Frederick County School Board responds to member’s arrest

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Without mentioning his name, the Frederick County School Board released a statement on the recent arrest of one of its members.

Board member Miles Adkins was arrested Tuesday on four misdemeanors stemming from the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

According to the statement released by email Friday, the board says it takes seriously its commitment to supervise and support the school division.

“The Frederick County School Board takes seriously its commitment to supervise and support our school division. As members elected to serve on this Board, we remain focused on working together to support our students, staff, and others who play an integral role in educating the children in our communities. We are aware of the recent charges against a fellow Board member. While we do not condone the underlying allegations, we also understand that the court system involves a decision-making process that is separate from the role and obligations of our School Board. As that process proceeds, our focus will stay where it needs to: on the children in our county. We will continue to make decisions that serve in the best interests of our students, while working to ensure that the educational environment in our schools is not disrupted by these events.”

FCPS announce two new appointments

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Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) announced two new appointments with Allison Post appointed as Supervisor of Career and Technical Education and Stephanie Reed as Redbud Elementary School Principal.

School Superintendent Dr. George Hummer made the appointments and announcements at the February 6 School Board meeting.

Post moves into her new position from her work-based learning coordinator job which she has held since 2022.

Post brings at least 9 years of experience of work within the Frederick County Public School system to the position.

Post takes over for Mary Beth Echeverria who is taking a position at the Dowell J. Howard Center.

Stephanie Reed moves from her assistant principal position to principal, taking over for Joseph Strong.

Strong was named the FCPS’s Assistant Director of Student support Services in October.

Reed brings at least 26 years of experience in elementary education to the principal position at Redbud Elementary School.

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FCPS hosts Community Conversations with Superintendent

Frederick County Public Schools announced that they will host their first Community Conversation with Superintendent George Hummer on Thursday, January 4th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Orchard View Elementary School.

The event allows parents, staff, and community members to meet with Dr. Hummer and ask questions or provide feedback.

Future Community Conversations with the Superintendent are scheduled for March 25th, April 17th, and May 14th.

Three budget town hall meetings are also scheduled for February.

Dr. Hummer said, “Feedback from all of our constituents is of utmost importance to me. Every voice matters, and the involvement of our students, families, staff members and community members is necessary to determine what we need to start, stop, and continue in order to help us strive to do what is best for all of our students.”

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FCPS announces new Director of Facilities Services

Frederick County Public Schools announced a new Director of Facilities Services.

Brian Davis will succeed long time director Tim Crisman who will retire at the end of the month and held the position since 2011.

The Director of Facilities Services directs the maintenance department, supervises coordination of maintenance activities with school personnel, and handles long term planning focused on the school division’s needs and growth.

Davis will also inspect and evaluate the condition of school buildings and equipment, manage routine maintenance, and provide input to renovations or new construction.

Davis will relocate to the area from Maryland and he brings with him 28 years of experience in maintenance, facilities, and construction.

To view the full announcement from FCPS, click here.

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Three Frederick County School Board members sworn in

Three newly-elected Frederick County School Board Members were sworn into office at a meeting yesterday held in the Frederick County Public Schools Administration Building.

Daryl Bell (Opequon District), Frank Funes (Gainesboro District), and Edward “Scott” Sturdivant (Back Creek District) were all sworn in by Circuit Court Clerk Becky Hogan at a ceremony for new members.

Nina DeSantis was also sworn in for her role as Clerk of the Frederick County School Board as well as two deputy clerks, Dorenda Fisher and Cynthia Sousa.

The new members will begin their four year terms on January 1, 2024.

Superintendent George Hummer said, “We are excited to welcome our new School Board members and look forward to building upon the excellent foundation already established by previous boards.”

Newly Elected Board Member Dianna Klein and Deputy Clerk Tracy Ritenour could not attend the ceremony and will be sworn in at a later date.

To view the full release on meeting, click here.

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FCPS adopts ’24-’25 and ’25-’26 school year calendars

The Frederick County School Board announced the adopted school year calendars for 2024-2025 and 2025-2026.

The approved calendars were developed utilizing community and staff feedback with a focus on instruction and learning time for students.

Frederick County Public Schools approved both school years to allow families additional time to plan around school schedules or graduations.

The calendars also aim to increase family involvement at school events by holding open houses for each school level on separate nights of the week to accommodate families with children attending different schools.

FCPS also added features to enhance staff recruitment and retention.

Labor Day and Presidents Day will now fall on four-day weekends for division employees.

The calendar also includes new teacher work days, unencumbered planning days, and distinctions between different professional learning days.

Some key dates for next year’s school calendar include the first day of school on August 15th, Spring Break April 14th-18th, and the last day of school on May 29th.

The full adopted calendars are available here

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FCPS 101 searches for future school ambassadors

Frederick County Public Schools is searching for participants for this year’s FCPS 101 cohort.

The program is open to any parent, guardian, or community member to learn more about the school division and its operations including instructional and administrative services.

The program began in 2017 with the goal of equipping graduates to serve as ambassadors for FCPS in the community.

If chosen, participants will meet monthly throughout the school year to learn about specific topics and engage in activities and tours to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities in Frederick County’s Public Schools.

Some of the topics that are scheduled to be covered include an overview of the school system and instruction, finance, transportation, planning, development, and school security.

Before the sessions begin, FCPS will host a feedback session with alumni of the program to help fine tune the program before the next cohort begins.

Superintendent George Hummer looks forward to his first full year involved with the program stating, “I am proud of the tradition that comes along with this fantastic program, and I am glad to be a part of it at the very beginning this time around.”

To submit your application before October 27th or for more information, click here.

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FCSO investigates a non credible bomb threat

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) reports the investigation of  a non-credible bomb threat at Sherando High School.

At approximately 11:40 a.m. October 10 the FCSO confirmed that a large first responder presence was at Sherando High School.

Authorities were responding to the report of that bomb threat at the school.

As is standard procedure all students and staff were safely evacuated and no admittance onto school grounds was permitted.

These types of precautions are always taken in a situation of this nature.

As is also standard procedure Frederick County Public Schools as most school systems will sent out notification to parents of students.

These notifications come by way of the Rapid Communication System, website and or social media.

All necessary precautions were taken in the incident and as always in such a situation calling any school or student or going to any school just adds to the confusion to an already tense situation.

The school system and authorities will always make arrangements that ensure the safety of students and staff.

A safe staging area for pickup of students in this case was secured at the old James Way Plaza at the corner of Fairfax Pike and Double Church Road.

After a thorough investigation including search by bomb detection canines the threat was deemed non-credible.

Late October 10 Sherando High School sent a message to students and parents that students were to report to specific locations in the school to collect belongings.

The school was set to follow a normal schedule after the collection of items.

There were no injuries reported in this incident, but precaution must and will always be taken in such situations.

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Dowell J. Howard’s auto body program earns national accreditation

Dowell J. Howard’s auto body program received full, national accreditation through the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation for their collision repair and refinish technician training program.

The school’s training program went under rigorous evaluation based on nationally accepted standards in categories such as instruction, facilities, and equipment to earn the distinction.

By meeting these standards of accreditation, schools help students with career preparedness, enable employers to hire confidently, guide students to fruitful career paths with the skills needed to succeed, and ensure safer roads for all.

President of the ASE Education Foundation Michael Coley said, “This is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents. Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that Dowell J. Howard’s graduates will be
employable entry-level technicians.”

The accreditation will last through September 1, 2028.

Frederick County Public Schools offers this training program to all students as part of its career and technical training program.

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Real time transportation updates available for FCPS families

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Frederick County Public School families can now receive real time updates on their students location and transportation when on the school bus using the Edulog Parent Bus Portal.

The app can be set to send notifications to your phone when the bus is nearing your stop or other locations like the school or neighborhood entrance.

The FCPS transportation department can also send messages to select individuals or select bus routes regarding important updates or delays.

To get started, first download the app titled “Edulog Parent Portal” and create an account.

Then parents can add their student using their name, ID, and date of birth.

A Spanish version of the app is available by changing the language under settings.

For full instructions to download the app, click here.

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