Newsletter Wednesday September 3 2014

University Park Elementary School


September 3, 2014

Message from Ms. Davis

Congratulations for a successful first week of school!!  A huge thank you to our staff, students, and parents for making this the best school opening I’ve ever seen.  We had over 260 families attend Back to School Night which is amazing.  This is going to be a great year for students as we Soar to New Heights with Unity, Pride, Excellence Success.   


Wednesday Folders

Every two weeks you will receive a Wednesday Folder.  Inside you will find a letter from your child’s teacher/grade level team. We will also include information from the PTA and other flyers from the community. You will find our parent newsletter, “Eagle News,” on the first Wednesday of the month.  Our next newsletter will be sent home October 1, 2014.   Please take the information out, sign the folder, and send it back.   You will also find a flyer in the Envelope asking if you would prefer to receive the newsletters and flyers by email.  If you would, return the form and you will start to receive this information electronically at the beginning of October.  This will be convenient for you, and less expensive for our budget!



Please feel free to walk your child to class daily!  Before the first bell rings, Pre-K – 2nd graders wait quietly in lines out front, and 3rd – 6thgraders do the same out back. They may enter when the bell rings at 7:45 a.m. When the second bell rings at 7:55 a.m., we start our instructional day, and that is a good time for you to quietly leave the building. We want all of our students, especially our young ones, to learn to be independent and follow our morning class routines. If you would like to visit your child’s classroom for an extended period of time, please come to the main office, present your driver’s license, and obtain a Visitor Sticker. 

Our goal is to have as few disruptions to instruction as possible. If you bring an item for your child during the school day, (lunch, instrument, homework, etc.), we will ask you to leave it in the office. We will call your child to retrieve it at an appropriate time. If you plan to stay at school to observe, volunteer, meet with a teacher, etc., please always sign in and obtain a visitor’s sticker. This is for the safety of our children and staff.


We start to load the buses out front at 1:50 p.m.  At 1:55 p.m., walkers are dismissed – Pre-K through 2nd will exit through the side door on the right of the building; grades 4-6 will exit through the back door.  Students from the temps will be dismissed to the blacktop with basketball hoops out back.  Please wait outside to pick up your child, and pay close attention to the cars and buses moving when you leave! Only the buses are allowed to use the circle in the morning and afternoon. We always have staff members on duty to ensure everyone’s safety. The University Park Police Department often has an officer here to assist us, and we are very grateful!

Please try to not pick up your child between the times of 1:30 and 1:55 p.m. Teachers are finishing up the day, students are packing up, and the office becomes very busy. The county policy states that students who are picked up early are coded as being tardy in SchoolMax, since there is no code for early dismissal.  Thank you!


Cafeteria Information

Meal prices for this year stand at $1.50 for breakfast and $.30 for the reduced price. If students want to have breakfast, they must arrive between 7:30-7:45 a.m. Lunch is $2.60 for full price and $.40 for reduced price. The price of milk is $.55 for ½ pint carton. Please be sure your child has money in their lunch account or brings a lunch to school. Students who attended University Park last year will have the same PIN number. New students will be issued a PIN number and may deposit money into their account. This will begin on the first day of school. You can deposit money in your child’s account on-line at www.MySchoolBucks. The office cannot loan lunch money. Students who do not bring lunch or have money will be given a cheese sandwich and milk by the cafeteria. There will be no exceptions; this is the school system’s policy. You may also go to and click on “Parents, then “Lunch Menus.” There you will find options to pay online. Applications for free or reduced meals are there as well. If your child had free or reduced lunch last year, you must still apply for this year. If your child has food allergies, our nurse must have a letter from your child’s doctor on file. Then the cafeteria manager, Alejandra Martinez, can put the allergy into the PIN system so that they are reminded of the allergy every time your child buys lunch.


Discipline Policy

 Our school rules are:

1.       Follow directions the first time they are given.

2.       Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.

3.       Be respectful by being a good listener and using kind words.

4.       Walk silently in the hallway.

5.       Raise your hand before speaking and wait to be called on.

6.       Leave gum and toys at home.

Every student will have a required 15 minutes of recess every day.  An additional 15 minutes of recess is built in daily as a reward for excellent behavior.  If a student does not follow the rules during the day, the responses are below:

1st time – Warning

2nd time - One check – Attend Reflection Period

                for 5 minutes

3rd time - Two checks – Attend Reflection

                Period for 10 minutes

4th time - Three checks – Attend Reflection

                Period for 15 minutes and parent is

                notified by teacher

5th time - Four checks – Attend Reflection

                Period for 15 minutes, visit an

                administrator, and take home letter to

                be signed.

During the Reflection Period, students will discuss and write why they did not follow the rules, and what would have been a better strategy.

Severe misbehavior (fighting, bullying, foul language, weapon, insubordination) results in an immediate four checks and a Discipline Referral. There are specific forms to be filled out for reports of bullying, and they can be found in the office and your “Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook.”

Consequences for Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade are slightly different and appropriate for those age groups. Consequences are given quietly with as little attention as possible. Positive reinforcement is given frequently and with great emphasis! The staff fosters an encouraging, positive, and caring environment so that all of our students will feel motivated to do their best! We appreciate your support!


Many parents have asked how they can volunteer at school, and that is fantastic! We appreciate all of the amazing things that our volunteers do for our kids! The teachers have written about volunteer opportunities in their first letters to you. Our PTA is another way to become involved! Our PTA is the BEST! They will be sending you information soon! Our PTA officers are:

President – Becky Widman

Krista Atteberry-Vice President

Amanda Olson-Secretary

Emily Jackson-Treasurer

Below is the information on fingerprinting ($66) and commercial background checks ($10) for volunteers. Please feel free to call the Fingerprinting Office at 301-952-6775 for additional information.  Fingerprinting Night at UPES will be November 5, 2014, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Volunteers working in a capacity where they would work with students in an unsupervised capacity are required to be fingerprinted and complete a full fingerprint background check.

Volunteers who work on a one time basis only, or on a sporadic basis, (such as Career Day, book fairs, school dances, or other one-time events), do not need to be fingerprinted.

Parents and volunteers who volunteer in a classroom on a regular basis in a supervised setting must obtain a commercial background check through PGCPS on an annual basis.

Chaperones who participate in a day field trip or an overnight school trip are considered to be volunteers and MUST undergo a commercial background check initiated by PGCPS through the Fingerprinting Office before performing duties.

Once you have been fingerprinted or you have applied for your background check, please bring your receipt to our school office so we can keep it on file!


Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination (DI) is a volunteer-led, educational program that teaches 21st century skills and STEM principles through creative and collaborative problem solving. Team members work together to develop a solution to one of seven open-ended Challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Through the Challenge program, students learn and experience the creative process from imagination to innovation and learn skills needed to succeed in school, career and life, including teamwork, communication, project management, perseverance, creative and critical thinking, and self-confidence.

    University Park Elementary School has had teams that have participated in this fun activity. There will be an “Open House” for students and/or their parents who might be interested. The meeting will be in Ms. Moore’s classroom on September 10 immediately after the last bus is called and last until 3PM and is open for 2nd-6th graders. For a successful team, there is a time commitment of about an hour a week. If you or your child is interested in participating in this program, which often culminates in a state tournament in April, please come to this meeting to gather more information.  


Staff list 2014-2015

Please do not hesitate to contact any of us if you need help in any way.

Principal: Toi Davis                    

Assistant Principal: Massa Freeman

Main Office: Juanita Pray (Principal’s Secretary), Devilan Cowherd (Registrar)  

Nurse: Anu Abraham

Pre-Kindergarten: Vicki Koutz                  Pre-K Paraprofessional: Aurelia Blake

Kindergarten: Rhonda Coon, Lauren Martin, Nadia Rolon, Annique Roy

First Grade: Barbara Duffy, Jennifer Tyler, Alison Hamer, Becky Szelc

Second Grade: Kathy Baer, Autumn Camper,   Meredith Young

Third Grade: Heather Bidjou, Cindy Nell, M. Michele Rowland

Fourth Grade: Erica Berry, Ashley Kuessner, Roni Ramos

Fifth Grade: Geoff Favero, John Malter, Kitty Moore

Sixth Grade: Allison Pawlowski, Dawna Phillips, Yvonne Morris

Special Education:  Brandy Bradford, Stacey Marville,  Adam Thompson,    

Special Ed Paraprofessionals: Nakita Adams, Nicole Keels-Thomas                                     

Special Ed Dedicated Assistants: Martha Martinez

Speech: Lisa Tuit

School Psychologist: Sarah Regnell

ESOL: Mary Brogi, Mary Slaninka, Sandra Tsai,

Reading: Joyce Jackson                             

PE: Christy Neff, James Caylor (part time)                                          

Media Specialist:  Amanda Waugh

 Counselor: Marlene Bennett

Vocal Music: Amanda Ferguson

Vocal Music: Juleanne Conrad (Part-time)

Instrumental Music: Samuel Ambrose              

Art: Brian Mah (Itinerant), Aaron Springer

Parent Community Outreach: Melinda Cruz ( will begin by the end of the month)

Cafeteria: Alejandra Martinez (Manager), Libia Martinez, Margaret Baker, Barrero Juanna

Custodians: Kevin Brown (Building Supervisor), William Jones (Night Lead), Sherry Johnson, and Eric Weaver ( temporary worker)

Before and After Care: Cheryl Axenfeld (Director), Jovany Hurdle, Juanita Morton, Loretta Pittarelli, Betty Thompson, Ruth White


Upcoming Events

Friday, September 5- Practice Lockdown Drill

September 15-October 15- Hispanic Heritage Month

Wednesday, Sept.17 – Constitution Day – Wear Red, White and Blue, Wednesday Folder Goes

Friday, September 19– No School – Inservice Day for Teachers

Thursday, September 25- No School – Rosh Hashanah

Last modified: 8/28/2015 12:55:49 PM