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

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
  • ● 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: 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))

Board Member Report

Board Member Report (2020-12-07)

Revised for publication.

First I want to congratulate our returned board members, Ms. Mallo and Ms. Delmont-Small and newly elected board members: Dr. Lu, Ms. Mosley and Ms. Watts. I often make mistakes using he or she. So please forgive me if I make similar mistakes in the future.

The world has been different and might never be the same for many reasons due to the pandemic as well as the election. We are facing un’precedented challenges to provide a quality and safe learning environment for our students. 

There have been some discussions on our new board leadership and some of them were difficult conversations. The conversation keeps evolving. We have a diverse and capable board. Listening empathetically and working respectfully across diversity and social differences  to reach a solution is not easy, in many ways. 

I truly appreciate the opportunity to serve as the board chair. It is both an honor and huge responsibility. 

Let’s reset and start anew.  We are all here to serve the public. Let’s work together to have a board that will have the priority to serve the students and families in Howard County.

For the board functionality and board member relationship, I want to share some suggestions for an effective board I learnt while serving on Columbia Association board as following: 

  1. Don’t make random or wild assumptions or accusations of other board members. 
  2. Speak kindly and don’t speak ill. Don’t embarrass, belittle or humiliate other board members deliberately. 
  3. Respect other board members’ opinions and votes.  There will be different opinions and votes from time to time.  Let’s try not to take it personally. 
  4. Respect other people’s time. We have to run the board efficiently while giving every board member enough time to share his/her opinion. 

For me, as a board chair, I believe in the collective ingenuity of the board and passionate service of each board member.  I will serve in a coordinator role and encourage every board member to take different initiatives and leadership roles. I believe each board member is an equal part of the board and should work together in that spirit. Each board member should have the opportunity to serve as chair or vice chair if he/she wants to serve in those roles and have the support specified in the approval procedure during their four year terms. 

Another spirit is to have enough discussions before we make motions. Let’s separate our board discussion into two parts: having discussion first, then talking about making motions.

Let’s continue our journey to provide quality education for all of our students. We are facing many challenges. Covid-19 pushed us to adapt the virtual learning model, which has presented many challenges for our students,including but not limited to students of special education, students of foreign language learners, students who need face-to-face instructions, students who have internet connection issues, etc. As the vaccine will soon become available to the general public, I believe our society including our  school system will be able to fully reopen gradually. We need to create a plan to prepare for that moment. I believe we need to provide extra education opportunities through innovation, partnership and other out-of-box solutions for our students during this transition time, next summer and beyond.  

Let’s discuss all potential ideas, put them on the table, examine them carefully and find options that are pragmatic, efficient and effective to serve our students. 

We are in this together. We have always been. Let’s work together and go through this turbulent time together. We can and we will prevail.

Thanks you.

Delving into the Six Stages of the Internal Cycle with a Particular Focus on the US Now by Ray Dalio

By Ray Dalio

Internal orders typically (though not always) change through a relatively standard sequence of stages, like how a disease progresses. By looking at their symptoms we can tell what stages they are in. For example, just as Stage 3 cancer is different from Stage 4 cancer in ways defined by different conditions that exist and have come about as a result of things that happened in prior stages, the same is true for the different stages of the big internal order/disorder cycle. Like diseases, different conditions warrant different actions to address them and they produce a different range of probabilities that those actions will produce. For example, an old, unhealthy set of circumstances produces a range of possibilities and warrants different actions than a young, healthy set. As with cancer, it is best to stop the progress before getting into the later stages.

Howard County Housing Opportunities Task Force Draft Recommendations

Proposed Approach and Recommendations for Addressing Challenges:

Five recommendations:

  1. Use land use policy to produce income-restricted, subsidized units
  2. Enable more equitable growth throughout the county
  3. Facilitate the development of lower-cost housing typologies
  4. Remove zoning barriers to mixed-use neighborhoods and developments
  5. Streamline entitlement and review process

Here is the 13-page document.

Apply for JROTC, November 18, 2020 – January 5, 2021

Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) programs are offered at Atholton (Army), Howard (Army) and Oakland Mills (Air Force) high schools. Each JROTC program provides an introduction to career opportunities in the United States Armed Forces and teaches principles of leadership, discipline and civic responsibility.

Any student who wishes to participate in JROTC but does not attend one of the schools that offers the program may apply for participation. Each school has a limited number of additional spaces available. To apply for participation for the 2021-2022 school year, students must contact a JROTC official between November 18, 2020, and January 5, 2021, to schedule an interview. Only students who are interviewed during this designated period will be considered for enrollment.

Students who are approved for admission into a JROTC program will be notified by letter by January 22, 2021.

Beginning November 18, to schedule an interview, contact the JROTC official for the program of interest:

  • Army JROTC at Atholton High School: Lieutenant Colonel William Reinhart, Senior Army Instructor, or (410) 313-7076
  • Army JROTC at Howard High School: Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Marshall, or (410) 313-2878
  • Air Force JROTC at Oakland Mills High School: Colonel Timothy Stevens, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, or (410) 313-6945

An application essay or other pre-interview materials may be required by each individual JROTC program. Contact your school counselor for additional information.

Find more information about the JROTC program on our website.

Public Notice: Howard County Local Bills Hearing 11/17/2020

The Howard County Delegation of the Maryland General Assembly, chaired by Senator Clarence Lam and Delegate Jessica Feldmark, will hear testimony from the public on proposed local bills and Legislative Bond Initiative requests. No testimony on other issues will be permitted as a second hearing devoted to statewide bills will be scheduled. 

The hearing will be held virtually at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17.  Members of the public may register to testify or to watch the hearing through WebEx by going to and clicking on “Register”. Registration will be available by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 9, and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 16. Written testimony may be submitted by email to Members of the public may testify on any or all of the proposed legislation within their allotted time to speak. Oral testimony will be limited to two minutes per bill up to a total of five minutes for three or more bills. The hearing will also be streamed live on the Howard County Delegation’s Facebook page.  

Full text of the proposed Howard County bills can be accessed, as they become available from Bill Drafting, beginning Monday, November 9, 2020, at 6:00pm on the Howard County website (Home>About HoCo>State Delegation>2021 Session Proposed Local Legislation): Please monitor this page regularly for the most recent updates. Short descriptions of the local bills and a list of bond initiative requests are included below.

Bond Initiative Requests

Humanim – Remodeling Gerwig, Ho. Co. 16-21; $150,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Patuxent Commons, Ho. Co. 17-21; $500,000

By: Howard County Delegation

8125 Main Street Reconstruction and Renovation, Ho. Co. 18-21; $500,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Centennial Park ADA Improvements, Ho. Co. 19-21; $500,000

By: Howard County Delegation 

Harriet Tubman Cultural Center Playground, Ho. Co. 20-21; $200,000

By: Howard County Delegation 

Robinson Nature Center Amphitheater and Stage, Ho. Co. 21-21; $100,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Expanded Tiber Park, Ho. Co. 22-21; $500,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Patapsco Female Institute Chapel, Ho. Co. 23-21; $300,000

By: Howard County Delegation 

Historic Barnard Fort House, Ho. Co. 24-21; $150,000

By: Howard County Delegation

East Columbia 50+ Center, Ho. Co. 25-21; $1,000,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Harriet Tubman Cultural Center, Ho. Co. 26-21; $750,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Ellicott City Quaker School, Ho. Co. 27-21; $150,000

By: Howard County Delegation

Proposed Local Bills

Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Delivery, Ho. Co. 1-21

By: Delegate Watson

FOR the purpose of authorizing a holder of a Class A alcoholic beverages license in Howard County to deliver alcoholic beverages in the county; authorizing certain employees of a license holder to deliver alcoholic beverages; requiring that an employee making certain deliveries be of a certain age; requiring an individual receiving a certain alcoholic beverages delivery to provide certain proof of age; providing for the manner in which an individual receiving a delivery of alcoholic beverages provides proof of age; requiring the Board of License Commissioners for Howard County to approve a certain certification; requiring the purchaser of certain alcoholic beverages or a certain designated individual of a certain age to be present to receive a delivery of alcoholic beverages; and generally relating to alcoholic beverages in Howard County.

Howard County – Class A Alcoholic Beverages Licenses – Quota by Election District, Ho. Co. 2-21

By: Senator Guzzone

FOR the purpose of altering the quota system for Class A licenses in Howard County so as to limit the issuance of the licenses to not more than one for a certain number of residents in each election district, rather than in the county; and generally relating to Class A alcoholic beverages licenses in Howard County.

Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Alcoholic Beverages Inspectors, Ho. Co. 3-21

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

FOR the purpose of authorizing an alcoholic beverages inspector to issue a citation in Howard County; requiring an inspector to complete a training program in the use of arrest authority and pertinent police procedures; prohibiting an inspector from carrying a firearm in the performance of the inspector’s duties; requiring the Howard County Police Department to employ certain inspectors, rather than requiring the

Chief of the County Police Department to provide a sworn member of the County Police Department as an inspector; requiring the Chief of the County Police Department to have certain authority over the hiring of inspectors; and generally relating to alcoholic beverages in Howard County.

Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Class B Beer, Wine, and Liquor License – Off–Premises Consumption, Ho. Co. 4-21

By: Delegate Watson

FOR the purpose of authorizing the holder of a certain Class B beer, wine, and liquor license in Howard County to sell beer, wine, and liquor for off–premises consumption, subject to certain requirements; repealing certain provisions that authorize the Board of License Commissioners for Howard County to issue a certain permit to a certain holder of a certain Class B beer, wine, and liquor license; and generally relating to alcoholic beverages in Howard County.

Howard County – Board of Education – Redetermination of Geographic Attendance Area, Ho. Co. 5-21

By: Senator Lam

FOR the purpose of requiring the Howard County Board of Education to submit a certain annual report on the program capacity of each permanent school facility, beginning in a certain school year; requiring the county board to submit a certain report to the General Assembly and the Howard County Delegation to the General Assembly under certain circumstances; requiring the county board to implement certain processes set out in a certain policy to make a certain assessment; requiring the county board to submit a certain report to the General Assembly and the Howard County Delegation regarding the outcome of a certain assessment under certain circumstances; defining certain terms; and generally relating to the target utilization of permanent school facilities in Howard County.

Howard County – School Redistricting – Public Testimony, Ho. Co. 7-21

By: Senator Lam

FOR the purpose of requiring, during a school redistricting process in which the redistricting plan proposed by the Howard County Board of Education differs from the redistricting plan proposed by the Howard County Superintendent of Schools, that the county board allow a certain number of members of a household whose school assignment is changed only in the county board’s plan to provide public testimony before the final vote on either school redistricting plan; and generally relating to the Howard County Board of Education and school redistricting.

Howard County – Howard County Board of Education – School Safety Personnel, Ho. Co. 10-21

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of requiring the Howard County Board of Education to develop a plan to implement certain school safety guidelines that does not assign school resource officers to public schools in Howard County and uses adequate local law enforcement coverage to implement the guidelines; and generally relating to school safety personnel in Howard County.

Howard County – Howard County – Commercial Building Excise Tax – Board of Education Deferred Maintenance, Ho. Co. 11-21

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of authorizing the County Council of Howard County to impose a certain excise tax; requiring the County Council of Howard County to specify the types of buildings subject to a certain excise tax; authorizing the County Council of Howard County to impose different tax rates on certain construction; requiring the excise tax to be deposited into a certain fund to be used only for a certain purpose; requiring

the Howard County Board of Education to submit a certain report on or before a certain date to the County Council of Howard County, the Howard County Executive, and members of the Howard County Delegation to the General Assembly; requiring the County Council of Howard County and the Howard County Executive to submit a certain report on or before a certain date to the Howard County Delegation to the 15 General Assembly addressing certain recommendations made by the Howard County Board of Education; providing for the termination of certain provisions of this Act; and generally relating to deferred maintenance in the Howard County Public School System.

Howard County – Fee–in–Lieu of ModerateIncome Housing Units – Prohibition, Ho. Co. 12-21

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of prohibiting Howard County from authorizing payment of a fee–in–lieu of a requirement under local law that a developer provide moderate–income housing units in a new residential development project; and generally relating to moderate–income housing unit requirements in Howard County.

Howard County – Homeowners Association Commission – Alternative Dispute Resolution Authority, Ho. Co. 13-21

By: Delegate Terrasa

FOR the purpose of authorizing Howard County to establish a homeowners association commission to hear and resolve, through alternative dispute resolution, certain issues between a homeowners association and a homeowner regarding certain documents; and generally relating to the resolution of disputes between homeowners associations and homeowners in Howard County.

Howard County – Residential Rental Licenses – Fee for Tenant Services, Ho. Co. 15-21

By: Delegates Feldmark and Terrasa

Bill still in drafting. Check this webpage for updates or email to request to be notified when bill text is available for review.