• Gale-Bailey Elementary School Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) students went on a special field trip last month to learn about science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM. Nearly 25 students, all of whom are on one of three Gale-Bailey MESA teams, visited Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Nov. 29. Students participated in hands-on activities such as making slime, learning about sound and working on computer skills through coding. Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy helped the students through the activities. The MESA teams at Gale-Bailey are preparing for the wood bridge, Scratch computer game design and Storybook Theme Park Ride challenges, which are elementary level MESA challenges.
  • Being on the math team at Gale-Bailey Elementary School is quite the honor. Only 14 students earn a chance to participate, with seven representing the fourth-grade team and seven representing the fifth-grade team. At the beginning of each school year, interested fourth and fifth graders who want to join the math team take a test and are chosen based on their performance. The students meet weekly on Wednesdays with Gale-Bailey teachers Michael Kennedy and Tanya Fox, who coach the teams. Both math teams are preparing to compete in the Elementary Math Challenge set forApril 14.
  • New to Arthur Middleton Elementary School this year is the opportunity for students to participate in a chess club. The club is open to any interested students and meets weekly. Middleton Principal Lou D’ Ambrosio oversees the club and meets with its membersFridaymornings before school. Students learn the rules of the game, practice and play matches against each other. There are 32 students in the club and they are encouraged to compete in the annual fall and winter chess tournaments hosted by Charles County Public Schools.
  • Arthur Middleton Elementary School hosted its first Mother-Son Dance in November. The dance was open for all male students and more than 120 mothers and sons participated. Guests arrived on a red carpet and enjoyed dancing and snacks, using the selfie photo booth and having a professional picture taken. Special drawings also were held for prizes. Middleton plans to host its first Father-Daughter dance in March.
  • Mary B. Neal Elementary School is in its third year of hosting a Mitten Tree in the school lobby. Students and staff are collecting items for cold weather, such as mittens, gloves, hats and scarves. The collection lasts about three weeks and all donations are provided to LifeStyles of Maryland.
  • Students and staff at Mary B. Neal Elementary School collect can tabs to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. The tab collection is part of an ongoing community service project organized by Neal second graders. Students who bring in tabs have their photo taken with the Golden Arch on the wall. The photo is placed on the wall for staff and students to see. When the can is full, a Neal staff member takes the tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. Students and staff at Neal have been supporting the tab collection since the school opened in 2008.
  • Mary B. Neal Elementary School recently hosted an Academic and Fitness Night for parents and students. More than 123 families attended theOct. 19event. Attendees rotated between three sessions. Sessions ranged from fitness fun, Bee Bots with coding and sight words to homework strategies, writing expectations, Dreambox and tips for use in establishing a culture of learning at home. Classroom teachers provided two recommended sessions for students and their parents. A total of 18 sessions were held.