National Principals Month serves as an opportunity to thank school leaders. (Courtesy of PGCPS)
National Principals Month serves as an opportunity to thank school leaders. (Courtesy of PGCPS)

PGCPS invites students and parents to leave their #ThankAPrincipal stories on Twitter (@pgcps) during October, which is recognized as National Principals Month.

‘Healthy Schools’ List

Arrowhead and High Bridge elementary schools have been named to the “America’s Healthiest Schools” list by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national organization that empowers children to develop lifelong, healthy habits.

More than 460 schools nationwide were honored, including five from Maryland.

“It is important for students to build lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits,” said Monica Goldson, interim schools CEO. “We applaud Arrowhead and High Bridge for creating a total learning environment that emphasizes wellness, nutrition and regular physical activity.”

Arrowhead and High Bridge, located in Upper Marlboro and Bowie, respectively, earned the bronze-level national distinction by successfully meeting a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, offering high-quality health and physical education and empowering school leaders to be healthy role models. Both schools met or exceeded federal nutrition standards for school meals and snacks, offer breakfast daily, implemented wellness policies and updated progress annually and provide students with at least 60 minutes of physical education per week.

All schools on the “America’s Healthiest Schools” list participate in the Healthy Schools Program — one of the nation’s largest school-based childhood obesity prevention initiatives — which has worked with more than 42,000 schools serving more than 25 million students since 2006.

‘Redskins Read’ Program

To make reading more fun for elementary students, the Redskins Charitable Foundation created the “Redskins Read” program, focusing on a playbook for students to study the X’s and O’s of reading.

The playbook provides monthly prompts for students to analyze a book(s) of their choice, focusing on different areas of the story (e.g. characters, setting, plot). This supplemental learning tool incentivizes fourth- and fifth-grade students by providing monthly prizes and the chance to host a Redskins event with current players at their school in the spring.

The program runs from September to March.

Maryland State Grants

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration recently awarded six grants totaling more than $5 million to support the growth of public charter schools across the state.

Three-year grants of up to $900,000 each went to programs in Baltimore City, and Baltimore, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties.

“Every child in Maryland deserves access to a world-class education regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in and we owe it to our kids to think more creatively and to expand the choices available to them,” Hogan said in a statement. “For the first time, we are awarding six new grants totaling more than $5 million through the Maryland State Department of Education to spur the growth of charter schools around our state and support more than 3,000 Maryland students.”

The new grantees include:

• Chesapeake Charter School, St. Mary’s County: to add 170 new students to its current K-8 program focusing on project-based learning and arts integration.

• Baltimore International Academy, Baltimore City: to replicate its existing K-8 program emphasizing language immersion in another Baltimore neighborhood.

• Watershed School, Baltimore County: to launch a new elementary school in 2019-2020 with an environmental focus and extensive community outreach.

• DaVinci Collaborative School, Baltimore City: to start a new high school, targeting internships and an intensive advisory model.

• Legends Charter School, Prince George’s County: to open a new K-4 school, with an intention of expanding to K-8, focusing on financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

• Chesapeake Math and IT Academy, Prince George’s County: to replicate its STEM-based school model, already successful at three locations in the county.

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