Former congressman hopes to raise environmental awareness with education

After 18 years of rubbing elbows with politicians in Washington, former Republican congressman Wayne Gilchrest has returned to his roots as an educator, building bamboo fishing poles with students on the Eastern Shore. Gilchrest, 67, serves as director of a Kennedyville outdoor school called the Sassafras Environmental Education Center, an education division of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, where he teaches children environmental literacy. He opened the school after losing his congressional seat in 2008 to a more conservative opponent, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville. (News-Post)

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Ceremony marks official start of college's new building project

The construction of Chesapeake College’s long-awaited Health Professions and Athletics Center is officially off and running. A kickoff ceremony called Countdown to Construction was held Wednesday, Dec. 4, in the gym of the college’s old Physical Education Building, which will undergo a major renovation and expansion in order to house all aspects of the health profession and athletic programs at the college. (Star Dem)

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Hammond High students package thousands of meals in outreach effort

About 60 Hammond High School students and faculty gathered in the cafeteria last week for a brief stint in the food service industry. They donned hairnets and gloves and branched off to various tables to form assembly lines to package and ship about 10,000 dehydrated meals destined for people in impoverished areas overseas. (Balt. Sun)

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Dec. 6 // Teachers tell Dance they are frustrated by Common Core, other reforms

Baltimore County teachers at a town hall meeting Thursday night told Superintendent Dallas Dance they are desperately trying to keep up with the fast pace of state-mandated educational changes that have brought them more work and much frustration. Teachers, some in tears and some angry, said the first year of the county's introduction of its new curriculum tied to the Common Core had significant problems that have yet to be addressed. More than 100 teachers attended the forum, the first Dance has held with teachers. (Balt. Sun)

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After Ray Rice post on Facebook, officials say Dundalk bullying report has been investigated

After Ravens running back Ray Rice posted on Facebook about the alleged bullying of a boy at Dundalk High School, Baltimore County school officials said Thursday that they had "thoroughly investigated" the situation. School officials are prohibited from speaking publicly about an individual student, but in its statement the school system said procedures had been followed. (Balt. Sun)

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Comments roll in with support for Montgomery proposal to give teens more sleep

Montgomery County’s proposal to change the hours of high school days is attracting a daily stream of e-mailed opinions, with a large number favoring the changes intended to give teenagers more time to sleep. John Matthews, who led a district-created work group studying Montgomery’s bell times, said this week that he has read all the comments submitted — several hundred so far — and has generally observed support for the idea. Among those who objected, he said, many took issue with the proposal’s effect on elementary school hours. (Wash. Post)

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More Prince George’s students passed AP exams while SAT scores dipped slightly

More students in Prince George’s County passed Advanced Placement exams this year while SAT scores dropped slightly as the number of students taking the college admission test increased, according to data recently released by school officials. “This is good news and it demonstrates that we are moving towards our goal of ensuring that students graduate college- and career-ready,” said Schools Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell in a statement. (Wash. Post)

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College Park aims to be a top college town

College Park wants to become one of the nation’s 20 greatest college towns. The vision: A community with the reputation of being safer than college neighborhoods in the District. A place where University of Maryland professors and other employees want to live and raise their children. A certified “green community” with a vibrant downtown that has more pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders than cars. The sort of place that shows up on unscientific rankings of the best places to go to school. (Wash. Post)

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