Newsletter Wednesday October 7 2015

University Park Elementary School

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October 7, 2015

Message from Ms. Davis

Thank you to our wonderful PTA for upgrading the appliances in the Staff  Lounge.  We now have functioning microwaves and a brand new Keurig coffeemaker  with K-Cups.  The teachers are overjoyed and will be forever grateful to you for your generosity.  We’d also like to thank Nancy Ross, Betsy Tornquist and a host of other parents who treated the staff to breakfast Friday, September 25, 2015.  The baked goodies were a wonderful way to start the day.  Hispanic Heritage Night was a wonderful celebration of our school’s diversity.  We enjoyed food from many Hispanic cultures but we also enjoyed food from other cultures such as Italy and Asia.  Thank you to all of the families who participated and I’d like to thank the UPES Social Studies Committee which consisted of  Ms. Cruz, Mr. Ambrose, Mr. Frazier, Ms. Tuit, Ms. Conrad, Mr. Thompson, Ms. Blake, Ms. Prell, Ms. Sturges, Ms. Ferguson, Ms. Taylor, Ms. Adams, Ms. Thomas, Ms. Neff, Ms. O'Reilly, Ms. Ghebrekidan , Ms. Rolon, and chaired by Ms. Morris  for organizing such a spectacular event. If you missed Thursday’s event we hope to see you next year. The next Eagle Newsletter will come home with students October 21, 2015.  If you need anything between now and then, please contact me at 301-985-1898 or  

Art Contest

The Annual Conflict Resolution Day Student Art Contest  is open to all Maryland students in grades K through 8. Winning students will be invited to an awards ceremony and reception on November 17, 2015 at the JECC, where The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, will present the awards.

Categories:  Art will be judged in three categories: kindergarten through second grades, third through fifth grades, and sixth through eighth grades.

Prizes: Art submissions will be judged on creativity and message conveyed. The following prizes will be awarded for each category:

1st Place:  Winner will receive $75.00

2nd Place: Winner will receive $50.00

3rd Place:  Winner will receive $25.00  

Please visit the website for more information: .

Bowtie Thursdays

Mr. Booker left his position here at UPES three years ago for a short stint in Costa Rica with his family.  Costa Rica is where Bowtie Thursdays became a phenomenon.  Mr. Booker would like to share with the community his account of how Bowtie Thursdays began.   “In Costa Rica, I had a friend that always wore a bow tie on Thursdays. He asked people to join him, and I gladly did. We've been wearing bow ties to school on Thursdays ever since! This was something that brought us closer together. The same thing can happen at UPES. I've asked some of my colleagues and encouraged students, as well to wear bow ties on Thursdays! It's been slowly taking off, but it has gained traction. We would like more teachers and students to wear a bow tie on "Bow Tie Thursdays.".Spread the word!”

Claire’s Gourmet

The Claire’s Gourmet Fundraiser is well underway and our students have shown great enthusiasm during our assembly and in their continued efforts to sell items to their family and friends! As the deadline is fast approaching, we ask that you remember the following:

  1. Collect all monies due for all items sold and place them inside the white Claire’s Gourmet envelope - if any money is missing, we will contact you and this will delay your order!!

  2. Return all order packets to your homeroom teacher by October 12, 2015! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

If you wish to donate to the school directly, you may do so in the form of a check or money order payable to UPES -- but please keep in mind that your child will be ineligible to receive the Claire’s Gourmet Fundraiser prizes.

We thank you for your continued support & we are excited for our students to receive their prizes for the most items sold!!

Communication with Parents

Parents will receive the “Eagle News” newsletter the first and third Wednesday of each month.   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.  

Community Builders Upcoming Events

Our goal as a school community is to help those in our local, national and international communities that are less fortunate. We see the entire student body as community builders; every positive effort helps to make a difference.

The representatives bring ideas from each class to the meetings and then we decide on what initiatives to pursue as a school of community builders. This fall we have several upcoming events that we wanted to share:

October 7-14, we will host the “Food Collection Smackdown.” The food collected goes to help students and families in our local community. We work with the “Help By Phone” Food Bank at the University Baptist Church. Students are encouraged to bring donations to support their class goal. Any new items with current “sell by dates” are accepted. Think of what you would like to have to eat and bring that! This year we are having a grade vs. grade competition – so odd grades vs. even grades. 1st, 3rd, 5th, Coon, Hines, AM PreK   vs. 2nd, 4th, 6th, Martin, Thompson/Baker, PM PreK.

Oct.13 – Family Gym Night – Free and fun event for the whole family to enjoy. Come and play games of all sorts.  6:00-7:30pm.

November 17 will be Family Movie Night in the gym. All are welcome. Bring you dinner and eat here - along with some snacks to share and your own water bottle. Movie begins promptly at 6:00pm! See you there!

We will make holiday cards during December for nursing home patients, shut-ins and those living in the homeless shelters in the area. Last year we delivered over 400 cards to people in the area. Let’s continue this tradition of letting people know that we care! (If you want to make cards at home to bring in, please sign it as “UPES Student or Family.”)  Thank you.

Of course there will be more activities to come and many more opportunities to make a difference.  We’ll keep you posted.

With a grateful heart,

Christy Neff, Community Builders Faculty Sponsor

Doodle for Google Contest

All students in grades K-12 have the opportunity to compete in the annual Doodle 4 Google contest. Participants must create a doodle that incorporates the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. The theme is "What makes" Students may use any material such as clay, crayons, yarn, or graphic design to create their doodles. The winner’s artwork will be featured on the Google homepage and a $30,000 college scholarship will be awarded. The contest is open for submissions on October 19, 2015. Please visit the website for more information.

Doodle 4 Google  Contest opens October 19, 2015

Educational Forum

Scholar Search is hosting a free Educational Forum for families with students who are highly able. It will be held on October 18, 2015 at  St. Paul’s School in

Brooklandville (Lutherville), MD  at 9:15 am until 4:00 pm.  

There will be presentations on academic development, college admission trends, writing skills, and other exciting sessions. Families are asked to sign up so that Scholar Search can ascertain attendance levels and plan accordingly.

If you would like more information, please visit our school's website. Click on the TAG link and go to the Parent Resources page. Then at the bottom of the page, click on Baltimore Forum Poster and the Baltimore Forum Schedule. You can also visit Scholar Search's website at

Principal Coffee

Parents of students in grades K and 1 are invited to an informal chat with me October 8, 2015, 8:00-9:00 a.m. It’s a great chance to ask your questions and hear what is happening at our school. Coffee and pastries will be provided.  It’s a great opportunity to hear about our school goals and decisions for the school, to ask questions and hear what questions others have, and to meet other parents.  We hope to see you there!

Third Grade News

Third grade students had a wonderful trip to the Public Library on Thursday, September 24th. Students met the author Meg Medina, a Cuban-American author, who writes children’s and young adult books. Ms. Medina writes books in both Spanish and English. She shared one of her books, Mango, Abuela, y Yo (Mango, Grandmother, and I). Ms. Medina told some of her funny family stories that she uses to inspire her books. She talked to our students about the writing process and how she does research to inform her writing.

Morning Car Riders

Students should not arrive to school before 7:30 a.m.  The reason for this request is that there is no UPES staff member available to supervise students prior to 7:30 a.m.  We have shared the new procedure with students and we are now sharing the information with parents.  As of last week we had about 8-14 students who consistently arrived before 7:30 a.m.  Parents  who leave students unsupervised, will receive a call  to return to school to wait with their child.  We know asking parents to return to school is unusual but we have to ensure students are safe at all times.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

T-shirt Design Contest

During the month of  October, University Park students are working to create a design for our new spirit wear! This design will be printed on the school shirts that all UP students and staff can wear for the 2015 – 2016 school year. A team of teachers will select the winning artwork after the competition. Students can submit entries in groups or by themselves showing their best eagle pride and work! All fifth and sixth grade students are eligible to participate and should turn in their designs and direct their questions to Mr. Springer and Ms. Sturges.

Volunteers Needed

Ms. Ghebrekidan, the Italian Teacher is in dire need of volunteers.  As she instructs over 500 children each week, she could use help with photocopying, laminating, making materials, and a host of other jobs that could help to lighten her load.  If you are available, please contact her at  She thanks you in advance for your support!

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, October 13-Family Gym Night-6:00-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 14-PTA Restaurant Night at Jason’s Deli, Fall individual pictures

Friday, October 16-MSEA Convention, No school for students and teachers

Friday, October 23-Fall Fest grades Pre-K-1

Thursday, October 29-Halloween Parade and Parties from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Friday, October 30-11:55 a.m. early dismissal for students 
Last modified: 10/5/2015 3:48:29 PM