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Final Meeting for Superintendent’s Advisory Council

On Wednesday, April 5, Dorchester County Public Schools (DCPS) Superintendent Dr. Henry Wagner invited all past and current members of his Superintendent’s Advisory Council for a final meeting and thank you luncheon. This Advisory Council was one of a variety of initiatives Dr. Wagner pledged upon becoming superintendent of DCPS in 2010 to promote the mission of the school system. The Advisory Council has been a diverse group of Dorchester business, community, government, and faith-based leaders who have provided vitally important counsel to Dr. Wagner on a wide range of issues. At the final gathering, Dr. Wagner extended his sincere gratitude for all of the contributions of this esteemed group. He credited them with many of the leadership insights and innovations that have helped to advance the school system in so many ways. Included in the positive outcomes that have been fostered by this group have been an exponential increase in volunteerism, a steady rise in scholarship dollars, a corresponding rise in graduation rates, and a virtual closing of the “graduation rate gap” between African American and white students.

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Small Business Starts Reading Program -Volunteers Welcome

Omeaka Jackson moved back to the community and opened Harvesting Hope, a Behavioral Health and Youth & Family Development organization. Harvesting Hope assists with building stronger and healthier families through education, counseling and mentoring through varies services and partnerships with other community agencies, schools, and churches.  Omeaka is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). She is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) with the state of Maryland. Through her work with Harvesting Hope, she works with couples, children, adolescent clients and at-risk adolescents. She also provides educational and training on behavioral health and self-care. Omeaka is currently implementing a prevention program called Reading Socials for children ages 2-12. The reading socials will begin in January and will be held at the Cambridge library in the community room one Saturday a month. For those who are interested in learning more about the reading program or volunteering, please attend the meeting on Thursday, December 15 at 6:30 at Library located at 204 Cedar St, Cambridge, MD.

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Mid-Shore Board of Realtors Announce Essay Contest

The Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS (MSBR) will hold their annual essay contest for high school students who live in Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties. In 2016 two Dorchester County students, Mya Woods, and Emory S. Wongus were awarded for their essays.  The first-place essay receives a check for $500.00; second place is $200 and third place is $100.00. For the past five years MSBR has invited high school students who reside in Caroline, Dorchester, or Talbot Counties to participate in a property/real estate related essay contest.  Students are asked to write an original and analytical essay of at least 750 words with a maximum of 1,000 words.   Participants are asked to review a variety of sources including the Bill of Rights, newspaper articles, books and personal interviews.  The theme: The Fair Housing Act was aimed at prohibiting discrimination in rentals or in the sale of a home. Has this law changed home ownership? If so, how? Independent judges; from each County, read and score the essays.  “The REALTORS at MSBR started this essay contest, because we know home ownership is important and as REALTORS, we abide by high standards of fair housing to all individuals”, noted Martha Witte Suss, MSBR …

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S.T.E.A.M. Lights On Celebration

Lights On Afterschool, a national initiative to highlight the importance of quality after school programs, was celebrated Thursday, October 20, 2016 hosted by 21st Century Community Learning Centers’ S.T.E.A.M. Program Manager, Terrell Sample for Dorchester County Public Schools. Participating schools opened their doors to families and the public to highlight S.T.E.A.M.’s community partners and showcase extended day learning opportunities available to students. This year’s theme was “Making the World Awesome.” S.T.E.A.M. was delighted to welcome Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes from District 37-A at Maple Elementary School to share inspiration and issue a proclamation marking the event to 21st CCLC Program Manager, Terrell Sample and Dr. Jodi Colman, Principal of Maple Elementary School. Additional words of encouragement were shared by Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. Both officials challenged students to optimize the opportunities offered by S.T.E.A.M. to create the best possible future as they contribute to making the world awesome. S.T.E.AM. students participated in various activities including a demonstration of Shaolin Kempo Karate by Sensei Kevin Warner as well as a visit from Ummu Bradley-Thomas, owner of Freddie Bell Jones, Inc. Modelling and Finishing School. Students at other participating schools also greeted other community partners and visitors with engaging activities. Sandy Hill Elementary …

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Congratulations to Sandy Hill Elementary

Congratulations to Sandy Hill Elementary School for being the first elementary school in Dorchester County to participate and publish in Maryland EXCELS! EXCELS is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) that recognizes quality in early childhood and school-age programs in Maryland. Child care and school age programs are eligible to participate. Maryland EXCELS recognizes the accomplishments of Sandy Hill’s early childhood staff in providing high-quality early education for Pre-Kindergarten and kindergarten students. After intensive documentation of their instructional practices, Sandy Hill was able to publish their rating on September 28, 2016. Maryland EXCELS awards ratings through five progressive check levels that define a pathway to excellence. When a program joins Maryland EXCELS, the program has made a commitment to continuous quality improvement. Sandy Hill was able to publish with an initial Quality Rating Level 4. Congratulations are in order for the PreK and Kindergarten teams, as well as the entire Sandy Hill Elementary School community (Sandy Hill Judy Center, administrators, coaches, parents, etc.) for supporting these efforts. For more information on Maryland EXCELS, contact Donna Greenleaf, Coordinator of Early Childhood at greenleafd@dcpsmd.org or Marybeth Johnson, Quality Assurance Specialist for Maryland EXCELS at maryb.johnson@mayland.gov or visit the website at www.marylandexcels.org.

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Celebrating Heroes at Sandy Hill Elementary

There are assemblies and then there are moments in time that you know will stay with you for the rest of your life. The kind that you talk about for years to come. One such moment happened at Sandy Hill Elementary School on Wednesday September 7th at about 2:45 PM. The entire school gathered in the gym for an assembly celebrating heroes that sometimes go unnoticed. Our students come to school with Spiderman backpacks and Wonder Woman shirts. Yet, on this day we wanted to highlight a different type of hero. On this day we celebrated firefighters, policeman, doctors, nurses and even a local athlete who had pitched in the World Series. But the highlight of the day was wrapped up in a surprise that very few people were prepared for. Mr. Rosario, along with five other staff members, was blindfolded and given clues to help him guess the identity of an unsung hero. It just so happened that Mr. Rosario got to go last. Despite some excellent clues, he was unable to determine the identity of his hero. When his blindfold was finally taken off, there standing directly in front of him was his son, Senior Airman Keagan Rosario, …

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Choptank Elementary School Recognized

Choptank Elementary School Recognized by the Kids Helping Kids Organization Emma Pinkett, Principal and Kawana Webb, School Social Worker for Choptank Elementary School, traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to accept an award on behalf of the school’s stakeholders. Choptank Elementary School was being recognized by the Kids Helping Kids Organization for donating canned goods to the Organization to benefit the Maryland Food Bank. Schools from every county within the state were represented. Choptank Elementary School was recognized for collecting the most amount of food, in pounds, for Dorchester County. The school Student Ambassadors collected total of 1,897 pounds of canned goods. To learn more about Dorchester County Public Schools please visit http://dcps.k12.md.us/.

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DCPS Volunteers Logged 10,342 Hours

Dorchester County Public Schools would like to thank the Dorchester County community for contributing a total of 10,342 hours of documented volunteer time to schools and young people during the 2015-16 school year. This figure is an increase of more than double the previous year’s figure. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr. said, “This remarkable increase in community involvement is especially gratifying, given the great variety and quality of the services our volunteers are providing. We are sincerely grateful to each and every one of them for their investment in the mission of DCPS!” Volunteer hours were accrued by reading with children, helping in media centers, fund-raising for individual schools, supporting in classrooms, chaperoning field trips, delivering Junior Achievement and Character Counts lessons, and in many other ways that support students’ success. “The community has an enormous amount to contribute to the education and development of our youngsters, and it is exciting to see a growing number of volunteers in our schools,” said Valerie Goff, Community Involvement Liaison for DCPS. “There are expanding opportunities to help out in our schools, and we look forward to hearing from even more potential volunteers as we gear up for the fall.” …

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2016 Seniors Collect $5 Million in Scholarships

For the second year in a row, Dorchester County Public School graduating seniors have garnered more than $5 Million in scholarships! To date, the combined total is $5,134,812 with more expected to be added to the tally. Sixty-four percent of the 266-member cohort will be attending a two or four-year institution of higher learning in the fall, with another 4% having been accepted into technical or trade schools. Nine percent have committed to military service, with the balance of the group entering the workforce while they consider future educational plans. For more information on Dorchester County Public Schools please visit dcps.k12.md.us.  

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DCPS Science Fair

Dorchester County families and Dorchester County Public School (DCPS) staff came together to celebrate students in grades 6, 7, & 8 for their accomplishments at the DCPS Science Fair and STEM Festival.  For the first time, a STEM Festival component was incorporated into the festivities; the STEM Festival event served as a kickoff to the announcement of winners.  The STEM Festival activities were courtesy of our very own DCPS Project Lead The Way teacher, Mr. Ji Park, who teaches at North Dorchester Middle School; and Discovery Education representatives, Mr. David Robbins and Ms. Cynthia Marbley. This year, the criteria were much more STEM-focused – honing in on students’ ability to solve problems and work as a team.  Middle school students were allowed to work on their own or as a group.  Students were rewarded for their hard work, for each grade level was awarded a first place prize in the individual category, as well as a first place prize in the group category.  This year’s first place winners were awarded the ultimate STEM prize, a brand new tablet.  The project of the year recipient also received gift cards to purchase STEM apps and a case for her new tablet.  Science …

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