Some update on HCPSS Small Group Instruction

The following memo is from the superintendent:

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information about the staffing considerations associated with the expansion of small group programs and the gradual return to normalized operations. During the January 7, 2021 Board of Education meeting, I provided an overview of a plan designed to bring a small percentage of students and a small percentage of staff to work in buildings with an eye on achieving three goals:

  1. Reestablishing existing specialized special education programs, Career and Technical Education programs at the ARL, in-person educational assessments, and in-home support visits for some students receiving special education services;
  2. Expanding small group supports to every school using the School-Based Learning Center model;
  3. Initiating a gradual return to work in buildings, schools and central office, as part of the return to normalized operations.

The goal would be to implement as early as February 1, 2021. However, as was mentioned many times during that board meeting, these efforts are entirely contingent on the health metrics approved by the Board of Education in the fall of 2020. The health metrics would have to reflect a positivity rate of <5.3% or the number of cases per 100,000 as 20 or less for 14 consecutive days in order to implement programs. For reference, Wednesday’s positivity rate was 7.6% and the case rate per 100,000 was 34.96, both significantly above the levels allowing small groups to resume. Staff will review health metrics on January 18 in order to determine the feasibility of a February 1 start date. If metrics remain unfavorable, then the start date will be pushed back one week to February 8. Each Monday, staff will review health metrics to determine a possible start date. Staff will not be required to report to buildings until health metrics permit.

Here is the full document.

Nomination for 2021 Friends of Education Award Begins

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Friends of Education Award. The award was established by the Howard County Board of Education to recognize and show appreciation to those individuals, businesses, non-profit groups, organizations, or associations who have made exemplary contributions to Howard County public education and to increase awareness of the importance of community involvement to the achievement of the school system’s Strategic Call to Action (SCTA) plan.

Any Howard County resident or non-profit group, organization, association, or business located in or serving Howard County who has not been a recipient may be nominated for the award.

The 2021 nomination deadline is February 8, 2021. Nominees and recipients will be notified by March 15, 2021, and awards will be presented during the April 15, 2021, Board of Education meeting.

Nomination applications are available online or by contacting the Board of Education at 410-313-1584. For more information, visit the Friends of Education website at

2021-2022 Student Board Member Application starts now

It is now time to receive applications for the next Student Member of the Howard County Board of Education.  Any current sophomore or junior in Howard County may apply for this position. The student must be regularly enrolled in an HCPSS high school, academically eligible, and a junior or senior in the 2020-2021 school year. The student elected by the students of Howard County will serve a one‑year term on the Howard County Board of Education, July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Please download the file above which contains necessary links.

HCPSS Safe Reopening of Schools Handbook for All Small Group Programs and covid-19 update

Here is the manual for HCPSS Safe Reopening of Schools Handbook for All Small Group Programs.

Readiness Checklist

  • ● Transportation (including specialized transportation is in place)
  • ● Health Services Staff able to work
  • ● School space(s) for learning identified and set up appropriately
  • ● Isolation room identified
  • ● Initial communication with families in place, including information about monitoring for
  • ● Additional staff identified for emergency coverage in case a staff member is unable to
  • report to school for a scheduled support day

Work Session on Covid-19 update

Board Member Report 2020-12-22

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our teachers and staff, students and families taking this unprecedented challenge this year.

I wish everyone happy holidays and happy New Year. We are looking forward to a gradual and steady return to normal of our education and life in 2021, year of Ox. Oxes are known for diligence, dependability, strength and determination. Let’s embrace these. 

Thank you.

(26) 2020 Interview with Kamau Richardson, Atholton High School, Howard University

(26) 2020 Interview with Kamau Richardson, Atholton High School, Howard University

Mr. Kamau Richardson graduated from Atholton High School in 2020. He is attending Howard University, majoring Chemical Engineering.

Kamau shared his high school experience on how to manage his time. He shared his secrete to build relationship: be present. He also shared his participation and leadership building experience at Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Here is the page: for your reference. There are three JROTC program in HCPSS ( Atholton, Oakland Mills and Howard High).

There are more to learn. Please tune in.

Apply for JROTC, November 18, 2020 – January 5, 2021

Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) programs are offered at Atholton (Army), Howard (Army) and Oakland Mills (Air Force) high schools. Each JROTC program provides an introduction to career opportunities in the United States Armed Forces and teaches principles of leadership, discipline and civic responsibility.

Any student who wishes to participate in JROTC but does not attend one of the schools that offers the program may apply for participation. Each school has a limited number of additional spaces available. To apply for participation for the 2021-2022 school year, students must contact a JROTC official between November 18, 2020, and January 5, 2021, to schedule an interview. Only students who are interviewed during this designated period will be considered for enrollment.

Students who are approved for admission into a JROTC program will be notified by letter by January 22, 2021.

Beginning November 18, to schedule an interview, contact the JROTC official for the program of interest:

  • Army JROTC at Atholton High School: Lieutenant Colonel William Reinhart, Senior Army Instructor, or (410) 313-7076
  • Army JROTC at Howard High School: Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Marshall, or (410) 313-2878
  • Air Force JROTC at Oakland Mills High School: Colonel Timothy Stevens, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, or (410) 313-6945

An application essay or other pre-interview materials may be required by each individual JROTC program. Contact your school counselor for additional information.

Find more information about the JROTC program on our website.

Board of Education Virtual Town Hall on Spring Semester, Nov. 9 2020

  Board of Education Virtual Town Hall on Spring Semester, Nov. 9As part of ongoing efforts to receive stakeholder feedback and answer questions related to the 2020-2021 spring semester, the Howard County Board of Education will host a virtual town hall, Monday, November 9 from 7-9 p.m.

The event will be streamed live and may be viewed on the HCPSS website, or on Comcast channel 95/Verizon 42 in Howard County.

The town hall will feature a panel of HCPSS leadership and Central Office staff, who will respond to pre-submitted questions. Panelists will address as many of the submitted questions as possible within the two-hour time period.

Any staff, students, parents/guardians or community members may submit questions via Google form, which closes at 7 a.m., Monday, November 9.Submit your question

Please note, there is a scheduled Board of Education meeting Thursday, November 5, during which a proposed hybrid model for the spring semester will be presented. That proposal will be available on the BoardDocs website by the start of the presentation. Stakeholders may find it useful to submit questions after reviewing the proposed hybrid model.Additionally, all stakeholders may continue to provide input to the Board of Education by emailing  

(25) 2020 Interview with Saniya Vashist, River Hill High School, Stanford University

(25) 2020 Interview with Saniya Vashist, River Hill High School, Stanford University

Ms. Saniya Vashist graduated from River Hill School in 2020. She is attending Stanford University, majoring International Relations and Economics.

Saniya will talk about her gap year choice and her experience receiving support from the Bill&Melinda Gaits Foundation on her CodeHer project. codeHER is an international female youth-run nonprofit dedicated to empowering girls, minorities, and at-risk youth. This project was reported on BaltimoreSun…

You will find more interesting story from her in this interview. Please tune in.

(24) 2020 Interview with Luz Angelica Serna, Hammond High School, University of Maryland

(24) 2020 Interview with Luz Angelica Serna, Hammond High School, University of Maryland

Ms. Luz Angelica Serna graduated from Hammond High School in 2019. She is attending University of Maryland, Baltimore County, majoring in psychology.

In the interview, Luz shared her experience on to balance on activities, overcoming challenges and charged forward to find her interest. Luz also shared why she chose UMBC and psychology as her major. She also talked about the challenge Hammond High School was facing, for example, not renovated for a long time. The good news is that Hammond High School is under renovation (unfortunately after Luz’s graduation) and due to complete in 2023.

There is more to learn. Please tune in.