Sandy Plains Roundup

April 24 - May 1, 2015

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Administrators' Address

Because of your continued efforts, our students continue to demonstrate great accomplishments. Take a few minutes to think about the successes that have recently occurred in your classroom and across our school. The photographs in this newsletter are just a few samples of all that is being accomplished at Sandy Plains Elementary School.
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Essential Events


May 4-June 5: EOY PARCC testing window, grades 3-5

May: MAP testing, grades K-2

May 4-5: Professional Learning: Dr. Lindsey Moses

May 4-8: Teacher Appreciation Week

May 6: School Nurse Day

May 11: PreK-K Conference Day; no school for PreK and K students

May 25: Memorial Day; schools and offices closed

June 9: Attendance Breakfast, 9:00-9:30

June 10: Volunteer Breakfast, 9:00-10:00

June 26: Summer school teachers on duty

June 29: Summer school begins

Please take some time to read the article below, Leading Learning for Children From Poverty. This is a suggested read from Mrs. Blannard.

After reading the article, click on the Padlet link to reflect upon your new learning and share your thoughts.

Congratulations to the March Attendance Incentive Winners!

PreK: Mrs. Sneed's PM Class

K: Mrs. Reisher's Class

1st: Mrs. Tracey's Class

2nd: Ms. Hoffman's Class

3rd: Mrs. Haines' Class

4th: Ms. Remeikis' Class

5th: Mrs. Cartwright's Class

BLS: Mrs. Verkest's Class

The Poster Maker Is Alive at Last!!!

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Ballroom dancing was a HUGE success!

BCPS Bytes

716. ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES Elementary social studies teachers are invited to participate in a full day of professional development on Monday, June 29, 2015. Teachers will have the opportunity to register for two separate workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Teachers are encouraged to register for both a morning and afternoon session, but it is not required. Teachers will receive a stipend for attending. The following sessions will be offered:  Economics in the Classroom (K-2) – 9 to 11:30 a.m.  Economics in the Classroom (3-5) – 12:30 to 3 p.m.  Geography in the Classroom (K-2) – 9 to 11:30  Geography in the Classroom (3-5) – 12:30 to 3 p.m. Interested participants must register using the Workshops – Summer Professional Development Catalog on the Online Registration System at https://www.bcps.org/apps/registration. The workshops are titled Elementary Social Studies: Economics in the Classroom (K-2), Elementary Social Studies: Economics in the Classroom (3-5), Elementary Social Studies: Geography in the Classroom (K-2) and Elementary Social Studies: Geography in the Classroom (3-5). Registration instructions are available from the login screen. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Dani Biancolli, Coordinator 2172 Gerri Otto, Resource Teacher


719. NIGHTS OF INNOVATION All BCPS students, parents, staff, and other stakeholders are invited to attend the spring edition of a Night of Innovation. This event, held in partnership with Discovery Education, will give stakeholders an opportunity to see the transformation of teaching and learning at the Lighthouse schools. A Night of Innovation will be run in an open-house format with opportunities to visit several stations including hands-on, interactive stations with Discovery Education, a Student Digital Showcase, model classrooms that exemplify learner-centered environments, and more. Please see the attached flyer for more information. Visitors are welcome to attend any one of the four Night of Innovation events being held around the county. All events will be held on May 4, 2015 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the following schools: Chase Elementary, Halstead Academy, Mays Chapel Elementary, and Rodgers Forge Elementary. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): David Robb, Supervisor 6692


721. NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION Teachers who have taught successfully for a minimum of three (3) years on a professional certificate are eligible to apply for National Board Certification (NBC). The application packet may be downloaded by visiting the Office of Certification’s Web site at www.bcps.org/offices/personnel/certification, then click on the link National Board. There is an assessment fee of $475 per each of the four assessment components. BCPS, along with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), participates in a Fee Incentive Program, which covers the total assessment cost; however, each candidate is responsible for the $75 application fee. To apply for the Fee Incentive Program, applicants are required to write an essay based on the five (5) core propositions of National Board Certification and present two (2) references.

There is an interest meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at the Greenwood Administration Building E, Room 123, 6901 Charles Street, Towson, Maryland 21204. The informational meeting will be from 4 to 5 p.m. The Office of Certification must receive all applicant information by May 4, 2015. MSDE offers an annual stipend to teachers holding NBC; BCPS matches that amount provided the employee is in a teaching position. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Carla Simons, Certification Analyst 4147


722. MARYLAND TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL EVALUATION SURVEY 2015 The Maryland State Department of Education is interested in learning from, and with educators across the state, to inform the continued implementation of the Teacher Principal Evaluation System (TPE). This survey will be used to improve and refine evaluation instruments and practices in Maryland schools and to inform their work as the TPE system moves forward. All principals and teachers are asked to participate in the 2015 TPE Survey at http://websurveyor.msde.state.md.us/wsb.dll/s/25g458. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Joelle Skorczewski, Personnel Officer 2095


728. UPCOMING COHORT INFORMATION FAIR BCPS, in collaboration with our college and university partners, will hold a cohort information fair on Monday, May 11, 2015, at Cockeysville Middle School from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The schedule listed below will provide participants an opportunity to attend two Cohort Information Sessions with college and university faculty and one Cohort Overview Session with BCPS staff. The Cohort Overview Session will provide information on the benefits and responsibilities of being a cohort member. This schedule is subject to change. A list of upcoming cohorts is attached. 4:30 – 4:55 p.m. Cohort Overview Session 5:00 – 5:45 p.m. College Information Session I 5:05 – 5:30 p.m. Cohort Overview Session 5:50 – 6:30 p.m. College Information Session II 5:50 – 6:15 p.m. Cohort Overview Session

Those who do not attend the cohort fair, but want information about upcoming cohorts, should visit http://www.bcps.org/offices/dpd/upcoming_cohorts.html and click on the information documents for cohorts of interest. Each information document contains contact information for the college or university sponsoring the cohort to contact with specific questions. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Debbie Piper, Coordinator 6491


731. NATURE FOR TEACHERS WORKSHOP The next Nature for Teachers workshop is titled Maryland Native Bees and will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center in Hunt Valley. Participants will learn that there are approximately 4000 species of bees in the United States, 400 of which are native to Maryland. Little is known about the populations of most of these species. In 2009, a yearlong survey of the bees on Hart-Miller Island was conducted by Gene Scarpulla to increase the knowledge base about Maryland's bees. Mr. Scarpulla will give a brief overview of the history of Hart-Miller Island, describe his yearlong survey, discuss bee biology, identification (i.e., bees, wasps, flies,) and show the marvelous diversity of bee species that he found on the island. Participants will then go into the field to capture and observe living bees, wasps, and their mimics. All teachers are invited to join this informally-guided outdoor experience with experts in the field to learn more about the natural world that surrounds them. The Nature for Teachers workshop experiences vary from year to year but always provide the opportunity to visit interesting environmentally-related areas of Baltimore County and Baltimore City. Teachers will learn in an atmosphere of no pressure, no prep, and no grades! Interested teachers must register for the workshop by using the Workshops-Registration Catalog on the Online Registration System at https://www.bcps.org/apps/registration. The workshop is titled Nature for Teachers – Maryland Native Bees. Registration instructions are available from the login screen. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Tom Melito, Naturalist 410-949-4973


732. CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR IN KINDERGARTEN AND ELEMENTARY BEHAVIOR LEARNING SUPPORT (BLS) PROGRAMS The Offices of Special Education and Early Childhood Programs will offer a full-day professional development opportunity for kindergarten teachers, early childhood learning support (ECLS) kindergarten teachers, communication and learning support (CALS) kindergarten teachers, and behavior learning support (BLS) teachers to support the provision of the continuum of services in elementary schools. This professional development event will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Radisson North Baltimore Plaza in Timonium. Participants will be allotted time for lunch on their own. Come and explore fresh ways to think about "behavior problems" in inclusive schools with national consultant and author, Dr. Paula Kluth. Participants will examine where problems come from, who "owns" them, and how certain language and approaches create behavior struggles and minimize them. Additionally, participants will discuss how educators can avoid challenging moments by listening, teaching, collaborating, and thinking outside the box.

Principals are encouraged to send one representative from their school's kindergarten grade-level team and as applicable, the elementary BLS teachers, ECLS kindergarten teachers, and CALS kindergarten teachers. Interested participants must register for the offering by Monday, May 11, 2015, using the Workshops-Registration Catalog on the Online Registration System at https://www.bcps.org/apps/registration. The workshop is titled The Problem with Behavior Problems in Kindergarten and Elementary BLS Programs and can be found under the heading Early Childhood Programs. Registration instructions are available from the login screen. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Amy Pfeiffer-Smith, Resource Teacher 4313 x254


734. GOOGLE CHROME AND JAVA ISSUES With the most recent version of Google Chrome, Google opted to limit the ability of certain plugins, such as Java, to operate effectively. This is part of a larger movement towards more secure Web browsing. The Department of Information Technology released a fix on April 24, 2015, that will resolve this issue until September 2015. The fix requires a restart of your computer; however, if problems exist after restarting, please contact the Technology Help Desk at 410-887- 4672. In September 2015, Google will remove all support for applications that rely on certain plug-ins, such as Java. For Google Chrome users, if an application is not working properly, please try Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): Jodi Obenstine, Director 3858 x427


736. SCHOOL GUARD TEAM The Baltimore County Police Department is seeking individuals who are interested in becoming school crossing guards. The current salary is $12.16 per hour. To apply, visit the Baltimore County Jobs Web site at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/baltimorecounty/default.cfm. Positions are listed at various times throughout the school year; if it does not appear, revisit the site in a few days. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the following individual(s): April Lewis, Manager 6487