Charles County Public School News Briefs

CHRISTMAST TREE SALE: The Maurice J. McDonough High School students and band boosters are hosting their annual Christmas tree sale, beginning Friday, Nov. 28. The tree lot is located at the WaWa gas station located in White Plains, at the intersection of Billingsley Road and Route 301. The sale will run Monday through Friday, from 5 - 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The trees will be priced from $25 to $125. Charles County Public Schools employees are eligible for a $10 discount if they present their identification badge at the time of their purchase. Visit for additional information.

BASKET BINGO: Students in the North Point High School Class of 2009, as well as the choral boosters, are hosting basket bingo on Friday, Nov. 14, at the school. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, if available. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first game will begin at 6 p.m. Participants are eligible for door prizes and raffles. Call 301-885-2012 for advance tickets and additional information.

MAHPERD CONVENTION: Eleven Charles County Public Schools physical education teachers recently attended the Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) convention, held Friday, Oct. 17, in Towson. Connie Harris, a physical education teacher at Westlake High School, presented two sessions, the first on incorporating portfolios in assessments, and the second on a sports education model, which incorporates social contracts, personal and team responsibility, leadership development and conflict resolution into teaching team sports to middle and high school students. David Bradshaw from Maurice J. McDonough High School, Adam Lowe of Thomas Stone High School and Brent Stum of La Plata High School presented the school system's weight training curriculum that was written to align with state and national standards.

INTERNET PERILS: The Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) from La Plata High School, Milton M. Somers Middle School and Mary H. Matula Elementary School are hosting a joint meeting with the Charles County Sheriff's Office at La Plata, 6:30 p.m., on Nov. 13, to discuss cyber bullying, Internet chat sights such as MySpace, and the dangers associated with these sites. The meeting is open to the public.

ALL-COUNTY CONCERT: Charles County Public Schools will host its annual All-County middle and high school concert on Saturday, Dec. 6, at Thomas Stone High School. Performance times are 2 p.m. for chorus, 4 p.m. for orchestra and 6 p.m. for band. The concert is open to the public and admittance is free.

FRENCH EDUCATION WEEK: Students and staff at North Point High School celebrated French Education Week Nov. 6-12. Members of the North Point French club created posters and signs and hung them in the school hallways. School morning announcements also featured a French trivia question, in which students could submit answers to a box placed in the media center and were eligible for a prize.

FIRE PREVENTION DAY: Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School held its annual fire prevention day Oct. 24 and invited members of the Bel Alton, Cobb Island and Newburg Fire departments to participate. Students were invited to climb aboard fire trucks, crawl into a mock smoke house to see what it is like to be in a smoke-filled room, practice calling 911 and watch a fire safety show. The firefighters also demonstrated their gear and equipment for students.

BOOK ILLUSTRATOR DEMO: Students at Mary B. Neal Elementary School were visited by Michael White, a children's book illustrator, in October. White spoke to students about illustrative techniques, such as air brushing. Students learned how to create their own characters through air brushing and students were encouraged to develop stories to relate to their illustrations. White has illustrated three children's books, including "The Library Dragon,", "The Secret of Old Zeb," and "Harriet's Horrible Hair Day."

BUS SAFETY: Pre-kindergarten students at Mary B. Neal Elementary School learned about school bus safety last month from "Sam the School Bus." Students learned how to safely wait for the school bus at their bus stops, properly ride the school bus, and enter and exit the bus safely. Tyrone Johnson from the Charles County Public Schools transportation department dressed as "Sam" and brought a bus to Neal to help students practice bus safety rules.

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