On the first Monday of each month, delegates from each of Howard County's 73 Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) meet as the PTA Council of Howard County. PTACHC hears from Board of Education members, the Superintendent's office, and guest speakers on a variety of topics related to public education in Howard County. These meetings are open to the public.
PTA COUNCIL OF HOWARD COUNTY REPORT:
- Seeking parents to serve on Scholarship Committee to select high school senior recipients; email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
- Common Core Forum video is now available online (http://ptachc.org)
- Board will be opposing House Bill 11-81
- Only 2 PTA presidents attended the PTA/CAC meeting with the BOE so the meeting will be rescheduled (no date was given)
- BOE will be reviewing and revising the bus policy (see discussion below)
- Sign-up on HCPSSNEWS.COM for text alerts for school closings
- Upcoming events:
- 3/20 Coffee and Conversation with BOE members (7:30-9pm at Bonnie Branch Middle School)
- 4/10 Public Hearing for Policy 9260 Student Search & Seizure
HOWARD COUNTY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION LIAISON REPORT (Brand New Position):
- Asking parents to complete an on-line survey so they can determine what parents want/need - it's online - hceanea.org
- Need parents to serve on Advisory Committee and/or participate in focus groups
CHAIR OF MARYLAND STATE PTA BOARD NOMINATING COMMITTEE:
- Requesting parent volunteers to serve on the MD PTA nominating committee and/or on MD State PTA committees next year
PTACHC MEETING DISCUSSION TOPICS:
1. Wellness Policy 9090 - Franklin Eastham, Executive Director of School Improvement and Administration presented information on the Wellness Policy. Policy implementation has been divided into three phases:
Phase I was implemented by the beginning of this school year. It supposedly ensures: (1) breakfast programs in every school; (2) 30 minute recess for elementary and recess for middle school (and that recess could not be taken away as a punishment), (3) vending machine changes; (4) food would not be used as a reward or punishment during school hours.
Phase II was adopted after the school year began but is now in place: (1) adopted National IOM (Institute of Medicine) nutritional standards; (2) provided professional development for teachers about physical activity and the need for "brain breaks" for kids during school hours; and (3) many other instructional considerations including world language, family and consumer sciences, elementary days of taste, "our environment in our hands," special education, etc.
Phase III is ongoing, long-term studies and includes: (1) recess practices (elementary and middle schools); (2) how much time is offered for PE instruction; (3) school day end-time which affects after-school food sales
- Public Hearing: March 13th; Board Vote April 10th; Effective Date July 1st
- Q&A discussed: (1) the need for clearer definition of "end of school day" so that PTAs/Booster Clubs could sell candy, etc. at after-school events; (2) the need for snack food content to be identifiable on the website like all the other menu items
- **PTACHC Delegates voted to send language to Board asking them to implement an end-of school day that is 30 minutes after kids leave and to list food content of snacks on website.
2. Field Trips and Student Activity Trips Policy 9260 - New policy would require 2 HCPSS staff members to ride on the bus for every out-of-county/state field trip, which will increase costs. Previously, chaperones could meet this requirement. Risk Management office has recommended this new change. BOE Policy Committee is addressing the issue.
BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING UPDATE:
At the BOE meeting on 3/13, the BOE approved a revised field trip policy amending the language around HCPSS staff members and field trips. The language was changed to allow for non-teacher chaperones, to allow parents as chaperones on buses (under exception provisions), and change the return time requirements to not encumber existing overnight band trips. The revised policy will allow all current practices around extended day field trips and overnight trips to continue.