MCPS pauses search for new curriculum after learning staff members are taking jobs with vendor

Montgomery County Public Schools officials have put the brakes on their search for new math and English curriculum after learning that two employees are taking jobs with one of textbook vendors that had been under consideration. Superintendent Jack Smith’s decision to scrap the initial request for bids from curriculum developers will delay the rollout of new teaching materials in certain schools, according to a MCPS spokesman. But Smith believed the move was necessary to avoid the appearance of impropriety. (Bethesda)

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Washington County BOE supports plan to build prototype elementary schools

A proposal to close six aging elementary schools and replace them with three larger prototype schools received the Washington County Board of Education's support on Tuesday. The concept plan — initially discussed in April with the BOE's Facilities Committee — was pitched to the full board as a starting point to begin addressing Washington County Public Schools' lagging school replacement cycle. (Herald-Mail)

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Washington County school board approves $18.7M contract for downtown classroom expansion

A long-awaited Washington County Public Schools' downtown classroom expansion in Hagerstown is expected to start next month. The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a nearly $18.7 million contract with Bowman Development Corp. to complete the BOE's part of the urban-improvement project in Hagerstown. "This has been a long time coming," board member Jacqueline Fischer said before the 6-0 vote. "I am sure happy that it's finally, finally going to be a reality." (Herald-Mail)

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Talbot schools get robots for absent students

When middle and high school students are battling serious health conditions, the difficulties they face are often compounded by the fact that they are absent from school for extended periods of time. The Talbot County Public Schools will now be able to ease the burden of the students thanks to a $15,000 grant they received from Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Through the MSDE grant, the school system has purchased four “Double” robots. (Star-Democrat)

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Students at University System of Maryland at Hagerstown navigated work, family on their way to degrees

More than 200 people turned out Tuesday for a graduation celebration at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. Some grads said they mixed schoolwork with other responsibilities on their way to getting degrees from USM schools and attending classes at the local campus. Kelsey Pittsnogle of Sharpsburg will receive a bachelor's degree in elementary and early childhood education from Frostburg State University. (Herald-Mail)

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Howard Community College graduates urged to value their education

Fourteen years ago, Anya Welsh left her family, friends and a pharmacy career in the Ukraine to come to the United States with the determination to have a better future for herself and her daughter. On Tuesday, Welsh’s determination paid off. She received an associate of applied science degree from Howard Community College. Welsh, 33, was chosen as the student speaker for HCC’s spring graduation ceremony at the Retriever Activities Center Arena at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Catonsville. (Ho. Co. Times)

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May 22 // Baltimore schools establish policy for early dismissal in the extreme heat

The Baltimore school district established new guidelines for closing schools in hot weather, months after complaints about freezing classrooms sparked widespread outrage. It’s an annual problem: Nearly every winter and summer, extreme weather exposes infrastructure issues in Baltimore school buildings, which are among the oldest in the state. In September, temperatures in some city classrooms exceeded 100 degrees. In January, photos went viral of children huddling in parkas while classroom thermometers showed temperatures in the 40s. (Balt. Sun)

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Five Maryland school districts rank among top 10 in U.S. for per student spending

Baltimore City Public Schools spent the fifth-most per student among the 100 largest school districts in the U.S. during fiscal year 2016, according to data released Monday by the Census Bureau. The city school district spent $15,168 per pupil during the year. Baltimore City Public Schools is the 39th-largest elementary and secondary public school district in the U.S. Overall, five Maryland school districts ranked among the top 10. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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