August 13 // Maryland puts football coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave in wake of Jordan McNair's death, report of 'toxic culture'

University of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin was placed on administrative leave Saturday after a pair of explosive media reports alleging abusive treatment of the players in his program. Athletic director Damon Evans announced the move less than 24 hours after three members of Durkin’s staff were also placed on paid administrative leave pending a review of “procedures and protocols surrounding athletes’ health and safety” prompted by the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair in June. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland to launch external investigation into football program's coaching practices

The University of Maryland, College Park will launch an external investigation into the football program’s coaching practices in the wake of damning reports about the team’s staff and treatment of players, school President Wallace D. Loh wrote in a letter to the university community Saturday night. The letter was sent about an hour after third-year football coach DJ Durkin and three other staff members were placed on administrative leave. (Balt. Sun)

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New GPA rules could mean six Baltimore schools couldn't field any teams. Now the district is easing them

The Baltimore school system is revising its academic standards for student athletes after district officials estimated that rules taking effect this year meant six high schools might not be able to field a single sports team this fall. Under academic eligibility standards approved by the school board in 2016, students must have a grade-point average of at least 2.0 and no more than one failing grade to play interscholastic sports. (Balt. Sun)

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19 Anne Arundel schools have too much lead in water, tests show

At least 19 Anne Arundel County public schools have unacceptably high levels of lead in their water, according to results from the first tests conducted under a new state law. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no safe level of lead exposure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends water be shut off at any faucet where lead levels exceed 20 parts per billion. At Glen Burnie High School, 71 water outlets tested above that level. (Capital)

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U-Md. wants to take a part of its 18-hole golf course and turn it into intramural fields

For the second time in five years, the University of Maryland is considering repurposing part of its 18-hole golf course for athletic fields — a plan university leaders say is necessary to advance the institution’s growth but critics view as an attempt to tear apart the only championship-caliber public golf course inside the Capital Beltway. (Wash. Post)

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More classrooms for students with autism remains top Harford schools priority

Placing additional classrooms tailored for students with autism in more schools continues to be the top capital budget priority of Harford County Public Schools. The proposed HCPS Capital Improvement Plan for 2020 calls for locating two STRIVE program classrooms for elementary students with autism at William S. James Elementary School in Abingdon and two classrooms for high school students at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air. (Aegis)

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Redistricting, school closure committee whittles down options, begins deeper dive

With a little over a month until the Redistricting and School Closure Committee is set to present its recommendations to the Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education, the group pared down 11 possibilities to five Thursday night, none of which include a school closure and only one of which involves redistricting. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Planning Commission recommends designation for development near Linganore

Frederick County Public Schools will be able to move forward with the design for an elementary school in the Linganore area, after the area where the school will be built received a key designation this past week. The Frederick County Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that the Frederick County Council designate the Hamptons West development in Linganore as a priority funding area, a move that will pave the way to get state funding for the school system’s East County Elementary School. (News-Post)

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