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. (

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.

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.