Eagle Original 5 NEWSLETTER #12   301-599-2442  http://www1.pgcps.org/mattaponi/  December 8, 2017   



    December 2017

    8              Professional Development Day – 2 Hour Early Dismissal (11:50 a.m.)

    11           Picture Make-up Day

    15           1st Quarter Honor Roll Assembly (8:30 a.m.)

    19           Winter Concert at Mattaponi ES (7:00 p.m.)

    20           Ugly Sweater Day at Mattaponi

    21           Polar Express Day at Mattaponi (see details below)

    22           2nd Quarter Progress Reports Released

    25-29     Winter Break – Christmas Holiday – Schools Closed for Students

    January 2018

    Winter Break – New Year’s Holiday – School and Offices Closed

    15           Martin L. King, Jr. Day – School and Offices Closed

    25           End of 2nd Quarter

    26           Professional Day – 2 Hour Early Dismissal (11:50 a.m.)

    26           PGCPS Charter Lottery Deadline


    Mr. Stephen I. Green, Jr.

    I love this time of the year!  I’m a big kid at heart and I look forward to the holiday season.  Growing up, I was very fortunate to be raised by a “proverbial village” which allowed me to be innocent and live like a child.  With all of the vices that face this world today, many children have to grow up fast, assume responsibilities and roles once only held by adults, and navigate a world which says children are the priority, but whose actions reveal a very stark, different reality.  I guess this reality is why I’m in the field of education, because I feel it’s my responsibility to give back to the universe, what it so richly gave me.  I wish every child had a family and an upbringing like mine.  My upbringing was by no means perfect and I’m sure that I have peers that had it even better than me, especially those whose parents made more money than mine.  But finances aside, I’ve had a wonderful life.  Hence the title of my favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, a holiday classic.

    In the movie, the main character, George Bailey, is a firstborn son, husband, loving father, supportive big brother, friend, and richly esteemed man in his community. He gets the unbelievable opportunity to see what the world be like had he never been born.  You see, while this time of year is so joyous for many, it is equally depressing and saddening for others.  It’s not uncommon to miss loved ones who have passed, feel the pain of failed relationships, and the void of goals and dreams yet realized.  For many, the holidays rekindle and stoke the flames of these unsettling feelings.  George Bailey was at that moment in his life when he faced a crisis in his life for which he thought was insurmountable and felt his life had no value.  But an angel named Clarence came his way and showed him the impact that his life had on others.  We often don’t know how the simple ‘hello’ or the gesture of holding a door can have on a person’s life.  

    George Bailey’s life did have value, his life did matter, and in the end he realized that his life was pretty awesome.
    So I challenge you/remind you that no matter what lens you view this time of year, remember that it is a wonderful life.  Reach out to those who you know may be having a tough time and be their Clarence.  Help them see that their life has value and that they matter to you.  Share joy, peace, and harmony with all around you and together we can make this world a better place for all.

    Picture Make-up Day – Monday, December 11, 2017
    Mark your calendars - Picture Make-up Day is Monday, December 11th.  Make-up day is designated for students who were absent on the original picture day and for those who are not satisfied with the pictures from the first picture day.  Please let us know if you need an order form.  If your child is retaking their picture on December 11th, you need to send in the original photo package from the first picture day.  Uniforms must be worn.  Please contact Classic Photography & Imaging with any questions at 800-869-9515 or visit http://www.classic-photo.com/.

    Toy Drive – Please Help!
    Help make a child smile this holiday season.  Donate a new, unwrapped toy by December 15th. The Mattaponi SGA and National Elementary Honor Society will collect the toys and deliver them to the United Community Against Poverty Home of Shepard’s Cove.   All students that donate will receive eagle bucks and the class that collects the most toys will earn a dress down day!  Thank you for your support!

    Gingerbread House Contest
    Mattaponi ES is having a gingerbread house contest, instructions and the entry form was sent home.  Entry forms were due on December 6th.  Completed gingerbread houses must be delivered to Mattaponi ES on December 19th and entries will be judged on December 20th.  We look forward to seeing your creative gingerbread houses.  Have fun!


    Lost and Found Articles
    The Lost and Found is located outside of room 9.  There are many coats, jackets, hats and lunchboxes in the lost and found.  Please have your child check this location to retrieve lost items.  All items will be donated to a local shelter on Friday, December 22, 2017.

    Apply Now for PGCPS Charter Schools Lottery
    The Charter School Lottery is now open.  Visit the PGCPS website through January 26, 2018 for an opportunity to apply for the 2018-2019 school year.  Apply Now: http://lottery.pgcps.org/

    Student Enrichment Packets
    Beginning December 1, 2017, PGCPS will launch a new effort to provide support for parents and students to be used all year.  Student break packets and answer keys will be posted as a resource on our website and will remain posted all year.  They can be accessed through a tab on the main PGCPS webpage labeled, Student Enrichment Packets.  While we encourage parents to have their students complete the packets for additional practice in the content areas for their grade level, we are not requiring teachers provide feedback on the completion of these activities or provide extra credit for work done.  Please watch the PGCPS website for more information.  

    Family Institute Child Safety Workshop & Background Checks for School Volunteers 
    Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Family Institute, in collaboration with the Division of Human Resources, will host the “Keeping Our Children Safe” workshop for parents and guardians. The workshop includes Fingerprint Background Check and Child Protective Services (CPS) Clearance sessions for those interested in volunteering in their neighborhood schools more than once a year.  Please view the workshop dates, times, locations and pre-registration information at http://www1.pgcps.org/mattaponi/PB_mattaponi.aspx?pageid=247412&id=254277.

    Mattaponi ES Has a Facebook Page
    Please 'Like'  Mattaponi's new Facebook Page.  We will be sharing important information, announcements and school-wide activities on this page.  Stay connected!  http://www.facebook.com/mattaponielementary

    MATH CORNER – Mr. Puglia

    SOS Updates!
    For those that may not know, we have a white recycling bin on our upper parking lot to collect textiles to raise funds for our Environmental Programs.  Our Clothing to Cash donations in the recycling bin have come in third place for the third month in a row.  Let’s please turn this around and come in 1st place for a bonus of $100!!!  Bring in all your used and worn out textiles (clothing, shoes, towels, sheets, comforters, curtains, pillows, etc.)   They are accepted in ANY condition!  Place items in a plastic bag and deposit in the white bin on the upper parking lot.  Once again, all profits help fund our environmental efforts.

    2018 STEM Fair
    All students in all grades will participate in the 2018 STEM Fair.  Classes will be working on projects in class this year which will be on display on January 17, 2018.  Students also have the option of developing their own project for the Fair and/or expanding on the class project.  Any work on the project at home is optional.  Feel free to contact Mr. Puglia regarding any questions or concerns about the 2018 STEM Fair.

    Math Matters
    Please be sure your students are working on their fluency facts on Mobymax.  This information helps us monitor and directs instruction for all our students in all grades.  In our efforts to promote math fluency, students in grades 2-5 have received fun math fact card games.  We hope your family will join in the fun that card games offer our Mattaponi family, with helping learn math facts in a fun way.


    Polar Express Day 

    ALL ABOARD…the Polar Express!!  On December 21, 2017, we will celebrate the holiday season with a Polar Express Day.  This will be a day where we will read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and/or watch the movie, as well as participate in many related activities.  In order for your student to participate fully on that day, please ensure that they are completing all of their weekly reading logs so that they can receive their ticket which will entitle them to treats.  As well, to ensure that all students dressed in pajamas are appropriately and comfortably dressed, we are STRONGLY encouraging the students to wear onesie pajamas for that day.  In order to ensure that this day is a success, we are in need of a few parent volunteers to assist with the festivities.  Please contact Mrs. Smith at ebony.smith@pgcps.org or (301) 599-2442, if you are able to be of assistance.

    COUNSELOR’S CORNER – Ms. Underdue                                                                                                                                               

    Mattaponi ES Annual Food Drive
    Please donate canned goods, packaged and nonperishable items to support the Brandywine Lions Charities Foundation, Inc. Annual Food Drive.  Food baskets support those in need in the Mattaponi ES and surrounding communities.  Items will be collected until December 21st and will be distributed to select families before Christmas.  Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.


    Once again, thank you for all the parents and teachers who came out to our last General Body Meeting for 2017!  We had quite a turnout, and as always we appreciate your support.  Congratulations to our raffle winners:  Ms. Jackson ($5 Dunkin’ Donut gift card) and Ms. Heather Safford, Mrs. Joy Hay and Ms. Tonya Bodrick (each received a new copy of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway” courtesy of Scholastic Book Fair). 

     ‘Tis the season of giving!  Mattaponi PTO Outreach Committee has partnered with Prince George’s Co. District 5 Police Station’s Annual Gift Drive.  Last year your support of our toy drive was phenomenal, and we look forward to your support for this year’s drive:  HATS & GLOVES/MITTENS SETS.  Please consider helping by donating a new, unwrapped “hat & glove/mitten” set for children less fortunate in our community and making this holiday season brighter and warmer for them.  We are currently accepting donations through Friday, December 15th which can be placed in the collection box located on the table in the school lobby.  Thank you Mrs. Gullion for coordinating this endeavor with us.  Giving is the true meaning of the season!

    The Penguin Patch Holiday Gift Shop was a huge success!  Thank you to the entire Mattaponi family for shopping with us!  The students (and some adults) were delighted to shop for family, friends and special loved ones at inexpensive, kid-friendly prices.  Many left with several bags, tickled with their purchases….so no peeking until December 25th!  Thank you to our wonderful volunteers:  Mrs. Starlette Allen, Mrs. Alicia Richardson, Ms. Corissa Hepler, Mr. Brandon Cober, Mrs. Denise Perry, and Ms. Sylvia Berry.  Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


    Procedures for Students Without Funds for Lunch

    Students who do not have sufficient funds for lunch will be provided a lunch that will be charged against the Principal’s account.  The administration of the school will communicate with the parents that their child did not have sufficient funds for that day and parents should repay those funds the next day.  After three (3) days of nonpayment, the student will receive the approved alternate meal for lunch until the unpaid balance is paid.  The alternate meal will consist of a cheese stick, crackers, fruit/vegetable, and milk.  Payment must be received to replenish the Principal’s account before other meals can be charged.  If there are no funds in the Principal’s account, then the student will receive the alternate meal.

    Background Checks and School Volunteers
    Please see Mattaponi’s website for the Top Frequently Asked Questions – Background Check and School Volunteers Administrative Procedure.  All volunteers are required to complete a fingerprint background check and child abuse/neglect clearance from CPS at least 14 days in advance of the activity/event.  For more information please visit http://www1.pgcps.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=235577

    Student Attendance Policy
    School achievement begins with regular attendance.  Parents/guardians must ensure that all school-age children in their care are in school on time daily.  Whenever absent from school, parents/guardians must provide the child with a written note upon their return to school.  The following are considered lawful absences:  death in the immediate family; hazardous weather conditions; illness of the student; lack of authorized transportation; quarantine; court summons or other emergency approved by the Chief Executive Officer or his designee.  Once your child returns to school with an excused absence note, he/she will receive their missed classwork and assignments.  Please remember, regular, punctual attendance is one of the many key factors that determines a students’ success in school!

    Student school hours are 7:45 am - 1:55 pmNo students are to enter the building until 7:30 am.  Please do not drop your child off until you see a staff member on duty in the kiss-n-ride.  If you are picking up your child after school as a car rider, you must be here no later than 2:00 pm.  Thank you for your cooperation.

    How to Contact a Staff Member

    Mattaponi’s school office hours are 7:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.  Teachers are available for phone calls from 7:15 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.  Calls will be sent directly to voicemail during instructional time and staff members are asked to return phone calls within 24 - 48 hours, if possible.  All conferences must be scheduled with teachers before coming to the school to discuss your child’s academic program or any issues that may need to be resolved.  Thank you for your understanding.

    School Security and Student Safety

    Please help us keep our students and school safe at all times by entering only through the front door, signing in at the front office with your ID and wearing a visitor’s sticker at all times while on school property.  In addition, parents/students/visitors should not be in classrooms unless a teacher is present.  Items needing to be dropped off should be left in the office.  Please note:  Neither students or parents are permitted to enter classrooms before 7:30 a.m. or after 1:55 p.m.  Children are reminded to take all necessary supplies home to complete assignments.  Each student is allowed ample time to gather all belongings at the end of the school day.  Forgotten items will have to be retrieved the next day.  This policy was implemented to ensure the safety of our students, as they must be under adult supervision at all times.  We appreciate your cooperation with complying with this policy.

    Dismissal Policy

    Students are expected to complete a full day of school, and the instructional day ends at approximately 1:50 p.m. to ensure a prompt dismissal at 1:55 p.m.  Please allow your child(ren) to remain in class for the entire day.  Early dismissal to facilitate parent convenience not only disrupts the class, but also deprives the student of valuable instruction.  Also, parents are encouraged to make medical appointments after school hours.  When an early departure is necessary, a note indicating the time, date, and reason for departure must be presented to the teacher at the beginning of the school day.  This enables the teacher to provide the student with any homework or class assignments that should be completed.  To ensure a safe, orderly and efficient dismissal process, we have made several changes to our dismissal policy.  Parents are not allowed to sign out their child(ren) for early dismissal after 1:30 p.m.  Parents who need to pick up their child(ren) must do so before this time.  We will not remove students from school buses once dismissal has begun.  This is an unsafe practice and interrupts the bus schedules for our school and all subsequent schools serviced by our buses. 

    Mattaponi ES Lunch Schedules

    Kindergarten & 1st Grade 10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

    2nd & 3rd Grade 11:15 – 11:45 a.m.

    4th & 5th Grade 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.