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/

2021-2022 Student Board Member Application starts now

It is now time to receive applications for the next Student Member of the Howard County Board of Education.  Any current sophomore or junior in Howard County may apply for this position. The student must be regularly enrolled in an HCPSS high school, academically eligible, and a junior or senior in the 2020-2021 school year. The student elected by the students of Howard County will serve a one‑year term on the Howard County Board of Education, July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Please download the file above which contains necessary links.

HCPSS Safe Reopening of Schools Handbook for All Small Group Programs and covid-19 update

Here is the manual for HCPSS Safe Reopening of Schools Handbook for All Small Group Programs.

Readiness Checklist

  • ● Transportation (including specialized transportation is in place)
  • ● Health Services Staff able to work
  • ● School space(s) for learning identified and set up appropriately
  • ● Isolation room identified
  • ● Initial communication with families in place, including information about monitoring for
  • COVID
  • ● Additional staff identified for emergency coverage in case a staff member is unable to
  • report to school for a scheduled support day

Work Session on Covid-19 update

4th SAAC Presentation materials-12/17/2020

SAAC Meeting Schedule

  • 19-Nov 7:00-9:00am      General and fiscal update
  • 3-Dec    7:00-9:00am      CIP – Education
  • 10-Dec  7:00-9:00am      CIP – Infrastructure
  • 17-Dec  7:00-9:00am      CIP – Infrastructure / other big projects
  • 7-Jan     7:00-9:00am      Commercial Base & Business
  • 14-Jan   7:00-9:00am      Operating budget – Overview & Education
  • 21-Jan   7:00-9:00am      Operating budget – Other Agencies
  • 28-Jan   7:00-9:00am      Economic Outlook & Long-Term Demographic/Development Trends
  • 4-Feb    7:00-9:00am      Revenue, Debt, Multi-Year Projections
  • 11-Feb  7:00-9:00am      Recommendations for the Report
  • 25-Feb  7:00-9:00am      Report Writing  – Draft review

Two presentations on December 12, 2020

Howard County Office of Transportation
FY 2022 Presentation to Spending Affordability Advisory Committee – December 17, 2020

Ellicott City Flood Mitigation

Board Member Report 2020-12-22

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our teachers and staff, students and families taking this unprecedented challenge this year.

I wish everyone happy holidays and happy New Year. We are looking forward to a gradual and steady return to normal of our education and life in 2021, year of Ox. Oxes are known for diligence, dependability, strength and determination. Let’s embrace these. 

Thank you.

(26) 2020 Interview with Kamau Richardson, Atholton High School, Howard University

(26) 2020 Interview with Kamau Richardson, Atholton High School, Howard University

Mr. Kamau Richardson graduated from Atholton High School in 2020. He is attending Howard University, majoring Chemical Engineering.

Kamau shared his high school experience on how to manage his time. He shared his secrete to build relationship: be present. He also shared his participation and leadership building experience at Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Here is the page: https://www.hcpss.org/jrotc/ for your reference. There are three JROTC program in HCPSS ( Atholton, Oakland Mills and Howard High).

There are more to learn. Please tune in.

HoCo SAAC presentations on county capital projects

Four slides for you to read

  1. Road Resurfacing, ADA Ramps, Sidewalk Repair, Street Tree, Store Drain Repair, Traffic Signalization
  2. East Columbia 50+ Center, Detention Center, Bain 50+ center, Utilities RTU
  3. Downtown Columbia Capital Projects: New Culture Center (, $47.7 million, FY22), New Central Library ($40 million, FY25), Banneker Fire Station ($20 million, FY28), New Elementary School ($34.6 million, FY30), Traffic Improvements($95.1 million, FY 32), Transit Center ($12.3 million, FY 32)
  4. New Central Library (Estimated cost 68 million (construction 53 million, garage 13 million))