TMS Community ROAR Report
Be the Change
The start of the 23-24 school year has been filled with excitement, engagement, and high expectations. We are proud of the way our students have started this school year; all have been adhering to our TMS Norms and the FCPS Code of Conduct. In every classroom, students are expected to adhere to the following expectations:
- Respect yourself
- Respect others
- Respect the task at hand
Please reinforce with your student these expectations; together we can ensure that each and every student reaches their full potential.
Thanks for your continued support and please reach out if you are ever in need of anything.
Be the Change,
Chris Bittner-Assistant Principal
Anita Shank-Assistant Principal
Important Dates and Upcoming Events
Important Calendar Date Reminders
- Monday, September 4th-School Closed--Labor Day
- Thursday, September 7th-Community Food Drop 3:30-4:30pm
- Thursday, September 14th-Code of Conduct Parent Meeting & PTA Meeting-TMS Media Center @ 6:00pm
- Friday, September 22nd-Mid-Term
- Friday, September 22nd-Fair Day-Schools Closed 3.5 hours early
- Monday, September 25th-Schools Closed-Yom Kippur
- Tuesday, October 3rd-Talent Show Auditions-2:45pm-5:00pm
- Monday, October 9th-School Pictures
Welcome to the 2023-24 school year! We are expecting this to be a wonderful year for each of our students! We are here to provide support with their academic, career, and personal/social development in whatever ways may be needed. Please reach out and contact us with any questions or concerns.
TMS Counseling Team Contact Information:
Sherry Bueso- Grade 6 School Counselor 240-236-5107/ email@example.com
Stacie Varanyak- Grade 7 School Counselor 240-236-5113/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Krauss- Grade 8 School Counselor 240-236-5108/ email@example.com
Debbie Wivell- Behavior Support Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Nicholson- Registrar 240-236-5106/ email@example.com
Diana Merritt- Career Coach 240-236-5163 /firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that visits with pets/animals can have stress-relieving and healing benefits? Visits with therapy pets can help lower blood pressure, release endorphins that have a calming effect, diminish overall physical pain, and produce an automatic relaxation response.
Throughout the school year, we plan to coordinate opportunities for therapy pets and zoo animals to come visit with our students. The Catoctin Zoo, Lazy Daze Farm, Pets on Wheels, Wags for Hope, the GO TEAM, and the Delta Society are some of the organizations who may participate. At times, some TMS staff may share their pets, as well. Please contact your child’s grade level counselor if you have questions or if you do NOT want your child interacting with our animal visitors.
As we prepare to provide additional support opportunities for our students, we ask that you please complete the survey linked below. Students will be completing a similar survey, as well.
This short survey will assist our Counseling Team and other school staff in identifying student needs so that we can plan groups and other opportunities that are most necessary in supporting our students during the year.
We appreciate your help with this planning process and look forward to working with you and each of our students throughout the year!
FCPS Code of Conduct
The Frederick County Board of Education Policy 403 and Regulation 403-01 Student Discipline sets forth the expectation that all schools will have a safe, positive, healthy, and inviting environment, which fosters respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and good citizenship.
Each school is expected to cultivate student engagement, celebrate student achievement, and proactively develop and maintain positive school cultures that prevent misbehavior.
Schools are communities in which positive behavior is expected, modeled, and learned best within an environment of mutual respect and dignity. In order to grow into healthy, productive adults, students require respectful learning environments where each person is valued and is trusted to contribute positively to the creation and maintenance of the community.
When that community is disrupted, FCPS educators and administrators seek to understand, acknowledge, and address the underlying causes of the disruption. Students are afforded opportunities to learn from their mistakes, correct any harm that results from their behavior, and restore relationships that are disrupted.
FCPS utilizes a multi-tiered system of support for students, which includes a continuum of instructional strategies and behavior interventions to support the teaching and learning process. Staff receive training on how to implement positive behavior support to maximize students' availability for learning. When a disciplinary approach is necessary, administrators apply progressive discipline (escalating consequences for patterns of inappropriate behavior which have persisted, despite less intensive consequences) whenever appropriate.To achieve this outcome, FCPS has created a system wide Code of Conduct. The goal of this document is to ensure all students, staff, and families have a clear understanding of our commitment, how we will respond when challenges arise, and how our support is clear and consistent across all schools.
Please join us on September 14th at 6:00pm in the TMS Media Center for an informational presentation regarding the Code of Conduct at Thurmont Middle School.
Assistant Principal Caseload
Ms. Shank: 8th Grade & 7th Grade M-Z
Student Cell Phone & Earbud Use at TMS
In an effort to work together to ensure appropriate use of cell phones for students, we wish to take this opportunity to remind parents and students of the rules for having a cell phone at school. Our FCPS Regulation is linked if you would like to review it. Regulation 400-18 Electronic Devices - Student Use.
Please reiterate with your child that the use of cell phone/ear buds is prohibited for unsanctioned purposes such as: cheating, harassing or bullying others, taking photos or videos of others without permission, checking personal social media accounts, or sexting. At TMS, the rule for cell phones and earbuds is Silent & Away. If a student violates this cell phone and/or ear bud policy, for the first offense, the student will be asked to bring the device to the front office where they can sign for/pick it up at the end of the day. If a student violates the policy more than once, they will be asked to bring the device to the front office and a parent/guardian will need to sign for/pick up the device. If a student violates the policy more than twice, disciplinary action may be taken by administration.
Please keep in mind that some violations of the cell phone rules may have consequences not only related to student discipline, but legal action as well. In the past, victims have pursued legal action against both the student and the parent/guardian. Those outcomes are best avoided when schools and parents partner together. Please remind your child to keep their earbuds and cell phone Silent & Away. We thank you for all that you do to help us reinforce good digital citizenship.
Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation
Children need a trusted adult to turn to when they feel threatened. It is important that your child is encouraged to contact their school counselor, administrator or teacher to report bullying because it may not stop without help. If your child feels uncomfortable reporting bullying and harassing behaviors, parents are encouraged to report it to FCPS staff.
To report bullying, use the FCPS Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation Reporting Form, available on the FCPS.org website.
If bullying happens outside of school, families can call:
- 211 for community resource information
- Law enforcement if threats or physical harm occur
Learn more about bullying, harassment, and intimidation in the FCPS Students and Families Tab, found at www.fcps.org. Information is also available in Bullying - Harassment - Intimidation Complaint Process for Students linked here.
If your child is unable to attend school due to an illness or doctor's appointment, or any other reason, please email a note to our attendance secretary, Ms. Shannon Ingram at email@example.com.
For early dismissals:
- Parent/Guardian will come to the office to sign student out
- Please bring your ID
- Allow adequate time to locate student for an early dismissal
- If you allow someone else to sign your student out, please note the name you authorize in your note to the school. They will be required to show ID to pick up student.
Don’t forget, when going to a medical appointment, remember to get a doctor's note from their office. We will update your student's attendance accordingly.
FCPS is using a new portal for school meal related information. Go to the parent portal at http://linqconnect.com/ where you can:
- Apply for meal benefits (FARM)
- View menus, meal prices and a la carte prices
- Add money to student accounts
- Transfer funds between students
- View student meal transactions
- Set low-balance notifications
Breakfast is FREE to ALL TMS Students this year!
Emergency Preparedness at TMS
The safety of our students and staff is top priority. Our staff has been trained in specific protocols in order to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and then recover from any type of situation. During the first couple of weeks of school, we plan to practice the safety drills. Establishing protocols for the required safety drills is important to do at the beginning of the year. This year we have practiced silent drills. Our students have done a fantastic job implementing silent drills. Please continue to encourage your student to invest in each drill so we are prepared for any situation that arises.
We will practice the following safety drills with our students:
- Fire Drill (We are required to complete eight fire drills with three being completed within the first 45 days of school.)
- Reverse Evacuation
- Severe Weather
- Drop, Cover and Hold
- Shelter in Place
- Active Assailant (Avoid, Deny, Defend)
FCPS Regulation Review
All schools are required to share the following FCPS Policy & Regulations:
Regulation 500 - 32: Replacement of Lost or Damaged Instructional Materials
Regulation 400 - 73: Responsible Use of Digital Technology
Regulation 400-23: Medication Administration
Regulation 400 - 48: Bullying, Harassment, Intimidation Complaint Process for Students
Regulation 500 - 05: Grading, Reporting, and Intervention-Secondary
Policy 107: Office of the Ombuds
Policy 116: Title IX Sexual Harassment
23-24 School Updates
Grade Level Syllabus:
Please make sure you ask your child to see the grade level course syllabus for their classes. They are located on their Gateway Schoology Course. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teacher.
Students Reporting Security Concerns:
"See Something, Say Something" and "Don't repost it. Report it" - Encourage students to report security concerns to a trusted adult (parent, school staff member, school administrator, SRO, or a local law enforcement agency). Students may also anonymously report concerns using the Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line at 833-MD-B-SAFE. In an emergency, call 911. Additional resources can be found on each school's website and the FCPS website.
Student Firearm Possession:
Schools are required to share the following information at the start of each school year: "It is unlawful for students to possess or use any weapon on school property. Students who have or use a weapon on school property will be suspended from school, and the police will be notified of the incident. A weapon is any object designed to harm another physically or an object which is used in a way that can physically harm another. This school is committed to providing each of you with a safe environment, and we will do all we can do carry out that responsibility, including, if necessary, conducting searches of student lockers."
One Call Now:
Beginning this week the person designated on your child’s emergency contact form as primary caregiver, will receive One Call Now messages if your child has been marked absent for the first 2 or more periods of the school day. This text is automated and it is possible that if a child enters school later in the day or doesn’t check-in with their first and second period teachers, the call could occur in error.
As always, please feel free to call our front office if you feel you have received a text in error.
FCPS Bus Delay Information:
A quick and easy resource to check if your child's bus is delayed is to visit https://apps.fcps.org/transdelay/ This site is updated in real-time to reflect any bus delays.
Volunteering at TMS:
Are you interested in volunteering at TMS? If so, all volunteers must complete the virtual training each year linked here. Please note this must be completed to chaperone field trips. Please reach out to Shannon Ingram with questions/concerns.
Security and Emergency Management
Every FCPS student will learn in a safe and secure environment. Administrators and their School Emergency Management Teams are trained to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergency situations in or near our schools.
The videos below provide valuable information for parents in the event that our school would need to respond to an emergency. When you have a moment, please consider watching these videos on school safety.
- Reunification Role of Parents & Guardians (YouTube video)
- Updates to the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) for School Safety (YouTube video)
Community Liaison: If you are in need of assistance with school supplies, hygiene products, food, or other community resources for housing, please reach out Crystal Mckenzie, our TMS Community Liason at Crystal.McKenzie@fcps.org. We are here to support and assist all of our families!
If you are in need of a new bed, please access the following link from Sleep Heavenly Peace.
Our school is proud to announce that we’ve teamed up with TutorMe to offer 24/7 online tutoring to all students!
TutorMe is a place where our students can build the connections they need to learn and thrive. Through TutorMe, students connect with a tutor who’s an exact match for what they’re looking for – whether you’re stumped by an algebra equation, craving a confidence boost, or looking for an extra challenge. There’s more to TutorMe than live online tutoring. Through the TutorMe Writing Lab, you can submit drafts of any written assignment and receive detailed feedback from expert writing tutors in just a couple hours. Reference the TutorMe Support Guide to get started. TutorMe Student Support Guide (English) ESP. Guia de Apoyo- TutorMe (Spanish)
TMS PTA Needs YOU!
2023-24 PTA Board of Directors:
September 14th-TMS Media Center
November 9th- BOARD MEETING
December 14th GENERAL MEETING
January 11th NO MEETING
February 8th GENERAL MEETING
March 14th BOARD MEETING
April 11th GENERAL MEETING
May 9th – GENERAL MEETING- Voting of new board members
Digital Membership: https://fspta-00023696.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true
We need YOU to become a member of our PTA! Please be on the lookout for the online membership link for you to join. We are excited to grow our amazing TMS PTA!
Principal - Thurmont Middle School