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Family and Community Involvement

Family Involvement

School Visitation

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

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.

Advisory Committees

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

(Policy 10020)

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

Junior Interviewers

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

HCPSS Contact:

High School Guidance Office

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

HCPSS Contact:

Career Research and Development
Sharon Kramer

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

HCPSS Contact:

Secondary Social Studies
Kelly Reichardt

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.


Homewood Center

HCPSS Contact:

Diane Martin
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

HCPSS Contact:

Secondary Science
Mary Weller

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

HCPSS Contact:

Elementary Social Studies
Kim Eggborn

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.

HCPSS Contact:

Marty Cifrese
Program Manager

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.

HCPSS Contact:

Diane Martin
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.

HCPSS Contact:

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.

HCPSS Contact:

Patricia Branner-Pierce
Elementary BSAP Specialist

Sheree Whitby, Secondary BSAP Specialist

Advisory Committee Contacts

Community Advisory Council to the BOE

Helen Nixon


Textbook Selection Committee

Curriculum Coordinator

Academic Calendar Committee

Caryn Lasser


Attendance Area Committee

Renee Kamen


Instructional Materials Criteria and Review Committee

Nancy Czarnecki


School Planning Committee

Scott Washington


School Naming Committee

Frank Eastham


Student Walking Route Committee

David Ramsay


School Health Council

Kerrie Wagaman


Policy Review Committees

Fran Albert


Superintendent’s Cultural Proficiency and Equity Advisory Council

John Krownapple


School Improvement Teams

School Principal

Subject Area/Program Advisory Committees

Bridges Over Howard County

Marty Cifrese

Career Academy Clusters

Natalie Belcher

Elementary Curriculum

Caroline Walker


Nancy Czarnecki

Gifted and Talented

Debbie Blum

Interscholastic Athletics

John E. Davis

Instructional Technology and Library Media

Julie Alonso-Hughes


William Barnes

Fine Arts

Gino Molfino

Project Lead the Way (Engineering)

Sharon Kramer


Mary Weller

Social Studies

Mark Stout

Special Education Citizens Advisory

Nancy Fitzgerald

Student Services Advisory

Kerrie Wagaman


Technology Office


World Languages

Leslie Grahn