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Welcome Letter from Principal Hogue

August 10, 2023

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:

Welcome to our 2023-2024 school year. We are excited to welcome each of you to what will be an auspicious and rigorous school year. We will diligently strive to provide robust instruction in an effort to ensure instructional continuity.  Student and staff safety are still a priority, which will continue to be reflected in our school wide policies and procedures.  

Our school system’s mission is, “To provide a great education that empowers all students and contributes to thriving communities.”  The staff and I are filled with excitement as we prepare to start this year and look forward to achieving this mission with your support. Know that we are all in this together and will support one another through this journey.  Below are systemic and school-based updates.

Student Safety: While the mandate for clear book bags has been adjusted for the first half of the school year to only include students in grades 9-12, BDF is strongly recommending all students come prepared with a clear bookbag.  This is to support all safety measures as well as to stay prepared for the 2nd semester update of this policy.  Additionally, Benjamin D. Foulois will continue to follow PGCPS and CDC guidelines to support the safety of all stakeholders.  Updates will be communicated with all families via our Parent Newsletter.

  • Mask wearing - is voluntary
  • Ventilation Improvements - we will continue to use and monitor monthly changes of our MERV-13 high quality air filters to make sure our scholars and staff stay healthy.
  • Hand washing etiquette - will continue to be enforced. Visit the website  for proper hand washing instructions to practice at home with your child(ren).
  • School visitation - will be permitted, however, to support student/staff safety, visitation will be limited and modified. 
  • Parents/Guardians will not be allowed to go beyond the main office nor visit classrooms unless scheduled by Administration.
  • Parent/Guardian conferences will have the option of being scheduled virtually or in-person.
  • School performances/activities will continue with limited parent/guardian attendance.

SCHOOL HOURS are 9:15 a.m. until 3:55 p.m. In order to ensure student safety, students may not enter the building before 8:45.a.m unless he/she is registered for the AlphaBest before/after care program.

OFFICE HOURS are 8:15 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. While we understand emergencies may arise, notification of dismissal plans must be communicated via the PickUp Patrol site by 2:00 p.m.  Prior to September 5th, an email from PickUp Patrol will be sent to families in order to update students’ dismissal information.  Changes that occur after 2 p.m. should be emailed to the classroom teacher, Ms. Holmes (registrar), Ms. Gorham (secretary), and the grade level administrator (all email addresses can be found on the BDF website).  Additionally, in order to ensure a safe and orderly dismissal, early dismissal will end at 3:15 p.m.  Students will not be dismissed for an early dismissal after 3:15 p.m. Lastly, a parent or guardian must sign a student in at the main office if they arrive after 9:15 a.m.  Please note, the enclosed dismissal plan must be completed and returned on August 28th.

In preparing for the new school year, there are a few important dates to remember:

    • August 25, 2023: Half-Day (9:00 am - 12:45 pm) New Student Orientation for All Students (A schedule will be posted on the BDF website the week of August 22nd).  This is for all kindergarteners, 6th graders and any student new to Benjamin D. Foulois.  Kindergarten parents are the only parents allowed to join their students in the New Student Orientation…NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
    • August 28, 2023: First Day of School for ALL Students 
    • September 4, 2023: Schools and Offices Closed
    • September 6, 2023: Meet the Administrator Night (virtual link will be shared the week of August 28th)
      • Grades K-5 - 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
      • Grades 6-8 - 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
    • September 19, 2023: Grades K-5 Back to School Night  at 6 p.m. (in-person.
    • September 20, 2023: Grades 6-8 Back to School Night  at 6 p.m. (in-person)


Dismissal Plan: It is essential that the enclosed dismissal plan is completed and returned to the homeroom teacher on August 28th.  If you have multiple students at BDF, please complete one for each student.

Transportation: As we prepare for the 23-24 school year, PGCPS has continued to be impacted by the bus driver shortage.  This will likely lead to some delays in transportation.  Transportation will be provided for students who have been fully registered by August 9th. Parents can access bus route information in several ways. The SchoolMax family portal and the StopFinder app (if you already have an account) beginning Friday, August 18, 2023. If you can’t find your bus assignment you can use our PGCPS Bus Stop Finder on the transportation website to locate the nearest bus stop closest to your residence. Postcards will be mailed the week of August 14, 2023. Transportation will be sending additional updates to assist parents as we get closer to the start of the school year. If you have any questions or would like to report a concern, please complete and submit a ticket to the Transportation Resolution System page, at, or you may call our Transportation Phone Bank, at 301-952-6570, beginning August 19, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  I strongly suggest all families download Stopfinder bus app – Available on Google Play and the Apple AppStore. Parents/guardians must have an email address on file in SchoolMax in order to be invited to view the students’ bus schedule. 

AlphaBest - K-8 before and after care program. Afterschool is where the adventure begins! Sign your child up today at or with the enclosed flyer.

PickUp Patrol - Platform that will be used for the following (bus/car/van rider pick up, change of dismissal plan and attendance notifications).  All families will be invited using current email addresses in the Family Portal. Please take a moment to view information re: PickUp Patrol (Parent Letter and PickUp Patrol (Video 2:39)).  August 28th - September 1st, information on the dismissal plan will be used for students' daily dismissal.

PUBLICITY RELEASE: In order for students’ images to be used, the enclosed publicity release form must be completed and returned to the homeroom teacher on August 28th.  Please note, in order for students to be in the yearbook, shown in school wide announcements that are shared on the BDF website and with district partners, shown on performance flyers or videotaped during performances, access must be granted. 

SUPPLY LISTS/STUDENT DRESS CODE can be found on the BDF Website. 

SCHOOL MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch is offered in all schools. Meals are no cost to students who are eligible for free or reduced priced meals. Parents are encouraged to complete the lunch application to determine eligibility for meal benefits. Households can complete an application at Online applications are processed within 24-48 hours. Students who are not eligible for free or reduced-priced meals must pay for their meals. See How to Pay for Lunch on the PGCPS website for Meal Prices.  Food deliveries (GrubHub, UberEats etc.) are prohibited…NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

MEDICATION must be updated each school year.  Please make sure all forms are completed and signed by a physician when submitting medication for the 23-24 SY.  Medication will not be accepted without the correct documentation.  Only a parent or guardian may deliver medication and updated forms.  

SCHOOL VISITORS: All visitors are REQUIRED to make an appointment prior to visiting the building. Appointments can be made by either calling the school or email. Visitors are only allowed in the main office...for student, staff and community safety, visitors may not go to classrooms or wait for students in the main hallway or cafeteria.  Parents/Guardians are welcomed and encouraged to schedule classroom visits/check-in with the grade level administrator.  Classroom visits may not exceed 1 hour unless a parent shadow is required due to academic/behavior concerns.  In cases of required parent shadowing, protocol will be communicated from the grade level administrator.

COMMUNICATION: Our goal is to keep all families informed as well as help parents/guardians be a part of their child's education. Throughout the year, we will provide you with weekly online newsletters, call-outs, and Class Dojo messages. Please be sure to connect with your child’s teacher for daily communication. The Emergency Contact form is enclosed, please complete and return on August 28th. Be sure your home or cell number is current throughout the year to receive important updates and reminders. Stay Connected with us by using the following platforms: 

  • School Website
  • Weekly Parent Newsletter  
  • Canvas/Google Classroom/Class Dojo

*ALL school correspondence will be communicated electronically.  


Get ready, everyone! The PTO can hardly contain its excitement for the amazing school year that's just around the corner! Mark your calendars for September 26th, because that's when the very first general body meeting is happening. And guess what? Something super cool is going to take place during this meeting – elections!

We've got some important roles up for grabs on the Executive Board. Imagine being the Secretary, the person who keeps everything organized and running smoothly. Or how about the Vice President of Operations, the superhero of school events? And don't forget about the Vice President of Fundraisers, the mastermind behind all the fun ways we raise money for awesome activities.

Want to know more? Reach out to us at and we'll spill all the beans. Plus, if you want to stay in the loop and chat with other PTO pals, join us on GroupMe by clicking right here:

But hold on, there's more! We're inviting YOU to be a part of the action this year. Yup, you heard that right. Become a member of the PTO for the 2023-2034 school year and let's make incredible memories together. All you need to do is register at

So don't miss out – this year is going to be off-the-charts awesome!


Again, welcome to the greatness that is the 23-24 school year at Benjamin D. Foulois.  Please note, this letter w/live links can be found on the BDF website.  

If you have any questions, concerns or in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at or the grade level administrator, Mr. Agnew (K-5) at or Mr.. Sherman Hunter (6-8) at

With Falcon Pride,

Keshia Hogue