(9/4) Even a small shower around 8
a.m. could not dampen the spirits of students
and staff in Emmitsburg as Frederick County
schools re-opened on Aug. 25. By the time
buses arrived—a little late---at Emmitsburg
Elementary, the rain had stopped and the
children who had walked to school were dried
off. Principal Wanda Severance greeted each
child at the front door while teachers waited
in the cafeteria to welcome their students and
lead them to their classrooms.
This pattern was repeated at the other
northern county elementary schools, where
principals, teachers, and secretaries reported
a good start to the new school year.
Kate Krietz, principal of Thurmont Elementary
School, called the day “an awesome beginning.”
There were no tears (and no bears in the
trees) at Sabillasville Elementary. New bus
numbers and new students contributed to minor
late arrival problems throughout Frederick
County schools; by mid-week those glitches had
been put right.
Curriculum in elementary schools has not
been changed from last year. However,
countywide, students in kindergarten, first,
and fourth grades will benefit from new
technology resources in math.
At Catoctin High, 870 students are enrolled
for the year. Principal Jack Newkirk outlined
several programs designed “to meet the needs
of all of our kids” as they prepare to meet
graduation requirements. A third-block
tutoring class has been set up for the
“handful” of seniors who still need to pass
their high school assessment tests. Tutoring
will also be available during lunch periods.
For the third year, ninth grade students may
take part in the Cougar Achievement Academy to
improve their study skills and receive
homework support. This program has been very
effective in reducing the number of students
who have to repeat ninth-grade classes.
The Catoctin High “Marching Cougars” band
is now an extracurricular fall activity. Laura
Zolfor, a graduate of James Madison
University, is their director. She met
students at the August band camp and will
teach music at Catoctin in the spring.
Some of Frederick County Schools’ top
administrators visited local schools over the
course of the first day. Associate Director of
Elementary Schools Steve Martin arrived at
Emmitsburg before the buses. Superintendent of
Schools Dr. Linda Burgee came to Thurmont
Elementary for a “walk-through” of the
building shortly before lunch. Thurmont Middle
School welcomed Ann Bonitatibus, Associate
Director of Secondary Schools, at the close of
the school day.
Students—375-strong—at Mother Seton School
also returned to school on Aug. 25. Their
opening schedule was set for half days on Aug.
25 and 26; regular classes began Aug. 27.