Family and Community Involvement
- School Visitation
- School Improvement Teams
- Parent Teacher Association
- Community Advisory Council
- Advisory Committees
- Use of School Facilities
- Volunteer Opportunities – Single Day Commitment
- Simulated Congressional Hearings
- Volunteer Opportunities – Multiple Day Commitment
- Advisory Committee Contacts
HCPSS welcomes visitors to our schools. American Education Week, held in November, offers an excellent opportunity for school visits. At other times, visitors are asked to follow the procedures below, in order to limit interruptions to instruction and maximize safety for all.
- Contact the principal to discuss the purpose of the visit and to establish a convenient time for both the visitor and the school. Visitors must receive prior approval from the principal before entering a classroom. Teachers may request that visits be rescheduled to serve instructional needs and students’ best interests.
- Sign in at the main office and receive a visitor badge. Visitors may be required to provide a photo ID.
- Schedule any desired follow-up meetings with school staff at a mutually convenient time.
- To avoid interrupting instruction, students may not shadow other students.
- Interactions between visitors and school staff or students will be limited.
School Improvement Teams
Each school has a School Improvement Team made up of school staff, parents and other community members, which oversees the process of improving instruction and academic performance in that school.
Parent Teacher Association
Every public school in Howard County has an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The local PTA provides an opportunity for parents, educators, students, and community members to work together to benefit the school. Meeting dates and times should be confirmed with individual schools.
The first Monday of each month is reserved for the meeting of the PTA Council of Howard County. Three representatives – two council delegates and the PTA president – from every school in the county make up the PTA Council. This group addresses broad issues that affect the entire HCPSS community. For more information, contact your child’s school or the PTA Council office, or visit www.ptachc.org.
Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education
The Community Advisory Council (CAC) draws members from all sectors of the community and serves as a channel for concerns, advice, and information from the public to reach the Board of Education. This enables the community to participate more effectively in the educational process and to make the process more responsive to the community.
The CAC, which meets one evening a month, also raises new initiatives, researches issues and makes recommendations to the Board.
Schools are strengthened when communities are actively engaged in the education process. Community members are encouraged to provide input on school system policies and programs by participating on advisory committees. Ad hoc committees review proposals and make recommendations to the Board on specific matters such as budget priorities, school construction, attendance areas, the school calendar, and policies. Curriculum Advisory Committees make recommendations about instructional content for specific subject areas. View additional information on our Advisory Committee page.
Use of School Facilities
The use of public school facilities by community organizations is encouraged by the Board of Education. Facility rental, staffing and energy charges may apply under certain conditions.
For specific information regarding space availability, charges, policy and procedures, visit the community services page, or contact the Use of Schools Specialist at 410‑313‑6750.
Volunteer Opportunities – Single Day Commitment
Every HCPSS junior develops a resume and participates in a 20–30 minute interview to fulfill World of Work graduation requirements. Throughout the year, guidance counselors and English teachers assist students with career preparation skills, including resume writing, professional dress and manners, as well as interviewing strategies. Each high school guidance office coordinates many community volunteers to conduct the interviews.
January through March 3 hours; scheduled per school
High schools throughout county; schedule to be determined
Passport to the Future – Interviewers
Through the Passport to the Future partnership, the Howard County Chamber of Commerce and HCPSS share the commitment and responsibility for developing workforce-ready students who plan to pursue a career immediately after high school. Students earning Passport to the Future certification have mastered the skills necessary to be successful in work and career related experiences. One of the final requirements of the Passport program is successfully completing an “employment-like” interview. HCPSS seeks local professionals to interview Passport students.
Friday, March 17 8 a.m. – noon
Howard Community College – Rouse Company Foundation Building
Career Research and Development
Countywide History Day – Judges
The HCPSS annual History Day competition promotes the study of history while providing students a forum to compete for excellence in one of several categories: documentary, performance, exhibit, web page and historical paper. Business representatives and community members judge the competition by reviewing and evaluating student work based on criteria set by the national History Day Commission. Judging assignments will be mailed to participants with instructions and other details approximately one week prior to the competition.
Saturday, March 18, 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Snow date: Saturday, March 25
Reservoir High School
Secondary Social Studies
MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) Day – Judges
Small teams of judges assess student competitions in bridge building, prosthetic arm design, communications, and other events against a set of defined parameters. The Maryland MESA (mathematics, engineering and science achievement) program prepares students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science and technology.
Regional Competition, March 10, 2017, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Director, Community Outreach and Engagement
Countywide STEM Fair & Festival – JUDGES
The HCPSS STEM Fair & Festival promotes student engagement and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the display and presentation of student projects. Students from the county’s middle and high schools participate. The HCPSS needs more than 150 qualified community volunteers to review and evaluate student work. Each volunteer will be assigned 8–10 student projects for review. Each volunteer will also interview students about their work. HCPSS provides a briefing before the event to prepare reviewers.
To be determined
To be determined
Simulated Congressional Hearings – Coaches and Judges
The simulated congressional hearing is the culminating activity of a HCPSS 5th grade curricular program, “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.” Students play the role of constitutional experts and demonstrate their new-found knowledge and understanding of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights by presenting prepared oral statements before a panel of judges.
Coaches help students locate resources, synthesize information, develop a speech and prepare for follow-up questions. Judges are community leaders who listen to the students testify, ask follow-up questions and provide valuable feedback.
May and June
Elementary schools throughout Howard County
Elementary Social Studies
Volunteer Opportunities – Multiple Day Commitment
Bridges over Howard County
Community learning centers at 18 schools (Title I, or schools with many low income families) provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and additional services to both students and families.
Maryland MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) Program
MESA clubs prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science and technology. Special emphasis: to attract minority and female students who are traditionally underrepresented in MESA fields.
Community Outreach and Engagement
Academic Intervention Programs
Programs offered before, during and after school hours, and on Saturdays include direct instruction and homework assistance to accelerate student achievement in mathematics, reading and other core subject areas. Enrichment activities expand students’ experiences and perceptions.
Academic Intervention Office
Black Student Achievement Program
BSAP program volunteers provide academic assistance and/or social support for students in mathematics and/or reading, while encouraging and motivating them toward higher levels of academic achievement. Adult volunteers assist students with school assignments, tests, organization and study skills, graphing calculator applications, chess, and much more.
Elementary BSAP Specialist
Sheree Whitby, Secondary BSAP Specialist
Advisory Committee Contacts
Community Advisory Council to the BOE
Textbook Selection Committee
Academic Calendar Committee
Attendance Area Committee
Instructional Materials Criteria and Review Committee
School Planning Committee
School Naming Committee
Student Walking Route Committee
School Health Council
Policy Review Committees
Superintendent’s Cultural Proficiency and Equity Advisory Council
School Improvement Teams
Subject Area/Program Advisory Committees
Bridges Over Howard County
Career Academy Clusters
Gifted and Talented
John E. Davis
Instructional Technology and Library Media
Project Lead the Way (Engineering)
Special Education Citizens Advisory
Student Services Advisory