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School system launches new website

Charles County Public Schools recently launched a new website. The new site is still located at www.ccboe.com, but features an updated look with better menu options and an easy-to-use navigation bar located at the top of the home page. The new site also features popular web links under the Quick Links section located on the right-hand side of the home page, and a rotating slideshow of pictures featuring Charles County Public Schools students, staff and events.

Also featured on the home page are three items of interest for parents, students, staff and the community that include Charles County Public Schools press releases, the latest original programming available on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and the latest school system news. Website visitors can also sign up to receive Charles County Public Schools press releases by e-mail, which feature student and staff accomplishments, general information items and school closings and delays.

To sign up for Charles County Public Schools press releases, click on the About section in the top menu, then choose Press Releases located under the Public Info/Media section. The subscribe feature is located on the right-hand side of the home page. Subscribers who signed up to receive press releases from the old website will have to follow these steps to register on the new website.

The website will still be used as a primary notification tool when any changes in the school schedule occur. Located at the top of the home page is a scrolling message bar, along with a search function users can select when looking for information on the site. New to the website is a language function in which users can select from the drop down menu to view the site in a language other than English. The tool uses Google translation services.

Additionally, the site features an area for school system employees in which information relevant to staff only is placed in a separate area. Board of Education meetings will still be streamed live on the school system website, but will be featured on the CCPS TV page, which can be accessed at the bottom of the home page.

The site also has a feedback form for users to send comments to communications department staff about the website. The feedback form is located at both the top and bottom of the homepage. The Charles County Public Schools website was last updated in 2006.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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School system welcomes new teachers during orientation week

Superintendent Kimberly Hill told Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) 124 new teachers it's okay to be nervous. "Anyone who cares is going to be nervous," she said.

New teachers started their jobs Monday with an orientation and a welcome to Charles County Public Schools. So far this school year, CCPS has hired 124 teachers, including 61 secondary and related arts, 31 elementary, 23 special education, five counselors, one administrative assistant, one speech language pathologist and two school psychologists.

Charles County's newest teachers gathered Monday through Wednesday at North Point High School to learn their role as teachers and for many, about their new home. While some new teachers grew up in Charles County, others moved here this week from New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and other states.

"You are now starting your career as a teacher. There is no more powerful job in the world," Hill said, asking teachers to think back to their favorite teacher and how that person made them feel. "You have the power to be that person for children," the Superintendent said.

Board Chairman Roberta Wise, a retired CCPS teacher, said she still misses the classroom. "Something about teaching keeps you young," she said. Wise encouraged teachers to find exciting ways to reach students while maintaining a professional relationship with them.

Mary Bailey, the 2013 CCPS Teacher of the Year, said no two days in her 27 years of teaching have been the same. "Never underestimate what you say to a child and the importance of the impact it can have on them," Bailey said as she shared a story about a former student who made a life-saving decision after rereading a positive note from her former teacher.

The number of teaching vacancies changes daily as the human resources department works to hire highly qualified teachers. The number of highly qualified teachers in CCPS classrooms rose to 96.1 percent last school year, continuing an upward trend. In addition to new teacher hires, CCPS is contracting with six new speech language pathologists and three occupational therapists from agencies.

Hard-to-fill areas this school year, according to Connie Armstead, executive director of human resources, are special education, math, science, computer science, Spanish, library media specialists and tech. ed. teachers. "No profession is more rewarding than teaching" Elizabeth Brown, president of the Education Association of Charles County (EACC), said at the conclusion of the morning program.

Returning teachers start on Monday, Aug. 19 and school opens for students on Monday, Aug. 26.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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System, Board of Education consider testing policy changes

Some students will take fewer exams this year if the Board of Education approves testing policy changes.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Amy Hollstein asked the Board of Education on Tuesday to approve suggested policy changes that eliminate quarterly exams and introduce pre- and post-testing procedures to better align to the Common Core State Standards.

Quarterly exams no longer meet the needs of students or teachers with the transition to the common core standards and student achievement-centered teacher evaluations, Hollstein said. The proposed testing changes may reduce the number of tests students take, create tests that provide teachers and students more meaningful data, and are based on a beginning of the year pre-test followed by a period of instruction. Students will take post-tests to assess the impact of instruction and measure growth.

If approved, students would take pre-tests between Aug. 26 and Sept. 6 and post-tests between Feb. 10 and Feb. 28. Schools would share pre- and post-test results with parents in home reports distributed April 22.

Changes to testing include:

  • grades 1-8 reading pre/post tests;
  • grades 1-8 math pre/post tests;
  • elementary science pre/post tests;
  • middle school science pre/post tests;
  • English III pre/post tests; and
  • the addition of a more rigorous writing piece to grades 1-8 reading assessments.
Changing the testing procedure requires Board approval. Superintendent Kimberly Hill provided wording changes to Board policies 6411.7 and 6411.8, which can be found on the Charles County Public Schools website at www.ccboe.com under BoardDocs.

Several Board members expressed support for reducing the number of tests students are required to take during the year, which include both county and state assessments. The Board meets 6 p.m., Aug. 26, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building to discuss the policy changes.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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Board of Education announces August 13 agenda

The Board of Education's next monthly meeting is Tuesday, August 13, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. and Public Forum is at 6 p.m. All Board meetings are televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and rebroadcast throughout the week. Viewing schedules are available on the Charles County Public Schools website at www.ccboe.com.

Executive Session – 11 a.m.

Call to order – 1 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance

Superintendent's update

Reports of officers/boards/committees

  • Correspondence/Board member updates
  • Education Association of Charles County update
  • Student Board Member update
  • Opening of schools, athletics update
  • State of evaluations
  • CIP update
  • FY 2015 CIP state and local CIP program
  • School improvement
  • Staffing update
  • New website
  • Recurring resolutions: American Education Week; American Freedom Week; African-American History Month; Gifted and Talented Education Month; Career and Technology Education Month; National School Counseling Week; Read Across America; Women's History Month; Fine and Performing Arts Month; Month of the Young Child; National Student Leadership Week; Teacher Appreciation Week; Administrative Professionals Week; Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week; National Physical Education and Sport Week; Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leader; Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award; Charles County Teacher of the Year; and Employees' Retirement
  • .
Unfinished business
  • Cell phones
  • Board members pay/reimbursement
New business and future agenda items
  • New business
  • Future agenda items
Public Forum – 6 p.m.

Action items

  • Minutes
  • Personnel
  • Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish textbooks
Adjournment

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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School system sponsors bus hotline for parents

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is sponsoring a bus hotline for parents to call with questions about school bus routes. Call 301-932-6655 to access the hotline. The hotline is available Aug. 22-23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Aug. 26-27 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parents can access bus routes through the School Locator feature available on the CCPS website. School Locator is designed to allow the public to enter an address and see which three schools - elementary, middle and high - an address is zoned for. It also indicates if the address is eligible for bus transportation to a particular school, what the bus number is and where the closest bus stop to the address is located.

School Locator can be accessed at www.ccboe.com. Select School Locator from the home page, and click on Launch Application (Public) to access the system. No password is needed. School Locator uses mapping data from the county and filters it by the system's current school zones.

Additionally, bus stops within established subdivisions are permanently placed at specific locations to ensure consistency and equity among riders and will not be changed. Buses may run later than normal during the first week of school to adjust for changes in routes and/or established stops.

For more information about bus routes, contact your child's school, or the transportation department at ccpstransportation@ccboe.com or 301-934-7262.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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School system, Space Foundation host annual educational exchange

Frank Rose knows all about space trash, space policy and the importance of space in everyday life.

Rose, the deputy assistant secretary for space and defense policy bureau of arms control, verification and compliance for the United States Department of State, told the audience of a recent Educational Exchange to think about how vital space and space exploration is to the United States economy and national security. GPS systems, cell phones, credit card transactions and even pumping gas are reliant on satellites and space research, which has changed the way we operate, Rose said.

Rose was the keynote speaker July 30 at the annual Educational Exchange sponsored by Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) and the Space Foundation at North Point High School. Teachers participating in the Space Foundation Discovery Institute classes attended the luncheon as part of their weeklong program that is part of a seven-year partnership between CCPS and the Space Foundation and helps teachers infuse space concepts in their classrooms and lessons.

Rose, who advises the Assistant Secretary of State on key issues related to arms control and defense policy, including missile defense, military space policy and conventional arms control, said space operations have changed drastically in the past 50 years. Space exploration has moved from a field once dominated by the United States and Soviet Union to sharing space with 60 nations operating satellites in outer space as well as private sector satellites. "It is becoming congested," Rose said, adding that part of the congestion is space debris, including more than 22,000 pieces of space waste larger than 10 cm that is tracked. He said that waste includes things like a toothbrush and a wrench, but also more than 500,000 smaller pieces that the U.S. cannot track. "It poses a threat to satellites," Rose said, and tracking helps countries avoid collisions of satellite and debris.

National Space policy, Rose said, places priority on maintaining the integrity of the space environment and directs the United States to expand international partnerships, mitigate orbital debris and strengthen U.S. space leadership. He said countries are trying to develop a voluntary code of conduct for outer space and quoted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who pushed for the development of ways to maintain long-term sustainability of space. Clinton previously said, "The long-term sustainability of our space environment is at serious risk from space debris and irresponsible actors. Unless we take action to reverse these trends, it could have damaging consequences for all of us."

Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill opened the Educational Exchange by thanking teachers for their commitment to the program and the Space Foundation for its partnership that has helped CCPS create a model STEM program for children. Hill said she plans to continue the CCPS partnership with the Space Foundation. "We are a better school system today because of our partnership," Hill said.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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Student orientations planned for schools

Charles County Public Schools has released its student orientation schedule for the 2013-14 school year. Listed below are orientation dates and times, and other activities for schools.

Elementary Schools

  • C. Paul Barnhart, meet the teacher, Aug. 22, 2 – 4 p.m.;
  • Berry, meet and greet, Aug. 22, 2 – 4 p.m.;
  • Dr. Gustavus Brown, new students, Aug. 22, 10 – 11 a.m.; and meet and greet, Aug. 22, 2 – 4 p.m.;
  • Dr. James Craik, orientation/drop in, Aug. 22, 3 – 5 p.m.;
  • William A. Diggs, meet and greet, Aug. 22, 1 – 3 p.m.;
  • Gale-Bailey, kindergarten, Aug. 22, 1 p.m.; meet and greet, Aug. 22, 2 p.m.; morning prekindergarten orientation, Aug. 30, 10 a.m.; and afternoon prekindergarten orientation, Aug. 30, 11 a.m.;
  • Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, meet and greet, Aug. 22, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.;
  • Indian Head, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Three's program, Aug. 30, 2 – 3 p.m.; and prekindergarten, Aug. 30, 10 – 11 a.m.;
  • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 10 – 11 a.m.;
  • Malcolm, kindergarten, Aug. 23, 10 – 10:30 a.m.; and meet and greet, grades 1 – 5, Aug. 23, 10 – 11 a.m.;
  • T.C. Martin, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 9 – 10 a.m.;
  • Mary H. Matula, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 9 – 11 a.m.;
  • Arthur Middleton, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 10 – 11 a.m.;
  • Walter J. Mitchell, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 10 – 11 a.m.;
  • Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, new students, Aug. 22, 1 – 1:30 p.m.; and community drop-in, Aug. 22, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.;
  • Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, meet and greet, Aug. 22, 2 – 4 p.m.;
  • Mary B. Neal, meet and greet, Aug. 23, 1 – 2 p.m.;
  • J.C. Parks, kindergarten orientation, Aug. 22, 10 – 11 a.m.; and community drop-in, Aug. 22, 2 – 3:30 p.m.;
  • J.P. Ryon, new students and meet and greet, Aug. 22, 6 – 7:30 p.m.;
  • Eva Turner, meet and greet, Aug. 22, 2 – 4 p.m.; and
  • William B. Wade, new students, Aug. 23, 10 – 11 a.m.; kindergarten, Aug. 23, 9 – 10 a.m.; and meet and greet, Aug. 22, 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Middle Schools
    • Theodore G. Davis, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 3 – 5 p.m.;
    • John Hanson, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.;
    • Matthew Henson, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 3 – 5 p.m.;
    • Mattawoman, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 4 – 6 p.m.;
    • Piccowaxen, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 2:30 – 5 p.m.;
    • General Smallwood, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 2 – 4 p.m.;
    • Milton M. Somers, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 1 – 3:30 p.m.; and
    • Benjamin Stoddert, new students and grade 6, Aug. 22, 3 – 5 p.m.
    High Schools
    • Henry E. Lackey, new students and grade 9, Aug. 22, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • La Plata, new students and grade 9, Aug. 21, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Maurice J. McDonough, new students and grade 9, Aug. 22, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • North Point, new students and grade 9, Aug. 22, 6:30 p.m.;
    • Thomas Stone, new students and grade 9, Aug. 22, 6 – 7:30 p.m.; and
    • Westlake, new students and grade 9, Aug. 22, 6 – 8 p.m.
    Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

    The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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    Open houses planned for schools

    Charles County Public Schools has released its open house schedule for the 2013-14 school year. Listed below are open house dates and times, and other activities for schools.

    Elementary Schools

    • C. Paul Barnhart, all students, Sept. 4, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Berry, back-to-school night, Sept. 5, 6 – 7:30 p.m.;
    • Dr. Gustavus Brown, back-to-school night, Sept. 12, 6 – 7:30 p.m.;
    • Dr. James Craik, back-to-school night, Sept. 19, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • William A. Diggs, all students, Sept. 5, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Gale-Bailey, all students, Sept. 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, all students, Sept. 12, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Indian Head, all students, Sept. 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, back-to-school night, Sept. 5, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.;
    • Malcolm, all students, Aug. 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m.;
    • T.C. Martin, prekindergarten – grade 1, Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m.; and grades 2 – 5, Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m.;
    • Mary H. Matula, back-to-school night, Sept. 5, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Arthur Middleton, prekindergarten – grade 2, Sept. 11, 6 – 7 p.m.; and grades 3 – 5, Sept. 11, 7 – 8 p.m.;
    • Walter J. Mitchell, kindergarten – grade 2, Sept. 18, 6 – 7 p.m.; and grades 3 – 5, Sept. 18, 7 – 8 p.m.;
    • Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, open house, Sept. 10, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, all students, Sept. 10, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Mary B. Neal, all students, Sept. 5, 7 – 8:30 p.m.;
    • J.C. Parks, prekindergarten – grade 2, Sept. 4, 6:30 – 8 p.m.; and grades 3 – 5, Sept. 5, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • J.P. Ryon, open house, Oct. 1, 6:30 – 8 p.m.;
    • Eva Turner, all students, Sept. 3, 6 – 8 p.m.; and
    • William B. Wade, kindergarten – grade 2, Sept. 3, 6 – 7:30 p.m.; and grades 3 – 5 p.m., Sept. 4, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
    Middle Schools
    • Theodore G. Davis, all students, Sept. 17, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • John Hanson, all students, Sept. 12, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Matthew Henson, all students, Sept. 12, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Mattawoman, all students, Sept. 12, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Piccowaxen, all students, Sept. 19, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • General Smallwood, all students, Sept. 12, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Milton M. Somers, all students, Sept. 12, 6 – 8 p.m.; and
    • Benjamin Stoddert, all students, Sept. 19, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
    High Schools
    • Henry E. Lackey, all students, Sept. 24, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.;
    • La Plata, all students, Sept. 17, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • Maurice J. McDonough, all students, Sept. 10, 6 – 8 p.m.;
    • North Point, back-to-school night, Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m.;
    • Thomas Stone, all students, Sept. 17, 6 – 7:30 p.m.; and
    • Westlake, all students, Sept. 19, 6 – 8 p.m.
    Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

    The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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    Wade honored by state Board for commitment to education

    Donald M. Wade, a longtime Charles County Board of Education member and former chairman, was recently named the 2013 recipient of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) Charles W. Willis Award. The award is named for the first executive director of the Association and is presented to a board member in Maryland who has made outstanding contributions to the school Board and school system they serve. Wade was nominated for the award by Charles County Board of Education Chairman Roberta S. Wise, and was selected from a number of highly-qualified candidates.

    Wade was unaware that he had been nominated for the award and said he was shocked when he received the phone call from MABE that he was this year's recipient.

    "I was shocked when I was notified that I was the award winner this year. Honestly, it took me a few minutes to fully understand that I was nominated and selected. It is truly humbling to receive such a prestigious award. I am honored to represent the Charles County Board of Education and to work on behalf of children in the community. It all comes down to the children and making programs and opportunities accessible to them in order for them to achieve success," Wade said.

    Wade is currently serving his fourth, four-year term with the Board of Education and was first elected in 1998. He was nominated for the passion he shows for student achievement and his dedication to implementing programs that foster student successes and provide a well-rounded, quality education for all children. He was also nominated for his role in the implementation of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp (JROTC) and three-year-old programs in Charles County Public Schools.

    In his award nomination, Wise said Wade is most deserving of an award that highlights service to the community. "He invests his personal time to promote the school system, to engage the public and to ensure the development of sound educational policy. He insists that each decision and policy the Board makes should focus on students, and he is adamant that the Board must operate as a team united for Charles County Public Schools and its students," Wise wrote in the nomination.

    During his tenure on the Board, Wade has served three, one-year terms as chairman, and two terms as vice chairman. He strives to provide children with a quality education and is actively engaged in eliminating the achievement gap through early childhood education and reading programs. He also serves as a resource for the school system in the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs. Additionally, Wade co-founded the Charles County Think Tank for Education, a community group devoted to the thoughtful advancement of education, and is the founder of the County Veteran's Memorial Committee.

    In addition to serving on the Board of Education in Charles County, Wade is an active member of MABE, and has served on their Board of Directors and several MABE committees. He also served as a member for the Archdiocesan Board of Education for the past three years and has received additional accolades for his community service.

    Wade joined the United States Air Force in 1960 after receiving a regular commission to serve as a Second Lieutenant from the University of Maryland, College Park ROTC program. He spent 30 years on active duty and was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies at three universities. He was a teacher, a department chairperson and a faculty advisor to 21 JROTC units in Prince George's County before retiring in 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, and earned a Master of Science degree in education (guidance and counseling).

    Wade will be honored by MABE at their annual conference in October.

    For more information on MABE and the Willis award, visit www.mabe.org.

    Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

    The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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    Proposed Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish book on display

    A new Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish textbook proposed for next school year is on display at all Charles County Public high schools, and is available for review at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building in La Plata.

    The textbook, titled "Abriendo Paso," is proposed for use at the high school level as part of the AP program, and will provide students with the opportunity to study Spanish on more of a global scale. The textbook is published by Pearson Education, Inc.

    The Board of Education is reviewing the book and will take action at the Aug. 13 meeting. Community members are encouraged to review the book and provide comment in writing to the Board of Education, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD, 20646; through e-mail to boardmail@ccboe.com; or in person at Public Forum on Aug. 13, 6 p.m., at the Starkey Building.

    Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

    The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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