HCPSS Board Meeting 2022-11-17 recap

HCPSS Board Meeting 2022-11-17 recap

This is my last board meeting recap. My board term came to end next month

Recognition of outgoing board member:

  • Chao Wu
  • Vicky Cutroneo

Student Representative Report: River Hill High School

SMOB report

Superintendent Report

Appointment:

Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (HCASA)

Administrative Agenda

  • FY 2022 Audit Report
  • Approval of Attendance Area Adjustment Plan 
    • approved sibling exemption
  • Naming of New High School #13: Recommend: Quarry Heights High School

Appointment:

Howard County Education Association (HCEA)

2022 HCPSS redistricting work session 7(final) recap

The board reached a consensus on the board approved preliminary plan. The plan will be voted in our next board meeting.

Exemptions Approved

  • Exempting rising 12th, 11th graders from previous board motion.
  • Exempting rising 10th graders, except for those who are going to HS13.
  • Exempting students with IEP or 504 plans.
  • Exempting students with parents on active military duty
  • Based on exempting10th,11th,12th graders, trailing siblings who share at least one year in the same high are covered already.

HCPSS Redistricting: Scenario 5

During our last work session, the board voted to examine another scenario created by (North Elkridge) Community Members,  mainly drafted by Drew Roth and Becki Vivrette.

Here is the OSP analysis on the scenario (Scenario 5). Write to BOE at boe@hcpss.org with your feedback.

Polygons will be impacted (around 800 more students will be impacted compared with the preliminary board plan ):

The whole analysis is here:

Here is the board preliminary plan:

V5: 2022 HCPSS redistricting work session 5 recap

  • V5: 2022 HCPSS redistricting work session 5 recap
  • At today’s board work session, the board discussed a new timeline because we voted to include an analysis on version 3 of the North Elkridge Community Plan, drafted by Drew Roth and Becki Vivrette.
  • The board voted to ask OSP to bring forward information related to exempt rising 10th and rising 8th graders.
  • Move to request information of impact exempting students who have an IEP or 504 plan or have at least 1 parent who is active duty military personnel with regard to transportation and enrollment data for the polygons under consideration.
  • The board voted to ask OSP to explore exemption on the trailing siblings who share at least one year in high school impacted in the preliminary plan.

The Elkridge community plan v3 is here for reference:

New proposed timeline for redistricting discussion:

  1. 10/27, request the superintendent and OSP to evaluate Northern Elkridge Community Plan (NECP) v3
  2. 11/2, work session v6 to analyze NECP v3 and the board needs to decide whether NECP v3 go forward or not.
    1. if NOT,
      1. 11/14 work session and straw vote.
      2. 11/17 adaption
    2. If YES.
      1. 11/17, board meeting without redistricting on the agenda.
      2. 11/28, public hearing (see whether another public hearing is needed)
      3. 11/29, work session and straw vote
      4. 12/1, plan adaptation

V4: 2022 HCPSS redistricting work session 4 recap

The board has a discussion on the four scenarios as shown in Four scenarios for HCPSS redistricting HS 13 | Dr. Chao Wu.

The board had a lengthy discussion on all scenarios.

The board will consider the superintendent’s proposal with some modification: 2022-2023 superintendent redistricting proposal | Dr. Chao Wu

The board moved unanimously with the superintendent’s proposal with addition of Work Session-Scenario 2 (changing students between Patuxent Valley MS and Thomas Viaduct MS)

V3: 2022 HCPSS redistricting work session 3 recap

Discussion 9th grader only HS 13

New Motion

  1. Move to create a modification to the Contiguous HS 13 Plan with the western limit of Interstate 95. For the Polygons reassigned from Reservoir HS to Hammond HS in the Contiguous HS 13 Plan, reassign all or a portion of them to HS 13, when feasible. For the Polygons reassigned from Atholton HS to Hammond HS in the Contiguous HS 13 Plan, replace them by Polygon 2010.  
  2. Move to request information in regards for moving 26, 27, 1026, 1027 from Thomas Viaduct MS to Patuxent Valley MS, information on capacity utilization, capacity utilization projections, walk zone and middle from elementary feeds.
  3. Move to request information from staff on the community generated redistricting plan, version 2.
  4. Move to gather more information about keeping Mayfield Woods MS as a full feed at Long Reach HS moving Rockburn area of Elkridge to Howard HS and moving 175 to 100 along Route 1 to Oakland Mills HS with the baseline plan being the community generated plan, version 2.

The following is the Community Generated Redistricting Plan, Version 2.

The following is recap from work session 2 for reference.

V1: 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/

2022 HCPSS Feasibility Study

2022 HCPSS Feasibility Study is available now. This is to help the board to define the boundary of High School 13 (at Jessup, along the mission road), which will be opened in Fall 2023. There are four redistricting scenarios discussed in the study.

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

Scenario A

Scenario B

Scenario C

Scenario D

Just as I said during the last redistricting in 2019, we should define the core area for High School 13 at that time to reduce unnecessary moves this year. Unfornatuely the majority of the board did not listen to me and we are facing a large reshuffling again. It will be a huge challenge for students, and families. At the same time, let’s get excited for a new high school opening. The last new high school is Marriotts Ridge High School, which opened in 2005, 17 years ago.

The whole document is attached here.

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:

https://hcpss-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=b1d3153921514fbead0abb0f92090217

2022-2023 HCPSS redistricting for new High School 13

On January 27, 2022, the Board of Education directed that HCPSS initiate the boundary review process outlined in Policy 6010 School Attendance Areas. This review will include boundary modifications to establish an attendance area for New High School #13.

New High School #13 is scheduled to open for the 2023-24 school year with 1,680 seats. The school is located near Mission Road and Washington Boulevard (Rt. 1) in Jessup, within the current Hammond High School attendance area. The communities located in the eastern part of Howard County are most likely to be impacted by this redistricting process.

Changes in school attendance areas as a result of this process will take effect beginning the 2023-24 school year.

More to follow at HCPSS website:

https://www.hcpss.org/school-planning/redistricting-for-23-24/

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

2020-21 School Placements and Redistricting Exemptions (urgent)

2020-21 School Placements and Redistricting Exemptions

Parents of students who are eligible for an exemption must make their decision by December 13 (next Friday) by following the instructions below.

On November 21, 2019, the Board of Education finalized a decision to move more than 5,000 students to new schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, the Board voted to exempt several student groups from the redistricting decision, allowing them the option of attending the new school or remaining at their current school. 

The exemptions apply to the following groups of students:

  • Current 4th grade students
  • Current 7th grade students
  • Current 10th grade students
  • Current 11th grade students
  • 30/60 credit JumpStart students
  • Students with an IEP, as of 11/21/2019
  • Students with a 504, as of 11/21/2019
  • Students with at least one custodial parent on active military duty

The Board also identified several of these student groups as eligible for bus transportation if choosing to  remain at their current school. Parents of students who are eligible for an exemption must make their decision by December 13 by following the instructions below.

View your child(ren)’s school assignment for next year and, if applicable, begin the exemption process, via HCPSS Connect. Be sure to do this for each child as options may be different based on the exemption status.

  • Log in to HCPSS Connect
  • Select the Redistricting 2020 tab in the left menu
  • Select Redistricting 2020

If your child is eligible for an exemption, you will see the option to choose the school they will attend next school year and a transportation option if applicable. Remaining at their current school is optional, so it is important that you decide which school you would like your child to attend for the 2020-2021 school year. Eligible students of parents/guardians who do not complete the exemption process will be moved to the redistricted school next year. This decision must be made by December 13, 2019.

If you believe your child qualifies for an exemption and do not see that option in HCPSS Connect, please contact your child’s current school immediately.

Please contact your child’s school with any additional questions or visit the HCPSS website for more information.

Closing Remark for 2019-2020 HCPSS redistricting

Closing remarks for 2019 redistricting

Revised a little bit.

This redistricting process has been a soul-searching process for me, both as an individual citizen who has children in our school system and as a board member who is making decisions that have impact on thousands of students and their families.  I never anticipated it would happen in such a dramatic fashion. When I was elected last year, I was eager to serve on the board and my goal was to improve education for Howard County, a place where I call home. When the board voted unanimously early this year to direct the superintendent to begin a comprehensive school redistricting process, I expected the redistricting to solve the most pressing issue of overcrowding in our schools and be as less disruptive as possible to the families.

Instead, we made a crisis by placing balancing FARM rate as the highest priority for this redistricting. As a first-generation immigrant and a student from poverty, and an ESOL student myself, I fully support diversity, inclusion and equity. However, equity cannot be achieved by simply balancing FARM rates. We need find the right and good balance among capacity, community and improving socioeconomic situation. In some schools we improved socioeconomic balance. In some schools, we created small feeds. In some schools, we created longer commute. Sure, we reduced overcrowding in many schools.

Early this year, we struggled to balance the fiscal year 2020 budget, and we had to cut many teaching positions. We have delayed the much needed Talbott Springs ES replacement and Hammond HS addition and expansion. We are now facing an even bigger budget crisis for fiscal 2021 starting with a $60 million shortage. This massive redistricting process with additional transportation cost in all likelihood will make the situation even worse.

Many families chose to live in Howard County for its diverse and inclusive environment and for our great public school system. Throughout the process, I read all of the emails, and replied to most of the emails that directly addressed to  me before last week.  I also met and talked to many community members. My notes filled 2 large notebooks. The key message from the community has been: Don’t move my kids. We love our community school. As elected BOE members, we are obligated to listen to our constituents and try to provide the stability that they ask from us. The principle should be Do no harm. Our goal should be to support ALL students in our school system.

Through this entire process, almost in each work session, I have kept asking our board members: what is our objective and goal for this redistricting? What is the threshold for capacity utilization at each school? Unfortunately, we have never came up with a consensus among board members. We started the massive process without a clear goal.  We were rushed by the timeline and eager to get to the finish line, which many people felt not justified and unfair, especially to those affected late in the process. Those communities were not afforded fair opportunity to participate in the public hearing sessions. Some schools were disproportionately impacted by this redistricting plan. For example, Altholton, Oakland, Waterloo, and many more schools have undergone a drastic change and some small feeds were also created, which is not consistent with the policy.

The cascading impact ran through like a tornado and many schools were impacted during this comprehensive redistricting. Under a tornado, everyone gets hurt.

To my fellow board members, they each brought their own perspectives to the process. Ms. Cutroneo has been raising many issues and listed all new developments in each polygon. Ms. Mallo had worked tirelessly with maps all over her house. Her focus on Columbia is undeniable. Ms. Coombs has been providing many useful inputs in Columbia and other areas. Ms. Ellis has been keeping the meeting in order. Ms. Demont-Small’s full feeder system attracted many attention. Ms. Taj was the FARM rate checker during the process. Thank you all for your hard work!

For myself, I want to be the voice which advocates evidence-based solution and keep our students in the center of decision making and have a long-term plan.  I am advocating for better process, better criteria and better priority for all students. In many cases, I am the lonely voice, but I will keep advocating. Some of my work throughout the process included

  1. I created a website for polygon search to facilitate the board discussion, developed a Python software to do polygon movement, capacity calculation and feeder analysis. 
  2. In order to minimize student movements, I also developed an alternative plan which dramatically reduced student movement. This alternative plan helped the board to think about other solutions which is less disruptive than the superintendent’s plan.

I believe wholeheartedly that students and parents love their community schools. The sense of belongings to their school is an integral part of their growth. We have a very diverse student body in every aspect. This is a free country and people make their own choices on where to live. The housing pattern which caused the affordable housing singular distribution across the county cannot realistically be addressed by the school board. We will simply not be able to redistrict our overcrowded schools in the near future, especially in elementary schools and middle schools. The average elementary and middle school capacity will reach 110% soon. If High School 13 opens on time, that will bring some relief to the high school level. However, I don’t see a new elementary or middle school within 10 years. We need to face this reality.

Moving forward, I have the following recommendations to the board:

  1. We need to revise Policy 6010. Set the capacity range a little wider to 90%-120%. This will allow more stability in each school. Our policy should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and evidence-based. There are conflicting criteria in policy 6010 and we could not meet them all simultaneously. So we need to prioritize the standards and put a weight on each criteria. Some criteria will have a higher weight and others will have a lower weight. However, we should not change the weight randomly based on board members’ preference during the process or after the weight is set.
  2. We need to revise the charter of Area Attendance Committee. Community inputs are critical to the decision making. The AAC committee should reflect the diversity of the community, for example, perhaps each high school should have a representative in the committee. As you all know, the 2019 AAC created much controversy.
  3. We need to improve the software, tools and capacity to the professional level in this process. We are lagging behind in technology. Polygon reassignment, projecting student at polygon level, real-time data visualization, even transportation cost associated with the polygon moves should be readily available in real time. I am asking to set up a technology advisory committee for the school system or BOE.
  4. We need to find better ways to inform the community. Many families were affected late in the process and did not have the fair opportunity to participate in public hearing. We should make the process fair and transparent to every family in the school system.
  5. New large development polygons should be assigned to nearby schools which have capacity before students move in. Milk producer , polygon 2010 is such an example.

Let’s continue to work together and bring the community together and serve all students.

Thank you.

HCPSS Redistricting Final Result for 2020-2021

The redistricting will take place in 2020-2021. Official result can be found at https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/Public under Nov. 21, 2019 meeting (Area Attendance Adjustment, Item 12).

High School Move

Middle School Move

Elementary School Move

Some passed exemptions:

  • Move that we provide an exemption to the current River Hill High School and Oakland Mills High School students that are formally enrolled (as of 9/15/19) in either the 30-credit or 60-credit structured JumpStart program.
  • Move that parent(s) may request that their rising eleventh grade student remain at their 2019/2020 high school. Parent(s) may request that their student who has been exempted from the SY2020/21 boundary changes may opt-in to receive transportation services. The parent(s) must apply using the Student Reassignment process as outlined in Policy 9000 Implementation Procedures, Section IV. Student Reassignment initiated by parent(s) and also indicate their need to utilize transportation services. Deadlines to request reassignment are to be announced.
  • Move that parent(s) of exempted rising twelfth grade students may request that their student opt-in to receive transportation services. The parent(s) must apply to indicate their need to utilize transportation services. More details are to follow and deadlines to request reassignment are to be announced. 
  • Move that parent(s) may request that their rising eighth grade student remain at their 2019/2020 middle school. Parent(s) may request that their student who has been exempted from the SY2020/21 boundary changes may opt-in to receive transportation services. The parent(s) must apply using the Student Reassignment process as outlined in Policy 9000 Implementation Procedures, Section IV. Student Reassignment initiated by parent(s) and also indicate their need to utilize transportation services. Deadlines to request reassignment are to be announced. 
  • Move that parent(s) may request that their rising fifth grade student remain at their 2019/2020 elementary school. Parent(s) may request that their student who has been exempted from the SY2020/21 boundary changes may opt-in to receive transportation services. The parent(s) must apply using the Student Reassignment process as outlined in Policy 9000 Implementation Procedures, Section IV. Student Reassignment initiated by parent(s) and also indicate their need to utilize transportation services. Deadlines to request reassignment are to be announced. 

Two failed exemptions:

  • Move to exempt rising sophomores with the option of opting in for transportation services. 
  • Move to exempt rising sophomores with parent(s) providing transportation.