Dolphin Digest

Family Weekly Update: May 15, 2022

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

Jessica Janusz-Grimes, School Mental Health Professional

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Note from the Principal

Hello Gilpin Families,

Can you believe we are already in the middle of the month of May? We are racing to the end of the school year, but we have a few weeks remaining and want to do our best to remain focused. Please remind your children of our school expectations of safety, following directions, and trying their best. We will do the same at school, and we will work hard to maintain consistent schedules amid the many exciting spring events taking place.

Speaking of spring events, please remember that this Monday and Tuesday, our students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will continue MCAP testing. They will complete the math assessments this time. A good night's rest is very important! You will also receive information this upcoming week in your child's take-home folder about Fun & Fitness Day. This fun event will take place on Friday, May 27.

As a reminder, the month of May is recognized as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is an important part of our overall health, so it is important for us to talk about it. You can find valuable family resources here: Family Resource Kit. Throughout the month of May, we will continue to discuss mental health and its importance as part of our Second Step SEL lessons.

In addition, please check out the SEL information shared further down in our Dolphin Digest. Each week, there will be new details about Social and Emotional Learning: What is it? How does it help students? What is the home-school connection? This week: SEL on the playground!

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


**Please be sure to check out Dr. Lawson's 'Superintendent's Update' from February 25th about the updated optional mask procedure in addition to the 'Test to Stay' protocols!


Please remember that families may only pick students up early in the main office until 3:15 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) or 1:30 (Wed.). We will not dismiss students early after that time. We hold to this because our dismissal process begins shortly thereafter, and we cannot safely complete our schoolwide dismissal procedures when there are additional requests and changes in how students go home. We appreciate your understanding!

Wacky Water Wednesdays

This month, we will participate in a water campaign in partnership with the Maryland SNAP-Ed program.

Gilpin is taking the Water Challenge this month! We are making a healthy choice by drinking more water to keep us alert, full of energy and ready to learn. Sip the Water Drop says..."Drinking water during the day helps to keep your immune system healthy! Keep a water bottle with you and refill throughout the day!"

Wednesday, May 18 - Wacky Socks Day

Wednesday, May 25 - Wacky Mismatched Day

GMES Community Pantry

Have you heard the news? The wonderful folks at Nicanor, Inc provided Gilpin with a FREE community pantry located just outside of the main office. The purpose of the pantry is to provide 24 hour access to food and other small house hold items a family may need. There is no paperwork to be filled out, but there is a QR code scan to keep up with usage and potential needs for the pantry. The pantry will be stocked by Nicanor, Inc and other charitable donations from our school community. The motto for our pantry is, "Take what you need and give what you can"!

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Principal's Book of the Month

We have 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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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 next few upcoming weeks shared below.
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Social-Emotional Learning

SEL stands for Social Emotional Learning. It is a part of how we develop as humans. It is the process through which we manage emotions, set goals, problem-solve, make responsible and caring decisions, develop empathy for others, and develop healthy identities.

SEL on the Playground:

Social-Emotional Learning is just as much so about learning how to interact with others as it is learning about one's self. On the playground, students have opportunities to play games which allow them to practice taking turns, sharing, and communicating with others. When children interact with one another on the playground, conflicts can happen. This provides an opportunity to develop problem-solving skills, improve communication skills, and work on conflict-resolution skills.

Here are some resources:

Strategies at Home

Practices for Home

Second Step SEL Lessons:

Throughout the fourth marking period, our students will work through our Second Step Elementary unit 4 which focuses on problem-solving. Children will learn how to manage strong emotions to feel calm before solving problems, describe a problem and identify the wants and needs involved, think of many possible solutions and their potential outcomes, and pick the best solution.

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 for the week of April 22, 2022 - Connection #11: CSA Connection.
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Important Dates and Upcoming Events

May: Mental Health Awareness Month, Better Speech and Hearing Month, Healthy Vision Month, & Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

  • May 16-17: MCAP Math Testing for students in Grades 3, 4, & 5
  • Tuesday, May 17 - Interim Reports issued to students via family email address
  • Wednesday, May 18 - 2nd Grade goes to Fair Hill Nature Center
  • Wednesday, May 18 - Wacky Water Wednesday for Water Month: Wacky Socks
  • Thursday, May 19 - Donuts with Grownups at 8:00 a.m.
  • Friday, May 20 - Kindergarten goes to Plumpton Park Zoo
  • ***Saturday, May 21 - PTA Yard Sale and Block Party (yard sale: 8:00-12:00; block party: 10:00-2:00)
  • Wednesday, May 25 - Wacky Water Wednesday for Water Month: Wacky Mismatched Day
  • Friday, May 27 - Fun & Fitness Day (more info to come soon!)
  • Monday, May 30 - No School: Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 31 - 'Moving Up Night' from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
June: Immigrant Heritage Month

  • Thursday, June 2 - Careers on Wheels (grades PreK, K, 1, & 2)
  • Thursday, June 2 - Dolphin Pride Day: Sunglasses Day!
  • Thursday, June 2 - Spring Concert at 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 8 - 5th Grade Luau (students only)
  • Thursday, June 9 - 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony at 9:30 a.m.
  • Friday, June 10 - Last Day of School for Students

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Car Loop


  • All parents/guardians MUST remain in their vehicles. (Please park your car in a parking spot if you need to buckle your child's seatbelt.)
  • Vehicles may ONLY turn RIGHT when leaving the car loop.
  • In car loop 1 (grades Preschool, PreK, and K) - Please be sure to pull up close to the person in front of you so we can get as many vehicles as possible off of the main road.
  • Please keep music turned down quietly while on school property.
  • Please do not smoke while on school property.

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: 93.8% PK: 89.0% K: 91.8% 1st: 86.1%

2nd: 94.1% 3rd: 90.9% 4th: 92.5% 5th: 86.2%

Overall: 90.5%

Congratulations to PreSchool, Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade for surpassing our goal of 90%!

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Frequently, Dr. Lawson, our CCPS Superintendent, provides an update to staff, students, families, and the community. The update for May 6, 2022, 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 - vacant
  • 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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