CCPS Prepares for the 2023-2024 School Year
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) officially kicks off the 2023-2024 school year on Monday, Aug. 28 for students in kindergarten through Grade 12. Keep reading to learn need-to-know information and about what’s new this school year including an updated student dress code and a school bus-tracking app.
Prior to attending CCPS, new students must register online at https://www.ccboe.com/parents/online-registration. To register their child with CCPS, parents must provide proof of a physical examination by a physician or certified nurse practitioner, proof of required immunizations, proof of the child’s completion of the previous grade, acceptable proof of birth (i.e., birth certificate, passport/visa, etc.), two proofs of residency and any other documentation requested by the online registration process.
Proof of minimum immunization must be provided to enroll in CCPS. The Maryland Department of Health has released vaccination requirements for the 2023-24 school year. This can be found on our vaccination requirements webpage. along with the list of Charles County Department of Health Back-to-School immunization clinics for students. The schedule of the clinics. To schedule an immunization appointment, call 301-609-6835. For any additional questions, contact the CCPS school health management office at 301-934-7346 or email Holly Jackson, program nurse manager, at email@example.com, or Dawn Lish, program nurse supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dress Code Changes
The Board of Education of Charles County approved a new student dress code for the 2023-2024 school year. The dress code, developed among Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Code of Student Conduct Committee members, modernizes some of the restrictions in place, emphasizes the responsibility of the parent/guardian in monitoring their child’s attire for school and still preserves a school administrator’s role in determining when a student’s clothing is not appropriate for school and/or is disruptive.
Prekindergarten Begins September 5
Students accepted into the CCPS prekindergarten program begin school on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Prekindergarten bus route details can be accessed on School Locator by Sept. 3. Prekindergarten program acceptance is based on tier criteria provided by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Students who qualify under Tier I are given priority placement, followed by Tier II and Tier III students. Placements for Tier II and Tier III students are often not made until after the school year begins to allow for students in Tier I to be placed first. Click here for details on the prekindergarten program.
Welcome to the CCPS Family
Eighty-five prekindergarten students will attend the Early Learning Center, La Plata. Helmed by coordinator Candice Vallandingham-Adam, the center expands the CCPS prekindergarten program. Some classrooms will be inclusion classrooms with preschool-aged special needs students as well as typically developing peers. The CCPS prekindergarten curriculum will be followed.
Phoenix International School of the Arts (PISOTA) opens Aug. 28 for middle-school students who were accepted at the county’s first charter school. R. Demetri Sermons, Ed.D., will serve as principal at the school which offers traditional classes with a focus on the arts.
Meals Policy, Pricing
During the 2023-2024 school year, CCPS will provide the opportunity for students to purchase breakfast and lunch daily. At the elementary-school level, breakfast is $1.35, and lunch is $2.80. At the middle- and high-school levels, breakfast is $1.50, and lunch is $3.05. CCPS posts daily meal options for students on the front of the website at www.ccboe.com. Look for the meals icon under the main slideshow. Meal accounts can be monitored at www.mypaymentsplus.com where parents can also use deposit funds on their child’s meal account.
CCPS is participating in a federal meals program this year through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program provides for meal funding at schools in areas where families meet a certain maximum income level. The CEP program will be available at 12 schools this year. Click here to find out more about the CEP program.
At the start of each school year, CCPS encourages all families to fill out the free meals application. The application affects more than just meals. While it may provide free or reduced rate breakfast and lunch, it can also mean reduced rates for internet access and testing fees. The application also ensures that CCPS receives funding and benefits to support teachers and students. Click here to view the application.
Open Houses, Back-to-School Nights and Orientations
Parents can meet their child’s teacher at open house and back-to-school night events set for September and October. Click here to for schedules for open houses and back-to-school nights. Schools have planned meet-and-greet and orientation events for students. Most of these events are set to take place before the school year begins on Aug. 28. Click here for a detailed list.
Bus Assignments and Transportation
CCPS is sponsoring a bus hotline for parents to call with questions about bus routes and assignments. The hotline will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 21, to Friday, Aug. 25. The hotline will be open from 6 to 10 a.m. and 1 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 28, and Tuesday, Aug. 29. The bus hotline can be reached at 301-932-6655.
Parents with no assigned bus stop listed in School Locator (after Aug. 21 for the 2023-2024 school year) should complete a Help Desk ticket to request a bus stop for their child or email the CCPS transportation department at email@example.com for assistance. Click here for the School Locator and information about creating a help desk ticket.
Where’s the Bus?
Where’s the Bus, an app that uses GPS technology already installed in CCPS buses, will provide real time data such as when the bus will arrive at bus stops. Parents can download the Where’s the Bus mobile app and create a free account to monitor their child’s buses in real time. Bus assignment and route information for the new school year will be loaded into the application on or around Aug. 21.
CCPS provides all students with a learning device. Returning students will continue to use the same device, while new students will be assigned a device once the school year begins. Students who already have a CCPS-issued device should turn on and inspect it prior to the first day of school to ensure there are no technical issues. If a student needs technical assistance, parents can click here to fill out an Ask CCPS ticket on the website, or bring the device to school for assistance by a computer analyst. CCPS-issued learning devices includes content filters and monitoring applications to ensure the safety of students while they are online.
CCPS uses the online platforms ParentVue and StudentVue to allow parents and students to track grades, attendance and assignments. Students can access their account by using their six-digit student identification number and assigned technology password. Parents can contact their child’s school to request student log-in access. To activate ParentVue, parents can visit the ParentVue overview on the CCPS website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
CCPS continues to load student information for the new school year, such as teacher assignments and class schedules, into the student information system, Synergy. Beginning the week of Aug. 21, CCPS will update ParentVue/StudentVue accounts with this information for students. Parents are encouraged to check these accounts often, as information will continue to be updated as teacher assignments and schedules are finalized.
School Visitor, Volunteer and Chaperone Policy
CCPS requires all visitors to provide a government-issued ID prior before entering any school. All schools are equipped with a video and camera system to monitor all visitors arriving at schools. Any visitor must press a doorbell and show photo identification to enter any school or CCPS buildings. Visitors must sign in at the main office using the visitor management computer system, which scans photo identification. The system also compares visitor information against the National Sex Offender Registry.
Any person who volunteers for CCPS or attends a special school event — like a field trip — must be properly vetted and complete a background screening, along with school-based training requirements. Click here for more information about volunteer registration.
Communication from CCPS
CCPS uses email, phone call and text message alerts as part of systemwide and school-based parent and staff communication. The notification system, School Messenger, pulls data from the CCPS student information and staff data systems. Parents should provide a valid phone number and email address to their child’s school. Parents should also notify their child’s school of any changes to their contact information. Parents must opt-in to receive messages from CCPS. Standard messaging rates by cell phone carrier apply. To opt-in, text Y or YES to 67587. To opt-out, text STOP to 67587 at any time.
Stay in the know with the CCPS mobile app. The app houses important features including the school calendar, school news and school contacts. Search Charles County Public Schools in the App Store or Google Play Store and download it for free.
Share Your Back-to-School Photos
Celebrate the new school year by sharing your best back-to-school photos. Use the hashtag #btsccps23 to tag first day of school photos on social media. A gallery featuring shared content will be showcased on CCPS social media accounts.
Some schools have uploaded school supply lists to their websites. Parents with questions about school supply lists should visit their child's school website or call the school. Click here to see the supply lists.
The CCPS rule on bookbags and backpacks states that students may bring their bag to school, but it must be stored upon arrival and retrieved upon departure at the end of the day. During the school day, students can carry their laptop sleeve and/or hand-size bag for personal items. Each secondary school has time built into schedules for students to visit their lockers and swap out instructional materials as needed. For more information, see the Student Personal Property section on Page 14 of the Code of Student Conduct. See the graphic below for examples of bags and carrying cases that are compliant with the CCPS policy. The policy does not allow students to carry zippered binders. Some school supply lists previously listed this item for parent purchase, but such items are not allowed for carry by students.