Wicomico schools recognized for music education

Wicomico County officials this week recognized Wicomico County Public Schools for being named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” for 2017. The school system was one of 527 school districts in the nation to receive the distinction from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. Districts that demonstrate commitment and access to music education are recognized and chosen based on national survey results. (Dispatch)

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Washington County Public Schools holds first STEM camp

They flew small drones, battled robots and dropped water balloons from nearly 100 feet up in the air. It sounded like a fun way to spend a few days over the summer, but it also presented a unique learning experience for about 60 students at Washington County Public Schools' first STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — camp. (Herald-Mail)

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June 22 // Baltimore and its schools are in a $100 million dispute over pensions

Two auditors are locked in a battle over who is responsible for a $100 million pension liability for Baltimore school employees. City auditor Robert McCarty said a review of the city's 2015 finances brought the issue to light. City officials are convinced that the responsibility for the money lies with the Baltimore City Public School system. Not so, says the schools' auditor. The school system had not been including the amount in its financial statements. (Balt. Sun)

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Ravens partner with InSideOut Initiative, Under Armour to benefit local schools

The Ravens kicked off a partnership with Baltimore City public schools, the InSideOut Initiative and Under Armour during a three-hour event at the team's training facility Wednesday.  Former Baltimore Colt Joe Ehrmann and Jody Redman, the co-founders of InSideOut Initiative, spoke to principals and administrators from city schools about their vision to transform the "win-at-all-cost" sports culture and focus on "education-based athletics." In hopes of helping city schools, the Ravens have donated a significant amount of money to the initiative. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank has also pledged to provide on-field sports uniforms for every school that participates in the initiative. (Balt. Sun)

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Conservationists expand oyster habitat with 'reef balls' built by students

Stella Schoberg smiled, braces gleaming, as her class project sank to the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. She and her fourth-grade classmates at Friendship Valley Elementary School in Westminster spent much of the school year learning about the estuary — how "dead zones" form, why warmer water holds less oxygen and how oysters reproduce and grow, filtering pollution and sediment from the water. They capped it off building two dozen gumdrop-shaped blocks of concrete on which oysters can grow. Carroll County students were among hundreds in Maryland who helped with an effort to bolster the bivalves and the countless other creatures who rely on active reefs to thrive. (Balt. Sun)

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UM medical school scientists studying bacteria found in subway systems

Scores of bacteria live on the many surfaces of the Baltimore-area subway and light rail systems, and three University of Maryland School of Medicine scientists set out Wednesday to learn more about the microscopic organisms found there. Emmanuel F. Mongodin, Lynn M. Schriml and Lauren Hill, microbe researchers at the medical school's Institute for Genome Sciences, began their mission at the Charles Center Metro stop in downtown Baltimore. There they and a group of student volunteers used synthetic swabs to wipe handrails, ticket kiosks and floors to collect samples of bacteria. (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll school board talks special programs, school utilization

The Carroll County Board of Education discussed the impact that special programs have on school capacity rates Wednesday in the final work session before moving ahead with redistricting and possible school closure discussions later this summer. Wednesday's work session was the last of numerous meetings, including some that looked at grade configuration, transportation and population growth, before parameters are set. This process comes after the school system closed three schools — North Carroll High School, New Windsor Middle School and Charles Carroll Elementary School — at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. CCPS has been battling, and continues to face, declining student enrollment each year. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Teens 'explore' career in law enforcement through hands-on training

As Seins Burdt took his turn shooting a simulation gun during the county's first Law Enforcement Explorer program, one of the instructors walked over, phone out with camera at the ready, joking that Burdt's mother wouldn't be happy if he didn't take a picture. Burdt, 16, of Mount Airy, was part of the Carroll County Law Enforcement Explorer Post 56, a program being run as a partnership among all the law enforcement agencies in the county. Burdt's father, Cpl. Gunnar Burdt of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, is one of the instructors. (Carr. Co. Times)

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