Kent County Public Schools First Back to School Fair a Success

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Hailey and Lucas Martin enjoyed visiting the vendors at the Back 2 School Fair

On August 7, Kent County Public Schools held their first ever “Back to School” Fair. Hundreds of Kent County school children and their families braved stormy weather to come out to the Kent County Community Center to participate. This year brings many changes and exciting opportunities for the school system, and parents and children were find out about what is in store for the 2017/2018 school year.
Representatives of all five of Kent County’s public schools were on hand to greet students and welcome families. Students were able to meet their principals, including the new principal of Kent County Middle School, Dr. Helen Spiri. Many of the county’s dedicated teachers were there to share their plans for the new year. The county’s music and art teachers welcomed students with instruments and samples of student work. PTA representatives shared their plans for the new school year.
Families met representatives of Reliable Transportation, the new bus contractor assuming responsibility for all of the county’s bus services this year. Owner Angel Sutton-Richardson confirmed the company is working hard to be ready for the first day of school. Robert Van Dyke, who has been named Operations Supervisor to handle the day-to-day operations in Kent County, was also on hand to answer questions. Mr. VanDyke is well known to county families as a long-time driver for Kent County Public Schools.
Families in need of before or after school care were able to talk to representatives of Kent County Parks and Recreation and Alphabest to register their children. Both vendors provide child care on-site at the county’s three elementary schools and registrations are still being accepted.
Many partner organizations that support the efforts of KCPS were also in attendance. Among them were Support Our Schools, KidSPOT, Chestertown Police Department, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Kent County Public Library, Kent County Health Department, Judy Center, Character Counts, Kent Family Center, Kent County Department of Social Services, Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance, Washington College, Boy Scouts, Shore Up!, Kent County Behavioral Health, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Environmental Education and SEEC, Chestertown Elks, Recovery in Motion, along with Discovery Education.

KCMS Faculty and Staff welcomed families at the Back to School Fair

The event was considered a success by the school system. Director of Teaching and Learning, Gina Jachimowicz said “Visitors enjoyed learning about our well rounded curriculum including environmental education, music, art, CTE programs, and so much more.  Local businesses and Discovery Education donated over 100 prizes.  You could feel the positive energy and excitement of a new year from everyone at the fair.” Kent County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch said “The Back 2 School Fair was a huge success and I was incredibly impressed with the participation.  A huge thank you goes out to all those who worked tirelessly to organize the event.  This is something that we will build upon in the years to come!” They indicated that future plans include adjusting the hours of the fair to better accommodate families’ work schedules.
Each school will hold an open house on August 31 where students can meet their teachers and answer any remaining questions. Kent County High School will be open from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Kent County Middle School will be open from 10:00-11:00 a.m. H.H. Garnet, Rock Hall, and Galena Elementary Schools will be open from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.
Students entering grades K-6 and 9 will return on September 5, with K-12 in session on September 6. Pre-K students will begin on September 7. Families that were not able to attend are encouraged to contact the Kent County Board of Education at 410-778-1595 or their child’s school with questions or for more information.

Special KCPS Board of Education Meeting Aug. 17

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Notice: The Kent County Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee is holding a special meeting for the purpose of discussing long term facilities planning.  The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at 4:30 PM.  The meeting will be held at the H.H. Garnet Elementary School, 320 Calvert Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.

Board of Education members are Trish McGee (President), A. Bryan Williams (Vice President), Jeff Reed, Dr. Wendy Costa, and Joseph Goetz.

Kent County Back to School Fair August 7

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On Monday, August 7, from 2 to 5 p.m., Kent County Public Schools will hold a Back to School Fair at the Kent County Community Center 11041 Worton Rd, Worton. The fair is open to all students and their families at the county’s five public schools, and will help students prepare for the new school year.

Families will be able to meet and greet staff from each of the county’s schools. Staff will assist with registration for new students and provide information for signing up for support services, such as free and reduced lunches. Teachers will be on hand with information about the KCPS universal Pre-K program, technology resources, family support services, wellness programs, KCPS School Health services, extracurricular activities, the arts and more.  Representatives of each school’s PTA will also be on hand.

In addition to meeting school personnel, students and their families will be able to meet with partner organizations that provide support to the schools. Representatives of after school programs, Alphabest and Parks & Recreation, will be on hand to walk families through registering for before and after care. Representatives of Reliable Transportation will be participating as well. Families can board one of their school buses and meet some of the drivers set to transport children in the Fall. Other organizations appearing at some 40 tables include Support Our Schools, KidSPOT, Chestertown Police Department, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Kent County Public Library, Kent County Health Department, Judy Center, Character Counts, Kent Family Center, Kent County Department of Social Services, Minority Outreach and Technical Assistance, Washington College, Boy Scouts, Shore Up!, Kent County Behavioral Health, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Environmental Education and SEEC, Chestertown Elks, Recovery in Motion, along with Discovery Education.

KCHS-FM Radio will be providing music for the event. The event will be a fun, informative way for families to get ready for the school year.

Each county school will hold an open house August 31, when students will be able to meet their teachers and visit their new classrooms. More information will be sent  to students about that event.

For more information contact the Kent County Board of Education at 410-778-1595 or visit www.kcpssos.com/events.

Kent County Board of Ed to Hold Special Meeting Aug 3

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The Kent County School Board of Education is holding a special meeting for the purpose of approving personnel and a QZAB bid.  The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at 4:00 pm.  The meeting will be held at the Kent County Board of Education Administration Building, 5608 Boundary Avenue, Rock Hall, MD  21661.

AGENDA

ACTION A.  Approval of Agenda

ACTION B.  Move to Closed Session in accordance with SGA 10-

      508(a)(1)(ii) to discuss personnel matters

                    C.  Report on Closed Session

ACTION        D.  Personnel Actions

ACTION E.  QZAB Bids

ACTION F.  Adjourn

Support Our Schools (SOS) “Random Acts of Kindness” Campaign a Big Success

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Support Our Schools, a grassroots organization started by a group of local parents, recently completed its first “Random Acts of Kindness” campaign for Kent County Public Schools. The group set an ambitious goal of $5,000 and thanks to the generosity of the community, surpassed that goal by almost $1,000 for a total of $5,921.58. This amount was divided among the seven local public schools to offset unexpected year-end expenses. Each school received a check for $845.94 at the June 12 Board of Education meeting.

Donations ranged from $2 to $1,000 and were received from individuals as well as local businesses. Business sponsors are being promoted through the SOS website and Facebook page, which currently has a membership of more than 700 people. Those businesses can be identified by the SOS decal in their window. Friendship Montessori School, Johnson’s Concrete, both in Worton, and Welcome Home in Chestertown all became top-level “Golden Apple” sponsors.

The first Random Acts of Kindness campaign kicked-off on May 1, 2017, and ran for 31 days. It was a direct response to help funding needs expressed by KCPS principals to meet the needs of their students. This annual campaign will return on February 17, 2018, also known as “Random Acts of Kindness Day.”

The Support Our Schools (SOS) Initiative is a grassroots advocacy effort devoted to increasing awareness of and support for the needs, challenges, and untapped potential of our public school system—both for the sake of the current student population and for its opportunity to serve as a catalyst for economic development. For more information on the Support Our Schools initiative please visit our website.

Lions Donate to WKHS

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The Chestertown Lions Club, on May 11, made a $1,000.00 donation to WKHS radio station in memory of their immediate past president George Kastendike. The students and staff of WKHS recently started a fund drive to update studios and equipment in the 43 year old radio station.

WKHS,  broadcasting at 90.5 FM, is a commercial-free instructional radio station located at Kent County High School. The station has been in operation since 1974.

 From left to right in the above photo are Chris Singleton, WKHS Station Manager; Devon Hughes, student ; Ken Roderick, President of Chestertown Lions ; Andrew Carr, student and Cade Terrill, student.

Job Shadowing Shows Pathways for Kent County STEM Students

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Kent County sophomores recently got a taste of real world occupations when they visited a variety of local businesses that employ professionals in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Each year, eight leading Kent County businesses open their doors and share their expertise with local STEM students as they begin to make plans for the future.

Chesapeake Architects President, Peter Newlin, explains the importance of discussing personal preferences, lifestyle considerations and functional priorities with each client before beginning the design process.

In order to chart realistic and rewarding career paths, students need a clear understanding of the day-to-day roles and responsibilities of the professions they are considering. That’s where the annual job showing program comes in, by introducing students to a variety of experienced professionals who each describe the daily demands and routines of his or her particular occupation. They also discuss the educational requirements needed, specialty areas within each field, and long-term trends that might affect future job opportunities. The program is a timely resource for students as they begin considering secondary education and the courses they will need.

Students witness an amazing display of power and poise exhibited by a massive robot that was recently purchased by Dixon Valve & Coupling to handle inventory demands.

Kent County STEM students, their parents and teachers are thankful for the businesses and professionals who share their time and resources to make the program a success. Participating businesses included Benchworks, Chesapeake Architects, Chesapeake CNC, Dixon Valve & Coupling, DMS & Associates, Eastman Specialty Corp., University of Maryland Extension and University of Maryland Shore Medical Center.


Civil engineer and partner in DMS and Associates, Kevin Shearon, points out the logistical considerations that had to be addressed prior to the construction of Washington College’s new academic building.

KCMS STEM Science Olympiad Team Earns a Fourth Place Finish

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Photo: 1st row L-R: Molly Grafton, Madilyn Conner, Andrew Smith, Christopher Hinton, Sella Conner; 2nd row L-R: Logan Carroll, Brandon Myers, Thomas Martinez, Emma Walters, Jamera Christy; 3rd row L-R: Matthew Rickloff, Kate Ervin, Marlee Berghaus, Katie Stecklair, Ashlyn Orr, Christine Clark; 4th row L-R: Zane Carter, Melissa MacLeod, KT Pagano, Leah Maier, Olivia Jones, Ian Walters, Jay Reid; Back row L-R: Robert Bourne, Jack Cullum, Ronald Parker, Karen Carty.

Kent County Middle School teachers, Christine Clark, Melissa MacLeod, Katie Hughes, and Karen Carty, along with volunteer Zane Carter, led the KCMS STEM Science Olympiad team to a fourth place win at the state tournament on Saturday, April 9th.

The team had earned a place in the state tournament by earning 5th place in the regional tournament on Saturday, February 10, 2017.

According to the national Science Olympiad Organization, “The Science Olympiad Tournament is the pinnacle of achievement for the state’s best Science Olympiad teams. Each year a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.” Source: https://www.soinc.org/

This year KCMS students participated in a wide range of events, from designing their own experiments to creating a working hovercraft. These events required students to work cooperatively on rigorous hands-on learning challenges. Countless hours went into preparing students for their events. Each day they worked during their Extended Learning Time at KCMS, in addition to expanding their knowledge and refining their project-based building creations at home.

State Results:
4th Place in the State
Experimental Design- 2nd Place: Ashlyn Orr, Katie Stecklair, and Logan Hall
Crime Busters- 5th Place: Madilyn Conner and Thomas Martinez
Dynamic Planet- 1st Place: Molly Grafton and Marlee Berghaus
Invasive Species- 3rd Place: Brandon Myers And Leah Maier
Road Scholar- 2nd Place: Thomas Martinez and Robert Bourne
Food Science- 5th Place: Ashlyn Orr and Katie Stecklair
Rocks and Minerals- 6th Place: Jamera Christy and Leah Maier
Wind Power- 6th Place: Andrew Smith and Robert Bourne
Fast Facts- 5th Place: Andrew Smith and Thomas Martinez
Meteorology- 3rd Place: Madilyn Conner and Marlee Berghaus
Optics- 4th Place: Robert Bourne and Logan Hall
Towers- 5th Place: Robert Bourne and Logan Hall
Hovercraft- 3rd Place: Jamera Christy and Leah Maier
Mission Possible- 2nd Place: Brandon Myers and Thomas Martinez
Bottle Rocket- 1st Place: Andrew Smith and Matthew Rickloff

Regional Results:

5th Place in the Region
Bottle Rocket- 1st place- Andrew Smith and Ian Walters
Mission Possible- 2nd place- Thomas Martinez and Brandon Myers
Experimental Design- 3rd place- Katie Stecklair and Ashlyn Orr
Towers- 3rd place- Ian Walters and Robert Bourne
Food Science-3rd place- Katie Stecklair and Ashlyn Orr
Crime Busters- 3rd place- Thomas Martinez and Nathan Walls
Write-it, Do-it- 3rd place- Matt Rickloff and Brandon Bowman
Wind Power- 4th place- Robert Bourne and Andrew Smith
Scrambler- 4th place- Sella Conner and Emma Walters
Crime Busters- 4th place- Lydia Davis and Madilyn Conner
Anatomy and Physiology- 5th place- Robert Bourne and Andrew Smith
Towers- 5th place- Logan Carrol and Tennant Allen
Fast Facts-6th place- Andrew Smith and Thomas Martinez
Dynamic Planet- 6th place- Molly Grafton and Marlee Berghaus
Hovercraft- 6th place- Jamera Christy, Leah Maier, Kate Ervin, and KT Pagano

Kent County Doubles Down on Pre-Kindergarten Education

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Responding to the research, Kent County Superintendent, Dr. Karen Couch, and Kent County Board of Education will continue their investment in early childhood education. In FY 13, Kent County Public Schools began offering tuition free full-day Pre-Kindergarten to all 4-year old children residing within the County. Pre-Kindergarten programs prepare children socially, emotionally, physically, and academically for Kindergarten and beyond and are staffed with early childhood certified teachers and instructional assistants.

Kent County teachers and administrators are committed to improving kindergarten readiness and supporting the needs of young children. Offering tuition free universal pre-kindergarten is one way Kent County is working to make this happen. 85% of four-year-old children in Kent County attend our public Pre-K full day programs. 54% of Kent County’s children enter Kindergarten with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to fully participate in the Kindergarten curriculum. This is the highest percentage on the Eastern Shore and 11 points higher than the state average! For more information about Kent’s 2016-2017 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) data to http://www.readyatfive.org/school-readiness-data/jurisdictional-readiness-data-2017/kent-county-1.html

Regardless of school consolidation, full-day Pre-Kindergarten classes will continue for all students who are four years old on or before September 1, 2017. Pre-K and Kindergarten registration information will be available by March 15th. The sign-up period for 2017-2018 will be held in May.

For more information about how to get children registered, please call Gina Jachimowicz at 410-778-7116 or e-mail gjachimowicz@kent.k12.md.us