Board of Education

Board of Education Upcoming Meeting Schedule – April

Board of Education Upcoming Meeting Schedule – May

From the Chair… Christine E. O’Connor

Friday, April 22

In an effort to keep our community informed and reduce confusion about important topics, I’ve begun fact-checking and responding to concerns about teaching and learning in Howard County public schools. I hope you will share this information and contribute to the public’s confidence in the best public school system in Maryland. Recently, I’ve heard:

Public Information

“HCPSS withholds public information.”
False: HCPSS provides public records, advises the public of its rights under the law, and protects legitimate privacy interests in accordance with the law, http://bit.ly/1r4kAB3

“HCPSS has been slow to communicate about school facilities and Glenwood Middle School in particular.”
False: When a problem becomes more than a maintenance issue, parents are notified. More than 30 indoor environmental quality and fire restoration reports, dating back to November 2013, are available on the Glenwood Middle School website, confirming the school is in “excellent condition and safe to occupy,” http://bit.ly/1VmUtm4

Special Education

“HCPSS is Withholding the District Management Council Special Education Opportunities Report.”
False: The 26-page highlights were released last spring. The full review is currently available on the HCPSS Special Education web page, http://bit.ly/1STWfUK

“HCPSS Threatens and Fines Special Education Parents for Requesting Information.”
False: Last year, a special education advocate filed suit against HCPSS in Circuit Court. The Court determined there was “no basis” for the lawsuit, it was filed in bad faith, and the plaintiff was ordered to reimburse the school system for taxpayer dollars expended on attorney fees.”
[Pg. 47 Official Court Transcript]

School Facilities

“HCPSS poorly maintains school buildings”
False: The State’s latest report on the Maintenance of Maryland’s Public School Buildings rated HCPSS schools in the two highest categories – Good and Superior, which attests to a “commendable maintenance program” http://bit.ly/1MGK4OS

“HCPSS unfairly blames BGE for a fire at Glenwood Middle School earlier this year”
False: The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services’ incident report identifies BGE equipment as the origin of the fire, http://hcpssne.ws/1rqiXhR

“HCPSS didn’t upgrade Glenwood Middle School electrical system, which caused a fire at the school earlier this year”
False: Existing BGE service wires were sufficient for the school’s new HVAC system and power use was consistently below maximum capacity, [Engineers’ Letter]

“From the Chair…” Status Update Archive

Board of Education Members

Rachel Lin,
Student Board Member