Thurmont Primary School News

January 2021 - Volume 2

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

Our school team is working diligently to prepare for the transition to the hybrid learning model and revised schedules which will be implemented on Tuesday, February 16th. Whether you chose for your child to remain fully virtual or to attend school in the hybrid learning model, we are ready to support you and ensure a successful transition.

Linked below is a screencast which provides an overview of both learning models. We hope this information helps you get a sense of how each model will provide your child with a high quality instructional experience during Quarter 3.

Please also see below for important information about picking up your child's cohort/teacher assignment letter and at home learning materials for Quarter 3. A letter and materials will be provided to all students.

If you have any questions or we can support your family during this time of transition please do not hesitate to reach out!

Yours in education,
Michele Baisey



TPS Hybrid & Virtual Learning Overview

Hybrid/Virtual Class Assignments & Quarter 3 Material Pick Up

We will be offering curbside carryout of important information and materials on Wednesday, January 27th from 8:30am-3:30pm

You will be able to pick up your child's virtual and/or hybrid cohort letter. This will include the teacher, if a class change has occurred, and cohort group if your child will be attending school as part of hybrid in person learning.

At home learning materials for Quarter 3 will also be provided.

If you are unable to pickup these items on Wednesday, January 27th you may stop by any time after that date to do so. Please call the front office to make individual arrangements.

Hybrid & Virtual Learning Model Update

As this time, FCPS is planning for teachers to return to buildings on Wednesday, January 27, with students returning as part of an in-person hybrid model on Tuesday, February 16. Both Wednesday, February 3, and Wednesday February 10, will serve as fully asynchronous learning days for all students.

When we transition to hybrid learning model on February 16 we will implement our revised schedules linked below:

Students who will be remaining fully virtual will follow the same basic schedule with the exception of arrival and dismissal. These time blocks will be used for individual and/or small group support. Virtual grade level schedules are linked below:

As a reminder, classroom teachers will be providing their individual schedules. If you have questions regarding your child's individual schedule please contact the classroom teacher.

TPS Celebrates Kindness Week

FCPS is celebrating Civility Week January 25th - 29th. As part of this celebration, TPS is participating in the Great Kindness Challenge. We have several special activities planned including:

We hope your child enjoys spreading kindness and being part of our school-wide kindness celebration!

ELA News Flash

What does it take to be a strong reader?

One of the most important things we can give our children is the opportunity to help them learn to read and write so that they can be successful in school and beyond. Confident, active readers are able to use their reading skills to follow what they love and are curious about in our world. We all read for a purpose: to be entertained, to take a journey of the imagination, to connect with others, to figure out how to do something, and to learn about history, science, the arts, and everything else.

Learning to read can be difficult. Learning to read is not a step by step process. When we learn to read, we are doing many things at the same time: taking words apart, trying to read like we are talking, learning new words, understanding what the words are saying, and enjoying what we are reading and learning about the world around us.

So what does it take to be a strong reader?

  1. Understanding what print is and knowing the parts of a book. We call this Concepts About Print. Print awareness is the ability to understand that print carries meaning and that in English we read from left to right. It also means learning that books containing letters, words and have front and back covers and are handled in a certain way.
  2. Recognizing that sounds make up spoken words. Phonological and phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify and play with the sounds in our spoken language. This includes rhymes, syllables and the smallest units of sound called phonemes.
  3. Connecting the sounds with letters. Phonics is a way to teach the letters and their sound correspondences. The idea that the letters represent sounds and that there is a predictable relationship between letters and sounds.
  4. Being able to read with accuracy and expression is important in reading. Fluency is the ability to read a book or text with accuracy, at a reasonable pace and with appropriate expression. A fluent reader doesn’t stop to take apart or decode each word.
  5. Knowing what each word means when reading. Vocabulary is the knowledge of words. Word learning is an ongoing process. Children are always learning new words and adding them to their vocabulary. Adding words to their vocabulary helps them to recognize and understand the meaning of spoken and written words.

Our children must understand what they are reading. Comprehension is the goal of reading. It is the process of thinking about what they have read. A strong vocabulary, background knowledge and the understanding of how our language works are the keys to comprehension.

As your child learns and grows, they will go through the process of reading beginning at number 1 by learning to understand the Concepts About Print. Your child is in the process of learning to read and is somewhere between number 1 and 6 in the process. Some children may need more time in one area and/or are working and learning in several at the same time. Be sure to spend time reading to your child each day. Allow your child to read to you. Most importantly, take time to listen to your child read.

Important Dates

Tuesday, January 26th - End of Term 2

Wednesday, January 27th - Teacher Work Day - No Virtual Learning for Students

Friday, January 29th - Virtual Learning Day of Instruction

Wednesday, February 3rd & Wednesday, February 10th - Fully Asynchronous Instructional Days (no live learning lessons or Google Meets)

Tuesday, February 16th - Hybrid Learning Model & Revised Schedules Begin