Grading regulation changes
Changes in grading procedures that will impact students at every level throughout the county have been finalized - view it here
The regulation stipulates the practices employed by teachers, schools, and the school system regarding the evaluation and reporting of student progress. The changes are aimed at providing consistency among schools and to more clearly define how schools will work with students to increase academic achievement and mastery of content. They take into account input from the Board of Education, members of the Countywide Citizen Advisory Committee and County Council of PTAs, the Superintendent’s Teacher and Teen advisory committees, the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County’s High School Concerns Committee, and the public.
Among the notable changes:
- Students who wish to improve their grade on an assignment will be given a single opportunity to seek out additional instruction and be reassessed on assignments designated as eligible by teachers.
- Students who show a “good faith effort” on an assignment will be given a score of no lower than a 50 percent on that assignment.
- Assignments will have a due date, and anything submitted after the due date will be penalized on a sliding scale determined by the course content team and described in the course syllabus, with an outside due date of no more than five school days from the original due date.
Staggered Start for Students
Across the county, most students in first through fifth, sixth, and ninth grades will begin classes on Monday, August 27. The staggered openings of secondary schools will give sixth- and ninth-graders a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings before the remaining students return to class on Tuesday, August 28.
Kindergarten, prekindergarten students, and ECI students will also start school on a staggered schedule. Parent-teacher conferences for those grades will be held beginning August 27, with the three-day staggered entrance schedule beginning August 29. Parents will receive their child’s start date at their parent-teacher conference.
Students who attend the Phoenix Center will not have staggered openings. All students there will report to class on August 27.
Construction projects will delay the opening of six county schools. The following schools will open to students on Tuesday, August 28, so that teachers will have an additional day to set up classrooms and prepare for instruction:
Schools with delayed openings will adjust staggered entrance schedules accordingly.
- Annapolis Elementary
- Broadneck Elementary
- Four Seasons Elementary
- Point Pleasant Elementary
- Woodside Elementary
- Central Middle
In addition to the above schools, Central Special School, Marley Glen Special School, and Ruth Parker Eason Special School will open for students on Tuesday, August 28. Parent conferences at those three schools will take place on Monday, August 27.
Temporary facility for students at one school
Annapolis Elementary School will begin a two-year residency at a temporary venue as its historical facility undergoes a $28.9 million revitalization project. Annapolis Middle School will host the elementary school for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.
Fueled up and ready to go
This year, more than 640,000 hours will be spent driving about 670 buses over 10 million miles to transport students to and from schools. On a daily basis, more than 56,000 students use county school transportation services.
Bus services are offered to students living outside designated walking areas at each school. Prekindergarten and kindergarten students who live greater than one-half mile from school, elementary school students who live greater than one mile from school, and middle and high school students who live greater than one-and-one-half miles from school receive transportation services.
School bus schedules are available here
Six new signature themes will be fully implemented into the academic experiences for students at Annapolis, Broadneck, Chesapeake, Northeast, Old Mill, and Southern high schools. Signature programs help prepare students for the local/global workforce by infusing community-driven themes into the curriculum through collaborations with industry experts, local businesses, and organizations related to the signature.
The BioMedical Allied Health (BMAH) magnet program at Glen Burnie High School is in its second year, with 130 freshmen and sophomore students representing every cluster in the county taking part in the program.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) will expand to Hebron-Harman and South Shore elementary schools, bringing the total number of PYP schools to five.
Looking to support school-readiness for the county’s youngest learners, Brock Bridge, Glen Burnie Park, High Point, Shady Side, and Southgate elementary schools have added new half-day prekindergarten programs for their communities.
Communication with Parents Continues to Expand
Over the last 11 months, the school system improved and extended its communication tools for parents and the community. With the introduction of a system-wide Facebook page last September and a Twitter account in July, AACPS has increased the opportunities for parents and community members to stay informed about school system happenings. These social media efforts are additions to the usual communication avenues employed by the school system like the Connect-ED automated telephone notification system. As has been the case in previous years, school system officials will send voice and e-mail messages to notify parents of weather-related delays or closings, as well as school emergencies. Phone numbers and e-mails used in the Connect-ED system are those supplied by parents and guardians on student information sheets. To ensure that calls and e-mails are made correctly, it is important to have the most up-to-date numbers and e-mail addresses on file with a child’s school.
Two of the nine members of the Board of Education are new to their positions this year. Stacy Korbelak of Odenton was appointed to a five-year term in the seat representing District 21 by Governor Martin O’Malley in July. She succeeds Eugene Peterson, who recently completed his second term on the Board.
Nick Lefavor is the fourth Old Mill High School student to hold the student Board member seat. Succeeding Jillian Buck of South River High School, he is the 39th student member of the Board and the only one on a local Board in the nation with full voting rights.
Korbelak, Lefavor, and second term member Patricia Nalley assumed their seats on July 1.
More noticeable to students at 18 schools will be new principals. Ten of those schools – Crofton, Georgetown East, Rippling Woods, Shady Side, and Waugh Chapel elementary schools; Annapolis, Bates, and Crofton middle schools; and Northeast and Southern high schools – will be led by first-year principals. Other schools with new principals are Arnold, Benfield, Cape St. Claire, Jacobsville, and Seven Oaks elementary schools; Arundel and Severna Park middle schools; and Meade High School.
The prices of school meals will not change for the upcoming school year. School breakfasts will remain at $1.35 this year, with lunches at elementary and secondary schools costing $2.60 and $2.85, respectively. At all schools, reduced-price breakfast is 30 cents and reduced-price lunch is 40 cents. The cost of milk also remains at 55 cents per bottle.
In addition to serving unlimited fresh fruits and vegetables daily, AACPS continues to offer a variety of meal options to ensure students are properly fueled for the school day. Twenty-nine schools will offer free breakfast to all students as part of the Maryland Meals for Achievement program. Eleven more schools will allow students to purchase breakfast and eat with teachers and peers in the classroom as part of the Breakfast with Class program. In addition, about a dozen schools will serve free early evening meals to students through a federally-funded initiative aimed at supporting good nutrition and combating youth hunger.
Students who wish to receive free or reduced-price meals must have their SY 2012-13 Meal Benefit Application approved by October 10, 2012.
For the fourth straight year, AACPS is utilizing an enhanced computer system, MyPaymentsPlus, to make meal purchases faster and easier. Students whose parents deposit money into an account can use their six-digit student identification number to make purchases. Parents can register to receive emails when balances are low, and can monitor their child’s purchases. Questions about the prepayment programs should be directed to the school a child attends.
AACPS menus will have a new look this year, with additional healthy options for all students. New choices include additional fresh fruits and vegetables, more whole grain options, and more lean protein and low-fat dairy options.
Last year, AACPS served nearly 5 million lunches and 1.9 million breakfasts in schools. Revenue for the program comes from food sales (51 percent), federal reimbursements (47 percent), and state funding (2 percent).
Board meetings on TV, Board votes online
Meetings of the Board of Education, which occur on the first and third Wednesdays of most months, are broadcast live on AACPS-TV. Comcast and Broadstripe subscribers can find the programming on Channel 96, while Verizon subscribers can find it on Channel 36. Meetings are rebroadcast at 6 p.m. the day after the meeting and 2 p.m. on subsequent Sundays.
Voting records of Board members are categorized by meeting date and can be found here.