Newsletter Wednesday, June 17, 2005


University Park Elementary School


June 17, 2015

Message from Ms. Davis

Thank you to the entire UPES community for making my first year as principal a phenomenal experience.  Together we have had an incredible year!   Our collective expectation of outstanding academic achievement for all students is highlighted in our classrooms daily.  Some of our accomplishments outside of the classroom are; we are the home of the 2015 Science Bowl Champions, our Destination Imagination teams won first place, we had an unprecedented number of 1st place entries in the Write-A-Book competition, and we can’t forget the Seussical Jr. performance.  As we bring the 2014-2015 school year to a close, I must say I am truly honored to be the principal of UPES.  Thank you and have a safe and wonderful summer!!  


Clap Out

Please join us as we celebrate the promotion of our sixth grade students on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 11:40 a.m.  The entire school will line our hallways and applaud our sixth graders as they process through the building in celebration of their accomplishment and the end of their elementary years.  This will be a lovely event and we encourage all members of the UPES Family to attend our first annual Clap Out.  There won’t be a dry eye in the house!!


Class Placement Letters

Students at UPES are grouped instructionally using county and school benchmarks to guide student placement. Classes will not be made until all instructional information is received at the end of the year.  Therefore, parents will receive class placement letters by August 21, 2015.  I am respectfully requesting that parents refrain from contacting the school prior to this date.  Finally, request for specific teachers cannot be guaranteed as all teachers have the capacity to instruct students at high levels.  



We have 4 staff members who aren’t returning to UPES next year.  Mr. Kasanje, Ms. Kuessner, Mr. Mah, and Ms. Roy are not returning to UPES next year.  While we are sad to see them leave, we wish them well on their future endeavors.  Please read their farewell notes to the community.


Sankara Kasanje

University Park, I would like to thank you all for an incredible journey and an awesome first year teaching experience. For years I had dreamt of becoming a teacher. Working at University Park has truly been a dream come true. I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people; parents, students and staff, all while sharing my love for the Italian language. Having seen what a great school University Park is makes my departure that much harder. I’m terrible with names, but I will surely remember every face at UPES.




Ashley Kuessner

Dear UPES Community,


After graduating from the University of Maryland three years ago, I excitedly accepted the offer to teach fourth grade at University Park. I couldn’t wait to begin my teaching career at a place that welcomed me with such enthusiasm and support. I know that I have had the opportunity to learn and grow as a teacher over the past few years because of the staff, students, and families in this community.


That being said, the end of this school year will be very bittersweet for me. I have recently accepted a teaching job in Baltimore County for the 2015-2016 school year. I have been commuting to UPES from Baltimore since my first year here, so this new school will be much closer to my home and family.  While part of me is anxious and excited to begin another teaching journey, the other part is incredibly sad to leave this school and community. I hope that the relationships I’ve made with the wonderful people of UP will continue, and I hope my current and former students will be sure keep in touch!  I will miss you all.


Thank you for three great years, UPES. I won’t forget to visit!


Brian Mah

It has been my pleasure to teach art for grades Pre-K to grade 6 this year. I am honored to have met so many talented teachers/artists during my tenure. I wish you all the very best, and thank you all for the experience.


Good luck in the coming school year!


Annique Roy

It has been my extreme pleasure to teach at University Park for the past nine years.  I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the best students in the county and have been supported by some of the most outstanding parents in the world.  This has been a phenomenal experience for me as an educator and I thank everyone who I've worked with inside and outside of the classroom to create indelible memories.  Best wishes for the coming school year and every year that follows, UPES will always hold a special place in my heart.


Final Garden Event

"Join us for the last garden day of the school year from 2-4 p.m. this Thursday, June 18.  We will be led by the Anacostia Watershed Society in planting a variety of native plants along the stream bank on school grounds.  You need only bring a refillable bottle or cup; water, tools and instructions will be provided.   We could use many hands, so parents and their students are encouraged to join us this Thursday after school.  Questions can be directed to"


Honor Roll Assemblies

The final Honor Roll Assemblies will be June 22, 2015.  Students in grades 1-3 will receive their awards for Principal Honor Roll, Honor Roll and Eagle Effort at 8:15 a.m.  Students in grades 4-5 will receive their awards at 9:15 a.m.  We will also hand out Attendance Awards for those students who have had perfect attendance all 4 quarters with no absences or tardies.  Mr. Kancham Chotoo will be available to hand out awards to our Cricket Team members as well.  All assemblies will be held in the gym. 


Summer Hours

Beginning June 22, 2015- August 14, 2015, the front office will be open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Summer School Programs and Activities

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Summer Programs offer students opportunities for acceleration, enrichment, credit recovery, or original credit.   This 2015 Summer Programs Guide is available at Information in this publication may change after printing and posting. For more details, please consult with your school counselor or contact the Summer Programs Office by phone at 301-808-1124 or email at or  Use this 2015 Summer Programs Guide to review the available options and learn how to apply. Program availability will depend on enrollment. Space is limited – apply early!


Summer Activity Calendars have not been updated on the county website just yet but when they are, the link below will help families access them.


Summer Reading

As the school year winds down, and the summer heats up, Ms. Waugh at UPES and Ms. Jackson at the Hyattsville branch library want you to know about summer reading programs!


First of all, you should register for summer reading through the library. This can be done at home through or in your local branch during regular operating hours. Summer reading is for 0-18 years of age and the kids receive prizes both for registration and completion of the program. 


There are a TON of special programs at the Hyattsville library including:

·         Family movies on 6/8, 6/29 and 7/20

·          ImpulseCity for a variety of comic/superhero improv games for kids on 6/27

·          Tweens programs such as Survive the Library! on 7/9 and Poke'Ball (aka Pokemon Prom) on 8/5.

·         For the little guys Sign-along-sing-along with Kathy McMillan on 7/20. 


Summer storytimes are as follows:

·         Baby (0-2 years old) Mondays 10:15, 11 am

·         Toddler (2-3 years old) Thursdays 10:30 am

·         Preschool (3-5) Wednesdays 10:30 am, 7pm

·         Bilingual (ages 3-6) Saturdays 11 am


Finally, Hyattsville library is part of the Summer Foods Program and will be serving a free lunch Monday-Friday for any child ages 0-18. Check with the library for times.


We wish you all a safe, happy, reading summer!


Ms. Amanda Waugh                                                     Ms. Heather Jackson

UPES                                                                           PGCMLS



School Supply Kits

Get ahead of the game and order your school supply kits for next year!


Refer to the attached flier for details on ordering next year's school supplies, deadline is June 30.  


We love all of our families and hate to see them leave but we recognize change is a part of life.  If you have a child in Pre-K-5 and your child will not return to UPES next year, please contact Ms. Cowherd so that she can prepare the proper paperwork to withdraw your child from UPES.


PTA Corner

President’s Message


Dear UPES Families,


As I close out my last year as PTA President, I want to thank everyone at UPES for your support, guidance and humor during these past two years.  Those who know me well know how much this role has meant to me.  


I’ve been inspired and enriched by my relationships with parents, teachers, students, and staff at UPES.  I’m grateful to everyone who believes that our school is a place of inclusion and respect and thankful to those that lovingly care for our community so these values can be upheld forever.


Our teachers are our greatest asset at UPES.  It's the commitment of our teachers that helps us remember what makes UPES special -- our sense of community and traditions of excellence.  Listen to our teachers and support their efforts.  They are working hard every day to help each student realize the gifts they bring to this world.


All of us, as parents and guardians, are bound by our love for our children.  Let’s continue to find opportunities to draw our community together.  Let the spaces between us grow smaller each day.


All my respect and admiration,



Thank You!

Thank you to all the wonderful parent volunteers who helped make this year’s Teacher Appreciation events a success!  Your contributions were festive, heart-warming, and much appreciated by the teachers and staff!  


Welcome to the new Teacher Appreciation co-chairs, Betsy Tornquist & Nancy Ross!  If you enjoy baking, decorating, and party-planning then these two have a spot for you!  Be sure to keep an eye out for volunteer sign-ups when we welcome back our teachers and staff in August.


Remember to collect “Box Tops for Education” all summer long!



Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 17-Gr.1-2 Field Day

Thursday, June 18-6th grade Promotion

Friday, June 19-Pre-K-K Field Day 

Monday, June 22-Honor Roll Assemblies (8:15 a.m.-1-3 and 9:15 a.m.-4-5)

Tuesday, June 23-6th grade Clap Out-11:40 a.m.

Wednesday, July 1-Report cards mailed home by PGCPS

Wednesday, September 2-Back to School Night-Pre-K-2

Thursday, September 3-Back to School Night-3-6

Tuesday-Wednesday, September 8-9, Camp Schmidt, Grade 5




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