I am beginning to document some board discussion and voting for easy digestion.
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The board elected Ms. Vicky Cutroneo as Chair and Ms. Antonia Watts as vice chair.
Public forum topics: LGBTQ+ textbooks, Musgrove Farm Shared Septic, African American/Special Education, plastic bag usage in lunch, mask requirement for stage performance.
Report from Howard County High School
SMOB report: school visits, etc
● This year’s Merrill teacher honorees include Samuel Polack, GT resource teacher at Rockburn Elementary School, who years ago taught 4th and 5th grade GT math to UMD Merrill student honoree William Gerst.
● Next, Paula Roberts, a math teacher at Howard High School, was recognized by her former student Eunice Braimoh.
● Two teachers at Atholton High School are also being honored: Lynette Burns is a GT teacher, whose former student was Ally Merwitz.
● The other Atholton honoree is Jennifer Street, a world language teacher and instructional team leader, whose former student was Selena Cen.
I have an update on our school health metrics. As of yesterday, December 6th, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases in schools was 95, and we had 1,172 students and 31 staff members in quarantine. We have 16 current active outbreaks; please note that this number is not reflected on the Maryland Department of Health website due to
its recent hack. We have a total of 58 students who were initially identified as close contacts and ultimately tested positive over the 14-day quarantine period. Overall, our numbers remain similar to those that I reported on November 18.
I am pleased to note that as of Friday, December 3, 85.2% of Howard County 12-17 year olds are fully vaccinated, with 92.6% having received their first dose. It is also encouraging that 37.4%, or approximately 12,000 children ages 5-11
have already received their first dose.
At this time there will be no change to our current protocol requiring indoor masking for all students, staff and community members, regardless of vaccination status.
All tents are now being removed in decreasing order of school capacity utilization, which is the same as the order in which they were installed. They will be reinstalled outside each elementary school at the beginning of March 2022, with the specific timing dependent on weather condition
Staffing shortage and hiring effort
Incident at Howard High School
Special Education Statement:
I will not remove students receiving special education services from their classroom or school, or reduce or eliminate special education services.
The board approved a motion: student performers have the same standard as student athletes on mask protocol.
HCEA (HoCo Education Association) and HCASA(HoCo Association of Supervisors and Administrators)
School Construction Report
- Hammond High School, 45% completed, ready in 2023
- HS 13, 39.6% completed, ready in 2023
- Talbott Spring ES, 42.9%, ready in 2022
- Report: Policy 6060 Community Improvement to School Sites or School Facilities Charter
- Report: Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services Charter
- Report: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School (new cycle)
- Approved: Policy 8100 Field Trips.
- The purpose of this modification is to allow JROTC instructors to accompany students on field trips as they are not MSDE certified. The definition of Teacher-in-Charge was modified to include Department of Defense (DoD) Certified JROTC Instructors.
- Approved: Policy 8010 Grading and Reporting: Prekindergarten through Grade 5
- The purpose of this modification is to clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
- Approved: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School
- For year 2021-2022 year only
- The purpose of these modifications are, for SY21-22 only, to revise the final course grade to 5% for midterms and 5% for final examinations and clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
- Approved: Policy 3030 Research Involving Employees and Students
Evening Public Forum
topics covered: SMOB election, student wellness and student search and seizure
Public Hearing on Policy
- Policy 2010 Student Representation
- Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity
- Policy 9260 Student Search and Seizure
- The board denied the charter school application ( Reading Opens Doors Charter School)