Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Smallwood named a Green School, several schools achieve re-certification

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) Maryland Green Schools awards program recently named General Smallwood Middle School as a 2014 Maryland Green School. Smallwood completed a two-year application process earlier this school year to be certified as a Maryland Green School.

The application process requires schools to demonstrate and document a continuous effort to integrate sustainable best management practices, classroom integration of environmental issues, curriculum and instruction, professional development opportunities, conservation practices and evidence of existing community partnerships that help enhance environmental learning.

Smallwood joins nine other Charles County schools that are currently certified as Maryland Green Schools. Schools completing the re-certification process for 2014 are Gale-Bailey and J.C. Parks elementary schools, Milton M. Somers Middle School, and Thomas Stone and Westlake high schools. The Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center was also re-certified this year.

Additional Green Schools include Dr. James Craik, Indian Head and Arthur Middleton elementary schools, and Piccowaxen Middle School. Certified Green Schools and Centers are required to complete the re-certification process every four years.

Green Schools and Centers are recognized for using their sites to help students understand and act on environmental challenges in Maryland and model environmental practices in building and landscape design, and operation and maintenance. Green Schools and Centers are also recognized for building and maintaining partnerships with their local community to enhance environmental learning and to design programs to result in a healthier environment.

All Maryland schools receiving Green School certification for the first time, as well as schools achieving re-certification in 2014, will be recognized May 30 at the Maryland Green School Youth Summit at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. Each school will receive a Green Schools flag, as well as a Governor’s Citation to recognize their achievements.

The Maryland Green Schools Program was founded in 1999 to foster a student-led integrated approach to authentic learning that incorporates local environmental issue investigation and teacher professional development with environmental best management practices and community stewardship. The program also supports schools in meeting the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) environmental literacy standards established through the Governor’s Partnership for Children in Nature.

For more information on the Green Schools program and application process, visit

Craik named top state elementary MESA school; teams from Hanson and Lackey to compete at the national level

Dr. James Craik Elementary School was named the state overall winner at the elementary-school level at the statewide Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) competition held May 1 at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Teams from John Hanson Middle School and Henry E. Lackey High School also won first place in the Prosthetic Arm challenge, and earned a place to compete at the national competition next month.

Awards are given for first-, second-, and third-place teams and one overall state elementary, middle and high school winner is chosen. The school that earns the most points throughout the competition is chosen as the overall winner. Craik placed in all four of the elementary events: first place in the Balsawood Bridge challenge; first place in the SCRATCH – Computer Programming challenge; third place in the Effective Communications challenge; and third place in the Storybook Theme Park Ride challenge.

Hanson’s team won first place in the Prosthetic Arm challenge, making the school the overall statewide winner in that challenge at the middle school level. First-place winners at the state level in the Prosthetic Arm Challenge advance to the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition, scheduled for June 20-22 in Portland, Oregon.

Lackey’s team won first place in the Prosthetic Arm challenge at the high-school level, and was named the overall statewide winner in that challenge among competing high school teams. They also advance to the national event next month.

At the high-school level, Lackey also earned second place in the Basswood Bridge challenge. Piccowaxen Middle School also competed at the state level and earned a second-place award in the Basswood Bridge challenge among competing middle schools.

Maryland MESA is designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology. The program's goals are to increase the number of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and related professionals at technical and management levels; and to serve as a driving force in encouraging and assisting minorities and females in achieving success in these fields.

For more information on Maryland MESA, visit

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