Newsletter Wednesday February 1 2017

University Park Elementary School

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February 1, 2017

Message from Ms. Davis

This time last year we were recovering from the Blizzard of 2016.  I’m grateful that we have managed to avoid being snowed in for days at a time so far. As you read through our newsletter you will notice that February is going to be a busy month for students and staff.  Students in grades 4-6 and a few 3rd graders will showcase their STEM Fair Projects February 8, 2017. Thank you to the many community members who have agreed to judge the projects. We now have about 30 judges from various fields of study volunteering their time to judge the projects.    We truly  appreciate the support of the community and PTA as this we will be a wonderful event for students.  Parents are welcome to  view student projects later that evening from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the gym.  The viewing will be more of a gallery walk for parents as there will be no formal presentations.  Our next newsletter will be published February 15, 2017.  In the meantime, if you need anything between now and then don’t hesitate to contact me via email or 301-985-1898.    

Awards Assembly

The second quarter awards assembly will be held February 14, 2017. Grades 2-3, 8:15 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Grades 4-6, 9:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m.  It is very important that the first assembly begins on time so that the second assembly and lunches aren’t impacted.

Black History Month

The Social Studies Committee has a number of exciting activities planned to celebrate Black  History Month.  In keeping with the county theme on education, grade levels are designing bulletin boards that  highlight achievements of African American civil rights leaders affecting U.S. education, famous African American educators, scientists, inventors, etc. We will have two assemblies:  Urban Artistry will perform February 9th  during the school day for students.  Ms. Ferguson and her choral students will perform as well as the group  Cultura Plenara February 16th at 6:00 p.m. for the community. We will also have a school wide African American trivia contest.  Any student is eligible to submit trivia questions to the Social Studies Committee. Questions that are selected will be read during the morning announcements by the submitting student.

Inclement Weather


DELAYED OPENING – If it is necessary to delay the opening of school because of inclement weather, dangerous road conditions, or any other emergency which might arise, an announcement will be broadcast over radio stations before 6:30 a.m. It will also be broadcast on Channel 96 and various other television stations, and posted on the school system’s web page – or After 6:00 a.m., staff and parents can also access the school system’s Voice Mail Bulletin Board by calling 301.952.6000. Wait for the opening message, and then press number 1. A recorded message will indicate delayed openings or school closings. In addition, the school system’s cable television station, Channel 96, will broadcast a “crawl” message.

TWO-HOUR DELAY: Schools will begin at 9:40 a.m. All fieldtrips will be cancelled.

EARLY CLOSING FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER, EMERGENCIES, AND OTHER PROBLEMS – Dismissal of schools prior to the regular closing time: An announcement will be made as soon as possible by the school system. All after-school activities and events are cancelled. Food services will provide breakfast and lunch.

Peace Week

February 13-17, 2017  is designated as Peace Week.  During this time, Ms. Bennett and her G.O.L.D Team members will host a number of activities to celebrate Peace Week.  

Monday, February 13, 2017--RED--DEAL WITH CONFLICTS

Tuesday, February 14, 2017--BLUE—PEACE

Wednesday, February 15, 2017--GRAY--FRIENDSHIP

Thursday, February 16, 2017--WHITE--NEW BEGINNINGS

Friday, February 17, 2017--YELLOW

Specialty Program Lottery Deadlines

Specialty Programs Lottery applications are due Tuesday, March 13 by 5 p.m. For more information, contact the Department of Pupil Accounting & School Boundaries at 301-952-6300.

Stay in the Know with PGCPS Weather Emergency Alerts

PGCPS e-alerts help to keep you informed about emergency announcements, school closings and delayed starts, and the latest updates. Click here to sign-up for e-alerts. For more ways to receive PGCPS emergency notifications, click here.

Science Bowl

The UP  Science Bowl Team's first competition will be on Tuesday, February 14, at Bonnie F. Johns.  We are the first match against Woodridge Elem, which should begin around 1:00pm.  Please send our Science Bowl Team well wishes.  Our team consists of the following members: Grade 6: Mia Ham, Julia Beckman, and Oliver Stevens. Grade 5: Catherine Tornquist, Kazumi Hagg, Emmanuel Imo, Hannah Janzen, and Kai  Howarth.

Special Programs Open House

Please join us for our Specialty Programs Open House on February 9, 2017 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at University Park Elementary School. Come and find out about our rigorous yet exciting ESOL, Special Education, and Talented and Gifted programs that we offer. You will have the opportunity to interact with our staff for a question and answer session after the presentations.  The structure of the evening has been changed. TAG and ESOL will now  have 1 session for parents from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Special Education will have 2 sessions for parents: Session 1 6:00-6:40 p.m. and Session 2 6:45-7:25 p.m.

Student Based Budget (SBB)

Student Based Budgeting (SBB) distributes funding to schools based on students’ needs and characteristics. With SBB, schools and communities have a clearer understanding of how and why dollars are being allocated.  SBB differs from a  traditional funding system that allocates resources to schools based on staffing formulas and school-specific programs.  Schools are funded per child, and the amount of funding attached to each child will vary based on his or her needs.  Furthermore, schools also have more flexibility in deciding what to do with those resources. Parents are welcome to collaborate with the Instructional Leadership Team as we craft our community survey to gather input regarding school priorities.  The  next Instructional  Leadership Team Meeting is Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 2:15-3:30 p.m.  We will use the first part of the meeting to craft the survey and then move on to other business.  


If you have questions about our Talented and Gifted program at University Park, please visit our TAG website at The website provides parents with an overview of our program and information about TAG delivery options. You will also find a wealth of information about the identification process, resources for parents, competitions, and our clubs. Please click on the TAG links that pique your interest and open any attachments that you would like to investigate. Please explore our website, which was created to keep you abreast of the great things that are happening in our TAG program.

PTA Corner

Our Silent Auction is just weeks away. Save the Date March 4th 5-8PM. Invite friends, family and neighbors for a fun night out with love music, food and libations. We are still looking for and accepting donations. Letter attached can be used for solicitations. Please contact if you have any ability to secure donations. Also think outside the help with science fair/dinner party hosting/ etc. It is going to be a wonderful evening!

Feb 8th join us at Jason's Deli for Fundraising night!  Join our school community for a fun night and easy way to make money for UPES. Sign up here to secure our spot:


University Park Elementary School has a great lineup of free after school clubs, and we’re pleased to add another club to the mix! Lego Robotics will meet on Thursdays from 2:10 to 3:10 from February 16 through April 27th. Free and open to all 4-6 graders, students will work with Lego Mindstorm kits to build and program machines that respond to touch, voice and other actions.

This fun club is brought to you by UMD’s College Park Scholars Science, Technology and Society program. You can learn more about their program here:

Interested? Sign up ASAP by emailing or calling Molly MacLaren at 757.810.0286.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 2-Report Cards Released

Wednesday, February 8

-Workshop: Know Your Rights as a Tenant:In this workshop you will learn the importance of credit when renting, how your budget affects what is affordable for you, and your tenant rights, 8:00 a.m., UP Cafeteria.

-STEM Fair Open House, 6:00-7:00 p.m. ( UP gym)

Thursday, February 9-Special Programs Open House, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 10-No school for students-Professional Development day for teachers

Tuesday, February 14- Honor Roll Assemblies, Valentine’s Day parties

Thursday, February 16-Black History Month Program featuring UP Choirs and Cultura Plenera (an Exciting, Educational, Afro-influenced Puerto Rican Rhythm and Dance Group-, 6:00 p.m.UP Cafeteria

Monday, February 20-President’s Day, School is closed

Last modified: 1/31/2017 8:02:01 PM