Caro­line schools get off to a smooth start

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

— The school year Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools got off to a smooth start for stu­dents when class­rooms opened Tues­day, Sept. 4, CCPS Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Pa­tri­cia Sae­lens said.

She cred­ited the smooth tran­si­tion to the main­te­nance and cus­to­dial staffs who pre­pared the schools months be­fore stu­dents en­tered class­rooms.

“We have not had any is-

sues for our fa­cil­i­ties this week,” Sae­lens said. “The main­te­nance staff is the un­sung heroes be­cause they spend all sum­mer get­ting schools ready for the stu­dents. We clean, change fil­ters and check units to make sure ev­ery­thing is geared up for the school year.

“Right be­fore school opens, we turn all of our units into oc­cu­pied mode full time. It is be­cause of the great work by the main­te­nance staff and cus­to­dial staff that we have no is­sues, even with 90-de­gree weather and high hu­mid­ity.”

Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools long has been rec­og­nized through­out the state for its strong main­te­nance record.

In 2016, Fed­er­als­burg El­e­men­tary School re­ceived Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot’s Sil­ver Ham­mer award, in recog­ni­tion of the out­stand­ing work done by the school’s cus­to­dial crew and main­te­nance team to main­tain the 83-year-old build­ing.

Fran­chot and Gov. Larry Ho­gan have com­mended CCPS dur­ing the Board of Pub­lic Works meet­ings for the sys­tem’s ef­forts to main­tain its fa­cil­i­ties.

The Mar yland As­so­ci­a­tion of Boards of Ed­u­ca­tion re­cently rec­og­nized Colonel Richard­son Mid­dle School and Pre­ston El­e­men­tary School for hav­ing per­fect scores for main­te­nance.

“We are grate­ful and thank­ful they take the op­por­tu­nity to rec­og­nize a small district like Caro­line County,” Sae­lens said. “We take care of what we have, and that is why it lasts for a long time.”

Sae­lens said trans­porta­tion for stu­dents went smooth through­out the county dur­ing the first week.

“We had a great kick­off,” she said. “We are a big fam­ily. When you put our stu­dent body and staff to­gether, we have nearly 7,000 folks that all went back to build­ings at the same time. To have it go off with­out a hitch is amaz­ing.

“I was in schools on the first day, and teach­ers and staff picked up right where they left off. They got right into lessons and ac­tiv­i­ties and all the kids were ready to learn. It was won­der­ful.”

With any new year, stu­dents will find new teach­ers join­ing the fac­ulty. But to the school sys­tem, some of the new faces are well known in the com­mu­nity. Eleven of the 40 new teach­ers hired grad­u­ated from Caro­line County Pub­lic Schools. Thir­teen of the 40 came from neigh­bor­ing Mary­land coun­ties, and five came from Delaware.

“We al­ways talk about ‘The Caro­line Way,’ that we are a fam­ily and work hard to­gether,” Sae­lens said. “We also work hard to re­cruit our own. We have a great Teacher Academy pro­gram.

“There is such a sense of pride for the whole district. For ev­ery one of those 11 teach­ers, our guid­ance coun­selors touched them. Our cafe­te­ria work­ers and cus­to­dial staff touched them. They obliv­i­ously made con­nec­tions here in Caro­line County.

“That con­nec­tion brought them back home to teach in Caro­line. As a school district, we have pro­duced ex­actly what we have wanted to do. We have pre­pared stu­dents for the work­force who comes back to give back to their com­mu­nity. That is ex­actly what we want to do in Caro­line. That is amaz­ing for us.”

As for the new year’s out­look, Sae­lens said she is ex­cited for start the sec­ond year for the Es­sen­tials for Learn­ing ini­tia­tive with teach­ers fa­cil­i­tat­ing learn­ing and stu­dents be­ing ac­count­able for their own learn­ing while teach­ers track the progress in real time.

PHOTO BY SCOTT LEROY

Pey­ton LeRoy is a third grader at Ridgely El­e­men­tary School.

PHOTO COURTESY TINA LANE

First day of school for Ash­ley Marie Lane, third-grade teacher at Denton El­e­men­tary.

PHOTO BY BAR­BARA JOHN­SON

Jakob Bil­brough, first grade, Denton El­e­men­tary School

PHOTO BY JOANNA LAW­TON

Alexa Law­ton, twelfth grade, and Emilee Law­ton, tenth grade, North Caro­line High School

PHOTO BY BAR­BARA JOHN­SON

Kyler Boyd, tenth grade, and sis­ter Kam­ryn Boyd, ninth grade, North Caro­line High School

PHOTO COURTESY NANCY MOR­RIS

Ryan, first grade, and Devin, sec­ond grade, Greens­boro El­e­men­tary, grand­sons of Nancy Mor­ris.

PHOTO COURTESY HOL­LIE JES­SICA

Jaxon Beish, fourth grade, and Con­ner Beish, first grade, Denton El­e­men­tary.

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