Thurmont Primary School News

September 2020 - Volume 2

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

After finishing our 3rd week of virtual learning I hope you and your child(ren) are falling into a routine. We appreciate your perseverance in learning new technology and supporting your child in all aspects of virtual learning!

Please continue to:

  • celebrate each and every thing that is going well
  • support your child to engage in virtual lessons and complete work in Schoology
  • support your child to attend the individual conference with his/her teacher each week
  • communicate with your child's teacher if you have questions, concerns or needs

Below are two important items. Please click the red button to access each item.

  1. FCPS Virtual Learning Feedback Survey - Information was sent via Find Out First on Friday, Sept. 18th about this survey. Responses are due by Friday, Sept. 25th. Please take time to complete one survey for each child enrolled at TPS.
  2. TEPS Virtual Learning Parent & Family Handbook - This handbook is specific to virtual learning and provides important information for you to review. A traditional handbook will be provided when students are able to return to school.

Yours in education,
Michele Baisey



Individual Student Conferences

Each week classroom teachers will meet with students individually for 15-minutes between 2:00-3:40pm. You should have signed up for a weekly time for your child's conference to be held. Conferences will be held via Google Meet using the teacher's meeting code. Individual student conferences are a required part of the overall weekly virtual learning schedule.

These individual conferences will allow students and teachers to better get to know one another. Teachers will also use this time to assess student learning and plan to support individual needs.

Please assist your child by making sure s/he attends the scheduled weekly conference. If your child is unable to meet during the scheduled time please notify the teacher in advance so you can reschedule.

Thank you for supporting this critical piece of our virtual learning plan!

Cougar Learning Lab

TPS will offer evening and weekend support to assist students with work in reading and math. ALL students are welcome to join on any/all of the days/times listed below. Students can receive help with Schoology assignments, practice reading and/or math skills and review daily lessons.

Reading Support:

  • Mondays & Tuesdays from 3:45-4:45pm
  • Saturdays from 9:00-11:00am
  • Code "TPS-Orlando"

Math Support:

  • Wednesdays & Thursday from 6:30-7:30pm
  • Saturdays from 10:00-12:00pm
  • Code "TPS-Dove"

Cougar Learning Lab Flyer

Technology & Classroom Support

Our Cougar Care Center is available to provide technical and/or assignment assistance daily. We have staff available to support you daily from 9:45am-12:30pm and 1:00-3:40pm (staff have lunch daily from 12:30-1:00pm).

To access support please...

  • log into a device using your child's FCPS account username and password
  • open your web browser
  • go to
  • click the green "join or start a meet" button
  • enter "TPS-CougarCenter" in the box for a meeting nickname/code
  • click "continue"

Using this support service will allow you immediate access to assistance and bypass the need to call into the front office or email your child's teacher. We are committed to ensuring students & families are able to successfully access and participate in virtual learning!

Please also see the Schoology Troubleshooting Guide for Parents & Students shared through the FCPS Find Out First system last week.

Performance Series Assessment - 1st & 2nd Grades

Now that students have begun learning in the virtual model, teachers will begin assessing students to determine their current performance levels. Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) staff made adjustments to the assessment program this year in order to have a comprehensive picture of student performance. This is very important after the spring Continuity of Learning and summer break.

At the elementary level this means the expansion of our adaptive assessment called Performance Series. Performance Series is a computer-based, adaptive math and reading assessment. We have been successfully using this assessment in FCPS in Grades 2-10 for several years, most recently in grades 2, 5, and 8.

This assessment is different from many of the assessments that are administered by their classroom teacher as it is computer adaptive. In adaptive assessments, students are assessed on a broad range of math or reading concepts to measure overall performance. We will use this assessment to measure student performance at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. It's a tool that is used to show academic growth; students are not graded on these assessments.

When taking an adaptive assessment, students are often presented with questions about topics that have not been covered in instruction, but that students may already have background knowledge in to answer successfully. The computer will continue to adapt the questions based on student responses. Questions may span content in multiple grade levels. This process continues until the assessment platform has enough information to determine a student's current performance level.

For our youngest learners this may be a new experience; it’s important to know how you can help to make the experience a positive one. First, let your child know that they may receive some questions on content or topics they haven’t learned before. Let them know it's okay to simply do their best on that question even if they don’t fully understand it.

Second, please do not assist your child with the answers on any of the questions in the adaptive assessment. Our goal is to have a good measure of your student’s performance at this one point in time. It is just one measure. Your child's performance information will be used by the teacher and school staff for the purposes of providing supportive instruction.

Thanks in advance for your support of this important process. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions or need assistance.

FCPS Meals to Go

FCPS has extended the FREE Meals to Go service for all children 18 years and younger.

Meals are provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using the following schedule.

  • Mondays – “To-go” breakfasts and lunches are provided for Monday and Tuesday
  • Tuesdays – Kitchens are closed
  • Wednesdays – “To-go” breakfasts and lunches are provided for Wednesday and Thursday
  • Thursdays – Kitchens are closed
  • Fridays – “To-go” breakfasts and lunches are provided for Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Children do not have to be present. A parent, guardian or other designated person can pick up food for children. Parents/guardians or children will enter the school cafeteria and pick up the food in the kitchen serving line. Masks must be worn by all children and adults entering the cafeteria, and family groups must stay 6 feet apart from other family groups. The food server will do all of the food handling. All food will be compartmentalized or individually wrapped.

Thurmont Middle School is the closest site for our TPS students/families but you may visit any site to participate in the program. A full listing of sites and additional details are available at:

Important Dates

Friday, September 25th - Schools Open for Instruction

Monday, September 28th - Schools Closed for Yom Kippur - No Virtual Learning

Friday, October 2nd

  • Mid-Term
  • 2-Hour Early Dismissal - Classes/Student Work Ends @ 1:10pm

Friday, October 9th - Interims Issued

Friday, October 16th - Schools Closed for Students - Teacher Work Day

Wednesday, October 21st - Schools Open 4 Hours Late (12:10pm) for Evening Conferences

Thursday, October 22nd - Schools Open 4 Hours Late (12:10pm) for Evening Conferences

Friday, October 23rd - Schools Close 3 1/2 Hours Early (11:40am) for Afternoon Conferences