School Notes

Frederick County Spelling Bee

For the first time, the winner of the 2013 Frederick County Spelling Bee will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The competition took place Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. and Jared Remsberg, a seventh grader at Brunswick Middle School, won by spelling the word “umlaut.” From Urbana, Emma Liu represented Urbana Elementary School (UES), and Katherine Li represented Urbana Middle School (UMS). Li won the 2011 Championship Bee.

This is the first year that the champion speller will go on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Jared received a cash prize of $500, as well as transportation, accommodations, and expenses to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The runner-up was Vineet Ravichandran, a fourth grader at Walkersville Elementary School.

JHU Course in Frederick

Next year’s high school juniors and seniors can apply for this summers’ Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Engineering Innovation program.

The JHU program, offered at Tuscarora High School, enables them (and students starting college in the fall) to participate in a college-level program and potentially earn three college credits while exploring educational and career options. This year’s program is July 1 – 26, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

During the four-week program students learn about materials, electrical, computer, chemical, mechanical and civil engineering while completing many hands-on activities. They also attend college-level lectures, complete team projects and attend guest talks by practicing engineers, as they learn to apply math and science concepts to engineering problems.

Applications are online at Enrollment for the local course is limited. Students interested in the Engineering Innovation program should contact their school counselor or Kim Day, FCPS STEM coordinator, 301.644.5126, for more information.

Urbana Middle School in CIP

On March 19, a public hearing will address advancing the fit-out work on Urbana Middle School.

On Feb. 7, The Frederick Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to continue to examine how to advance the Urbana Middle School (UMS) fit-out project forward two years — to 2015 — in the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) with the stipulation that the majority of the funding would be provided by Matan Acquisitions, Inc. Matan recently proposed a plan to assist in the funding of the completion of an addition to UMS. The project is contingent on receiving cash from Matan — $1.6 million from the developer and $1 million from school mitigation fees.

Board President Blaine Young said, “We would like to move Urbana Middle School up on the Capital Improvements Program by two years. We would not divert any funding from any other county project, as this would be provided by developer-funded financing. Currently the school is about 124 percent of capacity, and we are recommending that our finance staff do the calculations to see if the developer funding allows the project to move it up to FY2015. We thank Matan and Urbana area developer Tom Natelli for their contributions to the community. We recently discussed this proposal during a joint meeting of the county commissioners with the Frederick County Board of Education to receive their feedback as well.”

For more information, contact Kelly Weaver at 301.600.1185 or

Read Across America

At Urbana Elementary School (UES), the students and staff are participating in Read Across Urbana. Their goal was set to read a total of 2,013 books by Read Across America Day 2013 — March 1. By mid-February, students had read 672 books. Follow the school’s progress on Twitter @UESReads.

UMS Science Fair

The Urbana Middle School Science Fair is scheduled for March 14. Nearly 100 students are expected to present their projects to judges. Most judges will be IB and AP Science students at Urbana High School, as well as a number of parents and school staff members from the Science Curriculum Office. The students compete in 14 categories, ranging from animal science to chemistry. Judging will start at 9 a.m. and last for about 90 minutes. It is held on a conference day in which classes start 4 hours later than normal; therefore students will not miss classes.

Students are selected to present their project at the UMS Science Fair, but any student may present at the Frederick County Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for March 23. Students may register on-line from noon on March 1 – 15 at

Girls-Only STEM Event

A Girl Power event is being held from 2 – 5 p.m. on March 17. The event is free and for middle and high school girls exploring careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Event includes hands-on activities, demonstrations, displays and more. This event is held at the The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. No registration is necessary. For more information, call 443.778.STEM or go to

Trinity Open Houses

This month, Trinity School of Frederick hosts two open houses — March 6 and 21 from 9:30 – 11 a.m. These events are opportunities for members of the community to visit classes, meet teachers and experience the atmosphere of Trinity.

UES PTA Website

To help keep parents informed, Urbana Elementary School’s (UES) PTA has revamped their website. Visit the site at

The PTA also launched a “Free Money!” program, where local merchants have agreed to donate directly to UES when locals shop with them using a registered customer appreciation card, including Giant, Giant Eagle and Target (for REDcard holders).


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