Montgomery County teacher named the ‘Most Hopeful Teacher in America’

Polling giant Gallup has named Mary Hawkins-Jones of Montgomery County the “Most Hopeful Teacher in America.” Hawkins-Jones is a fifth-grade teacher at Westover Elementary School in Silver Spring and is the first teacher in the country to receive the honor. She accepted the award Tuesday morning at Gallup’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Wash. Post)

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Prince George's unveils new online payment system for school meals

Prince George's County Public Schools last week announced the creation of an online payment portal that will allow parents to pay for their children's school meals. The portal, schoolpaymentsolutions.com, will let parents pay upfront for students' meals and keep track of students' spending. Parents can receive notifications regarding the account's balance. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore County to air-condition 5 more schools 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz on Wednesday announced that five more schools in the county will have air-conditioning installed, bringing to 123 the number of air-conditioned schools, attended by some 30,000 students. (Daily Record)

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Readying For College Or Career Through 'Common Core'

As students in Maryland public schools go back to the classroom this week and next they will likely notice some changes to the curriculum. That is a result of the Common Core Standards being implemented this year in Maryland. State school officials say dozens of states across the country are implementing Common Core Standards in reading, language arts and math.  (WBAL).

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August 21 // Head Start sequestration cuts smaller than expected, but still painful

Newly released numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tell a bittersweet story: Federal sequestration spending cuts had a smaller impact on Maryland's Head Start early childhood education program than expected, but they still hurt. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore schools picked by federal officials to explore school safety

The shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown were the driving force behind a White House initiative now underway to involve the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service and the FBI in nationwide school safety improvements. The Baltimore City public school district was chosen as one to get the latest research from the federal government on the new threats schools face and the new strategies on how to respond. (WBAL-TV)

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Landover Montessori program wants to add middle school

Parents at the Judith P. Hoyer Montessori School in Landover are hoping proposed expansion efforts can ensure their middle-school-aged children are placed in a Montessori program. Hoyer, which added 67 children this school year, is trying to expand to include programs for seventh and eighth grade students, said Tracey Spivey White, second-year principal. (Gazette)

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Howard school system launches new social media push

As a new school year begins, the Howard County Public School System is launching a fresh effort to reach out to students and parents via social media, inside and outside the classroom. The school board updated the school system's social media and technology policy in June to encourage "responsible" use of social media within the classroom. (Balt. Sun)

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