Dolphin Digest

Family Weekly Update: May 8, 2022

Gilpin Manor Elementary

Don Foskey, Principal

Mark Etzel, Assistant Principal

Lauren Kegley, School Counselor

Misty Pearson, Community School Advisor

Maggie Buto, Title I Resource Teacher

Melissa Pratt, Title I Resource Teacher

Charlie Givens, Student Services Resource Teacher

Jessica Janusz-Grimes, School Mental Health Professional

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Note from the Principal

Hello Gilpin Families,

This upcoming week is a big one for our students in grades 3, 4, and 5. They will take the MCAP (Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program) for reading. Testing will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. It is very important for students to arrive to school on time and well-rested ready to do their very best. Please encourage your student to try hard, think carefully, and give it their all!

Soon, interim reports will come home for the fourth marking period as the interim period ends tomorrow, Monday, May 9. This is a great opportunity to review with your child how they are doing in school in each content area. It is also a great time to communicate with your child's teacher and prepare to finish the school year in a really strong way! Interim reports will be emailed home on Tuesday, May 17.

As a reminder, the month of May is recognized as National Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health is an important part of our overall health, so it is important for us to talk about it. You can find valuable family resources here: Family Resource Kit. Throughout the month of May, we will continue to discuss mental health and its importance as part of our Second Step SEL lessons.

In addition, please check out the SEL information shared further down in our Dolphin Digest. Each week, there will be new details about Social and Emotional Learning: What is it? How does it help students? What is the home-school connection? This week: SEL at home! Here is a another resource you can access: How to Teach Your Kid Social-Emotional Skills From Day One.

At Gilpin Manor, we strive to be a support system for our GMES students and families. If you are in need of assistance, have questions, or just need to check-in, please email me at or contact the school at 410-996-5040. Mr. Etzel, our assistant principal, can also be reached at I hope you are safe and well!

And, as always, be kind to one another.


Don Foskey


**Please be sure to check out Dr. Lawson's 'Superintendent's Update' from February 25th about the updated optional mask procedure in addition to the 'Test to Stay' protocols!

Wacky Water Wednesdays

This month, we will participate in a water campaign in partnership with the Maryland SNAP-Ed program.

Gilpin is taking the Water Challenge this month! We are making a healthy choice by drinking more water to keep us alert, full of energy and ready to learn. Sip the Water Drop says..."Drinking water during the day helps to keep your immune system healthy! Keep a water bottle with you and refill throughout the day!"

Wednesday, May 11 - Wacky and Wild Colors Day (tie-dye)

Wednesday, May 18 - Wacky Socks Day

Wednesday, May 25 - Wacky Mismatched Day

GMES Community Pantry

Have you heard the news? The wonderful folks at Nicanor, Inc provided Gilpin with a FREE community pantry located just outside of the main office. The purpose of the pantry is to provide 24 hour access to food and other small house hold items a family may need. There is no paperwork to be filled out, but there is a QR code scan to keep up with usage and potential needs for the pantry. The pantry will be stocked by Nicanor, Inc and other charitable donations from our school community. The motto for our pantry is, "Take what you need and give what you can"!

CCPS Early Childhood Enrollment for 2022-2023

CCPS is implementing an online enrollment process for all students. Parents/guardians will be able to complete the enrollment using any device that is connected to the internet.

Early Childhood Enrollment began on April 1st. You may begin the enrollment process t the following link:


If you are interested in purchasing a yearbook, you can access that information now electronically. Strawbridge Studios is prepared to accept orders online. Yearbooks cost $15.00 this school year. Your direct link to access your online ordering site is:

CCPS Blended Virtual Program (BVP): 2022-2023 School Year Enrollment

Are you interested in having your child (grades 3-12) attend school virtually next school year? Blended Virtual Program (BVP) enrollment for the 2022 - 2023 school year is open and will run through 5/15/2022. Families who are interested in enrolling their student(s) can complete the application for enrollment located at

A voluntary information night will be held on April 25th at the George Washington Carver Center, located at 201 Booth Street Elkton, MD 21921. That session will be held in the Board Room and begin at 6:30 PM. If parents are unable to attend the session in person, it will be livestreamed and recorded. The recording will be posted to our webpage.

Be sure to get a head start on your school plans for the 2022-2023 school year!

Principal's Book of the Month

We have a new program at Gilpin Manor. It is called ‘Principal’s Book of the Month.’ Throughout the school year, Mr. Foskey will select a book that will be given to every GMES student. During the month, students are encouraged to read the book. Teachers may complete activities with the book in classrooms as well.

The ‘Principal’s Book of the Month’ program will help us continue to build our learning community. One book will give us a common experience to discuss with our entire school family. Our books might have gentle messages, celebrate a person or event, or give us ways to discuss our Gilpin values. These books are intended to highlight something special and bring joy to our lives. We hope you and your child will read our book of the month.

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Cafeteria News: Lunch Update

Due to limited supplies and difficulties with shipping, schools will now individually develop meal menus based on in stock food items. Please see the attached lunch menu for the next few upcoming weeks shared below.
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Social-Emotional Learning

SEL stands for Social Emotional Learning. It is a part of how we develop as humans. It is the process through which we manage emotions, set goals, problem-solve, make responsible and caring decisions, develop empathy for others, and develop healthy identities.

SEL at Home: (Check out the video down below!)

Social Emotional Learning is about supporting the whole child as they develop into thoughtful, people who can problem solve, set goals, care for others, and identify their own emotions. This work is important at school but must also happen at home. Families are our children's first teachers, so they play very important roles in developing social-emotional skills in our children. Here are a few resources of ways you can help at home:

  • respect differences
  • be a good listener
  • establish routines
  • show kindness to others
  • spend time playing games together and modeling taking turns
  • identify and describe your own feelings
  • model the behavior we want our children to show

Here are some resources:

Strategies at Home

Practices for Home

Second Step SEL Lessons:

Throughout the fourth marking period, our students will work through our Second Step Elementary unit 4 which focuses on problem-solving. Children will learn how to manage strong emotions to feel calm before solving problems, describe a problem and identify the wants and needs involved, think of many possible solutions and their potential outcomes, and pick the best solution.

To support families with SEL, below are a few resources:

Do you have a question about SEL at Gilpin Manor? Ask it here: GMES SEL Family Questions

SEL @ Home Activities (Elementary)

Community School Advisor: Connection

Check out our Community School Advisor Misty Pearson's CSA Connection: Community School Connection for the week of April 22, 2022 - Connection #11: CSA Connection.
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Important Dates and Upcoming Events

May: Mental Health Awareness Month, Better Speech and Hearing Month, Healthy Vision Month, & Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

  • Sunday, May 8 - Mother's Day
  • May 9, 10, 12, & 13: MCAP ELA Testing for students in Grades 3, 4, & 5
  • Week of May 9 - National Police Week
  • Monday, May 9 - Interim Period Ends (reports issued on May 17)
  • Wednesday, May 11 - National School Nurse Day (We appreciate Nurse Smith!)
  • Wednesday, May 11 - Wacky Water Wednesday for Water Month: Wacky & Wild Colors (tie-dye)
  • Thursday, May 12 - My Family Matters Resource Fair at GMES 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 13 - PreK goes to the North East Library
  • Saturday, May 14 - GMES PTA Community Block Party and Yard Sale
  • May 16-17: MCAP Math Testing for students in Grades 3, 4, & 5
  • Tuesday, May 17 - Interim Reports issued to students via family email address
  • Wednesday, May 18 - 2nd Grade goes to Fair Hill Nature Center
  • Wednesday, May 18 - Wacky Water Wednesday for Water Month: Wacky Socks
  • Thursday, May 19 - Donuts with Grownups at 8:00 a.m.
  • Friday, May 20 - Kindergarten goes to Plumpton Park Zoo
  • Wednesday, May 25 - Wacky Water Wednesday for Water Month: Wacky Mismatched Day
  • Friday, May 27 - Fun & Fitness Day (more info to come soon!)
  • Monday, May 30 - No School: Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 31 - 'Moving Up Night' from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
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Car Loop


  • All parents/guardians MUST remain in their vehicles. (Please park your car in a parking spot if you need to buckle your child's seatbelt.)
  • Vehicles may ONLY turn RIGHT when leaving the car loop.
  • In car loop 1 (grades Preschool, PreK, and K) - Please be sure to pull up close to the person in front of you so we can get as many vehicles as possible off of the main road.
  • Please keep music turned down quietly while on school property.
  • Please do not smoke while on school property.

Our car loop operates with two car loops again this school year to ensure the safety of students, families, and staff members. Students in grades Preschool, PreK, Kindergarten, and their siblings will use the smaller car loop at the front of the building. Students in grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, will use the car loop on the library side of the building. The library side of the building will require parents/guardians to enter down by the public library entrance.

To use the Car Loops, families must complete a GMES Car Rider Loop Application Information Sheet. You may do this electronically here: Car Rider Loop Application.

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Attendance at school each and every day is very important. This make sure students have consistent access to teachers and learning experiences. We will share weekly attendance rates for each grade level and the whole school each week.

Check out this great resource about attendance at school: Absences Adds Up!

Our goal each week is for each grade level, and our school overall, to have 90% or greater attendance. Attendance rates for this week are posted below:

PS: 96.6% PK: 87.8% K: 93.1% 1st: 89.1%

2nd: 93.1% 3rd: 89.0% 4th: 89.8% 5th: 89.0%

Overall: 90.6%

Congratulations to PreSchool, Kindergarten, and 2nd grade for surpassing our goal of 90%!

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Frequently, Dr. Lawson, our CCPS Superintendent, provides an update to staff, students, families, and the community. The update for May 6, 2022, can be located here: Superintendent's Update.

Please see Dr. Lawson's Elementary School Update from October 4, 2021: Elementary Update.

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Check out the MD SNAP-Ed Facebook page for more information on cooking demos and other great nutrition information -

PTA Post

Please look for the membership forms that will go home with students the first week of school.

If you are interested in joining the PTA, a committee, or have any questions, please email us at

2021-2022 PTA Board Members:

  • President - Sabrina Roberts
  • Vice President - Renee' Sayers
  • Treasurer - vacant
  • Secretary - vacant
  • GMES Staff Liaison - Kelly Strawbridge

Be sure to 'Like' our Facebook page - Gilpin Manor PTA.

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GMES Schedule

Office Hours: 8:00 am. - 4:30 p.m. (M,T,TH,F) 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (W)

School Hours - PreK-5th Gr: 8:45 a.m. - 3:35 p.m. (M,T,TH,F) 8:45 a.m. - 1:50 p.m. (W)

School Hours - Preschool: AM Session- 8:45 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. PM Session- 12:50 p.m. - 3:35 p.m.

CCPS and GMES Resource and Support Information

CCPS Technology Support

Videos about navigating online platforms, logging on, submitting assignments, and more!


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