We sat around the kitchen table, four mothers searching for answers.
Clenched in our fists were the results of our children's Maryland School Performance Assessment Program.
Our children had been among the first students to take the tests in 1992. We had just received the scores and they were not quite what we had expected.
"According to this we should be glad they manage to find their way home every afternoon," said my friend Mary.
Mary is very sarcastic. We chose to ignore her.
"I don't understand," cried Cathy. "I put her to sleep early every night of the testing. I made her eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast. Her pencils were very, very sharp. WE WON THE SCIENCE FAIR!!"
"It says here in the brochure that the testing doesn't measure an individual student's performance as much as it measures the school system's improvements," said Sharon. "It says they hope to achieve their goal by the year 2000."
"My son graduates in 1999," I replied glumly.
I moved into the living room hoping to catch the Sally Struthers commercial for that truck-driving school in Ohio.
Janie spoke up, "What about private schools? Plaid is very big on the fashion scene this fall. Or even home schooling? We could teach them ourselves!"
Home schooling? At home? With us? We looked at one another. Maybe we had jumped to conclusions. After all, this was the first year of the testing. And the scores would not be a part of the student's permanent record. The results were bound to improve!
They would graduate, go on to a major university, get a great job. They would take care of us when we got old. We wouldn't be forced to work in a 24-hour Gas-N-Go to supplement our Social Security income. Yes, it was possible!
As long as they can find their way home.
Study hard, Glen Burnie.
* Students at Point Pleasant Elementary School will find some new teachers behind the desk when classes begin today.
Terri Webb and Danielle Snider have joined the kindergarten staff. First grade has three new teachers: Cecily Bryfogle, Jenny Zollers and Susan Karpers.
Melissa McNally will be teaching second grade and Michelle Wicks will teach a fourth-grade class.
Heather Johnson will be the full-time art teacher assisted by a part-time teacher, Susan Davis.
Other part-time teachers are: Linda Lahti, music, and Kerry Bruce, physical education.
NB Another change in the full-time staff is the arrival of Pamela
Hudgins as the school's guidance counselor. Michael Nute will be at the school two days a week as the school psychologist.
Parents will have the opportunity to meet the new staff members at the school's open house at 7 p.m. Sept. 14.
* Richard Henry Lee Elementary School has also scheduled an open house for 7 p.m., Sept. 14.
Principal Wayne Bark will introduce the newest members of the school's faculty: Sandra Wrightson, third grade; Mary Beth Juracko, special education; Debora Pence, special education teacher's assistant; and Dottie Smalley, health assistant.
Mary McCormick joins the staff as a full-time guidance counselor. Tina Stevenson is an addition to the office staff.
* Assistant Principal William Liptak is the new person in the administration at Marley Middle School. Liptak will work with students in grade six (A-K) and grade seven.
Other teachers joining the faculty are: Catherine Gistedt and Sandra McGehee, science; Margaret Schrader, math; Dana Sturman, math and science; Jocelyn Taylor, Spanish; and Peggy Sange Walters and Cindy Washington, language arts.
Marley Middle will have an open house for parents Sept. 21.
* Six teachers have joined the faculty at Glen Burnie Senior High School: Beverly Frye, business education; Linda Pollack, media specialist; Barbara Christensen, foreign language; Marilyn Voss, English; Mary Wardell, special education; and Jill Flannigan, art.
Parents are invited to welcome new faculty members at the school's annual Back-To-School Night at 7 p.m. Sept. 22.
* A celebration for children is planned at the Abundant Life Church, 7305 E. Furnace Branch Road.
The fun begins this weekend with Super Saturday.
Pony rides, game booths, face painting and a moon bounce will keep the children busy from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special guests include a purple dinosaur and the clown duo Sparkles and Clash.
Sparkles and Clash will also be on hand for "Kidz Rally USA" scheduled for 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday and again at 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The program incorporates a spiritual message with puppets, games, contests, light and sound effects.
While the children are being entertained, the adults are invited to hear the teaching of Dave Roberson.
For additional information, call the church office at 761-9075.
* Nominees to serve on the Glen Burnie Park Civic Association are being accepted.
All executive board positions are open including president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.
Several committee positions also are open: newsletter editor, advertising, circulation and activities/events.
All nominees must be a resident of Glen Burnie Park.
The election is scheduled for Oct. 5 at Glen Burnie Park Elementary School.
To volunteer for any position, send your name and phone number to: 609 Minerva Road, Glen Burnie 21061, or call 768-5160.