Board Member Report 2021-2-25

Board Member Report 2021-2-25

Starting from March 1st, next Monday, we will have several thousands students returning to the classroom. This is the first step and large scale of our bridge to normalized in-person education. The phase by phase return helps us to have a capacity for a socially-distanced classroom and other logistic arrangements. 

It is important for the community to fully understand the unprecedented actions the Board and administration have taken to ensure the health and safety of our students and employees.

I know some of our staff have complex feelings. Some are excited to return to the classroom, and some have anxieties. Some even quit their jobs. For our teachers, staff and administrators, I truly appreciate what you have been doing for our students during this difficult time. 

Approving the hybrid plan is one of the most difficult decisions for me as a board member. We need to safeguard the health of our workforce, students and community. We also have to meet our students’ needs. We have to find a middle-ground for these two and we are walking a fine line here. 

There may be glitches, uncertainties and unknowns in the implementation of the hybrid plan. We are actively looking for your feedback on how to revise and improve our delivery of education. It is a complex and interwoven system and we are exploring something we had never tried at this scale before. We are patient and optimistic. 

I sincerely hope all of us will work together to get through this unprecedented difficult time. The pandemic will be gone eventually, but the support and encouragement you render to our educators and our students will never go away.

Thank you very much.

HCPSS Arrest and Referral Cases between Sept 2019-March 2020

Here are some data from Howard County Police Department. I think I share this before. Here is a recap.

From HoCo Police Department: Arrest/referrals are used as a last resort in the schools and only when other administrative disciplinary actions are exhausted or deemed inappropriate.

Here are six pages describing why an arrest or referral took place between Sept 2019-March 2020. There are no school names or student names in the data to protect privacy.

The first page looks like:

APL high school internship opportunity

You have two more weeks to apply for the 2021 summer ASPIRE high school internship! The application remains open until 11:59pm ET, February 28th. ASPIRE is JHU APL’s unpaid, hands-on, learning-based internship that provides high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. ASPIRE’s experiential and educational nature is designed to give students a chance to see inside the STEM industry.

High school junior or senior during program participation. Students applying to the summer program should be going into their junior or senior year. Students must be at least 15 years of age by the start date of the session to which they are applying.

This year, we have made some significant changes to ASPIRE, including:

  • Expanded opportunities for students residing more than 30 miles away
  • Virtual, hybrid, and in-person internship opportunities (if circumstances allow)
  • And more!

To learn more about this exciting opportunity (which is completely free!), as well as view our full eligibility requirements, please visit our website.

Please direct any questions to Jessica Goodard at ASPIRE@jhuapl.edu.

2021 HCPSS Summer School Programs

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information on the 2021 HCPSS Summer School Programs. During summer 2021, it is anticipated that the Gifted and Talented Summer Institute, Extended School Year, Early Intervention Services, and BSAP Summer Institute will operate as they have in the past. They will be taught through a combination of online and in-person instruction reflecting the hybrid approach instituted for spring 2021.

Suggested changes to the Innovative Pathways Summer School Program for high school students and Academic Intervention Summer Program for students entering grades K-8 in fall 2021 are described below. The goal for summer is to double the number of students participating in
summer options.

The full document is here:

What is happening with CA board of director election?

I received an email as following which calls CA to halt hiring their new CEO and campaigns for Columbia Association Board of Director Election. I have never seen such action before. When an organization in Baltimore put the money into CA election, it seems strange. What is the purpose of such campaign?

I saw a few developers’ names in the list and CA owns many lands in Columbia. That is one connection I can think of for the moment.

Here is the letter:

Chao,
 
Your name was among those recommended by a Rouse Project Steering Committee Member to receive this early announcement of the organization’s launch. We hope you’ll take a moment to learn more.
 
The Rouse Project is a budding coalition of leaders, residents and businesses that have come together to pursue a more vibrant and inclusive future for Columbia. Inspired by James Rouse’s vision and the ideals upon which Columbia was founded, we share a common belief that more can and should be done today to:Ensure our community is fully welcoming and inclusive.Protect and enhance amenities to meet the evolving needs of our residents.Promote equally connected and prosperous villages.Cultivate vibrant entertainment, art, culinary and cultural experiences.
PROGRESS IS ON THE BALLOT THIS APRIL
 
Our work begins with the Columbia Association (CA) Board elections on April 24th. As the “keeper of Columbia’s vision,” CA is responsible for leveraging the significant investments we make in annual CPRA assessments to protect and strengthen all of the unique attributes and values that have traditionally made Columbia a highly desirable place to live and work. 
 
The many years of service by current Board Members is commendable, however, the glaring lack of diversity on the Board – in age, race and income – sits in stark contrast with the diverse communities they were elected to represent.  We believe it is time for new leadership that:Reflects the diversity and experience of the people it serves.Reimagines the priorities and vision of the CA Board to better align with the needs of Columbia residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations.Addresses antiquated systems of governance that fall short of modern best practices.Promotes ongoing community engagement and participation.Addresses social issues like equity and inclusion in a more relevant and public manner.
HELP RENEW COLUMBIA’S PROMISE
 
This is your call to action. The most important thing we can do now is spread the word to our neighbors, friends and colleagues. We’ll keep you updated as each village finalizes its voting and candidate processes. For now, we ask that you:Visit our website and pledge to vote in the CA Board election on April 24th.*Forward this email to 10 friends and encourage them to do the same.Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive timely information and help spread the word.If you are a dynamic and passionate CA lien holder interested in serving on the CA Board or know of someone who might be, contact community@therouseproject.com for more information. 
 
 
*Some villages will offer early mail-in and electronic voting. Copyright © 2021 The Rouse Project, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
The Rouse Project100 S Charles St Ste 1600Baltimore, MD 21201-2725

The list of steering committee members:

  • Victor Broccolino
  • Brad Canfield
  • George Carroll
  • Regina Clay
  • Larry Cohen
  • Vince Cullotta
  • Rev. Paige Getty
  • Dr. C. Vernon Gray
  • Jamison Hibbard
  • Sherman Howell
  • Jessica Mahajan
  • David Nitkin
  • Jean Parker
  • Wendy Slaughter
  • Sabina Taj
  • Frank Turner
  • Ken Ulman

HCPSS approved 2020-2021 Hybrid In-Person Model

Board of Education Approves Schedule for 2020-2021 Hybrid In-Person Model

At its work session January 26, 2021, the Howard County Board of Education approved a phased-in hybrid model for students to return to school in person. The approved model will bring students back to in-person instruction over the course of four phases beginning March 1, 2021. All students will have the option to continue receiving fully virtual instruction. 

The Board’s action follows the direction provided by Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon on Thursday, January 21, 2021, that all public school systems shall return to in-person learning by March 1, 2021. The Maryland Educational Code provides authority to the State Superintendent to enforce the State’s educational laws and ensure that districts are adhering to the decisions made by the State.
The approved dates for students who choose to return in-person are:

  • Week of March 1: Students identified for a program that will provide in-person instruction up to 5 days per week (including, but not limited to students receiving Special Education services, and others requiring additional learning support). Families who were previously invited to participate in school-based learning centers will receive an invitation to participate beginning March 1. 

  • Week of March 15: Students in grades prekindergarten, Kindergarten, 1 and 2 return in a hybrid model.

  • Week of March 29: Students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, and those who participate in Career and Technical Education at ARL return in a hybrid model.

  • Week of April 12: Students in grades 7, 8, 10 and 11 return in a hybrid model.


Students whose parents/guardians opt for them to participate in the in-person hybrid option will attend school in-person for a maximum two days per week and participate virtually for the remainder of the week, with the exception of those identified to return on March 1. HCPSS will strive to offer students two days per week of in-person learning. However, if the number of requests exceeds capacity, due to social distancing requirements, it may be possible that HCPSS offers only one in-person day per week. 

Additional information and more details on implementation will be provided to parents/guardians, staff and the community this week. Parents/guardians will receive details on choosing the instructional model for their children, as well as whether or not they will use transportation services. Staff will receive details in a separate email. Please be patient as HCPSS finalizes staff and family surveys and updates the FAQ website. 
The Board discussed several details related to the hybrid model, staffing, and protocols to ensure health and safety when students and staff return to buildings. Documents related to the Board’s work session may be found on the HCPSS website.

May be an image of text that says 'STUDENT HYBRID IN-PERSON MODEL Week of March 1 Students identified for the 5- days-per-week days- program Week of March 15 Students in grades preK-2 Week of March 29 Students in grades 3-5, 3-5,6,9, 12 & students who participate in Career and Technical Education at ARL Week of April 12 Students in grades 7-8 & 10-11'

Maryland Governor Hogan’s response the Maryland State Education Association

Maryland Governor Hogan’s response the Maryland State Education Association

Governor Hogan asked each school district to have a hybrid teaching model no later than March 1st on last Thursday. During the last three days, we are working to understand this mandate. I just received this letter from Governor Hogan to the Maryland State Education Association (i.e., Maryland Teacher Union). I believe there will be more to be understood by each school district.

The board will have another two work sessions to talk about our hybrid plan next week. Please keep tuned in.

Here are the first three paragraphs.

Dear Ms. Bost:
President Biden has identified reopening schools as one of his top priorities for his first 100 days in office – recently stating, “it should be a national priority to get our kids back into school and keep them in school.” The President’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has said that “[t]he default position we should have is to bring the children back to school or keep them in school.”


Leading experts, including former FDA Commissioner and Maryland Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Scott Gottleib and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that in-person instruction is safe for educators, safe for communities, and by far the safest place for students. We strongly support the call from President Biden to return students back to school and echo his administration’s sentiments that the prompt return to in-person instruction is vital to our nation’s success.


The impacts from this prolonged period of disrupted instruction are taking their toll on our students, our families, and our educators. It is a moral imperative to provide all of our students with every opportunity
to succeed in a safe learning environment. This past year, almost entirely consisting of distance learning, has strained our ability as a State to provide those opportunities in an effective and equitable way.

The full text is attached here:


2022 superintendent proposed HCPSS operating budget

 Superintendent Presents 2021–2022 Operating Budget Proposal

Superintendent Michael J. Martirano presented his proposed operating budget for the Howard County Public School System fiscal year 2021–2022 (FY 2022) during a presentation to the Board of Education on Thursday, January 21, 2021. The Board will now hold a series of public hearings and work sessions before submitting the Board’s Requested Budget to the County Executive by March 1, 2021. The budget proposal requests the funding needed to maintain existing levels of services and supports for students, staff, and schools. The proposal accounts for enrollment growth, sustains the school system’s recent investments in technology and software, addresses critical shortages in special education, and enhances funding to support student mental health services and dyslexia and reading instruction. The FY 2022 Proposed Budget totals $932.4 million, representing an expenditure increase of $13.8 million, or 1.5%. If advanced by the Board of Education, the request to the county of $642.4 million represents $22.1 million, or 3.6% over FY 2021. Also included are $282.7 million in anticipated funding from the state, consistent with the FY2021 allocation; and $667,100 in federal and other funding support, representing an expected decrease of $375,000 compared to FY2021. The final amount of funding allocated to the school system is subject to change, based on state actions on MOE requirements, state funding levels, and county funding availability. 

2021 Update on HCPSS SRO

Since the are state legislatures who are proposing to remove SRO from schools, the school board is observing what they are doing in the state legislature.

The superintendent made a recommendation to the school board and the board took his recommendation: totally remove SRO program or reform SRO program. SRO program is funded by the Howard County Police Department, not by the school budget. The cost is more than 2 million dollars.

The board voted to direct the superintendent to work on his two recommendations.

There has been many discussions and community outreach on this program. Here is the link on that: https://chaowu.org/2020/09/23/hcpss-school-resource-officers-sro-discussion/

Here are superintendent’s report and presentation.

Here is a summary from past.

Here is a six-page list of past arrests (by SRO and non-SRO).

It documented past arrest summary.

Some update on HCPSS Small Group Instruction

The following memo is from the superintendent:

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information about the staffing considerations associated with the expansion of small group programs and the gradual return to normalized operations. During the January 7, 2021 Board of Education meeting, I provided an overview of a plan designed to bring a small percentage of students and a small percentage of staff to work in buildings with an eye on achieving three goals:

  1. Reestablishing existing specialized special education programs, Career and Technical Education programs at the ARL, in-person educational assessments, and in-home support visits for some students receiving special education services;
  2. Expanding small group supports to every school using the School-Based Learning Center model;
  3. Initiating a gradual return to work in buildings, schools and central office, as part of the return to normalized operations.

The goal would be to implement as early as February 1, 2021. However, as was mentioned many times during that board meeting, these efforts are entirely contingent on the health metrics approved by the Board of Education in the fall of 2020. The health metrics would have to reflect a positivity rate of <5.3% or the number of cases per 100,000 as 20 or less for 14 consecutive days in order to implement programs. For reference, Wednesday’s positivity rate was 7.6% and the case rate per 100,000 was 34.96, both significantly above the levels allowing small groups to resume. Staff will review health metrics on January 18 in order to determine the feasibility of a February 1 start date. If metrics remain unfavorable, then the start date will be pushed back one week to February 8. Each Monday, staff will review health metrics to determine a possible start date. Staff will not be required to report to buildings until health metrics permit.

Here is the full document.

Nomination for 2021 Friends of Education Award Begins

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Friends of Education Award. The award was established by the Howard County Board of Education to recognize and show appreciation to those individuals, businesses, non-profit groups, organizations, or associations who have made exemplary contributions to Howard County public education and to increase awareness of the importance of community involvement to the achievement of the school system’s Strategic Call to Action (SCTA) plan.

Any Howard County resident or non-profit group, organization, association, or business located in or serving Howard County who has not been a recipient may be nominated for the award.

The 2021 nomination deadline is February 8, 2021. Nominees and recipients will be notified by March 15, 2021, and awards will be presented during the April 15, 2021, Board of Education meeting.

Nomination applications are available online or by contacting the Board of Education at 410-313-1584. For more information, visit the Friends of Education website at http://www.hcpss.org/board/friends-of-education/