2022-09-08 BOE board meeting recap

SMOB report

Superintendent Report

  • Promotion: Brian Wallace, David Klotz, Allison McCoy, Emma Bullock
  • Updating Sporting Event Security Protocols
  • Updating Electronic Ticketing
  • School Meals Program & Salad Bars
  • Bright Minds Foundation Staff & Teacher Grants



Administrative Agenda

  1. Proclamation: National Hispanic Heritage Month
  2. Board of Education Legislative Program
  3. Virtual Instructional Day Plan 
    1. Synchronous instruction on each virtual day will be a minimum of four hours
    2. No more than a total of eight virtual days of which three may be asynchronous can be used
    3. Attendance will be taken for all students and teachers during the virtual day
    4. Virtual days will not negatively impact a student’s grade; meaningful opportunities are provided for students to make up work outside of virtual learning
    5. No employee’s pay will be negatively impacted due to a virtual day decision
  4. Reading Opens Doors, Inc. Charter School Application Evaluation


Policy 10020 Use of Schools Facilities

*Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2024 Capital Budget & FY 2025-2029 Capital Improvement Program

Clarksville Youth Care Group (Arthur Wang, Amanda Wang and Wendy Gu) with HCPSS superintendent Dr. Martirano and myself after they delivered self-care kits to the central office.

2022 Endorsement for Dr. Chao Wu

2022 Endorsement for Dr. Chao Wu for Maryland State Delegate

Here comes the endorsement for Dr. Chao Wu for Maryland State Delegate, District 9A. Although I have been endorsed by various organizations or persons, I believe it is not a specific organization that can speak for you.  It is you, our voters, by making some effort to understand the candidate’s background, experience, and vision for Maryland. Then you cast an informed vote. Your vote is my endorsement. 

My service on the Howard County Board of Education (2018-2022), one year as chair and more than 500 articles on various topics on this website will help you understand me better.

I am a data scientist, a proud father of two, an immigrant, and a community volunteer. I currently serve on the Howard County Board of Education (BOE) (Term 2018-2022). 

I will be your voice and you are my strength.

A Vote for Dr. Wu is a Vote for you. 


2022 Maryland Education Survey Result

Maryland State Board of Education (MSBOE) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) in February 2022 to provide input for the development of a multi-year strategic plan for Maryland’s education system.  To date, 22,950 Marylanders have responded to the survey which will remain open for the foreseeable future.  The preliminary results included in the attached document identify the five top priorities Marylanders have identified in their responses thus far, including:

  1.  Improving reading and writing in the early grades.
  2.  Improving social, emotional, and mental health supports.
  3.  Improving math and science skills.
  4.  Developing more excellent teachers.
  5.  Improving critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative teamwork skills.

It is very interesting to see the divergence among different school system. The whole survey result is attached here:

Guest Article: Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month by Amy Liao

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Amy Liao

The month of May was officially designated as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month under the George H. W. Bush administration with the passing of Public Law 102-540. The month of May was chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the Transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869.

Since the middle of the 19th century, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders charted their unique journey in American history. The multi-ethnic communities (from east and south Asian immigrants to the native Hawaiian and other Pacific islanders) endured many institutional discriminations such the infamous “Chinese Exclusion Act” in 1882 and the Japanese Encampment during World War II. Yet the AAPI communities thrived in this great nation that many times corrected paths and embraced differences into the melting pot.

Throughout the 180-year history, there were many AAPIs left their marks. From the 16-year-old Chinese immigrant Mabel Ping-Hua Lee who helped lead a 1912 Suffrage march, to Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, honored by the US Postal Service by featuring in the Forever Stamps as the Manhattan project contributor and one of the most influential nuclear physicists in the 20th century. According to the Census Bureau, by 2019, there were more than 22 million residents in the US who identified as of AAPI origin or descents. This vibrant community has been weaved in every part of the American society, from Silicon valley big tech executives to the half a million business owners; from military service men and women to the doctors and nurses who fought in the frontline against Covid-19 and many others who are active contributors in the workforce of industries and government agencies.

This year, we celebrate AAPI heritage with a special highlight! On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to study the creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American history and culture. Let’s all learn from history, embrace diversity, and build a bright future together.

Board meeting recap 2022-4-7

Friends of Education Award

  • Awardee: Ying Matties
  • Nomination: Amanda Wang, Okinawan Karate Dojo, EnRich Minds

Long Reach High School Presentation

Superintendent Report

  • HCPSS is giving out covid test kids to students. HCPSS is encouraging students to test themselves after the spring break.
  • screen time and school lunch discussions

HCEA appointment

Legislative Report

  • The board support: CB26-2022, introduced by the Howard County Council Member Walsh during their April 2022, Legislative Session is presented to the Board of Education of Howard County in the attached Legislative Report. The Legislative Committee met on March 30, 2022, and recommends that the Board adopt the position indicated in the attached. Original language for the bill is also attached to this report.


  • The board nominated Ms. Mosley to the MABE Board of Directors.

Policy Activities

  • Direct the Superintendent to review the policies that address screen time.

HCPSS Musgrove Farms Community Shared Septic System

  • The Board is requested to approve the Option 1 Fee Structure so that the accounting department may implement the fee structure for billing and receivable activities to commence for FY2022 (and beyond).


  1. (Approved) Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity
  2. (Approved) Policy 9100 Education Programs for Pregnant and Parenting Students
  3. (Report) Policy 6060 Community Improvement to School Sites or School Facilities
  4. (Report) Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services

Proposed Instructional Materials and Review Schedule

Final Exam

  • Some board members proposed cancelling the final exam again. Motioned made and failed.

Polygon numbers for the HS 13 impact area

A few people approached me with questions for the presentation on HS 13 impact areas by our consultant during the HS 13 redistricting community meetings. Here is my 2019 post on this topic. You will find the polygon numbers and other relevant info.

Superintendent’s proposal for High School 13 boundary

A side note: Readers should not use that map as reference since that map was presented before the last redistricting. Many things has changed. It is unfortunate they used that map for illustration which causes confusion.

The latest redistricting information could be found out: https://www.hcpss.org/school-planning/redistricting-for-23-24/

Here is the link to find your own polygon:


Board meeting recap 2022-3-10

Public forum:

  • home and hospital program

Student Representative Report: Centennial High School

Superintendent Report:

  • Promotion of Tammy Jones to principal, Lime Kiln Middle School
  • Covid update: none of the metrics the health department has been regularly tracking to inform COVID‐related decisions are in the red or danger zone.
  • Tents will come back to all elementary schools
  • Field trips: overnight and school‐to‐school field trips may now resume. One factor that may still result in a denial of an overnight field trip is if it is to an area of the country that has been identified as a COVID “hot spot”.
  • Student‐Athlete Vaccination and Testing: we are discontinuing the weekly testing requirement for student‐athletes who have not confirmed their vaccination status.
  • End of Year activities: Schools are planning in‐person end‐of year activities this spring. This includes celebration and promotional opportunities. Additionally, proms and graduations will be occurring in‐person


  • Howard County Education Association

Incentive Pay Discussion for NBC teachers at Low Performing Schools

  • The board discussed $7,000 incentive pay for Nationally Board Certified (NBC) teachers at low performing schools, following Blueprint for Maryland legislation. The eight schools are: Cradlerock ES, Swansfield ES, Harper’s Choice MS, Lake Elkhorn MS, Oakland Mills MS, Wilde Lake MS, Oakland Mills HS, Homewood.

Portable Classroom Discussion

  • The board discussed portables for Bollman Bridge ES, West Friendship ES, Folly Quarter MS, Mount View MS . In total there are 212 units, 255 class room spaces, 7650 seats in HCPSS. The motion failed. We will have discussions in the next board meeting.

Policy Discussion:

  • Approved: Policy 6080 Sustainability
  • Approved: Policy 9400 Student Behavior Intervention
  • Approved: Policy 1060 Bullying, Cyberbulling, Harassment, or Intimidation
  • Approved: Policy 4070 Fund Balance
  • Report: Policy 1050 Tobacco-Free Environment
  • Report: Policy 9230 Alcohol, Other Drugs, Prescription Medication and Over the Counter Products 

Board meeting recap 2022-2-24

Board meeting recap 2022-2-24

Public Forum:

topics: Musgrove Farm share septic fee structure, cameras in self-contained classrooms, masking, political indoctrination

Administrative Appointment/Promotion 

Student Representative Report: Mt. Hebron High School.

We are excellence, We are community, We are Hebron

Superintendent Report:

  • Howard County Public School System Class of 2021 achieved a graduation rate of 94.1 percent, which exceeds the Maryland average of 87.2 percent, and is up from 93.4 percent in 2020
  • The rates for students with Limited English Proficiency increased by 18.98 percentage points from 47.22 percent for the Class of 2019 to 66.21 percent for the Class of 2021.
  • The rates for African American, and Hispanic and Latino/Latina students, increased by 1.97 and 5.92 percentage points, respectively, from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2021.
  • The rates for students receiving Free and Reduced Meals increased by 4.57 percentage points, from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2021
  • And, Asian American, white, and students who identified as two or more races achieved graduation rates of 95 percent
  • As of yesterday, February 23rd, the positivity rate in Howard County was 3.32 percent and the 7-day average was 10.92 and continues to drop.
  • Also as of yesterday, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 62 and 17 among staff, and we had 112 students and 29 staff members in quarantine as of Tuesday, February 22nd. At the recent high point for the virus, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 945 and 108 among staff, and we had 6,142 students and 241 staff members in quarantine. We currently have 6 active outbreaks.
  • Mask mandate may be changed to “optional” if the Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive & Legislative Review committee votes to rescind the mask mandate tomorrow.

The board voted to make mask “optional” starting Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

English Language Arts Strategic Plan

Picture of the Day, HCPSS Kindergarten Art Work

Board Meeting Recap 2022-1-27

Public Forum:

topics copied: discipline discrepancy, mental health support need.


Current legal counsel Mr. Mark Blom is retiring. Thanks for his service. We are hiring  J. Stephen Cowles as our new general counsel.

Superintendent Report

  • Employee bonus 1800 dollars
  • covid positivity rate is 11.22% and 7-day average was 48.34
  • Dashboard data update: use Synergy to synchronize. only show cases took place in HCPSS.
  • HCHD updated quarantine protocols: 5-day
  • At home test kit distribution: purchased 66000 units will be distributed to every student and staff member.
  • Mask update: keep the mask mandate now
  • Technology update: 7850 more chromebooks will arrive earlier.
  • President’s Day Inclement weather makeup (Monday Feb 21, 2022)
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day: June 20, 2022 school will be closed. If the board choose to use President’s Day as an inclement weather make-up day, then students will not be scheduled to be in school on Monday, June 20th. However, if an additional inclement weather days are required, we will need one more inclement weather day on June 22, 2022.
  • Valuing all people.
  • 2017 Office of Civil Rights Accessibility Audit closure.

For parents, call 211 for children’s mental health, etc. (https://211md.org/)

SMOB report

9th grade orientation, mental health support, etc.


Howard County Educator Association (HCEA): presentation from Swansfield ES about restorative justice successful practice.

Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (HCASA)

Administrative Agenda

  1. Proclamation: African American History Month
  2. Bids and Contract: Information Technology Research and Advisory Services
  3. Student Enrollment Projection Accuracy Report
    1. As of September 30, 2021, the countywide K-12 enrollment of the HCPSS was 55,899. The projection developed in the Spring of 2021 for the same timeframe was 58,208, a 2,309 student difference (Attachment 2). Approximately 57 percent of the projections by school had error rates at or below 5 percent. Approximately 10 percent of the projections by school were within 10 students of the actual student enrollment (Attachments 3 and 4). The mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) by school was 5.0 percent.
    2. The 2021 projection was developed and finalized prior to the onset of the recent variants of COVID-19. Much of the 2,309 student difference is due to families choosing to homeschool, transfer their students to private schools, or delay kindergarten enrollment.
  4. Legislative Report (state bills and council bill from council member Deb Jung)
  5. HS 13 Boundary Review: Move approval to direct the Superintendent to initiate the boundary review process outlined Policy 6010 during calendar year 2022. This review should include boundary modifications to establish an attendance area for New High School #13, including related adjustments.
  6. Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC)
  7. Proposed Modification for the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar 
    • Move to use Presidents Day 2022 as a school day to replace one of the January inclement weather days.
    • Move to close schools and offices on the observed Juneteeth as a holiday
    • Move to make an inclement weather make up day for June 22, 2022

Public Forum 7:00

topics: girls on the run, lunch quality , student discipline, vision screening for students, mask mandate,

Public Testimony

  • school start time
  • school budget
  • school calendar

For those who celebrate the Lunar New Year, Happy New Year, Year of Tiger.

BOE meeting recap 2022-1-13

BOE meeting recap 2022-1-13

Public forum:

  • topics include: environmental literacy, mask breaks, concerning about covid-19

Student Representative:

  • Homewood

Student Board Member (Peter Banyas) Report:

  • talked about the student townhall on covid, board virtual coffee hour, HCASC virtual general assembly.

Superintendent report:

  • promotions and transfers
  • Student Board Member Peter won the United States Senate forum in DC.
  • 25% salary increase for substitute teachers

Howard County Educator Association (HCEA) presentation

  • presentation from Prof. Meagan Fitzpatrick


  • Policy 1025 Title IX Sexual Harassment, Report
  • Policy 2010 Student Representation, approved
  • Policy 4100 Investment, approved
  • Policy 4070 Fund Balance, deferred
  • Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity, approved.

Public Forum Evening

topics included: reading strategic plan, covid-19 mitigation strategies and loss

Administrative Agenda

  • Bids and contracts
  • Class Size Report
  • School Start Times
  • Operating Budget Review Committee
  • 2022-2024 Proposed Academic Calendar

I am attaching some student’s art work hanging in the BOE central office.

A new proposal for 2022 Maryland Congressional District

A new proposal for 2022 Maryland Congressional District

Jerry Gao, a junior at River Hill School, spent a few months working with me, came out with a new proposal for Maryland Congressional District. The main purpose is to get rid of gerrymandered districts like eagle or butterfly, especially MD Congressional District 2 or District 3 as following. Both of them are arbitrary, capricious and illegal at some sense.

Current US Congressional District 2

Current US Congressional District 3

Newly Proposed US Congressional Districts

  1. No more peculiar district shapes borders. Majority of counties will stay in one Congressional District.
  2. Less population deviation for each district from the average (6,398 vs. 48,059)
  3. Will stay in 7 democrats, one republican status.

Demographic Data ( 7 Democrats, 1 Republican, no change)

The whole presentation

2022 HoCo State Delegate Proposed Legislations

2020 HoCo State Delegate Proposed Legislation


2022 Proposed Local Legislation

Howard County Board of Education – School Safety Personnel (Delegate Atterbeary School Resource Officers Act of 2022), Ho. Co. 1-22

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 replaces school resource officers in public schools in Howard County with adequate law enforcement coverage provided by school coverage officers, effectively addresses the need for certain personnel, and requires school coverage officers and school security employees to complete a certain model training program; defining the term “school coverage officer”; requiring the county board to solicit and incorporate input from stakeholders in the Howard County Public School System and school community; and generally relating to school safety personnel in Howard County.

Howard County – Due Process Proceedings for Children With Disabilities – Burden of Proof, Ho. Co. 2-22

By: Senator Hester

FOR the purpose of requiring the Howard County Board of Education to bear the burden of proof in due process proceedings that initiate from a due process complaint regarding the provision of special education services or a program for a child with disabilities in Howard County except under certain circumstances; and generally relating to the burden of proof in due process proceedings and the Howard County Board of Education.

Howard County — Sheriff — Salary, Ho. Co. 3-22

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

FOR the purpose of altering the salary of the sheriff of Howard County; and generally relating to the salary of the sheriff of Howard County.

Howard County – Department of Housing and Community Development – Housing Opportunities Trust Fund, Ho. Co. 5-22

By: Delegate Feldmark and Senator Guzzone

FOR the purpose of establishing the Housing Opportunities Trust Fund as a non-reverting special fund to be used to promote equitable access to affordable housing for households of limited income in Howard County; requiring the Department of Housing and Community Development for Howard County to report on the activity of the Fund during the prior fiscal year on or before a certain date each year; and generally relating to funding for affordable housing in Howard County.

Circuit Court for Howard County – Judges Sitting as Orphans’ Court, Ho. Co. 06–22

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of requiring the judges of the Circuit Court for Howard County to sit as the Orphans’ Court for Howard County; repealing a requirement that the qualified voters of Howard County elect three Orphans’ Court judges for the county; exempting Howard County from a provision of law authorizing a party to appeal a final judgment of an orphans’ court to the circuit court of the county; and generally relating to the Circuit Court and Orphans’ Court for Howard County.

Howard County – Commercial Building Excise Tax – Board of Education Deferred Maintenance, Ho. Co. 8-22

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of authorizing the County Council of Howard County to impose an excise tax on commercial building construction; requiring the excise tax revenue to be used only for deferred maintenance needs identified by the Howard County Board of Education; and generally relating to a commercial building excise tax in Howard County and deferred maintenance in the Howard County Public School System.

Howard County – Public Schools – Alternative Instruction Model Policy, Ho. Co. 9-22 (Final Draft Pending)

By: Delegate Watson

FOR the purpose of providing that the use of an alternative instruction model constitutes a certain public school being open for pupil attendance for the purposes of meeting certain school day and hour requirements; authorizing the Howard County Board of Education to adopt a policy allowing a public school in the county to use an alternative instruction model under certain circumstances; and generally relating to an alternative instruction model policy in Howard County public schools.

Howard County – Property Tax – Credit for Seniors to Offset Property Tax Rate Increase, Ho. Co. 10-22

By: Senator Lam

FOR the purpose of authorizing the governing body of Howard County to grant, by law, a certain property tax credit against the county property tax imposed on a dwelling owned by an individual who meets certain age, income, and residency requirements; authorizing the governing body of Howard County to provide, by law, for certain matters relating to the credit; and generally relating to a property tax credit for senior citizen homeowners in Howard County.

Legislative Bond Initiatives

Accessible Trail Extension: $130,000

Bain 50+ Center: $350,000

Barnard Fort House: $150,000

Blandair Mansion: $500,000

Centennial Park West Area Playground: $200,000

Days End Horse Farm Rescue Firehouse Redevelopment: $500,000

Existing East Columbia 50+ Center: $250,000

Ellicott City Drop-Arm Barriers: $175,000

Ellicott City Jail Rehabilitation: $500,000

Grassroots Crisis Services: $500,000

Historic Ellicott City Downtown Wayfinding: $250,000

Howard County Last Mile Fiber and Public Wifi: $500,000

Howard County Veterans Monument: $650,000

Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center: $150,000

Maryland Innovation Center: $300,000

Patuxent Commons: $500,000

Rockburn Branch Park Playground: $150,000

Route 40 Pedestrian Bridge: $150,000

Safe Haven Equine Warriors, Inc Capital Campaign: $100,000

Waterloo Park Playground: $150,000

West Friendship Park: $400,000

Howard County Board of Education Adopts FY22 Operating and Capital Budgets

May 27, 2021

Board of Education Adopts FY22 Operating and Capital Budgets

Ellicott City, Maryland — The Howard County Board of Education adopted its Operating and Capital Budgets for the 2021-2022 school year (FY 2022) on Thursday, May 27, 2021. The operating budget totals $942.6 million, an increase of $23.9 million over FY 2021. The FY 2022 capital budget totals $90.4 million, providing continuity of funding for priority capital projects.

The FY 2022 operating budget maintains the school system’s focus on supporting students and the staff who are entrusted with their education and care, by maintaining existing program and service levels without reducing class sizes or staff positions. It includes funding to advance the Board’s key priorities, including addressing critical shortages in special education staffing, enhancing the staffing and focus on student mental health and well-being, and increasing staff compensation.

“I am pleased that despite the need to make difficult decisions, we are able to increase our continuous support for special education, focus on students’ mental health and well-being, maintain class sizes, and advance other essential goals for the support of our students and excellent staff,” said Board Chair Dr. Chao Wu. “I appreciate the support and collaboration among our County Executive, County Council, Board members, Superintendent, staff and community members, which have resulted in a budget that is fiscally responsible while addressing the Board’s most critical priorities.”

“This budget moves our system forward in enhancing services and supports to give each student the best possible education in a nurturing learning environment, and to support the staff whom we entrust with their learning and care,” said HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano. “This budget represents a substantial increase in positions to support student well-being – which has been one of my top priorities – and adds five social workers, three pupil personnel workers, thirteen counselors and one psychologist. I greatly appreciate the ongoing collaboration among our county leaders, Board, staff and community, whose dedicated efforts have been instrumental in ensuring financial support for our students and schools within a very tight fiscal environment.”

The $942.6 million operating budget includes $640.8 million in county funding, representing approximately $10.5 million above Maintenance of Effort, the minimum level of funding required by state law; $282.5 million from the state; and $7.4 million from federal and other sources. The budget also includes the use of $12 million of unassigned fund balance in order to fulfill obligations and advance key goals without requiring deeper impact to the classroom.

The approved FY 2022 operating budget maintains the school system’s commitment to sound fiscal management and cost containment while fulfilling several of HCPSS’ highest priorities:

  • Addresses critical shortages in special education with the addition of 70.7 staff positions
  • Accommodates enrollment changes while maintaining current class sizes with the addition of 27 pooled positions
  • Enhances student well-being and mental health services through the addition of 22 student services positions, including five social workers, three pupil personnel workers, thirteen school counselors, and one school psychologist
  • Enhances support for early reading instruction and to address dyslexia and other reading challenges, with the addition of 4.5 reading specialist positions and DIBELS training for staff
  • Funds compensation increases for all staff
  • Sustains the recent investments in technology with the addition of 5.0 positions
  • Reduces the remaining Health Fund deficit by applying a $10 million, one-time county funding allocation
  • Fully funds actuarial projected employee health insurance costs for the fourth consecutive year

As a result of the ongoing budget pressures in the county and state, the needs of the school system continue to outpace funding allocations, and the Board had to make difficult decisions to balance the FY 2022 budget. Significant savings were realized by eliminating proposed new staff positions associated with enrollment growth anticipated in the 2021-2022 school year, while increasing the number of pooled positions to allow flexibility in staffing assignments throughout the year. Notably, the adopted budget avoids any reductions in services or programs, or increases in class size.  

Additional savings were achieved through the use of grant funding to cover as many costs as possible for technology infrastructure and student services. HCPSS will continue to aggressively seek federal and state grant funding to accelerate learning recovery and help relieve costs resulting from the pandemic and its impact on students and schools.

The Board adopted a FY 2022 Capital Budget totaling $90.4 million, for costs associated with continued construction of a replacement Talbott Springs Elementary School, scheduled to open in fall 2022; continued construction of a new 13th county high school, targeted to open in fall 2023; and a renovation and addition to Hammond High School, scheduled for completion in fall 2023. Additional funding is allocated for on-going and systemic renovations, which include replacements and upgrade of rooftops, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems at several schools, and other continued capital needs.

Details of the budget decisions are available online.