September Tidbits #3

September 17, 2023

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Parents Have Homework Too!!

In this section, parents will find action items that we ask you to take a moment to review and complete. Thank you for your support.

Mr. Kent and the TCES family

1. Mark your calendars:

A. Sept. 21st - 2hr early dismissal (1:45pm)

B. Sept. 22nd - No school for students

C. SMCPS has approved revisions to the school system calendar.

D. PreK will attend school on early release days.

2. All past volunteers and new volunteers must complete the volunteer.

-ELMS and Sotterley field trips start Sept. 25th.-

3. St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) Department of Food and Nutrition Services would like to remind families that School Year Meal Benefit forms for SY 2023-2024 are now available online. U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers that permitted distribution of free meals in school and via take-home meals have not been extended into School Year 2023-2024.

All families must fill out a new meal benefit form as soon as possible. Filling out the form early ensures your benefits stay current. Meal Benefits Application

4. Use this link to join the TCES PTO

A recap of last week and what is ahead!

Town Creek Terrapin Families,

9/11/23 - 9/15/23 Recap:

1. The TCES PTO met this week!!!! They are planning several exciting events. Please use the membership link to join. They are looking for members, volunteers and ideas to engage the TCES community

1. Parents/Guardians: if you need to sign out your child(ren) out early, please try to do this no later than 3:30 p.m.. After this time, the office is fully focused on the safety of bus and car dismissal. We can still assist you past this time by having your child(ren) report to the Media Center for dismissal at 3:45.

2. We have completed our initial DIBLES assessments. This data will help teachers plan your child(ren)'s instruction.

What's just ahead:

ELMS and Sotterely field trips are just around the corner

Important Dates

Thursday, September 21st - 2hour early dismissal

Friday, September 22nd - No school for students (Teacher professional development)

Monday, Septemer 25th - Ms. Kirscht (2nd) and Ms. Grzymalski (5th) field trip to Sotterley

Tuesdday, September 26th - Ms. Morgan (2nd) and Mr. Rushworth (5th) field trip to Sotterley

Wednesday, September 27th - Ms. Horner (4th) and Ms. Moore (4th) field trip to ELMS

Important Links

TCES Spirit Wear

Ready to rock some new Town Creek threads? A wide variety of spirit wear is now available from hoodies to sweatpants!

Select this link to see pictures and detailed descriptions of the seven new items available in both youth and adult sizes.

To order, you can print this form and send cash or check, or you can order everything online in the My School Bucks School Store. For directions on how to order through the MSB School Store, please select this link.

The items will be delivered to your student at school as soon as they arrive at TCES.

**NOTE: Do not put money into the lunch money account for this purchase! That is a separate account from the School Store and can NOT be transferred.

My School Store Directions

Follow these steps to purchase your spirit wear through My School Bucks!

Registering a New Student

Welcome to Town Creek Elementary

Your student will love being a Terrapin!

SY24 Registration Checklist with Active Links

2023-2024 School Registration

We look forward to assisting you through the registration process! In order for us to most efficiently serve you, we recommend scheduling an appointment to register your student. Please call our main office at 301-863-4044 or email

Kindergarten Registration - Open registration for students who will be five years old by September 1, 2023 continues throughout the summer.

SMCPS Registration Information

Required documents include:

  • Proof of residence
  • Evidence of Birth
  • Immunization Record
  • Court papers regarding custody (if applicable)
  • Photo ID of parent/guardian

Out-of-District Transfer Requests

  • In order to attend TCES, valid proof of residence must be provided.
  • If you do not reside within TCES district boundaries, you must submit a transfer request (annually). This does not guarantee placement.

Pre-Kindergarten Application

St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) offers full-day Pre-kindergarten to children who reside in St. Mary’s County Maryland; meet age requirements; and are income eligible.

  • A child must be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2023.
  • All Pre-Kindergarten classes for 4-year-olds are full day.
  • A family must verify their annual income is at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Families that are at 185% FPL will be served first.
  • Income verification is required of every applicant
  • Application Flyers: ENGLISH -- SPANISH

Complete this PreKindergarten Application.

Back to School Supply List

Have you picked up your school supplies? Not sure what you might need? Here's the SY24 School Supply List Link:

2023-2024 School Supply List

Office Hours

Hours: 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Days: Monday - Thursday

Phone: (301) 863-4044

Ms. VerHaagh - Attendance/Registration -

Ms. Hertzbach - Secretary to the Principal -

New PTO Board

Congratulations to our new PTO Board Members for the 2023-2024 School Year!

  • Lydia Rivera: President
  • Amylis Martinez: Vice President
  • Paula Causey: Secretary
  • Rebecca Lira: Treasurer

PTO General Meeting

Our first PTO general meeting was held on Sept. 12th at 5:30 p.m. in the TCES cafe.

Town Creek Elementary PTO

Meeting Notes

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

In attendance- Lydia Rivera, Amylis Martinez, Rebecca Lira, Paula Causey, Yasi Kirby, Kelly Kent, Deb Settle, Bethany McHenry, Violet Burdick, Brandy Norris, and Rachelle Altig.

The meeting was called to order at 5:45pm by President Lydia Rivera. Officers were introduced. A permanent treasurer is still needed.

Lydia reviewed the budget for the 2023-2024 school year and reviewed the situation with the Maryland PTA lawsuit and why we are a PTO. We also discussed what funds raised will potentially go toward (teacher wishlists, pay off student lunch debt, programs such as assemblies, school improvement projects).

In the course of reviewing the budget and fundraising from the prior school year, the following committees/events were discussed (in chronological order through the school year):

  • Fall Festival

    • 10/27 5:00-7:30

    • Indoor event

    • Co-chairs Lydia Rivera and Brandy Norris

    • Further details to be discussed at committee planning meetings

  • Movie Night

    • 11/17 time TBD

    • Paula Causey and Yasi Kirby to co-chair

  • Holiday Shop

    • 12/7

    • Set up after lunches

    • Shop time 3:45-5:00

    • Committee needed

  • New Year’s Dance

    • 1/5/24

    • Committee needed

  • Candy Grams

    • February

    • Increase cost to $1

    • Committee needed

  • Book Bingo

    • 3/5/24

    • Need more updated materials, Ms. Norris’ company may be interested in donating

    • Need committee

  • Teacher Appreciation

    • May 6-10, 2024

    • Need committee

  • Summer Festival

    • TBD

  • Spirit Nights

    • Ongoing

    • Need organizers

    • First one at Mod Pizza

We are in need of PTO bylaws and board member responsibilities descriptions. Tentatively, the board will develop bylaws to be voted upon by the membership.

Action Items:

  • Mrs. Kirby and Mrs. Causey to create a signup genius for committees, provide the links to the sign up and membership digital form to Mr. Kent to share in weekly S’more.

  • Fall Festival committee to begin planning events, consult with Ms. Settle for information on prior festival success/lessons learned.


Please be sure all phone number(s) and email addresses are up to date!

Directions to Receive Text Alerts [Link]

Stay up to date on events, closings, and alerts!

An Important message from SMCPS Schools

ALERT: Beware of Phishing Attempts on SMCPS Student Accounts:

In recent weeks, phishing attempts have been targeted at SMCPS student accounts using methods outside of SMCPS managed services.

Phishing is a method where malicious individuals attempt to trick you into providing them with information about you and your online account information. These methods can take many forms, so staying vigilant for anything that seems out of the ordinary when online is important.

Additionally, please note that SMCPS IT support will never contact you on Discord, Steam, or any other application that is not managed by SMCPS and will never ask you for your account password. If you are contacted on any outside application stating to be SMCPS IT, please DO NOT respond, block/report the individual and inform your site administration so that it can be escalated. Contact your building-level tech or the Department of Information Technology Services (ITS) at your first leisure for more information.