Principal's Blog

  • Successful School Year
    Thank you parents, students, and staff for a fabulous school year full of successes, events, and a coming together of our village for the benefit of our students!

    Please take advantage of our online ordering for next year's school supplies:

    If you are new to Accokeek Academy please know that all updates will be made available throughout the summer on our website found at www1/pgcps.org/accokeek.

    Our PTSA is looking for people to take on offices for the next school year.  We welcome your participation.

    Enjoy your summer!

    Posted Jun 11, 2017, 1:15 PM by Judy Adams
  • Welcome 2nd Semester 2017
    Hello Accokeek Academy Family.

    We have had a very busy 1st semester and it will continue for the second half of the school year.  We moved into our newly renovated Upper Campus and our new Lower Campus.  We managed to provide Smartboards for every classroom and access to a mobile device in all classes grades K to 8.  Most of our teachers have a Google Classroom or Shutterfly account that you may see student assignments and upcoming curriculum.  Our Boys' Middle School Basketball Team reached the playoffs.  Our Cross Country Team fared in the top three teams.  All students in grades 6-8 have been working on a major paper for National History Day and will soon be judged to determine which will go on to County competition.  We will select the best Science Fair projects to continue to County.  Our Instrumental Department just returned from solo assessments and over twelve of our students will move to County and State competition.  We held great Winter Concerts for elementary and middle school.  We celebrated our 968 1st Quarter Honor Roll students and our 2nd Quarter Honor Roll Assemblies will soon be announced.  We celebrated all students earning all A's, B's or C's with ABC Party of fun during the school day.  

    With all of our successes, we also experienced challenges.  The HVAC system in both buildings has created some heating problem, but I assure you that our contractors have been working daily to correct.  We continue to experience bus behavioral problems.  I ask for your continued support to remind our students of bus safety.  Reminding all students that bus riding is a privilege and not a right.  This privilege can be lost.  Due to the escalation of poor decision-making, we are taking more efforts to remind students and we would like you to do the same.  We have dealt with the possibility of a Cell Tower on school grounds and now the school boundary change recommendations.  Please remain involved in these issues because there is nothing that can be done after the fact.  Public Hearings are scheduled for February 8, 2017 at Bladensburg High School and February 9, 2017 at the Sasscer Administration Building beginning at 6:30 pm to discuss the boundary proposal.

    I invite you to join me on February 8th at 8:00am in Upper Campus for the return of our 2nd Cup of Coffee hosted by me.  We will discuss any issues with our primary discuss about the upcoming PARRC assessments.  We make every effort to keep you informed.  Please also visit our website weekly.  And if you have not done so, please sign-up for our text messages for late buses or other matters needing immediate attention.  We have sent home a number of letters this year to keep you informed of testing, events of the school and invitations to other events.

    We look forward to a busy and exciting second half of the school year.  I invite you to assist us in one of the following areas:
    • Office Staff Volunteers
    • Field Trip Chaperones
    • Donate to the Principal's Lunch Fund - funds are used for students not having lunch money for any reason to ensure they have a hot meal
    • Donate to the Principal Sponsored Account - funds are used for teacher incentives
    • Join the PTSA and become an active member
    Always remember that we need your support to improve and welcome your involvement.

    Educationally yours,

    Dr. Judy N. Adams

    Posted Jan 29, 2017, 5:25 PM by Judy Adams
  • Happy New Year!
    Hello Accokeek Academy Community,

    As we embark upon a New Year, I sincerely wish each of you good health and a prosperous New Year.  As we enter this important segment of the school year, we will end 2nd Quarter on January 20th.  Quarter 3 marks the time when County and State assessments begin.  We are anxious to see the growth in our students' performance.  We have invested in a number of tools to assist teachers in delivering instruction.  From technology in every classroom to the use of iReady in both Reading and Math to improve their skills and comprehension in both contents.  Please provide your students with opportunities each day to work on iReady, to read silently for at least 20 minutes and to practice their addition and multiplication facts if they have not already mastered them.

    I ask for your assistance on two matters of concern.  We have experienced an increase in the destruction of school property the use of inappropriate language.  We will begin with disciplinary action for both.  But more importantly, we would like for you to address both of these problems with your student.  We are receiving complaints from students and parents about the foul language of our students.  This is a community issue that must be addressed.  Cursing and inappropriate use of the language begins to change our school community from one of respect to the opposite.  It is our job to model the correct way for our students to follow.

    I would also like to address the heating issues in the buildings.  We have a geothermal heating system in both buildings.   The extremely low temperatures have been difficult to handle.  This new technology has caused some problems and the contractors are working through these issues.  While some rooms have been uncomfortable, most have not.  We thank you for your patience and understanding as these problems are worked on.

    We congratulate our Boys' and Girls' Basketball teams for their exciting season.  Thanks are extended to Ms. Hardee and Mr. Shepperson for their wonderful job coaching our girls.  Our boys' season has not come to an end yet, as they will play their first playoff game tonight at Walker Mill Middle School.  Much success to our boys and their coaches:  Mr. Williams and Mr. McIntyre.

    As we move towards our County assessments, we also look forward to the assessments of our Chorus, Orchestra and Band.  Please encourage your students to practice.  We have always achieved at the highest levels of performance and we do not wish to break our tradition.  Much success to Dr. Richards, Ms. Zayas, and Ms. Whitfield.

    Finally, I would like to thank the PTSA for their work this school year.  We appreciate your involvement and look forward to our continued partnership.  We encourage every Accokeek Academy family to joined the Accokeek PTSA.  Membership is only ten dollars.

    Educationally yours,
    Judy N. Adams, Ed.D.

    Posted Jan 9, 2017, 2:08 PM by Judy Adams
  • Thanksgiving Wishes
    Hello Parents, Guardians and Community Members,

    As we enter the Holiday Season, I give thanks for each of you for being apart of the Accokeek Academy family.  We are a community that grows together by the efforts of all adults for the best interest of our children.  We appreciate the partnership of the PTSA and all adults who lend their time and support to making us a better community.  Thank  you for your contributions of your time to attend field trips, to visit your child's classroom, and for working in the office.  Thank you for your monetary contributions to the Principal's Lunch Fund, to the Fall Fundraiser, to the PTSA, and to making donations to your child's classroom with hand sanitizer, Kleenex and soap.  All of these things make a difference in our community.

    I also extend a grand thanks to our teachers and staff who put more time into their jobs than their duty day calls for.  Teachers that spend their own money to make their classrooms more inviting to students and to provide needed materials.  Teachers that donate their time for after school assistance to students; to coach a team, or to have rehearsal or club.  All these things make a difference for our scholars and their success.

    Finally, I would like to give thanks for our staff that works in the cafeteria and our custodians.  Both of these areas of our building are under staffed and they work very hard to serve our community to their very best.  Thank you for all you do each and everyday.

    Many wishes to our entire community for a safe and joyous holiday season!

    Educationally yours,
    Judy N. Adams, Ed.D.
    Posted Nov 20, 2016, 6:28 PM by Judy Adams
  • You Are Invited to Attend on Wednesday October 26th at 6:30pm

    Posted Oct 25, 2016, 5:37 AM by Judy Adams
  • Welcome to the 2016-2017 School Year!

                                                                                                                                                    August 5, 2016

    Dear Accokeek Academy Parents, Guardians and Students:

    I hope you are enjoying your summer with family and friends.  I am humbled and honored to have served this community for the past five years and am anxiously preparing for the beginning of the new school year.  We welcome our new members of the community and hope that each of you will embrace them as well.  We are excited to announce that we have moved closer to our vision of becoming a child-centered professional learning community with a culture of continuous improvement where respect, effort, efficacy and excellence abound.  We are also moving into our new homes as the completion of the middle school is finalizing.

    With our move comes change and higher expectations for all stakeholders.  We have been blessed with a multi-million dollar facility to continue our vision and mission.  This will require each of us taking ownership to ensure that we become the 21st Century school that we envisioned.  We are making available technology at every grade level; Environmental Science with our green roof and garden areas; the continuation of an exciting musical program beginning in grade 3; the addition of Family and Consumer Science elective in middle school; and our continual effort to elevate the rigor for all courses of instruction.  It takes a village to improve the work that we do and to ensure that all of us take responsibility for our new school and all of its opportunities.  As you prepare for the opening of school, please make an effort to have your child to complete all of the Summer Packets found online for their previous and upcoming grade level.  This will help to get our students back into the habit of school and assist in alleviating the “summer loss” that is so prominent.

    Our school hours for all students is from 9:05am until 3:55pm.  Parent pick-up will be from 3:35 until 4:00pm.  All grade levels will ride the same school buses for both arrival and dismissal.  Please continue your patience with the construction during opening.  We will not have access to the old Ferguson entrance for the first few months of the school year.  Additionally, it is important to note that the front parking lot is now the bus lot and no cars, except for staff going into the Lower Campus Staff Parking Lot.  Only on the first day of school, parents that choose to escort their students into the building may park in the Bus Lot.  Car riders will drop off students in two locations.  Grades K – 4 must follow buses into the bus lot and unload in front of the building.  Please be mindful that passing buses off-loading students is a violation of law.  Grades 5 – 8 will enter the drop off area from the Livingston Road entrance. Please follow along the circle and do not pass.  During dismissal the bus lot entrance is only for buses.  All parent pick-ups will be from the Livingston Road entrance until the Lower Campus entrance is accessible.  Persons conducting official business between 10am and 2:30pm, may park in the bus lot.  There will be 100% ID checks for all parent pick-ups.  We ask for strict adherence to these new procedures.

    Also included in this mailing are some important items that we wanted to get into your hands to enable you to plan accordingly:

    ·         The Uniform Policy for Grades 6-8:  6th graders will have heather gray collared shirts; 7th graders will continue with their royal blue shirts and 8th graders with their gold shirts; all grades will continue with navy blue pants.  All colored shoes will be acceptable.  The entire uniform policy is available on our school’s website.

    ·         We will continue as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) School this year.  AVID requires every student to organize using a specific color-coded binder system.  School supplies, Agenda Books, and sturdy Staples Binders will available for purchase online.  The requirements per grade level are attached.  School Supply Kits are prepackaged by grade.  The School Supply Kit is $40 for elementary (K-5th grade) and $45 for middle school (6th-8th grade).  The Agenda Book is $7 and the Binder is offered for $10.  Please see our website to order in advance.  Agenda Books remain mandatory so that we may strive for 100% daily signing.  You may go to the school’s website to order and we will continue to sell these items at the School Fair.

    ·         You are encouraged to join our PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) and suggest your ideas.  We are delighted to begin working closely with our new PTSA President, Ms. Michelle Juarez.

    ·         Bus schedules will be mailed directly to your home in August from the Transportation Office.  Bus information will also be available on the PGCPS website in August.

    ·         Kindergarten and 7th grade students are required to have additional immunizations.  Please see the attached flyer and remember that your child may be excluded from school if immunizations are not current.

    Please mark your calendar:

    ·         Thursday August 18, 2016 5:30-6:30pm – Accokeek Academy’s Back to School Fair where we celebrate the new school year!  We provide transportation information, school supplies and you have the opportunity to meet the staff.

    ·         Monday August 22, 2016 - Kindergarten (9:00am) and Middle School Orientation for New Students to Accokeek Academy Only.  All students, parents and guardians new to our school are encouraged to attend these orientations. Students are required to wear a uniform to New Student Orientation. Regular school buses will run on Orientation day. Please be sure to note both the AM and PM numbers, as they are often two different route numbers. Please ensure that your child makes a notation of bus numbers in her/his notebook to ensure she/he boards the correct bus. Students should be at the bus stop 10-15 minutes early each day. If you have questions or concerns regarding the bus routes and stops, please call the transportation department at (301) 952-6570 or check the school system’s website.

    ·         Tuesday August 23, 2016 – First Day of School for All Students

    Students are encouraged to be on time.  However, no student is to arrive before 8:45am as there is no supervision available.  Students are encouraged to check the windows of the cafeteria for their homeroom assignments the weekend before school begins.  All students will receive their schedules on the first day of school. Parents are encouraged to escort their students to school on the first day.

    ·         Wednesday August 31, 2016 – Lower Campus (K-4th Grade) Back-to-School Night.  All parents are encouraged to attend and meet their child’s teachers and learn the expectations of their schedules and course work. 

    ·         Thursday September 1, 2016 – Upper Campus (5th-8th) Back-to-School Night.

    Finally, please be aware that our curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards. Information can be found at: https://sites.google.com/a/pgcps.org/common-core-parent-portal/ .  Please take the time to review this information and share with your child.  Refer to this page often throughout the school year.  Please also be mindful that in order to create the best environment for all students, appropriate behavior is essential. Remember that our new buildings are our responsibility to preserve for now and the years to come.


    Educationally yours,

    Judy N. Adams, Ed.D.



    Posted Aug 5, 2016, 3:53 PM by Judy Adams
  • March 2016
    Hello Parents and Community,

    3rd Quarter Progress Reports went home this week.  Please review your child's report card and discuss how we will end the school year.  Please review their Agenda Books daily to ensure that all homework is being attempted.  Homework is about practice.  We are approaching statewide testing which will begin this week and next week with 5th and 8th graders taking the Science MSA.  while this is the last year of this assessment, the scores are seriously important to measure the progress of our students in comparison to students all over the state.

    On Thursday March 10th at 7pm, the Accokeek Academy PTSA will hold their general meeting.  All are invited to attend.  We will discuss transportation, the 2017 budget and a special presentation on social media.  We would really appreciate you bringing your child to hear about social media together.  We will also have on display many of our National History Day Projects.  National History Day is our school wide Social Studies project that teaches our students research skills and the writing process for research and synthesizing information.  Please come to see these projects and see the amount effort your students have placed into these projects.  Many of the projects on display will compete in the County Competition this Saturday at Greenbelt Middle School.  We welcome your attendance!

    We will also approach PARRC testing in April and May.  Students once again will test online.  The County is sponsoring parent nights to discuss PARCC and help to explain the Score Reports sent home.  These meetings also provide information on how to assist your child to prepare.  We have also been talking about this at our monthly 2nd Cup of Coffee scheduled on the first Wednesday of each month.

    I also wish to inform you of a major problem in our school.  This is name calling, "joning", or verbal abuse.  Our students are engaging in so much of this, that it leads to physical altercations.  We must teach our children to not only stop but also to tell others to stop.  This is the beginning of bullying of a student as others laugh and take part.  We do not have to talk to one another in this manner.  Together let's encourage our students to stop engaging in these conversations and have the courage to say stop.

    Finally, let me reiterate the importance of students reading at least 30 minutes each night which will improve their vocabulary.  Also, to practice addition and multiplication facts until they are known in a split second.  Both of these were important for all of us in our childhood and is even more important for our students today.

    Thank you for your support and entrusting your children in our care.

    Judy N. Adams, Ed. D.

    Posted Mar 8, 2016, 4:31 PM by Judy Adams
  • February 2016
    Dear Parents and Friends,

    Welcome to the halfway point of the school year!  We have all endured the blizzard of 2016 and are ready to return to school with new focus.  We have successfully completed our Science Fair Projects and the National History Day project is coming to an end.  We will have our National History Day Program this month and look forward to continuing our tradition of winners at the County and State levels.

    Teachers have been tasked by the state to project Student Learning Objectives (SLO).  These objectives are based on standards for each content area.  Teachers examined the SLO pretests of their students taken at the beginning of the school year and projected the scores for students by this February.  Students will take these SLO post tests to determine whether teacher projections were accurate.  The results of these post tests will be used to determine 50% of the teachers evaluation measures for the school year.  This is the state's new evaluation process.  If you would like additional information on this process, please see the Maryland State Department website.  I also ask that you encourage your child to always strive the do their best on every assessment.

    Our students have been focused this school year in writing in every class everyday.  They have been given instruction on literary writing tasks.  They have written essays that demonstrate their understanding of a thesis statement, formulating strong paragraphs and analyzing the author's point of view with the use of evidence stated in the text.  Writing indicates the student's ability to think critically and with our new PARCC assessment is equal to more than 50% of the score.  I encourage you to read your student's writing and assisting by having them to respond in writing to you for certain tasks - like expressing why they made a certain choice or what they thought of the movie that they went to see with you or even reading a book together and asking if their was evidence in the text that led them to believe that a certain outcome was appropriate or not.  All of these tasks will lead to the student thinking more independently while using evidence to support their claim or that of the author's.

    We will continue to discuss critical thinking skills of our students, as we know that these skills are important to becoming college and career ready.  So much so, that the School Management Team worked very hard to change our school's mission to the following:

    We will prepare our students to be lifelong learners and independent thinkers in a 
    college ready environment; by providing literacy-driven and research based instructional 
    strategies with measurable assessments including PARCC and PSAT-8 readiness. 

    We look forward to living into our mission in the days and years to come.

    Judy N. Adams, Ed.D.
    Posted Jan 29, 2016, 10:52 AM by Judy Adams
  • November/December
    Dear Accokeek Academy Family,

    We have reached the Thanksgiving holiday week!  There have already been so many accomplishments to be thankful.  To name a few:  our Honor Roll for 1st quarter were over 750 students.  Our middle school Boys Basketball team is undefeated and our Girls have won one and lost one.  We successfully had our 6th -8th grade students to enjoy the fruits of their labor by engaging in our first ABC Party, honoring students achieving only A's, B's, or C's on their report card.  Our SGA in Lower and Upper Campus have begun discussing and planning anti-bullying activities, canned goods drive, and participation in Toys for Tots.  We have enjoyed two Scholastic Book Fairs.  Red Ribbon/Spirit Week was exciting and students enjoyed sharing their spirit while hearing information that we are a drug free zone.  We have held an AVID, TAG, and Common Core Night.  The school has worked in partnership with the PTSA to provide the ABC Party, sponsor an elementary movie night, CIP bringing updates on the construction project and in December the Transportation Department will come on December 3rd and discuss their policies.  We have also begun to bring more arts integration to our school as we engaged 8th graders in a rendering of the famous book, Black Boy by Richard Wright.  Our 7th grade students were given the opportunity to hear the Air Force Bank connect to all other content with musical facts.

    While these are only a few of successes thus far this year, we are very proud of our students and staff.  We ask that you continue to advise your students of the importance of taking pride in our school.  We still are having too many incidents of student vandalism - stopping up sinks, graffiti on walls, chewing gum on the floors, and other acts that lead to an unsafe environment and one that is less than satisfactory for learning.

    One area that we continue to struggle is raising enough money to assist families when they do not have lunch money for their students.  While policy requires these students to receive a cold cheese sandwich, this is not a hot meal.  We are raising money all the time to go into the Principal's Lunch Fund.  This weekend we raised monies by having the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Walk.  We ask that you contribute to the Principal's Lunch Fund by bringing monies to the cafeteria for deposit.  We also ask that if your company is looking to make holiday contributions that this fund is considered.

    As we enter Thanksgiving week, I along with the faculty and staff of Accokeek Academy wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  We also wish for safe travel to those leaving town.  Please use this time for students to become up to date on their projects and reading.  We have two major projects:  National History Day and Science Fair.  Please touch base with your child's teacher to ensure that they are on track to complete these projects with distinction.

    Once we return from the Thanksgiving holiday, we have three strong weeks before the Winter Break.  These weeks are critical for student success.  They will need to complete all assignment, read at least 20-30 minutes daily and practice their Math facts if they have not mastered them yet.  Students are asked to write and reason in every content.  Please engage your child in discussions requiring them to reason and use evidence. Take your student to a movie and ask why the main character made the decisions they did.  Make sure that they only use facts from the movie, not just their own opinion.  Look at the diagram below.  This is the type of analysis that students are asked to perform on any text.  We are getting students to switch their thinking to why the author has used the techniques, emotions, reasoning and facts (ethos, logos, and pathos) in a piece of text.

    Finally, the PARCC scores will be released in December from April/May 2015.  This is the baseline scores of the new assessment.  It is important to note that these scores will be lower than we are accustomed to seeing at Accokeek Academy.  As the first year for our students being assessment 100% online and typing their thinking, this will take time for our students and staff to make the necessary adjustments.  Please visit the MSDE website at:  Parent PARCC Resources for more information.

    I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Principal for the fifth year and for you entrusting us with your students.  I invite you to get into the holiday season and join us for one of three of our winter concerts on December 15, 16 or 17 at 7pm.  Please visit our website for more information.

    Educationally yours,
    Dr. Judy N. Adams

    Posted Nov 22, 2015, 7:13 PM by Judy Adams
  • October 2015
    Hello Accokeek Academy Families,

    Last week you received your students' 1st Quarter Progress Reports.  Every student has an opportunity at this time to bring those grades up and to reach Principal's Honor Roll. Encourage your student that with effort and efficacy, he/she can make it happen.  These two characteristics are so very important to our students' success.  I ask that you have them to put effort into everything they do and provide praise for that effort regardless of the result.  Efficacy is the ability to persevere through a challenge.  I can recall so many times that I refused to allow my daughter to quit a sport or club in the middle of the school year.  She would say that it is too hard.  That's when I really put my heels in and refused.  Letting her know the importance of persevering through challenges.  Today she is a very strong young lady that surprises me often.  She will take on a challenge but continue until she is victorious.

    I invite you to visit our website regularly as we share what is happening at our school.  This is Bullying Prevention Month.  We encourage you to talk to your child about what bullying is and how he/she can be contributing to the problem.  While there is usually an identified bully that is constantly making poor statements or social media comments to the student.  But then there are the bystanders that allow it to occur or even worse laugh at these remarks and feel sorry later once they think about the feelings of the victim.  Encourage your child to be the one that tells an adult what is going on.  A few weeks ago, we had a student to do just that and we were able to stop this bullying on school bus.

    We have a number of field trips planned this school year.  We have managed to get a regional fingerprint clearance scheduled at our school.  Below, is the link to the registration form for the Regional Fingerprint (only) Session at Accokeek Academy on Thursday, 10.29.15 3-7 p.m.   Accokeek Academy - Regional Fingerprint Session (October 29, 2015)  

    We encourage parents to register as soon as possible.  This is the same night as our 8th grade high school exploration night.  As we are in need of overnight chaperones for our 5th - 8th upcoming field trips.  

    Any parent(s) or other constituents interested in a Commercial Background ($7.26) can visit my office webpage below to complete the application and pay online.

    Please visit our website for more information.  Thank you for your on-going support.

    Educationally yours,
    Dr. Judy N. Adams

    Posted Oct 11, 2015, 6:52 PM by Judy Adams
  • September 2015
    Hello Families and Friends!

    We have begun the new year with excitement.  Our theme this year is Learning Together, Achieving Together...THE ACCOKEEK WAY!   This beginning has been one of our finest in years.  We have a number of excellent new staff members providing great instruction while they establish procedures and routines in their classrooms and building relationships with our scholars.  

    PGCPS has brought forth an excellent five year plan known as the Promise of 2020.  The guiding principle will be our Theory of Action:  If we focus on culture, data, and performance with a lens on literacy, our students will achievement at high levels.  So we ask for the same commitment from our families.  Let's make this the year that we all spend 30 minutes each day reading along side our students.  This should be a time to talk about what we are reading and what your child is reading.  Asking them their opinions and why they feel  that way based on what they read.  It is important that the evidence in the text is always discussed and their thoughts come from that reading.

    Another loss time is time at the kitchen table practicing our Math facts.  This is math literacy.  So after reading, let us set the alarm for 7 minutes to practice our addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts.  We can find them on the computer or use a chart to complete or use a worksheet.  This 7 minute drill can make the difference between math being challenging and math becoming your child's favorite subject.  

    I also encourage your student to become involved in our before and after school activities that are beginning. This includes:  Public Speaking Club, Tutoring, Future Business Leaders, and sports.  Becoming a part of the school also makes your student better prepared and forging relationships with other adults in the school. Research demonstrates that these relationships lead to improved academics.

    Finally, I would like to encourage our parents to visit your child's classrooms at least once per month.  Shadow your child for a couple of hours or just drop in for a few minutes and observe.  These visits plant seeds in your child's mind about the importance of education.  Furthermore, consider volunteering in your child's classroom or the front office, this would help in building our partnerships and improving our school:  Learning Together, Achieving Together...THE ACCOKEEK WAY!

    Posted Sep 12, 2015, 1:22 PM by Judy Adams
  • Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year!
    Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Stakeholders:

    I am honored and humbled to serve as your principal for the fifth year in a row.  We have spent the last four years working together to move our school to greatness.  I thank each of you for your contributions and belief in our children and their success.

    This school year we will focus on culture, data, and performance with a lens on literacy to ensure that all students are academically successful.  Our theme is Learning Together, Achieving Together...THE ACCOKEEK WAY!  This theme is developed to further develop our school's vision:  "We will become a student-centered professional learning community with a culture of continuous improvement where respect, effort, efficacy and excellence abound."

    We invite each of you to become a more active partner in our school.  Together we can achieve so much more.  Let's begin this partnership this year by attending the Back-to-School Fair on Thursday August 20th at 5:30pm.  All students and parents are invited to meet the teachers, look at curriculum, purchase school supplies, agenda books, binders, uniform shirts, and enjoy visiting different teachers and vendors.  Community partners such as: Pepsi, Kona Ice, the Accokeek Ravens, Alpha-Best Before and After Care along with many others will also be present.  Our PTSA, Parent Teacher Student Association will also be on hand to answer questions and solicit your involvement.  We will also have staff available to answer transportation questions and registration questions.  So let's celebrate our new school year together!

    You are then invited to declare to your children that education is important by bringing your child to school of the 1st day of school, Tuesday August 25th.  This sends a message that education is also worth my time to bring you on the first day.  

    I look forward to an excellent start to a great school year!  Enjoy your remaining days of summer on purpose!
    Posted Aug 16, 2015, 1:05 PM by Judy Adams
  • 2015 School Year Ends
    Hello Parents and Supporters,

    We have entered the last few days of this school year and we have much to be thankful.  
    • We now have one-to-one Chromebooks for grades 5 through 8 in content classrooms.
    • We made history and tested 1135 students online for Common Core using PARCC testing.
    • Our students have engaged in competitions throughout the year with huge successes including:
      • 16 County National History Day Winners and Two State National History Day Winner competing in the Nationals this week!
      • Our Middle School Band and Choir securing distinguished and excellent rating in the County assessments and two regional competitions.
      • Our Middle School Girls Basketball Team winning first place for the County for two consecutive years.
      • Our Elementary School Boys Basketball Team competing in the finals.
      • Our Elementary School Girls' Basketball Team winning first place in the developmental county league.
      • The first year that we have participated in any string ensemble competition with the third year of string courses in our Middle School.
      • The first year that our Cheerleaders have participated in the large school category and earned Honorable Mention
    • We will say farewell to 17 Junior National Honor Society students and welcome 13 rising 8th graders.
    • We held our first Greek vs. Street Open Mic Night and our students demonstrated passion, articulation and deep critical thinking on difficult topics.
    • Over 80% of our Kindergarten through 2nd grade students scored on or above grade Reading levels at the end of the school year.
    • We held our first Computer Club engaging students in different gaming and programming.
    These are just a few of the exciting and memorable activities of the school year.  There are many others that we all cherish.

    We are closing the school year with class cookouts and incentive field trips.  Our major culminating activities of Pre K and Kindergarten graduations and our 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony are in the next few days.  We are excited about our continued use of the Oxon Hill High School Gym for our ceremony and thank Dr. Jean Paul Cadet and his staff.

    This year marks the end of the Mr. Tommi Makila's term as President of the PTSA.  We are sad to see him move on, however, we recognize the commitment and dedication that he gave to position and making the partnership with the school a reality.  So we say 'so long' as President but know that he will continue to make Accokeek Academy a priority.  We welcome Ms. Tamara Caldwell as the new PTSA President and ask that you engage her in your wishes for the upcoming school year.

    While we end this year, we are planning for next school year.  The move into the renovated building is schedule for mid-year and we look forward to it.  We also have made purchasing the the School Supply Kit for next year easier.  You may order online until July 31, 2015 and have a choice to have it shipped directly to your home or to the school to avoid shipping charges.  We hope that you will take advantage of this ordering method because it truly helps the school in not having front load the purchase.  We will still have School Supply Kits at our Annual School Fair scheduled for August 20, 2015.

    As we return your students to you for the summer, we ask that you continue to engage them in reading.  Students that have been given access to Reading Eggs or Achieve 3000, please continue to read daily to keep them from having a summer reading loss.  Research says that students can lose as much as 40% during the summer months.  Please do not limit daily activities to Reading, consider that Math is all around us.  Engage students in math projects around the house or while going shopping or create projects for them to use their knowledge.  Finally, students are aware of the skills that they have struggled, turn to online resources to assist.  Websites such as Khan Academy, Ten Marks, and others are available free of charge.  Students entering 8th grade should visit resources for the new PSAT8 as all PGCPS 8th graders will take this assessment.  Finally, there are exciting places in our community and metropolitan area, make this the year that your family explores these free venues, ie. the National Zoo, National Air and Space Museum, the Accokeek Library, Camp Schmidt, the Martin Luther King Memorial, or any of the other tourist sites.  These trips enrich our children's lives and builds their background knowledge to add new knowledge each day.

    I thank you for entrusting your children to us this school year and wish you a great and safe summer with family and friends!

    Educationally yours,

    Dr. Judy N. Adams
    Posted Jun 14, 2015, 12:28 PM by Judy Adams
  • February 2015
    Dear Parents and Community,

    It is an exciting time at Accokeek Academy!  The Chrome Books are rolling into grades 5-8 classrooms.  You can see your students collaborating and working in small groups.  We are all learning the technology and how to use it to best support our students.  It is important that you emphasize to your child to handle the devices with care because they must last for years to come.

    Secondly, I am pleased to announce that we will be moving into the renovated middle school in August 2015.  We will be planning the move of both buildings.  We are all looking forward to our new homes and the ability to bring technology to every classroom.  We may need your assistance moving forward and hope that you will reach out to your teachers to assist in any way as we prepare for this major move.

    Finally, We are preparing our students for major assessments moving forward.  In February, we will administer the second County MUST assessments in Reading and Math and in 5th and 8th grades also Science.  Moving into April, we will have the first state Common Core Assessment prepared by PARRC for Maryland and many other states in the nation.  The performance-based assessment will be in March and summative assessment will be in April.  Both assessments will be taken online by our students.  Our move to prepare our students with implementing technology and online testing will assist in our students performing at their highest level.  However, we must all keep in mind that this is new testing requiring new instructional practices.  As such, our students will not be prepared overnight - it is a process.  Let's not be alarmed that our students are not at MSA levels of performance.  We must reset our thinking about outcomes and look forward to growth in the years to come.  The state of Maryland realizes this as the next two years of assessments are preparation years and AYP will not be calculated.

    We sincerely thank those parents and community members that continue to donate copy paper and make contributions towards the Principal's Lunch Fund.  We remain in need of both contributions and look forward to new partners in this effort to supplement our budget.

    I will make additional details of the summer planning known when they become finalized.

    Educationally yours,

    Judy N. Adams
    Posted Jan 29, 2015, 9:00 PM by Judy Adams
  • Happy 2015!
    Hello Accokeek Academy Family,

    We have entered 2015 and we are blessed by the many accomplishments achieved in 2014.  To name a few:  our Lady Eagles basketball team has 6 wins and one loss; we have a string ensemble of over 50 students that performed well at the Winter Concert joined by our MS Choir of 60 students and MS band members exceeding 100 members; Our ES band performed well with over 120 students along with our 4th grade choir and our 3rd grade recorders; we are building towards our performing arts department; Ms. Messick and Ms. Sarris, Kindergarten teachers were featured in the Washington Post for kindergarten assessment implementation and Ms. Sarris has been selected to represent the state of Maryland along with 9 other educators to collaborate with the Ohio State Department of Education; five members of our middle school choir were selected to sing in the PGCPS MS Honors Chorus; the National Junior Honor Society raised awareness of Breast Cancer by selling pink t-shirts that led to a $500 donation to Howard University Cancer Research; they also had a most successful holiday fundraiser in partnership with Honey Baked Ham with sales in excess of $3500; Chrome Books have been purchased and the distribution is in process allowing our students in grades 5-8 to have one-to-one access to the internet.

    These are just a few of our accomplishments and we will work even harder to exceed these achievements as we are a professional learning community with a culture of continuous improvement.  Our professional group of educators are making a difference in the lives of our students and in improving their professional practice.  We have a cohort of 12 Accokeek Academy teachers working towards their National Board certification, the only nationally accredited organization for superior practice.  The cohort is led by Ms. Greta Thomas and Ms. Pamela Stewart, both are already Nationally Board certified.  The collaboration demonstrated by this group educators is highly commendable and recognized throughout the County.

    It is unfortunate that as a precautionary measure, the CEO has found it necessary to freeze the budget.  This may result in some difficulties for our school.  We are asking that you continue your generous contributions to the Principal's Lunch Fund for our students in need of a hot lunch and cannot pay for whatever reason.  We are also asking that you consider contributing copy paper to the school.  Copy paper is our single largest necessary expense.  Your assistance in this area can mean a great deal.  Any amounts would be helpful.  Please contribute to the main offices or to your child's teacher.  I thank you in advance for your contribution.

    Finally, we need your assistance in ensuring that your child has all the necessary supplies to begin 2015.  Please examine their binder to ensure order and that all color folders are available and that papers are neatly kept.  Encourage your student to use their Cornell Notes to study each night.  All students should read a minimum of 20 minutes everyday.  Talk with your student about their reading.  Consider reading the same book as your student to discuss during family time.  If your child is 10 years old or younger, read to your child and take turns reading together.  Consider having your child to write letters to out of town relatives.  Students need to find their writing voice and the more real world practice they receive can make a difference.  Finally, allow your child to engage in solving real world math problems.  This would include counting change, deciding how much to give to a cashier, finding out how much several items will cost, measuring ingredients to assist in the kitchen, using an analogue clock to tell time, and even discussing how much time has passed from when you leave home until you return.  Why you may ask.  The Common Core curriculum is about application of everything we learn into real world situations. This is what all testing will be in the future.  Please visit http://www.parcconline.org/ and take the time to take the practice tests in Math and Reading for your child's grade level.  This will give you a true understanding of the expectations.

    I look forward to seeing you visit your student's class this year as you are always welcome.  Thank you for your support and Happy New Year to your family and the Accokeek Academy family!

    Educationally yours,

    Judy N. Adams

    Posted Jan 3, 2015, 2:41 PM by Judy Adams
  • November Message
    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    I need your assistance and that of your children.  We as taxpayers are investing millions of dollars in the new and renovated buildings. These are significant investments, and they will need to last for many years to come. We must all show respect for these investments by taking good care of the buildings and school property. Please emphasize this responsibility to your children. This is a facility we all should be proud.  Once total renovation is complete, we will have one of the largest and most beautiful schools in all of Prince George's County. Unfortunately, there are some children that do not share our pride and are making every effort to destroy it.

    We have had several incidents of vandalism in the bathrooms, writing on walls and even on Smart Boards.  To stop these actions it will take the combined efforts of our overwhelmingly number of wonderful students treating the buildings accordingly, and encouraging their friends to do the same.  When necessary, coming forward with the names of the students that disrespect our property and school community.

    We also need to emphasize that chewing gum and sunflower seeds are not to be brought to school under any circumstances.  We have found gum under desks, on the floors and other inappropriate locations.  Sunflower seeds are eaten and the shells end up on the floor, causing a safety hazard.

    It will also take your assistance in reminding your children of their responsibility to respect our property paid for by your tax dollars.  Inform your children that these acts will not be tolerated and met with penalties to include restitution by their parents or guardians.  Help them to understand that respect of property and of one another, makes us a better community. 
    I thank you in advance for your efforts of partnering with us in protecting our school community.

    Judy N. Adams
    Posted Nov 28, 2014, 11:46 AM by Judy Adams
  • October's Message

    Hello Accokeek Academy Family,

    Our first month of school is coming to a rapid end.  We have begun the school year on a positive note with teachers working very hard for student mastery of the Common Core.  We were very pleased to discuss the upcoming school year and expectations at Back to School Nights and the curriculum at our Common Core Night.  Thank you for your attendance at the event and we look forward to our continued discussions about Common Core.  Please keep in mind the three succinct elements of Common Core:  focus, coherence, and rigor.  The curriculum focuses on student mastery of concepts and skills taught for deep understanding.  The design of the curriculum was to backward map to college and career readiness standards and provides those key elements from kindergarten to 12th grade for success.  Finally, academic rigor is the key to the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.

     As we enter our first full year in the new building, the number of vandalizing incidents by students saddens me.  These incidents included:  tearing a piece of the covering of the partition in the instrumental music room; placing chewing gum on furniture and doors; ripping soap dispensers from the bathroom walls; writing on desks, chairs, walls and doors; and scratching the Smart Boards.  We have a state-of-the-art building and technology.  We want to keep these things in place for years to come.  Please advise your child that this is like having a new home and we would like to keep it beautiful.  We will pursue restitution and punishment if these acts of disrespect for property continue.

     Teachers have come to know your students and their challenges.  Many are offering additional assistance during various times of the school day and before or after school.  Many teachers also offer online assistance through the use of additional resources such as: videos, practice items, reading materials and various software programs.  Please ensure that your student is taking full advantage of these opportunities.

     A final word on literacy.  Literacy is our primary goal of academic achievement.  We measure reading literacy by Lexile scores.  By the time your child leaves Accokeek Academy for high school, their Lexile score should be 1250 or higher.  Please keep this score in mind and ask your child their Lexile score.  Reading every night for a minimum of 20 minutes will help to improve your child’s vocabulary, Lexile score and love of reading.  Research indicates that while children are learning to read, they are not reading enough to develop a love of reading and therefore will not reach the goal of a 1250 Lexile.

     Please be mindful of the 8th Grade Parent Night for an introduction to the high school programs on October 1st.  The following night on October 2nd we will kick off the National History Day project that every student in grades 6-8 are expected to complete.  This is an interdisciplinary project for students to self-select a topic and work over a 10-week period to develop a deep understanding.  For additional information, please go to National History Day Project.  On October 30th, Ms. Sonya Williams will host a forum in our multipurpose room on Bullying and Harassment.  All are invited to attend.

     As always, please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions you may have.  Let’s continue to grow our partnership to create the most positive and academic rigorous environment together.

     Educationally yours,

     Judy N. Adams


    Posted Sep 24, 2014, 7:38 PM by Judy Adams
  • Welcome Accokeek Academy Family to the 2014-2015 School Year!

                                                                                                                                                                                        August 25, 2014

    Greetings Accokeek Academy Family!


    We are very excited about the upcoming school year!  Our Administrative Team is ready to provide the leadership necessary to move us towards our vision of becoming a child-centered professional learning community with a culture of continuous improvement where respect, effort, efficacy and excellence abound.  Joining us this year as our Assistant Principals are: Ms. Tenesia Crook in the Lower Campus and Ms. Beth Grote-Morphew in our Upper Campus.  Both join us with extensive instructional backgrounds and will provide the necessary support for their teams and our community.  Mr. Donald King and Dr. Trevine Jelks remain with Accokeek Academy as dynamic role models of success.  Mr. King, Dr. Jelks, and I are very pleased to continue in our leadership roles for our fourth consecutive year.  We have new and returning members of our staff as we welcome our students to the new school year. We believe that the plans for this school year will create engagement for our students to become successful by attaining critical thinking and organizational skills. 

    Parents, our quest to provide your children with a rigorous and relevant instructional program is paramount to us.  We are school wide AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).  We will focus on the WICOR strategies of success.  These strategies are Reading and Writing in every classroom every day; delivering Inquiry-driven instruction; Collaboration in the classroom among and between students and teachers between teachers and parents and teachers; intense focus on student Organizational skills through our color-coded binder system and daily agenda signing.   We will continue with the standards of the Common Core curriculum driving our instruction.  This curriculum will require students to problem solve and think critically.  Parents play a key role in the academic success of our students; therefore, school/parent communication is crucial.  We appreciate all of your support as we continue to push our students to excel at greater heights.


    • Make your child’s attendance and prompt arrival to school a priority at our new time - INSTRUCTION BEGINS PROMPTLY AT 9:05A.M. DAILY.  Students cannot arrive at school before 8:45A.M.  Teacher duty day does not begin until then and we do not wish any student to be unsupervised.  If picking your students up at the end of the day, please arrive by 3:40pm in Lower Campus and at Upper Campus by 4:00pm.  Upper Campus pick-up is accessible by entering the Lower Campus lot.  No cars are allowed in the bus access parking lot after 3:00pm each day.  There will no early dismissals after 3:00 in Lower Campus and 3:30 in Upper Campus.
    • Please ensure that all information on the right side of the folder is signed and returned to school the first week.  Additionally, please read, sign, tear and return the Student Rights & Responsibilities Agreement on page of the Handbook.  All items on the left should remain home and posted for reference.
    • Families  are encouraged to complete a confidential free/reduced meals application for this school year.  You may go to the PGCPS website to complete the application this school year or complete the enclosed one.
    • Expect homework and projects on a regular basis.
    • Plan to sign the Agenda Book on a daily basis.
    • Ensure that your student is following the AVID Binder organization plan by reviewing the binder and the backpack daily.
    • Register on the Parent Portal (enclosed instructions) and visit the Parent Portal in School Max weekly for graded work, missing assignments and attendance. 
    • Make contact with your child’s teacher(s).
    • Visit our school website frequently at: www1.pgcps.org/Accokeek
    • And most importantly, allot time for reading, practicing math facts and ensuring homework completion with your children on a nightly basis.
    • Join the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).
    • Review the new required immunizations for Kindergartners and 7th graders.


    Please mark your calendars:

    ·         School Closed for Labor Day on September 1st.

    ·         Lower Campus (Pre K – 4th Grade) – Back to School Night is Tuesday September 9th at 6:30pm.

    ·         Upper Campus (5th – 8th Grades) – Back to School Night is Wednesday September 10th at 6:30pm.

    ·         PTSA 1st General Meeting – ALL ARE INVITED – 7pm in Upper Campus Multipurpose Room

    ·         Common Core Curriculum Night (All Grades) – Tuesday September 16th at 7pm.

    ·         Our Fall Fundraiser begins Wednesday September 17th and continues until October 8th


    ·         Talented & Gifted Parent Night Thursday September 18th.

    ·         School Closed for Systemic Professional Development Friday September 19th.

    ·         School Closed for Rosh Hashanah Thursday September 25th.

    ·         Lower Campus Scholastic Book Fair Begins Friday September 26th.

    Dr. Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George’s County Schools, has embraced the motto of “Great by Choice.”  We at Accokeek Academy plan to adopt this in all we do this year.  My staff and I will walk in the door everyday prepared to meet the ultimate goal of educating your children.  Please send your children to us well behaved, on-time, equipped with the proper materials and encouraged.  We, in turn, will send them home to you prepared to meet the demands of the futureYour presence is not only welcomed, it is needed!  

    My staff and I look forward to working with each and every one of you!  Let’s work together to make this an awesome school year!  



    Judy N. Adams



    Posted Aug 24, 2014, 11:06 AM by Judy Adams
  • August 2014


    Dear Accokeek Academy Parents, Guardians, and Students:


    I hope that you are enjoying your summer with family and friends. I am humbled and honored to have served this community for the past three years and am anxiously preparing for the beginning of the new school year. We have collectively engaged in activities and changes that have brought us closer to our vision to become a child-centered professional learning community with a culture of continuous improvement where respect, effort, efficacy and excellence abound. As we embark upon this new year we wanted to keep you informed.  Our high expectations for the success for all students have prompted this summer’s communication.  Research reveals that during the summer, students can lose up to 50% of their content knowledge and even more of their reading comprehension efficiency rate.  Mitigating this summer loss can be achieved with your assistance.  Please visit our website: www1.pgcps.org/Accokeek .  There you will find information on the Accokeek Academy Summer Reading Plan and the County’s Summer Packets.  Consider having your child to complete both their current year packet and their rising grade’s packet. Students will receive credit for returning it at the beginning of the school year.


    Also included in this mailing are some important items that we wanted to get into your hands early in the summer and it will enable you to plan accordingly:


    • Please pardon our progress during the continuation of construction.  For the summer, the entrance to both buildings will be the old Ferguson (old elementary school; Lower Campus) entrance.
    • Summer Office Hours:  9:00 am – 5:30 pm in the Upper Campus only (new building).
    • 2014-2015 School Hours:  Grades K – 5: 9:05 am - 3:25 pm                  Grades 6 – 8: 9:05 am – 3:55 pm
    • The Uniform Policy for Grades 6-8 is included.  New 6th graders will have gold collared shirts with navy blue pants.  7th graders will continue their heather grey shirts and 8th graders will continue with their red shirts; all grades will continue with navy blue pants. The entire uniform policy is available on our school’s website.
    • We will continue as an AVID School this year.  AVID requires every student to organize using a specific color-coded binder system. School supplies, Agenda Books, and sturdy Staples Binders will be available for purchase. The requirements per grade level are attached.  School Supply Kits are prepackaged by grade.  The School Supply Kit is $30.  The Agenda Book and Binder are offered for $10 or $5 each.  Please see our website to order in advance. Agenda Books remain mandatory so that we may strive for 100% daily signing. We have arranged to once again have available for purchase heavy-duty binders, which last the entire year from Staples.  The price is at a considerable reduction from retail. All prices do not include tax.  Please click School Supply Kit Pre-Order[D1]  to go directly to the order form.
    • You are encouraged to join our PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) and suggest your ideas.  We are delighted to continue working closely with Mr. Tommie Makila for the second year as our PTSA President.
    • Bus schedules will be mailed directly to your home in August from the Transportation Office. Bus information will also be available on the PGCPS website in August.


    Please mark your calendar:

    o   Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:30pm – 6:30pm                            Back to School Fair

    • Tuesday, August 26, 2014                                                               First Day of School
    • Tuesday, September 9, 2014 6:30pm – 8:30pm                          Back to School Night (Pre K – 4th) Upper Campus
    • Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:30pm – 8:30pm                   Back to School Night (5th – 8th) Upper Campus


    Please visit our school’s website, www1.pgcps.org/Accokeek, or our Twitter or our Facebook page for updates and announcements.  The teachers, staff, and administration look forward to working with you and continuing to build our Accokeek community as we

    Soar to Excellence...THE ACCOKEEK WAY!

    Educationally yours,

    Judy N. Adams


     [D1]Will this be sent electronically or in the mail?  If mailed, I would remove this sentence.

    Posted Aug 13, 2014, 11:48 AM by Judy Adams
  • Summer 2014
    Hello Accokeek Academy Families and Friends:

    It is time for family and friends and relaxation.  However, please know that research shows that children can lose up to 50% of the knowledge gained during the school year.  You must make every effort to prevent this knowledge loss.  One way is to follow the Accokeek Academy Reading Plan found on our website:  www1.pgcps.org/accokeek  Students will be given credit upon their return from summer break.  Additionally, the County has prepared some wonderful Summer Packets in all subject areas.  Student Summer Packet give weekly assignments can do.  Please make every effort for students to work on the site on a weekly basis.

    We will continue to be an AVID school.  With that in mind, we will continue the organizational system of AVID requiring a binder color-coded system.  We have specific School Supply Kits prepackaged for each grade level along with a heavy duty binder and the required Agenda Book.  All are offered for sale on the website.  The School Supply Kits are $30 each; the binder is $5 each compared to $19 at Staples; and the Agenda Book is $5.  Please order on our website in advance to ensure the correct number are ordered.

    We are excited about the upcoming school year.  We look forward to a year of learning and working with our Accokeek community to continue our mission as we Soar to Excellence...THE ACCOKEEK WAY!

    Educationally yours,

    Judy N. Adams
    Posted Jul 1, 2014, 4:47 PM by Judy Adams
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