HCPSS Equitable and Effective Discipline Forum

I joined many community members in this forum and listened to Dr. Gina Massella’s presentation this morning at Long Reach High School at 8:30.

In my table, we had a NAACP of HoCo member, a LRHS student council student, Barb Krupiarz from HCPSS Special Education Advisory Committee and an HCPSS teacher(facilitator). I learned a lot.

We have a lot to do. In one way, we should not be afraid of discipling students because we want have our numbers look good. Most important, we should address the discipline problem with students, staff and parents to help our student grow and succeed. It will not happen in a day, but I am confident we can achieve that.

Attached are some figures.

Robot will take our jobs?

Robot will take our jobs. How can HCPSS help our students to avoid this?

  • Andrew Ng’s biggest concern about AI is its effect on Jobs (Not evil AI)
  • Industrial Robot sales in the US are now growing at 32% YoY US (2017)
  • Expected to accelerate as robots become more intelligent, less expensive more capable
  • Low Wage Jobs are most susceptible https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/
  • Based on Oxford 2013 Report on the susceptibility of jobs to computerization in the US
  • Machine learning will put a substantial share of employment across a wide range of occupations at risk
  • By the authors’ estimates about 47% of total US employment is at risk
  • Job automation bottlenecks: Perception and Manipulation, Creative Intelligence, Social Intelligence

Questionnaire and Answers (First)

From Dr. Chao Wu, 2018 Howard County Board of Education Candidate

The following answers are my positions to the questionnaire presented to me by Corey Andrews, former BOE candidate and the Administrator of Facebook Group: Howard County, Maryland.

Q1. What experiences do you have that qualify you to serve on the Board of Education?

A1: I have been actively involved with the school system. I served on the BOE Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC). I have testified on multiple issues during Board of Education hearings including later school starting time and school redistricting. Most recently I provided suggestions to the school regarding transportation optimization. I have been attending the HCPSS Community Advisory Committee and my local PTA meetings.

I have been elected twice as a Board Member of Columbia Association and River Hill Village Association. I am a strong proponent of fiscal health and great customer service for Columbia Association.

I was educated in three different education systems, China, Singapore and USA. My unique international education experience gives me a multi-dimensional perspective and approach while looking at issues and solving problems.

Originated from my training as an engineer, I am always looking for optimal and practical solutions to problems that I have encountered. I strongly believe that with good education and hard-working spirit, our students will find a great future for themselves after graduating from HCPSS.

Q2. What role does a member of the Howard County Board of Education fill?

A2: A school board member should serve as a policy maker to serve all the students and families in the county.

Q3. Have you ever attended a meeting of the Howard County Board of Education?

A3: I have been consistently attending the board meetings. And I testified in front of BOE numerous times on important issues that face HCPSS students and their families.

Q4. Numerous officials have indicated that the Howard County government will be facing a few difficult years ahead in budgeting and finance. How do you propose the Board of Education address these challenges?

A4: The BOE should look both inside and outside. Inside the school system, we should make any school programs accountable to reduce waste, improve efficiency and reduce cost. Outside the school system, we should advocate for more funding from county government, state government and other possible funding resources.

We should also communicate these difficulties to the parents. We may need to cut programs and service which will negatively impact some students. With their help and understanding, it is easier for the school system to move forward. The board should have a clear vision and direction how we can get out of the mounting deficit in an orderly manner.

Q5. Based on the information available to you, briefly assess Dr. Martirano’s first year in office.

A5: I am satisfied with Dr. Martirano’s first year. He communicates with the community well and seeks common ground while making important decisions.

Q6. What does “equity” in education mean to you, and how should HCPSS achieve it?

A6: I believe equity is great and is an achievable goal for our community. HCPSS should utilize resources accordingly to make sure every student has the opportunity to succeed.

Q7. In specifics, how should the Board of Education address school overcrowding?

A7: The BOE should make sure to use every method to address school overcrowding, increase facility utilization rate in every school, slow down or stop increasing the portable classroom gradually.

Since the board approved high school #13 at Mission road, the board should continue look for high school 14. The board should make sure high school #13 will be completed on time. The board should make sure the elementary school in Turf Valley be on track. The board should make sure we build schools where the students are residing.

The board should always have a long term vision on the growing student population, prepare and plan for this growth.

Q8. Briefly, what are your top three priorities if elected?

A8: My top three priorities would be:

1: Fix the deficit problem,

2: Increase board collaboration,

3: Provide equitable opportunities for students and motivate students to learn.

Proposed 2019 HCPSS Budget

Many people asked me about the 2019 HCPSS Budget. I am extracting some key figures here for people to have a high-level overview.

Current Status: The Board is making changes on this budget and will approve the final version soon and then send it to the county executive. The county executive may make changes if needed and then send the budget to the county council for approval. Then county council may make changes (the council can restore the cut if the county executive makes cut, but the council cannot add more than the originally asked amount) and decide to approve it or not.

The 631 pages budget book is located here: https://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/files/AUV4NG032861/$file/01%2009%202018%20FY%202019%20Supt%20Proposed%20Operating%20Budget.pdf

2019 HCPSS expenditures by category

2019 HCPSS budget categories

Of each budget dollar, 80 cents funds school staff and teaching materials, 5 cents funds transportation, and 11 cents funds facility operation and maintenance. Central office administration and support accounts for just 4 cents per budget dollar – representing one of the lowest overhead levels among school systems throughout Maryland.


2019 HCPSS revenue

Quick Summary of meeting between BOE and County Council on 2018-1-30

School redistricting, school site selection and JumpStart were discussed among BOE and County Council members.

In my opinion, if the BOE chooses Troy Hill site for High School 13, they should still press for the Mission Road for purchase if that site is a good site. We should plan asap.

Future school redistricting

Renee Kamen(Manager of School Planning)

1) in the process of redistricting analysis and developing it now

2) elementary school 43 will be online in 2023, high school 13 on 2024, no middle school.

3) no large redistricting will happen next year (Dr. Martirano)

4) three board members volunteered to be in the next redistricting committee, Coombs, Small, and (?).

5) redistricting committee composition was discussed

to have representation.

6) how APFO was played in redistricting? (Greg Fox). not discussed at BOE(Marvis)

School site selection

Ball: Turf Valley site, downtown site, troy park, etc. what is going on?

Martirano: February 1st meeting. mission road is potential for High School 13. Troy Hill Park is another option for High School. Hammond High was promised renovation last year and did not happen. He is reviewing CIP. At opening of High School 13, CIP will be reviewed.

2022 deadline for High School 13 is impossible to achieve now, will continue to push for it. 2023 is more realistic.

Coombs: high school 14 is not on the table in six years. Hammond High renovation and High school 13 are in 2023.

Martirano: five year period for new school s.18 month design, 16 month for others 3 years build(Scott). site selection needs at least one year. 2022 could be done if every things is ready, but the window was closed because BOE did not select the site before last December, 2017.

It took the state 120 days to approve the new school plan(Scott).

In the past, development overtook renovation in the school system such that CIP, capital investment project , should be revised.

Martirano: the BOE board will decide Mission road or Troy Hill for High School 13. But he would recommend county purchasing Mission road even Troy Hill is selected for High School 13 because Mission road also has land for a future elementary school.

Ball asked how much needed. Kirsten: Troy Hill is owned by the county, so it is free for site purchase.

Martirano: Troy hill will have no impact on open space.

Kirsten: current CIP for high school is 124 millions.

Karmen: HCPSS has the right to reserve school site up for school years. She failed to reserve one in the past.

Timeline on Turf Valley Elementary School: Community meeting on Feb 1st. The school is scheduled to open in 2027.

Jump Start Program Update:

Total number: 850 applicants ,over 450 from overcrowded schools. Still not final yet.

Utilization rate is discussed extensively.

Martirano: JumpStart will not go to Glenelg High School according to previous fine analysis.

Left at 5:35.

An overview of JumpStart Application Result

From HCPSS MPIA website, I obtained a copy of JumpStart Application Summary.  Looking at the application number, it seems the initiative is very successful and attracts enough students. Sure, there is still improvement to make: for example, Howard High still has 127% capacity.  The next important indicator will be how many students will take the program when it starts.

Here I am provide some basic overview:

jumpStart program summary 1.JPG

jumpStart program summary 2.JPG


jumpStart program summary 3.JPG

jumpStart program summary 4.JPG

jumpStart program summary 5.JPG

The full document can be downloaded at HCPSS website or here.Summary of Jump Start 011018.