The December 2017 Edition: MSDE Education Bulletin

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December 2017

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MSDE Home - Newsroom - School Improvement 

Image Sponsors and Principals of Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools
Our Maryland Blue Ribbon School principals along with our sponsors: BGE; Comcast; Microsoft; US Army; and NTA Life!

Six Maryland Public Schools Named 2017-18 State Blue Ribbon Honorees

Six Maryland public schools were selected this month as 2017-18 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools! All six schools were selected as Exemplary High Performing Schools, one of the U.S. Department of Education’s two categories. The schools were honored with a special recognition event during the monthly State Board Meeting. 

The award-winning schools are:

• West Towson Elementary School, Baltimore County
• Urbana Elementary School, Frederick County
• Fallston Middle School, Harford County
• Waterloo Elementary School, Howard County
• Bannockburn Elementary School, Montgomery County
• Luxmanor Elementary School, Montgomery County

“Each one of these schools is laser-focused on student success, and the results speak for themselves,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “Creative teachers work with engaged and dedicated administrators, parents and the community to develop strong learning environments for their students. We will be proud to nominate these schools for National Blue Ribbon honors.”

The schools will be invited by the U.S. Department of Education to apply to be National Blue Ribbon Schools. With underwriting and gift sponsors, each school will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon Flag, a monetary prize, $1000 in office supplies, interactive technology equipment, and a school Congratulations Party. A dinner in Annapolis will be held in honor of the winning schools on March 12, 2018. On that date, each Blue Ribbon School will be honored by the Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate.

Maryland’s Platinum sponsors for the Blue Ribbon program are BGE; Comcast; Microsoft; and NTA Life. Gift sponsors are: Mrs. Field’s/Joe Corbi’s Pizza; Rudolph’s Office Supply; Lifetouch Photography; and SMART Technologies, Inc.

Image Waterloo Elementary School

Maryland Blue Ribbon School Recognition

Click the link above to view a video of all six Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools receiving recognition from the State Board of Education.

Image, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan Discusses her Fall student Art exhibit

Fall Art Exhibit

Once again, Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan showcases art from students across Maryland. This latest exhibition debuted December 4, 2017 at the House of Delegates building in Annapolis. Click the link above to view a recap video.

Image Maryland State Board of Education

State Board Actions

December 5, 2017

The following actions were taken at the December 5, 2017 meeting of the Maryland State Board of Education: 

·         Granted permission to publish proposed amendments to COMAR 13A.05.02.04 State Administration, which governs the identification of significant disproportionality under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

·         Granted permission to publish amendments to COMAR 13A.02.02.03-.04 Emergency Plans, which incorporates by reference the MSDE Emergency Planning Guidelines for Local School Systems and Schools to accommodate students, staff, and visitors with disabilities on public school grounds, in accordance with the federal American with Disabilities Act.

·         Granted permission to publish amendments to COMAR 13A.08.04 Student Behavior Interventions to add and clarify definitions and strengthen provisions which require a continuum of behavior interventions to be a part of a student’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

·         Granted permission to publish amendments to COMAR 13A.15 - .18 (includes Family Child Care, Child Care Centers, Child Care – Letters of Compliance, and Large Family Child Care Homes). The amendments address the following and apply to all subtitles, unless otherwise indicated: background clearances; child abuse and neglect information; reasonable accommodations; medical information for child care providers and staff of child care centers; reasons to deny an applicant/application and health and safety training requirements for staff; lead testing; counting students; swimming pool security; care of children; child discipline; and reasons and procedures to suspend a registration or license.

·         Granted permission to publish amendments to COMAR 13A.08.01.11C – Disciplinary Actions – Suspension and Expulsion, which reflect the provisions of Senate Bill 651, enacted by the Maryland General Assembly on July 1, 2017. The provisions of the law prohibit suspension or expulsion for students in prekindergarten, kindergarten, first, or second grade, except as provided in §C(1)(b) of this regulation, and lists specific interventions and steps that school personnel will take before implementing a suspension or expulsion.

·         Granted permission to publish amendments to COMAR 13A.06.07.07 School Vehicle Driver Disqualifying Conditions and Termination, based on substantive changes need to .07 School Vehicle Driver and Trainee Disqualifying Conditions and Termination, and .08 School Vehicle Attendance Qualifications and Disqualifications. The proposed changes modify the inclusion of “assault in the second degree” to “a conviction of assault in the second degree within the past 10 years” for both School Vehicle Drivers and School Vehicle Attendants. 

The following Opinions and Order were rendered: 

·         Frederick Classical Charter School v. Frederick County Board of Education - charter school funding – Opinion No. 17-41

·         Kristine Lockwood v. Howard County Board of Education – attendance area adjustment review – Opinion No. 17-42

·         Christine Smith v. Baltimore County Board of Education – reclassification of position – Opinion No. 17-43

·         Nakia S. v. Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners – early K entry – Order No. OR17-19

Meeting materials, Opinions, and Orders can be found at:

The next meeting of the Maryland State Board of Education will be held on January 30, 2018 at the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building, 200 West Baltimore Street, 7th Floor Board Room, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. 

Appropriate accommodations for individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request. Eight business days notice prior to the event is required. Please contact Charlene Necessary at (410) 767-0467 or TTY at (410) 333-6442 so arrangements can be made.

    Maryland capital done with the Maryland flag design behind it.


    Happy Holidays from MSDE!

    Image Happy Holidays

    Happy Holidays to all Maryland School teachers, students, staff and families! The MSDE team wishes you a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

    May this year and every other be filled with laughter, learning and most importantly, FUN!    

    Maryland Launches “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge

    image student and technology

    In November, Dr. Karen Salmon announced the launch of the Maryland “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge, a free online cybersecurity career exploration and mentorship platform that enables students to test drive their future by living a day in the life of six National Security Agency (NSA) leaders.

    The Maryland NSA Day of Cyber School Challenge is a state-wide program geared toward middle and high school students designed to help ignite interest in cybersecurity careers among the state’s youth. The Day of Cyber exploration was developed and is sponsored by the NSA and is powered by LifeJourney technology.

    The program runs now through February 28, 2018! Register your school today

    MSDE Releases Resource Guide to Strengthen Student Mental Health

    The Maryland State Department of Education has  published a new resource guide featuring Mental Health and Wellness Programs across the State, and created two new websites to provide information to districts regarding youth suicide and human trafficking. These resources mark the first outcomes of a committee launched to place a special focus on student mental health issues.

    The 40-page resource guide, developed in collaboration with MSDE’s Division of Student, Family, and School Support, spotlights best practices in school mental health and wellness programs. The web pages provide information about prevention and intervention resources.

    Resource Guide

    Child Abuse, Neglect and Human Trafficking