Month: April 2020


An important element of any strong instructional program is its leader. Someone who is knowledgeable, passionate and committed to the success of both students and staff. For the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) secondary education program, that person is Joan Withers. Withers has spent most of her career in education with CCPS, starting first as a high school English teacher and now as director of secondary education leading a team of more than 26 content specialists and staff. Withers is highly regarded as a tireless advocate for instruction and pushes those around her to achieve excellence. Her passion for education Read more…


Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, known as SMECO, recently named six Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) teachers 2020 Outstanding Teacher Honorees. The annual awards program recognizes teachers for outstanding achievements in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Honored for accomplishments in math are Laura Buzzell of Henry E. Lackey High School, Donna Day of Theodore G. Davis Middle School and Nicole Joly-O’Brien of J.C. Parks Elementary School. SMECO recognized them as 2020 Outstanding Mathematics Teachers of the Year. SMECO honored Lolita Kiorpes of North Point High School and Victoria Farrell of Piccowaxen Middle School as 2020 Outstanding Science Teachers of the Read more…


The Board of Education unanimously voted April 21 to accept a recommendation to suspend a number of Board policies including those related to graduation ceremonies and eligibility for fall extracurricular activities based on a student’s fourth-quarter grade point average. The suspension of policies allows Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff the flexibility to make decisions in the wake of the Maryland school closure that was initially put in place March 16 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The school closure was recently extended to May 15. DeJuan Woods Jr., student member of the Board and member Read more…


The Board of Education at its April 21 meeting approved a change to the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) grading policy for students. The policy addresses changes necessary due to the statewide school closure and how teachers can provide fourth-quarter grades. CCPS school buildings are currently closed through May 15; however, teachers continue to provide instruction through distance learning. The approved grading policy gives credit to students participating in distance learning, including work completed on paper packets and through Apex Learning. CCPS distance learning materials include lessons in critical core content areas, such as English, math, science and social studies, Read more…


The College Board recently scheduled dates for online Advanced Placement (AP) exams for students. Each exam includes a primary test date in May and a make-up date for students. The schedule is posted at https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/taking-ap-exams/ap-exam-schedule. All primary exam dates fall between May 11-22 with make-up dates on June 1-5. The schedule includes specific information about each subject exam, such as the number of questions students can expect, the time frame in which students must complete the exam and content areas the exam will include. The College Board changed its AP testing program this year due to the coronavirus and nationwide Read more…


Dr. Karen Salmon, state superintendent of Maryland public schools, announced today that schools will continue to be closed through May 15.    School systems around the state, including Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), are closed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As Maryland officials report more cases of COVID-19 in the state, schools will remain closed.   “School systems have also started to develop plans for additional distance learning and the recovery of lost instructional time in the form of planning expanded summer school programs,” Salmon said. “State and local school officials are preparing for a number of scenarios, depending on when our Read more…


When Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) closed March 16 in an effort to slow the spread of cornonavirus (COVID-19), school nurses left behind their offices, but not their medical knowledge and drive to help people stay healthy. Nearly 50 school nurses work in CCPS – a mix of employees of the Charles County Department of Health and agency nurses. Since schools closed in mid-March, school nurses have been staffing the COVID-19 call center for the health department from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Following Gov. Hogan’s mandate on physical distancing, the nurses are now working from Read more…


The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, April 21. The Board is observing social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will conduct the meeting entirely via teleconference. There will be no public access to the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata; however, the meeting will stream live on ccboe.com and air live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOs Channel 12. Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will rebroadcast the meeting as well as post it on CCPSTV under the Board Meeting tab. Executive session begins at noon, and the public Read more…


The next round of learning materials and lesson plans for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students will be available on the school system website, www.ccboe.com, on Friday, April 17. Plans include elementary school lessons and Apex Learning materials for the two-week period of April 20 through May 1. CCPS is closed through April 24. CCPS has not received any new direction from the Maryland State Department of Education or State Superintendent of Schools as to when schools will reopen. Elementary lesson plans, including English Learner and special education resources, will be posted online here. Apex Learning secondary lesson plans for Read more…


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is launching Microsoft Teams this week to aid students and parents with distance learning. This is the second part of a distance-learning plan implemented by CCPS to ensure students are learning during the school closure. Starting Wednesday, April 15 teachers will begin to use Teams, a collaborative learning tool that features a classroom set up in Microsoft Office 365.   About Teams  Teachers can use Microsoft Teams to talk with students, share assignments and feedback, provide help and respond to questions. Starting next week, teachers will provide two 30-minute lessons in Teams for students twice a week. Lessons will provide direct instruction on content in the elementary packets and Apex Learning courses. Teachers will be Read more…

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