School Naming Committee plans public hearing
The Charles County Board of Education's School Naming Advisory Committee is holding a public hearing to accept information or comment on names submitted and to accept additional school naming suggestions from the public. The hearing is set for Monday, Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building at 5980 Radio Station Road in La Plata.
The School Naming Advisory Committee is considering names for the new elementary school to be built off Billingsley Road in White Plains. The school is scheduled to open at the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Board policy requires names of new schools to be of persons or places of significance to Charles County residents and community members. A person must be deceased to be eligible for consideration as a school name.
Residents may begin to sign up to speak at 6 p.m. The committee will begin hearing testimony at 6:30 p.m. but will allow speakers to sign up until 7 p.m. Speakers will have three minutes to present, and committee members may ask questions about their nominee. The committee asks that speakers leave a copy of their written testimony for the record.
The hearing will be aired live on the system website at www.ccboe.com and televised on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12.
A complete list of naming suggestions submitted to the committee will be posted on the Charles County Public Schools website prior to the hearing.
Board seeks redistricting committee members
Charles County Public Schools is looking for a few good people to serve on its elementary school redistricting committee.
The school system will select 11 parents to serve on the committee—two each from the middle and high school levels and seven from the elementary schools. Additionally, the Board will select three community members for the committee, which also includes principals, county government planners and Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) staff.
The school system is starting a comprehensive elementary school redistricting process that will create an attendance zone for the county's 22nd elementary school and reduce overcrowding at other elementary schools. The new elementary school will be located off Billingsley Road in White Plains. Construction is expected to be complete before the start of the 2018-19 school year. The committee will also develop rezoning proposals for Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School, which is scheduled for a renovation and expansion.
The committee will review and balance student populations as needed at all elementary schools. The Board will approve the redistricting by June 2017, and the redistricting will take effect in the fall of 2018.
Applicants must agree to fulfill a four- to five-month commitment of attendance at a weekly meeting. The meeting day will be Wednesday, and the time of all meetings is 6:30-8:30 p.m.
How to apply
Elementary, middle and high school principals are now accepting names from parents with interest in serving on the committee. Contact your child's principal to find out the deadline for applying and when the random selection will be made at the school. An application form is available online at www.ccboe.com/redistricting or can be picked up at your child's school.
Community members must not have a child enrolled in any Charles County public school and must fill out an online application at www.ccboe.com/redistricting/, or call 301-934-7221 to receive an application by mail. Members of the community must apply no later than Oct. 14.
Each elementary, middle and high school will submit to the Superintendent the name of one parent to be selected at random from all expressing interest. The Board will place the name of a parent from each elementary school in a container and select seven names at random from the 21 submissions. Principals from each of the eight middle schools and seven high schools will follow the same process. The Board will randomly select two middle school and two high school parent members.
Three community members will be selected from all applicants. Community members should not have a child enrolled in any Charles County public school and must fill out an application. The application can be completed and submitted online. Applications will also be mailed on request. Only applications received by Oct. 14 will be considered.
Superintendent Kimberly Hill and the Board of Education will publicly draw the names of parents and the community representatives at the Board's Oct. 18 meeting, which is streamed live on the school system website and aired live on Comcast 96 and Verizon FiOS 12.
Questions about the process can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-934-7221.
Board seeking input on next year's school calendar
The Board of Education of Charles County is researching alternatives to the school calendar for next school year and would like feedback from the community. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan recently announced an executive order that requires all public school systems in Maryland to start their school year no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day and end by June 15.
The Board approved a 2017-18 school calendar earlier this year that does not reflect the mandated changes. The Board is seeking community feedback on two options developed to meet the new start and end date requirements. A short, seven-question survey is posted on the school system website at www.ccboe.com/calendar/calendarsurvey.php .
The Board solicits public input and feedback from the community annually when developing the school calendar, which helps staff identify options that work best for students, staff, parents and the community.
Maryland law requires students attend school for 180 days per school year. The Maryland State Board of Education does not count hours towards days of student attendance. For example, a two-hour early dismissal day already counts as one of the 180 required days. While the executive order includes a waiver provision for school districts, no additional clarification or waiver guidelines have been published.