TPA Program, Procedures & Policies FAQs
There are several places on this site where information on TPA’s philosophy and focus can be found:
For more information regarding the Special Education program at Turning Point Academy, please contact Justin John-Langba.
Behind the "Hyde Process" is the Hyde School. The Hyde School began in 1966 when math teacher Joseph Gauld believed that the existing educational system was overly focused on student achievement rather than character. To find out more about the Hyde School and approach, go to their website: http://www.hyde.edu/about-hyde-school/history/.
TAG & Charter School Program FAQs
According to the Maryland Dept of Education site, "Charter schools are often started by people in a community who want an alternative to traditional schools. They want schools that are community oriented and focused on the special interest of the community, parents and students." The charter schools administrators have more flexibility in designing an educational program, hiring faculty and staff and the programs. The schools' curriculum standards may be different than other traditional public schools. Still, they are held accountable for performance standards and student achievement by the Prince George's County Board of Education.
For more information and local programs, check out the following:
Volunteer Policy & Background Check FAQs
All volunteers – such as mentors, interns, tutors, chaperones, and volunteers working in concession stands and at gate receipts at athletic events must undergo a fingerprint background check, child protective service clearance, and training on reporting suspected child abuse at least 14 days in advance of the day field trip, overnight trip or activity on or off school property.
A fingerprint background check must be initiated through the PGCPS Fingerprinting Office before performing duties and the child protective services clearance must be initiated through Human Resources.
For more information go to the PGCPS website School Visitors, Volunteers page -https://www1.pgcps.org/fingerprinting/
Background Unit Contact Information:
Hours of Operation 8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. Monday - Friday
Sasscer Administration Building
14201 School Lane, Room 128
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
All volunteers, except one-time event volunteers (i.e. chaperone for one school dance, or career day participant) are required to complete the assigned SafeSchools training modules prior to volunteering.
Upon completion of each training module, the volunteer should provide you with a copy of their certificates of completion.
Three (3) modules have been assigned to volunteers to complete.
- They are PGCPS Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect;
- PGCPS Student Safety Procedural Changes;
- and Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Prevention.
Any parent/guardian who needs assistance covering the cost of a fingerprint background check, and whose child(ren) qualify for free and reduced-priced meals may request a waiver of the background check fee by providing a copy of their eligibility letter from the PGCPS Department of Food and Nutrition Services.
- For general information on policies: Student Safety Resource Toolkit - https://www.pgcps.org/safety-tool-kit/
- For Information on training requirements: Required Training For Volunteers And Contractors - https://www.pgcps.org/required-training/
- For answers to questions on policies: Background Checks And Volunteers FAQ -https://www1.pgcps.org/page.aspx?Pageid=234147&id=238292
- For details on fingerprinting, locations, costs, etc:, download the document on PGCPS
Enrollment & Back to School FAQs
TPA accepts enrollment applications for vacant seats through PGCPS’ Charter School Office, during the open lottery application period from November 3 – January 30 annually. The deadline for public charter school student lottery applications for the upcoming or following school year will be annually on January 30. Lottery applications can be made by visiting PGCPS Charters and Contract Schools web page (http://www1.pgcps.org/charters/).
Once your child is accepted at TPA you will not be required to participate in any future enrollment lottery.
Busing & Transportation FAQs
TPA does have a bus, but the space is limited. During enrollment, students receive a packet with an application for a seat on the bus. Since seating is limited no seat is guaranteed. Because, students enrolled in Charter Schools do not qualify for busing through the Prince George's Public School System, the parents are ultimately responsible for transportation.
This can be found out once the application is filled and accepted. For more information contact the office at (301)552-0164.
Health & Immunization Requirement FAQs
TPA uniforms can be purchased from the following retailers:
All American Wear, Inc.
5001-B Forbes Blvd.
Lanham, MD 20706.
Flynn & O’Hara School Uniforms
Lanham Crossing Shopping Center
8807 Annapolis Road
Lanham, MD 20706
SchoolMAX is an electronic student information system used by Prince George's County Public schools to record attendance, grades, assignments, report cards, discipline incidents, and other information about your child.
Prince George's County Public Schools provides a Family Access Portal that allows authorized caretakers to log into SchoolMAX from any computer with an Internet connection and view the child's student information, including current attendance records and assignment scores.
My School Bucks FAQs
Ferpa, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a Federal law that controls the release of and access to educational records. The law, also known as the Buckley Amendment, applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the US Department of Education. Go to Family Policy Compliance Office page, FERPA for Parents and Eligible Students, to learn more.
FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a federal law that pertains to the release of and access to educational records. The law, also known as the Buckley Amendment, applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the US Department of Education. Go to www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco to learn more.
Testing & Assessment FAQs
The computer adaptive is a form of computer-based testing that has software that monitors the response to every question and “adapts” to the student’s ability. That is,if the student misses a question the next question is slightly easier or if the student answers correctly the next question will be slightly harder.
Computer Adaptive Tests (CAT) are dynamically customized for each student and are able to match the knowledge and ability of a test taker. The tests adjust the difficulty of questions based on the student’s response. If a student answers a question correctly, the next question can be made harder; if a student answers incorrectly, the next question can be made easier. The advantage of this is that the tests:
- provide more reliable information about what students know—especially those at the very low and high ends of the spectrum.
- give teachers the opportunity to adjust their instruction more quickly based on the results and provide information on what instruction is needed.
- provide comprehensive assessment, which educators use to determine what students have learned at the end of a unit, term, or year.
- can be used to identify students who may need specialized academic support in a specific skill or subject area, such reading, writing, or math.
MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) assessments are computer adaptive achievement tests in Mathematics and Reading. MAP is a norm-referenced measure of student growth over time. MAP assessments, joined with other data points, provide detailed, actionable data about where each child is on his or her unique learning path.
Prior to the 2017 school year, PGCPS utilized the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) as its district wide interim assessment tool for reading, English, and language arts (RELA). Beginning in the 2017 school year, however, the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) reading assessment tool, Measures of Academic Progress-Reading (MAP-R), replaced the SRI as the interim assessment for RELA.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a group of states that brought teachers, administrators and experts together to develop tests to measure how well students understand and are able to apply the skills and knowledge required by the new standards. For information on PARCC goto the PGCPS website page "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) ".
The PARCC tests are structured to be taken online for a more interactive test experience, but can also be taken with pencil and paper. See PARCC online or download the document Top Things Parents Need to Know about Testing in Maryland .