Charles County Public Schools News Briefs

Charles County Public Schools sponsoring 2013 Space Institute

Charles County Public Schools is offering free courses through the 2013 Space Institute this summer to interested teachers. Participants can learn about space-related topics through exciting lessons and hands-on opportunities. Topics featured include meteorology and weather in space, space exploration, the future of space and space technologies in the classroom. The school system is sponsoring the courses through its partnership with the Colorado Springs based Space Foundation.

The institute is available for Charles County Public Schools teachers and certificated staff, and will be held at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. The courses will be held July 22-26, and July 29-Aug. 2. The sessions run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the schedule is as follows:

-- Meteorology and Space Weather – July 22-26; participants of this course will learn the different areas of meteorology and how to incorporate them into their classroom. Participants will also learn about Doppler Radar technology, pressure currents and vectors, and cloud types and what they mean. The course will also touch on the future of weather prediction.

-- Lunar/Mars Space Exploration – July 22-26; this course features information on what it will take to establish and maintain human life on the moon or Mars. Participants will also design and build a model of a sustainable lunar or Mars base.

-- Space History and Future of Space Flight – July 29-Aug. 2; participants will learn about the history of rocketry and space exploration, and will build various rockets to use in the classroom with students. The course will also demonstrate the structure and design of rocketry, Newton's Laws of Motion, and aerodynamics.

-- Space Technologies in the Classroom – July 29-Aug. 2; this course examines uses of space technology and transportation, design, robotics, communications, space power and space structures. Participants will also take a field trip to Goddard Space Flight Center and construct a programmable robot.

The sessions are open to CCPS teachers across all subjects and grade levels. There is a $50 deposit required to hold a seat in a course. Upon course completion, participants will be refunded the deposit and earn three professional development credits at no cost. Deposits are due by Monday, June 24.

Deposits should be sent to the attention of Monique Wilson, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, 5980 Radio Station Road, La Plata, Md., 20646. Checks should be made payable to Charles County Public Schools and include “Space Institute Deposit 2013” in the memo area of the check. Contact Wilson at for more details.

Summer school registration begins June 26

Registration for the 2013 Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Summer School program is June 26-27. Summer school begins Tuesday, July 2, at Westlake High School.

Walk-in registration times for Wednesday and Thursday, June 26-27, are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Registrations will not be accepted after 7 p.m. on June 27. Registration forms, as well as copies of the summer school rules and procedures, are available at all middle and high school counseling offices.

All registration forms must be completed by the parent/guardian, verified by the school counselor and signed by the principal before registration. The summer school rules and procedures form must be signed by the student and parent/guardian, and must accompany registration forms. Graduating seniors must provide a graduation release sheet from their home school during registration.

The summer school session begins Tuesday, July 2 and ends Thursday, Aug. 1. Classes are Monday through Friday. The fee is $200 per make-up class and the fee for make-up extended courses is $300 per course. Additionally, parents/guardians are responsible for student transportation to and from summer school.

Payment is due at registration. Cash, Visa, Master Card and money orders are the only accepted forms of payment. Checks and partial payments will not be accepted. Refunds are only given if a course is canceled or a written request is received by administration by July 2. No refund is given if a student is removed from the summer school program for a violation of the Charles County Public Schools Code of Student Conduct or attendance policy.

Graduation is Thursday, Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. at Westlake High School.

For more information, contact Doug Lamb, 301-753-1755, or Sandy Rooney, 301-932-1003. For a list of available summer school courses and additional information, visit

Collections agency selected to help recover bad check funds

Charles County Public Schools is changing the way it handles checks written to schools by parents, students or other individuals for any payments due to the school system. The change only involves returned checks, and does not affect payments made on My Payments Plus, the secure, Internet-based system parents can use to deposit money electronically for their child's school obligations such as lunch accounts, book fees, senior dues and parking fees.

Beginning June 1, the school system is sending all returned checks to a check recovery agency. The school system will no longer handle checks written to the individual schools that do not clear the bank. Returned checks will be sent directly to Envision Payment Solutions, the agency secured by the school system. There is no cost to the school system for this service, and the agency will work to collect the face amount of the check and up to a $35 fee, which is allowed by Maryland law.

In presenting a check for payment, the issuer authorizes service charges and processing fees associated with returned checks to be debited from the same account if the check is dishonored. Returned checks may also be resubmitted electronically or by paper draft using the account information already supplied with the dishonored payment.

Already this school year, 309 checks valued at $18,200 have been returned for non-payment. Last school year, 528 checks valued at $33,600 were returned; and during the 2010-11 school year, 473 checks valued at $26,150 were returned.

For more information, call the Charles County Public Schools accounting department at 301-934-7354 or contact your child's school. Questions about returned checks written to Charles County Public Schools can also be directed to Envision Payment Solutions at 1-877-290-5460 or

Richmond recommends redistricting proposal with modification

Superintendent James E. Richmond presented his high school redistricting recommendation to the Board of Education today, suggesting Proposal B with a modification.

In a statement to the Board, Richmond said the recommendation takes into account public and written testimony as well as consideration of students who were redistricted at the middle school level this year. Proposal B establishes an attendance zone for St. Charles High School and relieves overcrowding at other high schools. The proposal moves approximately 1,320 ninth and tenth graders along with incoming ninth graders.

The modification to Alternative B allows all current eighth- and ninth-grade students living in Block 3750 who were required to change from Theodore G. Davis Middle School to Matthew Henson Middle School as a result of redistricting to remain at North Point High School with transportation until they graduate instead of moving to Maurice J. McDonough High School as tenth and eleventh graders in school year 2014-15. Proposal B requires all seventh graders living in Block 3750 to attend McDonough as ninth-grade students in school year 2014-15. Communities impacted, but are not limited to Brentwood, Linden Grove, Settle Woods and Eutaw Forest.

This modification, Richmond said, considers the multiple number of schools the eighth and ninth-grade students in Block 3750 would be required to attend due to redistricting. There are currently 76 students eligible to take advantage of the modification.

As he was submitting his recommendation, Richmond said the school system addressed issues identified during the middle school redistricting, including studying the best way to open St. Charles High School, reviewing redistricting policies, auditing student populations at the high schools, developing better communications and considering comments from residents at public hearings and through correspondence.

The Board will accept comment on the Superintendent’s proposal at a public hearing, 6:30-9 p.m., May 20, at Westlake High School.

In order to allow proper time for all interested speakers, the following guidelines have been established for the public hearings:

-- Any person wishing to speak during the public hearings must sign the sign-in sheet in advance. The sign-up sheet will be available outside of the school auditorium beginning 45 minutes prior to the start of the hearing. No one arriving after 6:30 p.m. will be allowed to sign in or speak.

-- Speakers will be issued a number and will be called to the podium by their assigned number.

-- Speakers should limit their comments to the redistricting proposals.

-- Comments should be concise and to the point, and speakers will be limited to three minutes. A screen showing the time provides warnings when speakers have one minute and 30 seconds left to speak. The Board chairman will ask the speaker to stop at the three-minute mark in order to provide equal opportunity to all who would like to comment.

-- Board members are there to listen to comments and gather information for use in their decisions on redistricting. Members will not answer questions or comment to speakers during the hearing.

-- Remarks must be respectful, courteous, free of name-calling and personal attacks. Inappropriate language will not be tolerated.

The Board will make its final decisions regarding the high school redistricting at the June 11 meeting.

Residents may also mail or e-mail comments. E-mail comments to or mail to Redistricting, Charles County Public Schools, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646.

For a complete overview of redistricting, fact sheets outlining the proposals for each schools, a redistricting school locator and other information, visit the school system website at

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