FARM rate across Howard County

The average FARM rate across HCPSS is around 22.5%. FARM stands for free and reduced meal. For a family of 2 parents and 2 kids, if they do not make 47k year, they qualify for FARM and will receive assistance (https://www.hcpss.org/food-services/farms/). Here we have a color plot to visualize this. Dark color means low FARM rate. Please see the legend.

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 12.36.08 AM

 

The PDF file has really high resolution.

BoE – HoCo ES Percent FARMs Map v2 (PolyNums)

The plot is based on the public data shared on HCPSS website (https://www.hcpss.org/school-planning/boundary-review/) and I am attaching it here.

data-farm-test-suppressed (1)

or https://www.hcpss.org/f/schoolplanning/2019/data-farm-test-suppressed.xlsx?b

Disclaimer: I could not reproduce this plot myself because I don’t have a GIS software yet.

Superintendent’s proposal for High School 13 boundary

Finally I received the polygon numbers for High School 13 from Office of School Planning. There are two defined areas:

  1.  high probability polygon (yellow color)
  2. moderate probability polygons ( dark green color)

A community volunteer, named SP, helped me plot the map:

HS 13 on focus

Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 3.31.37 PM

Large map:

Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 3.32.00 PM

High Resolution Map:

BoE – HoCo HS13 Impact Map Colors

Student Population using this boundary

I calculated the student population based on the polygon numbers proposed by the Office of School Planning for the following 5 years, including 2018-2019 year.

High School Level

HS 13 student number

With this proposed boundary, we have extra 1400 students over the capacity when the school opens in 2023. So there is a lot of work to do to narrow down the boundary. We need avoid moving students multiple times.

Middle School Student Number within this boundary

Middle school student number

Elementary School Student Number within this boundary

elementary student number

Data available for download

HS13_Polygons

HCPSS-Student-Number-by-Polygon

How do you like it? Looking forward to your feedback at redistricting@hcpss.org. 

Participating in HCPSS 2020 Redistricting Process

The superintendent’s proposal for 2020 redistricting has come out on August 22, 2019. I am hearing some are saying this is not bold enough and more people saying their children will be negatively impacted.

I have been contacted by many people. I talked to many people. I also met many people. I am writing down almost all polygon numbers.  I read every email. As long as my time permits and you represent a large group of parents/students, I would love to talk, even meet your group.

I wrote a software program in Python to analyze the polygon move in the high school level and its ramification through each move. I don’t have many data as OSP, but the public shared data already helps me a lot. A move in one direction will affect many in other directions.

I strongly suggest every one shares your feedback (redistricting@hcpss.org) on the superintendent’s plan, the feasibility study plan and even your own big/little plan. Following policy 6010, make your case, for example,

  1. students being moved multiple times,
  2. feeder system improvement,
  3. a highway or natural boundary separating the community,
  4. HS 13 boundary map,
  5. a continuous community being split,
  6. an alternative and good FARM rate reduction approach/move,
  7. a better demographic diversity improvement approach
  8. a detailed resource to help disadvantaged students,
  9. evaluation on transportation route, time and cost (check https://chaowu.org/2019/08/28/hcpss-fy-2021-budget-ahead/  for our school obligation in 2021),
  10. unintended consequence of some polygon moves,
  11. new housing development plan affecting in the capacity soon,
  12. etc.

Please remember : don’t say bad words of other schools or communities. That will not advance your advocacy.  Please note: all public and written testimonies will be public online for many years in the future and everybody will be able to read them.  So try not to include your private information there.

Furthermore, what is your thought on future redistricting plan (we will discuss it in 2022 if HS 13 construction is done in 2023 ) based on the current direction on capacity and equity from our superintendent?

HCPSS FY 2021 budget ahead

This was posted on my facebook.  I think I should post it here too. The post was updated on September 10, 2020 based on staff info.

Many people asked me on school budget. Here are numbers(estimated). We will get better estimate during budget work session on 4:00-6:00PM September 10, 2019.

The school needs balance its’ budget such that we spend what we have.

For Fiscal Year 2021, starting from the beginning, we need extra 12 million for operating budget which is from this year deficit (we are funding some operating budget this year with one time funding), 10-11 million due to extra student growth(800 students*15000 per year=12 million), 25-28 million for teacher and staff salary increase (negotiated 4% as last year, not approved yet), 7-8 million dollar health care cost increase. 

Furthermore, health care fund still has that 37 millions deficit hanging there. This 37 million dollars maybe go up/down. We will get an update on this number by the end of September 2019.

So in total, we need extra 59 million for operating budget, one time 37 million to pay down health care deficit. So the total is around 96 million dollars at least.

Other obligations that we know will have a budget impact but do not have estimates at the this time:

  • Transportation contract costs(no-redistricting related)
  • Dual enrollment FARMS tuition increase
  • Non-public placement
  • Insurance/Risk management
  • Special Education

 

Thinking about during this year’s budget discussion, we were looking at saving 10,000 here and there. We are not sure how the economy will turn out in the next 12 months. We are also not sure how much the county and state would love to fund HCPSS.

We have a really tough, tough 2021 budget in front of us. I love to hear your ideas how to balance the budget.

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 12.54.05 PM

High School 13 school boundary

While I am waiting for the school staff to send the board the detailed possible boundary for HS 13, I am working with other board members to explore it too. I want to make sure we create minimal impact to students around that area while solving the overcrowding issue in Howard High and other schools. Double/triple boundary adjustment should be avoided as much as possible.

Note: Last redistricting happened in 2018. Next redistricting will be in 2020. Then next large scale redistricting will be in 2023 ( because of High School 13 opening and 200 additional seats will be available in Hammond High School)

I am also looking for the community input. HS 13 has a capacity of 1650 students. Here is the number of student polygon https://chaowu.org/2019/08/23/hcpss-student-number-by-polygons/.

Here is the map with polygon. From the map, you can see the need for High School 14 in the North East area ( Elkridge area).

Area map with polygon number

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 6.56.38 PM

Please share your input as the following format: core HS 13 area, and possibly included areas. Please include the polygon number and student number. We want to create a plan with around 1500 students.  Please consider community continuity/ historical/culture/transportation/etc factors.

The plan for HS 13 from the superintendent:

The whole HCPSS map with superintendent’s proposed redistricting 2020:

HCPSS student number by polygon

Here is the data associated with polygon. School attendance boundary is assigned by polygon number.

HCPSS Student Number by Polygon

POLYGON NUMBER

Please click here find your polygon number at http://hcpss-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=06528401636a4a48b1ef681c66a61a07

The data is downloaded from HCPSS website https://www.hcpss.org/f/schoolplanning/2019/data-enroll-projections-suppressed.xlsx?c

2020 HCPSS Superintendent’s proposal for redistricting

Updated: The final redistricting proposal approved by the BOE on Nov 20 2019 is here: https://chaowu.org/2019/11/22/hcpss-redistricting-final-result-for-2020-2021/

——–

Superintendent Dr. Martirano proposed his redistricting proposal tonight (8/22/2019). Here are the proposed moves.

Elementary School Move

elementary school move

elementary new map

Middle School Move

middle school move

middle school new map

High School Move

high school move

high school new map

HS 13 Boundary

HS 13 boundary

I don’t have the polygon numbers yet for HS13. I will add them when I have it.

The whole document is attached here for your reference:

08 20 2019 Attendance Area Adjustment BR

08 20 2019 Attendance Area Adjustment PowerPoint

Polygon Number

Please click here find your polygon number at http://hcpss-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=06528401636a4a48b1ef681c66a61a07

Your comments can be sent to redistricting@hcpss.org.

Here are some timelines for the process.

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 6.48.30 PM

Public Hearing:

All public hearings will be held at the Department of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, with satellite rooms available for overflow.

  • Tuesday, September 17, 7 p.m.
    • Families currently zoned for Centennial HS, Howard HS, Mt. Hebron HS, Oakland Mills HS
  • Tuesday, September 24, 7 p.m.Families currently zoned for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS
  • Thursday, September 26, 7 p.m.
    • Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS

Board Work Session

The Board of Education is currently scheduled to have seven public work sessions to discuss the suggested boundary review. The public may attend a work session but may not participate. The BOE is expected to make a preliminary decision during their final work session on November 18.

  • Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m
  • Thursday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 5, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 14, 6:30 p.m..
  • Monday, November 18 Preliminary decision

Board Final Decision

The Board of Education is scheduled to make their final decision on any boundary line adjustments.

Some HCPSS 2019 AAC Meeting Summaries

There were four Area Attendance Committee meetings. The detailed meeting minutes are here: https://www.hcpss.org/school-planning/boundary-review/#aac-meetings

I am copying some of their meeting presentations here for our readers. The following slides are extracted from https://www.hcpss.org/f/schoolplanning/2019/aac-presentation-07-09-19.pdf

Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 4.25.48 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-24 at 4.25.58 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-24 at 4.26.05 PMScreen Shot 2019-07-24 at 4.26.14 PM

School Population Change:

hcpss_12_2008_2019

Here is another animation which shows how our school population changes over the last 11 years in Howard County. The red dots highlights higher student populations.

school_population

Public input.

The four public input sessions have concluded; however, you can continue to provide feedback to help inform the Superintendent’s recommendations, by completing the online survey or submitting alternative boundary solutions by August 1.

Superintendent Proposal on August 20

The Superintendent will make his recommendation to the Board of Education on Tuesday, August 20. The Board will gather feedback from the community during public hearings on September 17, 24 and 26, and will hold work sessions on October 10, 24 and 30, and November 5, 12, 14 and 18. Find more details including how you can provide testimony.

BOE Nov. 21 Decision

On Thursday, November 21, the Board will make a decision on redistricting for the 2020-2021 school year.

Changes are never stopping

Earlier this year, French supermarket Carrefour partially exited from China market due to their failure to compete with other local and international supermarket stores . This is a shock to me.

Around 20 years ago when I first visited Shanghai and went to a Carrefour store, I was shocked. There were many people in the lines and there were more than 20 checkout lines. I never saw that scale in Hefei or my hometown. When people paid 300-500 Chinese Yuan ( 40-60 US dollars) for their good just for one purchase, I spent 150 (20 US dollars) on my meal at college per month. In the past, each of their stores made a profit of more than 100 million Chinese Yuan year. However, they did not adapt to the e-commerce and competitions from other local stores, they had to sell their stores.

Then there is another news today: China Takes Lead in Fortune Global 500. https://fortune.com/2019/07/22/china-takes-lead-in-fortune-global-500-ceo-daily/ .  This is the first time in the Fortune Global 500 list.

The world is changing and never stops. How can we prepare ourselves for such kind of changes? How can we prepare our children for such changes when they grow up?

AAC community input sessions start tonight 2019-7-10

Reminder: Attendance Area Community Input Sessions begin this evening:

Wednesday, July 10, 7–9 p.m. at Oakland Mills High School

Families currently zoned for Centennial HS, Howard HS, Mt. Hebron HS, Oakland Mills HS

Saturday, July 13, 9–11 a.m. at Long Reach High School

Available to any family that is unable to attend their regional meeting.

Tuesday, July 16, 7–9 p.m. at Atholton High School

Families currently zoned for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS

Thursday, July 18, 7–9 p.m. at River Hill High School

Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS

While it is not required, community encouraged to RSVP

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeYQv-p8CQ0pjb6P1sF6MH-Ne9e1IF4wCwihEvkQP2CUNjC7g/viewform

2019 BOE OBRC Final Report

The BOE Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC) presented a year-end final report. They identified four critical areas:

  1. Create a multi‐year Operating Budget that is integrated with a Strategic Plan
  2. Key Performance Indicators for programs
  3. Next Level with Equity, Inclusion and Diversity: Social Determinants of Health
  4. Revenue

I truly appreciate the committee’s year long commitment to provide the school board an independent angle to look at our operating budget.

Here is the document.

06 27 2019 OBRC Final Report BR

2019 HCPSS Equity Work Update

Here are some reports related to HCPSS Equity session on June 5th, 2019.

05 21 2019 Promoting Diversity through Student Assignment Initiatives PowerPoint

06 05 2019 Diversity and Inclusion WS Docs

06 05 2019 Equity Report BR

How to find the triangle between technical correctness, organizational implementation and political support and provide opportunities for all students is always a challenging work.

  1. Technical correctness analysis needs establish a baseline for the outcome we expect.  For example, when we talk about 100% high school graduation rate, we should know that is not technical correct. However, it will gain political support. A controlled study for technical correctness will be an important study to create a baseline.
  2. Organizational implementation needs check the reality due to the limited budget the school has. How to pull the resources together to support the equity work is not straightforward. Then organization change may happen if a new superintendent comes online. We should remember nationally a superintendent’s tenure is 3.2 years which is less than a four year contract. So a sustainable long term, organizational implementation plan should be created.
  3. There is no doubt that political support is always here. However, due to different understanding on how to achieve the goal and help our students’ to achieve their full potential, there is a high possibility that different opinions will arise. How a program should start and be implemented will vary.  Unfortunately these different opinions may be viewed as not supporting school equity.   We need overcome this type of accusation.

Boundary Review Updates: Attendance Area Committee Begins Work on 2019 Boundary Review Process

The Attendance Area Committee (AAC) began its work Tuesday, June 18 to review options presented in the 2019 Feasibility Study and make recommendations to the Superintendent. The AAC’s recommendations will help inform Dr. Martirano’s proposal to the Board of Education, scheduled to be presented during the August 20 Board meeting.

Led by Scott Leopold from Cooperative Strategies, LLC, the meeting began with group introductions, followed by an explanation of the role of the committee and legal obligations under the Open Meetings Act, and a review of HCPSS Policy 6010 – School Attendance Areas. The committee then became familiar with the options described in the Feasibility Study. Draft meeting minutes and upcoming meeting agendas can be found online.

Per Board of Education Policy 6010, the Superintendent appointed to the AAC individuals who represent every planning region in the county and have previously served HCPSS in advisory roles, as a member of an advisory committee or partner community organization. Group members include a former HCPSS administrator and a current student. Two individuals were tapped from one of the last three AACs to provide historical perspective.

AAC meetings will not be streamed online but are open to any member of the public who wishes to observe. AAC meetings will be held at Atholton High School at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, Tuesday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 9.

Community Input Sessions
Four community input sessions have been scheduled for community members to receive information related to the boundary review process and provide their input for the Superintendent’s consideration prior to his August 20 recommendation to the Board.

Families are encouraged to attend the session associated with the region in which they live based on School Locator. Those who cannot attend their region’s session should attend the county-wide session at Long Reach High School on Saturday, July 13 or may attend one of the other regional sessions. While RSVP is not required, it is highly encouraged. Online RSVP Form

  • Wednesday, July 10, 7–9 p.m. at Oakland Mills High School
    • Families currently zoned for Centennial HS, Howard HS, Mt. Hebron HS, Oakland Mills HS
  • Saturday, July 13, 9–11 a.m. at Long Reach High School
    • Available to any family that is unable to attend their regional meeting.
  • Tuesday, July 16, 7–9 p.m. at Atholton High School
    • Families currently zoned for Atholton HS, Hammond HS, Long Reach HS, Wilde Lake HS
  • Thursday, July 18, 7–9 p.m. at River Hill High School
    • Families currently zoned for Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS, Reservoir HS, River Hill HS

Online Input Forms Now Open
Members of the community may provide online feedback on the 2019 Feasibility Study to help inform the Superintendent’s recommendations to the Board of Education or submit alternate boundary options to be considered as part of the boundary review process.

These online input options will remain available until August 1. Following the Superintendent’s presentation to the Board on August 20, the Board will provide additional input and feedback options.

More information on the Boundary Review process can be found at the HCPSS website.

HCPSS 2019-2020 Feasibility Study

  1. Here is original document. 06 13 2019 Presentation of Feasibility Study BR
  2. The presentation is shorter and easier to read. 06 13 2019 Presentation of Feasability Study PowerPoint
  3. Note this is NOT the final boundary adjustment. Here is the timeline for the redistricting process: https://chaowu.org/2019/06/05/2019-boundary-review-process-in-hcpss-schools/This is the feasibility study which projects and proposes the boundary adjustment to the superintendent.
    1. The superintendent makes his redistricting proposal to the board in August.
    2. The BOE will have three public hearings on the superintendent’s proposal.
    3. Final vote will happen in Nov.
    4. Here are the three important dates. https://chaowu.org/2019/04/02/three-important-days-about-2019-2020-hcpss-school-redistricting/
  4. Here is the link to how to find your polygon number based on your home address: https://chaowu.org/2017/06/24/how-to-find-hcpss-school-polygon-map-number/

Proposed Sample Elementary School Adjustment

Sample_Elementary_Move

Proposed Sample Middle and High School Adjustment

Sample_Middle_High_Schools_move.JPG

Proposed High School 13 Boundary

high_school_13_boundary.JPG

————————————————————————————————————————————-

Here are the breakdown by regions how the boundary adjustment has been proposed. Each of them has several options for considerations.

Western Elementary Move Option 1

western_elementary_option_1.JPG

Western Elementary Move Option 2

western_elementary_option_2.JPG

Southwestern Elementary Move Option 1

Southwestern_Option_1.JPG

Southwestern Elementary Move Option 2

Southwestern_Option_2.JPG

Southwestern Elementary Move Option 3

Southwestern_Option_3

Columbia Move Option 1

Columbia_Option_1

Columbia Move Option 2

Columbia_Option_2.JPG

Columbia Move Option 3

Columbia_Option_3.JPG

Student Number Projection

If you have any feedback on the predicted numbers, please share it with me, especially the New Construction(NC) column.

Projection_High_SchoolProjection_Middle_SchoolProjection_Elementary_School

 

 

 

 

2019 HCCS graduation speech

哈维中文 2019毕业典礼

伍超,周日,2019/6/9

谢谢哈维中文学校的邀请,我特别恭喜即将毕业的同学们,也谢谢还坚持在路上的弟弟妹妹们。恭喜你们,谢谢你们。

鹅鹅鹅,曲项向天歌的牙牙学语的童年,

窗前明月光,疑是地上霜的纯真小学,

大漠孤烟直,长河落日圆的成长中的孤单和落寞

以及到“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”的忧国忧家的广阔胸怀

到处流淌着中华文化的精神和气魄。

我们亲爱的同学们,你们在爸爸妈妈,爷爷奶奶,外公外婆的关怀下,终于毕业了。请向他们表示最忠心的感谢。你们在哈维中文学校的老师们,对你们不离不弃,也请向他们表示最诚挚的问候。

经过这么多年的努力,你们流淌在中华文化,最广阔,最优秀,最大气的道路中成长着。恭喜你们,终于毕业了。

这其中的斗争和考验,眼泪和欢笑,都将是你们生命旅程中最宝贵经历的一部分。我要代表哈维郡教育委员会感谢你们,你们的父母,你们的老师。虽然公立学校基本没有中文教育,你们在每一个周末,风雨无阻,冰雪无碍,克服困难,坚持到底。这一走就是上十年。

你们完成了这一步,还有很多很长的路要走。这一步路为你们将来的路,铺上了很多很多,勇气,毅力,乐观,还有深沉和自信。

请保持住,你们的这份坚持,勇气,乐观,智慧,勇敢和善良,就如同你们吸取的中华文化中最优秀的那部分精神财富,永远成为你们力量的源泉,智慧的指引。在你们奋斗的征程中,你们今天所学习的,领悟的,或者还不理解的文化和语言,都是那盏耀眼的明灯,照亮着你们。

长风破浪会有时, 直挂云帆济沧海。无限的未来和可能在等着你们。

祝贺你们。

Thoughts before 2020 HCPSS budget vote

It is my first school budget. The process is painful and the result is painful.

It was so painful that I have to see so many dedicated technology teachers, math support teachers, reading support teachers, math instruction support teachers, and paraeducators will lose their positions due to our vote. Fortunately they will not lose their job and income.

It is not your fault at all. When a math resource teacher called me and cried, I really don’t know what to say that point. We don’t have much choices.

increasing class size, cutting music teachers, cutting GT teachers , cutting technology teachers, cutting paraeducator, cutting math support teachers or reading support teachers or more. There is no good choice and we have to balance the budget.

I am looking forward to seeing how to make next year budget better. The reality is very tough. We will have a 37 millions dollar health care deficit and around 12 million dollar operating budget deficit starting at our next budget discussion.

We need revenue and find efficiency.  We need clean our house first before any new initiatives.

  1. Managing our temporary worker system will bring some money.
  2. Charging daycare center running on school facility will bring some money. Right now, the rent is 1 dollar.
  3. Charging some school facility usage fee will bring some revenue
  4. We need increase school fundraising effort. (added after the post loaded here)
  5. We need examine every aspect of our operation.
  6. We need figure out how to increase our starting teacher salary to 50k to make our salary competitive . We need examine our health care benefit and reform it, and make it more sustainable as soon as possible. Our teachers and staff need our support.
  7. Running a school system is also like running a business. We need find efficiency. We need find result. We need innovate.

Furthermore, we need our county executive and county council’s continuous and strong support.

  • We need increase our development impact fee to at least 8 dollars per square fee, which is still lower than neighboring counties. This will bring tens of million dollars to the county revenue and ease the school over-crowding a little bit. This will decrease our need to rely on debt to fund county capital budgets.
  • If people consider increasing property tax and other tax, please make sure the development impact fee will be increased first
  • also make sure the increased revenue will go into education. We should always be mindful increasing tax will create an extra financial burden to many families too.

The school system can only do so much with limited revenue. I will make sure our school system will not go back to the same faulty path as previous school administration.

We don’t have a rosy road ahead of us at all. Let’s all work together to fix the problem, bring our school back to the right track gradually and still be one of the best.

Our students are counting on us. Thanks.