Thurmont Primary School News

October 2021

Principals' Message

Dear Families,

During parent-teacher conferences this week you will be hearing about your child's social-emotional, behavioral and academic progress. We believe that focusing on whole child development, and partnering with you, will ensure all students are successful this school year.

Teachers will be sharing information about "Habits of Work" which are being used to promote students' mindsets of resilience and determination. You will receive a copy of self-reflection tools students will be using to identify how well they are displaying each work habit. Below is a sample of what "Learner Agency" looks like in each grade level.

We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you either virtually or in person this week!

Yours in education,

Michele Baisey



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Promoting a Positive School Climate

At TPS, we are committed to providing a safe space for students to work, learn and grow. Our goal is to create an environment where all students feel seen, heard, known and supported. We will continually work on creating a sense of belonging to ensure all students look forward to coming to school each day!

There are several ways we promote a positive school climate including...

  • setting school-wide expectations for success (Responsibility Ownership, Academic Effort, Respect)
  • focusing on Habits of Work (Learner Agency, Self-Advocacy, Perseverance, Social Responsibility)
  • promoting positive interactions, individual responsibility and health & wellness through morning announcement messages
  • reminding students daily of our school mission to "work, learn and care together so we can grow in our brain, heart and body power"
  • implementing PATHS lessons, sharing PATHS at-home family resources and recognizing the PATHS kid of the day
  • celebrating student success during quarterly awards ceremonies - information will be shared as we finalize plans for our Quarter 1 Assembly.

As part of our focus to encourage respect, we invite all students to wear blue on Wednesday, October 13th as we take part in the National Stop Bullying Day. This is a special opportunity for students to show pride in themselves for treating others with kindness. We will continue to celebrate our "Courage of a Cougar" as we accept and empower others.

FCPS information about bullying prevention can be found at:

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During our PATHS® lessons, students are learning that all feelings are OK! It is what we do with those feelings that can be good or bad.

Uncomfortable feelings like sad, mad, frustrated, disappointed, scared are things that we sometimes feel. The important thing is to help our students choose positive ways to express or show their feelings. Positive ways to express uncomfortable feelings might be to talk to someone, take deep breaths to calm down, take a break from the situation or ask for help.

The PATHS posters below show comfortable and uncomfortable feelings and steps students will be learning to "do the turtle" and use control signals.

Continue to look for PATHS at-home resources being shared by classroom teachers.

Items From Home

As we transition back to fully in person learning, students may continue to bring a small comfort item, such as a stuffed animal, to school. If this item becomes more of a distraction than a comfort we will have students keep them in their lockers.

We ask that all pop-its and fidget spinners be kept at home. They have become a distraction are being used as toys instead of calming tools. Any student who needs access to calming tools will be provided one by school staff for use in their classroom. We want to continue to encourage both self-regulation and engagement in learning.

Thank you for your support!

Manipulate in Math With Ms. Dove

The children have been very busy this first quarter in Math, as all grade levels have been working on counting, building sets and representing sets with a number to help students reach their end of the year grade level goals. (PreK: 0-20, Kindergarten: 0-100, First Grade: 0-120 and Second Grade: 0-1,000) These skills are extremely important as they help build the foundation for Place Value which is used when we do operations in math (add, subtract, multiply & divide). So what is “Place Value?” Place value can be defined as the value represented by a digit in a number based on its position in the number. So what does this look like?

We use cubes in Kindergarten and base ten blocks (blocks that are already in sticks of ten and some unattached blocks as ones) in First & Second grade to concretely represent numbers. When we get ten cubes, we connect them and make a stick of 10 representing 1 ten and leaving the other cubes unattached, showing they represent ones such as the number 13. After students build the numbers with the blocks, it is important for them to make a drawing/picture of the blocks for the number. In First and Second grade, we connect the abstract representation to the blocks by having students write an equation for the number 10 + 3 = 13. By doing all three of these steps (concrete, pictorial and abstract), we help students have a better understanding of how numbers work; leading to less confusion and errors when they start to add and subtract.

Things you can have your child do at home so they are more successful:

  • Count out loud without skipping numbers. Mark your child's progress and work with them to achieve their grade level goal for counting.
  • Read numbers at the store, on boxes, street signs, magazines & newspapers.
  • Count sets of objects, making groups of tens and ones and tell you how many.
  • Build numbers with objects and make groups of tens and ones.
  • Represent numbers with drawings of tens and ones.
  • Take a walk with your child around the neighborhood. Look for one-, two-, and three- digit numbers. Have your child read them aloud. Discuss each number and ask how many ones, tens, or hundreds are in the number.
  • Write numbers using chalk, markers, play-dough, sand, or colored pencils.
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School Picture Day - Monday, October 25th

Save the date and send your child with their biggest smile on Monday, October 25th, our individual school picture day. ALL students will have their picture taken for the school yearbook. Families can choose to purchase individual school pictures as well.

Look for information, including online ordering and print picture form options, to be shared via Find Out First.

Our TEPS PTA is Back!

We are excited about the re-energized TEPS PTA and all we will be able to do together in the coming year! We hope that you can find ways to support the TEPS PTA this year and beyond!

The PTA officer positions listed below were filled at our interest meeting on Tuesday, September 28th:

  • Co-Presidents - Christy Donnelly & Bonnie Glotfelty
  • Vice President - Danielle Bloxham
  • Secretary - Erin Goff
  • Treasurer - Deidre Willard

Our small but mighty group is already working on:

  • Conference Night Dinner for Staff - donations will be accepted through Wednesday, October 13th in both schools
  • Conference Night Membership Sign up - sign up during conferences to be entered for a chance to win a restaurant gift card
  • Angel Memberships - families can purchase a membership to be gifted to a family in need.

Be on the lookout for upcoming general PTA meeting & Board meeting dates.

Please contact with questions, needs or to support in any way!

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, October 12th - School Starts at 12:10pm - Evening Conferences

  • Wednesday, October 13th - National Stop Bullying Day (Wear Blue) & School Starts at 12:10pm - Evening Conferences

  • Thursday, October 14th - School Dismisses at 11:40am - Afternoon Conferences

  • Friday, October 15th - Schools Closed - Teacher Professional Development Day

  • Monday, October 25th - School Picture Day

  • Tuesday, October 26th - School Closed - Teacher Work Day