Thurmont Primary School News

November 2021

Principals' Message

Dear Families,

As Quarter 2 begins, and Thanksgiving approaches, there are many things to be grateful for at TPS...

  • Routines, schedules and procedures are well established with students beginning to manage them independently.
  • ROAR Expectations & Habits of Work are emphasized throughout the school day.
  • Whole child development is focused on students growing their brain, heart and body power.
  • Acceleration in ELA or Math is provided through our SPARK block.
  • Supplemental instruction in ELA and Math is targeted to specific individual student needs.
  • Quarter 1 Awards Assemblies will take place in the coming week.
  • Our PTA is gaining momentum and planning ways to support our school community.
  • Literacy Night, Book Fair, Sauced Savage Food Truck & General PTA Meeting are all taking place on Thursday, November 11th at TES.

Our commitment to creating an environment where students are seen, heard, known and supported continues to be a priority. Having students look forward to, and be excited for, school each day is our goal. Providing students with a variety of experiences to engage in learning is one way this takes place. Below are some examples of learning in action during PE, STEM, Art & Math instruction.

Look for examples from Media, Music & ELA in our next newsletter. You can also see ongoing highlights by following @ThurmontPrimary and/or @MBaiseyFCPS on Twitter or visiting our TPS Webpage:

Yours in education,

Michele Baisey



Manipulate With Math - Comparing

Quarter two has begun and students in all grade levels will be working on the concept of “comparing.” This is a concept that we use on a daily basis in real life, whether we are comparing numbers, amounts, lengths, weights or heights. Students in each grade are expected to use the proper wording when explaining comparisons. They need to be able to describe comparisons for numbers and amounts as being “greater than/more than, less than/fewer than, or equal to/same as.” Length comparisons use the words longer than/shorter than. Weight comparisons use the words heavier than/lighter than. Height comparisons use the words taller than/shorter than.

In first and second grade, students are expected to use and understand the comparing symbols (> greater than/more than, < less than/fewer than, or = equal to/same as) when comparing numbers and amounts. As they compare numbers, it is important for them to explain why a number is greater than, less than or equal to by describing the place value of the numbers. For example: 41 > 29; “I know 41 is greater than 29 because 4 tens (40) is greater than 2 tens (20).” These math terms can be difficult for students to use in their vocabulary and take many experiences with comparing situations to become proficient at using these words.

Comparing everyday objects is easy and fun! Here is how you can support the understanding of comparing at home.

PreK and Kindergarten:

  • Begin to compare whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the other group. Line up the objects in each group and make pairs with the objects from both groups. This is a nice visual for students to see which group is greater or less than. You can even do this after playing a game together and figuring out who had the most points.
  • Encourage your child to tell you with words how he/she knows one group is (greater than, less than or equal to).
  • Try comparing the height of various family members or the weight of different pieces of fruit using the comparing words.

1st and 2nd Grade:

  • Place Value Card Games- Use a deck of cards for this two player game. Place a deck of cards in between both players. Player one turns over the top two cards (1st Grade) or the top three cards (2nd Grade) and makes a two-digit or three-digit number. Player two turns over the next two or three cards and makes a two-digit or three-digit number. Compare numbers using the comparing symbols and words. The player with the highest (or lowest) number wins the cards. Keep playing until the cards are gone. The player with the most cards at the end wins.
  • Find two numbers and talk about which one is greater than or less than the other number. Discuss how you know based on place value (the numbers in the hundreds, tens & ones).

Attendance Reminders

With the return of fully in-person instruction comes the return to following our daily school schedule. Being at school on time ensures students have the time they need to transition into the building and be ready for learning.

Arriving at school on time, before 8:40am, is important for many reasons such as:

  • allowing time to unpack and prepare for the day
  • allowing time for breakfast, if eating at school
  • lessening anxiety and/or upset about being late
  • being able to interact with friends before instruction begins
  • being ready when morning meeting/PATHS lessons begin at 8:40am

We recognize appointments and other unforeseen circumstances may arise, causing your child to arrive late. We appreciate your support in working to establish morning routines at home which will allow your child to arrive at school on time.

Reminders about the start of our school day:

  • Arrival occurs between 8:10-8:40am
  • The bell rings for instruction to begin at 8:40am
  • Car rider doors close at 8:40am
  • Teachers enter daily attendance at 8:40am
  • Students arriving after 8:40am need to report to the office for a late pass

PTA News

Please join us for a General PTA Meeting at 5:30pm on Thursday, November 11th at TES.

While you are there you can also visit the Sauced Savage Food Truck, Book Fair & Literacy Night.

Please review the October PTA Meeting Notes for more information about how the PTA is working to support our school community.

If you have not yet signed up to be a member of the TEPS PTA we encourage you to do so by clicking the membership form below. The membership form and dues can be returned to school with your child.

2021-2022 TEPS PTA Membership Form (Make checks payable to: TEPS PTA)

Your membership provides a vote on ways to...

  • enhance the partnership between home and school
  • offer students access to special events/activities, cultural arts experiences & field trips
  • determine how funding will be used to support students, families & our schools

Contact with questions, needs or to support in any way and please consider following the TEPS PTA on Facebook: TEPS PTA - Thurmont Elementary & Primary Schools.

Holiday Assistance

Please reach out to Mrs. McQuay, school counselor, at if you are in need of holiday assistance for your children.

Holiday Assistance Resources:

  • Frederick County Holiday Assistance Resources (Apply Early!)
  • Salvation Army Angel Tree
  • Toys for Tots
  • Seton Center

Important Dates

  • Thursday, November 11th - General PTA Meeting, Sauced Savage Food Truck, Book Fair & Literacy Night at TES

  • Monday, November 15th to Friday, November 19th - American Education Week

  • Wednesday, November 24th to Friday, November 26th - School Closed - Thanksgiving Break

  • Monday, December 6th - 2 Hour Early Dismissal at 1:10pm