Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Students selected to serve as 2014 General Assembly pages

Three Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) high school students were selected to serve as student pages in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Page program. The program gives students the opportunity to work with the General Assembly for two weeks during the 2014 legislative session.

The students who will serve as student pages for the 2014 legislative session are Kaitlyn Crook of Thomas Stone High School; Alec Hunsacker of La Plata High School; and Katelyn Turner of Maurice J. McDonough High School. Asja Bard of Westlake High School was selected as Student Page Alternate.

The Maryland General Assembly Legislative Page program offers the opportunity for students to serve as a student page to Charles County Public Schools seniors annually. Applicants are selected through a series of interviews and must also write an essay to describe their interest to participate in the program.

During the two week period, student pages will be assigned to work with either the Maryland Senate or the House of Delegates in Annapolis. Duties of student pages include delivering messages and materials to members, running errands, keeping members? books up to date, assisting visitors and working with staff committees and other legislative offices.

The program is designed to interest youth in state government and the proceedings of the legislature, increase participation in government, and provide students with worthwhile experiences in state government.

Seniors meet graduation requirement

More Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students are graduating and meeting the academic challenges of the state High School Assessments (HSA), according to data released today by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).

Countywide, the class of 2013 met reading, mathematics, biology and graduation targets for the all students category. Mathematics, which is based on algebra scores, increased to 93.56 in 2013 from 92.45 proficiency in 2012. English scores were 92.28 in 2013, up from 90.2 in 2012. Biology scores increased to 90.90, up from 86.67 in 2012. The2012 four-year graduation cohort rate is 89.80 percent, up from 88.0 percent in 2011. Graduation rate reporting is a year behind academic scores. Under the School Progress calculation, all CCPS high schools met the proficiency target for ?all students? for 2013.

No CCPS high school student failed to graduate solely because of failure to meet the HSA requirement for graduation. Other graduation requirements include student service learning and completion of a minimum of 23 credits as specified by Maryland law.

HSA data shows that 2,133 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) seniors met the HSA requirement with 95 percent of students meeting the requirement by passing all required tests or the combined score option. Another 5 percent used the Bridge Plan for Academic Validation to meet the assessment requirement. Statistics show more students meeting the requirement through examination rather than Bridge Plan projects.

"The targets increase every year, and our students continue to meet high expectations. I commend our high school teachers and staff who continue to work hard to track the progress of each senior toensure that they meet these targets. We continue to raise standards to make certain our students are college and career ready," said Superintendent Kimberly Hill.

Graduation rates

Charles County Public Schools increased its four-year cohort graduation rate for 2012 to 89.80 percent, up from 88 in 2011. The state reports academic HSA data for the most recent graduating class; however, graduation rate reporting is for the prior year. MSDE releases graduation rates by cohort rate, which is a measurement of the percent of students who complete high school within four years and using the year in which the student began ninth grade. It is a completely different calculation than the Leaver Graduation Rate, which was previously used and follows each student in a particular graduating cohort based on a unique identifier. The cohort rate replaces the Leaver rate, which counted all graduates, not just those who graduate in four years.

Hill said she is pleased with the increases in the graduation rate, but believes there is still work to be done to keep more students in school through graduation. ?We must continue our focus on teaching and learning to ensure students are engaged and working toward graduation,? Hill said.

All 2013 school and system data is available on the updated website.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and preparesstudents for life, careers and higher education.

Charles County gets to the core of Common Core State Standards

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has launched a new website offering students and parents information regarding the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The website provides multiple resources including videos, a slideshow and roadmaps on CCSS to ensure a smooth transition.

Maryland, along with 47 other states, adopted the CCSS for grades K-12 in 2010 and the standards have been implemented for the 2013-2014 school year. The focus of CCSS is to ensure that students are equipped with the knowledge needed for a successful postsecondary education and career. Changes in the areas of English/Language Arts and mathematics are outlined on the new website.

Along with the new standards, the Partnership for Assessment and Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of 24 states, including Maryland, designed to develop an assessment system that aligns with CCSS. The assessments will be computer-based and implemented in the 2014-2015 school year, replacing the Maryland School Assessment (MSA).

For more information regarding the Common Core State Standards, visit

School system updates elementary report cards

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has updated elementary school report cards to include more detailed information on student progress. Parents are reminded to make an appointment with their child?s teacher for Parent Conference Day on Nov. 6. Elementary school teachers will distribute reportcards at parent conferences.

The updated report cards have a similar format, and grading scales remain the same. Grading system explanations are provided on the report card envelope.

Previously, CCPS printed report cards on carbon copy paper. Teachers now complete report cards electronically and parents will receive a paper copy.Report cards are grade specific to provide more detailed information concerning skills being taught and tested. Gray shading shows parents skill areas not yet taught to students in the first and/or second quarter. Students are not graded in those skill areas during these quarters.

Subject areas have been modified to align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Grading for listening and speaking is new and grading is based on listening comprehension and activities in which students participate in and contribute to academic discussions. Health is no longer a separate subject area on the report card. Health is still taught at every grade level, but has now been integrated into reading and writing instruction.


Prekindergarten students are evaluated in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, mathematics, personal and social development, fine arts, physical development and content. Prekindergarteners receive two report cards a year, one after each semester. Prekindergarten students earn the following letters in each category marking a student?s progress in each subject:

-- C = Consistently demonstrating

-- D = Developing

-- N = Not yet demonstrating the skill

Kindergarten, first and second grades

Students in kindergarten, first and second grades are evaluated in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, mathematics, social studies, science, music, art, physical development and content. They receive four report cards each year. Letters are given in each category marking a student?s progress in each subject at the end of each quarter. The letters are as follows:

-- C = Consistently demonstrating

-- D = Developing

-- N = Needs improvement

Third, fourth and fifth grades

Students in grades three through five are evaluated in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, mathematics, social studies, science, music, art, physical education and learner characteristics/personal responsibility. Fifth-grade parents will notice a difference in music grading. Students have the option of participating in chorus, band or orchestra, and the report card will reflect the focus area. Third, fourth and fifth graders receive four report cards each year. Letters are given in each category marking a student?s progress in each subject at the end of each quarter. The letters are as follows:

-- A = Excellent performance

-- B = Good performance

-- C = Satisfactory performance

-- D = Minimal performance

-- E = Unsatisfactory performance

Teacher comments

Each elementary school report card has an area for teachers to make individual comments on a student?s progress each quarter. Student attendance is also included on the report cards for the quarter, semester and year.

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