Howard County education notebook: 2020-21 student member of the board applications open

Applications to be the 2020-21 Howard County student member of the Board of Education are open until Feb. 6.

The student member, known as the SMOB, is the voice on the Howard County school board representing their 59,000 fellow classmates.


Interested students can mail completed applications to Cindy Drummond, an adviser to the Howard County Association of Student Councils, by 4 p.m. Feb. 6. Applications should be addressed to Drummond and mailed to 10910 Route 108, Ellicott City, MD 21042.

Maryland’s 24 public school district boards each have a student member, as does the State Board of Education. Approved in 1985, the state board’s student member is appointed by the governor and is able to vote on all matters except those pertaining to appeals or personnel.


In Howard County, the student member can vote on all issues except those pertaining to the school budget, personnel or other restricted matters, including union employment contracts and school redistricting.

Elections will be held April 22 during which middle and high school students can choose the new student member.

For information, contact Drummond at cindy_drummond@hcpss.org.

Social media awareness workshop on Saturday

Howard County parents and students in grades four through 12 are welcome to attend a social media awareness workshop Saturday morning.

The free workshop, hosted by the school system and the Council of Elders Academy, is from 9 to 11:15 a.m. at Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road in Columbia.

Students will be able to discuss the implications of social media usage, while parents will learn about popular social media sites accessed by their children and how to effectively monitor use.

Representatives from the school system, county police and the county’s Office of Children and Families will be at the various discussions.

Interested participants can register online.

Free eye exams and glasses available for students

Howard County Public School System students can receive a free eye exam and, if needed, free glasses Feb. 29 and March 1.

Exams will take place at Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road in Ellicott City.

All slots are filled as of Jan. 24.


The Beyond 20/20 Maryland Optometric Association is providing the free eye exams through its outreach program in a collaborative effort with the school system, county health department, private and public vision health advocates, and local optometry practices.

A legal guardian must accompany the student on the day of their exam to fill out a medical history form. If a child currently wears glasses, bring either the most recent pair or prescription to their appointment.

Interested families can contact Catherine Carter to be placed on the list for an upcoming clinic. Carter can be reached at ccarter@marylandoptometry.com or by phone at 301-693-4469.

Due to a source error, the free eye exams section was updated to reflect that services are not being provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, rather the clinic is full.

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