HCPSS 2022 covid update meeting
The full presentation is attached here
The report is attached here for your reference.
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:
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.
topics: covid concern at some high schools, school sports cancellation issue,
As of yesterday, December 15, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 333 and 49 among staff, and we had 3,712 students and 132 staff members in quarantine. We have 26 current active outbreaks but please note that this number is not fully reflected on the Maryland Department of Health website due to its recent hack. We have a total of 170 students who were initially identified as close contacts and ultimately tested positive over the
14-day quarantine period.
The numbers speak for themselves. For reference, on Nov. 18, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases in schools was 75, with 1,151 students and 34 staff members in quarantine. As of yesterday morning, we were nearing 300 positive COVID cases in schools for the first three days of the week. Since that announcement yesterday we have already seen over 250 additional positive COVID-19 cases and that is just as of 1 pm today.
We have all witnessed too many stories of violence and threats at schools across the nation. Unfortunately, we have experienced similar situations right here in Howard County schools.
Dr. Russo talked about Oakland Mills HS and Hammond HS’s outbreaks. Dr. Rossman talked about testing for athletes as one mitigation method. Dr. Rossman also said there was no higher infection rate in cafeteria.
Wilde Lake High School
Student Board Member Report
A lot of promotions and transfer
approved with some revisions
This is the presentation shared with Howard County Council.
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
● 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.
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.
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.
The board approved a motion: student performers have the same standard as student athletes on mask protocol.
HCEA (HoCo Education Association) and HCASA(HoCo Association of Supervisors and Administrators)
School Construction Report
Evening Public Forum
topics covered: SMOB election, student wellness and student search and seizure
Public Hearing on Policy
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.
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:
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.
Ellicott City, Maryland — The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) invites county residents to take an active role in developing and revising school system policies as members of policy advisory committees. The knowledge, experience and perspective shared by community stakeholders are used to improve the quality of HCPSS policy.
HCPSS is currently seeking candidates for membership on the following Policy Advisory Committees:
The committees will include at least one member representing the general resident stakeholder group. Members of this committee attend 3-4 meetings to discuss and make policy recommendations to the Superintendent. Meetings will be held virtually and are tentatively scheduled as follows:
Committee members are expected to attend/participate in all committee meetings.
Residents interested in participating may submit a statement of interestonline by Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. A confirmation email with additional details will be sent to the individual selected to participate on the committee.
Please contact HCPSS policy staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. All current HCPSS policies can be viewed online.
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):
The data is attached below:
I would love to hear your feedback and refine my analysis.
On Monday, BOE and County Council had a conversation on the APFO. I raised a few questions:
Attached please see the latest APFO.
Please share your feedback with us. I am going to have some further discussions with county council members on this.
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.
I know many parents and students are impacted by the double busing issue which was due to severe driver shortage. My daughter’s afternoon bus schedule is impacted by an hour too. We have been asking the school system to keep examining this. Here is the latest update:
We will keep the current implementation in place. We will continue to examine the situation and make adjustments. Both the data and justification are attached in the following letter.
After evaluating the opportunities and considerations it is our recommendation to keep the existing structure of the double busing in place. We could revisit this for the spring semester as certain variables may change over the coming months. The two main variables would be known or committed ridership and an increase in drivers. As new drivers are placed into operation, we are trying to eliminate the most impacted routes, which could result in different outcomes in the data.
If you have any questions, please contact Scott W. Washington, Chief Operating Officer at email@example.com, or Brian Nevin, Director of Student Transportation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are latest update for the school opening on August 30,2021.
Last week, a message was sent detailing several updates related to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Below is additional information authorized by the superintendent related specifically to cafeteria protocols and the self check process that every family will be expected to perform daily before sending their child to school.
There are several updates related to cafeteria protocols to further reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. All schools will have outdoor eating spaces available on campus for student use as weather and staffing permits to lessen the number of students in the cafeteria. In an effort to maintain a healthy environment in cafeterias, the following actions are being implemented:
COVID-19 Self-Screening Symptoms Self Check
Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease, including COVID-19. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform the following COVID-19 health check every day before the student leaves home.
A child should NOT come to school with any of these symptoms:
For persons with chronic conditions such as asthma, the symptoms should represent a change from baseline.
Children exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 may not attend school.
Please visit the HCPSS website for additional information on self screening, contact tracing and quarantining procedures. Additionally, visit the HCPSS website for more information on the 2021-2022 school year and answers to frequently asked questions.
A short interview with Maryland Association of Board of Education.
We may have new updates. This update is the most-up-to-date guideline for five days in-person education for HCPSS from our superintendent Dr. Martirano.
We will ask all students and staff wearing masks. HCPSS will require all employees to provide proof of full vaccination or undergo regular COVID-19 testing.
We still have many unknowns and many challenges ahead. Let’s work together and address them one by one.
|July 12, 2021|
This press release is being sent jointly by the Howard County Public School System and County Executive’s Office
Ellicott City, Maryland — Howard County Public School System Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano, joined by Board of Education Chair Dr. Chao Wu, County Executive Calvin Ball, County Council Chair Liz Walsh, and system and county leaders, today announced the school system’s health fund deficit will be eliminated this year (fiscal year 2022) – two years ahead of schedule.
The deficit, which began in 2015 and was first discussed publicly in May 2017 by then newly hired Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano, grew to $39.2 million before a combination of several efforts were implemented to halt the continuing deficit growth. The first step was to begin to fully fund actuarially projected health insurance costs and then begin to pay down the deficit. In 2019, a plan was jointly developed by the Superintendent and County Executive to eliminate the deficit by fiscal year 2024. Using savings within the school system’s operating budget, a one-time infusion of funds from the Howard County Government, and a lower-than-expected claims experience in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, the health deficit will be eliminated in this current fiscal year (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022) with an estimated $5 million positive balance if claims are consistent with actuarial projections.
“This deficit has significantly constrained our operating budget for several years and limited our ability to adequately fund several priorities,” said Superintendent Martirano. “Eliminating the deficit became an immediate top priority for me and Board of Education members. Today truly is a momentous day as we can celebrate that our commitment and collaboration has finally addressed this deficit and that the Howard County Public School System will not be hampered by this looming deficit year after year. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of all future leaders in our county to ensure that our employee health care costs are fully funded.”
“The School System’s Health Fund Deficit represented a significant fiscal challenge that our Administration and County Council had to confront upon taking office. In just 3 years, we have accomplished something truly remarkable: we have taken a near $40 million deficit and turned it into a projected surplus of over $5 million,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Our Administration, School System and Board of Education faced a daunting challenge, met it head on, and resolved the issue working together. I am proud of the work we’ve done to eliminate the Health Fund Deficit and am thankful to have good partners like Dr. Martirano, the members of the Board of Education, and our Howard County Council to make today possible.”
“This was not a problem created by this Board or this Superintendent, but it was ours to fix,” said Board Chair Wu. “Since 2017, this Board of Education has prioritized fully funding the actuarially projected health insurance costs, preventing the deficit from growing. We will continue to prioritize the health benefits that our employees receive and engage in sound financial practices to ensure we never find ourselves in this position again.”
“The County Council has shared consistently with the Superintendent’s and Board of Education’s goal to eliminate this health fund deficit as quickly as we possibly could,” said Liz Walsh, County Council Chair. “So much so that we voted unanimously in support of an amendment to dedicate an additional $2.5 million to this exclusive purpose. We can now all turn our attention to fully funding the present needs and future needs of our county school system and the children in our care at this very moment and for generations to come.”
The Superintendent detailed several collaborative efforts to eliminate the health fund deficit:
“Today truly is a momentous day as we celebrate that our commitment and collaboration has finally addressed this deficit and our budgetary focus will not be on getting out of a multi-million dollar debt but on how the budget can support the very important programs and services that our students and staff need. This includes implementing the Blueprint for Maryland legislation and welcoming back all of our students back to school next month to normalized instruction,” added Martirano.
This is the official report form HCPSS school staff. I wrote on this topic a few weeks earlier: https://chaowu.org/2021/05/30/latency-and-disconnect-in-the-new-construction-yield-and-school-over-capacity/
Our current board administrator Mrs. Kathy Hanks will retire soon. We will miss Mrs. Hanks greatly. Her professionalism is the best I have ever seen.
We are hiring for a new one.
Central Office, Professional/Administrator to the Board of Education
Central Office, Howard County Public School System
Administrator to the Board of Education
This position opens on June 25, 2021 and closes July 11, 2021.
Under the supervision of the Chairman of the Board of Education (BOE), the Administrator to the Board of Education provides oversight and implementation of the daily operations of the Board of Education office including the supervision of assigned administrative staff. The Administrator serves as a liaison between members of the Board of Education, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) staff, and constituents. The Administrator works closely with the Office of the Superintendent to coordinate joint meetings, the development of the quarterly agenda, and the response to urgent matters.
The ideal candidate for this position has exceptional ability to manage complex and time sensitive projects. With outstanding customer service and communication skills, this individual deals tactfully and effectively with school administrators, school system staff, external organizations, and the general public. The ideal candidate is skilled in the use a variety of computer software and cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and video conferencing platforms. The ability to exercise judgment, resourcefulness, discretion, and confidentiality in this role is paramount.
To learn more about employment with HCPSS, please visit https://www.hcpss.org/employment/.
ESSENTIAL POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES
The above list is a summary of the functions of the job, not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks, and duties.
Applicants must meet all the following qualifications, listed below, to be considered for the vacancy.
This is a 12-month per year position in the Administrative, Management, and Technical employee group. The current salary range for this position is Group G, $102,020- $148,624. Salary placement will be in conjunction with salary procedures of the Howard County Public School System which considers relevant prior experience. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, this position is exempt from overtime.
Only applicants who submit all the requested information by the closing date of the vacancy will be considered for this position. Interviews will be limited to those applicants who, in addition to meeting the basic requirements, have experiences and education which most closely match the position qualifications and the needs of the school system.
Please note that a completed application includes:
HCPSS requires an official evaluation of foreign credentials to verify educational qualifications.
For questions regarding this vacancy, please contact:
Human Resources Business Partner
Office of Human Resources
Equal Opportunity Employer
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. HCPSS ensures equal employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.