Who do I ask about specific concerns?


Absences/Attendance, Volunteer Info, Transportation

Suzanne VerHaagh Main Office Secretary
Registrations Tammy Ogle Secretary to the Principal
Classroom Assigned Teacher Teacher
Health/Immunizations/Medicine Carole Tatman Nurse
Lunch Account Balance Lindsey Decker  Cafeteria Manager
Registration/Withdrawals/Transfers Tammy Ogle Secretary to the Principal
School Supplies/Clothing Assistance Susan Maier Counselor
School Improvement/Bus Concerns Lindsay Brenfleck Principal

What happens if my child is injured at school?

We are very fortunate to have a full-time nurse available for our students. Children who are injured at school will be sent to the nurse for care.

If your child is seriously injured at school, every attempt will be made to make him/her comfortable and you will be called immediately. If you cannot be reached, we will attempt to contact your designated emergency contact listed on your child's registration form. Please make sure our records are current with the correct phone numbers and emergency contact numbers. It is crucial for your child's safety.

Can my child take medication at school?

Medications can NOT be dispensed by a school official without a medication form filled out by a doctor.

Students may NOT bring their own medication, nor can they administer their own medication.

Medication can NOT be carried on a school bus, unless it is by a teacher, school nurse, or other school official on field trips. If you have any questions, please call the School Nurse at 301-863-4044.

What time can my child arrive at school?

Office hours are from 8:45 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The building can be accessed between these hours. Enter through the Main Office, provide valid photo identification, and sign-in on the computer (Building Access Monitoring BAM system).

Early Arrivals: Due to school personnel preparing for the day, walkers and students not transported by bus may not arrive at school before 8:45 a.m.  Additionally, staff members are not available to supervise students prior to this time. Students arriving between 8:45 and 9:00 a.m. should report directly to the cafeteria.

Late Arrivals: School begins at 9:00 a.m. Any student who arrives after 9:00 a.m. must report to the office and be signed in by a parent/guardian. The student will be issued a "tardy admittance slip". This ensures the student will not be counted as absent and lunch needs will be addressed before going to class.

How do I report my child's absence?

You may report your child's absence electronically using the web link on our web page, by calling the office, or by sending a note with your child following his/her absence with your child's name, teacher, reason for absence, signature, and date.

How is perfect attendance calculated?

To receive Perfect Attendance recognition a student must be present for a full day. A student is considered present for a full day if the student is in attendance four hours or more of the regular school day.

How do I request a teacher conference?

Parents/teachers are encouraged to maintain regular communication. In order to protect instructional time, classroom interruptions are kept to a minimum. Please contact your child's teacher to schedule a mutually agreeable date/time if you desire a parent/teacher conference. You may email, phone, or send a note. Teachers typically respond to family requests within 24-48 hours.

Can my child ride a different bus home from school?

Except in emergency situations, students are not allowed to ride a bus other than their regular assigned bus. Students are not allowed to change bus drop off/pick up areas without prior approval.

When it is necessary for a parent to request his/her child to ride a different bus on a consistent basis (example: every Thursday) a written request must be received by the school. The note must include the following: the days for the request; reason for request; the person who will be responsible for the child; address and contact information for the responsible person, and parent signature and date. Telephone requests will not be honored unless there is an extreme emergency.

What are the dismissal procedures at TCES?

Valid photo identification is required when picking up students from school.

End of day student pick up takes place in the Media Center. Please enter the Media Center through the outside entrance near the crosswalk. Contact the school prior to 3:00 p.m. to add your child(ren) to the pickup list. A note sent in the morning with your child is or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. preferred. Please indicate on your note the name of the person who will be picking up your child and remind that person to bring valid photo identification.  Dismissal is at 3:45 p.m.

What time is early dismissal?

Early dismissal is at 1:45 p.m. Please double-check with your daycare providers to confirm they are open at the times school will be let out on these days. On two-hour early dismissal days students WILL have lunch before going home.

What are the costs for school meals?

All meals are free to students this school year.

Unpaid Meal Charges Policy

This policy will go back into effect once meals are no longer free for students.  It is designed to allow children to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, minimize identification of children with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintain the financial integrity of the nonprofit school food services account.

  1. Students may charge up to $10.00 against the meal account.
  2. Charges are only allowable for reimbursable meals or milk purchases, never a la carte items.
  3. Once the maximum $10.00 charge limit is reached, the student will receive the Alternate Meal.  The Alternate Meal for a breakfast is a bear graham and a white milk.  The Alternate Meal for a lunch consists of a cheese sandwich and a white milk.  The student may select a piece of whole fruit to go with the meal.
  4. Students may purchase a breakfast or lunch meal with "cash in hand" regardless of the money owed.
  5. Students currently approved for FREE meals receive a meal regardless of the amount of money owed.
  6. Low balance notices are to be provided to students via their homeroom teacher.  The cafeteria manager will place a pink slip in the teacher's mailbox and the teacher will place the pink slip in the binders of the student when their balance drops below $5.00. In addition, weekly automated phone calls are made to notify households of students whose meal account balance has become low (less than $5.00 remaining.)

How do I pay for my child's lunch?

You may put money in your child's lunch account and any items purchased through the cafeteria will be deducted from his/her account. For your convenience, parents who have more than one child at TCES may write one check with a memo at the bottom asking to have money divided between the children. It is helpful to include your child's account number. The cafeteria will send home a reminder when your child's account runs low on funds. You may also place money on your student's account using "My School Bucks" at: mySchoolBucks.com  

Our cafeteria manager plans on selling snacks/ice cream. If you do not want your child to purchase snacks and/or ice cream, please contact Food Services at 301-475-4256 Ext. 5. Your child must have funds in his/her account to purchase snacks/ice cream.

Can birthdays be celebrated at school?

Birthday celebrations are recognized school-wide. Student birthdays are called during morning announcements and a photo is placed on the birthday wall in the main hallway. If you wish to celebrate your student's birthday, please consider donating a book to the media center or your child's classroom with an inscription. Food items are not permitted.  Non-food items are encouraged, such as pencils, erasers, or stickers.

What class parties are held at school?

Class parties are kept to a minimum in order to keep the focus on instruction. Generally, major class parties are held during the December holidays, Valentine's Day, and end of the year. Other parties may be held only with the permission of the appropriate school personnel. We want to ensure that we are aware of the ingredients contained in all food items distributed to our children so we can prevent any health concerns for students with food allergies.

Can I send in party invitations?

Distribution of party invitations is discouraged. Party invitations may be distributed to all students in your child's class.

Crisis Drills

In order to have our students and staff prepared for emergency situations that may arise, we practice crisis drills throughout the school year. Drills include: Fire, Evacuations, Tornado, Earthquake, and Threat on Campus (Lockdown).   We include “challenges” such as simulating a blocked exit, requiring students and staff to respond accordingly by finding an alternate exit route. It is critical in any emergency situation for children to remain quiet, allowing them to listen to adult instructions for safety.

Can I request a teacher for my child?

Creating class lists is a lengthy and complex process. At Town Creek Elementary, the teachers, counselor, IRT, and principal spend many hours preparing class lists that are balanced academically, socially, culturally, and by gender. It is our goal to offer a quality educational program for all of our students. In certain circumstances, parent input is helpful. If you wish to provide student information from a parent's perspective, please describe:

  • Your child's learning strengths
  • Any academic or social concerns that you have about your child
  • In what type of classroom environment you feel your child best achieves

Please be as specific as possible. In order for the information to be part of the class selection process, it needs to be received by May 15.  Please do not request specific teachers as teacher assignments are not finalized until late summer. We prefer your input be based on sound educational factors unique to your child's needs. Your input will certainly be considered as we make our final decisions.

What time does my child eat lunch?

Your child's daily schedule can be found on Home Access Center (HAC). A password is required to access this site. If you require a password, then you must request the password in person with proper identification.

What is the Peanut-free table?

The peanut law, H5671, was passed during the 2007 legislative session. The purpose of the law is to protect students who have allergies to peanuts or tree nuts while they are in school. The goal of the law is to help schools provide a safe environment for all students. As a result, we have designated a table in the cafeteria as the peanut/tree nut free table so that any students who need this type of protection can sit there. Other children may also sit at this table as long as they do not have peanut/tree nut products as part of their lunch, so as not to isolate any group of students.

Can I eat lunch with my child?

We are currently unable to accommodate cafeteria visitors.  We are using all available space and do not have a designated are for students to have family members join them for lunch.

Can I go with my child to recess?

Recess is an important time for your child to socialize with their peers.  Recess is also an important part of the learning environment and, although unstructured, is teacher supervised.  Since it is difficult for the teachers on duty to monitor interactions between visiting adults and students, we do not allow visits during recess unless in the case of a registered volunteer (with up-to-date training).   As in all instances of volunteering, (i.e. field trips and special events) consideration for volunteering must be prearranged with the teacher.  

Can my child chew gum at school?

Chewing gum is not allowed by students on school premises.  

Is there a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at TCES?

Town Creek Elementary does have a PTA. For more information about the Town Creek PTA, its goals, opportunities, meetings and plans, please visit their link at the top of our webpage. The Town Creek PTA link will direct you to a site not hosted by SMCPS. SMCPS does not control the content or relevancy of that page.

Is there a Lost and Found?

Items found in the school building or on school grounds are turned in at the office or placed in the lost and found area located in the cafeteria. A student may redeem an article by checking with office staff or the lost and found area.

Helpful Hint: Mark all items (clothing, supplies, lunch boxes etc.). This will help us determine ownership.

Do students go on field trips?

Information regarding field trips can be obtained from your child's teacher.

Please make sure your child dresses appropriately for the trip. Many field trips occur outdoors and involve walking. Weather appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes should be worn.

Unless instructed to do otherwise, please encourage your child to refrain from bringing extra "stuff" that can get lost, stolen, broken, or left on the bus.

When paying for a field trip, please make checks payable to Town Creek Elementary, unless instructed to do otherwise.

If your child normally receives medication at school, arrangements are made for the teachers and/or other school staff to administer medication when students are on field trips.

When are school pictures taken?

Individual, group, and candid pictures are taken during the school year. Announcements are sent home with students regarding dates and prices.

The following dates are our scheduled school picture days. Dates are subject to change.

October     Fall Individual Pictures

December  Picture Retakes

January     Club Photos

April     Spring Individual Pictures/Class Group Photo/5th Grade Panoramic

What is School Improvement Time (SIT)?

In prior years, quarterly School Improvement Team (SIT)  meetings were held.  To foster parental involvement in our school-based decision-making, school improvement will become part of regular PTA meetings.  A “School Improvement Time” will be included on the agenda. All are welcome and encouraged to attend our PTA meetings. SIT provides an opportunity for communication among school staff, parents, and community so that a shared vision for the school may be developed, implemented, and maintained. In addition to communication opportunities, the purpose of SIT is to develop, implement, and monitor the School Improvement Plan.

How do I find out about school cancellations or delays?


If school is cancelled, delayed, or will be dismissing early, local news sources will be notified before 6:00am. Announcements will be made on the following news sources:

SMCPS Web Page at https://www.smcps.org/

Radio Stations

WPTX AM 920 and WMDM FM 98 (St. Mary's County)
WSMD FM 98.3 STAR (St. Mary's County)
WCMD AM 1560 and WXTR FM 104.1 (Charles County)
WMAL AM 63 and WRQX FM 107.3 (Washington)
WTOP AM 1500 and WTOP FM 96.3 (Washington)
WBAL AM 1100 (Baltimore)
WANN AM 1190 (Annapolis)
WCBM AM 68 (Baltimore County)

Television Stations

WRC -- Channel 4
WTTG -- Channel 5
WJLA -- Channel 7
WUSA -- Channel 9

How do I volunteer at school?

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please complete the online volunteer application on our school system website- www.smcps.org.  Once your background check is complete, SMCPS will review and notify you via email when you have been approved.  You will also receive a Secure Volunteer ID to verify your background screening has been completed.  Please have your volunteer number and photo identification upon arrival at our school.

If you have children at different schools you will only need to complete one application. You do not need to complete one for each school and you do not need to resubmit a new application each year.

What school behavior standards are followed?

Town Creek Elementary has used Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiatives with our students for the past thirteen years. PBIS is a research-based initiative focusing on increasing academic success and reducing discipline referrals by creating an environment that promotes positive behavior. This, in turn, facilitates academic success.

The third and highest level of PBIS Maryland recognition is the PBIS Maryland GOLD Recognition Award and will only be awarded to those schools that are demonstrating sustainability for the systems, practices, and data utilization for school-wide PBIS and can demonstrate that their implementation has had positive effects on both their discipline and achievement data for at least two years. Town Creek Elementary received Gold recognition by the Maryland State Department of Education for our PBIS activities.

Our Philosophy: We will strive to provide an environment conducive to learning in order to maintain high academic achievement for all students. Members of our school community are encouraged to model and reinforce positive school behavior and good character.

Expectations: As a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) school, we have committed to overall school-wide behavior expectations and positive rewards and incentives. Our school rules fall under the umbrella of Respect, Responsibility, and Safety. These expectations were developed collaboratively by the staff to be specific to the various school settings providing consistency throughout the building and from year to year. A school pledge has been created to continually foster an intrinsic understanding of Town Creek expectations.

Link for the current year's PBIS plan

What is the Town Creek School Pledge?

Town Creek School Pledge

We respect our friends and teachers, too.
We're responsible in the tasks we do.
We are safe so we can learn all the time.
Town Creek School is mighty fine!

What are the school colors?

The school colors are royal blue and white.

What is the school mascot?

The school mascot is "TC", the Town Creek Terrapin.