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

Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Board increases GPA, attendance rules for sports, clubs

The Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously voted to increase grade and attendance requirements for students participating in extracurricular activities and athletics.

The new requirements take effect next school year, but students’ grades the second semester of this school year will impact their eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities in the fall of 2015. The new rules require students to maintain a 2.25 grade-point average with no failing “F” grades to participate in any extracurricular activity, including sports. Additionally, students may not be absent more than 9.5 days in the previous semester.

The change raises the standards from a 2.0 grade-point average and takes effect with the 2015-16 school year. Incoming ninth graders are no longer automatically eligible to participate in fall sports or clubs the first semester; the student’s second semester grades in eighth grade will determine eligibility. Students promoted from fifth to sixth grade are automatically eligible to participate the first semester.

Currently, students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 and receive no more than one failing grade per quarter in order to participate in extracurricular activities.

The Board also approved the following eligibility guidelines:

-- Eligibility for fall extracurricular activities will be based on a student’s second semester grade-point average at the end of the previous year.

-- Eligibility for winter extracurricular activities will be based on a student’s second semester grade-point average at the end of the previous year.

-- Eligibility for spring extracurricular activities will be based on a student’s first semester grade-point average.

-- If a student receives a failing grade in any quarter, they are ineligible for the remainder of the season and semester. Students cannot gain eligibility at interim.

-- Any student who receives a failing grade for the semester is ineligible for participation for the following semester.

-- Students academically ineligible at the end of the second semester cannot regain eligibility by enrolling in summer school.

Moon night launches community events at Science Center

More than 200 people took a trip to the moon Saturday night at the James E. Richmond Science Center’s sold out International Observe the Moon night.

Moon night was the debut community event for the Science Center, which opened in late August at St. Charles High School. Moon night observers toured the Earth’s nearest neighbor in the digital dome classroom and examined it up close on the center’s six-foot diameter Science On a Sphere. Outside the dome, children created the moon’s phases using Oreo cookies, designed space patches and launched hand-made rockets.

International Observe the Moon night was the first in a series of special events planned at the Science Center this fall. “One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure,” a 25-minute show featuring Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky, is now showing through October on Monday through Thursdays at 4:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and all first and third Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 12 p.m. The show also includes a 20-minute planetary tour and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are required; cost is $10 for adults, $8 for children, seniors and military; and children three and younger are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at

Next up is Science Stories, a family story series that explores the science behind folklore and combines storytelling with a digital dome sky presentation. Geraldine Buckley, an award-winning storyteller and educator, will present mythical stories, modern stories and poems about the change of the seasons, the night sky and the constellations. The event is Saturday, Sept. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and show times are 5 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. Learn more about the event on the Science Center website,

Other upcoming events include:

-- A fall festival featuring a special one-night screening of ‘Super Volcanoes” on Saturday, Oct.18, from 5 to 7pm.; and

-- Flight Night, featuring the movie “Dream to Fly” along with an audience with aviators from 5 to 7 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 1.

The James E. Richmond Science Center contains a state-of-the art digital dome classroom, a discovery lab and Science On a Sphere. It offers a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) resources for all Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students and teachers as well as family events on weekends and evenings.

The center allows students to study the impacts of the environment, such as storms, climate change and ocean currents, on Earth and the atmosphere.

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