St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Southern Maryland College Fair

The Southern Maryland College Fair will take place on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department with two sessions. The first session begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs through 1:00 p.m. The second session begins at 5:00 p.m. and is open until 7:30 p.m. Approximately 120 colleges and universities throughout Maryland and the east coast, from Maine to Florida, as well as the United States military academies will be represented with exhibits and admission officers.

College and university officials will be available to answer any and all questions from students and parents/guardians concerning their schools. Financial aid workshops will be presented on site throughout the evening. All college-bound students, as well as those who might be considering college, are encouraged to attend this event and to bring their parents/guardians. Students and their parents/guardians will have a unique opportunity to talk personally with the visiting college officials to learn what each institution offers, requirements for admission, cost, special programs, and location. Admission is free and information is available from all high school counselors.

The twenty-fourth annual Southern Maryland College Fair is sponsored by St. Mary's County Public Schools, in collaboration with Calvert County Public Schools, St. Mary's Ryken High School, the College of Southern Maryland, and the St. Mary's County Libraries.

For more information, please contact Cheryl A. Long, Director of Student Services, at 301-475-5511, ext. 32198.

St. Mary's County Public Schools To Celebrate Fresh, Healthy Foods

"Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week" Encourages St. Mary's County Public Schools Families to Choose Local Foods

St. Mary's County Public Schools (SMCPS) will celebrate Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week during the week of September 25-29, 2017. On Tuesday, September 26, Ridge Elementary School will be hosting our annual celebration, which will include visits from local farmers and will feature local food in the cafeteria.

During this all day event, various community partners will be participating with the SMCPS Department of Food & Nutrition Services. The University of Maryland Extension office staff will be bringing local farmers to the schools to teach students about the process involved in bringing food from farm to tray. Additionally, we will have the Dr. James A. Forrest Career & Technology Center's Future Farmers of America (FFA) program in attendance to assist students through a planting activity. In an effort to combat childhood obesity and emphasize the role farms play in healthy eating and exercise, nutritional programs will teach children about the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. This event will also allow students to sample local vegetable-based snacks.

Maryland Home Grown School Lunch Week aims to bring more Maryland-grown products to school lunch rooms and to help educate students about where their food comes from, how it is produced, and the benefits of a healthy diet.

More information about Maryland's Farm to School initiative is available at:

School Attendance Awareness Month

September is Attendance Awareness Month. School attendance has a huge impact on a student's academic success starting in prekindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day. Regular and consistent attendance is necessary for student achievement, graduation, and career and college readiness. Research shows children chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of third grade. By sixth grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. Absences can add up quickly.

We realize some absences are unavoidable, but we also know when students miss too much school, regardless of the reason, it can cause them to fall behind academically. Parents may monitor school attendance through the Home Access Center (HAC) on the St. Mary's County Public School website ( Documentation of an absence must be sent to school within three days of the absence, either with a written note, phone call, email, or through the school website portal.

For more information, please contact Cheryl A. Long, Director of Student Services, at 301-475-5511, ext. 32198.

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