Month: October 2019


Young golfers hit the links Oct. 30 for the middle school golf tournament held at White Plains Golf Course. While some students are new to the sport, others are familiar with it. Some are super serious about it; others play for the fun of it. “I like it,” Peyton Lewis, a Matthew Henson Middle School sixth grader, said. “It’s not like it’s super competitive. When you’re playing soccer or football, when you miss a goal or something, you’re like ‘Oh, no! Game’s over,’ and everybody’s mad at you. With golf I can just come out here and have fun.”  Brooke Read more…


Louis D’Ambrosio, a longtime Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) educator and principal at Berry Elementary School, was recently selected by Gov. Larry Hogan to serve on the Maryland Professional Standards and Teacher Education Board. He is the first CCPS educator to be chosen to serve a three-year term on the Board. D’Ambrosio said he applied to serve on the Board to advocate for teachers. “I want to stay involved with the people who are involved in making decisions for education and teaching standards in Maryland,” he said. D’Ambrosio’s appointment was made official last Thursday at the offices of the Clerk Read more…


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) held its annual fall chess tournament on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Thomas Stone High School. A total of 150 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 performance certificate. Felix Cummings served as the tournament director. The following students were recognized for Read more…


At the start of this school year, Milton M. Somers Middle School was without a math teacher for some of its eighth graders. Somers had a math vacancy for about 90 students enrolled in grade-level math. Vacancies in certain academic areas such as math and science are common; solutions often include long-term substitutes or pulling other staff to fill vacancies. In this case for Somers, the administrative leadership team worked with Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff to launch a pilot online program through Proximity Learning. Through Proximity Learning, students participate in an online interactive classroom managed by a certificated Read more…


When the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program started in Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), it was housed at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center and very much under enrolled, said Kimberly Hill, superintendent of schools. She was a vice principal at Stethem at the time and a member of the team charged with improving the rigor of the CTE program. “The value of CTE cannot be overstated,” she said during a tour of program offerings at Stethem, and La Plata and North Point high schools. “CTE is where the rubber hits the road. Producing graduates is great. Graduates with Read more…


The Supreme Court of the United States declined to review an appeal by a former La Plata High School student, Caleigh Wood, asserting the school violated her First Amendment Rights. The decision reaffirms a favorable U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling earlier this year that the school did not “impermissibly endorse any religion and did not compel Wood to profess any belief.” The Fourth Circuit’s decision rejected Wood’s claim that she was forced to embrace Islam during a world history class in October 2014. Wood has since graduated from Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). “We are pleased Read more…


The Board of Education of Charles County is holding a Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28 in the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. The topic will center on the future of public schools. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education — also known as the Kirwan Commission — put forth recommendations to improve the quality of the state’s public education system. Board members want to hear what CCPS parents and students, and county residents would like to see as the school system phases in commission recommendations. The Town Hall will be televised live Read more…


Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School students, staff and community members celebrated the recent building renovation and expansion of the school in a special ceremony held Oct. 10. Featured in the ceremony was a project overview, student performances, presentations from elected officials and a key passing ceremony. Dr. Mudd first opened its doors to students in 1967 in a building that was just under 45,000 square feet in size. Following a two-year renovation and expansion, Dr. Mudd now features more than 76,000 square feet in learning space for students. Updated features include new technologies, updated mechanical and engineering systems, a Read more…


Due to a power outage, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School is closed today, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. SMECO is working to address the issue. 


Around Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), high school drama departments are preparing shows. From October to December, the slate includes family-friendly offerings, farces and comedies, a murder mystery and the story of a refugee’s journey to find his family and himself. La Plata High School ushers in the fall play season with a comedy. “Leading Ladies” by Ken Ludwig finds two Shakespearean actors who land in York, Pa., — Amish country — staging Shakespeare plays. The two decide to pose as a women’s long-lost relatives in hopes of gaining part of an inheritance worth millions. There are a few glitches Read more…

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