Montgomery County upgrades vocational training

Ellie Schell would grow fidgety during her daily stretch of classes at Blake High School in suburban Maryland, her mind wandering as English, history and science lessons plodded along. Then she enrolled in cosmetology, a three-year program in Montgomery County Public Schools that kept her engaged as she learned to style hair, manicure nails and consult with clients. The classes helped the 16-year-old focus her energy. She found herself opening up and asking teachers more questions — skills, Schell said, that benefited the rest of her studies. During the official unveiling last week of the rebuilt $119.7 million Thomas Edison High School of Technology, Schell courted prospective students amid rows of salon styling stations. (Wash. Post)

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Prince George’s County hires new chief operating officer for school system

Prince George’s County has hired a chief operating officer for the school system, tapping an administrator from the county government for the high-level post. Barry L. Stanton, deputy chief administrative officer for public infrastructure in the administration of Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), is slated to start in the school system position Monday. He will earn $224,550 a year. Selected by Monica Goldson, interim chief executive of the school system, Stanton will oversee food services, security, transportation, school boundaries, purchasing, capital programs and other areas. (Wash. Post)

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Howard leans away from redistricting options to ease crowding in high schools

In ongoing efforts to tackle crowding in a handful of Howard County high schools, the county school board has decided against redrawing attendance boundaries for the next academic year and is looking at options to add or expand specialty programs that would attract students to other schools. Six options, including an expansion of a dual-enrollment program between the school system and Howard Community College, and offering additional courses at the Applications and Research Laboratory high school, were presented at a school board work session Thursday night. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Somerset educator named Maryland Teacher of the Year

Maryland's newest state teacher of the year is from Somerset County. Richard Warren Jr., an eighth grade science, technology, engineering and math teacher at Somerset County’s Crisfield High School and Academy, was named the 2018-2019 Maryland Teacher of the Year on Friday. Karen Salmon, state superintendent of schools, made the announcement at the 28th annual Teacher of the Year Gala.  Warren has taught for six years, the last five at Crisfield High School and Academy. He holds three degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore: a bachelor of science degree in science (2011); masters of arts in teaching (2014) and a doctorate in educational leadership (2018). (Times-News)

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Frostburg State's Master of Science in nursing ranked as one of best in nation

OnlineMasters.com, a service designed to encourage students to pursue higher education, has ranked Frostburg State University’s online Master of Science in nursing as one of the best online MSN programs nationally, as well as one of the best for nurse administrators in the administration concentration in its rankings for 2018. The service analyzed 866 online MSN programs and consulted 27 health industry experts, clinic and hospital managers, current students and alumni to identify 46 top programs. (Times-News)

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With Safe to Learn Act, concern over behavioral problems, CCPS focuses on mental health

For Meikel Currence, a second-grader at Taneytown Elementary School, controlling emotions and behaviors hasn’t always been easy. In the 2017-2018 school year, Meikel had many behavior-related issues each month. But those numbers began to decline as he worked with the school’s full-time psychologist using preventive and responsive services, and at times he benefited from daily crisis intervention and support. So far this year, Meikel has had zero major discipline referrals. Meikel got up during Wednesday’s Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education meeting, and told school board members that he’s spent months working on staying self to self, staying in location, using school words and following directions. (Carr. Co. Times)

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2 Baltimore city teachers among group suing loan servicer Navient

Baltimore City schoolteacher Michelle Means had been chipping away at her $60,000 in federal student debt and knew about a loan-forgiveness program Congress started in 2007 to help public servants. Yet, each time she talked to representatives at Navient, a for-profit company that services loans for the U.S. Department of Education, she came away believing that she wouldn’t qualify for the program. Means, 32, said Navient advised her that she had to make 120 consecutive payments, without missing one or putting her loan in forbearance for even a month, before she would be eligible. (Balt. Sun)

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Johns Hopkins day of service takes students out of their Homewood bubble

Natalia Camargo, a Johns Hopkins freshman, is from New York. Before Saturday she had never been to a farm. But there she was in a field a few miles south of the Mason-Dixon Line in Baltimore County showing off a huge cabbage that she had just harvested with a wicked-looking cutting tool. Camargo was taking part in the Johns Hopkins University's President's Day of Service, which took hundreds of students and university employees out of the protective bubble of their Homewood campus Saturday and onto the streets of Baltimore, the fields of rural Maryland and other places to contribute their labor to the community. (Balt. Sun)

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