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Howard County teachers union receives nearly $440,000 grant

The Howard County Education Association received a three-year $438,720 grant to support the implementation of restorative practices within the school system.

The union for teachers and most education support employees, was awarded a Great Public Schools Fund Grant from the National Education Association.

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The Howard County Public School System and the union will work together to provide comprehensive training to educators, administrators and community members to build positive and inclusive school communities. Restorative practices are processes that build healthy relationships and a sense of community to prevent and address conflicts and wrongdoings.

Colleen Morris, the union’s president, said in a statement the grant “will enable HCEA to more effectively partner with HCPSS toward increasing the number of Howard County schools implementing restorative justice with fidelity.”

Approximately 41 of all 77 schools in the district are implementing restorative practices, which include informal and formal conversations between staff and students.

Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said in a statement that, with the teachers union support through the grant, the school system “truly is becoming a national leader in promoting safe and welcoming schools.”

Howard schools superintendent honored with award

Superintendent Michael Martirano was honored with the Friend of the Farmer Award on April 11 at the annual Howard County Farm Bureau Legislative Banquet.

He was recognized for the school system’s efforts to bring back the Agricultural Science Academy this past year to the Applications and Research Laboratory. The revival represents the system’s “overall commitment to promoting agricultural and environmental opportunities and awareness for its students,” according to a news release.

The academy — open for juniors and seniors at Howard high schools — teaches students about the principles of plant science through a variety of topics, including the anatomy and physiology of plants, mechanisms and interactions of plant systems, pests and diseases, growing environments and more. The students solve problems, conduct research, analyze data and work in teams.

Martirano will receive the award at a future event.

Jazz in the Woods Festival to be held April 27

Several Howard County middle and high school jazz groups will perform at Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods on April 27.

In partnership with the Inner Arbor Trust, the school system’s Fine Arts Office is putting on this second annual festival.

Tickets are free. The festival begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the festival will be moved Marriotts Ridge High School and the performance schedule will remain the same.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. — Marriotts Ridge High School Big Band
  • 10:30 a.m. — Oakland Mills High School Jazz Ensemble
  • 11 a.m. — Patuxent Valley Middle School Jazz Band
  • 11:25 a.m. — Wilde Lake Middle School Jazz Band
  • 11:50 a.m. — Wilde Lake High School Jazz Ensemble
  • 12:20 p.m. — Columbia Big Band
  • 12:50 p.m. — Bonnie Branch Middle School Jazz Ensemble
  • 1:15 p.m. — Murray Hill Middle School Jazz Band
  • 1:40 p.m. — Hammond High School Jazz Band
  • 2:10 p.m. — Ellicott Mills Middle School Jazz Ensemble
  • 2:35 p.m. — Folly Quarter Middle School Gold Jazz Band
  • 3 p.m. — High School Gifted & Talented Jazz Ensemble
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