Parents confront Maryland school leaders after sex abuse allegations

Some parents from a suburban Maryland middle school called for the Charles County superintendent to resign during a tense meeting Wednesday night with school system officials after a former staff member was charged with sexually abusing at least 24 children. About 50 parents attended the meeting at Benjamin Stoddert Middle in Waldorf to question Superintendent Kimberly A. Hill about how her administration handled the allegations against Carlos Deangelo Bell, a former Stoddert instructional assistant. (Wash. Post)

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Harford still opposes crowdfunding sites for school donations

Raising money through online crowdfunding sites is an ideal way for teachers to find the funds to purchase classroom materials and should be restored, the head of the Harford County teachers' union says, but the schools superintendent disagrees. "That is not necessarily the fault of the system, but there's no way to fill all the holes and this, if properly restricted, guided, governed, is one of those ways you can fill the holes," Ryan Burbey, president of the Harford County Education Association, said during a presentation to the school board earlier this week. (Aegis)

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Stuff the Bus donation drive yields 10 buses' worth of supplies

Ten buses' worth of school supplies were donated through the 2017 Stuff the Bus Campaign, according to a statement issued Wednesday by United Way of Frederick County. The donation campaign organized through United Way of Frederick County and Frederick County Public Schools aims to help students in need by giving them the supplies they need to succeed in school, the release stated. This year's drive yielded more than 70,000 items distributed to between 2,000 and 3,000 FCPS students. The total donations represent more than double the amount contributed in the 2016 campaign, meeting United Way Executive Director Ken Oldham's goal of filling 10 buses with donated items. (News-Post)

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Washington County Public Schools to try 'parent-friendly' report cards

Evolving technology is allowing Washington County Public Schools to bring the elementary grading process closer to parents. Six elementary schools in the county will serve as pilot locations for gradebook and report-card enhancements that officials say will make for more personalized learning and give parents a look at what measures contribute to their children's grades. "What's big to parents is they'll be able to see how their child's progressing by each individual standard," said Michael Kuhaneck, supervisor of school improvement. "They'll be able to see a child's learning by standard over time." (Herald-Mail)

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Camp Open Arms reaches out to kids with limb challenges

William Gephardt can't throw and catch a ball like most children. The 5-year old has unusually thin arms and other physical limitations that affect his range of motion. Sometimes other children tease him. It’s hard for William not to feel isolated from other kids his age in gym class. Not so at Camp Open Arms in Monkton, where William and 20 other children with various limb differences played sports and did other activities Thursday — without standing out. “In regular gym class, he’s that guy,” said Matthew Gephardt, William’s father. “Here, he’s just like everybody else.” (Balt. Sun)

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‘It’s all about the kids. We just want them to have an amazing day and we want the families to feel loved and supported and not judged’

Surfers Healing returned to the beaches of Ocean City this week for a day-long surfing camp that gives children with autism and their families a sense of support and community. On Wednesday, 200 children with autism gathered in front of the Castle in the Sand Hotel where they were given the opportunity to share a tandem board with surfers from Hawaii, California, Puerto Rico and New Zealand and ride the waves as onlookers and families cheered them on. Kelly Loeser, camp co-director, said Surfers Healing is a highly anticipated event that gives families the chance to make memories and bond with other participants. (O.C. Md. News)

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Inaugural CCPS Culture Expo uses music, conversations to celebrate diversity

The sound of drums, tambourines and voices flooded the auditorium of Winters Mill High School. Onstage, a group of musicians, singers and dancers moved and swayed as those in the audience kept time with their clapping. The Nazu African Dance and Drum Company stood in bright, colorful garb. The group worked to teach the more than 300 people in attendance call-and-response songs, having spectators jump in singing the words. Eventually, the group brought those in the audience onstage — first all of the men, then all of the women. Carroll County Public Schools teachers, administrators, Board of Education members and even Superintendent Stephen Guthrie jumped, swayed and danced as a part of the performance. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Meeting planned to discuss future of Centennial varsity football program

Centennial High School football coaches, athletics and activities manager Jean Vanderpool, school and county administrators, and student athletes and parents will hold a meeting Thursday at the school to discuss the future of the varsity football program, according to Howard County Public School System Senior Communications Strategist Brian Bassett. The discussion will be focused on the low participation numbers on the team and options and possibilities for the student athletes if the numbers don’t increase. (Ho. Co. Times)

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