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December 2020, Volume 12, Number 5
FCPS Together: The Power of Teamwork
We have accomplished so much together in this challenging year
Every department of FCPS has worked diligently to support students, staff and the community through the constant challenges facing our system during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. It has tested our great team in so many ways. One thing is for certain, the FCPS heroes, from the Board room, to the classroom, to the boiler room, have consistently answered the call for what is best for students.
Our Board members stand firmly on prioritizing the health and safety of students and staff. Our team boldly faces challenges unseen by any school leadership over the past 100 years. Under ever-changing guidelines, policies and directives, our team of professionals are dedicated to the success of FCPS by providing the best possible education for our students under extraordinary circumstances.
FCPS is currently focused on ensuring a safe and academically effective transition to a hybrid learning model, while safeguarding the improvements made in the Schoology and Google Meet platforms. We are inspired to ensure both the virtual and hybrid learning models prepare our students for academic success. The team has distributed various surveys, intent forms and other information-gathering resources so FCPS can maximize the engagement of our students and staff. The team will soon release an online dashboard to communicate positive COVID cases to our staff and community.
FCPS is constantly developing and publishing information regarding what students, families and staff should expect when returning to the school buildings in a hybrid learning model. Videos have been produced and shared with our staff and community detailing the proper wearing of face coverings, concurrent teaching, HVAC filtration systems and cleaning and sanitizing techniques and processes. The Tweet of the Week series highlights initiatives and successes of teachers and students. FCPS will soon be releasing videos sharing how elementary, middle, and high school students will experience the hybrid model.
We celebrate the teamwork occurring each day within each of our divisions, which include Academics, Curriculum, Transformation and Student Achievement; Fiscal Services; Legal Services; Operations; and the Public Affairs Department. We are all making a difference!
This pandemic is challenging each and every one of us; however, with tenacity, compassion and dedication to the safety and success of our students and staff, FCPS employees in every department continue to support each other and exemplify #TogetherFCPS – The Power of Teamwork.
Achieving the Promise of Public Education
Casandra Allison, also known as "Keno," is the food services site supervisor for Butterfly Ridge Elementary. Throughout the pandemic, she has worked to ensure students who needed food received it. Most distribution days, Keno's site distributes more food than any other in the county. She is always there encouraging families to pick up their meals. Keno is positive and caring to everyone she encounters.
Nominate a colleague for FCPS All-Star recognition!
NATIONAL DISTINGUISHED PRINCIPAL
Congratulations to Monocacy Elementary Principal Troy Barnes, who has been named the 2020 National Distinguished Principal for Maryland!
LEADING STUDENT COUNCILS
We wanted to provide recognition for Linganore High's Jeremy Brown for his work as the county coordinator for the Frederick County Association of Student Councils and Regional Advisor for the Maryland Association of Student Councils. According to Colleen Bernard, Social Studies Curriculum Specialist, "he has done all the leg work to keep our student government program running virtually, as well as helping to coordinate the Student Member of the Board election.
Congratulations to Heather Ridge School Media Specialist Christine Peeler for receiving honors from the Maryland Association of School Librarians. We are so proud of her accomplishment!
LINGANORE ART STUDENTS RECOGNIZED
Two students in Linganore High art teacher Georgia Geisser's Sculpture 1 class won the Maryland Department of the Environment's Rethink Recycling student art show. The winning sculptures were a macaw and a crab. Congrats to all involved.
HELPING PREPARE STUDENT PAGES
Kudos to the FCPS educators who supported the five Frederick County students who will serve as pages, and one alternate, for the Maryland General Assembly 2021 legislative session. Thank you to Michael Skena, Brunswick High; Neil Metzgar, Catoctin High; Beth Strakonsky, Frederick High; Shundra Banks Hardwick, TJ High; Jamie Hendi, Linganore High; Ty Crompton, Middletown High; Nathan Smarick, Oakdale High; Glenn Blanchard, Tuscarora High; Joey Nicklas, Urbana High; and Jason Lepeonka, Walkersville High.
News to Use
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
You are not alone: It's okay to not feel okay during these unprecedented times. At FCPS, Mental Health Matters. If you or someone you know is struggling with uncomfortable feelings, please visit our website for a variety of resources.
SUPERINTENDENT'S BUDGET HEARING
On Wednesday, December 2, FCPS held a Community Budget Forum to seek feedback for the FY2022 system operating budget. Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban is preparing her recommended budget, which FCPS will share with the public Monday, January 11, 2021. More details about the budget calendar are online.
NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
A warm welcome to David Bass, Jason "Mr. J" Johnson, and Sue Johnson. They have all officially been sworn in as members of the Board of Education of Frederick County.
The Public Affairs Department welcomes Randy Gray as the new communications coordinator. Gray has served the community in a variety of media roles throughout his career, including as a broadcast reporter for several local radio stations.
NEW SAFESCHOOLS VIDEOS
New Safeschools training modules are available and must be completed by Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Login here: https://fcps-md.safeschools.com/login . Your username is the last five digits of your employee ID.
RETURN TO PLAY
The FCPS winter athletics season began Monday, December 7, with practices that strictly followed protocols set by the FCPS Return to Play Committee. More details are available online.
OFF THE CUFF
Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban has blogged about the following topics since our last newsletter:
See them here.
Released since our November issue:
FCPS In a Minute - December 18 December 11 December 4 November 20
Tweet of the Week - Middletown Primary teacher Jacqueline Grimm
Tuscarora Elementary principal Dr. Kimberly Mazaleski and Kevin Brown
More - The COVID Cover Up
Concurrent Teaching Model with Executive Director of System Accountability and Student Achievement Dr. Jamie Aliveto and Windsor Knolls Middle teacher Tasha Brown
Safe Schools -- Cleaning and Disinfecting with Chief Operating Officer Paul Lebo and custodial services manager Larry Phillips
BOE Meetings - Watch any meeting or select a portion by topic here
Virtual BOE Committee Meetings
NEWS RELEASED SINCE OCTOBER
FCPS Alters Meal Distribution Schedule for Winter Break
FCPS Students Appointed Maryland General Assembly Pages
New Board of Education Members Sworn In
FCPS Fast Fact
FCPS held its annual Combined Charities campaign from November 2 - December 4. During this year's drive, 190 employees donated $41,267 to many deserving nonprofit organizations. We appreciate those who contributed. So many are in great need this holiday season.
The FCPS Insider is published monthly August-May by the 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 Brandon.Oland@fcps.org by the 15th of the month. For more information: 301-696-6905.
See past editions.