GES Paw Prints - 12.4.19

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 11:03am




                                                                      Note from Principal Pic

Note from Mr. FitzGerald

Greetings Guilford!

I trust everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. With it occurring so late this year, it won't be long until winter vacation begins. I am a firm believer in not counting down the days, but making the days count!
As you know by now, the final decision regarding the redistricting process was made. We are excited that all of our current families will be remaining here at Guilford. We are even more excited to be adding families for the 2020-2021 school year who currently attend Hammond Elementary School. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to inviting our new families to our amazing school events to help them see firsthand why we are so proud to be Guilford Tigers.
Yesterday, the Maryland State Department of Education released ESSA Ratings for all schools.  We are extremely proud of earning a 4 star rating!  I will be sharing the details or our School Report at next week's PTA Meeting (Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30pm), so I hope you will be able to attend. If you are not able, no worries at all, we will soon be receiving Home Reports from MSDE and will send them to you.   
So much happening in the coming weeks...from the Girls on the Run 5K, our Guilford Winter Concerts, and closing out 2019 in style! I'll hope to see you in person at some point. The next Paw Prints will be sent on Wednesday, December 18th. If there is anything you need between now and then, do not hesitate to contact me.

Justin FitzGerald
Proud Guilford Principal


                                       Dates To Remember for 2019

12/4 - 2nd Grade Field Trip to Toby’s
12/6 - Spirit Day: Crazy Hair Day
12/10 - PTA Meeting at 6:30 p.m.
12/12 - Winter Concert: Sting at 6:30 p.m. and Band at 7:30 p.m.
12/20 - Spirit Day: Ugly Sweater Day
12/23 - 12/31 - Schools Closed: Winter Break

January 2020
1/1 - New Year’s Day – Schools and Offices Closed
1/2 - School Is In Session - HAPPY NEW YEAR!


                                                  GES News



The PTA would like to welcome everyone to come out to Chick-fil-A tonight for our December restaurant night.  20% of all sales comes back to the Guilford PTA to support our students and staff!  Please bring along or mentioned the attached flyer.

Huddle up Against Hunger: Grade Level Food Battle:

Attention Guilford Community!  On Monday 12/2 we will announce our 2nd annual Food Drive. Guilford, in partnership with the  "WE Schools" program,  presents "Huddle Up Against Hunger: Grade Level Food Battle. Once again each grade will have a huge bin located in their pod to store items.  They have 3 weeks to donate any non-perishable food items that they can find.  Please check around your house and find non-perishable cans, bottles, boxes, or plastic bags of food to donate to the Howard County Food Bank. Each Friday we will add up the totals for each grade to see who is in the lead. The grade that donates the most food items by Thursday 12/9 wins a free popcorn and movie time in their classroom.  We will announce the winning grade on Friday 12/20 on the morning announcements.  May be the best team win!!  See the attached flyer for details.


      Guilford Elementary School & the We School Bridges Program will be collecting non-perishable food items to donate to the Howard County Food Bank. Each grade level will have their own bin in their pod area for students to drop off the items they have brought in.

BONUS: We will be counting the number of items brought in by each grade level team and the grade level with the most items by the end of the food drive, will win a movie and popcorn party!

Suggested Non-Perishable Food Items Include:

  • Canned & Dried Fruit
  • Hot & Cold Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Canned Tuna/Chicken/Salmon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly


  • Juice Boxes
  • Canned Beans
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pancake Mix
  • Cereal Bars
  • Canned Chili
  • Canned Gravy
  • Canned Proteins
  • Jars of Apple Sauce
  • Crackers
  • Rice (white or brown)
  • Canned Stew
  • Hamburger/Tuna Helper
  • Soups

Other Items to Consider:

  • Baby Food
  • Diapers
  • Baby Wipes

**Please make sure to check the expiration date on all items to make sure they have not expired.


  •  4th and 5th Grade Chorus Concert is Wednesday January 22nd, at 6:30pm.  All students should arrive by 6:00pm in the general music room.
  • 5th Graders will perform at the annual Oakland Mills Choral Festival on January 14th at Oakland Mills High School!!  Our 5th Graders will perform alongside 400 students from the Oakland Mills feeder system.

Congratulations to Kiersten Sullivan, Sadie Rhett, and Ashlee Robinson for being accepted into the Howard County GT Lyric Chorus.  

Congratulations to Mariyah Coates, Amenah Chapman, and Everley Skidmore who were accepted into the Howard County GT Cantus Chorus.

Their first concert will take place December 15th at Mount Hebron High School.

Robert Sirois
General/Vocal Music


Orchestra and Band Concert is Thursday, December 12, 2019.  Orchestra is first at 6:30-7pm.  Band is second at 7:30pm-8pm.  Students should arrive 15 minutes prior for tuning and seating on stage. More details will be sent to the students via CANVAS. Don't forget to log in!

Congratulations to orchestra students Eleanor Zadora, Kaleb Roache, Delina Woldu, Odinachi Ofonedu, Mackenzie Sommerville, and Jimmy Szewczyk for being nominated for the Howard County Elementary Honors Orchestra. Only 2 students will be selected from each Howard County ES and perform together next February!

Congratulations to orchestra student Kennedy McDaniel for being successful in his September audition to become a member of the Howard County Gifted & Talented Orchestra. The orchestra performs on Dec. 7 and May 2 at 7pm (Marriots Ridge HS)

Also coming up in December is Howard County GT band auditions and Honor Band nominations. Contact Mrs. McDaniel for more information.

Has your child told you about Dreambox ?

Guilford is fortunate to continue, 24 hour access to a great math website, Dreambox Learning. DreamBox Learning empowers students to master key concepts, increase achievement, accelerate student learning, and boost long-lasting confidence in math. It does this by customizing itself based on your child’s skills. We have begun using Dreambox at school and encourage you to have your child log in regularly at home. Research has found that regular use of this engaging program can aide in increasing math skills. You can even set up a parent dashboard to monitor your child’s progress at home. Be sure to have your child log in to Dreambox using and their active directory username and password. Feel free to contact your child’s math teacher, or Cheryl Akers, Math Support Teacher if you have questions.

Building Resilience

All youth face difficulties which can range from traumatic losses to every day disappointments.  The ability to cope and recover (or “bounce back”) after a setback is important to their success.  Experts call this “resilience,” and it’s a skill that can be learned.
You can help your child develop resilience by taking the following steps:

  • Model a positive outlook.  Children will learn from your ability to bounce back from difficulties.  When faced with a challenge yourself, model an “I can do it” attitude.  Remind yourself and your child that the current problem is temporary, and that things will get better.
  • Build Confidence.  Comment frequently on what your child does well.  Point out when he demonstrates qualities such as kindness, persistence, and integrity.  
  • Build Connections.  Create a strong loving family and encourage your child to make good friends.  This will help ensure that she has plenty of support in times of trouble.  
  •  Encourage goal-setting.  Teach  children to set realistic goals and work toward them one step at a time.  Even small steps can build confidence and resilience.  
  • See challenges as learning opportunities.  Touch times are often when we learn the most.  Resist the urge to solve your child’s problem for him – this can send a message that you don’t believe he can handle it.  Instead, offer love and support, and show faith in his ability to cope.  Remind him of times when he has solved problems successfully in the past.  
  • Teach self-care.  Many challenges are easier to face when we eat well and get enough exercise and rest.  Self-care can also mean taking a break from worrying to relax and have some fun.  
  • Help Others.  Empower your child by giving her opportunities to help out at home or do age-appropriate volunteer work for her school, neighborhood, or place of worship.  

Remember: With your help and support, children can learn to be more resilient.  For more information and parenting tips go to

Other Helpful Ideas:  Resilience Handouts 

Attendance Procedures: When your child has been absent, please send a note in immediately on your child’s return to school.  The note should be sent within 2 days of returning and include:

  •     student’s name
  •     date(s) of absence
  •     parent signature

A doctor’s note is preferred for medical appointments.  We encourage you to have your child attend class both before and after medical appointments when possible.

Fever Policy
Howard County Public Schools require that any student with a temperature over 100.0 stay home from school. If your child has a fever, here are some tips to remember:

  •     Check your child’s temperature about every 4-6 hours when awake.
  •     Encourage fluids
  •     Give a fever reducing medication such as Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol).  Follow the dosing instructions on the package.
  •     Keep your child at home when ill or having a fever (100F or above).  Students should stay home until fever free WITHOUT a fever reducing medication for 24 hours. Consult with your health care provider if fever persists and/or symptoms worsen.
  •     Encourage your child to wash their hands frequently.  Persons coming into contact with the child should also wash their hands.

If you have any further questions, please contact the health room.

Clean Out Your Closet Challenge

Guilford is participating in the Clothing to Cash Recycling Program

Help our school raise money!  We accept New and Used clothing, shoes, sneakers, towels, textiles, and stuff animals. We want items in ALL conditions unwanted, outgrown, and out of style.

All items must be in a plastic bag and tied shut.  Look for the large white collection bin in the school parking lot.  Collections will be Reworn, Repurposed or finally Recycled.

Save our landfills and give your items a second life.   This is a easy way for our school to raise money. Help support our school & save the environment one bag at a time!

Community News and Programs

Please visit the Community News and Programs and the HCPSS News page on the HCPSS website for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.