The 2018-19 school year officially begins Tuesday, Sept. 4 for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students in kindergarten through Grade 12. The school system expects to welcome more than 26,900 students this school year. Students in the three-year-old and prekindergarten programs start school on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
See Something, Say Something campaign
New this school year is the school system’s See Something, Say Something campaign. The focus of the campaign is the safety and security of students and staff. CCPS encourages students, parents, staff members and community members to report anything they feel threatens the safety of others. All reports are thoroughly investigated, often with the assistance of School Resource Officers (SROs), who are sworn members of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). CCPS employs a Director of Safety and Security, who provides safety training and works with the SROs to plan for crisis response.
CCPS manages an anonymous online reporting tool on the school system website where anyone can report a safety threat at any time. The reporting page is available at http://www.ccboe.com/index.php/see-something-say-something. The school system also has an anonymous reporting hotline, 301-302-8305.
Schools have staff available to register children for the upcoming school year. Call the school in which your child is zoned to attend to find out if there are specific registration dates and times. Parents will need the following information to register a child for school:
- A physical examination by a physician or a certified nurse practitioner (completed between nine months prior to and six months after entering school).
- Proof of required immunizations – a list of required student immunizations is posted on the CCPS website at http://www.ccboe.com/ss/immunizations/.
- Proof that the student has completed the prior grade to the one in which the parent is seeking enrollment, such as a report card marked promoted.
- Birth certificate or other acceptable proof of birth (passport/visa, physician’s certificate, baptismal or church certification, hospital certification or birth registration).
- Two proofs of domicile, or residency. CCPS has guidelines regarding acceptable proofs of domicile. Visit the school system website at http://www.ccboe.com/ss/how-to-register/ for a complete list.
Make sure your child’s vaccination records are up-to-date
Maryland law requires students to have minimum immunization levels to attend school. Required vaccines depend on the age and grade level of the child and include DPT, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis B, Hib, Prevnar, Tdap and meningococcal. For the 2018-19 school year, all students in kindergarten, first-, second-, third- and fourth-grades are required to have two doses of the varicella, or chickenpox, vaccine. Seventh and eighth graders, as well as high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors, must have a Tdap and meningococcal vaccine. Students can receive all required vaccines at their physician’s office.
Students can be admitted to school without completed immunizations, but parents have to show proof of an appointment occurring within 20 calendar days. The Charles County Department of Health is holding vaccine clinics for children. Visit http://www.ccboe.com/pr/health-department-hosting-vaccination-clinics-2/ to read about the clinics. Questions about vaccines can be directed to the school nurse or your child’s family physician.
Visiting one of our schools, centers or buildings? Make sure you bring a photo id
CCPS requires all visitors, including staff, to provide a government-issued photo identification prior to gaining access to any school. All schools are equipped with a video and camera system to monitor all visitors arriving at schools. Visitors must first press a doorbell and show photo identification to gain entry to all schools and centers. Additionally, visitors must sign in at the main office using the ScholarChip computer system, which scans photo identification. ScholarChip also compares visitor information against the National Sex Offender Registry.
New procedures for volunteers, chaperones
CCPS is implementing new procedures to properly vet all volunteers who have contact with students. This includes volunteers who work in CCPS schools as well as those who attend special events, like field trips, with children. Starting this school year, volunteers are required to complete a background screening, and fulfill school-based and safe schools training requirements. Volunteer approval is for one year. Visit the volunteer page of the CCPS website at http://www.ccboe.com/index.php/volunteers.
What bus does my child ride?
The school system is sponsoring a bus hotline for parents to call with questions about bus routes. Call 301-932-6655 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 30-31 and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 4-5 to reach the hotline. Bus route information is available on the CCPS website through the School Locator app, http://schoollocator.ccboe.com/.
CCPS has an online gradebook program for parents, students and teachers to track academic progress, attendance, class assignments and more. Data for the 2018-19 school year will be in the system on Monday, Aug. 27. Parents should receive an account activation letter from their child’s school during registration. Parents who have not received account activation information should contact their child’s school. Parents will need to provide photo identification in order to pick-up account activation information for their child. An overview of how to use the system is posted at http://www.ccboe.com/index.php/parentvue-account-overview.
Receive text message updates from CCPS
CCPS uses text messages, as well as phone calls and emails, as part of systemwide and school notifications. The feature is available only to CCPS parents and staff, as the system pulls cell phone data from CCPS records. Recipients must opt-in to receive text alerts by texting YES or Y to 67587. Text STOP to 67587 at any time to stop receiving text message alerts from CCPS. Standard text message rates by cell phone carriers apply.
The School Messenger notification system uses contact data from the CCPS student and staff information systems. Parents and guardians who want to opt-in for text messages should list a cell phone number on their child’s emergency notification card, distributed to all students on the first day of school. Parents should provide a working phone number and valid email address on the emergency card in order to receive important updates. Additionally, parents should notify their child’s school of any changes to contact information during the school year.
Community members who want to receive emergency notification text messages from CCPS can sign up through the Charles County Citizen Notification System at http://www.charlescountymd.gov/CNS.
Plan your year with our Parent Handbook/Calendar
The 2018-19 CCPS Parent Handbook/Calendar is available online at http://www.ccboe.com/images/calendar/CCPSCalendar2018-19.pdf. Students and staff will receive a copy the first week of school.
High school athletes can register online
CCPS has an online registration system for high school student athletes. Visit http://www.ccboe.com/Departments/athletics/index.php and click on the link for your child’s school. All athletes must have a completed physical form reviewed and approved by their athletic director prior to practicing or playing. The physical form, as well as eligibility requirements for student athletes, is posted on the athletics page on the CCPS website at http://www.ccboe.com/index.php/athletics.
Meet your child’s teacher
Orientations and back-to-school events are planned for later this month and September. A complete listing of both open houses and orientations for schools and centers is posted under the In the News section of the CCPS website at http://www.ccboe.com/pr/open-houses-planned-for-schools-centers-3/ and http://www.ccboe.com/pr/schools-plan-orientation-events-for-parents-students-3/.
No changes in meal prices this year, reduced meal price application now online
Breakfast and lunch prices remain the same this year for CCPS students. At the elementary-school level, breakfast is $1.25 and lunch is $2.65. At the middle- and high-school levels, breakfast is $1.40 and lunch is $2.90. Meal selections and offerings are posted online at http://ccboe.nutrislice.com/.
CCPS uses a cafeteria prepayment system called MyPaymentsPlus, which is a secure, web-based system that allows parents to deposit funds electronically to their child’s cafeteria account. Visit https://www2.mypaymentsplus.com/ to sign up for or access your account. Some students may be eligible for reduced meal prices. Parents can apply online for free or reduced price meals at https://www.myschoolapps.com/Application. All students receive a paper copy of the application on the first day of school.
Construction continues at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, Billingsley elementary schools
Construction crews are working daily at both the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd and Billingsley elementary school sites. Billingsley Elementary is located at 10069 Billingsley Road in White Plains and scheduled to open at the start of the 2019-20 school year. Sabrina Robinson-Taylor, principal at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, was named principal of Billingsley. She will begin administrative duties at Billingsley in January. Nicholas Adam, vice principal at William A. Diggs Elementary School, will take over as principal at Mitchell in January.
The Dr. Mudd school campus located on Stone Avenue in Waldorf is undergoing a renovation. The renovation project began last year and includes building enhancements such as a new main entrance, separate cafeteria and separate gymnasium areas. The renovations are set to be complete in 2019. For the 2018-19 school year, all Dr. Mudd students will start school on Sept. 4 in the transition school located at 3155 John Hanson Drive in Waldorf. The transition school features traditional classrooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria and playground. Dr. Mudd students transition back to the Stone Avenue campus at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
Share your back-to-school photos
Help us celebrate the new school year by sharing your best back-to-school photos. Send us your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in our online photo gallery and CCPS social media sites. Tag us in your social media posts with #btsccps18.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 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, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.