Thurmont Primary School News

March 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Families,


Last year this time it was our last normal week of school and we didn't even know it. We likely took for granted giving a friend a high five, visiting with classmates during lunch in the cafeteria, sitting in a circle on the carpet for morning meeting, playing partner games, and so much more.


As we think back on that time, and all we've experienced since then, let's not forget to look for and appreciate all the ways we have been lucky. We have learned more about technology than would ever have been the case in a typical school year for primary age students and their teachers. We have built stronger relationships with parents, caregivers, daycare providers and family members than our typical student conferences would allow for. We have remained connected in new and exciting ways, strengthening our school community. We have dared to hope for better days and had the courage to face our challenges head on.


While we are all anxious to get back to "normal" let's also make sure we remember to bring all our lucky learning of this unprecedented school year with us into the future!


Yours in education,
Michele Baisey

#TogetherApart

#CourageofaCougar

Learning Model Change Requests

A Find Out First message will be sent on Monday, March 8th regarding learning model change requests.


As referenced on our parent inventory, parents/guardians may contact Dr. Baisey with a request for a change in their child's instructional model (from hybrid to virtual or virtual to hybrid) for Term 4. Requests are due no later than Friday, March 12th.


School teams will consider each request to determine if it can be honored based on multiple factors in our currently assigned cohort groups including: class size and available classroom space and transportation arrangements. All decisions must be in compliance with current guidance from health experts. If the request can not be accommodated, it will be placed on a wait list for consideration if availability occurs at a later date.


It is not necessary to contact the school if your wish for your child to continue in their current learning model.

COVID-19 Screening Protocol

FCPS is asking for your help in keeping our schools and communities safe. Please review the list of COVID-19 symptoms below with your student prior to leaving for school every day. You will be provided a weekly communication reminder of this requirement. Students who are ill or are experiencing any of the symptoms or situations listed below are expected to remain at home.


Parents/Guardians are affirming and attesting to the following for their student:

  1. Since last in school, your child has not had any of the following symptoms: Cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, fever of 100.4° or higher (measured or subjective), chills or shaking chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose.
  2. Since last in school, your child is not waiting for a COVID-19 test result due to symptoms nor has he or she been diagnosed with COVID-19, nor been instructed by any health care provider or the health department to isolate or quarantine.
  3. In the last 10 days, your child has not had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period) with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected of having COVID-19 and did not complete quarantine.


Please keep your child home if they are experiencing symptoms or exposed to COVID-19.


Contact your healthcare provider with any questions regarding next steps for your student.


Thank you for your cooperation!

Communication Process for COVID-19 Cases

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. TPS follows all COVID-19 related health and safety guidelines, including requiring face coverings for staff and students, encouraging frequent hand washing, maintaining social distance, and following all cleaning and disinfection protocols.


Confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the school prompt a case investigation to determine if anyone has been in close contact with the confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. A joint effort between FCPS administrators and the Frederick County Health Department identifies all close contacts. All close contacts are contacted individually and advised to quarantine at home, monitor their health, and to contact their healthcare provider for any health concerns.


Important Definitions:

  • Confirmed Case of COVID-19 - Cases of COVID-19 that are lab confirmed positive results of a PCR test.
  • Probable Case of COVID-19 - COVID-19-like symptomatic individual who has had close contact with another individual with a laboratory confirmed positive result within the past 14 days.
  • Close Contact - Close and prolonged contact within 6 feet of a cumulative 15 minutes in a 24 hour period.


The FCPS Health Metrics Dashboard (linked here) reports the number of positive COVID-19 cases for staff and students that are in-person attendance at all FCPS schools. The cases are reported two different ways: (1) total number for all of FCPS; and (2) by each school. The dashboard is updated every Monday morning to report the number of cases from the previous week.

TPS All County Artists on Display

As part of the FCPS Youth Art Month Exhibit all county artists have their work on display at the Delaplaine. Please visit the Delaplaine website (linked here) to explore the online gallery to enjoy art from around our county, including our three TPS representatives:


  • Kindergarten - Clarabelle Despeaux - Gumball Machine
  • 1st grade - Mia Toth - Scarecrow in a Landscape
  • 2nd grade - Joclyn Cassidy - Crazy Hair Day Portrait


We are so proud of these special artists and all our TPS students who are working to develop their artistic talents! And, a special thank you to Mrs. Riggs for her leadership in developing such talented artists.

Manipulate in Math

Math Specialist, Ms. Dove shares at home tips for supporting your child in developing math fact fluency.


This time of year, students in each grade level are learning the importance of becoming accurate, flexible and efficient in solving basic math facts. (Kindergarten up to 5, First grade up to 10 and Second grade up to 20) This can be done in a fun and purposeful way by having your child begin with using manipulatives in counting all and then moving into using efficient counting strategies such as counting on from the greater number. As children become more familiar with the counting strategies, they will begin to be more flexible and efficient, starting to remember number combinations. It is extremely important to help your child see the relationship and connection between the addition and subtraction facts. By concentrating on how subtraction is just the inverse/opposite of addition, your child will develop an understanding of numbers, not seeing them as two separate sets to learn.


  • Have your child play board games, dice games and card games that use the skill of adding and subtracting such as Yahtzee, Make 10 (Use number cards to find combinations that make 10), Trouble, Parcheesi or an empty board game with math fact cards and dice.


  • Matching addition and subtraction facts that are related. (3 + 2 = 5 & 5 - 2 = 3 OR 2 + 3 = 5 & 5 - 3 = 2). Spread out 5 addition cards and 5 subtraction cards that are related. Player finds a match by pairing up an addition and subtraction fact. Challenge your child to write the other two related math facts in the fact family.


  • Sorting math fact cards by categories and working on one category at a time such as facts that Make the sum of 10, doubles (3 + 3), near doubles (3 + 4) and facts with a 9 (5 + 9 using 9 to make a 10); discussing how the facts in each category are similar.


  • Memory- math fact cards and separate answer cards. Start with 5 math fact cards and their answer cards. Lay them face down in 2 different arrays/grids (one for math facts and one for answers). Player turns over one math fact card and one answer card. If they match then they get a point and keep the cards. Player with the most points wins.

Show Your School Spirit

Whether learning at home or coming into the building on hybrid days, we are all part of the Cougar family! Spirit days are one way we can proudly show we are all in this together. Please click the link below for some special days to celebrate in February.


March Spirit Calendar


And don't forget, every week we celebrate "Thurmont Thursdays" where you can wear school colors (blue and white) or clothing with school words (Thurmont or Cougars). We love seeing your school spirit shine!

Important Dates

Monday, March 8th - Read-a-thon begins


Thursday, March 11th - Interims Issued


Friday, March 12th - Learning Model Change Requests Due


Monday, March 29th through Monday, April 6th - Spring Break (Schools Closed & No Virtual or Hybrid In Person Learning)