Release Date: 2/6/2009
Contact: Charles Herndon

BCPS News Tips: The Week of February 7-14, 2009

Activities, Events, and News from Baltimore County Public Schools

Saturday, February 7

Fifth annual Black Saga Countywide Competition gets underway

Teams of knowledgeable students from across Baltimore County will meet beginning at 8:00 a.m. at Randallstown High School, 4000 Offutt Road in Randallstown, to compete for the title of countywide Black Saga champion. Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe A. Hairston will be among the special guests there to congratulate participating students. For several weeks, teams of elementary and middle school students have been engaging in school-wide Black Saga competitions to determine who will represent individual schools at the county tournament. Black Saga tests students' knowledge and awareness of African American history and culture. All schools participating in the countywide competition can send teams to compete in the statewide tournament to be held on March 14.

Contact: Tina Nelson, Office of Social Studies, 410.887.2172

County schools' top jazz musicians to perform free public concert at Walters Art Museum

The public is invited to a free performance of the Baltimore County Public Schools All-Honors Jazz Band and All-Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Walters Art Museum's Graham Auditorium, 600 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. The concert will feature 34 students, all selected through a highly competitive audition process, who will perform an eclectic program representing jazz across multiple eras and genres, including Fusion, Funk, Cool Jazz, and Bebop. Performing students represent nine Baltimore County high schools. Guest conductors will be Chris Allen, director of bands at Walt Whitman High School in Montgomery County, and Connaitre Miller, associate professor and coordinator of jazz studies at Howard University. No tickets or reservations are required for this event. The concert is a tribute to the high-quality music program in Baltimore County Public Schools. In 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2004, the nation's leading music education and advocacy organizations honored Baltimore County as one of the 100 top communities in the nation for music education.

Contact: Karl Stewart, Office of Music, 410.887.4024

Monday, February 9

Baltimore County's school system welcomes all parents to African American Parent Involvement Day

In honor of African American History Month, many schools will celebrate Parent Involvement Day with special activities throughout the system. Baltimore County Public Schools invites all parents, grandparents, and guardians to participate. For information about special activities planned at a particular school, please call that school directly. Information about National African American Parent Involvement Day can be found at

Contact: Diana L. Spencer, Office of Communications, 410.887.4243

Pot Spring Elementary School to reprise environmental play "Cool the Earth -- The Golden Coupon"

Pot Spring Elementary School will present an environmental-themed play called "Cool the Earth -- The Golden Coupon" at the school at 2410 Springlake Drive in Timonium. The play, performed by the teachers, staff, and administrators at Pot Spring, addresses environmental issues and how children can make a difference in protecting the earth. The play was originally performed earlier this year at Dulaney High School. Please call the school for times.

Contact: Michelle Doyle or Jane Martin, Pot Spring Elementary School, 410.887.7648

Edgemere Elementary School to celebrate Library Night

Edgemere Elementary School's students and staff will celebrate reading at a Library Night event at the North Point Public Library branch from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.. Teachers Pat Hundley and Dan Reaves will entertain children with songs while school media specialist Jane Amtmann will provide a story hour. The library will host a scavenger hunt to help the children learn how to use the public library. The library is located at 1716 Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk.

Contact: Jane Amtmann, Edgemere Elementary School, 410.887.7507

Logan Elementary School PTA hosts "Take Your Family to School Week"

The Logan Elementary School PTA invites all Logan families to participate in its annual "PTA Take Your Family to School Week" from February 9-13 by joining in all or some of the following events during the week:

· Monday - Mom's visitation day

· Tuesday - Dad's visitation day

· Wednesday - Bring your lunch and eat with your child

· Thursday - Valentine Dance from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

· Friday - Grandparent's visitation day

Please call the school for times and details. Logan Elementary School is located at 7601 Dunmanway in Dundalk.

Contact: Tracy Robinson, Logan Elementary School, 410.887.7052

Tuesday, February 10

Celebrating the 100-day mark at Edgemere Elementary School

Edgemere Elementary School students and teachers will celebrate the 100th day of the school year with a daylong variety of activities, including having students collect and count 100 objects; sharing projects and poems about 100 things; and sharing wth classmates 100 snacks brought from home. Younger children will also mark the day by learning to skip count to 100, count by fives to 100, and count by tens to 100. The school is located at 7201 North Point Road in Edgemere.

Contact: Jane Amtmann, Edgemere Elementary School, 410.887.7507

Spelling takes center stage for the day at Pikesville Middle School

Pikesville Middle School, 7701 Seven Mile Lane in Pikesville, will hold the finals of its first annual Spelling Bee at 6:30 p.m. in the school's library. The top 10 spellers from the preliminary rounds will compete in the bee, with the top two finalists advancing to the Baltimore Bee on March 14. The public is welcome to attend this event.

Contact: Jennifer Givens or Mia Talarigo, 410.887.1207

"Black History Laser Tribute" to be presented at Hernwood Elementary School

The Hernwood Elementary School PTA will sponsor a "Black History Laser Tribute" by Prismatic Magic from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. A second show will presented in the afternoon; please call the school for times. The school is located at 9919 Marriottsville Road in Randallstown.

Contact: Anita Rozenel or Cathy Gantz, Hernwood Elementary School, 410.887.0732

Hawthorne Elementary School to hold its annual Math Night

Hawthorne Elementary School, 125 Kingston Road in Middle River, will hold its annual math night from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Games will challenge both parents and students and encourage them to work together. The BCPS Parentmobile will also be on site to assist parents with finding fun ways to use math at home with their children.

Contact: Barbara Krack, Hawthorne Elementary School, 410.887.0138

Family Math Night to be held at Pinewood Elementary School

What do math and U.S. presidents have in common? Visitors to Pinewood Elementary School's Family Math Night from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. will be able to find out. "Abe's Big Bash" and "Presidential Math Mania" are just two of the activities that families can enjoy at the math night. Learning about math by invoking the nation's presidents also ties into the presidential theme of the school's ongoing reading program. Pinewood Elementary School is located at 200 Rickswood Road in Timonium.

Contact: Patty Abbott or Tara Kuser, Pinewood Elementary School,


Fifth District Elementary School to host two technology nights this month

Fifth District Elementary School, 3725 Mount Carmel Road in Upperco, will host two technology nights -- the school's primary technology night will be today from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., while the school's intermediate technology night will take place on Tuesday, February 17, from 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Parents can attend sessions to learn about technology standards for elementary school, programs their children will use, and available resources such as Destiny.

Contact: Jaime Connolly or Carole Quental, Fifth District Elementary School, 410.887.1726

Logan Elementary School to celebrates the arts with a Liberal Arts Night

Families are invited to visit Logan Elementary School, 7601 Dunmanway in Dundalk, to participate in a Liberal Arts Night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Students will celebrate the arts by learning about and creating origami in art, reading, and dramatizing "Ms. Nelson is Missing" with the school's principal and librarian, participating in "Percussion Discussion" in music, browsing fee-based databases from the Baltimore County Public Schools Web site in technology, and Speed Stacking in physical education. Cookie treats will be served.

Contact: Tracy Robinson, Logan Elementary School, 410.887.7052

Wednesday, February 11

Berkshire Elementary to celebrate students with two Principal's Breakfasts this week

Berkshire Elementary School will host two Principal's Breakfasts to honor students who achieved perfect attendance and/or Honor Roll status during the second quarter of the school year. Principal Vicky Ciulla will welcome honored kindergarten through grade 2 students and their parents on Wednesday, February 11, at 9:00 a.m. She will host honored students in grades 3-5 and their parents on Thursday, February 12, also beginning at 9:00 a.m. Students who have achieved perfect attendance or who will receive the school's Shining Star, Blue Ribbon, or Eagle's Nest awards will also be invited to attend. Along with being served breakfast, students will receive certificates and coupons to Applebee's Restaurant. Both breakfasts will be held at the school, located at 7431 Poplar Avenue.

Contact: Vicky Ciulla or Patti Smith, Berkshire Elementary School, 410.887. 7008

Pleasant Plains Elementary School to host Parents' STEM Fair Information Night / Math Night

Pleasant Plains Elementary School will host a STEM Fair Information Night for parents followed by a Math Night activity for the family, all beginning at 6:00 p.m. for the parents of students in grades 4 and 5. Parents will hear about project expectations for their students in the science, technology, engineering and technology fair, which will be held on Wednesday, April 15. Parents who arrive at the STEM Fair/Math Night by 6:00 p.m. will receive coupons for a free project display board. Fourth- and fifth-grade teachers also will be present to explain the process for successfully completing a project. Math Night will follow from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the gym at the school, which is located at 8300 Pleasant Plains Road in Towson. Each grade level will have the chance to enjoy and learn from math activities such as color & shape bingo, addition & subtraction strategies, counting money, creating number sentences, and "Beat the Calculator."

Contact: Kathy Schech or Maureen Partilla, Pleasant Plains Elementary School, 410.887.3549

Dulaney, Hereford high schools welcome students from Xi'an, China

Fourteen students and a teacher from the First Railway Middle School in Xi'an, China, will arrive in Baltimore on Wednesday, February 11, to begin a seven-week visit to Dulaney High School and Hereford High School as part of the BCPS - Chinese Cultural Exchange program. The Chinese students will stay with host families from the respective schools offering the experience of American family life and will attend classes in their host school as well as visit some local elementary schools. Field trips will include the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, and New York City, as well as local sporting events. This spring marks the third year for the China Cultural Exchange Program, where students from Xi'an visit the Dulaney community and students from Dulaney spend eight weeks in China living with the families of the students they host. This year, the program has expanded to include Hereford High as well.

Contact: Carol Ann Leyh or Pat McCusker, Dulaney High School, 410.887.7721

Spelling Bee has Dundalk Middle School students buzzing

The Spelling Bee Club of Dundalk Middle School will hold the official Dundalk Middle Bee beginning after school at about 2:45 p.m. at the school, 7400 Dunmanway in Dundalk. The winner and an alternate will compete in the Baltimore Bee on March 14.

Contact: Pat Thomas or John Foley, Dundalk Middle School, 410.887.7018

MSA Night to be held at Pinewood Elementary School

Third-grade parents at Pinewood Elementary School are invited to attend a special MSA Night at the school from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the school's cafeteria, 200 Rickswood Road in Timonium. The third-grade team will share information regarding the expectations of the MSA testing, Web site resources, and how parents can help to prepare their children for the test.

Contact: Teresa Davis, Pinewood Elementary School


Thursday, February 12

Cromwell Valley Elementary students to compete in M&T Bank Math 24®

Cromwell Valley Elementary School will hold its annual in-house M&T Bank Math 24® Competition on Thursday, February 12, and Thursday, February 19. The competitions will take place at the school, located at 825 Providence Road in Towson. More than 50 members of the Cromwell Valley Elementary Math 24® Club have been meeting every Thursday since October 2008. One single-digit winner and one double-digit winner will be selected from the competition to represent the school in the district-wide M&T Math 24® Challenge Tournament to be held on Saturday, March 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Baltimore Hotel in Timonium.

Contact: Darlene Morrison or Flo Falatko, Cromwell Valley Elementary School, 410.887.4888

Friday, February 13

Donuts With Dad scheduled for Vincent Farm Elementary School

Students at Vincent Farm Elementary School will be sharing breakfast with their dads in the school cafeteria beginning at 8:30 a.m., to be followed by visits to each student's classroom. Dads will get a good look at how the latest technology is being used to teach reading and math at Vincent Farm and elsewhere in Baltimore County. In addition, a Lifetouch photographer will be on hand to photograph students with their fathers. Vincent Farm Elementary School is located at 6019 Ebenezer Road in White Marsh.

Contact: Anne Gold, Vincent Farm Elementary School, 410.887.2983

Hernwood Elementary School to be site of a "Maryland Parade"

The Hernwood Literacy Committee is holding "Maryland Parade" from 2:25 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. for students who reached their reading goal for January. Students will walk around the school building, located at 9919 Marriottsville Road in Randallstown, with individual Maryland state flags and will sing songs to honor their home state. There will be special stopping points along the way with stations designed to instruct students about famous African Americans in honor of Black History Month.

Contact: Anita Rozenel or Cathy Gantz, Hernwood Elementary School, 410.887.0732

Coming up!

Whittle Night planned for Tuesday, February 17, at Pine Grove Elementary School

Pine Grove Elementary School parents are invited to come to the school gymnasium on Tuesday, February 17, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. to watch their children use the school's Whittle equipment. This annual event is a great opportunity to view a fun part of Pine Grove's physical education program. The school is located at 2701 Summit Avenue in Carney.

Contact: Richard Weber, Pine Grove Elementary School, 410.887.5268

Pinewood Elementary School's Family Reading Night slated for Tuesday, February 17

Pinewood Elementary School families are invited to Family Reading Night on Tuesday, February 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Activities will include "Finish that Lyric," "American Idol," "Are You Smarter than a Pinewood Student?," and "Charades." In addition, the Baltimore County Public Schools Parentmobile will be on site to share resources and materials with families. Pinewood Elementary School is located at 200 Rickswood Road in Timonium.

Contact: Teresa May, Pinewood Elementary School, 410.887.7663

Math 24® competition gearing up at Dundalk Middle School on Tuesday, February 17

Dundalk Middle School will hold its annual in-house M&T Bank Math 24® Challenge competition on Tuesday, February 17. The M&T Bank Math 24® competition is a popular contest that pits teams of young mathematicians against each other and the clock as they work to determine all the possible answers to a series of math challenges. Dundalk Middle's 24-Math Club has been meeting regularly since the fall, practicing single-digit, double-digit and integer games. One winner from each category will receive the school prize of a $50 Savings Bond from M&T Bank, and each winner will represent Dundalk Middle School at the County M&T Math 24® Challenge Tournament on Saturday, March 7, at 9:00 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Timonium. The school is located at 7400 Dunmanway in Dundalk.

Contact: Patricia Thomas or John Foley, Dundalk Middle School, 410.887.7018

U.S. Secret Service representatives to speak at Eastern Technical High School on Wednesday, February 18

The Law Related Careers program at Eastern Technical High School, 1100 Mace Avenue in Essex, will host the U.S. Secret Service for an information session on Wednesday, February 18. The assembly from 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. will be held in the school's LRC Room, and a select number of seats will be available for the public. Please call the school to reserve a seat.

Contact: Luci Smith or Thomas Evans, Eastern Technical High School, 410.887.0190

Pharmacy owner to address health concerns at Johnnycake Elementary on Thursday, February 19

The Buddies Club of Johnnycake Elementary School will welcome Dixie Leikach, owner of several community pharmacies, to discuss "When we can doctor at home and when it is time to go to the hospital." This special program for parents and caregivers will take place on Thursday, February 19, from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The event will be held at the school, located at 5910 Craigmont Road in Catonsville.

Contact: Mary Maddox or Amy Daniller, Johnnycake Elementary School, 410.887.0823

Family Reading Night at Catonsville Elementary School scheduled for Thursday, February 19

Students from grades 3, 4, and 5 at Catonsville Elementary are invited to bring their families to enjoy Family Reading Night at the school on Thursday, February 19. The evening begins with a pizza dinner provided by the Catonsville Elementary School PTA. Parents and students will then engage in several reading-related activities. Babysitting will be provided for younger children, and the event's snow date is Thursday, February 26. The school is located at 615 Frederick Road. Please call the school for times and details.

Contact: Sarah Sattler or Linda Miller, Catonsville Elementary School, 410.887.0800

Randallstown Elementary School to host a Math Night on Monday, February 23

Randallstown Elementary School will host a Math Night on Monday, February 23, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. Parents will have the opportunity to learn about SuccessNet and online MSA resources to help students in grades 3, 4, and 5. Additionally, students and parents will work together to answer and score sample test questions. Students in kindergarten through grade 2 and their parents can engage in interactive workshops that focus on problem solving, communicating mathematically, and justifying math responses. The school is located at 9013 Liberty Road in Randallstown.

Contact: Betsy Book or Lois Stokes, Randallstown Elementary School, 410.887.0746

A celebration of Black History Month at Scotts Branch Elementary School on Monday, February 23

Scotts Branch Elementary School will celebrate Black History Month with a musical concert and black history trivia game on Monday, February 23, at the school, 8220 Tawnmoore Road in Randallstown. In addition to music, classes from each grade level will read a poem to celebrate Black History Month. Fifth graders will participate in a "Family Feud"-style game centered around black history. These events will take place during the day and in the evening; please call the school for times and details. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will perform in an evening concert in the gym beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Contact: Stephanie Piel or Joyce Schultz, Scotts Branch Elementary School, 410.887.0761.

Pinewood Elementary School welcomes Historock on Wednesday, February 25

Pinewood Elementary School will present a multicultural performance by Historock on Wednesday, February 25, at 9:15 a.m. The band features original songwriter and singer Joe DeFilippo, vocalist and keyboardist Leslie Darr, and guitarist Greg Topolski. The group will share its love of music, history, and other cultures with Pinewood students. Pinewood Elementary School is located at 200 Rickswood Road in Timonium.

Contact: Katherine Franzoni or Kathryn Arnold, Pinewood Elementary School, 410.887.7663

Sudbrook Magnet Middle School students to share volcano information with younger students on Wednesday, February 25

Eighth-grade environmental/earth science magnet students from Sudbrook Magnet Middle School in Pikesville will visit Fort Garrison Elementary School and Bedford Elementary School on Wednesday, February 25, and use their own working models to help teach younger students about volcanoes Sudbrook students have researched various volcanoes and have made working replicas to teach elementary students about the natural land forms. The magnet students will visit the kindergarten class at Fort Garrison in the morning and visit grade 5 classes at Bedford Elementary in the afternoon; please call the schools for times and details. Sudbrook Magnet Middle School is located at 4300 Bedford Road in Pikesville, while Fort Garrison Elementary is located at 3310 Woodvalley Drive in Pikesville and Bedford Elementary is located at 7401 Dorman Drive in Pikesville.

Contact: Laura McCauley or Sharon Robbins, Sudbrook Magnet Middle School, 410.887.6720

College Savings Plans meeting to be held at Old Court Middle School on Wednesday, February 25

Old Court Middle School, 4627 Old Court Road, Randallstown, will host a parent information meeting presented by the College Savings Plans of Maryland on Wednesday, February 25, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The College Savings Plans allow parents to save for college through a variety of affordable and flexible programs. For more information, go to or call 1.888.4MD.GRAD.

Contact: John Trader, College Savings Plans of Maryland, 410.767.2037

STEM Fair Night scheduled for Pine Grove Elementary School on Thursday, February 26

Science projects completed by third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students will be on display at Pine Grove Elementary School, 2701 Summit Avenue in Carney, on Thursday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria. The projects are like those done at elementary schools across Baltimore County each winter as students prepare for the annual systemwide Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fair each spring. The science projects for fourth- and fifth-graders are part of the science curriculum of the school system.

Contact: Richard Weber, Pine Grove Elementary School, 410.887.5268

BCPS to host Special Education Job Fair on Friday, February 27

Baltimore County Public Schools is looking for special education teachers for the 2009-10 school year, including speech pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, and sign language interpreters. The job fair from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will be held at the Holiday Inn at 9615 Deereco Road in Timonium and will include information booths and on-site interviews. Additional information is available at the BCPS Web site,, and job applications may be obtained at There is no admission fee, and registration is available at the door.

Contact: BCPS Office of Human Resources, 410.887.4191


Seven Oaks Elementary Reading Incentive Program begins

Beginning on January 9, a space alien, Amazie, and her crew will encourage Seven Oaks Elementary School students to read and to learn how to make her planet, Googledirt, a cleaner and greener place. Each month through April, the Seven Oaks "space travelers" will receive a reading log asking them to read five times per week for 15 minutes each. At the end of each month, all astronauts who complete their reading logs will receive prizes, such as free children's meals at local restaurants including Fuddruckers, Rainforest Cafe, and the Original Steakhouse. In addition, students who complete all three reading logs will be able to choose a stuffed space alien and a children's book to take home. The school is located at 9220 Seven Courts Drive in Overlea.

Contact: Carol L. Wingard, Seven Oaks Elementary School, 410.887.6257

Harford Hills Elementary's Radical Readers participate in a Read-a-Thon

Students at Harford Hills Elementary School are participating in a three week Radical Read-a-Thon to earn money to benefit the PTA. Students will spend one week collecting pledges from parents, family, and friends, one week reading, and one week collecting pledge money to be donated to the PTA. The school is located at 8902 Old Harford Road in Parkville.

Contact: Heather Thoms-Chesley or Carol Mohsberg, Harford Hills Elementary School, 410.887.5236.

Halethorpe Elementary School's "Reading Takes You Around the World" incentive now underway

Until April, students at Halethorpe Elementary School, 4300 Maple Avenue in Halethorpe, are participating in a special reading incentive program called "Reading Takes You Around the World." Through the program, students will take home a monthly family book project to complete, reading at least 300 minutes or five hours each month. To record their monthly progress, each student will place a sticker on a world map for the continent visited that month. Those students who complete the book projects and the required minutes for five months will earn a bronze medal. Those students who complete six months will earn a silver medal and those who complete seven months will earn a gold medal. All medal winners will be able to participate in an Olympic parade and will also be invited to a reading party next May.

Contact: Cheryl Fearer or Jill Bordenick, Halethorpe Elementary School, 410.887.1406

Books and Bagels reading club meets at Seventh District Elementary School

Every Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., students gather at Seventh District Elementary School for the Books and Bagels reading club. Like other elementary school reading clubs across Baltimore County, Books and Bagels has become a popular before-school activity for many students. Building on its success from last year, students led by Lauren Murray meet each week to discuss the prior week's assignments and enjoy a snack. The purpose of this voluntary activity is to encourage a love of reading, an appreciation for good books, and plenty of friendship and fun built around teaching and learning. The school is located at 20300 York Road in Parkton.

Contact: Lauren Murray, Glenda Carman, or Leslie Brooks, Seventh District Elementary School, 410.887.1902

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