Education Digest


January 22, 2003

Board inviting public comment on pest-control effort

The Howard County Board of Education invites the public to comment on the school system's Integrated Pest Management Program at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow during the regular board meeting, which will begin at 4 p.m.

The hearing will be held in the boardroom at the Department of Education, 10910 Route 108 in Ellicott City.

Speakers are asked to limit their presentations to three minutes and to provide 15 written copies of the testimony at the time of the hearing.

The pest-management program is aimed at insect and rodent control in school facilities, and weed and insect control on school grounds.

In buildings, preventive strategies and alternatives to pesticide application are used when possible. Interior application of pesticides is a last resort.

The exterior program relies almost entirely on proper selection of plant material, use of certified seed, soil testing, and proper mowing and irrigation practices. Chemicals are used outdoors to spray unwanted vegetation in flowerbeds and along sidewalks, fence lines, curbs and gutters. Pesticides with the least toxicity are used.

To sign up for the hearing, call the board's executive assistant at 410-313-7197.

School calendar adjusts to account for snow days

The Howard County school system's calendar includes as many as five days that can be added to the school year to make up for days lost because of inclement weather. There have been four weather-related school closings this school year, and the last day of school, originally scheduled for June 12, is now scheduled for June 18.

If inclement weather necessitates another school closing, that day will be made up June 19. If more days are needed, the superintendent of schools and the Board of Education will determine what to do.

During years when school closings because of weather have exceeded the average, the State Board of Education has waived the 180-day requirement for the length of the school year. Howard County schools have been closed because of inclement weather an average of four days a year over the past 15 years, according to school system records.

Information: 410-313-6682.

School job fair seeks special education workers

The Howard County public school system's Office of Human Resources will hold a Special Education Job Fair from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane in Columbia. The fair is open to anyone seeking employment as a special education teacher, behavioral specialist, physical therapist, occupational therapist or vision teacher.

Participants will have the opportunity to interview with content specialists from the special education office and meet administrators from elementary, middle and high schools. Information on positions in support services will also be available.

Information: 410-313-6693 or

Series for parents to focus on drug abuse, abstinence

HC DrugFree, a grass-roots partnership of parents, schools and county agencies, will present the fourth program in its "Issues in Parenting" series, "Ocean City Program: Prom, Graduation and Senior Week," from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Oakland Mills High School.

An Ocean City police officer and others will talk about keeping teens safe during end-of-year and summer activities.

A program on "Teen Dating and Sexuality" will include tips for parents about how to help their children remain abstinent. The program will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Centennial High School.

Information: Laura Smit, 410-799-4879, or hcdrugfree@

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