Archive for the “Baltimore County Schools” Category

Delegate Sue Aumann was invited to the Maryland Science Center traveling science program that visited Hampton Elementary School on October  24th. The Children were really engaged as the presenters taught the students about chemical reactions, electricity, air compression and how to make a cloud. Del. Aumann was thrilled to watch the children participate in the experiments and see the reactions to the program. It was a fantastic way to make science cool and show the effects they have on our lives.

Hampton Elementary School Hampton Elementary School Hampton Elementary School Hampton Elementary School Hampton Elementary School

 

 

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During the past two weeks I have been in meetings with Dr. Dallas Dance of the Baltimore County School System. The issues ranged from the central area overcrowding and redistricting, plans for a ten year renovation of existing schools and safety in our schools for our children.

The central area in Baltimore County has been determined to be overcapacity by 500 seats. The School System is looking at the projections and are waiting to see the September enrollment population to determine the redistricting. A committee has been formed to evaluate the data and to receive community input. Dr. Dance has expressed interest in the process being open to the public and has created a website called “What’s Happening” to keep interested parties up to date.

The renovation of existing schools has been greatly helped by funding from the Legislature and the dedication of funds from the County Executive for air conditioning. The need for technology in the schools has been linked to the air conditioning because the cable can be run along side of the duct work. The curriculum will have some changes or renovations, the School System will be adapting “Common Core”. “Common Core” was adopted by the State of Maryland allowing each school system to write its own curriculum. The focus on Math will intensify by preparing our eight graders for Algebra 1. This will take effect in the fall of 2014.

Due to the Sandy Hook tragedy, security was a very important issue in the Legislature and to the various school systems in Maryland. The Baltimore County School System has taken a keen review of each school and has enhanced the entry systems. Each school has a security camera that feeds images to the main office. If access is allowed, the individual must present a photo ID. The ID is scanned into a data base that compares the image to the Baltimore County Police system. The police can link into the school’s camera system if needed. The schools will also have School Resource Officers (SRO) that the students, teachers and, employees of the school can text, email or call if something suspicious if happening. This was one of the most important pieces of legislation that I sponsored for implementation for safer schools.

The meetings were very informative. Please take a look at the link that the Baltimore County School system has posted called ” What’s Happening”on the website: www.bcps.org. It is way to keep the. Community current of changes in our schools.

Sincerely,

Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann
District 42 – Baltimore County
303 Lowe House Office Building
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3258; FAX 410-841-3163
susan.aumann@house.state.md.us

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Elected officials from state legislatures across the country are participating in a unique program organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  I am delighted to join this effort which meets with students to teach them about American democracy and the importance of being engaged citizens.  Even though they are not old enough to vote, this program provides an interactive presentation to help children learn how government works and how their ideas count.

Schools in the 42nd District were sent letters outlining the initiative and inviting them to have their students participate.  I have visited numerous classes already and relayed my experiences as a legislator and taught how that plays a role in our representative democracy.  These presentations are designed to teach our young people that their ideas have value and they should become involved in the policy making process.  I engage with the students and outline what it is like to be a delegate, the process of making laws, the pressures of making challenging decisions, debates, compromise and responding to constituent concerns.

Some of the schools I have had the opportunity to visit include Hampton Elementary, Stoneleigh Elementary, Ridge Ruxton, Timonium Elementary, St. Paul’s School for Girls, Dumbarton Middle, Pikesville Senior, St. Pius and Calvert Hall.  It is fantastic to reach out into the community and provide a civics lesson to these future leaders.  The questions are priceless and the time we spend together has been great.  I really enjoy it and look forward to coming to other schools.

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Sue participated in the “Legislators Back to School” on the following dates:

September 29, 2009 – Hampton Elementary School – 60 5th graders

September 30, 2009 – Stoneleigh Elementary School – 100 5th graders

October 2, 2009 – Ridge Ruxton – helped Principal Bennett with unloading students arriving at school

October 13, 2009 – Timonium Elementary School – 65 5th graders

October 21, 2009 – St. Paul’s School for Girls – 30 8th grade students

The message this year has focused on how “Your Ideas Count”.

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Below is a letter sent on behalf of the 42nd District to County Executive Jim Smith regarding the issues surrounding the proposed expansion efforts at Loch Raven High School.   A subsequent letter was sent by the 42nd District to the State Comptroller to withhold the funds.  This request will be discussed in Annapolis at the Board of Public Works meeting on May 21, 2008 at 10:00am.  I will be attending.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Honorable James Smith
Baltimore County Executive
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, MD  21204

Dr. Joe Hairston
Baltimore County Superintendent
6901 Charles Street
Towson, MD  21204
Dear County Executive James Smith and Dr. Joe Hairston:

We are writing to you to request that you hold a meeting with concerned parents, community residents and the Chatterleigh Association regarding the proposed Loch Raven High School expansion.  Many individuals have contacted us in Annapolis and asked for information and help understanding this issue. Since the County budget is being presented this month, our hope is that you will respond and schedule a meeting as soon as possible.

Many issues concerning this expansion were brought to our attention while we were in Annapolis for the 2008 legislative session.  This includes:

(1) What issues were revealed in the Feasibility Study? 

(2) Why has this project been pushed up the 2009 priority list?

(3) Has a traffic study been conducted for the intersection of Cowpens and Cromwell Bridge Road?  What are the findings?

(4) Has there been an environmental study regarding the impact of Mine Bank Run? What are the findings?

(5) What are the processes regarding community input meetings when dealing with school enhancements and renovation?

(6) Does this affect redistricting?
(7) Explain the process of the planning time line (one year) and the expected time of construction (two years)?

(8) Explain whether the County looked at other sites to fulfill the increasing High School Student capacity issue impacting our area?

Please understand that we are concerned about the lack of public input.  This fact alone has brought much suspicion to the County’s process and this does not reflect well in regards to representation. We urge you to be responsive and inform the surrounding community associations and interested parties as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence since the Development Review Committee is scheduled to vote on this issue next Monday.

Thank you in advance for addressing these issues and responding to our letter as promptly as possible.

Sincerely,
Delegate Susan L.M. Aumann       Delegate William J. Frank        Delegate Stephen Lafferty
Senator James Brochin

cc:
Honorable T. Bryan McIntire
Honorable Vince Gardina
Honorable S. G. Samuel Moxley
Honorable Kevin Kamenetz
Honorable Kenneth Oliver
Honorable Joseph Bartenfelder
Honorable John Olszewski, Sr.
Mr. Jeff Mayhew, Baltimore County Planning Board
Dr. Laurie Mitchell, Chatterleigh Community Association

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This is the most recent letter to County Executive Jim Smith regarding the Baltimore County School Board approving constructing a new elementary school on the Ridge-Ruxton campus sent on May 15, 2008.

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith, Jr.
Old Courthouse Mezzanine
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, MD  21204

Dear County Executive James Smith, Jr.:

As we have previously written and discussed in person, the situation concerning overcrowding in Towson area elementary schools is critical.  I realize you have been fully briefed by our mutual constituents, other elected officials, and school administrators about the overwhelming need for a resolution to this problem.  You indicated that the School Board bore the responsibility to make this project a priority.  Indeed, the Board has stepped up to the plate and made the decision to support the construction of a new school on the grounds of the Ridge Ruxton School on Charles Street.

I heartily applaud the action of the School Board, although I believe it was long overdue.  The next crucial step in the process is for the County to fund the construction project. I believe that the capital expenditure for this new elementary school should be a priority.  The families we represent in the many neighborhoods in the Towson area deserve nothing less.  Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars are paid in real estate and income taxes by citizens in these communities to Baltimore County.  The children of our constituents are entitled to appropriate facilities in which they should receive their education.

Having had the opportunity to visit the existing elementary schools in Towson on numerous occasions, I am consistently impressed with the quality of the students, teachers and parents.  Most recently, I joined Comptroller Franchot at Rodgers Forge Elementary School where we again saw educational excellence in action.  We also witnessed firsthand the real need for classroom space (not trailers) to accommodate the expected increase in enrollment.  I have also attended dozens of meeting with parents, school administrators and community leaders who have repeated the same point – Towson needs a new school.

I urge you, in the strongest and most respectful of terms, to please allocate the necessary funds to build this elementary school as soon as possible.  It is absolutely the right decision to make and we are counting on you to do it.

Thank you for your help in this important matter.

Sincerely,

Delegate, Susan L.M. Aumann

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