Newsletter Wednesday February 7 2018

University Park Elementary School

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February 7, 2018

Message from Ms. Davis

Last week’s STEM Fair was a huge success!  Thank you to Ms.Roy, STEM Fair Coordinator and her STEM Committee for a job well done.  Thank you to all of the parents who persevered to ensure their child had a completed project.  We appreciate all that you do!  Thank you to our wonderful PTA for sponsoring breakfast and lunch for our STEM Fair judges.  Thank you also to Jason and Emily Jackson for sponsoring a very enjoyable Winter Dance!  We have many exciting events occurring this month so please pay close attention to the “Upcoming Events” section of our newsletter.    Our next newsletter will be published February 21, 2018.  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 (Schedule Change)

The second quarter awards assembly will be held February 14, 2018. Grades  4-6, 8:15 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Grades 2-3, 9:00 a.m.-9:45 a.m. in the gym.

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 VoiceMail 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 field trips 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.

SIGN UP FOR E-ALERTS from PGCPS to receive emergency alerts by email or text at:

Lego Robotics

Lego Robotics will meet on Thursdays from 2:10 to 3:10 from February 8 through the end of April. 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.

Lottery for Special Programs

Openings are limited in all Specialty Programs. Availability differs by program, location, and grade level. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. All applications are given a waiting list number based on their Specialty Program choice, grade level, and sequence number.

The computerized lottery system will assign a random number to each application. Applications are sorted based on this randomly assigned number and assign a sequential number. The lowest random number is assigned number one, the next lowest number two, and so forth. Applications are then sorted by program. Placements are then made on space availability basis only.

The application form permits multiple Specialty Program choices per student. If more than one Specialty Program choice is selected, each choice will be treated equally and placement will be made according to the first available opening. Placement is granted for one Specialty Program choice only. Once placement is made, the other Program selections are no longer an option.

The lottery will be held at the end of March. Announcement of student selection will not be made at that time. Students selected through the lottery will be notified by mail. Assignments will be made from the waiting list until September 30. Waiting lists will not carry over to the following school year. Continuous updates will not be provided. Notification will be made only when space becomes available. For more information, contact the Department of Pupil Accounting & School Boundaries at 301-952-6300.

Examples of Specialty Programs

  • Hyattsville Creative and Performing Arts (7-8) application deadline March 12, 2018

  • French Immersion

  • Montessori

  • Dual Language

  • Spanish Immersion

  • Talented and Gifted

Schools Now Open February 9

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) lost a third day of instruction on January 17 after closing schools due to unsafe weather and road conditions affecting school transportation. With little flexibility in the 2017-2018 school calendar due to constraints imposed by Governor Larry Hogan, teachers and students now will be required to attend school on February 9, 2018 to meet the State’s 180-day mandated school year.  Any additional school closures will impact Spring Break. One additional emergency school closure will require attendance on April 5 and a second emergency closure will require students and staff to come to school on April 6.

Science Bowl

The UP  Science Bowl Team's first competition was Tuesday, February 6, at Bonnie F. Johns.  Please send our Science Bowl Team well wishes.  Our team consists of the following members:

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

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

Special Programs Open House

Please join us for our Special Programs Open House on February 8, 2018 from 2:30 to 4:00 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 each presentation.  The structure of the evening is below.

STEM Challenge Supplies Needed

We are asking families to help with providing supplies for our February/March STEM Challenge. Each classroom teacher in grades Pre-K-6 will need the materials below as students will be making Catapults. We aren’t  asking families to purchase items but we’re hopeful that you have many of these household items already.  Please see your child’s teacher for the exact amount  of each item that is needed.

  • a paper bowl

  • 1 or 2 plastic spoons

  • 1 or 2 rubber bands

  • 12- 16  inches of tape

  • 3-4 straws

  • 3-4 Popsicle sticks

  • mini marshmallows (the ammunition)

STEM Fair Update

This year's STEM Fair was a success! Thank you, parents and staff, for all your support. It was heartwarming to see students excited and proud of their projects and what they’ve accomplished.  Also, thank you to all the parents who came to the STEM Fair Open House, we had a big turn out! I loved hearing about your experiences while completing the projects and feedback on what we can do to help support students next year.

As the STEM Fair Coordinator, my goal has and will always be to support students to be successful.   My first year as the coordinator, I wanted to ensure that students were provided STEM experiences prior to being expected to complete a STEM Fair project. With that concern, school-wide monthly STEM Challenges were implemented SY 2016-2017. The STEM Challenges allow students to experience STEM in addition to the scientific process.  This year, the focus was to support students who do not have support at home. Last year, we had almost 40 students who did not complete a project.  This year, teachers supported students both during and after school and I am happy to say only 3 students did not complete a STEM Fair project!

Next year, our goal is to support students across the curriculum. We plan to have ALL teachers support students throughout the process. Math teachers will help with data, reading teachers will help with the research paper, and science teachers will continue to support with each step of the scientific process.  In addition, we will allow 4th-grade and 5th-grade students the option to complete a research paper or answer guiding questions.  Please be advised that if your child is selected to be in the county fair a research paper has to be completed for he or she to qualify.  

Please look out for our first STEM Night next October!  During this time we plan to discuss what we’ve done to support students and plan to do next year. In addition, we will review the scientific method, project expectations, and look at sample projects.  Again, thank you for your support and I look forward to next year’s STEM Fair!


Ms. Roy


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.

Parent Engagement Corner

Hello Parents!  

Hello UPES Parents! February is turning out to be a very exciting and busy month here at UPES and in our County! Please mark your calendars for the following Parent and Family Events this Month:

Feb. 8th:

Fingerprinting and Background Checks - These are a requirement of anyone who wishes to volunteer, chaperone field trips, or present at Career Day. $56.57 or free with your Free and Reduced Meal Application Letter of Acceptance.

Presented by the Department of Family and Community Engagement of PGCPS. Bring your Fingerprinting receipt to our front office along with the 3 online training video certificates which can be obtained at:

At: Tasker Middle School 4901 Collington Rd, Bowie, MD 20715 4-6:00 p.m.

Register at: or call Ms. Sanders at 301-985-1898

Specialty Open House at UPES at 2:30 p.m. Learn about our specialty programs:  ESOL, Special Education and our Talented and Gifted Program.

Feb. 12th:  

“Family Institute’s Readiness Matters” Presented by the Department of Family and Community Engagement of PGCPS.

Join an interactive discussion about the importance of school readiness.  Gain effective strategies to build a strong beginning for our early learners to ensure bright futures as they progress through their educational journey.

At: Carmody Hills Elementary School: 401 Jadeleaf Ave, Capitol Heights, MD 20743 6-7:30p.m.  Register at: or call Ms. Sanders at 301-985-1898

Feb. 14th: Happy Valentine’s Day!

“CASA of Maryland will Present Tenant Rights” and Learn about how we are partnering with  Marco Sanchez Elementary School in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico to provide them with school supplies needed after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

At:  University Park Elementary School 8:00 a.m. Coffee and Light Breakfast Provided

Drop your child off at school, join us for our coffee chat, and attend the Honor Roll Awards in the Cafeteria!  Call Ms. Sanders for more information:  301-985-1898

Feb. 16th:  Smile Maryland Mobile Dentist Permission Forms are due!  *See the attached Flyer and Permission Slip.

Feb. 20th:  

Black History Evening Event at UPES from 6-8:00 p.m.

Our very own UP Choir will perform beautiful spirituals, we will have a fabulous presenter: “Harriet Tubman, the Chosen One”, and our very own UPES students will present a human version of a “Wax Museum of African American Historical Figures.”  Don’t Miss it!!!

Feb. 21st:

“Family Institute’s Parents as Leaders”

The most effective Parent Leaders are those who have personal experience with their community, schools, and programs.  Parent Leaders increase their successes by working together as a team with other parents / families, staff, students and the community. Register at: or call Ms. Sanders at 301-985-1898.

At:  MLK Jr. Middle School 4545 Ammendale Rd, Beltsville, MD 20705 6-7:30 p.m.

Feb. 22nd:

UPES Open House for New Parents:

School Tours with Ms. Sanders and a Question and Answer Session with PTA members, resource teachers, and Principal Davis.  Coffee and light breakfast provided.  Call or email Ms. Sanders to reserve a spot:  301-985-1898 /  Session 1 at 8:30 a.m.  Session 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Feb. 26th:

“Engage Families:  Brain Building! Readiness! Improve Student Achievement!”

Parents and families will learn, practice and develop understanding about the explicit teaching and learning of strategies and processes for readiness, thinking, reading and language development.

Register at: or call Ms. Sanders at 301-985-1898

At:  James McHenry Elementary School 6-7:30 p.m. 8909 McHenry Ln, Lanham, MD 20706

Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Valentine’s Day celebrations will be February 14, 2018, 1:00-1:45 p.m. We respectfully request that  parents adhere to Administrative Procedure 0116 when providing refreshments for celebrations.  “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.”


UPES is participating in the Giant A+ School Rewards Program.

It’s a super easy way for you to help our school earn money! As long as you (and your friends and family) register your Giant cards under our school ID# 00594, you’ll earn cash for our school every time you shop using your Giant card.

HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED: Visit and select Savings & Rewards. Follow the prompts to create an online account. You’ll need your 12-digit Giant Card number and the School ID#. (It’s 00594.) The more the merrier, so encourage your family, friends and neighbors to sign up, too!

DON’T KNOW YOUR GIANT CARD #? Call 1-877-366-2668 & press option #1.

If you’ve already registered your Giant card, you don’t need to re-register…

you’re already earning money for our school! Thanks so much!

UPES will celebrate Peace Week on February 12-16, 2018. 

Peace Week is an opportunity for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Please see the attached flyer to find out how to participate!

Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 8-Report Cards Released

                                 -Special Programs Open House, 2:30-4:00 p.m.

Monday - February 12th - Wear Blue for Peace Week

Tuesday - February 13th - Wear White for Peace Week.

Wednesday, February 14- Wear Red for Peace Week

Honor Roll Assemblies,8:15 a.m. (4-6) and 9:00 a.m. (2-3)

                                     Valentine’s Day parties, 1:00 p.m.

Thursday - February 15th - Wear Gray for Peace Week

Friday, February 16 - SMILE Dentist Permission slips due / Wear Black for Peace Week

Monday, February 19-President’s Day, School is closed

Tuesday, February 20-Black History Month Program featuring UP Choirs, “Harriet Tubman, The Chosen  One” performance, and UPES Student Wax Museum-, 6:00 p.m., Cafeteria

Thursday, February 22-New Parent Open House, 8:30 a.m. or 9:30 a.m.

Last modified: 2/11/2018 10:23:35 AM