Time to Celebrate! Jacksonville Elementary Becomes the 23rd National Blue Ribbon School in BCPS

Please join us in celebrating some great news! Jacksonville Elementary School has been named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

“We are so proud of Jacksonville Elementary School for this prestigious honor,” said Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “Principal Debra Miller leads a talented team that offers a high-quality academic program. The teaching staff, student body, and a supportive community are fully engaged in pursuing excellence. Recognitions such as this National Blue Ribbon for Jacksonville Elementary underscore our systemwide commitment to raising the bar, closing gaps, and preparing for our future.”

Public invited to take survey about BCPS Now app

Team BCPS stakeholders are invited to take a quick survey about the BCPS mobile app, which is due to be updated. The BCPS Now app survey is available until 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. The survey can be taken in English as well as in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.

The BCPS Now app was developed to keep the community informed about the school system’s closings and delays through push notifications, as well as sharing news, the calendar, blog posts, and links to BCPS One, breakfast and lunch menus, the BCPS website, and Parent University.

Free Meals Available To All Children at More Than 300 Community Locations

Through its fall meal distribution program, BCPS is providing school meals, at no cost to students, to all children ages 2-18, through Wednesday, Dec. 23. Students with disabilities can receive no-cost meals regardless of age.

In general, the meals are distributed on Monday and Wednesday. On Monday, BCPS distributes two breakfast and two lunch meals. On Wednesday, BCPS distributes meals (breakfast and lunch) for three days.

Meals are distributed at the main entrance of every middle and high school, from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m., and by bus from 270 locations across the county. Times vary according to location.

The complete list of locations and meal distribution times can be found on the BCPS website. Families are encouraged to check the list each week for any changes.

Join BCPS in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
(Sept. 15 – Oct. 15)

Meet a Diverse Array of Latino Changemakers

Do you know these faces? In a new blog post, Judith Barrera, a social studies teacher at Randallstown High School, introduces a diverse group of Latino changemakers from throughout history — people who have fought for freedom and public education, led labor movements, flown into space, broken barriers, and contributed to the fields of art, music, and literature.

Read More About Latino People, History, and Culture

A great way to learn more about just about anything is to pick up a book — or two or three or more. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Fran Glick, BCPS coordinator of library media services and digital resources, recommends checking out books for readers of all ages from following lists: Reading Rockets, Read Brightly. Scholastic. and Common Sense Media. A new blog post highlights some of the books on these lists best suited for young readers, ages 3 – 9.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

“Tree of Life,” by Isabella Heinerichs, a Grade 3 student at Berkshire Elementary School

The piece above — “Tree of Life.” by Isabella Heinerichs, a Grade 3 student at Berkshire Elementary School — is one of two artworks that will represent BCPS in the 2020 Fall First Lady’s Virtual Gallery. The other piece, called “Shoes,” is by Kelsey Anders, a Grade 8 student at Ridgely Middle School.

For Parents
from BCPS Parent University

Taking Stock

Now that we’re nearly a month into the new school year, take some time to take stock of how things have gone so far. We’re all constrained by COVID-19, of course, but within the limitations of virtual instruction and your own remote “classroom,” how can we improve your child’s learning experience?

Does your child need help with participating in online instruction? Perhaps you and your child would like to refresh your child’s home learning environment. Or maybe it’s just a good time to review learning goals and strategies.

It’s always a good idea to look for ways to fine-tune your child’s learning experience, especially after the first few weeks of school. With remote learning, you as a parent or caretaker need to be especially supportive and engaged as we move into the heart of the school year.

A Word from Dr. Williams, Superintendent

September 28, 2020

Dear Team BCPS,

I truly appreciate your patience as conditions continue to shift and as our plans evolve accordingly. Last week, I shared two updates:

Our phased-in timeline for returning staff to school buildings will begin on November 2 with our four public separate day schools: Battle Monument, Maiden Choice, Ridge Ruxton, and White Oak. Students at these four schools may return on November 16. The return of these small cohorts of students and staff will be closely monitored. Further adjustments will be made as necessary.

Your feedback is crucial. Families at these schools will indicate whether or not they would like their child to return to school or continue online instruction through a survey from October 2 – 9. In addition, we are working with families and staff to continue a phased-in approach for small groups of students and staff to return to school buildings. All stakeholders may send feedback to reopening@bcps.org, for review by our Reopening Design Team and COVID-19 Taskforce.

Following the announcement from Governor Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Salmon that school systems may choose to resume high school fall sports as soon as October 7, I will consult with our Office of Athletics, athletic directors, Return to Play Committee, and Baltimore County Department of Health to determine if and how adjustments to our plan can be safely made. If adjustments can be safely made, we will share those adjustments with the community.

Thank you for all that you do and contribute to Team BCPS. Take good care and be safe!


Darryl L. Williams, Ed.D.