Education Digest

EDUCATION DIGEST

September 15, 2004

Two meetings set on recommendations for school boundaries

Adjustments recommended for middle and high school boundary lines will be presented to the public at two regional meetings.

The first meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hammond High School, 8800 Guilford Road, Columbia. The second meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City.

The proposed boundary-line adjustments will be presented to the Board of Education and the public at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

The board will hold a public work session and accept written comment at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 and 16. Public hearings, when members of the public can testify for up to three minutes, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 18.

The board will meet to approve the boundary-line adjustments for the 2005-2006 school year at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23.

Information: 410-313-6682.

Howard board members to meet with public

The Board of Education of Howard County regularly holds "Coffee & Conversation" sessions at county schools.

The meetings provide an opportunity for parents and other interested people to share a cup of coffee and chat informally with board members.

The next session with board members will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday in the media center at Glenelg High School, 14025 Burnt Woods Road, Glenelg.

Information: 410-313-6682.

County schools release data disclosure policy

Information about past or present students in the Howard County public school system can be disclosed without parental consent if the data have been designated "directory information."

In accordance with state and federal law, the Howard County Board of Education has designated as "directory information" a student's home phone number, home address, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, the weight and height of members of school athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational institution attended and similar information. All this can be disclosed without parental consent, although, in accordance with Maryland law, some restrictions apply.

Student phone numbers and home addresses may be released without parental consent only to organizations of parents, teachers and students, former students or any combination of those groups; to a person engaged by a school or school board to confirm a home address or home phone number; to an organization or force of the military; to a representative of a community college in the state; or to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

For public information purposes, the school system can also publish photographs of students involved in school activities.

Parents and eligible students age 18 or older have the right to refuse to release any or all of these categories of information, as well as the release of photographs in which the student is identifiable.

Parents or eligible students age 18 or older who do not want directory information or photographs released must notify the school system by Sept. 30.

Requests should be sent to Public Information Office, Howard County Public School System, 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City, 21042.

Information: 410-313-6682.

African-American center schedules 8-week course

The Howard County Center of African American Culture Inc., 5434 Vantage Point Road, Columbia, will offer "Heritage of Excellence," an eight-week series of Saturday morning classes in African-American history.

The course, which starts Sept. 25, includes five weeks of classroom instruction and three field trips. A closing ceremony with a reception is also planned.

The session's theme is "Milestones in African American History - The Civil Rights Movement."

The cost is $30, which includes the field trips. Scholarships are available.

Information: 410-715-1921.

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