The Eagle Express
University Park Elementary
August 24, 2009
Welcome to a brand, new school year! I am so delighted to be the new principal of University Park! It has been an exciting summer getting to know everyone. I have been so impressed with our involved parents and community, as well as the best staff around! We all have been working hard to prepare for our students’ return – we can’t wait to see them! It is going to be an amazing year!
Every two weeks you will receive a Wednesday folder. (We are sending the first one home today instead of Wednesday!) Inside you will find our parent newsletter, “The Eagle Express,” as well as a letter from your child’s teacher/grade level team. We will also include information from the PTA and other flyers from the community. Please take the information out, sign the folder, and send it back. Many thanks to Tona Hauser for stuffing the envelopes every two weeks!!
If you would like to receive “The Eagle Express” and other information or announcements by email, please send an email to email@example.com. In the message, please give your child(ren)’s name and their teacher. We are hoping to save paper this way!
Today was “Walk Your Child To School Day,” and it was great seeing so many of you bright and early! Please always feel free to walk your child to class on any day, we are glad to have you! Before the first bell rings, PreK – 3rd graders wait quietly in lines out front, and 4th – 6th graders do the same out back. They may enter when the bell rings at 7:45 a.m. When the second bell rings at 7:55 a.m., we start our instructional day, and that is a good time for you to scoot. We want all of our students, especially our young ones, to learn to be independent and follow our morning class routines.
By the way, we believe that instruction is GOLDEN. Our goal is not to interrupt lessons as much as possible. If you bring an item for your child during the school day, (lunch, instrument, homework, etc.), we will ask you to leave it in the office. We will call your child to retrieve it at an appropriate time. If you plan to stay at school to observe, volunteer, meet with a teacher, etc., please always sign in and obtain a visitor’s sticker. This is for the safety of our children and staff. But please know, you are always welcome!!
At 1:55 p.m., our walkers are dismissed, and then our bus riders are called to board their bus. Everyone leaves through the front door. Please wait outside to pick up your child, and pay close attention to the cars and buses moving when you leave! Only the buses are allowed to use the circle in the morning and afternoon. We always have staff members on duty to ensure everyone’s safety. The University Park Police Department often has an officer here to assist us, and we are very grateful!
For lunch, every child has an account with a personal identification number (PIN.) If your child would like to buy lunch at school, he/she will need to put money in the account. Your child may come into the cafeteria at 7:30 a.m. to do so. You can write a check up to $100 made out to F.N.S. (not UPES), and the checks must have your full name, address and phone number. In the memo line, please write your child(ren)’s name with their PIN. You may also go to www.pgcps.org and click on “Parents, then “Lunch Menus.” There you will find options to pay online. Applications for free or reduced meals are there as well. If your child has food allergies, our nurse, Jerry Willoughby, must have a letter from your child’s doctor on file. Then the cafeteria manager, Anita Bookhultz, can put the allergy into the PIN system so that they are reminded of the allergy every time your child buys lunch.
The staff has developed a school-wide discipline plan to ensure the best learning and teaching environment for our students. Our school rules are:
- Follow directions the first time they are given.
- Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
- Be respectful by being a good listener and using kind words.
- Walk silently in the hallway.
- Raise your hand before speaking and wait to be called on.
- Leave gum and toys at home.
The consequences for not following these rules are (for 2nd – 6th grade):
Name on board – Warning
One check – Lose 5 minutes of recess
Two checks – Lose 10 minutes of recess
Three checks – Lose 10 minutes of recess
and parent is notified by teacher
Four checks – Lose 10 minutes of recess,
visit the principal, and take home
letter to be signed.
Severe misbehavior (fighting, bullying, foul language, weapon, insubordination) results in an immediate four checks and a Discipline Referral.
Consequences for Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade are slightly different and appropriate for those age groups. Consequences are given quietly with as little attention as possible. Positive reinforcement is given frequently and with great emphasis! The staff fosters an encouraging, positive, and caring environment so that all of our students will feel motivated to do their best! We appreciate your support!
Many parents have asked how they can volunteer at school, and that is fantastic! We appreciate all of the amazing things that our volunteers do for our kids! The teachers have written about volunteer opportunities in their first letters to you. Our PTA is another way to become involved! Our PTA is the BEST! They will be sending you information soon! Our PTA officers are:
- Michelle Hermanson, President – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave Waguespack, Executive Vice President – email@example.com
- Maby Palmisano, Vice President – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sherry Waldrep, Secretary – email@example.com
- Kristin McCue, Treasurer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the information on fingerprinting ($66) and commercial background checks ($10) for volunteers. Please feel free to call the Fingerprinting Office at 301-952-6775 for additional information.
- Volunteers working in a capacity where they would work with students in an unsupervised capacity are required to be fingerprinted and complete a full fingerprint background check.
- Volunteers who work on a one time basis only, or on a sporadic basis, (such as Career Day, book fairs, school dances, or other one time events), do not need to be fingerprinted.
- Parents and volunteers who volunteer in a classroom on a regular basis in a supervised setting must obtain a commercial background check through PGCPS on an annual basis.
- Chaperones who participate in a day field trip or an overnight school trip are considered to be volunteers and MUST undergo a commercial background check initiated by PGCPS through the Fingerprinting Office before performing duties.
By the way, our school gardens in the front and by the classroom doors have become very weedy! If you would like to do some weeding, please come on down anytime! Also, please let us know so we can thank you!
We are very lucky to have a parent liaison this year! Her name is Hilma Chavez, and she is at University Park on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Below is our entire staff list. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us if you need help in any way.
Principal: Nancy Schickner
Assistant Principal: Massa Freeman
Main Office: Marcie Ramsey (Principal’s Secretary), Valerie Lee (Registrar)
Nurse: Jerry Willoughby
Pre-Kindergarten: Vicki Guardado, Maryclaire Dunlap
Pre-K Paraprofessionals: Aurelia Blake, Susan Alston
Kindergarten: Rhonda Coon, Annique Roy, Jacqueline Uy
First Grade: Barbara Duffy, Jennifer Tyler, Alison Volski, Lauren Martin
Second Grade: Autumn Camper, Jennifer Woodberg, Colleen Gablenz
Third Grade: Kathy Keller-Baer, Cindy Nell, M. Michele Rowland
Fourth Grade: James Booker, Kitty Moore, Meredith Young
Fifth Grade: Robert Carter, Carole Whittam, Wally Young
Sixth Grade: Heather Bidjou, Geoffrey Favero, Dawna Phillips
Special Education: Anita Byham, Michele Woods
Special Ed Paraprofessionals: Margaret Balducci, Denise Contee
Special Ed Classroom/Dedicated Assistants: Kakon Rosario, Martha Martinez, Lois
Pollock, Tulliah Quiah, Myra Darnell
Speech: Janice Creamer
School Psychologist: Julia Lesiczka
ESOL: Mary Brogi, Mary Slaninka, Sandra Tsai, Teresa Puma (Paraprofessional)
Reading: Erica Berry
PE: Christy Neff, Fabiane Caulkins (Part Time)
Media/Technology: Anthony Clark
Counselor: Marlene Bennett
Vocal Music: Christopher Fominaya, Bradley Tatum (Part Time)
Instrumental Music: David Spitzberg
Art: Liza Linder (Itinerant), Aaron Springer (Part time)
Pupil Personnel Worker: Donna Nelms
Media: Catherine Sutherland
Parent Liaison: Hilma Chavez
Cafeteria: Anita Bookhultz (Manager), Terry Bradley, Libia Martinez, Debbie Samaroo
Custodians: Angie Hill (Building Supervisor), Junior Miller (Night Lead), Sherry
Johnson, Miguel Garcia-Maceda
Before and After Care: Cheryl Axenfeld (Director), Jovany Hurdle, Delante Morton,
Juanita Morton, Loretta Pittarelli, Betty Thompson, Teresa Trozzo, Ruth White
Lunch/Recess Monitors: Juanita Morton (Lead), Karleen Levy, Sonia Foronda, Angela Jackson, Shonta Greene, Jessica Lee, Annie Latta, Tychina Glass
At this time, our kindergarten classes are very high. I have been in contact with our Area I Executive Director every day. The county will be looking at class sizes during the first week in September, and I am anticipating that we will definitely be getting another kindergarten teacher. I will keep you informed!
Ethnicity and race forms will be sent home with all students on Wednesday, August 26th. Please fill them out and send them in as soon as possible. This is the second round of forms, yet just as important! Thank you very much.
Many thanks to the PTA for the fantastic Ice Cream Social this Saturday – it was a major success, even with the thunderstorm! Also, thank you for the delicious staff lunch!
Aug. 27th -Play date for Kindergarteners and First Graders at the Gazebo on UPES’
Playground, 6 p.m.
Aug. 29th – PTA Newcomer’s Wine and Cheese, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 7th – No School – Labor Day
Sept. 9th – Back To School Night for PreK – 2, 7 p.m.
Wednesday Folder Comes Home
Sept. 10th – Back To School Night For Gr. 3 – 6, 7 p.m.
Sept. 15th – PTA Meeting, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23rd – Wednesday Folder Comes Home
Sept. 25th – No School For Students – Professional Day for Teachers