2018 QuHacks- Hackathon for High/Middle School Students

QuHacks 2018 – hackathon for high school and middle school students

(This message is copied from Howard County Chinese School mailing list)

Time: Saturday, December 8th, 2018 
          9:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Towson University, YR Building
                7800 York Road, Towson, MD

QuHacks is a coding competition run by some Howard County high school students.

Are you a high school or middle school student interested in programming? Do you want to learn something new? Come and compete at QuHacks 2018. No experience necessary!  You can compete in either the Novice or the Advanced divisions, or just attend the Java, Python, and Web Development workshops. Sign up at QuHacks ’18 Sign Ups

Prizes, swag, and raffle items will be available for both divisions. Please feel free to listen in to facebook (@QuHacks), Instagram (@quhacks), or website (http://quhacks.tech/) for any updates!

Science In Society Conference at River Hill High School on 2018-12-3

Conference Registration

The Science In Society conference will take place on December 3rd, 2018 from 6 – 9 PM at River Hill High School (12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville MD 21029). It aims to expose high school students to the applications of a STEM-based education as well as the various internship opportunities offered by well-known organizations (NIH, NSA, JHU, UMD). The format includes a keynote presentation, 2 workshop sessions, and a booths fair. You can register for the conference through this form, but note that it will close on November 29th and will be limited to the first 300 entries. Workshop selections are first come first serve.


high school overcrowd relieving options for Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge High Schools

MRHS will host Project Lead The Way Biomedical, Computer Science, and Aerospace Engineering programs focused on pathways in health professions, computer science and engineering.

Rising 9th-12th graders from Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge will complete the online interest form.

*Existing PLTW programs at Howard and Centennial will remain intact. The proposed program, pending board approval, will add additional PLTW opportunities for students who opt to attend Marriotts Ridge.


Resignation from CA board

I am resigning from the Columbia Association board and the River Hill Community Association board, effective on December 1st, 2018.
It has been my honor and pleasure to serve on the CA board since 2015. I benefit tremendously from this journey and truly appreciate our CA staff, other board members and community members’ help during the time.
I will write less about the development, River Hill and Columbia, more about education related issues in Howard County. In the past, I wrote each month and the articles are listed here: https://chaowu.org/articles_in_english/
I am now starting a new journey in our school system as a newly elected board member in our Howard County Board of Education.
Together, we can continuously provide quality education to our students.

Public Notice For Hearing on HoCo Bills in 2019 Legislative session

Public Notice For Hearing on Local Bills (UPDATE 11/20/18)

If you are interested in the update, please email   hoc1@mlis.state.md.us and ask them to include your email.

There are two bills related to education, both are proposed by Delegate Atterbeary. 

Ho. Co. 1–19 proposes 2020 (2024, 2028, etc) BOE board members are elected by council district (2020 BOE candidates can run a smaller scale campaign) .

Ho. Co. 3–19 proposes to raise development impact fee which closely relates to the school capacity( should help to mitigate the school overcrowding problem).

Ho.Co. 8-19: Howard County – Board of Education Redistricting – Requirements, Ho.Co. 08-19 ,By: Chair, Howard County Delegation. Legislation still in Bill Drafting (not sure what will be inside).

The Howard County Delegation of the Maryland General Assembly, chaired by Senator Guy Guzzone and Delegate Terri Hill, will hear testimony from the public on drafted local bills. No testimony on other issues will be permitted as a second hearing devoted to statewide bills will be scheduled.

Any individual may testify for up to 3 minutes, as long as they are signed up.  Signup will begin at 7:00pm in the Banneker Room and will close at 7:20pm.  Advance sign up is not available.  The delegation encourages you to bring written copies of your testimony (preferably 15) to distribute to us, though it is not a requirement to speak.  The hearing is scheduled as follows:

Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.

Banneker Room, George Howard Building

3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MD

The 2018 legislative session will begin on January 9, 2019

Full text of the proposed Howard County bills can be accessed, as they become available from Bill Drafting, beginning Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 6:00pm on the Howard County website (Home>About Howard County>State Delegation>Proposed Local Legislation): https://www.howardcountymd.gov/About-HoCo/State-Delegation/Proposed-Local-Legislation. Please monitor this page regularly for the most recent updates. This list of proposed legislation and the order of presentation at the public hearing is subject to change as determined by the Delegation Chairs. Short descriptions of the local bills are included below.

Bond Initiative Requests

Butterfly Building for Visual Arts Gallery and Guest Services – Design and Build, Ho.Co. 05-19, $2,000,000

By: Delegate Hill

Historic Barnard Fort House Restoration, Ho. Co. 09-19, $150,000

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Historic Thomas Isaac Log Cabin Relocation and Rehabilitation, Ho. Co. 10-19, $100,000

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Harriet Tubman Community Center and Museum – Development and Improvement, Ho. Co. 16–18, $500,000

By: Delegate Atterbeary


Proposed Local Bills


Howard County Board of Education – Elected School Board, Ho. Co. 1–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of requiring that certain members of the Howard County Board of Education be elected by the voters of certain districts and certain members be elected at large by the voters of the county; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to the election of the members of the Howard County Board of Education.

Howard County – Orphans’ Court Judges – Qualifications, Ho. Co. 2–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to prescribe different qualifications for judges of the Orphans’ Court for Howard County; requiring judges of the Orphans’ Court for Howard County to have been admitted to practice law in the State and be members in good standing of the Maryland Bar; and submitting this amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection.

Howard County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags, Ho. Co. 4–19

By: Delegate Hill

FOR the purpose of authorizing Howard County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for the use of disposable bags as part of a retail sale of products; limiting the amount of a certain fee; defining certain terms; and generally relating to the authority for Howard County to impose a fee for the use of disposable bags.


Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Marketplace License, Ho.Co. 06-19

By: Delegate Hill

FOR the purpose of establishing a marketplace license in Howard County; authorizing the Board of License Commissioners to issue the license to certain individuals; specifying the scope, hours of sale, and fees for the license; authorizing the license holder to sell beer, wine, and liquor within the marketplace under certain conditions; authorizing a license holder to obtain a refillable container permit and a nonrefillable container permit under certain conditions; specifying certain standards to be met by the marketplace; defining a certain term; and generally relating to alcoholic beverages in Howard County.

Howard County – Flood Control Standards – Tiber – Hudson Branch, New Cut Branch, and Plum Tree Branch, Ho.Co. 11-19

By: Delegate Flanagan

 FOR the purpose of requiring the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations that establish certain flood control standards to be adopted by the Howard County Council for a development or redevelopment project located in certain watersheds in Howard County; requiring the Department to adopt regulations that specify that certain stormwater management plans for a development or redevelopment project located in certain watersheds in Howard County be designed to implement certain flood control standards; and generally relating to flood control standards.

Property Tax Credit – Elderly Individuals – Eligibility, Ho. Co. 16–19


FOR the purpose of altering the definition of “eligible individual” by requiring that an elderly individual must live in the same county, rather than the same dwelling, for a certain number of years to be eligible for a certain statewide optional property tax credit against the county or municipal corporation property tax; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to the eligibility of certain elderly individuals for a certain property tax credit.

Howard County – Ethics – Limit on Developer Contributions, Ho. Co. 12-19

By: Delegate Miller (ADDED TO THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 11/19/18)

 Legislation still in Bill Drafting.

Impact Fees – Calculation, Ho. Co. 3–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

 FOR the purpose of altering the amount of the school facilities surcharge in Howard County; authorizing the County Council of Howard County to enact a local law providing for the annual alteration of the amount of the school facilities surcharge based on a certain calculation requiring the school facilities surcharge to be used only for the benefit of schools within whose attendance area certain residential construction is located; requiring the County Executive of Howard County to submit a certain report to certain persons at a certain time; defining a certain term; and generally relating to the school facilities surcharge in Howard County.


Howard County – Board of Education Redistricting – Requirements, Ho.Co. 08-19

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Legislation still in Bill Drafting.

For further information, please feel free to contact me.


Erinn Camp Mansour

Howard County Delegation Administrator

Maryland General Assembly

The Maryland House of Delegates

6 Bladen Street, Room 214B

Annapolis, MD 21401

phone: 410 -841-3360, 301-858-3360

CA board meeting summaries 2018-11-8

This is an unofficial summary. 

Board Work Session

Resident speakout:

  1. Chris Alleva, missed his talk. In his written testimony, talked about CB73, which was withdrawn and could possibly come back in front of the planning board in next January (Royal Farms SDP 17-041)
  2. Brian England, missed his speech.
  3. Amy Gallagher, talked about mold issues related to the facility they rented and impacted their operation, created extra financial burden and operation hardship.
  4. Alan Klein, representing his village, talking about the mold issue and thanked CA staff.


Howard County Phase 2 Land Development Regulations Assessment:
  1. There are 36 different zoning codes. That is one of the reasons the County Government wants to rewrite the zoning law and recude the zoning category.
  2. Out-parcels with Columbia Planning area: there are 7% ( 365 acres) for undeveloped residential parcel for future residential development.
Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker
Capital Projects and Open Space Updates
Four Easement Requests from Howard Count

Board Meeting

The board approved the pathway system in the Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods with condition from board final approval.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods


Thank you for the general election win

I am so excited that Team Wu won the second place in the 2018 HoCo BOE election with more than 51000 votes.

Thanks to the voters who trusted me and my volunteers who worked in the rain, in the cold, in the heat and dropped the literature in the neighborhood. It is a collaborative effort to get to this place.

I appreciate other candidates’ effort. Each candidate provides a unique perspective to our school system. I always say “Once a volunteer, always a volunteer”. I am looking forward to working with all of them in the future.

I am looking forward to working with all board members to serve HCPSS. I will not forget “A vote for Wu is a vote for you”.

2018 HoCo general election amendment guide

Amendment 1: (YES)

Let’s fix the loophole and keep the promise (using gambling money to fund education). Even I don’t agree with funding the education by gambling money or marijuana tax.

Amendment 2: (NO)

Same day registration will create much longer waiting line and cost more money. It is unnecessary.

Two thoughts on this:

  1. I feel we need have a study whether eight days early voting is increasing the voter participation or not. We should shorten it to be four days. By the way, I totally support more voter participation/awareness, the better community.
  2. We need make Election Day a federal holiday. If everyone agrees election is so important, and every vote is so important, let’s celebrate election with a day off and offer people more convenience to vote.

Amendment 3: ( YES)

Howard County Council will have more time for a bill. I agree with it. It does not hurt giving them extra days. Last time, they passed a bill which expired and I hope that will not happen again.

Vote for Wu

Tomorrow I will work with my volunteer team on the field under a bad weather. With their strong support, I believe our voters will feel the same passion as Team Wu: All about quality education.

Even a puppy knows that.

We are prepared for the bad weather with our little volunteer to help.

Answers to Dunloggin Community

Dr. Chao Wu’s reply 


  1. What is your opinion about need for redistricting in HC? How will you vote as a BOE member to relief school overcrowding and why?

First, I am against massive-scale redistricting. We should find better solutions which will disrupt as less students as possible. We should put our students first.

Second, the process should be improved. We need get better data. We need assign a weight to each criteria in Policy 6010 (for example, each criteria is weighted 1/13=7.7% or different weight).  However, this weight should be predefined before the polygon move. Equity, community, cost, transportation, etc , all should be considered in the redistricting process.  We should not let one single factor dedicate the outcome of the redistricting.

  1. What is your opinion on overdevelopment? Is there a need to stop it? What would you do as a BOE member to resolve school overcrowding due to overdevelopment?

I testified in front of the County Council last year at 11:30 PM and asked them to strengthen the APFO which governs the development. We need continue to advocate for a planned development such that development will be paced with infrastructure, school, and transportation support.

The school board has no control on the overdevelopment because that is the county council power. However, as a BOE member, we can advocate for better planning.

  1. You attended a BOE candidates forum at Dunloggin and learnt more about our community. How would you vote during redistricting process on Dunloggin polygons: To partially redistrict Dunloggin from Centennial School To redistrict entire neighborhood from Centennial High To keep entire neighborhood in Centennial High school Please explain why you chose your answer.

I strongly support keeping community together. Our students grow up from the neighbor, play in the neighborhood and support the neighborhood.

  1. What do you think about a concept of“development polygons” tool that was recommended by Christina Delmont-Small? Would you implement it? Please explain your answer. If yes, how?

I need carefully think of it. I have no position on the development polygon yet.

  1. There are multiple school bus routs running along Frederick road and Main street, East from rt. 29. Last two floods took place during non school days. As a board member, would you take any actions to remove school bused from flood zone? Please explain the reason why? If yes, what would you do?

Student safety will be the No.1 concern for me. I want our students who go to school safely and come back home safely. If actions are needed for school bus not crossing the flood zone, I will support to change the route of the school bus.

  1. What is your opinion on social engineering? Do you think it should be applied in our public schools? Why do you think so? (you don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to)

Our school need educate our students and make sure they learn something in the school and grow themselves along the years.  Every student has their own potential and the school system needs try their best to help them to achieve that potential.

School can’t do it alone. They need help from the families and the communities.

The school could not dedicate the success of each student, but should strive their best to provide the opportunity for them, or build the bridge for them to succeed.

  1. What do you think about having children with different levels and abilities? Do you think all kids should be at the same level or is it ok to develop gifted children? What would you do as a BOE member?

I believe we should educate our children based on their need and their capacity. There is a balance of both. We need educate our student to fit their capacity and meet their needs.

I support to strengthen the GT program. GT is for the program, not for labeling students. Our students have the need for differentiated learning experience.



Proactive Engagement in Land Development Needed (The Villager 2018-11)

Council Corner:

Proactive Engagement in Land Development Needed

 Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board.

The letter will be published on Nov 2018 issue of “The Villager” of River Hill Community Association.

The Patuxent Storage Facility under construction near Guilford Road at the entrance to the Patuxent Branch Trail in the Village of Kings Contrivance has recently been the focus of the Columbia Association’s (CA) board of directors and many residents. The issue is the location of the access to the storage facility. Rather than entering from Guilford Road or through adjoining CA open space, the developer chose to locate the entrance using a road which for many years has been used by the public to access the Patuxent Branch Trail. This decision resulted in many residents feeling unhappy about the developer’s choice. After numerous meetings, the county has agreed to pay at least $200K to build a new pathway connector to the Patuxent Branch Trail. This new connector will run through CA open space to replace the old, nearly 200-meter pathway that will be used by the developer to access the storage facility The CA board eventually approved a land easement so the county can build this separate and new pathway to ensure public access to the trail, pedestrian safety, and minimize the environmental impact of the project.

What was missing in this project was a quick and direct communication between stakeholders. The community needs a coordinated effort from our county council (zoning approval agency), the county government and developers.  The community needs to be informed early in the process. In some cases, the community does not necessarily oppose the development, but would like to provide input to make the development better. Columbia has been a planned community from the start and residents expect future growth to be planned with community input.

In the Village of River Hill, the association’s board of directors has been actively engaging in the process as development occurs around the village. Even on issues as small as the right turn exit by the McDonald’s, the association has coordinated with Kimco Realty several times to improve safety because some drivers make illegal left turns there. Current projects the association is reviewing and providing input on are:  the Erickson Living Continuing Care Retirement community with a capacity of more than 1200 residences; the redevelopment of the garden center as the River Hill Square commercial project, Cedar Creek (formerly the Simpson Oaks) residential development with 184 units; and most recently the Robinson Overlook 48-unit affordable housing development proposed on Grace Drive.

The board seeks to bring our residents’ concerns to the developers, zoning board, county government, and even the State Highway Administration to make sure that proper consideration is given to the impacts on traffic and safety and residents’ quality of life. The community association welcomes residents’ participation in various committees established by the village board so that we proactively engage with stakeholders as development projects arise. To find out more about the Traffic and Safety and Development Committees visit https://www.villageofriverhill.org/board/committees/.

Finally, please don’t forget to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, November 6. It is our civic duty and a perfect opportunity to begin to engage with the development process.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email: superbwu@gmail.com  Website: http://www.chaowu.org



2018 Howard County early voting locations for general election

The following four centers open from 10 am to 8 pm daily from 10/25(Thursday)–11/1(Thursday). A vote for Wu is a Vote for you.

1) Miller branch Library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

2) The Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Kenton Way, Columbia, MD 21044

3) Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship, MD 21794

4) Ridgely’s Run Community Center, 8400 Mission Road, Jessup, MD 20794

Chao Wu for BOE, final pitch before the general election

No endorsement is better than our voters’ trust. As an independent candidate and non-partisan election, I am asking for your support to vote for me during the 2018 Howard County Board of Education election.

It is you, our voters, by making a little bit of effort to understand the candidate’s background, experience, and vision for the school system, make an informed vote. Your vote is my endorsement.  With this belief in my heart, I won the primary in June with 15600 votes without any organizational endorsement.  I am looking for your continuous support.

Here are my main points:

  1. Keep an open mind. For many problems, people naturally have different views based on their personal experiences, background and priority. These diverse points of view will give us a great understanding why some problems seem easy, but are difficult to solve. From my life experience that I was educated and lived in multiple countries with diverse cultural, educational and racial background, I will be a champion on this. I will also be the independent voice on the board.
  2. Get the data right, the process transparent and the communication channel open. As a data scientist using machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms in my professional work, we need get the data right. We need try our best to have evidence-based and data-based analytic solutions for our problems.  With my advocacy on the board, I believe HCPSS can and should do better.
  3. Ask tough questions. When a board member asks questions, it is in general not an attack to our staff. It is the curiosity and responsibility of a board member to get the fact right and make an informed vote. This accountability will make our school system better, increase the trust of HCPSS from the general public.
  4. I have almost four-year experience as a board member on Columbia Association ( 80 million dollar yearly budget) board and have been an active volunteer in HCPSS.  The board experience and volunteer advocacy will serve HCPSS on day one. I will be a team player on the school board and together we will provide quality education to our students.

I will be your voice and you are my strength.

A Vote for Wu is a Vote for you.

Save the best for last.  ( My name is always shown at the last in the ballot)


HCPSS GT Program Overview

Last Saturday at Miller Library, HCPSS GT program director Debbie Blum gave a great seminar. I learned a lot through this very interactive seminar. Here is the slide ( too large to post here)


She emphasized GT was for the program, not for labeling our kids. I totally agree with her. The program is to challenge our kid’s learning. There are around 100 GT resource teachers in HCPSS and each school has their own.  It totally depends on each school’s participation. Some schools have over 40% students taking different GT classes and some other schools have around 10% students taking GT classes.  When there is a need, the school system will try its best to meet the student need.

From Chinese teaching philosophy by Confucius, teaching should be differentiated based on individual capability and need.  Students have diverse and changing interests when they grow up. The school should find ways to stimulate those interests and motivate them.

Students have different growth path. Some students have later or slower learning curve. The GT program may put much pressure on them and hinder their capability of free growing-up. How can our school system find a way avoid such a problem?

I have reservation on magnet schools when people asked my opinion on magnet schools. I learn some lessons from what is happening in Montgomery County School System. It is better to spread resources in each individual school, instead concentrate it in only a few schools unless absolutely needed.

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 11.16.28 AM

CA 101: Learn More About Columbia Association on October 23

For any residents who are interested in knowing more about CA, here is an opportunity.
CA 101: Learn More About Columbia Association on October 23
CA 101 is an informative evening where you can learn about what Columbia Association is doing for you. Along with a brief orientation on the history and organization of Columbia Association, learn about CA’s open spaces, sport and fitness programs, 
community services and more.
CA 101 will be held on Tuesday, October 23 from 7-9 p.m. at CA Headquarters, 
6310 Hillside Court, off Broken Land Parkway and Stevens Forest Road.
To register, please visit ColumbiaAssociation.org/ca101 

feedback mechanism in our school system

Feedback is one of the most important words when I began to learn automatic control theory in college.  The PID algorithm is such a beauty to do object tracking automatically in our real life which has been advancing human life for many many years. One application is the cruise control button in our car. As simple as when we drive on the highway, we will slow down when we are too fast, we need accelerate when are too slow. Human has the built-in feedback system which is learned over years when we grow up.

Our school system needs such a feedback mechanism too. A consistent, timely feedback mechanism should be built into our school program performance evaluation. In software design, we have another term: continuous integration and testing. That means the system will automatically check the system performance without any human interference when there is any change . This will minimize human errors. We also need the feedback mechanism to run continuously and share that result with us whenever available. Any anomaly in the system will be detected automatically and then analyzed by humans later.

Many our school programs are multi-layered. However, we should try our best to set some quantifiable, measurable objective function, evaluate them continuously and get the feedback into the human hands periodically.

We should make substantial effort to get the input data right, set up a feedback process and evaluate program performance continuously for our school system.

Fiscal Year 2018 – Strategic Plan Progress Report of Columbia Association (The Villager 2018-09)

Fiscal Year 2018 – Strategic Plan Progress Report of Columbia Association

by Dr. Chao Wu

The article will be published on The Village, September 2018 Issue. 

Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board.

The Columbia Association’s (CA) Board of Directors approved its Strategic Plan in May 2014. The plan has a five-year horizon and is used to help guide the organization’s operational and resource allocation decision-making to ensure that actions and investments are in alignment with CA’s vision, mission, values, goals and objectives. This plan was created by CA board members, CA staff and community stakeholders before I joined the CA board and is structured around five goals. Annually, CA staff prepares a report outlining the organization’s achievements in meeting these goals. Below are some highlights from the FY18 Progress Report (May 2017 – April 2018).

Goal 1: “Deliver programs and services that meet stakeholders’ expectations and enhance the quality of life in Columbia.”

CA initiated a variety of changes at the fitness clubs based on customer feedback gained through the Clarabridge survey data system, CA’s member experience management system. The personal training program partnered with School Age Services to provide fitness programming in before and aftercare programs at Columbia schools. CA introduced programs to expand tennis offerings, including Tennis Whizz for three-and four-year olds with a guardian; Play Tennis Fast for new adult players; indoor Pickleball league play; and daytime tennis leagues for players who work in the evening or at night. The International Exchange and Multicultural Programs division hosted an Intracultural Conversation on Aging with the Korean Senior Association and Columbia Community Exchange participants.

Goal 2: “Maintain and enhance Columbia’s facilities, open spaces, connectivity and environmental stewardship.”

By the end of FY 18, CA had reduced its energy use intensity by 20 percent relative to FY12. CA in coordination with Ecotine was awarded a State Highway Administration (SHA) grant for a stream restoration project that will restore one-and-a quarter miles of stream that runs from Cedar Lane Park, through Wilde Lake, to Lake Kittamaqundi. CA continued to improve its pathway system with repaving and pathway widenings. Directional signs for Kendall Ridge (19 signs) and for the Lake Elkhorn to Hopewell Pool pathway (seven signs) were designed and produced.  CA completed construction of the Long Reach Indoor Tennis Facility to address the need for cutting-edge, indoor tennis courts.

Goal 3: “Develop and communicate a shared community vision for Columbia, and advance the vision through advocacy, partnerships and alignment of CA programs and services.”

In conjunction with many community partners, CA implemented the Columbia 50th Birthday celebration and events. The celebration goals were met: generate awareness of Columbia’s history and values, serve as a catalyst for imagination and innovation in creating community, and promote the original values of Columbia in addressing the needs of people

Goal 4: “Strengthen communication and community engagement in CA.”

Sports and Fitness held three open houses to invite the public into our facilities to experience what we have to offer. Over 900 non-member guests participated. ​The CA Camps webpage was updated to make it easier for the community to learn about camp program offerings and sign-up. CA established a New Climate Change and Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Goal 5: “Demonstrate the practices of a high-performing and responsive organization.”

CA established an internal Business/Technology Steering Committee to advise CA’s President and provide leadership in strategic business/technology planning, project prioritization/management, and project approval as well as direction on long-term technology strategies for CA. The Learning and Organizational Development Division introduced and taught a new Management Essentials Course designed to improve the management skills of our CA Team Leaders. School Age Services implemented online registration and had appointments for participants to turn in their paperwork for the 2017/2018 school year. Sports and Fitness implemented a new online reservation system at Hobbit’s Glen called Golf Genius and introduced live scoring for tournaments. Sports and Fitness also introduced an online coaching and communication platform in tennis called Tenicity, which links the player, coach and parent as part of player development for competitive juniors in the program. CA additionally launched PlaySight Smart Court Pro Technology at Long Reach Tennis Club, which can call lines, the score as well as be used for coaching.

In FY18 CA accomplished its strategic goals in many additional ways. To view the entire Progress Report, visit https://www.columbiaassociation.org/about-us/strategic-plan/ or visit my website. I look forward to hearing your feedback on CA’s strategic goals and the implementation of the plan.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email: superbwu@gmail.com  Website: http://www.chaowu.org



BOE discussion on Options to Relieve High School Overcrowding

The original document is here https://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/files/B3PMYR5D8F2E/$file/08%2023%202018%20%20Options%20to%20Relieve%20HS%20Overcrowding%20BR.pdf

Here is my quick summary for your reference:


Several Howard County Public Schools are outside of the target utilization range (90 percent – 110 percent) as defined by Policy 6010 School Attendance Areas. Specifically, Howard HS, Centennial HS, Long Reach HS, Mt Hebron HS and Hammond HS are projected to be above 110 percent capacity utilization, excluding relocatables, within the next five years of the projection. Long Reach HS is expected to receive relief from the JumpStart program to lower the capacity utilization below 110 percent in SY 2018-19. The Board of Education voted on June 7, 2018 to direct the Superintendent to provide comprehensive options in order to relieve crowding, specifically at the high school level and attendance areas for HS #13.

Existing opportunities:

  1. Jumpstart program
    • As of this date, approximately 500 students, including 260 out-of-district students from Centennial HS, Long Reach HS and Howard HS, have enrolled in JumpStart at River Hill HS or Oakland Mills HS. It is anticipated that trailing siblings will take advantage of JumpStart as well. Based on historic trends, 12 to 14 percent of the student population at Centennial HS, Long Reach HS and Howard HS are out of their home school during some portion of the day to attend Applications Research Laboratory (ARL) or Howard Community College (HCC), or to participate in work-study, internships or other off-campus obligations. In SY 2019-20, we estimate 13 to 24 percent of students at Centennial HS, Long Reach HS and Howard HS will take advantage of either JumpStart or other the existing off-campus programmatic offerings.
  2. relocatable classrooms
    • As of this writing, HCPSS employs 229 relocatable classroom spaces, in one, five or nine classroom units. This count includes relocatables used for Howard County Recreation and Parks. Including relocatable classrooms, all elementary, middle and high schools are projected to be under 110 percent capacity utilization.

Additional Opportunities:

Boundary Adjustments

As demonstrated in the summer 2017 boundary review process, to access available capacity, changing boundaries in the central part of the county is likely.

Open Enrollment:
  1. This option is not associated with enrollment in JumpStart or any other regional program.
  2. The proposed sending schools are Centennial HS, Howard HS, Long Reach HS, and Mt. Hebron HS.
  3. The proposed receiving schools are Glenelg HS, Marriotts Ridge HS and Oakland Mills HS.
  4. Because of the JumpStart out of district students and anticipated trailing siblings, River Hill HS is not a viable option to receive more students in this open enrollment scenario.
Rising Ninth Grade Class(es)
  1. The following two ideas focus on providing relief to Howard HS, but can apply to Centennial HS as well. They vary slightly, but both options offer the school relief of approximately 25 percent of the student population. This option would end with the opening of New HS #13 in SY 202324.
  2. Either of these options could start in SY 2019-2020 with the rising ninth grade class (those students completing eighth grade in SY 2018-2019). Reassignment of the rising ninth grade class provides immediate relief, is not voluntary, uses existing capacity and incurs no capital costs.
  3. There is a temporary reassignment of rising ninth graders and permanent reassignment of rising ninth graders.
Ninth Grader Academy
  1. The model’s key features include clustering of instructional staff into a 9th grade team, provision of additional mental health supports, and, physically separating the 9th grade student cohort to facilitate feelings of a supportive 9th grade community.
  2. In order to facilitate a ninth grade academy, a new capital project is required. The capital project involves use of the Faulkner Ridge building.   The estimated project capital cost is $34 million, with annual operating costs estimates for transportation and maintenance about $600,000 and $235,000.


There is another post on HCPSS website: