Education notes

The Baltimore Sun

Marriotts Ridge to hold ArtFest today

The National Art Honor Society of Marriotts Ridge High School will present its first ArtsFest, including activities, acoustic music and a large art display, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today in the school commons area.

To celebrate Earth Day, ArtsFest will sell "green" products: recycled tote bags and other items; proceeds will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

Tickets are $2 at the door. Information: Caroline Kessler,

Education board hosts coffee chats

The Board of Education holds Coffee & Conversation sessions at schools throughout the county. These meetings provide the community with an opportunity to share coffee and chat informally with board members.

The next session will be 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday in the media center at Murray Hill Middle School, 9989 Winter Sun Road in Laurel.

Information: 410-313-6600.

Student art show planned at HCC

The art department at Howard Community College will open its spring student exhibit with a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Rouse Company Foundation Gallery in the college's Horowitz Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway.

The exhibit includes work by two students selected from each class -- about 80 paintings, drawings, photographs, graphic designs, sculpture and ceramics, said Jim Adkins, director of Visual Arts at the college.

Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The show runs through May 15.

Information: 410-772-4512 or visit

School system responds to concerns

The school system's public information office recently responded to two questions often asked by the public:

Why is the Countywide Professional Development Day being held on a Thursday (tomorrow) instead of a Monday or Friday?

For the past several years, school administrators have expressed concern about the growing number of absences on Take Your Child to Work Day, which is always the fourth Thursday in April. Attendance in many classes has been so low that teachers have been unable to move forward with instruction. Especially at the secondary level, more and more students were using the day as a skip day. Therefore the Office of Curriculum and Instruction agreed to move the Countywide Professional Development Day from March to the fourth Thursday in April.

What is the last day of school this year?

The school system is required to provide 180 days of instruction for students. Additionally, the teachers' negotiated agreement sets the teacher work year at 192 days. Because schools were closed for two inclement weather days this year (Feb. 13, Feb. 22), we will make up those days at the end of the year in order to meet the state requirement for student days and the contract requirement for teacher days. The original last day was June 12; the last day now is June 16.

Basket Bingo in Sykesville

The Lisbon Elementary School PTA will hold a Basket Bingo at 7 p.m. May 3 at the Sykesville Fire Hall, 6680 Sykesville Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments and home-baked treats will be available.

Tickets are $15 in advance; $10 at the door, if available, and include 20 games.

Information: Kristi Ahlquist, 410-489-0767 or; Or Christina Barth,

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