Thurmont Primary School News

December 2021

Principals' Message

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe it is already December! You can feel the joy, excitement and magic of the holiday season building with each passing day. We love hearing about the ways in which students decorate, celebrate and prepare for the holidays at home. The traditions that make the holidays special for each child, and their family, are part of what makes our entire school community unique!

Yours in education,

Michele Baisey



13 Days of Holiday Cheer

We know students are already excited about the holiday season and upcoming winter break. As a way to bring our school community together, we will be celebrating the 13 Days of Holiday Cheer.

Staff and students at TPS, along with staff and students at TES, are invited to dress up each of the 13 days leading up to winter break (Dec. 6 through Dec. 22). We hope this brings smiles, joy and excitement to our already highly spirited school community!

13 Days of Holiday Cheer Flyer

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Bus Status Information

As many of you have experienced, there are bus delays, bus route coverages, and changes to schedules which impact pick up/drop off times. We know this causes frustration and difficulty in your schedules. We are working to support communication that will keep you informed as soon as possible when a change occurs.

Please visit for updated information about bus status. The page is updated every 60 seconds in real time so will have the most accurate information.

Thanks for your continued patience as we work through all aspects of returning to fully in person learning environment while navigating a global pandemic. It may not be easy but it's worth it!

Money for Snacks & Ice Cream

Students enjoy when they can purchase a snack or ice cream treat from our cafeteria!

In order to help move students through the lunch line quickly, we ask that...

  • any money being sent in is labeled with the student name and "lunch account"
  • money is secured inside a sealed envelope or bag

Online payments can be made to your child's lunch account. Please visit: for directions.

We appreciate your help in efficiently helping students go through the lunch line each day!

What's the Sign?

As we look around, we see many signs of the holidays approaching! In math, we have mathematical signs/symbols that we use everyday to help others know how we solved the problem. So what math symbols/signs should your child be able to identify and use correctly?

In Kindergarten, we begin introducing the symbol names for + (addition/plus), - (subtraction/minus) along with = (equal) as we solve problems. In first and second grade, students must know, use and understand the mathematical symbols as they solve problems and write equations.

As you read in last month’s newsletter, students are also working with the comparing symbols: > greater than/more than, < less than/fewer than, and = equal to/same as. We first want to teach students by acting out a math concept with concrete objects such as addition, showing how to put two sets of objects together into one total set or subtraction, taking a part of the set away from the total. Once students learn a concept, sometimes teaching the related symbol is relatively easy because it's simply a matter of adding a new symbol to their toolbox. It is always important that we use these abstract math symbols with concrete objects, pictures and numbers so that students have a better understanding of their meaning. However, some students have difficulty remembering the symbol names and when to use them.

You may be wondering how you can help your child use and remember these math symbols. Here are some activities you can do with your child at home to reinforce using these symbols:

  • Play “What’s my Sign?” with symbol charades: Someone acts out the math concept with objects, the child holds up the correct math symbol for the operation being acted out and names the symbol.

  • Use dice or spinners to practice putting objects together or taking some away and then writing an equation with the correct symbol.
  • Create math stories together for addition and subtraction, solving them with objects and then representing them with an equation.
  • Practice coming up with many different ways to represent a single number such as 10 using objects with equations.
  • Play board games using equations for the actions or keeping track of points.
  • Practice addition and subtraction using real life situations. Have your child draw, act out, use objects to solve and write the equation.
  • Compare sets of objects using the correct comparing symbols (<, =, >).

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Holiday Assistance

Please reach out to Mrs. McQuay, school counselor, at if you are in need of holiday assistance for your children.

Holiday Assistance Resources:

  • Frederick County Holiday Assistance Resources (Apply Early!)
  • Salvation Army Angel Tree
  • Toys for Tots
  • Seton Center

Important Dates

  • Monday, December 6th - 2 Hour Early Dismissal at 1:10pm

  • Tuesday, December 7th - Picture Retake Day

  • Tuesday, December 14th - Smile Dentist

  • Thursday, December 23rd - Friday, December 31st - Schools Closed for Winter Break

  • Monday, January 3rd - Schools Reopen

  • Thursday, January 13th - 2 Hour Early Dismissal

  • Friday, January 14th - Schools Closed for Students - Teacher Work Day

  • Monday, January 17th - Schools Closed for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day