The April 2018 Edition: MSDE Education Bulletin

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April 2018

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MSDE Home - Newsroom - School Improvement 

Image: Reps. from the MD Association of Student Councils (MASC) meet with MD Delegates during the MASC School Safety Forum.
Representatives from the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) meet with local Delegates in discussion groups during the first-ever MASC School Safety Forum.

Maryland Association of Student Councils School Safety Forum

Students from across Maryland flocked to Annapolis on Monday, April 2nd to participate in the Maryland Association of Student Council's (MASC) first-ever School Safety Forum. This forum was organized in response to recent school safety concerns that many students have brought to light in the wake of tragic gun violence situations in schools in Maryland and throughout the nation. The forum offered students an open floor to express their concerns, frustrations and ideas, as well as share their emotions around the topics of school safety, gun violence and mental health.  

Most importantly, these student representatives were given the chance to not only hear from local delegates and representatives from several Maryland counties, but were able to hold discussion groups with the local delegates. These discussion groups yielded the exchange of thoughts and ideas centered around local systems working together to prevent violence in schools. Delegates explained new laws, legislation and preventative measures that have been taken or are being taken in order to ensure student safety, allowing students to respond to these measures and give their opinions on possible outcomes. 

MASC is a student advocacy and development organization sponsored by MSDE's Division of Student, Family and School Support, and under the direction of Olivia Keithley, Executive Director. The MASC mission is to foster a statewide environment for all secondary school students to express and exchange opinions and ideas, develop leadership skills, and promote student representation and involvement in all groups and organizations impacting the lives of students.

For more information on MASC and a quick recap of the School Safety Forum, check out the video below.

Image Snip-It from MASC School Safety Forum Video

MASC School Safety Forum 

Click the link above for a recap of the MASC School Safety Forum, hear from local delegates and student leaders at the forefront of Maryland school safety initiatives.

Image logo MSDE Connections Data Summit

Maryland Connections Summit Register NOW!

MSDE, in partnership with Mid-Atlantic Regional Education Laboratory, is hosting the 2018 Maryland Connections Summit. This summit brings together education professionals and highlights the vital role data plays in education decision making. 

Registration is now open! Click the link above to register TODAY! 

Image Maryland State Board of Education

State Board Actions

March 20, 2018

The following actions were taken at the March 20, 2018 State Board of Education meeting:

  • Granted permission to publish the promulgation of new COMAR 13A.07.11 Student Suicide Prevention and Safety Training.  Legislation was enacted that requires all certificated school personnel who have direct contact with students on a regular basis to complete training, on or before December 1 of each year, in: (1) understanding and responding to suicide risk; and (2) identifying professional resources to help students in crisis. The method would be determined by the local county board and is required to be delivered during an in-service program or professional development. The regulation also states that training cannot be construed to impose a duty of care on the certified school personnel who complete training. Further, a person cannot bring action against a county board for injury or wrongful death caused by an act resulting from lack of training or implementation of training. The proposed regulations under this new chapter include the language as required in the legislation.  It also requires that the annual training for certificated school personnel include understanding and responding to student mental health, student trauma, student safety, and other topics related to student social and emotional well-being.  
  • Granted permission to publish amendments to COMAR 13A.08.01.11 Disciplinary Actions – Suspension and Expulsion.  This regulation came before the State Board in December for permission to publish. Following a question from a local school system, a clarification has been added to the regulation. The local school system requested guidance on the phrase “not more than 5 school days” and its meaning. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) was asked if the phrase meant not more than 5 cumulative schools days in a school year or if the 5 school days referred to each incident.  The language in the regulation has been revised to state that a student could be suspended for up to “five school days per incident” if there was an imminent threat of serious harm to other students or staff that could not be reduced or eliminated through interventions and supports.
  • Denied the request from Baltimore City Public Schools for a one-day waiver of the 180-day instructional day requirement for the 2017-2018 school year.
  • Approved a request from Chesapeake Public Charter School in St. Mary’s County to open for pupil attendance prior to Labor Day for the 2018-2019 school year.
  • Approved a request from The SEED School of Maryland to use State holidays, April 2, 2018 (the Monday after Easter) and May 28, 2018 (Memorial Day), as inclement weather make-up days for the 2017-2018 school year, if needed.

The following Opinion and Orders were rendered: 

  • Bash Pharoan v. Baltimore County Board of Education (II) – 2018-19 School calendar – Opinion No. 18-07
  • Cindy Rose v. Frederick County Board of Education – PARCC refusal policy – Opinion No. 18-08
  • M.S. v. Prince George’s County Board of Education – expulsion – Opinion No. 18-09
  • T.G. v. Prince George’s County Board of Education – student expulsion – Opinion No. 18-10
  • Veronica H. v. Anne Arundel County Board of Education – student suspension – Opinion No. 18-11
  • Teresa P. v. Anne Arundel County Board of Education – student expulsion – Opinion No. 18-12
  • Jonathan Wrublewski v. Charles County Board of Education – teacher termination/timeliness issues – Opinion No. 18-13

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

    The next meeting of the Maryland State Board of Education will be held on April 24, 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.


      Image: Allison Fleming, A senior at Howard County's Applications and Research Laboratory

      CTE: Empowering the Workforce of the Future

      Get to know Maryland's Career and Technology Education programs from the people who know them best. Check out MSDE's new video series "Empowering the Workforce of the Future". 

      MSDE talked to a number of Maryland’s Career and Technology Education students for this special video series. Students told us, in their own words, why they chose one of these cutting edge programs. Through these programs of study, Maryland schools are empowering the workforce of the future. 


      MSDE will add a new video to this series every two weeks for the next several weeks. Click the link above to view the first videos in our series! 

      Image BOOST Scholarship Flier

      BOOST Scholarship Program Accepting Applications for 2018-19 School Year

      The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced the opening of the application process for a scholarship program designed to help income eligible students attend nonpublic schools.

      The Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program, entering its third year, will provide more than $7 million in scholarships for students who are eligible for the free- or reduced-price lunch program. 

      The application deadline is Monday, May 21, 2018 at 5 p.m. for the 2018-19 school year. The electronic application and a list of potential participating schools is available HERE

      Shining the Spotlight: Student Art

      Highlighting the beautiful work of Maryland's talented students. Have a student art piece you'd like featured? Email them to MSDE's Communications Team:

      Image Ellie Kienast, Anne Arundel County Northeast High School, Painting of girl in yellow turtle neck

      This stunning portrait was painted by Ellie Kienast, a student from Northeast High School in Anne Arundel County.  

      Student Artwork from Caroline County;s Colonel Richardson High School

      This detailed interpretation of Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night" was created by a Colonel Richardson High School student. (Caroline County)