Superintendent's Update March 2019

March Update

It is hard to believe we have just finished the first week of March and will "Spring Forward" this weekend with Daylight Savings.  Great things are happening in our schools and community throughout March.   Check the TCPS District Website and Social Media Channels for updates. 

Important Dates in March:

  • Monday March 11th - March for Schools
  • Wednesday March 13th - Sodexo's Future Chef Competition
  • Thursday March 14th - SECAC Awards Dinner
  • Sunday March 17th - Easton St. Patrick's Day Parade (Don't miss TCPS Bands!)
  • Wednesday March 20th - Board of Education Meeting

signature.png

TCPS Announces 2019-20 Pre-K and Kindergarten Registration Dates

WHEN:
March 29th and April 12th

WHERE:  

  • Chapel District Elementary: 410-822-2391
  • Easton Elementary: 410-822-0550
  • St. Michaels Elementary: 410-745-2882
  • Tilghman Elementary: 410-886-2391
  • White Marsh Elementary: 410-476-3144

Registration will take place during school hours. To confirm the hours for your school, you may call the school or click to View School Information and Hours.

Spanish interpreter available at Easton Elementary

April 6th Registration for all grade levels at the Community Resource Expo, located at Easton Elementary Moton form 10AM to 2PM.

Registration Forms are available in school offices or can be downloaded using the link below.  

Registration Forms and Required Documents

Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

The Talbot County Public Schools Education Foundation is excited to announce our second annual, “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” to be held on Thursday April 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Easton High School Auditorium.  Six teams of 5th graders from TCPS Elementary Schools will test their knowledge and skills, answering questions from a broad range of categories.  Each team will be paired with a Celebrity Guest from our great community!  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Education Foundation’s Grants for Teachers program. We hope you will participate in the event by joining us as a sponsor.  Your tax-deductible donation will support excellence and innovation in education, and help our school system effectively meet the ever-changing needs of our student population. 

Easton Middle School Artists Featured this Month in the Education Center Lobby

Talbot Children’s Health Advocacy Initiative

Talbot County Public Schools, the Talbot County Health Department and the Talbot County Department of Social Services together have launched a new initiative aimed at providing a healthy start for all of our children.  Data and trends indicate that Talbot County children have greater risk of school failure, behavioral and physical health problems, addiction, incarceration and unemployment in adulthood than previous generations. There are many factors contributing to this:

  1.   Approximately ¼ of Talbot’s children are born without early prenatal care.  Early prenatal care has been shown to be important for delivery of a healthy, full term infant.
  2. 51% of the Kindergarten cohort are at a higher risk of living in poverty or near the poverty level
  3. 16% of Talbot’s children live in poverty (less than $24,000 for family of four)
  4. 39% of Talbot’s children live in a household headed by a single parent.
  5. 52% of Kindergarten students live in low income housing.
  6. 45% are on the Free and Reduced Meals program.
  7. 210 students were homeless during 2018/2019; 176 during 2017/2018
  8. Only 45 % of beginning Kindergarten have the readiness skills.
  9. A greater number of children are entering preschool and kindergarten with mild to moderate behavioral problems that interfere with learning.
  10. Mental health and addiction are often co-occurring and are increasing among parents,  resulting in more incarcerations of parents and putting children at risk.

Data and trends also indicate the increasing risk for these ten Adverse Childhood Experiences:

  • Child experiences either 1) physical, 2) sexual or 3) emotional abuse
  • Child experiences either 4) physical or 5) emotional neglect
  • Family has member with 6) mental health or 7) addiction problem
  • Family member incarcerated (8)
  • Domestic violence within family (9)
  • Divorce or separation of parents (10)

Research shows that these ACE’s increase the risks of school failure and behavioral health problems in children and youth, and result in greater risks in adulthood of mental and physical health problems, suicide, unemployment, involvement in crime and incarceration. These Adverse Childhood Experiences are not rare, and they can occurr in all children, regardless of income level.

Birth to three years of age is when the brain is developing at its fastest rate and more susceptible to childhood trauma.  For too many children, the trauma and its impact is occurring before school age. The good news is that proven strategies exist to prevent ACEs and to mitigate their impact if they have already occurred.

Talbot County’s Children’s Initiative Plan is to build a continuum of services for children and families designed to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences and provide early intervention when ACEs have occurred.  The economic advantage of investing in early childhood development is 7 to 10% per annum each year of the individual’s life according the Dr. James Heckman, a noble laureate economist.

From the feedback we have received and the research on children’s growth and development, we have ten strategies to help our children get a healthy start which are as follows:

  1. Early prenatal care for all births Talbot County.
  2. Parenting classes to help new parents and parents with children at risk understand what is important for their child’s healthy growth and development.
  3. Home visits for high risk infants and families with new baby have been proven effective for several decades through Healthy Families, an evidence based program funded by a grant through the Local Management Board.
  4. Early Head Start services for more children. TCHD provides this program. The federal government has just expanded funding·      The biggest challenge is finding qualified teachers that will work for the salary.  Consideration is being given to a program to train our own teachers.
  5. Accessible and affordable quality child care for all families needing this care
  6. Universal Pre-K is now available at Easton Elementary through grant funding.
  7. Early screening and identification of children with challenges that could interfere with learning is needed.
  8. Early evidence based interventions for children preschool to 3rd grade with mild to moderate behavioral problems.      
  9. Enhanced behavioral health services within school system (also behavioral health services for parents when needed)
  10. Develop system for better comprehensive assessments and care plans for children with co-occurring behavioral, developmental and learning disorders on Eastern Shore.

This is an ambitious plan, improvements have already been made  in several of these areas. The needs are great in our community and can’t be met by one agency or even three agencies independently.  All three agencies serve the same families, and collaborate to hold events to engage other members of the community in both the private and public sectors.

This partnership will continue providing free community education on Adverse Childhood Experiences and building individual and community resilience when we air the Film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope” at 6:00 on April 18 at the Avalon Theater. Following the airing, Producer/Director James Redford will provide a keynote with questions and answers. We invite you to join us.