With the first day of school in Howard and Anne Arundel counties on Monday, Aug. 27, all Laurel-area students are back in the classroom.
Some enjoyed special visitors the first day.
"Howard County represents the best of public education," Cardin said, in between stops on the tour. "You see a commitment from county leaders, a commitment from administrators, students and teachers. They're all excited to be here, so it's energizing."
Foose said she plans to personally visit all 74 schools by the end of the first marking period, which is Nov. 1.
In the midst of her tour Monday morning, Foose, like Cardin, noted the high energy of both students and staff members, and said she expected that energy to continue throughout the school year.
"This is a high-performing system, so there must be some energy working here," she said.
By the end of the year, Foose said, she hoped the schools are performing even better than they are now.
A typical student — the system welcomed the Class of 2025 with the kindergartners' first day of school Monday — has 1,080 school days in elementary school, 540 in middle school, and 720 in high school. That's a short amount of time to do a lot of work, Foose said.
"It's not enough time, so we have to do all we can to make sure our graduates are college-ready or (ready to become) high-wage earners," she said.
Other county school administrators and local elected officials also visited schools throughout the morning. Some made several stops in Laurel.
Ray Brown, Howard's deputy superintendent of operations, visited Forest Ridge Elementary with Howard County Council Chair Mary Kay Sigaty. Howard County Executive Director of Facilities, Planning and Management Ken Roey visited Gorman Crossing and Laurel Woods elementary schools with Howard County Board of Education member Allen Dyer.
While some Laurel schools have already held Back-to-School Night, many are planned for the coming weeks:
Laurel High, Sept. 4, 6 p.m.
Bond Mill Elementary, grades kindergarten-two, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.; grades three-five, Sept. 6, 7 p.m.
Montpelier Elementary, Sept. 4, 6:15 p.m.
Deerfield Run Elementary, grades Pre-kindergarten-two, Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m.; grades three-five, Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m.
Vansville Elementary, Head Start-2, Sept. 10, 6 p.m.; grades three-five, Sept. 12. 6 p.m.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle, Sept. 11, 7 p.m.