Newsletter October 1 2014

 University Park Elementary School


October 1, 2014

Message from Ms. Davis

The first month of school has met the high expectations we hold for students, staff, parents, and transportation.  We have a total of 573 students gracing our school each day who appear confident and eager to learn.  We have 28 Pre-Kindergarteners, 97 Kindergarteners, 91 first graders, 75 second graders, 80 third graders, 70 fourth graders, 71 fifth graders, and 61 six graders.  In addition, we welcomed our new Parent Community Outreach Assistant and 12 University of Maryland interns who will be with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays in grades 1-3 until the end of the semester.



 October is “Pinktober” here at UPES as we honor the Breast Cancer survivors on our staff and within our community.  I’m asking staff and students to wear a pink item (socks, shirts, pants, earrings, etc...) or a color in the pink family each Friday during the month of October. 


Communication with Parents

Parents will receive the “Eagle News” newsletter the first and third Wednesday of each month.  The next newsletter will be published October15, 2014.  In addition to the newsletter, parents can receive information via the UPES website, Robo calls for school-wide events, and classroom newsletters.  I will also use the school’s email distribution list to send out important information when needed.  Finally, I encourage all families to sign up for the Family Portal through School Max.  SchoolMax gives parents access to view attendance and grades and PGCPS may use the system to contact parents about important announcements.  The steps for registering for the Family Portal are below. 


Registering for the Family Portal


SchoolMAX Family Portal is an application that allows parents to view students' attendance and grades as the information is added

in real time. For example, when a student's attendance is marked for that day, the parent or guardian can immediately login and

see it.



Prince George's County Public Schools is instituting a new way for parents to register

for the Family Portal that gives more autonomy to the parent, allowing them to reset

their own password through an email account. In addition to using this email to log

in to Family Portal, PGCPS may use it to contact you about important announcements

such as school closures.



First you will need the following:

• An email address where you can check messages

(School System employees cannot use their PGCPS email address)

Your student's nine digit student ID number

• Your student's birthdate.

The address (house number and Zip Code) for the student's primary residence



Once you have all the above information go to the Prince George's County Public Schools

homepage at

• Hover your cursor over the PARENT Tab


Click the Register HERE link.

• Follow the onscreen prompts putting the requested information in the appropriate


PLEASE NOTE: Once you have submitted you are NOT DONE. You will need to access

your email account to complete the process.



You will see a confirmation message that your account has been successfully created.

1. Access the email account you used to setup your Family Portal Account and look for the subject

"Your PGCPS SchoolMAX Family Portal Account has successfully been created".

2. Open the email and click on the enclosed Set Challenge Question Answer and Activate Your Account link.




Prince George's County Public Schools allows parents to login to Family Portal from any web-enabled mobile device, such as an iPhone or Android device.

NOTE: Before you can use Family Portal Mobile App, you must register for Family Portal. See the Family Portal for

Parents and Guardians user guide to learn more.



First you will need to do the following:

Open the Browser on your Mobile Device

Type in the address box

Once you open the above link add a bookmark to your home screen.



• Touch the Share icon at the bottom of the screen.

• Touch the Add to Home Screen icon

• Touch Add in the upper right corner of the screen. You are taken back to the Home Screen.

• If the icon does not appear on the first screen, swipe to the second screen.

• To move the icon to the first screen, press and hold the icon until it wiggles.

• Press and drag the icon to the left edge of the screen and hold it until it switches to the first screen.

• Release the icon and it drops in place on the first screen.

• Press the Home button to stop icons from wiggling.



• Touch the star icon next to the address.

On the Add to line, touch Bookmarks.

• Touch Home screen.

• Touch OK.

• Press the Home button.

• The bookmark now appears on your home screen.


Culture of Literacy

Please join the University Park staff in building a culture of literacy at school and at home. Our focus for literacy this year is to build reading stamina. Reading stamina is a child's ability to read independently for sustained periods of time without becoming distracted. Developing and enhancing reading endurance will help your child comprehend longer texts as well as persevere through more challenging reading selections. More importantly, strengthening your child's reading stamina will foster a lifetime love for reading, thus preparing him or her for the future.

            Here are a few tips to help your child build his or her literacy muscles:

Set aside daily time for reading.

Make reading an enjoyable family activity that involves as many family members as possible.

Expose your child to different genres such as magazines, science/social studies textbook assignments, chapter books, comic books, graphic novels, and poetry.

Remove distractions. Turn off televisions, radios and computers during reading time. Try to create a quiet and comfortable environment.

Have books easily accessible in your home. Visit the public library twice a month.

If your child has difficulty reading alone, try reading every other page aloud to your child and gradually lengthen the independent reading time.

As partners in your child's education, we look forward to building a community of strong readers together.

Partners in Print

Empower your child in kindergarten through second grade to become a successful reader!

Join Partners in Print to help your child develop strong literacy skills and a love for reading!

By attending the fun and interactive workshops, you will develop important skills to help your child with reading at home including:

using effective praise

 reading for comprehension


choosing books

asking questions to enhance learning


Where: Hyattsville Library

Workshop 1:  Tuesday, October 7, 2014; 6:15-7:30pm 

Workshop 2:  Tuesday, October 21, 2014; 6:15-7:30pm

Workshop 3:  Tuesday, December 9, 2014; 6:15-7:30pm


Each workshop is different! Attend all workshops to develop a variety of skills. Every child who attends will receive a free book to take home!

 Please visit Partners in Print online:


Introducing Madeline Cruz, Parent Community Outreach Assistant

Hello to all students, parents & staff at University Park ES!

My name is Madeline Cruz and I am beyond excited to introduce myself as the Parent & Community Outreach Assistant for University Park ES!  For more than four years I have worked as a legal assistant, and most recently as a courtroom clerk (Judges’ Assistant) in the District Court for Montgomery County.  Working in these legal settings has allowed me to help individuals from many different walks of life and help them navigate and have a better understanding of the legal field. I am fluent in English & Spanish, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix.  As a Parent & Community Outreach Assistant I will serve as the liaison between parents & staff and work hard to maintain and/or increase effective communication, parent involvement, and help parents & their children become familiar with the school system, policies & procedures. Within the next few weeks I intend to make myself a familiar face within our community and hope to hear any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact me, as I will work hard to create a long lasting relationship with our community so that we continue to help our children succeed!  Please cut and paste the following link into your browser to complete a brief parent survey.  


News from the Media Center

Welcome back to school! I am delighted to be working with your children and very thankful for the generous support of the UPES community. We have ordered $5,000 worth of books as of September 18 and expect them to begin arriving in a few weeks. I think the students will be very excited to see what is coming in.


The library policies for this year are as follows. Pre-K-Grade 1 may check out one book at a time. Grades 2-5 may check out two books. The loan period is for 2 weeks. If at all possible, please have your student return their books before their day in the media center - that way I can have them checked in and know that their account is clear before they try to check out books. I recently sent home green overdue notices. Please take a look around for those titles. If you cannot find them, please get in touch with me so we can work out how to pay for the lost books. My goal is for everyone to be able to check out books, so let's work together to clear up any problems! 


The last two weeks, the students and I have been talking about the picture book, The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. Although it is a picture book, the theme of persistence and risk taking is highly relevant to all grades. As such I have scaffolded activities to get the kids thinking! Upper grade students (4-6) have created Dot Day trading cards suggesting things that someone should try. The cards have been traded between students and myself, and are incorporated in the library display "Make Your Mark!!!" Some favorites include: "Being Yourself No Matter What!", "Making a New Dish for Dinner" and "Cliffdiving!!!!!"


Please feel free to call or email me with concerns, ideas and suggestions. I welcome your thoughts and am happy to work with you as much as possible. 

Mrs. Waugh

Media Specialist

(301) 985-1898



Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Night with us Friday, October 10 at 6:00 pm.  Participants will enjoy delicious food and fabulous music. Feel free to bring food from your country to share. This activity is open for everyone!

Recess Running Club Needs Parents Or It Will Be Cancelled -- PLEASE Help Volunteer -- Even a Couple of Hours a Month Will Help!

We have a fantastic Recess Running Club that encourages kids to get exercise during recess.  They pick up pedometers at the beginning of recess, drop them off at the end, and we record their steps. Over time, they see how much they have done and improve, and THEY LOVE IT. This has been a very fun and successful program for the last couple of years. 


HOWEVER, we need parents to help pass out and collect the pedometers, and record times, from 10:50-12:30. All you have to do is the secretarial part of it -- handing out pedometers, checking them back in, noting the numbers. If you want to run with the kids -- that is a bonus! But it is not necessary! 


Even one or two Wednesdays would help! We hope to set up a rotation like last year. Please let Kristi Janzen know at so she can coordinate with the Physical Education teacher, Christy Neff.  THANK YOU! 

Camp Schmidt

Grade 5 students are going to Camp Schmidt December 2-3. Mr. Favero will send out additional information via students in the upcoming weeks.


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, October 1- PTA Meeting, 2:15 p.m.

Monday-Friday, October 6-10- Book Fair

Thursday-Friday, October 9-10- Mobile Dentist at UPES

Friday, October 10- Hispanic Heritage Night-6:00-8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 15-PTA Restaurant Night at Jason’s Deli, Fall individual pictures

Friday, October 17-MSEA Convention, No school for students and teachers

Wednesday, October 22-Family Gym Night- 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Friday, October 24, 2014-Fall Fest grades Pre-K-1

Thursday, October 30-Halloween Parade and Parties from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Friday, October 31-11:55 a.m. early dismissal for students


Last modified: 8/28/2015 12:41:28 PM