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Academic Access and Achievement

The Academic Access and Achievement Program supports various school-based acceleration and enrichment programs offered during the school day, after school hours, and beyond the school year.


The goal of Academic Access and Achievement is to provide students with support to achieve the high academic standards of the Howard County Public School System. Academic Access and Achievement is composed of several programs.

Community Partnerships

The staff of the Office of Academic Access and Achievement collaborates closely with various community groups and organizations. View a listing of select community partners.

Acceleration Pathways and Supports

Extended Day

  • Academic Intervention Programs (Middle and High)
  • Reading and Math Mentors (Elementary)
  • BSAP Community Based Learning Centers (Elementary)
  • Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement Program (MESA)
  • Bridges Over Howard County (Elementary and Middle)

Extended Week

  • Saturday Mathematics Academy

Extended Year

  • Academic Intervention Programs (Elementary and Middle)
  • BSAP Programs (Elementary and Secondary)
  • Comprehensive Summer School (all levels)
  • Summer Institute (Elementary and Secondary)

Black Student Achievement Program (BSAP)

The Black Student Achievement Program (BSAP) seeks to close achievement gaps for African American students and ensure students are college and career ready at the time of graduation.

BSAP in-school staffs assist Elementary and Secondary students with meeting identified educational, career, and personal/social competencies.

Learn more about specific supports →


Bridges Over Howard County

Bridges is a 21st Century Community Learning Center program that offers after-school programs to Elementary and Middle Schools in Howard County.

Bridges purpose is to create community learning centers that provide students with academic enrichment opportunities as well as additional services designed to complement their regular academic program. Community learning centers also offer families literacy and related educational learning opportunities.

Participating Schools

  • Bryant Woods, Cradlerock, Guilford, Longfellow, Running Brook, Swansfield Elementary
  • Harper’s Choice, Oakland Mills, and Wilde Lake Middle

Contact: Marty Cifrese, Bridges Program Manager, 410-313-7185

Hispanic Achievement Program

The Hispanic Achievement Program works collaboratively with central programs and schools to achieve the school system’s goals for Hispanic students, and ensure they are college and career ready at the time of graduation.

The program provides professional development for staff, facilitates the engagement of Hispanic families, develops leadership skills among Hispanic youth, and partners with community agencies.

Contact: Elisa Montalvo, Hispanic Achievement Specialist, 410-313-6667

Read a staff focus story on Vanessa Morales, Hispanic Achievement Liaison, Reservoir High School

Hispanic Achievement Liaisons

The Hispanic Achievement Liaisons are assigned to one or more specific schools. Under the guidance of the Hispanic Achievement Specialist, they collaborate with students, staff, families, and community members to accelerate the academic achievement of all Hispanic students.


  • Support Hispanic students and their families in the Howard County Public School System
  • Serve as a communication link between school staff and Hispanic students, and their families
  • Monitor the progress of all Hispanic students, in collaboration with school staff, to ensure their placement in appropriate programs, in order to accelerate their academic achievement
  • Monitor the behavioral data of all Hispanic students, in collaboration with school staff, in order to increase positive learning behaviors and ensure student achievement
  • Educate the school community towards a deeper understanding of Hispanic students and their families
  • Facilitate the involvement of Hispanic families in the educational process
  • Collaborate with non-profits and government agencies to support Hispanic students and their families
  • Interpret and do short translations as needed
  • Conduct Parent Information Meetings in collaboration with Special Education and Student Services and curricular programs such as the beyond school day and year programs, Title I program, and GT program.

School Assignments

Elementary Schools

  • Bollman Bridge – Tatiana Pham
  • Deep Run – Evelyn Chaverini
  • Ducketts Lane – Yadira González
  • Hanover Hills – Elcy Seminara
  • Laurel Woods – María “Belén” Bhatti
  • Longfellow – Magdalena Castro Lewis
  • Phelps Luck – Ana García-Hedges
  • Stevens Forest – Annette Kanaan
  • Swansfield – Naomi Johnson
  • Talbott Springs – Sandra Cusick

Middle Schools

  • Bonnie Branch – Claudia Davis
  • Harper’s Choice – Paola Bleichner
  • Mayfield Woods – Marluy Torres
  • Murray Hill – Waleska Oliveri
  • Oakland Mills – Teresa Norman
  • Patuxent Valley – Danializ Arbelo
  • Thomas Viaduct – José de la Mar

High Schools

  • Hammond – Alejandra Sandoval
  • Long Reach – Cyndy Mercado
  • Oakland Mills – Maribel Alonso
  • Reservoir – Vanessa Morales
  • Wilde Lake – Marilyn Barker

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program (MESA)

MESA is a structured, multi-year, pre-college program that prepares students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology.

Program Goals

  1. Increase the number of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and related professionals in fields where minorities and women are traditionally underrepresented, and
  2. Encourage and assist minorities and females to achieve academic and professional success in these fields.

MESA’s academic enrichment model includes the following:

  • Math and science enrichment classes and meetings
  • Tutoring and mentoring
  • Academic planning and career counseling
  • Field experiences
  • Computer and technology instruction
  • Guest speakers
  • SAT preparation programs
  • Collaborative learning groups
  • Parent involvement
  • Scholarships
  • Incentive awards
  • Science/engineering fairs