Engage PGCPS - A Newsletter for PGCPS Families - November 8, 2017

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Engage PCPGS

November 8, 2017

Top Stories

Loads of Love

Redskins Give Magnolia Students Loads of Love

Washington Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg appeared at Magnolia Elementary for the “Loads of Love” program launch. The new program provides washers and dryers to local schools. Studies show that laundry machines in schools help to improve grades and attendance.

Sundberg and his wife Flor donated $25,000 to launch the program. The Redskins Charitable Foundation, John E. Kelly & Sons Electrical and O’Connor Plumbing provided assistance and resources. “It motivates community, but it also motivates our students to see players not just as football players, but as people who are giving back to the community,” said Magnolia Principal Dr. Phyllis L. Gillens. "That motivates them even more to give back themselves.”

Text: Brandon Hill, Redskins.com / Photo: Garrett Campbell, Washington Redskins

Father and son

Register for 2nd Annual Family Institute Conference

Registration for the 2nd Annual Family Institute Conference is now open! This FREE event takes place at Northwestern High School on Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This year's theme is Ignite "SPARKS” for Student Success. Educator/best-selling author Ron Clark, founder of The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, will give the keynote address. Child care is available; please register in advance.

Volunteer opportunities are available! Sign up today!

Family Institute is one of many systemic events and activities that focus on the importance of families in strengthening school communities. Visit the Family Institute conference webpage for details.


Help Us Help You: Meet the Ombudsman

Need help with a school or system-wide issue? Ombudsman Edward Newsome and his staff will help you find solutions.

The Office of the Ombudsman serves as a neutral party in resolving concerns, problems and complaints from parents, students and the community. 

This month, the office will launch "Ombudsman-On-the-Go," connecting face-to-face with parents at various schools. The program is designed to get feedback on ways to improve PGCPS services and help parents refer concerns to the appropriate contact. More details about "Ombudsman-On-the-Go" will be posted on the PGCPS website. In the meantime, here are four steps to getting the help you need:

Step 1 - Report your concern to your child's school principal or the specific office supervisor or director.

Step 2 - If still unresolved, contact your area office (for schools) or specific division-level supervisor (for offices).

Step 3 - If you need more help, please view the Guide to Addressing Questions and Concerns.

Step 4 - If you need additional assistance, submit your request online or call 301-808-8315. 

Information on Graduation Audit Available Online

In June, CEO Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell and Prince George’s County Board of Education members requested an audit by the Maryland State Department of Education of high school graduation rates throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Results of the audit were released last week. For more information, please visit  www.pgcps.org/graduation-audit. >>Read "Ten Things Parents Can Do in Response to the PGCPS Graduation Rate Audit" (Prince George's County Advocates for Better Schools blog)

School Highlights

Real School Gardens

Spellman Breaks Ground on Outdoor Learning Lab

Gladys Noon Spellman Elementary recently broke ground on a dynamic outdoor learning lab in conjunction with nonprofit REAL School Gardens. More than 100 parent, student and community volunteers rolled up their sleeves alongside representatives from corporate sponsor Leidos and the REAL School Gardens team to construct an enriching outdoor learning space, where students will receive hands-on lessons in all subjects.

The "Big Dig" event was the culmination of hard work by parents, teachers and Principal Brandi Smith. The school applied for a grant from REAL School Gardens two years ago. Spellman was one of just a handful of schools selected. Last spring, the school community pulled off a Zumbathon fundraiser that raised more than $5,000 to support the project. Now, Spellman will begin a three-year training program to help get students out of their desks to breathe fresh air, get their hands dirty and learn by doing! 


School psychologist

Celebrate School Psychology Awareness Week Nov. 13-17

National School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) is Nov. 13-17. This year's theme is Power Up! Be a Positive Charge. The goal is to highlight how taking a small positive action creates connections that lead to positive change, builds greater successes and develops the academic and social-emotional skills of students.  >>Learn more

Gwynn Park Football

Student-Athletes: Attend an Upcoming College & Career Readiness Seminar

Learn about NCAA, NAIA and Division I, II and III eligibility, paying for college and more at a free seminars. See your athletic director for registration information.
November 14 • 6:30 p.m. • High Point HS Auditorium

Family Institute

Fall Family Institute Sessions:
Keeping Our Children Safe

Learn strategies for keeping children safe and how to recognize the sometimes subtle signs of child abuse and neglect. Attendees interested in becoming school volunteers can also get a fingerprint background check and a Child Protective Services (CPS) clearance. Visit www.pgcpsfamily.org for more information.

PG13 Logo

Inside PGCPS Football with PG 13

Monday Night Football, PGCPS-style: Watch PG 13, a series about PGCPS high school football that takes you inside locker rooms and classrooms. This season will air Mondays at 7 p.m. All 13 episodes will be broadcast on PGCPS social media channels, pgcps.org and PGCPS-TV 96 (Comcast) and 38 (Verizon). 

Fairmont Heights HS

Get Involved in the CIP Process

Want to share your input on school construction, renovation and major projects? Review the latest Capital Improvement Program (CIP) document and take the CIP Survey. You can also submit questions and comments to Capital Programs staff at capital.programs@pgcps.org.

Calendar Highlights

STEM-tacular Family Science Night

November 9 • 6-8:30 p.m. • Howard B. Owens Science Center

STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and they’re all fun!  Bring the whole family for a dazzling assortment of demonstrations and hands-on activities. Live animals! See stars in the planetarium and become an astronaut in the Challenger Center, and much more! This FREE event is for parents, students, and community members.

For more information, visit the Science Center’s website.

Parent-Teacher Conference Day - Schools Closed for Students

November 10 • All schools

REMINDER: Schools will be closed Friday, Nov. 10 for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Be sure to set up a time to meet with your child's teacher!

3D Scholars Program Open House

November 14 • 6:30-8:30 p.m. • Charles H. Flowers HS

Through a groundbreaking partnership, Prince George’s County Public Schools, Prince George’s Community College and University of Maryland University College offer 3D Scholars, a special dual enrollment program. Students earn credits towards an associate’s degree while in high school, then earn a bachelor’s degree in one of three courses of study   Business Administration, Cyber Security or Criminal Justice   for less than $10,000.

For program requirements and details, visit the 3D Scholar webpage. >>Download the Open House flyer

Hot Links

2017-2018 School Calendar

School Lunch Menus

SchoolMAX Family Portal

Family Institute


PGCPS Water Quality Program

Office of the Ombudsman

Compliance Hotline