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Family and Community Involvement

Family Involvement

  • School Visitation
  • School Improvement Teams
  • Parent Teacher Association
  • Community Advisory Council
  • Volunteer Opportunities

    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 at least 24 hours in advance 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 are 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.
    • Parents should request permission from the principal before engaging with school staff.
    • Visitors are not permitted to engage students without approval from the principal.

    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 comprehensive public school in Howard County has an active parent-teacher association (PTA) or parent-teacher-student association (PTSA). 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. The purpose of the PTA Council is to support school PTAs with leadership development, communication, advocacy, and coordination of efforts throughout Howard County. For more information, contact your child’s school or the PTA Council office (410-740-5153 or, 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 monthly during the school year, also raises new initiatives, researches issues and makes recommendations to the Board. All citizens are welcome to attend CAC meetings. Find more information at or contact the CAC at

    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.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Academic Intervention Programs – Volunteers

    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.


    Throughout the school year, Saturdays and during/after school


    Various school locations

    HCPSS Contact:

    Educational Pathways Office

    Black Student Achievement Program – Volunteers

    Provides 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.


    Throughout the school year


    Various school locations

    HCPSS Contact:

    Nicole Brown, BSAP Achievement Specialist

    Harriet Beckham Lee, BSAP Specialist

    Bridges over Howard County – Volunteers

    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.


    Throughout the school year, after school hours


    Various school locations

    HCPSS Contact:

    Marty Cifrese
    Program Manager

    Countywide History Day – Judges

    The HCPSS 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. Judges review and evaluate student work based on criteria set by the national History Day Commission. Assignments are sent to judges with instructions and other details prior to the event.


    Saturday, March 14, 2020; 8:00 am – 1:00 pm


    Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane, Columbia, MD 21045

    Click here to register

    HCPSS Contact:

    Secondary Social Studies
    Kelly Reichardt

    Junior Interviewers

    HCPSS juniors develop a resume and participate in a 20–30 minute
    interview to fulfill World of Work graduation requirements. Each high school guidance office coordinates community volunteers to conduct interviews.


    January through March 3 hours; scheduled per school


    High schools throughout county; schedule to be determined

    HCPSS Contact:

    High School Guidance Office

    MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) Clubs and MESA Day – Volunteers and Judges

    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.


    Throughout the school year


    Various school locations

    MESA Day: Small teams of judges assess student competitions in bridge building, trebuchet, communications, and other events against a set of defined parameters.


    Regional Competition, weekday in spring, morning through mid afternoon


    To be announced

    HCPSS Contact:

    Raymond Lucas, MESA
    Program Howard County
    Regional Coordinator

    Passport to the Future – Interviewers

    The Passport to the Future program develops workforce-ready students who plan to pursue a career immediately after high school. One of the final requirements of the Passport program is to successfully complete an “employment-like” interview. Local professionals are needed to help interview Passport students.


    Friday, March 27, 2020; 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


    Howard Community College, Rouse Company Foundation Building, Room 400, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044

    Click here to register

    HCPSS Contact:

    Career Research and Development
    Stephanie Discepolo

    Simulated Congressional Hearings – Coaches and Judges

    The simulated congressional hearing is the culminating activity of the 5th grade curricular program, “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.” Students play the role of constitutional experts and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights by presenting oral statements before a panel of judges. Coaches help students locate resources, synthesize information, develop a speech and prepare for follow-up questions. Judges listen to the students’ testimony, ask follow-up questions and provide feedback.


    May and June


    Elementary schools throughout county

    Click here for more information and to register

    HCPSS Contact:

    Elementary Social Studies
    Kim Eggborn

    Unheard Perspective Showcase – Judges

    Judge 3rd through 5th grade student presentations, displays or performances on minority innovators.


    Saturday, February 29, 2020; 8:00 am – 1:00 pm


    Hammond Middle School, 8110 Aladdin Drive, Laurel, MD 20723

    Click here for more information and to register

    Administrative Advisory Committees

    Community Advisory Council to the BOE

    Email or call Public Information, 410-313-6682

    Academic Calendar

    Ron Morris

    Attendance Area

    Renee Kamen

    Instructional Materials Criteria and Review

    Nancy Czarnecki

    Interscholastic Athletics

    John E. Davis

    Policy Review

    Cherise Hunter

    School Health Council

    Kerrie Wagaman

    School Improvement Teams

    School Principal

    School Naming

    Anissa Dennis

    School Planning

    Daniel Lubeley

    Student Walking Route

    David Ramsay


    Justin Benedict

    Textbook Selection

    Curriculum Coordinator

    Curricular Advisory Committees

    Bridges Over Howard County

    Marty Cifrese

    Career and Technology Education Academies

    Sharon Kramer

    Elementary Curriculum

    Ebony Langford-Brown


    Nancy Czarnecki

    Fine Arts (Art, Dance, Theater)

    Gino Molfino

    Gifted and Talented

    Debbie Blum

    Instructional Technology and Library Media

    Melissa Daggett


    Jon Wray


    Mary Weller

    Social Studies

    Kimberly Eggborn (Elementary), 410-313-5678

    C. Renee Bos (Secondary), 410-313-7489

    World Languages

    Kimberly Banks

    Superintendent Advisory Committees

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group

    Kevin Gilbert

    Mental Health Community Subcabinet

    Cynthia Schyulmeyer

    Program Innovation Advisory Board

    Laree Saddiqui

    Special Education Advisory Council

    Terri Savage