On Jan. 16, Superintendent Michael Martirano presented the State of the Howard County Public School System at an event hosted by Bright Minds, HCPSS’ educational foundation. Martirano celebrated accomplishments by teachers and staff, and detailed the collective work occurring to fulfill the targeted outcomes of HCPSS’ equity-based Strategic Call to Action.

Martirano covered HCPSS’ priorities to develop and implement a birth-to-12 continuum, aimed to ensure that 100% of Howard County students earn a high school diploma and are prepared to enter life after high school. The school system continues its focus on key areas that include special education, personalized learning, well-being and mental health, restorative practices and student voice.

HCPSS has completed the largest redistricting process in Howard County’s history, the advancement of the proposed Capital and Operating budgets, and finalizing a plan to eliminate the Health Fund Deficit. These four areas are inextricably linked and augmented by current initiatives in restorative practices; supporting children and families struggling with poverty, mental illness and other needs; and other priorities.

Martirano also celebrated HCPSS’ many accomplishments, including Howard County’s 92% graduation rate, which continues to be the highest in the state among large districts. At the same time, the superintendent noted that some student groups lag behind their peers and re-emphasized the importance of focusing on equity to bridge the gap for children at risk of falling behind, beginning at birth.

On Jan. 14, Martirano provided a preview of the State of the Howard County Public School System to the Board of Education, which can be viewed at https://hcpsstv.new.swagit.com/videos/39490#.