Terrapin Tidbits

SY21 TCES Family Issue #2

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August 17, 2020

Hello Terrapin Families!

If you recently registered your student with us, welcome! Check out the August 3 Terrapin Tidbits, Family Issue #1. If you're all caught up, more information about the start of the year is outlined below.

We recognize that each child's learning needs and individual family situations are unique. Know that we are here to support you and our students, we will be flexible, and we will partner with you to overcome any obstacles that come our way. If you still have questions after reviewing the information below, I assure you that you are not alone. We will continue to share updates as additional information becomes available. Your patience and support are truly appreciated. We are in this together and will work through this together!

Keep smiling!


Lindsay Brenfleck

Notable Dates

  • SMCPS Town Hall: Wednesday, August 19, at 4 p.m.

  • Quarter 1 Online/Virtual Learning: The new school year will begin on Monday, August 31, 2020, with all students enrolled in online/virtual courses through the Schoology Learning Management System.

  • Labor Day: All Schools and Offices will be closed on Monday, September 7.

Student Schedules

Homeroom placement will be available on the Home Access Center beginning August 26th at 4:00pm. Students will have a full schedule of classes, including English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health and Specials (Art, PE, Media and Music). Your child’s teacher will be able to give you an outline of the daily schedule, once these are fully developed. Stay tuned to future communications for details about schedules and options for meeting teachers virtually.


Through Schoology, our students will have access to our teachers who are instructing in real-time. Students will have access to teacher-created recorded sessions and screencasts. Assignments will be completed both online and off-line. The beauty of the system is that there are a lot of options, and teachers will have opportunities to add a personalized touch to the instruction.

Students will need to know some basics before all of this will run smoothly. They are going to have to be taught how to login and navigate the Schoology platform. They will need to participate in sessions designed to connect students with their peers and their teachers, in order to develop the relationships that help them thrive. They will need to be taught the classroom expectations and on-line etiquette. They are going to need positive feedback and to be told how to get help when needed. We look forward to teaching and supporting each student as they learn and develop these new skills.

Supplies, Devices, and Materials

Device Distribution

Results from the technology needs survey are being processed. The device pick-up process and schedule will be shared soon. Our goal is to distribute devices to those who need them as soon as possible after we receive them from the technology department.

If you have not yet completed the survey, please do so today!

Materials of Instruction

Students will be provided with learning tools and materials to complement their Schoology Coursework. Distribution of these materials will also occur at the school site on a date to be determined. Stay tuned!

TCES Supply Lists

The TCES Supply Lists were developed based on last year's needs. Without knowing when students will return to school and in what format, it is hard to recommend that supplies should be purchased at this time. However, we know that supplies are in stores now. When we have a better idea of the details of our students' return to our classrooms, we will republish the lists.

Student Meals through SMCPS

Details about the online ordering system for meals are available at the 46:00 minute mark in the video below. Additional information can be found here: https://www.smcps.org/dss/food-services.
St. Mary's County Public Schools Board of Education Meeting 8/12/20

The Application for Free or Reduced Price Meals is Now Open

All families must complete a new application for each school year even if they automatically qualify for free lunch. Beginning this school year, parents may now apply for meal benefits online here: https://www.smcps.org/dss/food-services/meal-benefit-information.

If you prefer a paper copy, click here for the instructions on how to apply for meal benefits and click here for the application.

TCES Teachers and Staff are Grateful!

Our TCES staff and I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to team with our Terrapin families and community through these unprecedented and challenging times.

We are also grateful to:

  • Giant for donating paper bags for teachers to pack students' belongings at the end of the year.

  • Staples for their helpful donation of supplies for our students.

  • Gillian and her family for their thoughtful and generous donation of snacks for our teachers and staff who return to our school site next week (see photo below).
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SMCPS Town Hall, August 19 @ 4pm

The next Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, August 19, at 4 p.m., and will be broadcast on the SMCPS YouTube channel as well as on the SMCPS website at www.smcps.org/streaming. Topics:

  • Daily Student Schedules
  • Technology Update
  • Materials Distribution
  • Notification and Contact Tracing Protocols

SMCPS and TCES will continue to share information between now and the first day of school for students on August 31, 2020.

SMCPS Recovery Plan Link

SMCPS YouTube Channel

Directions to Receive Text Alerts [Link]

Stay up to date on events, closings, and alerts!

Communication Methods

  • School Telephone: (301) 863-4044
  • Website: https://schools.smcps.org/tces/
  • Twitter: @TCES_SMCPS
  • School Messenger: phone, email, SMS (text messages)
  • SY20 Issues of the Terrapin Tidbits [LINK]