The Falcon Flier

August 15, 2020

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Welcome Falcons to the 2020-2021 School Year!

Dear Fulton Families,


Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! I am proud to be your leader and member of the Fulton community. As I reflect back on last year, I realize that there were some events or challenges we faced as a community: the walking path, new car-loop process, and moving to distance learning in the middle of the year. And every time I think about those events I think… “wow, we got through it and we got through it together.”


This year will be no different–our school-wide theme this year is The Ties that Bind Us; as a community we will join together to tackle whatever comes our way. We will trust one another to do what is best for our kids, we will share ideas and feedback, we will share laughter and frustration. We will celebrate our ties to each other, to our traditions, and to our ties to our broader community and the world- and through it all, we will remain united as a Fulton family. While there are countless ways that this year is starting differently than any other of my years in education, what I know is that we are stronger together and we definitely know how to open a joyful, smooth, and beautiful school year.


I have never been more excited to welcome in the new educators joining us this year.


  • Jessica LIfson serving as our RECC team leader and MINC-PreK teacher

  • Peyton Conley serving as our Preschool teacher

  • Scott Delpo serving as one of our PE teachers and will be with us three days a week

  • Shaila Cummings serving as one of our special educators

  • Buffy Hartung serving as one of our special educators

  • Todne Foster serving as our Speech and Language Pathologist who will support RECC


I also want to welcome all of the new families who have joined us this year. We are glad you are here! As of today, we have nearly 872 students enrolled. If you know of other families who are moving into our Fulton community or have students who still need to enroll in kindergarten, please share these withs them so they can begin their enrollment.


We also have an early childhood program for 3 and 4 year old children with and without disabilities and are taught by MD state certified teachers. Contact earlyinterventionservics@hcpss.org or call 410-313-7017 for an application packet and more information.


If you have already enrolled and have a kindergartener that will be joining us in just a few weeks, please review the I’m off to Kindergarten- A Guide for kids and their families.


I am also excited to share that our newsletter, The Falcon Flier, can now be translated by Google to many languages. To translate the newsletter, go to the top right-hand corner and click translate newsletter under the word accessibility. There is also a high contrast mode where the text can be viewed in black-and-white and larger lettering. I hope this will help provide even better communication for our diverse community.


To help answer your questions about the upcoming school year, we will be hosting a Parent Preview this upcoming week. During this time, we will share what we know about the upcoming school year and address any questions you have. While both of these sessions will be virtual, we have limited space. To accommodate our need for space and schedules, we are offering two sessions:


  • August 18th-9:30 am-10:30 am

  • August 20th 6:00 pm-7:00 pm


If you are planning to join us, please complete the survey indicating the date you will attend as well as any questions/wonderings you may have for this upcoming school year. Our goal is to capture all questions raised and share the answers with the community. We will do our best to address the questions during our time together.


Here’s to the most unique of all school years. But what is not unique, is the Ties that Bind us!! Here’s to an incredible school year.


Warmly,

Tanisha Burks

HCPSS Reopening Plan 2020-2021

On August 12th, the Fall Reopening program was posted to the HCPSS website. You can find the complete plan here. To help you plan for the fall, please see the Virtual Student and Staff Schedules PreK-5 located in Appendix D, page 63.

Chromebook and Internet Needs

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As previously announced, through grants and additional funds, HCPSS is able to purchase a sufficient amount of devices necessary to eventually achieve a 1:1 student-to-device ratio for all students in grades pre-K through 12. Due to vendor delays, order fulfillment will not arrive as expected and HCPSS is adjusting its device distribution plan.


Parents/guardians will receive detailed instructions on picking up Chromebooks from their child’s school in the coming weeks.

  • Elementary school students:
    • All students in grades prekindergarten through five will be provided with devices prior to the start of the school year.
    • Parents/guardians of these students do not need to request a device. Information on picking up Chromebooks will be shared immediately as it becomes available.


In addition to Chromebooks, any family without access to the internet should notify the school system using the directions below. HCPSS is working with the Bright Minds Foundation and Comcast to support families who may be eligible to participate in the Comcast Internet Essentials program. Additionally, HCPSS will prioritize distribution of a limited number of hot spots to families who cannot obtain access to the internet.

To identify your need for internet:

  1. Parents/guardians should log in to HCPSS Connect.
  2. From the left menu, last choice, select “More Options” then choose “Student Technology” from the center of the screen.
  3. On the HCPSS Student Technology screen, use the drop down arrows to indicate the Technology Requested for each student. Changes are saved immediately.
  4. If a device has already been issued, it will appear in the inventory list. If a student already has a device issued, a new request will not be processed.
  5. Families will receive a confirmation email with necessary information, including pickup location, date and time.

Technology accounts for new students

Beginning August 10, 2020, families with students new to HCPSS and whose registration has been finalized will receive an email from noreply@hcpss.org with the subject “Technology account information for new HCPSS student.” The email will be sent to the email address used during the student registration process. The email contains personalized and important information regarding new students’ technology accounts. If you have a child new to HCPSS and do not receive the email and/or cannot locate the email in the junk/spam folder of the email account you used during registration, you can use the Forgot Password or Username button on the hcpss.me student landing page to retrieve both your child’s username and password. Directions for Account Self Service directions are posted online.

Family File is Open! Please check and Update Your Family File Today!

Parents can now access and complete the Family File for the 2020-21 school year. Parents must complete the Family File every year, even during virtual learning, to ensure HCPSS has the most current information for each child. Once logged in, parents/guardians will be asked to verify, or update the following information: Student Information, Parent/Guardian Contact, Emergency Contact, Medical Information, Arrival/Dismissal Procedures (for when in-person classes resume), Photo Approval, Data Confidentiality, PTA/PTSA Directory. Visit HCPSS Connect to get started. Your Family File must be completed and updated in order for you to access the names of your child’s teachers prior to the start of the school year. Once we know the date that parents can access teacher assignments, we will send an email to the community.

Change of Address

Changes of Address may not be made through Family File. If you have recently moved, please email the following to documents to Ms. Deb Newman at deb_newman@hcpss.org:

  • A completed a change of address form

  • A copy of your new lease or deed

  • A copy of a current utility bill with your new address

Applying for Free and Reduced Meals for Children

The Coronavirus pandemic is causing hardship for many of our friends and neighbors. Many HCPSS families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and may be eligible now to receive benefits through the Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) program. Qualifying families can take advantage of a wide range of additional resources and discounts, including testing fees, tuition, internet and more. Click here to learn more or to apply. If you need assistance with the application process, please contact Tanisha Burks.

Dates to Remember


  • August 18th 9:30-10:30 Parent Preview (Please complete the survey with your intended date and any questions)
  • August 20th 6:00-7:00 Parent Preview (Please complete the survey with your intended date and any questions)
  • August 25th Our awesome Staff return!
  • September 4th Open House (This will be an opportunity for students and families to meet their teacher. Stay tuned for more information.)
  • September 8th First Day of School K-5
  • September 10th First Day of School PreK & RECC
  • September 22nd K-4th grade Back to School Night 6:00 (Stay tuned for more information.)
  • September 24th GT Information Session 5:30pm, 5th Grade Back to School Night 6:00 (Stay tuned for more information.)
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