Members of the community are invited to join the Superintendent of Schools and members of the Board of Education of Carroll County for a series of town hall-style meetings focused on budget priorities for the school system. These meetings provide an opportunity for discussion and to gather feedback and input.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 7:00 p.m. in the Westminster High School media center. An additional meeting will be held on Monday, December 9, 2019, in the media center at South Carroll High School at 7:00 p.m.

The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) is firmly committed to creating equal employment and educational opportunities for all persons with regard to its employment practices and in the provision of services, programs, and activities. The CCPS does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, genetic information, marital status, mental or physical disability, ancestry or national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The CCPS provides non-discriminatory access to school facilities in accordance with its policies and regulations regarding the community use of schools (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts). The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Chantress Baptist, Director of Human Resources, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157, (410) 751-3070.

The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment or the provision of services, programs or activities. Persons needing auxiliary aids and services for communication should contact the Office of Community and Media Relations at 410-751-3020 or publicinfo@carrollk12.org, or write to Carroll County Public Schools, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, may use Relay or 7-1-1. Please contact the school system at least one (1) week in advance of the date the special accommodation is needed. Information concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act is available from the Director of Facilities or the Supervisor of Community and Media Relations: Raymond Prokop, Director of Facilities Management, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland  21157, (410) 751-3177, or Carey Gaddis, Communications Officer, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland  21157, (410) 751-3020.

 

 

 

 

The Carroll County Public School System will be conducting a functional training exercise on Friday, October 18, 2019, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Francis Scott Key High School. The purpose of the exercise is to test the school system’s parent/student reunification plan.

The exercise will be conducted in the area of Bark Hill Road in Union Bridge. All roadways will be open to traffic. However, motorists may observe law enforcement vehicles and increased school bus activity. Schools are closed on October 18th for students and 10-month staff for a professional meeting day.


 

 

 

German Public Television ZDF will be videotaping the Liberty High School Lions’ Pride Marching Band on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, from 6 to 9 p.m. This will bring the Liberty High School Lions' Pride Marching Band to a European audience, an extraordinary honor for the instrumental music program at Liberty and Carroll County.

The purpose of this news story is to educate European teenagers about competitive marching bands in the United States, as the activity is not offered in their native country.  Moreover, most opportunities like competitive sports, dance, theater, and music are not included in the school curriculum and are added to the student's schedule only if the parent wishes to pay for participation and if the student wins a competitive audition.

The news station will capture a rehearsal and an official "competition worthy" performance.  The band will rehearse from 6-8 p.m. on the parking lot and then move to the stadium at 8 p.m. (after the JV football game) for a "mock performance." 

This also is Championship Week, and guest clinicians will be working the band. The clinicians are Dr. Linda Kirkpatrick from McDaniel College and former Tournament of Band judges Larry Hirshman and Gary Ulrich.

 

 

 

Marissa McNally receives her awardMarissa McNally, a seventh grade life science teacher at Mt. Airy Middle School, has received the 2019 Jenny E. Nunn Outstanding Curriculum & Instruction Student Award from the Graduate School at Hood College. McNally is a current graduate student in Hood College’s Curriculum & Instruction program.

McNally is in her sixth year teaching middle school students. She received Carroll County Outstanding Teacher Awards in 2017 and 2019. In addition, in 2019 she received the Wilhelm Scholarship from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, which supported her continued education at Hood.

For her graduate action research project, McNally researched phenomena-based learning and its impact on students' academic achievement and engagement in her life science classroom.

 

Photo courtesy of Hood College.

 

 

 

 

The Carroll County Public School System’s Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting of the 2019-2020 school year on Thursday, October 17, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the ARC of Carroll County, located at 180 Kriders Church Road in Westminster, Maryland. 

Information will be shared on the following:  Overview of the IEP Process, SECAC Committee Updates, and a time for feedback and questions regarding IEPs. 

If you need additional information, contact Mr. Nicholas Shockney, Director of Special Education, at 410-751-3033.

All Carroll County Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public. 

The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) is firmly committed to creating equal employment and educational opportunities for all persons with regard to its employment practices and in the provision of services, programs, and activities. The CCPS does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, genetic information, marital status, mental or physical disability, ancestry or national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The CCPS provides non-discriminatory access to school facilities in accordance with its policies and regulations regarding the community use of schools (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts). The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Chantress Baptist, Director of Human Resources, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157, (410) 751-3070.

The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment or the provision of services, programs or activities. Persons needing auxiliary aids and services for communication should contact the Office of Community and Media Relations at 410-751-3020 or publicinfo@carrollk12.org, or write to Carroll County Public Schools, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, may use Relay or 7-1-1. Please contact the school system at least one (1) week in advance of the date the special accommodation is needed. Information concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act is available from the Director of Facilities or the Supervisor of Community and Media Relations: Raymond Prokop, Director of Facilities Management, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland  21157, (410) 751-3177, or Carey Gaddis, Communications Officer, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland  21157, (410) 751-3020.

 

 

 

Aaron Geiman, an agriscience teacher at Westminster High School has been selected as the Region I Finalist for the Association for Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) Teacher of the Year Award. This award recognizes the finest career and technical teachers at the middle/secondary school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students, and dedication to the improvement of career and technology education (CTE) in their schools and communities.

Candidates are evaluated based on their contributions to student success, innovations in CTE, and leadership in the local or greater career and technology community. They also must demonstrate a minimum of one best practice in CTE as outlined in the High Quality CTE Framework.

The national winner will be announced at the ACTE Awards Gala, a dinner and award presentation recognizing the best CTE educators in the country. The event will take place on December 4, 2019, during ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2019 in Anaheim, California.

 

 

 

The Book Club at Westminster High School has donated $182 to Carroll County Public Library’s Westminster Branch Library to support Exploration Commons at 50 East, a planned 14,000 square-foot interactive makerspace, professional teaching kitchen and collaborative meeting spaces. The Commons is scheduled to open in the Branch’s lower level in fall 2020, according to CCPL Westminster Branch Manager Christina Kuntz.

The idea for the Book Club to donate to this project came two years ago from Isabella Scarfone who was then the club’s communication officer and a sophomore at the school. Kathleen Brunnett, who is now the Supervisor of Library Media for Carroll County Public Schools, was the club’s advisor. Scarfone initiated and planned two of the club’s first-ever fundraiser nights at Panera Bread in Westminster, raising $311.50 that was later split between the club and the Westminster Branch Library’s future makerspace.

“I am eager to visit the new makerspace at Westminster Branch Library because the place will encourage people of all ages to collaborate, explore and learn about technology,” said Scarfone, who is currently enrolled in Project Lead the Way Engineering at Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster.

Pictured (left to right): Jen Bishop, Christina Kuntz, Isabella Scarfone, and Kathleen Brunnett.

Derrick and Meredith Day, students at West Middle School, were beta testers for the new Uno Braille card set that was released by Mattel on October 2, 2019.

Mattel has teamed up with the National Federation of the Blind to make Uno Braille, the first official Uno card deck featuring braille, making the game accessible to the more than 7 million people with blindness and low vision living in the United States. Uno Braille features braille on the corner of each playing card to indicate the card’s color and number or action. Play instructions featuring .BRF (braille readable files) are available for download while voice-enabled instructions are available on Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

In addition to beta testing the Uno Braille game, Derrick has found an accessible format for coding and has coded a multiplication app on his computer.

Pictured: Derrick and Meredith Day play Uno Braille with their mother, Chris.

(Photo courtesy of Mattel)

 

The Carroll County Career and Technology Center will be hosting its annual open house on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Over 1,300 students attend the Career and Tech Center every year. Students can prepare for a career before they leave high school, obtain college credits, earn valuable state and national certifications, and experience real work situations. Please visit the Career and Technology Center’s website to learn about all that the Center has to offer juniors and seniors in Carroll County.  www.carrollk12.org/schools/high/ctc.  

The Career and Technology Center is located at 1229 Washington Road in Westminster. There will be shuttle buses available for pick-up and drop-off at each of the surrounding Westminster High School parking lots.

The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) is firmly committed to creating equal employment and educational opportunities for all persons with regard to its employment practices and in the provision of services, programs, and activities. The CCPS does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, genetic information, marital status, mental or physical disability, ancestry or national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The CCPS provides non-discriminatory access to school facilities in accordance with its policies and regulations regarding the community use of schools (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts). The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Chantress Baptist, Director of Human Resources, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157, (410) 751-3070.

The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment or the provision of services, programs or activities. Persons needing auxiliary aids and services for communication should contact the Office of Community and Media Relations at 410-751-3020 or publicinfo@carrollk12.org, or write to Carroll County Public Schools, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157. Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, may use Relay or 7-1-1. Please contact the school system at least one (1) week in advance of the date the special accommodation is needed. Information concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act is available from the Director of Facilities or the Supervisor of Community and Media Relations: Raymond Prokop, Director of Facilities Management, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland  21157, (410) 751-3177, or Carey Gaddis, Communications Officer, 125 North Court Street, Westminster, Maryland  21157, (410) 751-3020.

 

 

 

Diane Giannaccini, Instructional Consultant for Reading Interventions for Carroll County Public Schools, recently completed a yearlong internship to become the district’s new Wilson® Credentialed Trainer. In this capacity, she will further the school system’s ability to prepare, certify, coach, and mentor faculty in the Wilson Reading System (WRS), while simultaneously building the system’s capacity to sustain evidence-based professional learning and program implementation.

WRS is an intensive, multisensory structured language (MSL) program used in schools across the county to teach students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities how to fluently and independently read and spell. The program is based on the Orton-Gillingham method of instruction and is accredited by the International Dyslexia Association.

“With this credential, our district can empower more teachers to become certified to support the increasing needs of struggling readers in our county,” Giannaccini said. “This step is part of an ongoing plan to increase teacher capacity to continue to address dyslexia in our district.”

As the primary component of her internship, Giannaccini worked with Wilson Literacy Specialist Bonnie O’Shields over the past school year to train and certify nine district teachers in Level I of the Wilson Reading System. Teachers who complete the yearlong training and 65-hour supervised practicum with a struggling reader learn how to effectively teach key pillars of reading instruction―phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension―using an explicit, direct, systematic, highly structured, and multisensory method. They also gain an in-depth understanding of dyslexia and its effect on the acquisition of reading skills, as well as how to teach diagnostically and appropriately pace students through the WRS program.

“The practicum was incredibly powerful in increasing teachers’ instructional knowledge,” Giannaccini said. “Their students made remarkable progress, which was demonstrated both in the data and in their self-confidence. These students have all expressed that they are readers now and that tasks are easier because they can read! They felt good about their accomplishments, which was evident in their smiles and A+ assignments.”

Since 2005, more than 400 CCPS teachers have been trained in Wilson programs. In addition to WRS, an intensive structured literacy program, CCPS implements two additional programs―Just Words®, which is a highly explicit, multisensory decoding and spelling program for students with mild-to-moderate gaps in reading and spelling skills, and Fundations, a foundational reading, spelling, and handwriting program for students in primary grades.

An educator for 24 years, including the past 20 at CCPS, Giannaccini said the support of CCPS Special Education Director Nicholas Shockney and a literacy grant from the Maryland State Department of Education were instrumental in providing her with the opportunity to participate in the internship. She is one of 14 educators in the country to become a Wilson® Credentialed Trainer this year. The grant will fund additional professional learning during this school year. Giannaccini will conduct a WRS Introductory Course for the district and lead five more teachers through WRS Level I certification, which earns the Wilson® Dyslexia Practitioner (W.D.P.) professional credential. The grant will also provide additional funding for further teacher development in Fundations.

Research-based structured literacy instruction has become a focal point of a national discussion about the science of reading. In recent years, parents advocating for effective instruction have motivated more states, including Maryland, to adopt dyslexia legislation. 

In May, Maryland enacted the “Ready to Read Act,” which went into effect on July 1. Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, the new law will require districts to screen children in kindergarten through grade three for reading difficulties and provide appropriate instruction to those who need it. CCPS, which began universal screening and multi-tiered levels of reading instruction more than a decade ago, is already ahead of the curve, Giannaccini said.

Giannaccini, who struggled to learn how to read as a child, was inspired to become an educator by the teacher who helped her overcome her reading challenges in third grade. “Becoming a reader changed my life,” she said. “Having the tools to train teachers will continue to change many more lives in the future.”

Pictured: Diane Giannaccini, right, and Wilson Literacy Specialist Bonnie O’Shields.

 

 

 

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