Month: November 2017


The Board of Education honored five exemplary Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees at its Nov. 14 meeting for their dedication and commitment to teaching and learning, and for making a difference in the lives of students. Honored were James Thompson, science teacher at Berry Elementary School; Jane Murphy, food service manager at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School; Natalie Potts, first-grade teacher at Eva Turner Elementary School; Brian Colaizzi, science teacher at Piccowaxen Middle School; and Oksana Mouchyn-Dobbs, special education teacher at La Plata High School.  Thompson has been teaching science at the elementary-school level with CCPS for the Read more…


The Board of Education at its Nov. 14 meeting honored five Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students for their accomplishments in academic achievement, personal responsibility and career readiness. They are Parshva Patel, senior, La Plata High School; Joseph Arnold, eighth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School; Martina Marchi, fifth grade, Berry Elementary School; Macy Flint, fifth grade, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School; and Darrell Jackson Jr., fifth grade, Eva Turner Elementary School. Patel was honored by the Board for his accomplishments in the area of academic achievement. He is an honor roll student and active in the La Plata school community. Read more…


Theodore G. Davis Middle School celebrated Unity Day on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Students and staff were encouraged to wear orange to show their commitment to help end bullying. Throughout the day, teachers hosted class discussions in which students sat in circles and talked about ideas and strategies for use in bullying prevention. Students also viewed bullying and prevention videos, such as the popular “See Something, Say Something” released by Burger King earlier last month. Valeri Garrant, a physical education teacher at Davis, also hosted a candy cart where students could buy treats to benefit the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Read more…


The kindergarten classes at Gale-Bailey Elementary School visited Middleton Farm on Monday, Oct. 23. Students learned about farm animals, how pumpkins grow, participated in a trip around the corn maze and enjoyed a hayride. At the end of the visit, each student was able to pick out a pumpkin from the patch.   Orange was on display in full force at Berry Elementary School on Wednesday, Oct. 25 as students and staff celebrated Unity Day. Unity Day encourages students to wear orange to prevent and end bullying. “Students need to be able to build positive relationships with their peers,” Principal Sandra Taylor Read more…


Every other Friday at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, excitement brews. It’s when Café Skillz opens its doors for teachers and staff who need a late morning caffeine buzz or sugar rush. Kimberly McCloskey’s Life Skills class runs a coffee shop, providing Keurig-brewed coffee and tea, along with scones, cookies and brownies. Everything sells for 50 cents, but the students are getting a wealth of experience. “Money skills, communication and social skills, color recognition,” McCloskey lists off the lessons her students learn through running the shop. “They’re learning to follow steps to complete a task. It’s a fun way Read more…


The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and is rebroadcast throughout the week. Board meetings are streamed live on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) website, www.ccboe.com. Click on the middle of the main page to start the live streaming. The following is a meeting agenda and is subject to change. Executive session – 12 p.m. Call to Read more…


At the start of the day, Cora Stokes wasn’t sure about the robotics workshop her father signed her up for, but she was willing to give it a try. “I was nervous at first,” said the Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School fourth grader. “But now I’m sort of excited.” The room full of girls ranging from third graders to high school seniors buzzed with teamwork, creativity, confusion and triumph during Girl Powered, a robotics workshop held last month at North Point High School. The science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event also allowed students to build “21st century Read more…


As soon as he could talk, Matt Sallee was likely singing. The Maurice J. McDonough High School graduate can’t remember a time he wasn’t singing, and can’t imagine not doing it. “I sing all the time,” he said. “I don’t even realize I’m singing.” Sallee’s lifelong passion has landed him a spot with the a cappella juggernauts Pentatonix. Sallee, a bass, joins the group for the holiday season. “I landed in Los Angeles on Sept. 15 and recorded two songs the next morning,” he said. “I hit the ground running.” Sallee took over for Avi Kaplan, who left Pentatonix in Read more…


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has expanded its office of student engagement and conduct to better accommodate the needs of students, families and school administrators. Overseeing the needs of high schools students is Chrystal Benson, a former longtime CCPS principal. As the student engagement and conduct officer at the high-school level, she works with students who need additional support outside of the classroom. Benson also works with families and school administrators to help students overcome difficult situations affecting their education and attendance. Charmaine Young-Waddy transitioned to a new role at the start of this school year as the student engagement Read more…

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