NEAP Names Hammond ‘School of Opportunity’

Hammond High School is one of only eight schools in the country to be designated a School of Opportunity by the Boulder, Colo.-based National Education Policy Center (NEAP). Hammond was recognized for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to equity and excellence by engaging in proven practices that close opportunity gaps and give all students the opportunity to succeed.
“Hammond exemplifies our strategic call to action by providing equitable learning experiences so every student can be successful,” said HCPSS Interim Superintendent Michael Martirano. “This award illustrates that great things happen when we open access to enrichments, challenge students appropriately and back them up with the supports that help them succeed.”
Hammond’s curriculum is grounded in project-based learning. The school has encouraged students to take at least one course at a higher level each school year and has significantly increased African-American enrollment in its Advanced Placement courses. It also has seen increases in graduation rates from 2010 to 2016. African-American students increased their graduation rate from 80% to 92%, Hispanic students from 81% to 95% and students with special needs from 56% to 80%.
To be designated a School of Opportunity, high schools must demonstrate outstanding achievement in at least four of 10 criteria areas that include: broad and enriching learning opportunities; a healthy school culture; use of a variety of assessments; support for teachers as professionals; meeting the needs of students with disabilities and language minority students; services and supports including mental and physical health; challenging, culturally relevant curriculum; and parent/community engagement.

Candidates for CA Board Invited to Information Sessions
Columbia Association (CA) will host two information sessions in February for those who are considering a run to become a member of CA’s board of directors. The sessions will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m., on both occasions at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, located off Stevens Forest Road and Broken Land Parkway.
CA’s board of directors has 11 members — one representative from each of Columbia’s 10 villages plus CA’s president/CEO. Representatives from the villages serve either a one- or two-year term, depending upon each village’s bylaws. In late April 2018, six villages will hold elections for their representative to the CA Board of Directors: Harper’s Choice, Hickory Ridge, Oakland Mills, Owen Brown, Town Center and Wilde Lake.
Potential candidates are encouraged to attend and learn more about Columbia Association, the role of its board members and how service on the board impacts the community. The goal of the sessions is to have a conversation with residents, including addressing their questions about this opportunity so they can make an informed decision about seeking a seat on CA’s board.

Howard Seeks Nominations for Excellence in Programs for Children
The Howard County Office of Children and Families is seeking nominations for people, programs and organizations that have made a positive impact on the lives of Howard County children for the 19th annual Celebrating Successes for Children awards program.
The program honors people, programs or businesses that make a difference and serve children in one of the following categories.
• Infants and Toddlers (0–3 years)
• Preschool-Age Children (3–5 years)
• Elementary-Age Children (Kindergarten–5th)
• Middle School- and High School-Age Children (6th–12th)
• Mixed-Aged Group (person or program that works with children of different ages)
• Making a Difference Youth Award (youth under the age of 18 who have initiated positive change in the community either as individuals or as part of a group)
Nominations will be accepted online at through Friday, March 2. For more information, contact the Office of Children and Families at 410-313-1940 (voice/relay) or email [email protected].
Nominees will be recognized during the Month of the Young Child at the county’s 19th annual Celebrating Successes for Children ceremony on Thursday, April 26, at Ten Oaks Ballroom, Clarksville.

Leadership Program Registration Open for Howard Middle School Girls
Maryland Leadership Workshops, a division of Leadership Maryland, announced that registration is open for its 2018 Journey program for Howard County middle school girls. The organization also announces UMBC is the new host for the program, to be held July 15–21. Female students residing in Howard County and entering grades 8 or 9 in fall 2018 are eligible to apply.
This program is tailored to meet the needs and experiences of girls in middle and high school, and includes workshops focusing on topics such as empowerment and motivation, communication, decision-making skills, self-awareness and building healthy relationships. It also includes small and large group projects for girls to apply and get feedback on their leadership and interpersonal skills; one-on-one interactions between staff and girls to address specific areas of individual growth and identify an action plan for post-site implementation; and recreational activities and team building games.
Registration is available at and closes on May 15. Scholarships are available. For more information, contact Anita Durall Anderson at 301-444-8623.

Halpin & Associates to Hold Fundraiser
The Law Offices of Kirk Halpin & Associates is holding its eighth annual Bowling Fundraiser & Middle Eastern lunch buffet to benefit the Howard County Food Bank on Sunday, March 4, from noon to 3 p.m., at Brunswick Bowling Alley, 7100 Carved Stone, Columbia.
It is hoped the effort will raise $20,000 and collect 2,000 pounds of food. Checks can be made payable to the Community Action Council and are welcome in lieu of food donations, which can be also be made on the day of the event (with a credit card).
RSVP at, email at [email protected] or call 410-531-1700 by Feb. 23.

Board Selects Name for New Howard Elementary School
The Howard County Board of Education has selected Hanover Hills Elementary School as the name for the school system’s 42nd elementary school, which is slated to open this fall.
All Howard County public schools are named for geographic terms related to areas of the county served, per Board Policy 6050 Naming and Renaming Schools. Hanover Hills Elementary School is scheduled to open in Hanover, adjacent to Thomas Viaduct Middle School, during the 2018–19 school year. Troy Todd, currently principal at Running Brook Elementary School, has been named the principal of the new school.

HCAC Offers Employment,
Volunteer Opportunities Through Summer Camp
The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is currently accepting applications for Camp Assistants (paid) and Camp Volunteers (unpaid) for its 2018 Visual and Performing Arts Summer Camps.
Applicants for camp assistant positions can visit; volunteer applicants should visit to submit their applications. Assistants must be age 18 by June 15; volunteers must be age 15 by Sept. 1.
Camps are offered June 25–Aug. 24, from 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.; the application deadline is March 30. For more information, call 410-313-ARTS (2787) or email [email protected].

Get a Closer Look at CA in
‘Excite Columbia’
Get a closer look at Columbia Association (CA) in March in the “Excite Columbia” citizens academy. The free, three-week program begins Tuesday, March 6, and concludes on Tuesday, March 20. Classes are held once each week from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m., at CA Headquarters, 6310 Hillside Court, off Stevens Forest Road and Broken Land Parkway.
Excite Columbia educates and informs residents with an in-depth view of how CA operates and serves the community through its many departments and programs. The citizens academy also provides a forum for CA and community members to interact and engage with one another — and an informal setting to talk about your vision for the future of Columbia. Preregistration is required at Participants are expected to attend all three evenings. Each week, expert speakers will present information and answer questions on a variety of topics. The schedule for the March session is as follows.
Tuesday, March 6: The history of Columbia; an overview of CA by President/CEO Milton Matthews; and CA’s governance.
Tuesday, March 13: CA’s role in community planning; annual charge and budget; community services and programs; and sport and fitness facilities and programs.
Tuesday, March 20: CA’s open space management and facility services; energy management program; watershed management program; and a discussion about your vision for the future of CA and Columbia. For more information, email [email protected].

Blossoms of Hope Selected for Brackets for Good
Blossoms of Hope is the only Howard County-based nonprofit that has been selected to participate in a fundraising tournament called Brackets for Good. Chosen from out of more than 110 other nonprofits in Maryland, the local organization is shooting for a grand prize of a $10,000 donation.
This is the only “sport” for nonprofits, and it can make a huge impact for Blossoms of Hope in 2018. This is an online single-elimination bracket-style fundraising tournament. The first round of tournament tips off on Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m. A championship victory includes a $10,000 donation from the tournament’s title sponsor, Stanley Black & Decker. For more information, visit

Registration Opens for Glen Mar Golf Classic to Benefit Grassroots
Registration is open for the 7th Annual Glen Mar Golf Classic, which is set for Monday, May 14, at the Timbers of Troy Golf Course in Elkridge. The event, hosted by Glen Mar United Methodist Church, will benefit Grassroots, Howard County’s 24-hour crisis intervention center, which shelters homeless individuals and families.
The tournament includes a continental breakfast, silent auction and luncheon. In addition to trophies for the three foursomes having the lowest scores, prizes will be awarded to the Winning Senior Team and Winning Women’s Team and for longest drive and closest to the pin, for men and women. There will also be the opportunity to win prizes for a hole-in-one, a putting contest and a “circle-of-cash.”
Sponsorships are available from $2,000 for Presenting Sponsor level to $250 for hole sponsorship. All proceeds cleared from tournament sponsorships, fees and the silent auction will support operations at Grassroots. Golfers can register online at Sponsorship information is also available at

The Faith Community Partnership Presents Soup’r Sundae Fundraiser for Grassroots
The Faith Community Partnership of Bethany United Methodist Church, Glen Mar United Methodist Church and Wilde Lake High School are hosting the 10th annual Soup’r Sundae — a family event featuring soups prepared by area restaurants — as a fundraiser for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. The event will be held on Sunday, March 18, from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, Columbia.
Admission is $20 per adult and $5 per child under 12, and includes unlimited soup, bread and ice cream. There will be a silent auction with hundreds of items, music and entertainment for children. More than 600 people attended last year’s event, including 80 volunteers from Howard County high schools.
Sponsorships are available. Tickets are at or by contacting [email protected]. Tickets will also be available at the door.