BOE approves design for downtown Hagerstown project

Washington County school officials on Tuesday took another major step toward a shared vision for downtown Hagerstown, moving closer to transforming a blighted South Potomac Street building into much-needed classroom space. Following some discussion, the Washington County Board of Education voted 5-0 to approve educational specifications and a schematic design for its component of a proposed $30 million urban-improvement project in the city. (Herald-Mail)

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Police child abuse unit investigating video allegedly filmed at Digital Harbor High School

The Baltimore Police Department's child abuse unit is investigating a video that allegedly shows people at Digital Harbor High School having sex in the school building, police and school officials said. Police said a Digital Harbor teacher reported possible child pornography to police on May 26. The teacher told police a video was "produced by students who attend the school" and posted to Facebook, where it was viewed hundreds of times, police wrote in an incident report. (Balt. Sun)

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Badlands play space in Rockville to open next week

Badlands, a vast play space complete with a greenhouse and an indoor mountain, is set to open next week in Rockville. The nature-inspired play space will open next Tuesday in the Loehmann's Plaza shopping center, a spokeswoman for the company said. The 30,000-square-foot space at 5200 Randolph Road features an array of indoor activities that evoke the great outdoors, ranging from a thicket of floor-to-ceiling birch tree logs to a greenhouse with a butterfly exhibit. (Bethesda)

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Girls develop technology, engineering skills through female-only camp

A group of girls sat listening to a breakdown of how circuits work, with a whiteboard picture showing how the connections operate. That lesson in circuits moved from discussion to hands on as the girls built pipe cleaner and tissue paper flowers with LED light centers. Others worked on programing robots using computer codes. The girls were apart of a female only summer program involving STEM-related topics, though it focuses heavily on different types of engineering. (Carr. Co. Times)

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June 20 // Maryland school official responds to fraud allegations in graduation rates

Four members of Prince George’s County’s school board have urged Gov. Larry Hogan to order an investigation into what they allege is a systemic effort to fraudulently boost graduation rates in the Maryland school district. The members, a minority bloc on a 14-member board, say the state’s second-largest district engaged in “widespread systemic corruption” that has inflated graduation rates since 2014. They allege that grades were changed and that students were credited for courses they did not take. “Whistleblowers at almost ­every level in [Prince George’s County Public Schools] have clear and convincing evidence that PGCPS has graduated hundreds of students who did not meet the Maryland State Department of Education graduation requirements,” the four said in a letter. (Wash. Post)

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Frederick County Public Schools' free summer meals program seeks to fill the food gap

Less than two weeks after Autumn Dennie celebrated the end of the school year with her Lincoln Elementary School classmates, she was back in the school’s cafeteria. “It’s weird, because there’s no kids running around,” said Autumn, 9, surveying the nearly empty room as she chomped on chicken nuggets doused in ketchup. “It’s good,” she said of the food, adding that the lunch was “much better” than the fare her dad would have typically provided: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or potentially, nothing. On Monday, Frederick County Public Schools debuted its summer food service program across seven schools, including Lincoln Elementary. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, offers free breakfast and lunch four days a week through Aug. 17, according to a school district statement. (News-Post)

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Baltimore teachers launch door-to-door campaign to stem tide of enrollment decline

Faced with a shrinking student population and declining state funding, Baltimore teachers are launching a citywide enrollment drive. The teachers union has enlisted its members in a five-week campaign to knock on hundreds of doors and try to convince parents to send their children to public schools in the city. Shrinking enrollment is a costly problem in a district in which education funding is based largely on student population. Principals will receive about $5,400 per student to run their schools next year. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland Science Center CEO to retire; top fundraiser named next executive

Maryland Science Center CEO Van Reiner is retiring and the institution will promote its chief fundraiser to lead the institution in October. The center's board of trustees has voted unanimously to appoint Mark Potter as the next executive, they announced Monday. Potter has served as the center's vice president of development for six years, leading an ongoing capital campaign that has raised $5 million toward a $7.5 million goal. The former Archbishop Curley High School teacher and administrator says he foresees "great possibilities" for the Inner Harbor attraction as a resource for educating children in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (Balt. Sun)

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