GES Paw Prints - 3.4.20

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 10:37am




               Note from Principal Pic

Note from Mr. FitzGerald

Greetings Guildford! Since it appears we have been able to avoid snow this winter, I’m all for us getting our temperatures back into the 60’s and 70’s. Hopefully these last two days become our norm. Thank you to all of our families and community members who donated to our PTA Raise Craze. Our goal of $4500 was reached!!! Not only will your generous contributions make a tremendous difference for our PTA, but Trish Lannon and I will gladly be dressing up like penguins to celebrate.  This past weekend, several of our students shined at the Howard County Unheard Perspectives Showcase at Hammond MS. Congratulations to Delina Woldu, MacKenzie Somerville, Alyssa Burger, Ashlee Robinson, and Kaleb Roache for each earning the prestigious gold medal! Additional congratulations to Moses Mhonda for his extraordinary work with Unheard Perspectives. We could not be more proud of their accomplishments! Thank you to Monica Maiden and Catherine McNamara for all of the support they gave our students over the last few months while preparing for the showcase. As you are well aware, throughout the world, much talk has been centered around the Coronavirus. I encourage you to please read the response from Dr. Martirano that is included in this edition of Paw Prints. I will also add that for us at Guilford, our practice is for every child to use hand sanitizer as they enter the cafeteria for lunch. We have also reviewed proper hand-washing techniques for students to utilize throughout the course of the day. The next Paw Prints will be sent out on Wednesday, March 18th. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a great rest of your week.

Justin FitzGerald
Proud Guilford Principal


                                       Dates To Remember for 2020

3/10 -  PTA Meeting at 6:30 p.m
3/11 -  2nd Grade Zoo Mobile In House Field Trip
3/13 -  Spirit Day- Numbers Day
3/18 -  Picture Day - Spring Pictures
3/25 -  Ledo's Pizza Fundraiser Night
3/27 -  Spirit Day - Crazy Hat Day
3/31 -  5th Grade Field Trip to DC


                                     GES News

**Important Message about the Coronavirus from Superintendent below**

Sport Camp

Come out to sports camp the week of July 13th and/or August 3rd at Reservoir High School with certified Howard county teachers Phil Ranker (PE), Tom Dougherty (Math) and Hannah Closson (PE).  The camp is open to current K-8th graders and features many different sports and activities every day.  If your child likes PE, they will love camp.  Campers are split into age and ability groups to ensure that everyone has a fun and productive time.  For more information, please visit or email for questions!

        March “Mathness”    

In honor of Math Madness, we will be doing a school-wide Dreambox challenge during the month of March.  Grade levels will be competing to see the highest average number of lessons completed pre week.  This includes both school and at home use.  The winning grade will earn an extra recess block.  Please encourage your child to log into Dreambox at home.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions about accessing Dreambox at home.


Email:, Phone: (443) 814-1239
9151 Vollmerhausen Rd, Jessup, MD 20794                                                                     For more details please see flyer:  Basketball Skills Training 

SUMMER BASEBALL CAMPS AND MORE!  Please Click Here for more details.

Thomas Viaduct, 8th Grade Chamber Chorus Night at the Washington Wizards Game: Please come out to support the Thomas Viaduct Middle School 8th Grade Chamber
Chorus as they perform the National Anthem at the Wizards vs. Suns game!

See Flier For More Details

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.

PTA News

I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone!  Raise Craze was a great success and I hope everyone is looking forward to hearing which class earned the pizza party and which class earned the snow ball fight.  We on the PTA are so proud of all the Acts of Kindness the students performed during February. 

Our next PTA Meeting is March 10th in the media center from 6:30-8:00.

In our February PTA meeting we formed our officer election nomination committee.  This committee's goal is to formally nominate members of the Guilford community to the following positions up for election: President, Vice President 1 & 2, Treasurer, and Secretary. If you have any interest in any of these leadership positions please email or send a letter to the school address to the PTA Nomination Committee for it to be placed in our mailbox. The committee will make it’s formal nomination in our April meeting and elections held in our May meeting.

PTA -Save The Date

3/10 - PTA Meeting

3/25 - Ledo's Pizza Fundraiser Night

                           Community News and Programs

HCPSS Coronavirus Preparations

Dear HCPSS Community:

The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be on the minds of Howard County residents. I want to assure HCPSS families and staff that we will continue to provide regular updates to our HCPSS parents and community on our ongoing coordination and collaboration with our local and regional partners. Following the message I sent last week, I am being asked more and more about what the school system is doing to prepare for the possibility of confirmed cases in Howard County and Maryland, and wanted to provide some additional background and insight into our ongoing efforts.

Planning is critical, which is why HCPSS has a comprehensive emergency operations plan in place that includes a detailed plan to respond to the spread of infectious diseases. This plan was developed in collaboration with the Howard County Health Department and Office of Emergency Management. We are currently in "phase one," where the county is deemed to be at relatively low risk of a pandemic disease. In phase one, several actions occur, including providing information to the community, monitoring the health of students and staff, and assessing community use of facilities and field trips on a daily basis.

A policy group of key HCPSS leaders and staff began meeting with me on a regular basis so that we can share information and prepare for all scenarios associated with the prospect that COVID-19 could impact Howard County directly. This team is in constant communication with school staff, community stakeholders and health professionals to ensure that we have the most up-to-date and relevant information to inform our decision making. I will continue meeting with this team, and updating the community on our efforts and decisions.

Providing Information to the Community
Several messages already have been sent to our HCPSS community, and I will continue to send regular communications. It is important to note that no decision is made by HCPSS in isolation and no information will be shared that is not provided by or vetted through the experts at the Howard County Health Department (Health Department). My primary purpose for communication is to amplify the information, resources and recommendations shared by the Health Department, and share the steps that HCPSS is taking to prevent the spread of any viruses and prepare should COVID-19 enter Howard County.

The Coronavirus page on the HCPSS website is the best resource for information related to the school system's response to the COVID-19 threat. We will continue to post new information, resources and status updates to that page.

Monitoring the Health of Students and Staff
Our school nurses and Health staff do a commendable job of taking care of our sick and hurt children every day. With the threat of COVID-19, they have become even more focused on helping students partake in preventative actions, such as hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer, and identifying when students may be sick with a virus. Our school nurses have specific protocols they follow when a student visits the health room and shows symptoms typically associated with the cold or flu.

Additionally, HCPSS school nurses and health professionals are in constant communication with officials from the Health Department, sharing information about the nature of illnesses and receiving guidance as needed. This important collaboration helps the health department evaluate the spread of illnesses in our communities and make informed decisions on actions that must take place in order to thwart the spread of illness.

We have made sure that our health rooms have the necessary equipment to care for sick students and staff and if needed, prevent the spread of airborne viruses such as the common Flu or COVID 19. As a proactive measure, we have deployed all hand sanitizer stations and refills from our warehouse to schools and offices. Additionally, we are purchasing additional hand sanitizer refills to help keep our schools stocked. Every school cafeteria contains hand sanitizer dispensers for student and staff use. School staff have received guidance to allow and encourage hand washing and/or the use of hand sanitizer. We ask that you help us reinforce the importance of regular hand washing with your children.

Assessing Field Trips
Staff are closely monitoring scheduled field trips and making determinations on a case-by-case basis on whether the field trip will be permitted to occur. The primary factor that influences this decision is the location of the field trip and whether that area has a locally declared health emergency. Please note that per HCPSS policy, no international field trips are permitted. This policy has been in place since 2018.  

Ultimately, the way that we prepare for the spread of an infectious disease or virus is very similar to the manner in which we prepare for other events that could impact our schools including natural disasters, weather-related incidents and threats to safety. In the event of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland or Howard County, or any possibility of a case, we will provide immediate information to the HCPSS community in collaboration with the Health Department.

School Closing Decisions and How You Can Prepare
The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority and drives our decision making on closing specific schools or all schools. Much like you would for winter weather events, I encourage you to think about your family's plans in case of an unplanned school closing, such as arranging emergency child care or discussing telework options with your employer. A school closing is not ideal; however, it is a possibility if deemed necessary to protect the safety of our students and staff. As far as continuing education, we have had instances where schools have had to close for multiple days and have worked successfully with our county and state partners to ensure that we meet the MSDE requirements for K-12 education.

This was a lengthy update, however, I know that many families and staff are concerned about the uncertainty created by COVID-19 and wanted to provide as much information as possible to address your concerns and questions. I encourage you to contact your healthcare provider, the Health Department or your school nurse with any health related questions. For school specific questions, please contact your principal directly.


Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D.

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.