Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs


County Water and Sewer Customers Now Have Email Billing Option

Customers on Charles County's public water and sewer systems can choose a new, convenient way to receive their water and sewer billing invoices. The Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services' Water and Sewer Billing Office now offers email billing, which enables invoices to be delivered electronically to a customer's email inbox instead of a printed invoice sent via standard mail.

The new service is expected to improve customer billing by providing our customers with new technology while at the same time moving towards a green environment.

To opt in to receive water and sewer invoices by email, contact the Billing Office at WSBilling@CharlesCountyMD.gov or call 301-645-0624 for more information.

Board of Education approves testing changes

Policy change eliminates quarterly assessment requirement

The Board of Education changed its testing policy Sept. 10, reducing the number of tests most students will take this year. The Board unanimously approved policy changes that eliminate the requirement for quarterly tests, most of which will be replaced with pretests and posttests that more closely align to the Common Core State Standards.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will still administer quarterly tests this year to students enrolled in High School Assessment (HSA) courses, which include English I and II, Biology, Algebra I, and Local State and National Government (LSN). Pretests and posttests replace quarterly exams in a number of subjects, including: grades 1-8 reading; grades 1-8 math; second- and fifth-grade elementary science; middle school science and social studies; chemistry, earth and space science; world history; United States history; English III; and many elective courses.

Already this school year, teachers have administered more than 75,000 pretests, and schools were expected to complete testing by Sept. 13, said Cliff Eichel, director of research and assessment. The pretests and posttests better evaluate what students are learning through the Common Core, a curriculum CCPS transitioned to in the 2012-13 school year. The pretests and posttests are needed to help teachers and principals write their Student Learning Objectives, which are used to measure student growth and will be included in the new teacher and principal evaluations. In April, the school system will send toparents a report showing their child?s growth percentage. Posttests are scheduled between Feb. 10 and Feb. 28.

The pretest is providing instructional information and the data provides teachers and principals a baseline for development of academic targets for students. ?The tests are aligned to the Common Core so they provide better information based on what we are teaching. The Maryland School Assessments (MSA) no longer applies to what we are teaching and we can?t wait two years for full implementation of the replacement assessment to find out if we are doing a good job,? Eichel said.

A cross section of CCPS employees are grading the pretests, and Eichel said Sept. 23 is a target date for getting data back to teachers. Employees are hand scoring reading and math tests, a lengthy process that uses a scoring rubric and requires extra time due to extended writing pieces. Eichel said the tests include more rigorous writing pieces than the MSA.

Board members expressed support for reducing the number of tests students are required to take during the year, which include both county and state assessments.

Charles County Commuters: Vanpools Available to Pax River Naval Air Station and Union Station

Vanpools are now commuting from the Mattawoman park and ride lot to Pax River Naval Air Station and from Golden Beach park and ride lot to Union Station. Riders can take advantage of the $240 transit benefit, as well as help reduce highway traffic.

Mattawoman park and ride / Pax River Naval Air Station Ride Schedule:

-- Depart 6:30 a.m.: Mattawoman park and ride lot, 3165 Mattawoman Beantown Road, Waldorf

-- Arrive 7:30 a.m.: Pax River Naval Air Station, 47123 Buse Road, Patuxent River

-- Depart 5 p.m.: Pax River Naval Air Station, 47123 Buse Road, Patuxent River

-- Arrive 6 p.m.: Mattawoman park and ride lot, 3165 Mattawoman Beantown Road, Waldorf

Golden Beach park and ride lot / Union Station Schedule:

-- Depart 5:20 a.m.: Golden Beach park and ride lot, Golden Beach Road, Charlotte Hall

-- Arrive 6:30 a.m.: Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave NE, D.C.

-- Depart 3:15 p.m.: Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave NE, D.C.

-- Arrive 4:15 p.m.: Golden Beach park and ride lot, Golden Beach Road, Charlotte Hall

To find a car/vanpool to other locations, visit http://www.CommuterConnections.org.

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