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:
Background Check FAQs
Specific questions, concerns and inquiries should be directed to the Fingerprint Office at 301.952.6775. In general all all volunteers, and chaperones need to complete either a commercial background check or a fingerprint background check. Fingerprinting is not always required and an inexpensive commercial background check may be sufficient.
For further information about the specific type of background check, forms and fees please click here.http://www1.pgcps.org/security/index.aspx?id=44362. See the PGCPS website page " Commercial Background - Fingerprinting Background" and for answers to questions on whether a commercial check is appropriate or a full fingerprinting check is required.
Anyone who volunteers in a classroom or volunteer for a field trip must recieve background checks. Both commercial background checking and fingerprinting are available Monday through Friday from 8 am to 11:45 am and 12:30 pm to 3:45 pm at the Sasscer Administration Building: 14201 School Lane in Upper Marlboro, 20772.
For questions, contact the Human Resources Employee Services Center at 301.780.2191. Or, to receive this service, visit 14201 School Lane, Upper Marlboro MD 20772 Room 124 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Monday-Friday.
See the PGCPS website page " Commercial Background - Fingerprinting Background" for details.
In general, according to the PGCPS website, volunteers, chaperones, and mentors require some level of background check: "
- Volunteers and mentors working in a capacity where uncontrolled access is anticipated, such as those working with students in an unsupervised capacity on school grounds, off of school property, or after school are required to be fingerprinted and complete a full fingerprint background check and form.
- Volunteers working in a capacity where no uncontrolled access is anticipated on a one time basis only, or on a sporadic basis,[still need to be checked but] do not need to be fingerprinted, i.e. parents volunteering for career day, book fairs, school dances, or other one time events.
- Parents and volunteers who volunteer in a classroom on a regular basis in a supervised setting must obtain a commercial background check through PGCPS on an annual basis.
- Chaperones who will participate in a day field trip or an overnight school trip are considered to be volunteers and must undergo a commercial background check initiated by PGCPS through the Fingerprinting Office before performing duties."
Please direct all questions, concerns and inquiries to the Fingerprint Office at 301.952.6775. Also, refer to Admin. Procedure 4215 and the PGCPS website page, " Commercial Background - Fingerprinting Background" for the current requirements and details.
According to the PGCPS website,
"Volunteers, mentors, tutors, independent contractors/subcontractors and chaperones working in a capacity where unsupervised contact with children is likely or who are assigned duties in or around a school where unsupervised contact with children is likely, such as those working with students in an unsupervised capacity on school grounds, off of school property, overnight field trips or after school, MUST complete a full fingerprint background check fourteen (14) working days prior to performing duties. If you do the fingerprinting your receipt is good forever in PGCPS as long as you volunteer once a year (i.e. party, field trip, etc..). If you are going on an overnight trip you must have fingerprinting done."
See the PGCPS website page " Commercial Background - Fingerprinting Background" for the most current requirements.
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.
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 .