Whittier News

May 4, 2020

Notes from the Administration

Thank you so much for your continued support of your child during distance learning. You are rock stars! The staff has shared so many positive stories with me about your children. If you need anything, please continue to reach out to your child’s teacher or myself if you have any questions or concerns.

If you have not already done so, please take a moment to complete the survey sent out by Frederick County Public Schools. Please see the survey link below. We will get the results of the survey and will use this information to make adjustments to our distance learning plan as necessary.

This week is Teacher (Staff) Appreciation Week. What an amazing staff we have at Whittier! Check out our Spirit Week flier celebrating teachers. I also mailed out letters to all students on Sunday. There is a surprise activity to show our support of our staff! Thank you in advance for jumping on board! There will be more details in Monday's morning announcements too!

Thank you for the kind notes and pictures that you shared with me to celebrate National Principal’s Day! What an amazing opportunity to serve in the Whittier school community!

Continuity of Learning Survey

Whittier Elementary School invites you to participate in our school’s survey on Continuity of Learning. We want to hear from you on how Continuity of Learning is going for your child(ren). While the survey is voluntary, your feedback is important to us! Your responses will remain anonymous and will be combined with the responses of other families.

To access the survey online, go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COLParent2107

Important: This survey link is unique to WhittierElementary. If you have children who attend other schools (WFMS, FHS, etc), you will receive a link from those schools to respond to their survey. Please do not use our link for non-WHES students or share with families of children in other FCPS schools.

If you require a paper survey, please contact the front office at 240-236-3100.

The survey will remain open until Friday, May 8.

Hometown Hero

Whittier is full of HEROs! Each week we are going to spotlight a staff member who has gone above and beyond to embrace the definition of HERO.

A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

Shelley Lewis, the WHES Community Liaison. Mrs. Lewis has been at Whittier for the past 8 years in a variety of roles. She has been a PreK assistant, Kindergarten Assistant, and most recently our Community Liaison.

Mrs. Lewis has been at Whittier each week since March 30th, coordinating the distribution of Blessings in a Backpack and MD Food Bank food. She shopped for groceries to ensure that we had enough food in our food bags for families. She coordinated a Spring activity bag for students.

When families were finding it difficult to get to WHES for food pick up, Mrs. Lewis delivered food. When students are struggling to get work completed, we can count on Mrs. Lewis to determine what the issues are. We can also count on her to devise a plan for success!

If you need anything, Mrs. Lewis is your person! Thank you for your commitment to WHES students and families!

Update from Specials

  • As a Specials team our priority is ensuring all learners have the ability to exercise their creativity via mental and physical activity.
  • We love seeing what students are creating while we are apart. Reading, drawing, listening to music and playing outside are beneficial to people of all ages during this stressful time.
  • Although Art, Music, PE and library are not being graded for Term 4, we hope you will find our activities helpful to use for brain breaks and for meaningful unstructured time.
  • You can find our courses in Schoology by clicking on Courses at the top of your child's classroom page and clicking on the link marked "My Courses" on the right hand side of the screen. All of the folders are there for specials with Media being Library.
  • If you need any help in accessing our courses or in how to add specials into your weekly routine, please don't hesitate to email us or message us through Schoology.

We miss your students and we hope everyone is well!

Leah.Coats@fcps.org and Heidi.Hench@fcps.org (Art)


Damien.Wagaman@fcps.org and Laura.Smith@fcps.org (Music)

John.Keimig@fcps.org and David.Seaton@fcps.org (PE)

Quarter 4 - Grading

Last week, you received information regarding term four grading. Students in Grades 2-5 who participate in the FCPS Continuity of Learning (COL) plan will receive a term 4 grade of Pass (P) for each class, while students who do not participate or are unable to access classwork will receive an Incomplete (ICOL).

Pass indicates that there is evidence that the student has met the learning expectations during COL. Incomplete indicates that there is not enough evidence that the student has met the learning expectations during COL.

Students in PreK, Kindergarten, 1st Grade will earn the same grades they have had in the previous three terms: Exceeds Expectations (EE), Meets Expectations (ME), Approaches Expectations (AE), Developing Expectations (DE), or Not Evaluated (NE)

FCPS will not provide personal and social development ratings during Continuity of Learning at the elementary level. Also, specials grades (art, music, and physical education) will not be indicated on the term four report card. While special grades will not be recorded on the term four report card, we highly encourage your child to continue to participate in the specials' assignments during continuity of learning.

We have found that our students are enjoying the assignments and activities that are being provided by our Specials Teachers!

Starting Monday evening

Beginning on Wednesday evening, and each evening Monday through Friday, we will be sharing a bedtime read aloud featuring one of our very own WHES staff members.

We will send an 8:00 tweet on twitter that it is time for your child to start their bedtime routine. Pajamas on, teeth brushed, video games powered down, and one device ready for a bedtime story @ 8:30. The story will be on Schoology under WHES Morning Announcements.

Our children can definitely sense that something is different in schedules and routines. Mrs. Reese and Mrs. Leatherman have shared resources on their Schoology guidance page for how to talk to your child.

But what else does your child need? They need:

  • Reassurance- that you love them and they are safe
  • Time- time with you to unwind and share worries or celebrations the day. (Great at dinner or bedtime snuggles)
  • Routine and structure- a time for work, meals, bedtime, time to play. Share a plan.

I start my day @ 5:00 in the morning and am on calls until 4:00 most days. Then in the evenings, I am, catching up on emails, requests, and work. I was feeling overwhelmed balancing everyone (5) of us working from home. Worried that I was giving my family enough time during the day. When we suggested the support staff at Whittier call to check in students, I requested a phone call to my own house. My daughter looks forward to her 2:00 phone call each day.

Don't be afraid to ask for support! That's why we are here! See you Monday for our first bedtime story at 8:30.

Virtual Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week! Let's celebrate our teachers and how hard they are working. Let's also celebrate our parents who are working with their children at home.

Monday May 4th - Send your teacher a video of you telling a joke or a message them a joke.

Tuesday May 5th- Send a note to your teacher thanking them for their Awesomeness!

Wednesday May 6th- Snap a picture of yourself, send to your teacher. Send it to Mrs. Schwiegerath on Twitter #lovemyteacher

Thursday May 7th- Hats off to teachers. Send a picture to your teacher with a sign!

Friday May 8th- Dress like your favorite staff member. Share your super secret packet that came in the mail!

Saturday May 9th- Complete a job at home without being told.

Big picture

PreK and Kindergarten Registration

At this time we do not have information about PreK and Kindergarten registration.

As soon as we have that information, we will get that out to you!

Thank you for your patience!

Meal Pick Up at WHES

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner served at WHES as "to go" 11:00-1:00

This is a change. FCPS Food Services will provide 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Free to all students 18 and under. Please consider taking advantage of opportunity.

Blessings in A Backpack Food Pick Up

Blessings in A Backpack Food Pick Up

Friday May 1st


WHES Parking Lot

If you find that during this time, your situation has changed and you are in need of resources to support you and your family, please contact Shelley.Lewis@fcps.org or Lisa.Reese@fcps.org or Kirsten.Leatherman@fcps.org

Need Help?

  • Child Protective Services (CPS): 301-600-2464
    • To get help for physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
  • Crisis Services: Dial 211
    • To get help when you feel really anxious or really depressed and need someone to talk with so that you can stay safe.
  • Maryland Anonymous Tip Line: 1-833-632-7233
    • To report threats or situations that put your safety or others’ safety at risk.
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
    • To get help if you are thinking about suicide.

Technology Support

Mr. Bass, our User Support Specialist is available to answer your technology questions.

Mr. Bass was featured on Monday April 6, 2020 Morning Announcements.

You can reach him by sending an email to: Colin.Bass@fcps.org

Morning Announcements

  • Your child has been invited to morning announcements in Schoology.
  • All students should be able to view them in Schoology.
  • Announcements are published each morning @ 8:45.
  • All submissions need to be sent to: whesmorningannoucements@gmail.com
  • Students can also send submissions through their Schoology account to Mrs. Schwiegerath, each student received a message from me.
  • You may also email them to: amy.schwiegerath@fcps.org

PTA Facebook

Want to keep up to date with PTA events and happenings- join the Whittier PTA Facebook page.

Whittier Elementary School PTA