March 2020, Volume 11, Number 8
Connected and Caring
FCPS Employees Rise to the COVID-19 Challenge
All across FCPS, employees are staying connected and caring for school communities. Since the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) arrived and school closure began Monday, March 16, 34 Food and Nutrition Services workers have prepared and served children more than 14,000 breakfasts, lunches and suppers to go at 22 locations. Bus drivers like Teresa Johnson (shown in the photo at Walkersville) have stepped up to deliver meals to 14 community-based sites across the county. As custodians have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every school and office, drivers have done the same with their buses.
Principals and APs have initiated frequent contact with their school's teachers, staff, students and parents, many producing and sharing video messages via FindOutFirst, as thousands of teachers plan lessons to provide continuity of learning. Central Office administrators have led the way with professional development for delivering curriculum in a new way, with exceptional technology support.
HR, Fiscal Services, Public Affairs, Student Services--including our health specialist liaison with the Frederick County Health Department and our mental health and counseling professionals--join those in every department working extra hard in unfamiliar circumstances. Every facet of FCPS has engaged in reaching out to connect and care through the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of our county's children and families: THANK YOU!
Brunswick ES lead custodian Rick Ault, shown above, consistently led his school's Building Services team to work collaboratively and efficiently to clean and disinfect the premises during the systemic closure.
"While the work is a team effort, their stellar performance is a result of Mr. Ault's dedication and leadership," says Principal Justin McConnaughey. "Our high-functioning team also includes Janet Putman, Ana Ramos De Perez and Pamela Slifer. They demonstrate a Brunswick Strong work ethic daily," the principal adds.
Know an amazing employee? Nominate a colleague for FCPS All-Star recognition!
TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Congratulations to the 12 semifinalists for FCPS Teacher of the Year, shown above. As we shared last month, see photos and names of all 68 teachers selected to represent their schools as Teacher of the Year. From these semifinalists, FCPS will name finalists and then announce the countywide teacher to represent FCPS in the Maryland State Department of Education's Teacher of the Year program.
Accounting Manager Amanda Baugher and our dedicated payroll staff continue to ensure employees are paid, while accounting staff keeps vendors paid during these challenging times. Thank you to Steve Beck, Donna Carney, Ann Hedges, Karen Linton, Rhonda Phillips, Karen Podojil and Angie Speak in payroll and Robin Eckenrode, Margie Feaga, Dawn McLeod, Kara Mirch, Jennifer Rodkey, Karen Rutten, Christa Summers, Nicole Wars and Christie Williams in accounting.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Thanks to all staff, who like Myersville ES school counselor Beth Eccard (shown above), took their time off to drive in parades through their students' neighborhoods, keeping spirits up and letting children know FCPS misses them! P.S. That's Public Affairs Department lead video production specialist Jeremy Eccard at the wheel.
VIRTUAL ART SHOW
While COVID-19 brought an early closure to this year's Youth Art Month show at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, we bring you a brief glimpse of 12 of the hundreds of student pieces in the show, with thanks to Public Affairs media artist Steve Blickenstaff. See them here. Thank you to all our wonderful art teachers, and kudos to teachers whose art was featured in the faculty exhibit: David Barber, Jeff Bohlander, Kristin Bohlander, Sarah Brooks, Tracey Ellis-Guss, Jordan Forrest, Georgia Geisser, Kristine Goad, Bill Groff, Richard Hartman, Caroline Jones, Todd Knepper, Donna Lehman, Susan L. Maseth, Dan Neuland, Melissa Olds, Steven Orrence, Lisa Tarkett Reed, Kristin Sheilds-Roberson, Theresa Steele, Laura Tinney, Audrie Trammell, Michelle Venable and Shannon Wood.
There are no changes to the FCPS calendar for the Wednesday, April 8 end of Term 3, Thursday, April 9 day off for students/teacher work day, or the Friday-Monday, April 10-13 schools and offices closure for Spring Break.
STAY WELL AND PROTECT OTHERS
In addition to essential school-related posts, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions at www.fcps.org/update, here are Coronavirus COVID-19 resources you can rely on to understand and prevent the spread of disease:
Frederick County Health Department
Maryland Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Governor's COVID-19 Pandemic: Orders and Guidance
(As of March 30, the Governor continues to define education as an essential service, with travel permitted to schools to obtain materials for distance learning and meals to go, while school buildings remain closed to the public through Friday, April 24.)
Do the right things to stay safe and keep others safe:
CENSUS MATTERS FCPS depends on funds allocated from an accurate census. Please respond to the 2020 Census and encourage all county residents to do so! It's easy and confidential. Learn more: my2020census.gov
FCPS offers incentives to staff who provide early notice of July 1, 2020 retirement, as follows: $200 to those who submit a completed Status Change Form by Wednesday, April 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org. More
ONLINE Please check out and share the new supplemental resources site FCPS launched this month for families: https://sites.google.com/fcps.org/fcpslearning/home
HONOR AN EMPLOYEE
The nominations deadline is extended through Thursday, April 2 for Support Employee of the Year (see details) and Substitute of the Year (see details).
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
FCPS observed Women's History Month across the system in March. Employees and others tweeted their #sheroFCPS. See more.
SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES FAIRS
The 39th annual countywide Science and Engineering Fair moved online for secondary students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll announce awards soon. The elementary portion and the 7th annual Elementary Social Studies Fair were canceled, with students encouraged to share what they learned with classmates when schools reopen.
OFF THE CUFF
Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban and guests recently blogged about the following topics:
See them here.
VIDEOS Released since our February issue:
FCPS In a Minute - March 6 March 13
Tweet of the Week -
Tuscarora HS Project Literacy Paint Night
English Learners Coordinator Kathy Gull
Superintendent's Message to Teachers
Superintendent's Message to Principals and Administrators
Superintendent's Message to the Community
BOE Meetings - Watch any meeting or select a portion by topic here
NEWS RELEASES Issued after our February newsletter:
FCPS Accepts Nominations for Substitute of the Year Award
FCPS Cancels Overnight Out-of-State Travel
Schools Closed for Two Weeks, through Friday, March 27
FCPS Partners with Brook Lane Behavioral Services
FCPS Feeds Children While Schools Are Closed
Statement from the Board of Education of Frederick County
Many messages regarding COVID-19 were published via FindOutFirst and Employee News. You may view FOF archived messages here.
FCPS Fast Fact
FCPS Technology Infrastructure staff prepared 3,000 Chromebooks and 1,000 Wi-Fi hotspot devices for distribution. Some custodians joined many 10-month employees who volunteered to help on their day off to sanitize the devices and assist with handing them out at each of our 10 regular high schools on Friday, March 27.
The FCPS Insider is published monthly August-May by FCPS Public Affairs Department,
191 S. East St., Frederick, MD 21701. It features employee news and accolades.
Brief information, subject to edits, and captioned photos for possible inclusion are due to Dian.Nelson@fcps.org by the 15th of the month. For more information: 301-696-6911.