Newsletter Wednesday January 7 2015

University Park Elementary School


January 7, 2015

Message from Ms. Davis

Welcome back!  I hope that you enjoyed your two week vacation as it is a rarity.  Now that we have returned, there are many exciting events occurring here at UPES.  I’d like to thank the many parents, teachers, and volunteers for helping students meet the deadlines for the Write-A-Book competition.  All Write-A-Book submissions were due Tuesday but the deadline will be extended to Thursday. Ms. Waugh and her committee have done an outstanding job supporting students as they completed their Write-A-Book projects. 

Additionally, Science Fair deadlines are approaching quickly.  All students in grades 4-6 are required to complete a Science Fair project and should be well on their way to completing their projects.  Please see the chart below to aid students with planning.  If there is anything you need between now and then, do not hesitate to contact me. The next newsletter will be coming home on Wednesday, January 21st. 



Ms. Mary Slaninka, ESOL teacher has retired after 14 years of service with Prince Georges County Public Schools effective January 1, 2015.  Due to illness, Mary was unable to return to UPES at the beginning of the school year and has since made the difficult decision to retire.  Please join me in welcoming Courtney Wimbush our new ESOL teacher as of January 5, 2015.  Please read below to learn more about Courtney.


Courtney Wimbush, ESOL Teacher, has been an educator for over 10 years in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. She has taught students in grades 2-6 and ESOL students in the primary and elementary grades. She has a M. Ed. in TESOL from Grand Canyon University, a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Bowie State University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University. She enjoys listening to music, watching movies, reading and most importantly, being a mom to her daughter Sasha. She is excited to become a part of the University Park family and hopes to finish out a great year! 


Hyattsville MS Creative & Performing Arts Program

OPEN APPLICATION for Hyattsville MS Creative & Performing Arts Program! The Creative & Performing Arts application is now open for rising 7th grade students who are interested in auditioning for the CPA program at Hyattsville MS.  Please read the following information to find, complete and submit your application before MARCH 12, 2015.

Note: Before you begin, check SCHOOL FINDER to locate YOUR CPA School  

Visit to read and select one of the disciplines that your child would like to audition for. Categories include: Dance, Music (Instrumental & Vocal), Visual Arts, TV/Media Production & Creative Writing

Gather all required information to complete your application:

Student ID # (found on progress reports & report cards)

Resume (listing academic & artistic accomplishments)

Two SEALEDrecommendation forms (follow instructions online for recommendation form requirements)

Current school year report card (must denote a minimum of 2.0+ GPA for each quarter)

Copy of transcript

Download, save and print your application ORcomplete your application online. If you are mailing your application, be sure to include all required forms. The application must be received in the HMS CPA office before March 12, 2015. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED!

If COMPLETED APPLICATION and ALL required documents are received by March 12, 2015, your child will receive an audition date and time approximately (4) weeks after the application window closes.

FOR STUDENTS- On the day of your Audition:

Be prepared to write a short essay explaining why you want to attend the Creative & Performing Arts Program at Hyattsville MS

You will write a personal paragraph (no more than 150 words) answering the following questions:

Why would you like to be a student in the CPA program?

How would your school experience at a CPA school be different than another school?

Describe what your academic and artistic contributions to the CPA program will be. *You will have 15 minutes to complete this task.

If you require additional information or assistance please contact Ms. Cruz at (301) 985-1898!

Counselor’s Corner

Welcome Back to School—We are Glad You are Here!

 During the month of December so many families were helped because of the gift cards donated by the Lions’ Club and Riverdale Presbyterian Church.  Several students were able to attend the Annual Cora Rice Christmas Party that was held at Roosevelt High School.  Some students were able to participate in the Shop With a Cop Program sponsored by the Prince Georges’ County Police Department. All of these contributions allowed our students to enjoy the Winter Holiday Season.


Technologically Speaking

January promises to be a busy month technologically at UPES.  Using Dell laptops and desktops, students will continue to work on their science projects using a number of Google applications available through their PGCPS email account.   Mr. Clark will introduce students to graphing via Google Spreadsheet and assist students with completing projects.  In addition, students are using IPADs for a number of classroom activities throughout the building.  This month, Mr. Clark will prepare students for PARCC online testing by allowing them to review and take sample PARCC assessments. 


Write A Book

The Write-A-Book timeline is below.



Week of 1/12-16

Write-A-Book submissions will be bound. This will take place both during the day, and in one evening with the support of parent volunteers.


Judging is conducted.


Submissions are returned to UPES

5/13, 7-9PM

Annual Write-A-Book Award Ceremony


2014-2015 Science/Stem Fair

The 2014-2015 Science/Stem Fair timeline is below.




Data charts, graphs completed at home or finished in class


Data charts, graphs due to teacher or finished in class


Results and conclusion due to teacher


Results and conclusion returned to student

1-15 to 1-19

Backboards completed at home. 





Science Fair Completed Projects due to teacher/Presentations practiced in class.


Intermediate STEM Fair & Judging


Azalea Classic

Get Ready for the Azalea Classic 2015!


Keep your New Year's resolutions to get healthier and improve fitness by planning NOW to participate in the Azalea Classic on Saturday, April 18, 2015. If you have never attended, you won't want to miss it! The Azalea Classic includes a 1 K Family Fun Run, a 1 Mile Challenge for older kids, and a 5 K race, certified and sanctioned by USA Track & Field. A great community event that's fun for all ages, the Azalea Classic attracts around 1,000 participants each year -- and that's not including all the race volunteers, marching band, and cheering neighbors. Proceeds benefit the UPES PTA. Sign-up can be done online at or via paper forms available for the UPES community at school (UPES "family" discount available only through the paper forms at school). Watch out for informal training runs that will be organized in the neighborhood to prepare. More info is available at If you would like to volunteer, be a sponsor, know of a business that could be a sponsor, or have any questions, please contact Kristi Janzen, Race Director, at and put Azalea Classic in the memo line. See you at the Azalea Classic! 


Upcoming Events

Wednesday, January 7-PTA Meeting at 2:15 p.m.

Monday, January 19-Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday-No school for students and staff

Monday, January 26-Grading/Planning Day-No school for students 

Last modified: 8/28/2015 12:55:43 PM