Harford County Teachers’ Union President Urges Parents to Become Advocates for Teacher Raises

In a last ditch attempt to get salary step increases for Harford County teachers, teachers’ union president Ryan Burbey is asking parents to advocate for the raises despite the staffing cuts and higher class sizes needed to pay for them. Burbey posted a message Saturday on the union’s Facebook page “Harford Students Count on Us!”, urging parents to contact school board members who are set to pass a budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014. In his message, Burbey calls the higher class sizes “a difficult pill to swallow for the community,” but necessary for teachers made “desperate” by a lack of salary step increases in recent years. (Dagger)

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Stricter security to be installed in all Carroll public schools

The days of simply entering a Carroll County Public School and signing in at the office during a visit will end at the start of next year, when new security restrictions are put in place to control visitor access. The school system will spend $1.4 million of state and county money over the summer to install new security features that are meant to monitor who enters the buildings. The security features will create a single point of entry in all schools, requiring visitors to be seen on a surveillance camera and identify themselves with an intercom before school staff can buzz them into the buildings, according to Jon O’Neal, assistant superintendent of administration for schools. (Carr. Co. Times)

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School board OKs mitigation plan for developments

At the May 7 meeting, the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education approved an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance mitigation plan that will require the developers of Perry’s Retreat and the Village of Slippery Hill in Grasonville to pay a mitigation fee based on how many students the developments will add to Grasonville Elementary School. A capital project to expand Grasonville Elementary School by 94 students already has been approved and is included in the board’s Capital Improvement Plan, said Director of Planning Steve Cohoon. (Star Dem.)

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Silver Spring middle-schoolers share their expertise with businesses, groups

Students at Argyle Magnet Middle School in Silver Spring are going beyond the typical homework. They’re helping Montgomery County businesses develop their own websites, mobile apps, robots and videos. Students presented their products on Wednesday at an Argyle Technology Showcase. The showcase gathered 23 companies and students from grades 6 to 8. It was a partnership between the school and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, a nonprofit that provides financial literacy education experience. The school and Junior Achievement created the Capstone Program. (Gazette)

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For Eagle Cove students, final days on the Magothy River campus

Looking at the Magothy River backdrop abutting Eagle Cove School in Pasadena, it isn't hard to imagine that teachers at the private prekindergarten-through-fifth grade school must have a difficult time teaching the meaning of the word "final." Everything from the running water and the changes of seasons to the budding plants and growing animal life speaks of a continuum — a contrast to the fact that this past year marked the final days of the school's history. (Balt. Sun)

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County scholars take home $552,000

The nearly 300 college-bound students who received this year’s Community Foundation of Frederick County scholarships may be able to give back more than they get, foundation members said. On Sunday, the foundation held a reception to honor the 274 scholars who are getting a total of $552,000 for college from the foundation’s more than 380 scholarship funds. (News-Post)

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June 6 // Student achievement gap won’t be solved with just more pre-school

All the benefits for pre-kindergarten education touted by the Democratic candidates for governor can be easily lost in just a year or two if there isn’t strong follow-up in kindergarten and the early grades, experts and studies show. “High quality pre-K is a necessary component of the effort to close the achievement gap,” said Jason Botel of advocacy group MarylandCAN (Campaign for Achievement Now). “It can’t be the only component, though, because if you have high quality pre-K and low quality K-12 that work can be undone.” (Md. Reporter)

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Shortcomings in Md. juvenile offender schooling

The Maryland State Department of Education says it's addressing shortcomings in the schooling it provides in juvenile justice centers. In a report released Thursday by the state's Juvenile Justice Monitoring Agency, the department acknowledged that credits earned in confinement are not necessarily applied toward graduation requirements at the students' home schools. The department also acknowledged that a shortage of teachers and support staff at the youth centers means classrooms are sometimes run by uncertified instructional assistants. (Star Dem. - AP)

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