Turf Valley ES on the move

Last Thursday night, HCPSS board moved Turf Valley ES into 2024 capital budget. We hope it will reduce overcrowding in many neighboring schools, St. John’s ES, Manner Woods, Centennial Lane, Waverly ES, West Friendship ES, probably Dayton Oaks ES too.

I am glad that I have been pushing and supporting to get the Turf Valley ES site since I am on the board and now we are able to put it in the capital budget. I appreciate the support from our county executive and county council. We worked together to get this done. This kind collaboration is needed to address many challenges we are facing in Howard County and the whole state Maryland.

HS 14 should be another big push. We should build schools where students come from and create a school neighborhood and belongings.

We need to plan and manage our growth, and manage APFO better to serve our students, parents and residents. Overcrowded schools are not good for our teachers either.

The following is a picture taken in July 2021, when I spoke at the announcement of Turf Valley ES site acquisition.

2022 HCPSS redistricting work session I recap

The board had the following directions:

Move the Board table the Motion until the Board has the answers to questions asked in this hearing regarding the topic of rising juniors.

Motion by Antonia Watts, second by Jolene Mosley.

Final Resolution: Motion Fails

Yea: Jennifer Mallo, Jolene Mosley, Antonia Watts

Nay: Christina Delmont-Small, Yun Lu, Chao Wu, Vicky Cutroneo

Move the Board to exempt all rising 11th graders with opt-in transportation.

Motion by Yun Lu, second by Chao Wu.

Final Resolution: Motion Carries

Yea: Christina Delmont-Small, Yun Lu, Chao Wu, Vicky Cutroneo

Abstain: Jennifer Mallo, Jolene Mosley, Antonia Watts

Move the Board to move only rising 9th and 10th graders to High School #13.

Motion by Chao Wu, second by Yun Lu.

Final Resolution: Motion Carries

Yea: Christina Delmont-Small, Yun Lu, Jennifer Mallo, Jolene Mosley, Chao Wu, Vicky Cutroneo

Nay: Antonia Watts

Move that the Board receive data about Figure B8 in the feasibility study with elimination of small feeds in the outlying table and maintain walkers at their current schools

Motion by Antonia Watts, second by Vicky Cutroneo.

Final Resolution: Motion Carries

Yea: Christina Delmont-Small, Jennifer Mallo, Jolene Mosley, Antonia Watts, Chao Wu, Vicky Cutroneo

Nay: Yun Lu

Move to create a modification to the Superintendent’s proposed plan that creates a contiguous boundary with HS #13 with the northern limit of Route 100.

Motion by Chao Wu, second by Yun Lu.

Final Resolution: Motion Carries

Yea: Christina Delmont-Small, Yun Lu, Jennifer Mallo, Jolene Mosley, Antonia Watts, Chao Wu, Vicky Cutroneo

2022-2023 superintendent redistricting proposal

Here is the superintendent’s proposal for 2022-2023 HCPSS redistricting in order to open the new High School 13 in the fall 2023. It will impact Oakland Mills Middle and High Schools, Hammond HS, Howard HS and Long Reach HS, Mt. Hebron HS and Reservoir HS.

Here is a link to find your polygon number. https://chaowu.org/2017/06/24/how-to-find-hcpss-school-polygon-map-number/

Board meeting recap 2020-8-16

Superintendent report

  • First day of school for students, Monday August 29, 2022
  • Staff introduction: Jonathan Davis, Laurel Porter, Gillian Spivey, Kelly Grenzer, Meghan Liwosz, Eugene Rose,
  • New Educator Orientation (530 teachers and staff)
  • Staff shortage: 93 bus driver shortage, double route is still needed.
  • 71 certificated vacancy ( 22 classroom teacher, 26 special education teachers, 23 related service providers)
  • around 100 non-certificate vacancy
  • covid protocol update.
    • There is no longer delineation in protocols for those who are fully vaccinated and those who are not fully vaccinated. All protocols apply to all individuals.•
    • Students and staff must isolate for a minimum of five days if they test positive for COVID.• They may return on day 6 if they are fever free, have experienced an improvement in symptoms, and are able to wear a mask properly until day 10. If they test negative on or after day 5, with 2 negative rapid antigen tests 48 hours apart, they may remove their mask prior to the end of the 10-day period.•
    • Regardless of vaccination status, close contacts who are asymptomatic do not need to quarantine, but it is recommended that they mask for 10 days after exposure. It is also recommended that they get tested around day 5–especially if symptoms appear.
    • Face masks in our buildings and on school buses are voluntary.
  • safety and security, FARMS program, School supplies and Closing

School Start Times – Transportation Organization Change Report 


  • Policy 8020: Grading & Reporting, Middle and High Schools
  • Policy 9400: Student Behavior Intervention
  • Policy 9010: Attendance
  • Policy 8101: Grading and Reporting, Pre-K and Elementary Schools
  • Charters:
  • Policy 1060 Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, and Intimidation Charter
  • Policy 7070 Appointments to Administrative and Supervisory Certificated Positions Charter
  • Policy 7080 Transfer of School-Based Administrative Personnel Charter 
  • Policy 8030 Graduation Requirements Charter
  • Policy 8040 Selection of Instructional Materials Charter

FY 2024 Capital Budget and FY 2025-2029 Capital Improvement Program 

Preliminary Later School Start Time Proposal for 2023-2024

On February 10, 2022, the Board of Education approved the decision to begin immediately planning the Later Start School Time (primarily for high schools) implementation for the 2023/2024 school year. This is the first report that directly addresses the objective of the School Start and End Time planning for the 2023/2024 school year. The report is of a preliminary nature and will need to be finalized in the future as the iterative process continues.

Board Meeting Recap 2022-6-9

Public Forum

LGBTQA+ concerns

Administrative Appointments and Promotions

Administrative Transfers 

Student Member Report

school visit at HS 13, Hammond High and Talbott Springs ES

Superintendent Report

2020 Awardees

  1. Our Principal of the Year and a Washington Post Principal of the Year nominee, Nancy Thompson from Talbott Springs Elementary School
  2. Our Teacher of the Year and Maryland State Department of Education candidate, Jerome Pickens from Bryant Woods Elementary School
  3. And, our Teacher of the Year and a Washington Post Teacher of the Year nominee, Suzi Young from Homewood School

2021 Awardees

  1. o Our Principal of the Year and Washington Post Principal of the Year nominee, Denise Lancaster from Deep Run Elementary School
  2. o Our Teacher of the Year and Maryland State Department of Education candidate, Amy Woolf from Oakland Mills Middle School
  3. o And, our Teacher of the Year and a Washington Post Teacher of the Year nominee, Niklas Berry from Oakland Mills High School

2022 awardees

  1. Our Principal of the Year and a Washington Post Principal of the Year nominee, Jeffrey Fink from Oakland Mills High School
  2. o Our Teacher of the Year and Maryland State Department of Education candidate, Jorden Lim from Long Reach High School
  3. o And, our Teacher of the Year and a Washington Post Teacher of the Year nominee, Jessica Palad from Pointers Run Elementary School

MCTM’s Outstanding Educator Awardees

  1. In the Beginning Mathematics Teacher Category, Joshua Ernst from Mount Hebron High School.
  2. o In the Middle School Mathematics Teacher Category, Jenna Largent from Homewood Center.
  3. o In the High School Mathematics Teacher Category, Kevin Flynn from Marriotts Ridge High School.
  4. o And in the Mathematics Teacher Leader Category – Jennifer Mullinix, a Mathematics Instructional Support Teacher at Hammond High School and Long Reach High School

School Start Time Change Implementation Project Status Update


  1. Policy 4060 Medicaid Reimbursement for Health-Related Services (approved)
  2. Policy 6060 Community Improvement to School Sites or School Facilities (approved)
  3. Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services (approved)
  4. Policy 8020 Grading & Reporting: Middle & High School  (presented)
    1. The revision recommends removing midterm and finals from most courses.

2022 Feasibility Study

Howard County 2022 In-process and Planned Development

This is a long list (30 pages) for in-process and planned development for Howard County this year. It showed where the new units will be built and which school is designated to go.

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Board with additional supporting documentation for the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) School Capacity Chart.

BOE approved FY 2023-2024 budget

BOE approved FY 2023-2024 budget

Board of Education Adopts FY23 Operating & Capital Budgets – HCPSS News

May 27th, 2022

The Howard County Board of Education on May 26 adopted its Operating and Capital Budgets for the 2022-2023 school year (FY 2023). The General Fund operating budget totals $1.03 billion, an increase of $74.8 million over FY 2022 which represents a 7.8 percent change. The FY 2023 capital budget totals $105,887,000, to support capital projects, including new High School #13 and Hammond High School, both scheduled to be completed for school year 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The approved FY 2023 operating budget advances the school system’s ability to meet the growing student needs for academic and behavioral supports, special education, and health services. It also provides funding for employee compensation increases and fully funds negotiated collective bargaining agreements. In addition, the FY 2023 budget will begin the funding increases needed to meet the initial requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, including the phased-in expansion to full-day prekindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds. In total, the FY 2023 budget adds more than 380 positions in the operating budget.

“I am pleased the budget provides funds to ensure our students receive the much-needed services to support their mental health and academic needs compounded by the pandemic,” said Board Chair Vicky Cutroneo. “I want to thank the County Executive, County Council, Superintendent Martirano, and our school system staff for working collaboratively to advance this budget. Almost half of our total new positions will go directly to support special education where we know we need to continue investing.”

“The budget advances many critical need areas within our system by providing resources and new staff positions to support our students and staff and will have a significant impact on the academic and behavioral supports, and health and special education services we are able to provide,” said HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano. “Through our fiscal management, we have eliminated the Health Fund deficit and can now focus on adding these much-needed supports and services for our students and staff. I am pleased that this budget will provide compensation increases for our employees while laying the foundation to implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future over the next ten years.”

“I am particularly proud that the budget continues our investment in special education by funding a total of 186.8 new special education positions, continuing our system’s record growth advanced for special education over the last several budget cycles,” added Martirano.

Howard County funding is increasing $45 million over the required Maintenance of Effort funding, an increase of 7.2 percent, plus nonrecurring funding of $2.3 million that has been conditionally approved by the Maryland State Board of Education (MSDE). State sources of revenue increased by $38.6 million, an increase of 13.7 percent, driven by the implementation of per pupil funding increases required in Blueprint legislation. Federal and other sources of funding remain the same year-over-year. The remaining funds to balance the budget come from the use of unassigned fund balance in the amount of $28.9 million, an increase of $1.9 million from the FY 2022 budget.

Critical Investments to Meet Increased Student Needs

The pandemic has permanently reshaped and redefined public education service levels, compounding the challenges for staff in meeting students’ needs. The budget advances resources and new staff positions necessary to prepare HCPSS to meet students’ increased needs for academic and behavioral supports, special education and health services. The budget includes:

  • Full funding of special education with 186.8 positions, including the special education services to expand full-day prekindergarten programs
  • 1 LGBTQIA+ liaison position
  • 15 liaison positions, including 5 Black Student Achievement Program liaisons, 4 Hispanic achievement liaisons and 2 international achievement liaison positions including an additional 4 liaisons added by the Board on May 19, 2022
  • 10 student health services staff including 2 nurses, 7 health assistants and 1 health specialist
  • 15 student well-being & support positions, including 6 counselors, 8 psychologists, 1 pupil personnel worker, along with the well-being and support positions supporting student needs expanded through Blueprint implementation

Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

The FY 2023 budget includes $25.3 million to begin implementing the core foundation costs needed to meet the requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, which begins taking effect next fiscal year and will continue to be rolled out over the next 10 years. FY 2023 Blueprint efforts include:

  • Increasing teacher salaries and advancing the minimum teacher salary toward the required $60,000 minimum by FY 2026. The FY 2023 budget increases the minimum teacher salary from $50,000 to $56,228
  • 79.8 positions for prekindergarten expansion (44 positions for prekindergarten and 35.8 special education positions included in the 186.8 special education positions already listed)
  • 26 positions for college and career readiness
  • 6 positions for career ladder implementation, administration, governance, and reporting

In addition, the budget will advance several additional priorities forward including:

  • School start times adjustment initiative
  • Decrease of class size by 1 at the elementary school level
  • Training on alternatives for seclusion and restraint
  • New High School #13 administration and custodial positions
  • Additional custodial and HVAC maintenance positions
  • Funding for increased costs related to student transportation

The Board adopted a FY 2023 Capital Budget totaling $105,887,000, for costs associated with the continued funding for construction of New High School #13 and the renovation and addition to Hammond High School. In addition, ongoing projects will provide maintenance and support of the school system and operational needs including funds to support systemwide technology needs, the relocatable classroom program, projects addressing accessibility concerns through the barrier free line, and systemic maintenance projects.

The adopted FY 2024-2028 Capital Improvement Program and FY 2023-2032 Long-Range Master Plan provide a path forward with the next planned capital projects and ongoing projects to support operational needs.

The final adopted budget will be available online soon. Additional budget information is available online now.

HCPSS/Towson Para-to-Teacher Pathways Virtual Info Session, May 25

HCPSS/Towson Para-to-Teacher Pathways Virtual Info Session, May 25

HCPSS paraeducators who wish to pursue a teaching certificate and subsequently teach in HCPSS schools are invited to a virtual information session with HCPSS and Towson University. The program will be held this Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.

If you have earned close to 60 undergraduate credits, an Associate of Arts or Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, the Towson Special Education Cohort #2 undergraduate program may be for you. This degree qualifies you to teach as a special educator in elementary or middle school. 

More information is available in the Para to Teachers Pathways Canvas community.

The Inclusion of Asian American Studies in Schools Becomes a Reality

Our new article is published at June 2022 Issue of American School Board Journal, an affiliate of National School Board Association. The link is:


Our 2021 Article “AAPI History is American History”, published on American School Board Journal. The link is here:

AAPI History is American History | Dr. Chao Wu

Mount View Middle School Start Time 2022 Fall Adjustment

Mount View Middle School start time will be moved to 8:00 AM to address the traffic concern in the fall 2022.

The analysis, efforts, and implementation changes over the previous years, have not produced results that eliminate the traffic and congestion. Prior to investing in a capital project, staff has been directed to adjust the start time for MVMS for the 2022-2023 school year from 7:40 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., increasing the gap between the two schools to a total of 35 minutes, potentially eliminating the community concerns.

Board meeting recap 2022-3-24

Public forum:

Musgrove Farm HOA shared septic cost


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.

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