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

Charles Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Nominate a student for 2015 Prudential Spirit Award

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students can apply for the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, which honors middle and high school student volunteers. The annual program recognizes students for exemplary acts of volunteer service in their communities. The awards are given to students for serving their communities through volunteer activities, such as helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety or protecting the environment.

Students in grades five through 12 are eligible to apply and must have participated in a volunteer activity that occurred at least in part after Sept. 1, 2013. Students can apply online at or at Applications must be completed by Nov. 4 and submitted to the student’s principal. School principals may nominate top local honorees for state-level judging by certifying a student application by Nov. 11. All state-level honorees will be announced in February.

State-level honorees receive $1,000 awards and travel to Washington D.C. in the spring for recognition events. National honorees will be selected from the finalist group and receive an additional $5,000 award. Additionally, $5,000 grants will be awarded on behalf of national honorees by the Prudential Foundation to the nonprofit, charitable organization of their choice.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and Prudential Financial in 1995 to honor both middle and high school students for outstanding acts of community service. The program is the largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. Visit for additional program information.

Students chat with Rep. Hoyer through Telepresence technology

Several Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students were part of an inaugural event on Tuesday, Sept. 30, that mixed video conferencing technology and chat rooms with politics and history. The event was a Google Hangout with Congressman Steny Hoyer, who represents Charles County as part of Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Students in Advanced Placement (AP) Government classes at La Plata, North Point and Westlake high schools, along with students at two Prince George’s County high schools, participated in a question and answer session with Hoyer on issues such as minimum wage and internet fair usage using computers and video conferencing features available through a Google chat setting.

The Google Hangout was hosted by the Close Up Foundation and moderated by the organization’s director, Joe Geraghty. The Close Up Foundation partners with educators, schools, and youth organizations throughout the country to help young people become informed about the democratic process and become engaged citizens. According to Jack Tuttle, content specialist in social studies for CCPS, Maryland State Department of Education staff selected CCPS to participate in the event.

Students from Westlake joined their peers at North Point in the Telepresence classroom to participate in the Hangout, and students at La Plata also participated through use of the Telepresence technology at their school. During the Google Hangout, selected students chosen to represent their schools took turns asking Hoyer questions. To prepare for the event and help their students come up with questions, Close Up provided teachers the curriculum and supporting materials on the topics up for discussion.

Students chosen to represent their schools during the event were Carleigh Zimmerman, senior at La Plata, Kristen Kriegh, senior at North Point, and Georgia Benson, senior at Westlake. La Plata’s question to Hoyer focused on net neutrality and its impact on cable company incentives, and both North Point and Westlake’s questions discussed the possibility and effects of an increase in minimum wage. The idea behind the Google chat is to better connect students on a nationwide level to government leaders.

During his closing remarks to students, Hoyer thanked Close Up and Google for their efforts in organizing the event and remarked how advancements in technology will continue to help students learn and succeed. “Here I am sitting in Washington D.C., and students are at their schools. What a wonderful way technology has found to bring us together in real time, seeing one another, talking to one another and learning from one another,” Hoyer added.

Other schools selected to participate were Frederick Douglas and Parkdale high schools from Prince George’s County Public Schools. To watch the Google Hangout, visit

Board of Education announces October 14 agenda

The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and is rebroadcast throughout the week. Board meetings are also streamed live on the school system website Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab.

Executive session – 12 p.m.

Call to order – 1 p.m.

Pledge of Allegiance – Henry E. Lackey High School

Superintendent’s update to the Board

Reports of officers/boards/committees

-- Correspondence/board member updates

-- Education Association of Charles County update

-- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees update

-- Student Board member’s update

-- Access control system

-- Student recognition update

-- FY 2014 Independent financial audit

-- CIP update

-- Race to the Top

-- Bridge to Excellence

-- Secondary Academy of International Languages (SAIL)

-- Recruitment and staffing update

-- Proposed 2015 legislative positions

Unfinished business

-- Review of 2012 Board goals

-- Review of Board benchmarks

New business and Future agenda items

-- New business

-- Future agenda items

Recognition – 4:30 p.m.

-- Students

-- Employees

-- Resolutions – American Education Week and American Freedom Week

Public Forum – 6 p.m.

Action items

-- Minutes

-- Personnel

-- FY 2015 Comprehensive maintenance plan


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