Public School Staff To Use Color Codes In Bad Weather

Frederick County Public Schools will begin using color codes to direct staff when there is inclement weather. “Previously, we explained what 10, 11, and 12 month employees were expected to do during a weather event," spokesman Michael Doerrer wrote in an email. "We also explained expectations for emergency personnel and policies related to the use of leave. The codes provide an easy shorthand matrix that quickly spells out what our status is and who needs to report." (News-Post)

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Dec. 2 // In D.C. area, portable classrooms are multiplying, and so are concerns

At a time of rising enrollments and strained capital budgets in much of the Washington area, portable classrooms have new staying power. More than 2,000 of them dot the region’s public school landscape, set up near buildings and ballfields, at the edges of blacktops and parking lots — a seemingly permanent fixture of modern school life. For many school districts awaiting new structures, portables ease crowding quickly at a relatively low cost. But they are often not as temporary as school officials intend, and some parents worry that children are more cramped and more isolated than in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms. (Wash. Post)

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Md. says it will include more special ed students in national test

Acknowledging that scores on a national reading test may have been inflated, Maryland education officials changed course, saying they will work harder to reduce the number of special education students excluded from taking the test. State school Superintendent Lillian M. Lowery said she would discuss the issue with local superintendents, testing directors and special education supervisors across the state in the coming year, putting more pressure on the local school districts to limit the practice. (Balt. Sun)

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Ads Appear On Prince George’s County School System Web Site

Visitors to the Prince George’s County school system’s Web site can learn about charter school applications, how to prevent and report bullying, and the implementation of new academic standards. But they also are likely to find advertisements for furniture stores and clothing stores, online university programs and insurance companies. The county started running the ads two years ago and has received about $160,000 for them. The county uses the money for scholarships that are distributed by the district’s Excellence in Education Foundation, said Thomas E. Sheeran, acting chief financial officer for the schools. (Wash. Post)

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Coppin lax in pursuing unpaid student bills, audit finds

For the fourth time since 2004, state auditors found that Coppin State University did not take action against some students with unpaid bills and allowed them to continue to register for classes. In a random sampling of 10 delinquent student accounts, auditors from the Office of Legislative Audits found that seven of the accounts had either not been sent to the state's central bill collecting agency or had been sent after months had gone by. (Balt. Sun)

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Petitions challenge proposal for longer elementary school day in Montgomery County

For Emily Butler Ball, the after-school hours seem brief and busy for her two children, who are in first and second grade. School lets out at 3:30 p.m. Ball is not thrilled at the prospect of adding a half-hour to the elementary school day, as Montgomery County school leaders have proposed. So when she heard of a petition calling for school dismissals no later than 3:30 pm., Ball signed on. The petition is one of two that challenge some of the thinking behind a broader proposal designed to give high school students a later start time — and more time for sleep in the mornings. (Wash. Post)

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From the Vatican to Berlin, a world of attention for North County science whiz

North County High School junior Jack Andraka is versed enough in the sciences to have created a cancer-detection method that has garnered him worldwide acclaim. But when it comes to knowing Latin and Italian, the Crownsville student isn't quite as accomplished. So during a recent visit to the Vatican to receive an award honoring his invention, Andraka listened as scholars lauded his groundbreaking efforts — all the while having no idea what they were saying. (Balt. Sun)

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Prince George’s school asks seniors for proof of residency

Members of the senior class at Northwestern High School in Prince George’s County were recently summoned to the auditorium to discuss what they needed to do before getting their diplomas in the spring. They received information about what scores they needed to pass the Maryland High School Assessments exam, what they could expect to pay in senior dues and how to prepare for college. Then, before they left the auditorium, they were handed a letter demanding verification of their residency. (Wash. Post)

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