Dolphin Digest

Family Weekly Update: December 5, 2021

Gilpin Manor Elementary

Don Foskey, Principal

Mark Etzel, Assistant Principal

Lauren Kegley, School Counselor

Misty Pearson, Community School Advisor

Maggie Buto, Title I Resource Teacher

Melissa Pratt, Title I Resource Teacher

Charlie Givens, Student Services Resource Teacher

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Note from the Principal

Hello Gilpin Families,

As the month of December moves along, we have several exciting upcoming events. Inclusive Schools Week is the week of December 6-10. Our book fair opens December 13-17, and we wrap up that week with our PTA Winterfest. (Details coming soon for families to RSVP for the Winterfest!) There will be a Book Fair early shopping event on Wednesday, December 15, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Swing on by! Interim reports will be sent to families on Monday, December 20, and winter break begins on Thursday, December 23.

*Please check our GMES Winter Song Theme Adventure: December 2021.

As you are aware, Ms. Marchiani has left GMES for a new opportunity. We are excited to welcome Mr. Josh Belford as her replacement for Physical Education/Personal Well here at Gilpin Manor. Mr. Belford's first day will be Monday, December 13, 2021.

At Gilpin Manor, we strive to be a support system for our GMES students and families. If you are in need of assistance, have questions, or just need to check-in, please email me at or contact the school at 410-996-5040. Mr. Etzel, our assistant principal, can also be reached at I hope you are safe and well!

And, as always, be kind to one another.


Don Foskey


Technology Access Survey

In preparation for possible inclement weather, please complete a Technology Access Survey to inform us of your technology needs. We are asking each family to complete the survey for each child who attends Gilpin Manor.

Missing Chromebooks

If you have not yet returned the Chromebook that was loaned to you in the 2020-21 school year, please do so immediately. These devices and their A/C adapters cost approximately $350.00 and support our instructional program. There are approximately 1500 devices across Cecil County Public Schools that have not been returned. We will be following up with individuals that have not yet returned these devices. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Principal's Book of the Month

We are starting a new program at Gilpin Manor. It is called ‘Principal’s Book of the Month.’ Throughout the school year, Mr. Foskey will select a book that will be given to every GMES student. During the month, students are encouraged to read the book. Teachers may complete activities with the book in classrooms as well.

The ‘Principal’s Book of the Month’ program will help us continue to build our learning community. One book will give us a common experience to discuss with our entire school family. Our books might have gentle messages, celebrate a person or event, or give us ways to discuss our Gilpin values. These books are intended to highlight something special and bring joy to our lives. We hope you and your child will read our book of the month.

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CCPS Virtual Support

CCPS will soon offer virtual support for all students after school hours. CCPS teachers will provide support for Reading, Writing, or Math. These support sessions will be conducted after the school day through Schoology using a Zoom link.

If you are interested in registering your child for this support, please register HERE. A separate form should be completed for each child. Once we have processed your request, you will receive an email to access your support session.

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Cafeteria News: Lunch Update

Due to limited supplies and difficulties with shipping, schools will now individually develop meal menus based on in stock food items. Please see the attached lunch menu for the weeks in December shared below.
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Social-Emotional Learning

Throughout the second marking period, our students will work through our Second Step Elementary unit 2 which focuses on emotion management. Children will learn how to identify and label emotions and use emotion-management strategies--including stress management for older students--to calm strong feelings. (see the home links attached at the very end of this newsletter)

To support families with SEL, below are a few resources:

Do you have a question about SEL at Gilpin Manor? Ask it here: GMES SEL Family Questions

Community School Advisor: Connection

Check out our Community School Advisor Misty Pearson's CSA Connection: Community School Connection.
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Power School Parent Portal

Have you signed up for the PowerSchool Parent Portal? This Portal gives you access to line information such as grades, attendance, and assignment details. This is a great way to stay connected! More information can be found here: CCPS PowerSchool Parent Portal.

Important Dates and Upcoming Events


  • December 6-10 - National Inclusive Schools Week
  • Thursday, Dec. 9 - Marking Period 2 Interim Period Ends
  • Week of December 13-17 - GMES Book Fair
  • Week of December 13-17 - Holidays Around the World Week
  • December 13-16 - Life Skills Lessons (grades 3-5)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 15 - Early shopping at the Book Fair from 2:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 17 - PTA Winterfest 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 20 - Interims Issued to Students
  • December 23 - January 2 - No School: Winter Break
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Car Loop

Our car loop operates with two car loops again this school year to ensure the safety of students, families, and staff members. Students in grades Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten, and their siblings will use the smaller car loop at the front of the building. Students in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, will use the car loop on the library side of the building. The library side of the building will require parents/guardians to enter down by the public library entrance.

To use the Car Loops, families must complete a GMES Car Rider Loop Application Information Sheet. You may do this electronically here: Car Rider Loop Application.

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Attendance at school each and every day is very important. This make sure students have consistent access to teachers and learning experiences. We will share weekly attendance rates for each grade level and the whole school each week.

Check out this great resource about attendance at school: Absences Adds Up!

Our goal each week is for each grade level, and our school overall, to have 90% or greater attendance. Attendance rates for this week are posted below:

PS: 98.2% PK: 92.8% K: 85.9% 1st: 93.3%

2nd: 88.0% 3rd: 92.9% 4th: 89.4% 5th: 93.4%

Overall: 91.2%

Congratulations to PreS, PreK, 1st, 3rd, and 5th grades for meeting our goal of 90% or greater!

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Frequently, Dr. Lawson, our CCPS Superintendent, provides an update to staff, students, families, and the community. The update for October 22, 2021, can be located here: Superintendent's Update.

Please see Dr. Lawson's Elementary School Update from October 4, 2021: Elementary Update.

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Check out the MD SNAP-Ed Facebook page for more information on cooking demos and other great nutrition information -

PTA Post

Please look for the membership forms that will go home with students the first week of school.

If you are interested in joining the PTA, a committee, or have any questions, please email us at

2021-2022 PTA Board Members:

  • President - Sabrina Roberts
  • Vice President - Renee' Sayers
  • Treasurer - Brenda Ewing
  • Secretary - vacant
  • GMES Staff Liaison - Kelly Strawbridge

Be sure to 'Like' our Facebook page - Gilpin Manor PTA.

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GMES Schedule

Office Hours: 8:00 am. - 4:30 p.m. (M,T,TH,F) 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (W)

School Hours - PreK-5th Gr: 8:45 a.m. - 3:35 p.m. (M,T,TH,F) 8:45 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (W)

School Hours - Preschool: AM Session- 8:45 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. PM Session- 12:50 p.m. - 3:35 p.m.

CCPS and GMES Resource and Support Information

CCPS Technology Support

Videos about navigating online platforms, logging on, submitting assignments, and more!


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