Month: October 2018


Seventh graders at General Smallwood Middle School last week learned just how good their local water supply is during a unit on watersheds. The activity was part of Charles County Public Schools’ (CCPS) partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Bridging the Watershed program. Students in Brittany Johnson’s life science classes conducted hands-on water quality testing on samples pulled from a local watershed.  On Oct. 25, Johnson’s students left the traditional classroom setting and spent their class period at an outdoor lab outside the school. Jennifer Young and Laura Taylor, environmental education assistants from the Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Read more…


The year after she quit school at 16, Brandy Ringer asked to go back. But pregnant at 17 and in her second year of sophomore year, she dropped out again. She was on her way to earning her diploma, but a car accident, a child born, life … it got in the way. “I push my son to go to school,” Ringer said. “Then it happened. ‘Why do I need to graduate when you didn’t,’ came out of my 9-year-old’s smart mouth.” It spurred Ringer to finally get her diploma. She is now attending the College of Southern Maryland, studying Read more…


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is accepting nominations for the Washington Post and Maryland Teacher of the Year awards programs. Nominated teachers will be considered as honorees in either one or the other awards program, which is a change for CCPS this year. Additionally, all schools and centers must submit one teacher nominee annually. Nomination criteria include a minimum of five complete years of teaching, four of which should be consecutive years with CCPS. Teachers must be a full-time classroom teacher. Nominees must also commit to maintaining their teaching position with CCPS for the 2019-2020 school year. Criteria also include Read more…


The Board of Education on Monday unanimously voted to standardize the scale middle and high school teachers use to determine grades. The Board agreed to draft policy requiring all middle and high school teachers to use a traditional grade scale that does not allow for minimum grades to be assigned. The motion for the new policy designates the following grading scale: an A equals 90 to 100; a B is 80 to 89; a C is 70 to 79; a D is 60 to 69; and an F is 0 to 59. The policy, once passed, will take effect when Read more…


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) held its annual fall chess tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20 at Thomas Stone High School. A total of 125 students participated in the event, which is open to any student in kindergarten through Grade 12. The tournament follows a Swiss-style format in which each student plays four games. Students compete in eight grade-level divisions and trophies are given to division champions. Students who earn a top finisher award in their respective categories receive a medal, and all participants receive a certificate for their performance. Felix Cummings served as the tournament director. The following students were Read more…


Students interested in applying for one of 17 career and technology education (CTE) programs at North Point High School will complete a shorter application process this year. In prior years, eighth graders were required to participate in a face-to-face interview with CTE staff and submit letters of recommendation by teachers. These steps have been eliminated from the application process for the coming school year.  The changes to the application process will help to standardize admissions and provide a better level of program access and equity among students. Earlier this year, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of Career Read more…


The Board of Education of Charles County is holding a Town Hall and work session at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22 in the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. The Town Hall and work session will be televised live on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) website at ccboe.com and broadcast on Comcast Channel 96/Verizon FiOS Channel 12. The following is an agenda and is subject to change. Call to order – 6 p.m. Pledge of Allegiance Town Hall/Work Session Overview of grading policy – 6 to 6:10 p.m. Town Hall on grading policy – 6:10 to Read more…


Southern Maryland is no stranger to earthquakes. A 5.8 magnitude quake in Virginia on Aug. 23, 2011, was felt in Maryland. And while most Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students might not remember it, or were even born yet, those who attend General Smallwood Middle School and Gale-Bailey Elementary School know what to do if another one rocks the area. “Drop, cover and hold on,” was the direction Oct. 18 at the two schools which took part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, an annual drill supported by state and federal emergency management agencies. “The drill gives students another tool to Read more…


Students were off from school Monday, Oct. 8, but some showed up anyway. Girl Powered, a robotics program for girls in third through eighth grades, was held at North Point High School. It introduced engineering concepts and fostered teamwork among the girls, while they got tips from North Point student volunteers in the engineering program. The field of STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — is a male-dominated workforce, with women representing only 24 percent of it, according to VEX Robotics, the sponsor of the Girl Powered program. By introducing younger girls to STEM activities, the workforce may grow Read more…


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is hosting its first Career and Technology Education (CTE) Career and Technology Student Exploration Showcase Oct. 29-30 at the College of Southern Maryland. The showcase is for current CCPS eighth graders; students attend during the day as part of a field trip. The showcase will introduce students to CTE programs available at all CCPS high schools. Current CTE majors are set to participate and talk with students about their program, scholarships available and future career opportunities. Students from all Charles County middle schools will visit between Oct. 29 and 30 as part of a scheduled Read more…

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