Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Board of Education accepts resolutions at March meeting

The Board of Education presented two resolutions to students and staff at their March 11 meeting. The resolutions are presented to the Board annually. The following resolutions were presented:

-- Month of the Young Child ; and

-- National Student Leadership Week.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) celebrates the Month of the Young Child April 1-31. The theme, “Early Years Are Learning Years,” celebrates young children in Charles County and values them as early learners with unique needs. Accepting the resolution at the Board meeting were Mary H. Matula Elementary School kindergartener Brady Heim and Matula kindergarten teacher Catherine Flowers. Vice Chairman Maura Cook presented the resolution on behalf of the Board.

CCPS celebrates National Student Leadership Week April 14-18. This week recognizes students who develop and demonstrate exceptional leadership skills by participating in academic, community and co-curricular activities in Charles County Public Schools. Accepting the resolution at the Board meeting were several Board of Education student liaisons including Susan Duncan of Westlake High School; Katherine Snee of La Plata High School; Amit Patel, Student Board member and Maurice J. McDonough High School student; Maher Bousaba of Thomas Stone High School and Thomas Lily of North Point High School.

Changes made in early childhood student schedule

Charles County Public Schools has altered the schedule for students in the three-year-old program for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year. Earlier this week, Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Kimberly Hill announced a modification to the school calendar to make up for lost instructional time due to inclement weather. Four two-hour early dismissal days were changed to full days of instruction for students. They are Wednesday, March 19; Friday, April 25; Wednesday, May 7; and Wednesday, May 21.

Students in the Three’s program will now attend school on March 19 and April 25, which adds two additional days to their school year. The last day of school for students in the Three’s program is Thursday, June 12.

Additionally, both morning and afternoon prekindergarten students will attend school on March 19, April 25, May 7 and May 21. No other changes were made to the prekindergarten schedule for the remainder of the school year. The two-hour early dismissal on Tuesday, April 1 is still scheduled for report card preparation and afternoon prekindergarten students will attend school that day.

Pending a decision by the state for a four-day waiver, Charles County Public Schools is also opening schools for students and teachers during the week of spring break, which is April 14-21, in order to make up inclement weather days. Schools will now open for regular days of instruction on April 14, 15, 16, and 17. Superintendent Hill on March 10 requested a four-day waiver from the Maryland State Board of Education. If the waiver is approved, spring break days will be restored. The approval of a waiver does not affect the changes made to the two-hour early dismissal, Three’s program or prekindergarten schedules.

In addition to the April 1 two-hour early dismissal, the following are the remaining early dismissals for the 2013-14 school year:

-- Friday, June 13 – afternoon prekindergarten students have school.

-- Monday, June 16 – morning prekindergarten students have school.

-- Tuesday, June 17 – last day of school for afternoon prekindergarten students.

-- Wednesday, June 18 – last day of school for students, including those in the morning prekindergarten program.

The school system has used nine inclement weather days this school year, of which only four are built into the calendar. Maryland law requires schools to operate 180 days for students each school year. The Board of Education adopts the school calendar in advance, and approved using spring break dates as inclement weather make-up days for the 2013-14 school year, if needed. The school system has already used Presidents Day to make up for one lost instructional day, leaving four days of time to make up.

High schools plan for spring theatre productions

Student actors in Charles County’s six public high schools are preparing for spring plays, which begin later this month. The following is a list of school plays, ticket and contact information for each high school.

Westlake High School hosts the first musical this spring with their version of “Shrek the Musical,” on March 27-29. The musical follows the main character, a bitter ogre named Shrek who lives alone in a swamp. When his quiet life is ruined by visits of fairy tale characters exiled from the Kingdom of Duloc, Shrek travels to the kingdom and helps rescue an imprisoned Princess Fiona. During his travels, he also rescues a talkative donkey and the two become friends. Show time is 7 p.m. for all three performances. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students, and $6 for senior citizens and thespians. Tickets for children 12 and under are $5. Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff members are able to attend the show free, along with one guest, by showing their school system identification badge. Call 301-645-8857 for more information.

Henry E. Lackey High School will present “The Drowsy Chaperone,” on April 4-5 at 6:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6. The plot of the show revolves around the main character, known as the man in chair. The man in chair listens to an old record of The Drowsy Chaperone while sitting in his apartment and provides a running commentary of the musical. As the audience listens to the musical on record, the characters come to life in the apartment as man in chair provides commentary. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students, senior citizens and military service members, and $6 for thespians. Charles County Public Schools staff members are able to attend the show for free, along with one guest, by showing their school system identification badge. Call 301-743-5431 for more information.

The drama department at Maurice J. McDonough High School is presenting Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” on April 3-5, at 6:30 p.m., and April 5-6 at 2 p.m. The play sets stage in Austria prior to the start of World War II. The main character is Maria, a postulant hired to serve as a governess for the Von Trapp family. Maria cares for the Von Trapp children and also falls in love with their father, George. The play follows the family as George receives a commission in the German Navy, but plans to flee Austria with his family before the war begins. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens, and $7 for thespians and children ages 2-12. Tickets can be ordered online at

North Point High School is also hosting a spring play April 3-5 at 7 p.m., and April 5 at 1 p.m. Due to a contractual obligation, North Point cannot advertise specifics of their play at this time. Contact the school at 301-753-1759 for more information about the play. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens. Staff members receive one free complementary ticket with their identification badge.

Thomas Stone High School is presenting “The Wiz,” the weekend of April 3-5 at 7 p.m. The play is based on the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” but also celebrates African-American culture. The main character, Dorothy, is transported during a tornado to the Land of Oz, where she comes across several enchanting characters. Dorothy wishes to return home to Kansas, and travels along a yellow brick road to find the Wiz, who can help her return home. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. CCPS staff can receive two complimentary tickets by showing their identification badge. Call 301-645-2601 for more information.

Student actors at La Plata High School are presenting “Copacabana” the weekend of May 1-3 at 6:30 p.m. There is also a 2:30 p.m. show scheduled for May 4. The show sets stage during the late 1940s and follows Lola in her pursuits to become a singer. She meets an aspiring songwriter named Tony and the two join Manhattan’s Copacabana lounge, where they both find different paths to success. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for students. CCPS employees can receive one complimentary ticket with their identification badges. Call 301-934-1100 for more information.

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