Newsletter Wednesday January 21 2015

University Park Elementary School


January 21, 2015

Message from Ms. Davis

We are excited about the progress we have made thus far and know that with great effort, the

students will do an outstanding job as we prepare for a very busy testing season. Please encourage your child to read every day and check to make sure all homework is complete. 

UPES students are highly capable and they need to be encouraged to do their best every day! Students will receive their second quarter report card on February 5th and we would like for parents to review assessment and report card data and assist in setting goals with their children.  The next Eagle newsletter will come home February 4, 2015.  If you need anything between now and then don’t hesitate to contact me via email or 301-985-1898.   



Mr. Bernard Smith is the new night lead for building services.  Mr. Smith has worked for PGCPS for the last 3 years and comes to UPES with accolades regarding his work and work ethic.  Please join me in welcoming him to the UPES family.



Please show your support for UPES by cutting out, and bringing in BoxTops for Education!   Each BoxTop that we collect is worth $0.10 for our school.  This money can be used to purchase new technology, books, equipment, and resources that will make our school even better!  And the best part is, you don’t need to spend any more money than you already do!  BoxTops are found on paper products, all kinds of food, clothing, and school and office supplies that you buy anyway.  So please, next time you see a BoxTop on an old cereal box don’t throw it away-- send it to school!


The Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will be administering End of Quarter 2 Benchmark (MUST) tests in Reading and Math in Grades 3 through 8 beginning January 19, 2015 and ending on January 23rd.  In addition, fifth grade will take the Science FAST test. These tests will measure what has been taught this quarter in each of the tested grades.  The test results will provide teachers with information to assist in instructional planning. Please make sure your child has a good night’s rest and a healthy breakfast.


Visual Arts

The UPES Art teachers announce a new collaborative theme for our art projects: we will focus on Italy, in recognition of our schools designated world language. Mr. Mah’s and Mr. Springer’s upcoming art projects will be related to Italian history, culture and/or geography. To introduce the theme to the students, we recently named the schools hallways after Italian cities.   We also are now referring to the halls as Via (streets), Strada (roads) and Piazza (squares).  To send a visual message about this theme, we will decorate the halls of the school with the students’ Italian themed artwork.  We are excited about these new projects and the opportunity to expand the student learning.   Given the long and rich history of Italian design and art, we know that the students will share this excitement as they learn more about Italy in the art classes.  



The final Write-A-Book stories were submitted in early January and a team of volunteers came together to help students bind them with beautiful fabric. Thank you to Chris Moss who organized the binding, and Becky Widman, Nancy Neher and Angela Precockis for helping out. The final books are beautiful inside and out. Stories from the kids are amazing! Their imaginations clearly took off. We had stories of underwater fantasy lands, battling evil villains and beautiful dreams. Some students wrote lovely poetry, others reflected on life experiences that shaped them in nonfiction stories. It was very impressive! The date for the author's tea will be announced shortly, so keep an eye out!


Reading in the Media Center

The primary grades have had some wonderful read alouds recently. This last week we have been reading Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Son, written by Andrea Davis Pinkey and illustrated by Brian Pinkey. Most of the students know of Dr. King, but so far none had heard of Mahalia Jackson. Students were captivated by the story and illustrations and surprised to learn that Mahalia Jackson exhorted Dr. King to "tell them about your dream." Then we discussed the location of the march, how close it was and that they could go and stand where Dr. King stood and think about his message. 



The upper grades have been working on research projects for a variety of classes in the media center and we have been focused on research skills. For example, how do student's evaluate a source for accuracycredibility and bias? We talk a lot about being skeptical about what they read and looking for citations to show the information found online has a trustworthy source. 


Returning Books

Please take a quick look around your home for any UPES library books that may need to be returned. Several students have mentioned that they forgot their books at home! 

Parent Meeting

There's still time to sign up for health insurance! Join us on TUESDAY, JANUARY 27th at 8:15 a.m. for a presentation on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and what you need to know NOW to avoid possible tax penalties! Presentation will be brought to you by: 

Open enrollment ends February 15th – so don’t miss this opportunity to discuss:

The Affordable Care Act and its Benefits

The Importance of Having Health Insurance

How & Where to Sign-Up

A Q&A session will be held after the presentation to answer your questions & concerns. For more information please contact Ms. Cruz at
(301) 985-1898 or via email at
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!

PTA Corner

Science Fair Judges Breakfast & Luncheon, January 28th

Volunteers needed for baking/buying, set up, and clean up.  Please contact Jennifer Cibor, Teacher Appreciation Chair, at JRCIBOR@GMAIL.COM to volunteer &/or for more details.

Azalea Classic, April 18th

Keep the date open for this excellent family and community event.  Details to follow.

Becky Widman’s been appointed to the PGCPS Parent and Community Advisory Council.  This is a great opportunity for UPES to represent our community and for UPES to be represented itself.  Currently, the council is defining the broader county school issues and policies it plans to research, and Becky will keep us updated.


Upcoming Events

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

Wednesday, January 28-Intermediate STEM Fair and Judging

Wednesday, February 4-PTA Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 12-Valentine’s Day parties, Awards Assemblies grades 2-6

Friday, February 13-No school for students-Professional Development day for teachers

Monday, February 16-President’s Day, School is closed





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