Newsletter Wednesday October 18 2017

University Park Elementary School

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October 18, 2017

Message from Ms. Davis

I would like to thank Ms. Sanders, Ms. Labovitz,  and the Social Studies Committee which consisted of Ms. Ghebrekidan, Ms. Morris, Mr. Ambrose, Ms. Ferguson, Ms. Vega, Ms. Casco, Ms. Barcarse, Ms. Tyler, Ms. Camper, Ms. Washington, Ms. Jones, Ms. Tuit  and Ms. Moore for organizing Hispanic Heritage activities.  Hispanic Heritage Night attendees enjoyed a variety of foods from a number of cultures and an outstanding performance by Cultura Plenera.  The atmosphere was inviting and festive with beautiful artwork displays created by Emily Lynham, our wonderful art teacher and our amazing students, as families mixed and mingled with old and new friends.   Thank you to everyone who came out on a school  night to celebrate with the community.    I would also like to thank Claire Worshtil  and her committee for organizing what will be a fantastic Fall Fest for students in Pre-K-1 tomorrow, October 19, 2017. If you have a child in grades Pre-K-1, please join us as the fun will begin at 8:00 a.m.  The next Eagle Newsletter will be coming home November 1, 2017.  If you need anything between now and then, please contact me at or 301-985-1898.

Closing of the Falkenberg Bridge

The Falkenberg Bridge was closed as of Monday October 16, 2017 for repairs.   The Department of Public Works said the repairs will take a few weeks but I do not have a date for completion.  

Criminal History Checks
Major Substantive Change to:
Administrative Procedure 4215 - Criminal History Checks
Administrative Procedure 4216.6 Volunteer Services

The following exception under volunteers requirements has been removed  from AP 4215 and AP 4216.6:

c. Law enforcement personnel, judges and other government officials whose respective agencies require completion of a fingerprint background check may provide a copy of their official work identification in lieu of completing an additional background check.

At this time law enforcement personnel, judges, and other government officials are required to complete a fingerprint background check, CPS clearance check and the three SafeSchools training modules:  PGCPS Child Abuse Mandatory Reporting; PGCPS Student Safety Procedural Changes; and Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Prevention when:

Volunteering on a regular basis in the school
Chaperoning on a day or over-night field trip
Working in the concession stand or at gate receipts, etc.

Halloween Festivities

  • Our Halloween parade and Sing-a-long will take place  Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 12:00 p.m. Please complete and return the attached form to your child’s teacher  if your child is unable to participate in our Halloween activities. We will plan  alternate activities for students who do not celebrate Halloween.

  • The Sing-a-long for grades Pre-K, 2, 4, and 6 will start at 12:30 in the gym, and at 1:00 p.m. for grades K, 1, 3, and 5. When the students are not at the Sing-a-long, they will enjoy  a Halloween party in their classrooms. For the Halloween celebration, please encourage students to  bring his/her costume in a bag for the afternoon – we will have a regular academic morning. For the afternoon, the students' costumes should be appropriate and not too scary or violent. Props that are weapons are not allowed.

  • We are in need of costumes for students, any donations would be greatly appreciated. Please send all donated costumes to the front office.

  • It is also important that families follow PGCPS Administrative Procedure 01160 when providing refreshments for the Halloween  celebration.  “In order to protect the health of all students and avoid the risk of foodborne illness, allergic reaction or food intolerance, only foods that are pre-packaged with a label; from a licensed commercial vendor and sources; whole fresh fruits and vegetables; and, or prepared by Nutrition Services will be allowed to be served to students.”

Lost and Found

The lost and found collection has grown tremendously due to the fluctuation in  temperatures. Please check the lost and found located in the cafeteria for any missing items. All items will be donated at the end of the month.

Meet the New Staff Member


Troya Briscoe was born and raised in Prince George’s County Maryland. She attended Virginia State University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Ms. Briscoe has over 3 years of teaching experience as a substitute teacher. Her passion for fitness and her love for children has led her to become a Physical Education Teacher. She is extremely excited to be a part of University Park ES and Hyattsville ES and is committed to help students gain self confidence, endurance and self belief in their physical capabilities.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Please make sure that you have signed up for a parent teacher conference.  School will be closed November 10, 2017 to provide teachers and parents the opportunity to meet and discuss student progress.  If you are unable to attend a conference November 10th, please contact your child’s teacher to schedule another date and time.  Teachers are also available for phone conferences with parents.  It is extremely  important that parent and teachers meet to discuss student progress.   

Required Training for Volunteers (new)

The Communications Office has established a link to the required training modules on SafeSchools for volunteers and contractors to access.  

  • All new and former volunteers, except one-time event volunteers, are required to complete the assigned SafeSchools training modules prior to volunteering during the 2017-2018 school year.


  • Three modules have been assigned to volunteers to complete.   

    • PGCPS Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

    • PGCPS Student Safety Procedural Changes

    • Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Prevention  


  • Directions for accessing the link are below:

    • Click on the Student Safety tab at the bottom of the home page on PGCPS’ website.

    • Click on Required Training for Volunteers and Contractors.You will then see three tabs – Volunteers, Student Contractors, and Non-student Contractors.  

    • Parents should click on the tab that applies to their  status and complete the registration information. Upon registration into SafeSchools, a screen will appear that lists the required training module(s).

Save the Date

November 13-17 marks the National Education Association’s 96th annual celebration of American Education Week. University Park will host a Parent Visitation Day and Open House Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 8:15-10:00 a.m. for current and interested families.  The details of the day will be forthcoming.

Science Bowl

Congratulations to the following students for making the Science Bowl team.  Championships here we come!

Grade 6: Kazumi Haag, Cate Tornquist, Franz Wien, Ruby Carlucci

Grade 5: Chris Koffi, Nathan Widman, Amelie Helfrich , Gabe Roy, Hadassah Bolden

Write A Book

I am so excited to share with you information about Write-A-Book for the current school year!

Write-A-Book is a countywide writing competition for all grades that takes place over the course of the school year. Students can participate in many ways. They can write a short story, non-fiction report, poem, or picture book. Each category has specific rules.


Students may work as a team, if they choose. Additionally, Write-A-Book is voluntary. While we hope that all students will participate, it is not required. Mr. Clark  introduced the project to students during Library Media Center. For Write-A-Book resources (guides, directions, videos, etc), go to  There are several important dates you should put on your calendar:




Interest slip is due. (Pick up one from the media center circulation desk.)


1st Draft of stories (and illustrations) are due. This is optional. But, if students want feedback and guidance, they must submit 1st drafts by November 8.

Week of 11/13

Drafts are returned to participants.


Final Drafts are due and must comply with ALL Write-A-Book rules at this time.

12/6 to 12/15

UPES Write-A-Book Judging-ALL ENTRIES MUST COMPLY with Write-A-Book Rules.

Entries selected for PGCPS Write-A-Book contest.

Week of 1/3

Write-A-Book submissions will be bound. This will take place both during the day.

Week of January 22

UPES winners submitted to PGCPS Write-A-Book competition


Submissions are returned to UPES

5/10, 7-9PM

PGCPS Annual Write-A-Book Award Ceremony

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 19-Fall Fest grades Pre-K-1

Thursday, October 26-Family Gym Night, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 27-PBIS Celebrations

Monday, October 30- Early Release Day, 11:55 a.m.

Tuesday, October 31-Halloween Parade and Parties from 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Friday, November 3- Early Release Day, 11:55 a.m. Spirit Day-wear your school t-shirt or school colors

Wednesday, November 8, Parent Workshop on Health Services, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 9-Picture Retakes

Tuesday, November 14-Parent Visitation Day/Open House, 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 10-Parent Teacher Conferences, School closed for students

Wednesday, November 15-PTA Meeting, 2:15 p.m.

Last modified: 10/17/2017 5:47:03 PM