Weekly News For Parents
Our Weekly News e- newsletter (generated through HCPSSNews) contains system-wide news briefs and activities. Our current newsletter is below.
June 17, 2013
This issue also is available online.
HCPSS Strategic Plan Unveiled
Superintendent Renee A. Foose presented her new five-year strategic plan for the school system, Vision 2018: Fulfilling the Promise of Preparation, during the Howard County Board of Education meeting on June 13. The plan goes into effect on July 1.
The document articulates a mission, guiding principles, and vision for the HCPSS, and is organized into four goals that define the targeted future state in relation to students, staff, families and the community, and the organization as a whole. Specific strategies are identified under each goal area, as well as performance measures that will be used to track success over the five-year implementation period.
The strategic plan can be viewed at www.hcpss.org/aboutus/strategicplan.pdf.
School Bus Schedules Online
School bus routes for the coming school year will be available later this summer on the HCPSS website. The bus routes will not be published in local newspapers, as they have in the past.
HCPSS iPad Pilot Program on “Parent Teacher Connection”
Throughout the 2012-2013 school year, nearly 300 Elkridge Landing Middle School students and teachers took part in the first of a two-year pilot program to test the use of iPads in the classroom. The goal of the initiative was to provide students with access to digital content and production tools in and outside of school, giving them the ability to learn anytime, anyplace. The program has been deemed such a success that the second year of the pilot program (school year 2013-2014) will be extended to all Elkridge Landing students and teachers.
Students and teachers who took part in the pilot share their perspectives in a short video feature about the program, available for viewing online.
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Members Needed for Attendance Area Advisory Committee
Attendance Area Advisory Committee members counsel the Superintendent on middle school redistricting that may be under consideration for the 2014-2015 school year. Prospective committee members must be Howard County residents. The committee may include one student.
Participants attend approximately six evening meetings to review and provide feedback regarding Capital Budget and redistricting recommendations developed by staff. If redistricting is deferred, the pool of citizens who have expressed interest will be retained for the following year.
All letters of interest and resumes must be received by close of business Friday, June 21, submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the following address: Howard County Public School System, Office of School Planning, 10910 Clarksville Pk., Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Members Needed for Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee
The Secondary Language Arts Advisory Committee consists of teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members who meet to advise, support and advocate for the continuous improvement of educational programs in the language arts.
The committee meets four times per year. Meetings for the 2013-2014 school year are tentatively scheduled for 3-4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, Nov. 18, Feb. 24 and April 28.
If interested, contact Elaine Zavaleta at 410-313-6620 or email@example.com.
School Performance Reports Online
The Individual School Performance Report for each school reflects students’ performance on the 2012 Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and the Alternative Maryland School Assessment (Alt-MSA). Performance at the high school level is measured by the English, algebra/data analysis, and biology High School Assessments (HSAs). Each report presents school progress data, proficiency level rates and school progress index.
The reports can be found on the HCPSS website, under each school’s profile. To access, click on the appropriate school level, scroll down to your school and click on “Individual School Performance Report.”
Please contact individual schools for additional information about the reports.
Aspen Family Portal Enhancements
The HCPSS Aspen Family Portal is an online tool that allows parents to monitor their child’s progress in school. The following updates will be in effect for the 2013-2014 school year:
- Emergency Procedure Card: New additions to this section include parental preferences regarding release of student information and the arrival, departure and early closing procedures for their child.
- Assessment Scores: The child’s assessment scores—such as HSA, MSA, and SAT—will be available in the portal.
- Bully Reporting: Parents will be able to submit a bullying report that is automatically sent to the assistant principal at the victim’s school.
More information and new video tutorials will be coming soon.
African American Roundtable Forum: Answers to Questions
The Howard County African American Roundtable held a joint education forum on March 14, 2013, featuring Maryland Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery, HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Renee Foose, and Executive Director of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University Jon Fullerton. The follow-up report, African American Roundtable Forum: Answers to Questions, explores the state of academic achievement in Howard County schools, strategies for eliminating achievement gaps, and college and career readiness for every student.
Technology Responsibility Workshop
Thurs., Aug. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. — Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia
Parents can explore ways to monitor their child’s online activity and cell phone use at this free workshop sponsored by the Howard County Family Institute. Space is limited; please pre-register by calling 410-313-1940 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ilchester Primary Learning Program
Students from Ilchester Elementary School’s Primary Learner Program visited Green Valley Marketplace in Elkridge. The store staff welcomes the students with autism into a friendly environment where they practice identifying grocery store items and enhance their communication skills by interacting with grocery store staff and customers. The students in the Primary Learning program have visited the store monthly since January.
Pictured: Second grader Philip Feuerbach checks off items on his grocery list.
Retiring Staff Members Enjoy One Last HCPSS Hurrah
Retiring staff members enjoyed a special celebration held in their honor at the Ten Oaks Ballroom on June 6, 2013. One hundred ninety-eight staff members—including support, certificated and central office staff—are retiring this year. Superintendent Foose and other HCPSS leaders thanked the retirees for committing so much of their time, talents and energy to enrich the lives of students and the community.