2021 Update from BCPASC - Happy New Year 2022
January 1, 2022
Dear BCPASC Members:
We would like to take time to welcome our many new members and take a moment to reflect on the past year.
In 2021, The Baltimore County Parent and Student Coalition has participated in the following events:
January 9, 2021 Re-Open Our School Rally in Towson
January 15, 2021 joined with 19 other Maryland counties and met with Governor Hogan's staff to discuss opening schools
January 27, 2021 press conference to threaten litigation if BCPS didn't open schools to all students by March 1st
February 2021 requested for the BCPASC to be recognized as an official BCPS Stakeholder group.
March 4th, 2021 released a YouTube video Let Us Play to push the Board of Education to reinstate modified fall sport season. #BCPSLetUsPlay - YouTube
April 13, 2021 released a YouTube video of clips from recent BOE meetings that demonstrated unprofessional behavior by BOE members. Unprofessional Behavior Compilation - Baltimore County Public Schools Board Of Education Members - YouTube
May 17th, 2021 flew a banner over Baltimore County that stated "BCPS Leaders Have Failed Our Children."
Participated in numerous radio shows and news stories including: C4 and Bryan Neham on WBAL, Yuripzy Morgan on WBAL, Project Baltimore on Fox, Today with Dr. Kaye on WEAA, interviews on WMAR, WBAL, WJZ, FOX 45 and Fox News.
Participated in testifying in Annapolis on Education related bills
Met with numerous county and state representatives
Testified at MSDE board meetings
Held a Homeschool Virtual Information session
Held a Town Hall with Sergeant Thomas and Captain Brown of the BCPD regarding the role of the SROs and student/parental rights.
As we enter a new year, there is still much more work to be done.
The Coalition has moved beyond just getting BCPS to safely open and keep open schools. We have matured into an organization that is working to hold BCPS accountable for their decisions that impact our kids.
Our Top 10 list of concerns include:
Academic Proficiency: Measurable academic outcomes have declined in Math, English/Language Arts and Science over the last 5 year in BCPS; how can this be improved?
Curriculum: How is curriculum selected, purchased, taught to the teachers through professional development and implemented in the classroom to be most effective for our students?
Safety in our schools: Related to Discipline Policy
Budget: How is the approximately $2 Billion annual budget being spent? How are the millions of dollars in Covid Relief Grant money being spent?
Building conditions: Why does it take so long to address the physical conditions in the buildings? Are they being properly maintained?
Community Engagement: Why is the Board of Education refusing to consider adding the Coalition as a recognized stakeholder group?
Special Education Services: How effective is BCPS at identifying children who require individual educational plans? How effective is BCPS at implementing these individual educational plans and related services for students who are identified? How is BCPS providing compensatory services for children who were deprived of their IEPs during the prolonged closure?
Staffing shortages: Why are there so many open positions throughout the school system? Why is there such a high turnover rate or low retention of quality teachers? How is BCPS actively working to address transportation issues?
Nutritional services: How can we improve on the quality of food being served to the students especially the increasing number of children who rely on the school system for 2 meals a day (Free and Reduced Meal Students-FARMS)?
Emergency Management: How has BCPS improved on their emergency plans to prevent another ransomware attack or IT disruption? How has BCPS improved on their plan to adequate educate all students while managing the challenges related to a pandemic?
And finally, here is what is on our agenda for the upcoming year to start:
Monitor educational related legislation introduced during the General Assembly session which begins on January 12, 2022.
Support quality BOE candidates for all of the 7 Baltimore County Districts in the primary election in June of 2022 and the general election in November of 2022.
Right NOW the most important task at hand is encouraging any 10th or 11th grade BCPS student to apply for the Student Member of the Board of Education. APPLICATION DEADLINE January 5th!!!!
***The SMOB serves as the direct connection between students and the Board of Education.
***This student must be representative of an informed viewpoint.
***By Board of Education bylaws, the student has the power to vote on all issues with the exceptions of collective bargaining, capital and operating budgets, school openings and closings, and boundaries.
***The student in this seat has the power and platform to make very consequential decisions.
***All middle and high school students will view candidate speeches beginning on February 22nd in English Language Arts (ELA) classes.
***Finally, those in grades 6-12 will have the opportunity to cast their vote for their candidate of choice on March 17th.
***It is necessary that every student takes advantage of this opportunity.
***As we continue to push for change in BCPS and to make our voices heard, everyone must be invested in this upcoming election.
***Please pass this message along to interested student leaders and also inform your children about the upcoming election.
***Their future is in the hands of the next SMOB!
Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!
~Amy Adams & Mary A. Taylor