School system prepares to open schools on Aug. 25

School system prepares to open schools on Aug. 25

The 2014-15 school year officially begins on Monday, Aug. 25 for students in grades kindergarten through 12. Charles County Public Schools expects to welcome more than 26,500 students this school year. Students enrolled in the prekindergarten and three-year-old programs start back on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Charles County Public Schools staff and teachers are preparing for the start of another school year and are finalizing services and programs for students and parents.

Bus hotline

The school system is sponsoring a bus hotline for parents to call with questions about bus routes. The hotline can be reached at 301-932-6655, and is only available on Aug. 21-22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Aug. 25-26 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parents can access bus route information through the School Locator feature available on the CCPS website at

Opening of county’s seventh high school

Opening on Aug. 25 is St. Charles High School, the county’s seventh public high school, located off of Piney Church Road in Waldorf. St. Charles also houses the James E. Richmond Science Center, which includes Science on a Sphere and digital classroom technology. St. Charles is hosting a public open house event on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tours of the school, including the Science Center, will be held every hour for a maximum of 180 guests at a time. Visit for more details.

Changes in start and end times for three schools/Gwynn Center

The start and end times for three schools, as well as the F.B. Gwynn Educational Center, have changed for the coming school year. The changes are necessary to provide additional instructional time for students and to accommodate the opening of St. Charles. Affected schools are Berry Elementary School, and Theodore G. Davis and Mattawoman middle schools. Berry’s new hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Davis’ times are 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.; and Mattawoman’s new hours are 8:25 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. The F.B. Gwynn Center is open from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Charles County Public Schools 2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar reflects the changes.

Orientation events for schools

All schools are hosting orientations this week for new and returning students. A complete list is posted under the Charles County Public Schools press releases section at Contact the specific school for additional information.

Testing changes

The 2014-15 school year is Charles County Public Schools first year that the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) will be administered in reading and mathematics for students in grades 3-11. PARCC is administered during two different windows during the school year. Additional information on PARCC testing is available on page 16 of the Charles County Public Schools 2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar.

Lunch prices increase by $.10

Lunch prices for all students increased by $.10 this school year. There is no change in the cost of breakfast for students this year. For elementary school students, lunch is $2.45 and breakfast is $1.25. For middle and high school students, lunch is $2.70 and breakfast is $1.40. Menus are available at all schools, and on the CCPS website at The school system uses a cafeteria prepayment system called MyPaymentsPlus, which is a secure, Internet-based system that allows parents to deposit funds electronically on their child’s cafeteria account. Visit for more information.

New building entry system

The school system is launching a new entry system at all schools, centers and buildings this school year that changes how visitors, students and staff enter the facility. The system is intercom and video-based and is being programmed to match the bell schedules at each individual school. Most schools will begin use of the system when schools open on Monday, Aug. 25. Additional information about the new system is posted on the CCPS website at:

2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar

Students and staff will receive a copy of the 2014-15 Parent Handbook/Calendar during the first week of school. The calendar is available on the Charles County Public Schools website at Requests for additional copies will be honored the first week of September.

We Care program kick-off

School resource officers at each of Charles County’s seven public high schools are helping to launch the “We Care” program on Friday, Aug. 29. The program is a safe driving initiative for teens by teens with guidance from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and CCPS. Police officers will be on hand at each high school Aug. 29 to distribute safety flyers to all student drivers.

We Care was officially launched seven years ago following a series of car crashes that took the lives of nine teenagers in Charles County.  The campaign continues to engage students in conversation about safe driving while promoting safety through a series of checkpoints in school parking lots and other activities.

System partnership with

Charles County Public Schools launched a partnership with earlier this year that infuses computer science concepts into curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 12. Over the summer, more than 75 teachers were trained through on how to tie computer coding into lessons about English, mathematics and science, as well as other content areas. Additional training will be offered by to CCPS teachers this school year. Charles County Public Schools is one of only two Maryland counties to partner with Visit for more information.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 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, 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.


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