blackboard/Edline.

To access grades and other student-specific information, parents must log in to the system using a registered account. Elementary school parents who have not registered for a Blackboard/Edline account will need to obtain an activation code at their child’s school. Photo identification is required for any parent or guardian to receive an account activation code. Account activation codes will only be given by school staff in person and cannot be distributed electronically by e-mail.

To activate an account, visit https://www.edline.net/AccessCodeEntry.page and enter the code received at your child’s school. Follow the steps to activate your account and set up access to your child’s personalized information, including grades.

Charles County Public Schools launched Blackboard/Edline in 2010 and first offered the feature of electronic grade reporting for middle and high school students and parents. At that time, elementary school report cards were printed on carbon copy paper and were not completed electronically. Last school year, the school system updated elementary school report cards to include more detailed information on student progress. As part of the update, teachers also began to complete report cards electronically.

Each school also maintains a Blackboard/Edline page for their individual school that features school news and parent information. Pages are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Contact your child’s school for additional information on obtaining a Blackboard/Edline account activation code. All school web pages can be accessed from the school system website at www.ccboe.com.

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.

 

St. Charles High School is offering free tours of the school and the James E. Richmond Science Center on Sept. 6 to provide the public a chance to see Charles County Public Schools newest high school.

Principal Richard Conley says one-hour tours will be held beginning at 12:30 p.m. Due to capacity restrictions in the digital classroom, each tour will be limited to the first 180 people arriving for each time slot. Tours will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

St. Charles High School staff members will host the tours and are excited to share the design and the educational and instructional components at the 1,600-capacity high school that opens Aug. 25 with grades 9 through 11.

Following the school tour, visitors will enter the James E. Richmond Science Center where staff will provide presentations of the digital classroom and Science on a Sphere. Staff will also share previews of upcoming shows.

Later in the evening, the public is invited to observe the Moon up close at the center’s Science on a Sphere and tour the moon in the digital classroom. Events are part of the International Observe the Moon Night, which begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 and group discounts are available. Activities include a Flight to the Moon movie in the digital dome; lunar missions and landing sites on Science On a Sphere; a rocket discovery lab; telescopes outside to view the moon and more. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.ccboe.com/sciencecenter/.

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 2014-15 school year officially begins on Monday, Aug. 25 for students in grades kindergarten through 12. Charles County Public Schools expects to welcome more than 26,500 students this school year. Students enrolled in the prekindergarten and three-year-old programs start back on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Charles County Public Schools staff and teachers are preparing for the start of another school year and are finalizing services and programs for students and parents.

Bus hotline

The school system is sponsoring a bus hotline for parents to call with questions about bus routes. The hotline can be reached at 301-932-6655, and is only available on Aug. 21-22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Aug. 25-26 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents can access bus route information through the School Locator feature available on the CCPS website at http://schoollocator.ccboe.com/.

Opening of county’s seventh high school

Opening on Aug. 25 is St. Charles High School, the county’s seventh public high school, located off of Piney Church Road in Waldorf. St. Charles also houses the James E. Richmond Science Center, which includes Science on a Sphere and digital classroom technology. St. Charles is hosting a public open house event on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tours of the school, including the Science Center, will be held every hour for a maximum of 180 guests at a time. Visit http://www.ccboe.com/sciencecenter/ for more details.

Changes in start and end times for three schools/Gwynn Center

The start and end times for three schools, as well as the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, have changed for the coming school year. The changes are necessary to provide additional instructional time for students and to accommodate the opening of St. Charles. Affected schools are Berry Elementary School, and Theodore G. Davis and Mattawoman middle schools. Berry’s new hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Davis’ times are 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.; and Mattawoman’s new hours are 8:25 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. The F.B. Gwynn Center is open from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Charles County Public Schools 2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar reflects the changes.

Orientation events for schools

All schools are hosting orientations this week for new and returning students. A complete list is posted under the Charles County Public Schools press releases section at http://www.ccboe.com/pr/student-orientations-planned-for-schools-2/. Contact the specific school for additional information.

Testing changes

The 2014-15 school year is Charles County Public Schools first year that the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) will be administered in reading and mathematics for students in grades 3-11. PARCC is administered during two different windows during the school year. Additional information on PARCC testing is available on page 16 of the Charles County Public Schools 2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar.

Lunch prices increase by $.10

Lunch prices for all students increased by $.10 this school year. There is no change in the cost of breakfast for students this year. For elementary school students, lunch is $2.45 and breakfast is $1.25. For middle and high school students, lunch is $2.70 and breakfast is $1.40. Menus are available at all schools, and on the CCPS website at http://www.ccboe.com/meals/meals.php. The school system uses a cafeteria prepayment system called MyPaymentsPlus, which is a secure, Internet-based system that allows parents to deposit funds electronically on their child’s cafeteria account. Visit https://mypaymentsplus.com/default.aspx for more information.

New building entry system

The school system is launching a new entry system at all schools, centers and buildings this school year that changes how visitors, students and staff enter the facility. The system is intercom and video-based and is being programmed to match the bell schedules at each individual school. Most schools will begin use of the system when schools open on Monday, Aug. 25. Additional information about the new system is posted on the CCPS website at: http://www.ccboe.com/pr/system-launches-new-building-entry-system/.

2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar

Students and staff will receive a copy of the 2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar during the first week of school. The calendar is available on the Charles County Public Schools website at http://www.ccboe.com/calendar/201415calendar.pdf. Requests for additional copies will be honored the first week of September.

We Care program kick-off

School resource officers at each of Charles County’s seven public high schools are helping to launch the “We Care” program on Friday, Aug. 29. The program is a safe driving initiative for teens by teens with guidance from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and CCPS. Police officers will be on hand at each high school Aug. 29 to distribute safety flyers to all student drivers.

We Care was officially launched seven years ago following a series of car crashes that took the lives of nine teenagers in Charles County.  The campaign continues to engage students in conversation about safe driving while promoting safety through a series of checkpoints in school parking lots and other activities.

System partnership with Code.org

Charles County Public Schools launched a partnership with Code.org earlier this year that infuses computer science concepts into curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 12. Over the summer, more than 75 teachers were trained through Code.org on how to tie computer coding into lessons about English, mathematics and science, as well as other content areas. Additional training will be offered by Code.org to CCPS teachers this school year. Charles County Public Schools is one of only two Maryland counties to partner with Code.org. Visit https://code.org/ for more information.

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.