Education Notes


August 24, 2008

At Howard High School, a musical beginning

Students at Howard High School should expect to be greeted at 7 a.m. tomorrow, when school opens, by 125 staff members playing percussion instruments and forming drum rhythm circles.

The school's leadership invited John Murray, founder of Fun Drum Rhythm Circles, to lead its staff through leadership building exercises. The drum circles are intended to create a sense of teamwork, community and belonging.

Tutoring firm expands

Peer2Peer, a company founded by a Montgomery County high school student, has expanded its services to Howard County. The service employs high school students to tutor and mentor younger students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Tutors from Mount Hebron High are available to help with reading, foreign languages, science, organizational skills and homework.

There is a fee.

Information: Debra Fieldhouse, 4109-750-2514, or

Panel seeking members

The Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education is seeking at-large members for the 2008-2009 school year.

The group of citizens and representatives from PTAs serves in an advisory capacity to the elected school board, sponsors educational programming for members and provides them with an opportunity to comment on curriculum, educational policy, redistricting and budget.

The committee usually meets at 7:30 p.m on the third Tuesday of each month in the boardroom at the Department of Education, 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City. At-large members serve a two-year term.

Information: 410-313-6682.

Applicants being sought

The Howard County school system is seeking applications for membership on its Instructional Materials/Criteria Review Committee.

Members must be residents of Howard County.

Five new members are needed for two-year terms. Two student members are also needed for a two-year term.

The committee will be responsible for reviewing selection criteria for instructional materials and revising criteria. The committee will also serve as a review committee for materials. New members will be appointed in September and start their terms in October.

Applications are available at, under "Latest News," and must be submitted to Elaine Zavaleta, Office of Secondary Language Arts, by Friday.

Registration under way

Public school officials urge families who are new to the county or will have a child entering public school for the first time to register at their local school as soon as possible, so that schools can be staffed with the appropriate number of teachers.

Classes begin tomorrow for Howard County public school students. Kindergarten is mandatory for children who will be 5 on or before Sept. 1.

Original documents required for registration include proof of residency (a lease or deed and phone bill, cable bill or current gas and electric bill).

Also required: proof of the child's date of birth; proof of parents' identity; proof of parental relationship or custody; proof of emancipation, where applicable, for students ages 18 and older who are living independently; proof of current immunizations (unless parents request a religious exemption); and the child's Social Security number, if available.

Parents can check the address of their local school on the system's Web site,

Parents can opt out

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act authorizes local school systems to discloser certain information from students' educational records. The information, designated as "directory information," includes basic biographical facts; it does not include grades, test results or academic or disciplinary records.

Parents who choose to restrict the release of information about their children must complete and sign the annual parental option form that each child will bring home during the first week of school.

Information: 410-313-6682.

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