May 23 // Harford school board enters final phases of superintendent selection

The Harford County Board of Education expects to select a new superintendent to succeed outgoing Superintendent Barbara Canavan within the next two to three weeks, according to board President Joseph Voskuhl. The board has selected two finalists, Sean Bulson and David Ring, to replace Canavan, a veteran HCPS educator who has been superintendent for five years. (Aegis)

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Federal board recommends seatbelts on all new school buses after deadly crashes, including one in Baltimore

A federal transportation panel on Tuesday recommended to states that all new large school buses be equipped with both lap and shoulder seatbelts, which the board chairman called a “tried and true” safety protection. The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates transportation disasters, approved the recommendation Tuesday in Washington. The board also recommended requiring collision-avoidance systems and automatic emergency brakes on new school buses. (AP)

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Baltimore County school board approves Columbia firm to do audit of system's contracts

The Baltimore County school board hired an accounting firm on Tuesday night to do a year-long, $413,000 audit of the system’s contracts in the wake of the conviction of its former superintendent. The accounting firm of UHY, a national firm with offices in Columbia, will look into the expenditures that are related to travel, conference fees and professional memberships for school administrators in the executive office. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland rehires firm for longer inquiry into Prince George’s schools

Maryland education officials plan to rehire a firm that investigated grade-tampering allegations in Prince George’s County public schools for a second, longer review that will examine records for the Class of 2018 and other diploma-related issues. The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to tap Alvarez & Marsal to look into practices involving attendance, grade changes, course makeup work, records access and graduation as part of a review that would last six months — far longer than the seven weeks allotted for the first examination. (Wash. Post)

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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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