Sandy Hook tragedy prompts added safety precautions at Rodgers Forge Elementary

The safety of our students and the security of our schools has always been a priority but the Sandy Hook incident has certainly put all schools on high alert. To that end, Mrs. Missy Fenshaw, principal of Rodgers Forge Elementary School, has told parents that, effective immediately, new measures will be implemented at the school. Persons wishing to enter Rodgers Forge must use the buzzer system. Before entry is granted, they will be asked to identify themselves and state the reason for their visit. Visitors must then check in with the school office. If visitors are not known to the school staff, they will be asked to show identification. Rodgers Forge is continuing to work to improve safety and security. Mrs. Fenshaw stated that "The partnership between home and school is vital to our children. We are blessed to work with these children every day."

Dumbarton Middle School students are looking ahead to the Polar Bear Plunge on Jan. 26 at Sandy Point State Park. This annual fundraiser for Maryland Special Olympics is a lot of fun. This year Dumbarton has announced that "The Polar Bear Plunge is not affiliated with, sponsored by or endorsed by the Baltimore County Public Schools. The Polar Bear Plunge is not school sponsored and the Board is not liable for losses incurred as a result of the activity."

Spring break means Madrid, Spain for Dumbarton eighth-grade language students. Efforts are already under way to raise funds and to assist this trip in many other ways.

Catholic Education Week (Jan. 27 – Feb. 2) is on the calendar at St. Pius X School. It will open with a Mass on Sunday, Jan. 27, followed by fireworks (celebrating CEW's 50th anniversary)! Many activities are planned for the week along with an open house for all interested parents. The open house will be held on Jan. 30, from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. and is a splendid way to learn more about the school. That evening, the Science Fair will be held from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. It is in partnership with the Maryland Science Center so should prove very interesting.

We understand that the St. Pius Breakfast with Santa and Craft Fair was a tremendous success. Ms. Erin Holler, 2nd vice president of the Home School Association, coordinated the event and did a bang up job. Thank you so much, Erin.

The fifth-graders at Rodgers Forge Elementary had a merry time entertaining seniors at Lorien in Mays Chapel. Their holiday carols, numerous gifts, jingle bells and overall cheerfulness brought great happiness to the residents of Lorien. Smiles were prevalent all around as the students, assisted by Rodgers Forge staff, completed their visit — a jingling success! Rodgers Forge is grateful to the fifth-grade students and to Lisa Tierney, vocal music chair, Heather Hollenbeck, assistant principal, Michele Rowland, guidance counselor, Katie Lark and Jon Tolerton, fifth-grade teachers for bringing such holiday joy to the residents.

Our neighbors in Gaywood continued festivities throughout the holiday season. The Door Decorating Contest proved a daunting task as all houses were so lovely. However, after much deliberation, winners were chosen. Congratulations to the following Gaywoodites, who added such gaiety to the neighborhood: the Talley family — "TWINkle TWINkle;" the Fragetta family — "Merry and Bright;" — the Knupple family — "Judge's Choice;" the Decker Family - "Decked Out All Around (360 degrees);" and the Pierce family — "Best in Show."

It was the ninth year for this enclave's Gaywood Glow. Traditionally held on Christmas Eve, it was postponed (due to snow) and held on New Year's Eve! Luminaries lined the streets of this tiny, horse-shoe shaped neighborhood and residents greeted each other as they strolled along the candle lit paths. The glowing luminaries were provided by Karen and Jim Fragetta and Janet and Ronnie Wagoner and this year's charity was Govans Cares.

These jolly activities were chaired by Paige Fritze with great organization and aplomb. Thank you, Paige.

We can help to support Towson High School's legendry Marching Band and all school music programs by attending the THS Music Boosters Basket Bingo on Feb. 15. Tickets are $20 per person; early bird special, $15, (before Jan. 30). Food, prizes and fun begin at 6 p.m. More information in my next column

Let us remember the courage and the hope of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 21 as we observe his birthday.

Till we meet again —

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