Thurmont Primary School News

October 2020 - Volume 2

Principal's Message

Dear Families,


As we prepare for conferences, we are reminded that the progress students are making is because of the support they are receiving at home. We know this is a challenging time and continue to be appreciate of all the ways you are working with us to make virtual learning the best it can possibly be!


At the start of the year, I talked with the staff about superheroes. Superman said "I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." By this definition, it's clear you and your child are superheroes too! Please share the video below with your child and take a minute to remember our superhero spirit and"Courage of a Cougar" will help us continue to learn, grow and succeed together!


Superhero Spirit


Also, please check out the newest addition to our newsletter: Cuddle Up Cougars - TPS Staff Story Time. The button below will take you to a separate page where you and your child can enjoy videos of TPS staff sharing some favorite read alouds. This staff story time library will continue to grow as new videos are added each week. We hope you and your child will enjoy seeing some familiar faces as you share special stories together!


Yours in education,
Michele Baisey

#TogetherApart

#CourageofaCougar

Parent Teacher Conferences

As a reminder, parent teacher conferences will be held on October 21st - October 23rd. This is an important time to review your child's progress and ways they can continue to grow their brain, heart and body power during virtual learning.


Please see the schedule below.


Wednesday, October 21st

  • Schools Open 4 Hours Late at 12:10pm
  • Virtual instruction from 12:10-3:40pm
  • Evening Conferences from 3:45-7:30pm


Thursday, October 22nd

  • Schools Open 4 Hours Late at 12:10pm
  • Virtual instruction from 12:10-3:40pm
  • Evening Conferences from 3:45-7:30pm


Friday, October 23rd

  • Schools Close 3 1/2 Hours Early at 12:10pm
  • Virtual instruction from 9:00-12:10pm
  • Afternoon Conferences from 12:15-3:30pm


If you have not already, please visit our Sign Up Genius Conference Schedule to reserve a meeting date/time with your child's teacher.


Classroom teachers will be sharing information about joining the conference through Google Meet. Please also review the Parent Teacher Conferences Parent letter for the steps to access the meeting.


If you have any questions please contact your child's teacher.

Book Exchange in Back

It may be a virtual learning world, but Mrs. Gaeta cannot wait to have physical books back in the hands of students!


How will it work?


Starting on Sunday, 10/11/2020, students may use the Thurmont Primary Library Media Center catalog to place books on hold. If students are unsure of what to place on hold, they can fill out the interest survey instead and allow Mrs.Gaeta to choose a bundle of books for him/her. Then, on scheduled days, families pick up their bagged/bundled books at the school’s main entrance on Wednesdays, 12:30-4:00 or Thursdays, 1:00-3:30. If your student attends in-person sessions he or she will be given their books to take home.


How does our family get started? Follow the steps below"


  1. First, access our Book Circulation Guidelines and Pickup Schedule for specific details.
  2. Next, complete this quick Parental Acknowledgement Form.
  3. Your child may begin placing books on hold!


See our How-To Guide. Students will also receive guided instruction on placing holds during library class.


Please contact Mrs. Gaeta through Schoology or via email melissa.gaeta@fcps.org with any questions.

Virtual Schedule Enhancements

Beginning the week of October 26th, we will be implementing some upgrades to our virtual student schedules. Our goal is to continue to refine our virtual learning model and provide students with high quality instructional opportunities to meet their individualized needs.


These enhancements include...

  • virtual teacher-led small groups in reading and/or math
  • virtual specials classes via Google Meet on Wednesday mornings (just like the other days of the week)
  • virtual specialist-led small group support in reading, math and/or social-emotional skills


Classroom teachers will be sharing revised student schedules with you. Also, look for information from your child's teacher and/or our TPS specialists regarding opportunities for student support in reading, math and social-emotional learning.


Thank you for your ongoing support of our virtual learning plan!

Meal Benefits Application Form

FCPS encourages all families to complete the Meal Benefits Application Form. We are asking ALL TPS families to complete/submit an application for Free And Reduced Meals, even if you do not think your child is eligible. Information gathered from the applications received helps to determine local and federal funding available to support students, instructional programs and resources for our school.


Please see below for the links to the print and online versions of the form.



Visit the FCPS Food and Nutrition Services website for additional information and call the school with any questions or if you need assistance.

We've Got Spirit...Yes We Do!

It's been fun to see students showing their Cougar Pride as part of our spirit day celebrations. While we are #TogetherApart this is one way to stay connected. We invite your child (and your whole family!) to take part in special spirit days!


Please see below for upcoming ways to show your school & community spirit:

MLK Artwork Contest

This year, the 31st annual FCPS Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be going virtual! As a part of the event, the Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Office would like to feature one artwork from each elementary school that demonstrates this year’s theme: “‘Only in the Darkness Can You See the Stars’: Courage to Be The Light.” Your student's art teacher has been asked to provide information regarding this optional opportunity for student artists to submit work.


Your child may create an artwork with any selected 2D or 3D medium as long as the work exemplifies the theme “‘Only in the Darkness Can You See the Stars’: Courage to Be The Light.” Artwork must be photographed and submitted to the student’s visual art teacher by Friday, November 13, 2020. Your school's visual art teacher(s) will select the final artwork for submission to the Visual and Performing Arts Office.


Selected artworks will be incorporated into a slideshow that will be featured during this year's virtual celebration, and will not contain information that identifies students other than a first name, last initial, and school. If you have questions regarding this opportunity, you are welcome to email Susan Thomas at the email address listed above. Thank you for your continued support of the Visual and Performing Arts Program at Frederick County Public Schools.


Please contact our TPS Art Teacher, Mrs. Riggs, at jennifer.riggs@fcps.org with any questions.

Holiday Assistance

The following community agencies are available to support families with holiday assistance.

  • Seton Center - Emmitsburg
  • Salvation Army Angel Tree - Frederick
  • Toys for Tots - Frederick


The Holiday Assistance Information flyer includes contact and application process information.


If you have any questions please contact Lisa McQuay, school counselor at 240-236-2860 or lisa.mcquay@fcps.org.

Free Flu Shots

The Frederick County Health Department (FCHD) encourages all Frederick County residents to get a flu vaccination this season.


The Maryland Department of Health provides FREE flu vaccinations for children 6 months to 18 years of age who do not have health insurance, have health insurance that does not cover the cost of immunizations, or who are unable to get vaccinated by their healthcare provider. Only the injectable (the shot) is available.


Appointments are required and available on Wednesdays from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM. To schedule an appointment, call 301-600-3342 and ask to speak with an immunization nurse or visit https://www.marylandvax.org to sign up for an appointment.

Important Dates

Friday, October 9th - Interims Issued


Friday, October 16th - Schools Closed for Students - Teacher Work Day


Monday, October 19th - Friday, October 23rd - CHS Homecoming Spirit Week


Wednesday, October 21st

  • Schools Open 4 Hours Late at 12:10pm
  • Virtual instruction from 12:10-3:40pm
  • Evening Conferences from 3:45-7:30pm


Thursday, October 22nd

  • Schools Open 4 Hours Late at 12:10pm
  • Virtual instruction from 12:10-3:40pm
  • Evening Conferences from 3:45-7:30pm


Friday, October 23rd

  • Schools Close 3 1/2 Hours Early at 12:10pm
  • Virtual instruction from 9:00-12:10pm
  • Afternoon Conferences from 12:15-3:30pm