2022-9-22 BOE board meeting recap

SMOB report

Superintendent report

  • appointment: Judith Jones, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Jennifer Hlavka, Coordinator of National Board Certification and Teacher Career Pathways, Dee Lake, Coordinator of Assessment.
  • update on the e-ticket GoVan system.
  • filled 99% certified positions.
  • working on improving hiring process.

HECA presentation

CAC report

Administrative Agenda:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Completion Plan
  • OBRC
  • Naming of High School #13 Charter
  • Policy 8020- Grading and Reporting: Middle & High School
    • “Beginning with students who were in grade 9 in school year 2021 – 2022, to be promoted to grade 12, students must have at least fourteen credits including two English credits and two mathematics credits, have successfully passed Health I and Lifetime Fitness, and have three years of high school attendance.”

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

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

Appointment

HCEA

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

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.

BOE meeting recap 2022-5-26

Public forum

bring police back to school, tighten covid response, transportation policy

Superintendent Report

  1. Condolence to Texas School shooting victims
  2. Protests around our schools recently
  3. Centennial High School earned top honors at the 15th regional U.S. Chinese-Bridge Proficiency Competition for High School Students of Non-Native Speakers. Thanks to Ms. Hui Liang
  4. Wilde Lake High School Spanish Teacher Maria Romano-Sweitzer and her students in Wilde Lake’s Spanish Honor Society won the 2022 Chapter Activity of the Year Award from the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese’s National Spanish Honor Society Region II Director.
  5. Beginning in July, students and families must complete a free and reduced-priced meals application form to receive meals at a reduced price or for free.
  6. The COVID positivity rate in Howard County continues to increase and it is in the high community transmission level according to the CDC.
    1. One, when a school or cohort has an outbreak, all students, visitors at the outbreak school will be strongly encouraged to remain masked at all times while indoors, except when eating or drinking. Students who are directly impacted by the outbreak will be required to mask for 10 days. Masks will be available at school for anybody who needs one.
    2. Two, we will encourage increased testing for all individuals who are part of an outbreak or who have been identified as a close contact.
    3. Effective immediately, any student or staff member who is identified as a close contact in an outbreak setting and is asymptomatic should be tested on day 1 after they are identified as a close contact, again on day three, and then again on day five. As long as all tests are negative, the individual may continue to attend school and participate in extracurricular activities –including high school graduations and other end-of-year celebrations.
    4. Last week, the CDC expanded eligibility for boosters to include children ages 5 to 11.
  7. Graduation season is coming.
  8. discussed the importance of inclusion. A new LGBTQIA+ liaison position and work done by CARY.

Annual Sportsmanship Award

  • Present the 2022 Sportsmanship Cup Trophy to Hammond High School. Principal John DiPaula and Athletics Activities Manager Michael Lerner will accept the award for Hammond High School. Acknowledge Long Reach High School for first runner-up and Oakland Mills High School for second runner-up.

Music Educator of the Year Award

  • Winner: Mr. Joseph Fisher of Mount Hebron High School. Runup: Angela Pope from Thomas Viaduct MS

Policy 5200 Student Transportation 

North Columbia Fire Station Location Land Request

  • Approved with amendment

School Resource Officer Program MOU

Approved.

Recommendations for Final Exams and Midterms

Board meeting recap 2022-4-28

Public forum:

  • topics: SRO, student safety, special education

Reservoir High School Report

SMOB report

  • student leader meeting with the board ( three students from each school, ARL and Homewood)

Superintendent Report

  • Howard High is a new green school.
  • HCPSS is increasing mental health support for our students.
  • Covid data: uptick cases in schools, HoCo county and Maryland. Keep the current school operating practice.
  • Stabbing incident at Long Reach High School. Schools went into lockdown and modified lockdowns.

HCEA Appointment

HCASA(Association of Supervisors and Administrators)

Proclamation: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Proclamation: Mental Health Awareness Month

HCPSS is going to implement multi-factor authentication very soon as the board just approved the MFA purchase order.

HCPSS Discipline Data (school suspension)

FY 2023 Operating and Capital Budgets & FY 2024-28 Capital Improvement Program 

For scenario 2, we assume the county will give us extra money by keeping(not decreasing) the HCPSS spending percentage(51%) in the total county spending, which is 14.5 million dollars. This now falls to the county council’s hand.

Board meeting recap 2022-3-24

Public forum:

Musgrove Farm HOA shared septic cost

Report:

Glenelg High School:

Two candidates for SMOB election: Oliver Song and Abisola Ayoola from Wilde Lake High School

Superintendent Report:

  • For Unvaccinated Staff and Volunteers, they will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing. •Additionally, we announced that school visitors and volunteers will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination before entering the school building.
  • The quarantine policy keeps the same.

Dr. Martirano will provide guidance on how to reduce screen time shortly.

Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (HCASA)

Portable class room update

Approve the recommendations for installation of relocatable units for the school year 2022–2023. In total, there are 212 units, 255 class room spaces and 7650 seats for the portables.

Blueprint Local Flexibility – Low Performing Schools 

  • The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future requires the annual identification of schools with low performance to initiate $7,000 incentive pay for Nationally Board Certified (NBC) teachers at those schools. Schools selected would be designated as low performing for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Elementary School: Cradlerock, Swansfield, Middle School: Harper’s Choice, Lake Elkhorn, Oakland Mills, Wild Lake, High School: Oakland Mils, and Homewood Center.

School Start Times Format/Template (Brian Nevin; Tom Platt, Decision Support Group LLC) – REPORT

Proposed Instructional Materials and Review Schedule

Result from 2022 internal audit of COVID-19 relief fund’s usage

With such a big chunk of new money coming into the school system and to be used in a fixed time frame, we want to make sure HCPSS is using the money correctly. So we had an internal audit.

Summary: HCPSS has clearly defined planning and budgeting, accounting and reporting, and auditing processes for the use of relief funds. HCPSS recognizes the risk on operations when relief funds expire and is planning to use them in a manner which reduces or eliminates the risk to the extent practicable.

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

Appointment

  • 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

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

  • 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.

HCPSS Seeks Members for Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board, by Dec. 21, 2021

HCPSS Seeks Members for Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board, by Dec. 21, 2021

Apply by Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021

HCPSS is currently seeking Howard County parents/guardians, community members and staff interested in joining the Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board. Committee members share their expertise and exchange ideas to advise, support, and advocate for the continuous improvement of the instructional technology and library media program and support students in becoming college and career-ready.

The advisory board supports HCPSS staff in:

  • Establishing short and long range goals for services, resources, and technology integration
  • Maintaining a current collection policy/collection development plan
  • Implementing special program activities and celebrations
  • Advocating for the instructional technology and library media program by encouraging community support and funding

The committee will meet periodically during the school year, with the first meeting on Friday, Jan. 7 from 7:30-9 a.m., which will be held virtually. Future meeting dates will be determined at the Jan. 7 meeting.

Interested participants are asked to submit a statement of interest by Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.

For more information, please contact the Office of Instructional Technology and Library Media at 410-313-7141 or email Melissa_Daggett@hcpss.org or Julie_Wray@hcpss.org.

Board meeting recap 2021-12-7

I am beginning to document some board discussion and voting for easy digestion.

If you register to speak virtually, please make sure your name on Zoom matched your registered name such that our tech team will move you to be a speaker.

The board elected Ms. Vicky Cutroneo as Chair and Ms. Antonia Watts as vice chair.

Public forum topics: LGBTQ+ textbooks, Musgrove Farm Shared Septic, African American/Special Education, plastic bag usage in lunch, mask requirement for stage performance.

Report from Howard County High School

SMOB report: school visits, etc

Superintendent Report:

Celebration:

● This year’s Merrill teacher honorees include Samuel Polack, GT resource teacher at Rockburn Elementary School, who years ago taught 4th and 5th grade GT math to UMD Merrill student honoree William Gerst.
● Next, Paula Roberts, a math teacher at Howard High School, was recognized by her former student Eunice Braimoh.
● Two teachers at Atholton High School are also being honored: Lynette Burns is a GT teacher, whose former student was Ally Merwitz.
● The other Atholton honoree is Jennifer Street, a world language teacher and instructional team leader, whose former student was Selena Cen.

Covid Update:

I have an update on our school health metrics. As of yesterday, December 6th, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases in schools was 95, and we had 1,172 students and 31 staff members in quarantine. We have 16 current active outbreaks; please note that this number is not reflected on the Maryland Department of Health website due to
its recent hack. We have a total of 58 students who were initially identified as close contacts and ultimately tested positive over the 14-day quarantine period. Overall, our numbers remain similar to those that I reported on November 18.

I am pleased to note that as of Friday, December 3, 85.2% of Howard County 12-17 year olds are fully vaccinated, with 92.6% having received their first dose. It is also encouraging that 37.4%, or approximately 12,000 children ages 5-11
have already received their first dose.

At this time there will be no change to our current protocol requiring indoor masking for all students, staff and community members, regardless of vaccination status.

Tents:

All tents are now being removed in decreasing order of school capacity utilization, which is the same as the order in which they were installed. They will be reinstalled outside each elementary school at the beginning of March 2022, with the specific timing dependent on weather condition

Staffing shortage and hiring effort

Incident at Howard High School

Special Education Statement:

I will not remove students receiving special education services from their classroom or school, or reduce or eliminate special education services.

Motion:

The board approved a motion: student performers have the same standard as student athletes on mask protocol.

Appointments

HCEA (HoCo Education Association) and HCASA(HoCo Association of Supervisors and Administrators)

School Construction Report

  • Hammond High School, 45% completed, ready in 2023
  • HS 13, 39.6% completed, ready in 2023
  • Talbott Spring ES, 42.9%, ready in 2022

Policy Discussions

  1. Report: Policy 6060 Community Improvement to School Sites or School Facilities Charter
  2. Report: Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services Charter
  3. Report: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School (new cycle)
  4. Approved: Policy 8100 Field Trips.
    • The purpose of this modification is to allow JROTC instructors to accompany students on field trips as they are not MSDE certified. The definition of Teacher-in-Charge was modified to include Department of Defense (DoD) Certified JROTC Instructors.
  5. Approved: Policy 8010 Grading and Reporting: Prekindergarten through Grade 5
    • The purpose of this modification is to clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
  6. Approved: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School
    • For year 2021-2022 year only
    • The purpose of these modifications are, for SY21-22 only, to revise the final course grade to 5% for midterms and 5% for final examinations and clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
  7. Approved: Policy 3030 Research Involving Employees and Students

Evening Public Forum

topics covered: SMOB election, student wellness and student search and seizure

Public Hearing on Policy

  1. Policy 2010 Student Representation
  2. Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity
  3. Policy 9260 Student Search and Seizure

Administrative Agenda

  • The board denied the charter school application ( Reading Opens Doors Charter School)

Howard County APFO 101

Howard County APFO ( adequate public facility ordinance) 101

The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) provides a growth management process that will enable the County to provide adequate public roads, schools, and other facilities in a timely manner and achieve general plan growth objectives. This process is designed to direct growth to areas where adequate infrastructure exists or will exist.

HCPSS Commits to Incentive Pay for All Bus Drivers, Attendants and Contractors

HCPSS Commits to Incentive Pay for All Bus Drivers, Attendants and Contractors

HCPSS Commits to $5,000 Incentive Pay for All Bus Drivers and Attendants; Up to $4,000 Incentive Pay for Newly Hired Drivers; Up to $3,000 for Bus Contractors to Help Fill Inactive Routes

The Howard County Board of Education took action today to begin addressing the bus driver shortage that has impacted HCPSS since the beginning of the school year. The Board approved amendments to transportation contracts to provide a financial incentive for school bus drivers and attendants. This action would not have been possible without a $2 million commitment from County Executive Calvin Ball. The remaining costs will be covered with transportation savings in HCPSS’s budget. The additional funding will provide:

  • $5,000 in one-time incentives for all current bus drivers and attendants;
  • $1,500 signing bonus and up to a total of $2,500 in monthly incentive payments for all newly hired bus drivers and attendants;
  • $3,000 over three months to help bus contractors with driver shortages recruit and hire new staff to activate the remaining 95 routes; and
  • A 10% payment to bus contractors for each incentive bonus paid to bus drivers and attendants for overhead costs.

The school system wants to help bus drivers during this difficult time by getting these funds directly into their pockets. The initial $2,500 incentive bonuses for current bus drivers and attendants will be disbursed to all bus contractors within ten days of execution of the amended contracts and the remaining $2,500 will be paid monthly through the end of the school year.

The Howard County Public School System contracts its bus services to several local vendors, who will distribute the bonuses to their employees and will be required to provide verification to HCPSS that bus drivers and attendants received their payments timely.

While these short-term financial incentives are necessary to remain competitive as many other districts explore similar incentives, the long-term sustainability of transportation operations will require several strategies. HCPSS will work with bus contractors to examine the feasibility of increasing bus driver pay and benefits to support the recruitment and retention of high-quality bus drivers.

Since the start of the school year, HCPSS has experienced a shortage of approximately 95 bus drivers. The driver shortage has required many doubled bus routes, causing many students to arrive at school early or remain later at the end of the school day and resulting in significant challenges and inconvenience for drivers, families and school staff. Addressing the bus driver shortage requires a sustained effort and multiple action pathways. HCPSS has implemented a number of outreach initiatives, including recent hiring fairs, in order to attract new drivers and staff in other critical shortage areas, and will continue to work with bus contractors in an effort to reduce the number of driver shortages.

The Superintendent and Board of Education members thanked the County Executive for the county’s commitment of American Rescue Plan funding to help support this effort.

HCPSS Student Yield Per House Unit Increasing

There have been discussions on the student yield per house unit, especially the resale yield and new development yield. Please see my other article: https://chaowu.org/2021/05/30/latency-and-disconnect-in-the-new-construction-yield-and-school-over-capacity/ . I have strong opposition to use new development yield to plan for new housing development. There is no need to use two yield numbers as the Howard County Council used before. Just use a moving average number per school level is good enough to project student growth. I believe many families moving into Howard County for better education and we should try our best to provide that education support and maintain that quality.

Based on data collected, originally from Drew Roth, then augmented by Arthur Wang, I computed the student yield per house unit. Thank you, Drew and Arthur. I removed the enrollment data of 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic and only use the data between 2013-2019.

From Figure 1, we could see the trend is clear: HCPSS Student Number per House Unit is increasing over years. There are possible reasons (demographic shift) I can think of right now (a little over simplified):

  1. Newly developed homes have more students per house unit than old homes do.
  2. Senior residents without school age children moving out faster than families with children moved in.
  3. On average, families moving in have more children than families moving out.
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4

The data is attached below:

I would love to hear your feedback and refine my analysis.

Speech at New Educator Orientation

Good morning.

I’m pleased to be among the first to welcome each of you to our school system. Though we are all wearing masks, that doesn’t change this message of welcoming.

As a new educator or an educator taking on a new opportunity, you’re at the start of a wonderful professional journey. You are sure to enjoy many fulfilling and exciting moments during your first year and in the years to come. At the same time, the first year of teaching is always challenging, and we know the pandemic brings some additional challenges.

Please know that the school system, your home school, and this community are here for you, and we will support you every step of the way. We all want to help you with a good start, and make sure you have the support and resources you’ll need to be successful.

You, our educators and staff, can only be at their best if you feel valued and effective in your roles. An excellent program of professional development has been prepared to support you, starting with this orientation and continuing throughout your career with our school system.

The road you have chosen is one of the most meaningful and rewarding life adventures that anyone can experience. I thank you for committing to the education profession and joining our school system, especially during this unprecedented time. After seeing what has happened and is happening in this country, I would say we need to rejuvenate the teaching of science and democracy. We should teach our students to be good people, and remind them of their responsibility in this world.

I belong to a family of teachers. My older brother, sister-in-law, and my three little brothers and sisters are all teachers. Their dedication and support for their students always inspire me. In reflection of my own teachers and professors, I credit my success today to them, because they trusted me to be capable of achieving something. That trust broke the barrier of poverty and instability and propelled me forward.

I am also looking forward to our own community, our parents, our students, and community leaders showing their support for you. Each of them has an important role to play.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to society and culture support for your work. The education of the younger generation lays the foundation for this country’s future.

On behalf of the Board of Education, congratulations, and welcome once again to the Howard County Public School System.