Back to school preparations underway, Hancock students return Tuesday


Summer for Hancock students is winding up as the 2018-19 school year in Washington County, and across Maryland, is set to open on Tuesday, September 4.

As the kids get ready to head back, there are a few things they need to know first.

Hancock Elementary will be holding Pre-K and Kindergarten back to school night on Thursday, August 30 at 6 p.m. and first through fifth grade sessions at 6:30 p.m. also on Thursday.

Class lists for the elementary school are posted on the front door of the school, Principal Michelle Gest said.

Supply lists for what each student would need was given out at the end of the school last year. Parents can also find them posted on the Hancock Elementary School social media page.

“We also have copies here in the school office if parents need this,” Gest said.

A new policy at the elementary school involves daily behavior of students.

Gest said staff is revamping how they are reporting daily behavior to parents and more information will come out to parents when school starts.

Students in third through fifth grades at Hancock Elementary will be getting iPads and Gest said parents of those students would have to pay a $15 iCoverage fee.

There will also be three new staff members when students return to Hancock Elementary this year.

Matt Ridenour will take over as the physical education and health teacher, Kira Piper will be the Library Media specialist, and Kayla Hill will be the special education paraprofessional.

“We are excited to start another school year and have high expectations for our students,” Gest said. “We need all students here and on time each day to work with our very dedicated teachers and staff.”

Gest added that Sunrise Rotary Club is purchasing backpacks and supplies for all Hancock Elementary Kindergarten students this year.

Club members will be at the school on August 30 starting at 5:30 p.m. to hand them out.

She also reminded parents they could complete free and reduced lunch applications online. There are also paper copies of the form at the school office if parents need one.

Middle-Senior High

Across the street at Hancock Middle-Senior High School, back to school night will be held Wednesday, September 12 at 6 p.m.

Parents looking for supply lists can find them on the school’s webpage on the Washington County Public School’s site, Principal Sabrina McCoy said.

There will be a number of new faces at Hancock Middle-Senior High School when classes start next Tuesday.

Brad Delauter will be the new Assistant Principal, Mallory Donato is the new Social Studies teacher, Jamie Snider takes over the Agriculture program, Cris Hornbaker is the new Cafeteria Manager, and Troy Lipinski is the new School Resource Officer.

McCoy said staff members have been working throughout the summer preparing to deliver instruction aligned to county and state guidelines that will provide engaging lessons and activities for students.

“We will focus on student achievement, recognizing and encouraging students, improving communication, improving collaboration and literacy,” she said.

This school year will have a theme called #PantherHEART.

“The #PantherHEART is a motivational tool for students that encourages them to put their heart into things such as academics or athletics.” Over the course of the school year, McCoy said the HEART letters will change in their meaning.

“To start the year, HEART will stand for helping, engaging, adapting, relating, and teaching. The Panther part, the school’s mascot, won’t change.”