Thurmont Primary School News

Back to School - August 2021, Volume 2

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

We enjoyed seeing so many of your during "Popsicles in the Park" on Friday afternoon. Even though it was hot we know it was worth it and are thankful for the opportunity to begin reconnecting with our school community. If we didn't see you last week we hope you visit during our "Open House" on Tuesday, August 17th from 3-4pm. Please remember, masks are required for all those attending.

In the last newsletter I shared we will focus on making sure each child is seen, heard, known and supported in the coming year. Here are some of the ways I will work to make this happen...

  • Seen - I will get to know students so that I can tell if/when they have a new haircut, are celebrating a birthday or may not be feeling quite like themselves. I will visit with students at arrival, lunch, dismissal and in their classrooms.
  • Heard - I will listen when students have something to share. Whether they want to tell me about something special happening at home, something they need at school or something they are excited to be learning, I will be available and eager to listen.
  • Known - I will learn students names so I can greet, welcome and interact with them individually. I will learn what makes them special and unique, and remind them to always be exactly who they are.
  • Supported - I will provide students with access to academic and social-emotional support. I will make sure all students have the materials, resources and tools they need to be successful. I will be available to offer my support if/when needed.

As we work to strengthen our school community, we recognize the importance of celebrating and appreciating our strengths, similarities and differences. We want students to be proud of who they are and what they bring to our school family. Having the "Courage of a Cougar" means leading with love, showing compassion and offering acceptance. With these things in place we know students will continue to grow their brain, heart and body power each day!

Yours in education,

Michele Baisey



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Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)

As we focus on educating the whole child, TPS, along with all FCPS schools, will continue to implement curriculum that supports social emotional learning (SEL). Prompting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS) lessons will be taught at least twice weekly in each TPS classroom.

PATHS will teach SEL skills to help students succeed in school and life. These skills include

handling emotions constructively, behaving responsibly, making good decisions, and developing caring, positive relationships. SEL contributes to a positive school climate, improvements in academic achievement, and reductions in bullying behavior.

Classroom teachers will be sharing PATHS resources with you throughout the year. This will include key vocabulary and at home activities to reinforce learning. We are excited for all the ways PATHS lessons will support students to grow their brain, heart and body power every day!


Being successful in school begins with being present and available to learn. Attending school regularly also helps children feel better about school and themselves. Families play a critical role in establishing routines so children arrive at school on time and are consistently present.

As you prepare for a new school year, consider ways you can support your child by establishing positive attendance habits.

  • Follow a regular bedtime and morning routine
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks/lunches the night before
  • Send your child to school unless they are too sick to attend (fever, vomiting, diarrhea and contagious illness are reasons to stay home from school)
  • Talk to school staff if your child appears anxious about going to school
  • Develop back up plans in case of a change to your child's transportation
  • Schedule appointments and extended trips so they do not interfere with the school day

If/when your child will be absent please send a note to

Information about attendance in FCPS is available at:

Arrival & Dismissal

Arrival and dismissal are two of our busiest times each day. We appreciate you following these procedures to help us make sure it runs smoothly.

Car Rider Arrival:

  • "Kiss and go" at the car rider line. Please allow school staff to help your child out of the passenger side of the car. This will help traffic continue to flow.
  • If you need to assist your child with getting out of the car please park in a marked space and escort them to the car rider entrance.
  • Students will be provided with hand sanitizer upon arrival and can obtain a mask if they have forgotten one.

Car Rider Dismissal:

  • Car riders will be called from the line to meet you. Please allow school staff to help your child into the passenger side of the car. This will help traffic continue to flow.
  • If you need to assist your child with getting into the car please park in a marked space and walk over to the car rider exit to pick them up.

Bus Riders:

  • Confirm your child's bus information just before school starts.
  • Have your child at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the listed pick up time.
  • Remind your child to show respect and responsibility on the bus ride to school. Students should remain seated at all times, keep their hands/body to themselves, keep all belongings inside their book bag, follow the driver's directions and talk quietly with those closest to them.
  • Students will be provided with hand sanitizer upon arrival and can obtain a mask if they have forgotten one.
  • Be at the bus stop to meet your child at least 5 minutes before the scheduled drop off time.
  • Remember that all students will be dropped off at the bus stop. Students will not be kept on the bus or brought back to school if there is not someone at the stop to meet them.

All students will be provided with a dismissal name tag. We ask all students to keep their necklace in their book bag so they can wear it each afternoon. During open house you will be able to pick up your child's dismissal name tag. The information listed is what we currently have in our student information system. If this information is not correct please see Ms. Hill in the front office.

Thank you for supporting us with welcoming students and sending them home safely each day!

Bus Information

Bus stop information became available on Wednesday, August 11th at

Please visit the website to look up your child's bus number and pickup/drop off times. Also, plan to confirm the times closer to the first day of school as there could be changes.

If you need support regarding transportation please call the school at 240-236-2800.

Visitor Information

As we continue to prioritize the health and safety of all those in our school community, we share the following information regarding visitation:

  • All FCPS schools will ask for parents to "kiss and go" during drop off at school. Parents, or other family members, will not be permitted to escort students to their classroom. This applies to all school days, including the 1st day of school.
  • If/when you have an in person appointment at the school please ring the doorbell, answer the screening questions posted on the front door and report to the main office for assistance.
  • Bring a photo ID with you any time you are visiting the school.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to maintain health and safety during our full in person reopening!

Free and Reduced Meal Applications

All families should have received a Free and Reduced Meal Benefits Application form with their child's teacher/class assignment letter. We ask for the blue form to be returned during our Open House event on Tuesday, August 17th. Even if you think you will not qualify for meal benefits, or do not plan on accessing them, the information you provide can still help our school to access funding for materials, resources, and more.

Additional information, online application and printable application forms are included below...

Free Meals for ALL Students

All students can receive a free breakfast and/or lunch during the 2021-2022 school year. Please visit FCPS Food & Nutrition - Menus to access school specific meal menus. We hope this helps as you plan for your child's school day.

FCPS Universal Mask Requirements

All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings inside school buildings as we start the 2021-2022 school year. Students will still be required to wear masks on school buses. Masks will not be required when outdoors.

TPS will have masks on hand to provide to students who may forget theirs or need a replacement.

Click here for more information: FCPS Requires Universal Masking for the Start of the 2021-2022 School Year

Thank you for helping to protect all those within our school community!

Important Dates

  • Monday, August 16th at 5:00pm - Kindergarten Orientation (Parents/Guardians Only)

  • Tuesday, August 17th at 3:00pm - Open House

  • Wednesday, August 18th - 1st Day of School for all 1st and 2nd Grade Students; 1st Day of Staggered Start in K; Pre-K Family Meetings

  • Thursday, August 19th - 2nd Day of Staggered Start in Kindergarten; Pre-K Family Meetings

  • Friday, August 20th - 3rd Day of Staggered Start in Kindergarten; 1st Day of Staggered Start in Pre-K

  • Monday, August 23rd - 1st Day for All Kindergarten Students; 2nd Day of Staggered Start in Pre-K

  • Tuesday, August 24th - 1st Day for All Pre-K Students