• In a special ceremony held Nov. 10, a group of 24 Westlake High School juniors and seniors received a white laboratory coat to honor their commitment to the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science Program. The ceremony was sponsored by Frank DiGiovannantonio, a local occupational therapist who wanted to recognize the student achievements and celebrate their pledge to advance in the biomedical field. Dr. Kerry Clark, a scientist with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), spoke during the ceremony and encouraged the students to “dig deep into science and plan to get dirty along the way.” Westlake’s PLTW teacher Jean Benedetti, along with Christine Paul, a science teacher at Westlake, also congratulated the students during the ceremony on their commitment to a future in science.
• Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School hosted a schoolwide Veterans Day ceremony on Friday, Nov. 11 to recognize school community family members who served in the Armed Forces. Students and staff dressed in red, white or blue and different grade levels represented different color groups. The ceremony included musical, oral and visual presentations to pay tribute to those who serve the United States. Among the more than 60 participants included Lawrence Abell, a retired lieutenant in the United States Navy and president of the Veterans Museum in Bel Alton. Abell provided remarks during the ceremony about the importance of remembering those who give their lives to protect freedom.
• Berry Elementary School hosted an Evening of Learning event on Wednesday, Nov. 16 to provide parents with an opportunity to visit the school and learn about programs available for students. Sessions parents could attend included accelerated math, the new Words their Way vocabulary program, and strategies for comprehending and writing about text. Berry reading resource teacher Beth Sorsby helped to plan the event and said it was an important opportunity for parents to learn how to work with their children at home. “I hope that parents who attend the Evening of Learning leave with valuable strategies that will help to increase student knowledge and strengthen the home/school connection,” she said.
Berry Principal Sandra Taylor is in her first year of leading the school and spearheaded the effort to continue the Evening of Learning. “We get so many concerns from parents with regard to academics, particularly with the new math,” Taylor said. “We need to be able to come together [as a school community] for different reasons. This is a structured environment and academic-based, and is so important.” Also featured at the Evening of Learning was a Relay for Life basket auction. During the month of November, Berry students and staff participated in a basket-filling fundraiser. Each grade level chose a theme its basket and donated items to fill the basket. According the Berry fourth-grade teacher Corinne Clark, the school’s Relay for Life chairperson, the basket auction was a way for students and staff to work together for a worthy cause. “We wanted to do a fundraiser that students could be a part of. With the holiday season coming up, a basket auction seemed like a great opportunity to come together for a great cause,” Clark said.
• Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School hosted a Grandparents/Special Persons’ Day on Tuesday, Nov. 22 and welcomed more than 500 participants to the school. Two, one-hour sessions were planned with students in intermediate grade levels welcoming families in the morning and primary grade level students visiting their families in the afternoon. Activities planned as part of the event include Thanksgiving bingo, story bracelets, several arts and crafts and the Roll a Grandpa game. Mitchell staff received positive feedback about the event from students and visitors.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 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 Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, 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.