Thurmont Primary School News

September 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Families,


Together, we CAN do hard things and the many successes during our first week of virtual learning showcase just that! Below are a few of things you, your child and TPS staff should be celebrating...


  • keeping students on schedule using the virtual learning schedule
  • logging onto Google Meet and participating in learning sessions
  • shifting between classroom and specials Google Meet sessions
  • participating in virtual face-to-face and student work time sessions
  • learning how to use virtual learning tools such as the mute, hang up, video, and pin features
  • accessing multiple courses in Schoology
  • working with documents using Kami
  • working with documents in Google Slides
  • submitting work in Schoology
  • persevering through technical glitches
  • remaining patient, positive, flexible, supportive and understanding


We were so excited to see our young cougars back to school last week! We had nearly 100% participation in Google Meet sessions. We know this would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of families, neighbors, friends, daycare providers and so many more! We also know individual family schedules require ongoing flexibility and we will continue to work together so all students can successfully access and engage in virtual learning.


We look forward to the days and weeks ahead where we know we will see more opportunities to grow our brain, heart and body power!


Yours in education,
Michele Baisey

#TogetherApart

#CourageofaCougar

Our Superhero Staff

The TPS staff is filled with superheroes who are here to support and serve you and your children!


We are excited to introduce the newest members of our cougar family...

  • Mrs. Cool, Custodian
  • Mrs. Costa, DELTA Instructional Assistant
  • Mrs. Delbridge, Special Education Instructional Assistant
  • Mrs. Forney, DELTA Instructional Assistant
  • Mrs. Gouker, K ELA teacher
  • Mrs. Hendrickson, DELTA Teacher
  • Ms. Nolan, PK IA in Mrs. Mucker's class
  • Mrs. Pickett, Special Education Teacher
  • Mr. Witmer, DELTA Behavior Support Specialist


Please share and enjoy the TPS Superhero Staff Welcome Video below with your child!


See below for more information about the DELTA Program at TPS.

DELTA Program at TPS

We are excited to have the Developing Educational Life Tools for Achievement (DELTA) Program expanded to TPS! TPS is the 3rd school within FCPS to offer the program which serves general education students in kindergarten through second grade. The purpose of the DELTA Program is to reach students that would benefit from short-term interventions in social-emotional regulation and behavioral support.


Students recommended for the DELTA Program receive grade level instruction, as well as behavioral intervention, while learning self-regulation strategies in a smaller classroom setting of 6-8 students. DELTA staff provide guided opportunities for students to practice and apply skills learned back in their homeroom class throughout the time they participate in the program.


The DELTA Program enhances our school's focus on prioritizing the social-emotional and behavioral well-being of students while providing the support needed to develop self-regulation skills for lifelong success!

Schedule Enhancements

Beginning Monday, September 14th, we will implement two slight schedule adjustments. These changes are designed to ensure students are able maximize learning in their virtual environment. Your child's classroom teacher will further communicate the specifics of their individual schedules. Below is an overview of the schedule enhancements being implemented.


Daily Morning Meeting

A 10 minute daily morning meeting will be added to student schedules. This time will further allow students and teachers to build their classroom community, develop relationships and feel connected while learning in a virtual setting. Many teachers were already incorporating aspects of a morning meeting into their first virtual session of the day, but knowing we prioritize the social-emotional well-being of students we wanted to ensure there was dedicated time daily built into the schedule for this to occur.


Wednesday PATHS/Science/Social Studies

On Wednesdays, teachers provide a virtual face-to-face lesson on either PATHS, Science or Social Studies. This time block will be extended by 10 minutes to ensure there is ample time to cover all content planned.


General Student Schedules


Classroom teachers will provide further details on their individual class schedules.

Technology & Classroom Support

Our Cougar Care Center is available to provide technical and/or assignment assistance daily. We have staff available to support you daily from 9:45am-12:30pm and 1:00-3:40pm (staff have lunch daily from 12:30-1:00pm).


To access support please...

  • log into a device using your child's FCPS account username and password
  • open your web browser
  • go to https://meet.google.com/
  • click the green "join or start a meet" button
  • enter "TPS-CougarCenter" in the box for a meeting nickname/code
  • click "continue"


Using this support service will allow you immediate access to assistance and bypass the need to call into the front office or email your child's teacher. We are committed to ensuring students & families are able to successfully access and participate in virtual learning!


Please also see the Schoology Troubleshooting Guide for Parents & Students shared through the FCPS Find Out First system last week.

Chromebooks & Hot Spots

We are so happy to have provided Chromebooks to all those students in need!


Please know, we are still in the process of working with the central office technology department to fulfill hot spot requests. Many families are eligible to access Comcast Essentials Internet Service. To find out if you are eligible please visit https://apply.internetessentials.com/ and enter the address where your child needs to participate in online virtual learning.


We appreciate knowing you will ensure the functionality of the device(s) provided.


As a reminder, here are a few tips to assist in caring for the device(s)...

  • Students should not drink or eat while using the chromebook.
  • Students should be gentle with the screen and camera upon opening the chromebook, cautious with charger connection, and when transporting the device.
  • Parents should be aware that there are usage costs if the chromebook is damaged.


The following documents are provided to assist in understanding your responsibility while the chromebook is signed out for usage during virtual learning.


If you have any technology related questions please contact our User Support Specialist, Jeannie Tippett at regina.tippett@fcps.org or 240-236-2810.

Google Meet Recording Permissions

The following information was shared via Find Out First and through communication from classroom teachers. We provide it here to ensure it has reached all families.


In order to provide all students access to virtual learning lessons teachers may...

  1. Create or deploy videos/screencasts of instruction that were pre-recorded when no students were present.
  2. Record only the teacher’s live classroom presentation or lesson, and once completed cease recording before there is any interaction with students.
  3. Record the lesson and students during live instruction. Teachers will take measures to reduce the frequency with which students appear on video and audio.


Parent permission is required for teachers to record your student in the Google Meets. Teachers may begin recording beginning the week of September 8, 2020. Parents have two ways to let schools know whether or not their student has permission to be recorded in Google Meets.


Option #1: Google Form LINK that can be filled out and submitted online provided by your child's school or classroom teacher.


Option #2: PDF form LINK that can be filled out and returned via email to Amy Sweeney at amy.sweeney@fcps.org.


Please complete one of the forms linked above, if you have not already done so, to provide permission for Google Meet recordings by September 8, 2020. Students without permission will be asked to turn off their cameras and audio during the recorded portion of the lesson. Our goal is to get this additional resource online and available to students as soon as possible.


Please see the FCPS Guide to Google Meet Recordings, Student Privacy and Security for additional information.

FCPS Meals to Go

FCPS has extended the FREE Meals to Go service for all children 18 years and younger.


Meals are provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using the following schedule.

  • Mondays – “To-go” breakfasts and lunches are provided for Monday and Tuesday
  • Tuesdays – Kitchens are closed
  • Wednesdays – “To-go” breakfasts and lunches are provided for Wednesday and Thursday
  • Thursdays – Kitchens are closed
  • Fridays – “To-go” breakfasts and lunches are provided for Friday, Saturday and Sunday


Children do not have to be present. A parent, guardian or other designated person can pick up food for children. Parents/guardians or children will enter the school cafeteria and pick up the food in the kitchen serving line. Masks must be worn by all children and adults entering the cafeteria, and family groups must stay 6 feet apart from other family groups. The food server will do all of the food handling. All food will be compartmentalized or individually wrapped.


Thurmont Middle School is the closest site for our TPS students/families but you may visit any site to participate in the program. A full listing of sites and additional details are available at: https://www.fcps.org/about/news/1688412/fcps-extends-free-meal-service-through-december

Important Dates

Monday, September 7th - School Closed for Labor Day - No Virtual Learning


Friday, September 25th - School is IN session for Virtual Learning


Monday, September 28th - School Closed for Yom Kippur - No Virtual Learning