BCPS News 2012-13 Show #3 11/19/12

Uploaded by BaltCoPS on 16.11.2012

>> Hi, and welcome to this
edition of "BCPS News."
I'm Mary Beth Marsden.
On today's show, we'll check out
week-long activities during
American Education Week,
changing behaviors, pumpkins
making a smashing success,
and extracting DNA.
All this and more, but first
let's check out
what's trending.
In celebration of National Young
Readers Week, Hawthorne
Elementary School became the
recipient of 500 new books.
The BOOK IT! Big Book Giveaway
program, sponsored by
Pizza Hut restaurants, selected
the Baltimore area as one of
20 winners out of
6,000 locations nationwide.
The giveaway challenges the
restaurants to develop creative
and impactful ways to motivate
children to read more and to
develop a lifelong love of
Team members from Pizza Hut
delivered the books and met with
small groups of students to read
short stories and talk about
their love of reading.
The BOOK IT! program has been in
place since 1985.
BCPS's best in music students
from around the county recently
performed during the annual
High School Honors Concert, held
at Morgan State University.
More than 270 students took
part, which featured
Honors Orchestra, Chorus,
and Band.
For the past 19 years, students
have been performing for family
and friends under the direction
of world-renowned conductors.
Over the last two months,
rigorous and extensive auditions
were conducted in making the
final selections for the
BCPS has been named numerous
times as one of the top
communities for music education
by the American Music
Norwood Elementary School's PTA,
staff, students, and faculty
honored active service members
and veterans during
American Education Week.
Celebrating their patriotism,
Dundalk High School, along with
Patapsco High School, honored
their ROTC color guards during
the assembly, along with
Norwood's chorus members singing
patriotic songs.
In addition, a wall of honor
displayed those who are fighting
or who have fought
for our country.
Students also participated in
writing letters
to soldiers in Afghanistan,
created patriotic hats, posters,
and videos, and joined in on a
boot camp exercise program
in physical education class.
The Board of Education of
Baltimore County is now
live-streaming their bimonthly
The live streaming feed will
allow viewers of the BCPS TV
website to watch the board
meetings in real time from the
comfort and convenience of home
or the office or through any
mobile device.
Having this added option allows
for making the business of the
school system more open and
Stay with us.
There's much more to come.
>> I remember the moment.
>> I'll never forget
that moment.
>> That moment.
>> It was a moment that
changed my life.
I'd been training with my team
for months.
And now we had been called up
for the first time.
The real deal.
Wildfires were getting
dangerously close to homes.
At that moment, I got my first
taste of just how important
the Guard is to my community.
>> See how the Guard could be
an important part of your life
at NationalGuard.com.
>> Hi, and welcome back.
Every November, BCPS
open its doors for
American Education Week.
This is a really great
opportunity for parents
to see their kids
and teachers in action.
Let's head into the classroom.
>> Skip and go to the back of
the book, or are we going to go
to our most recent
journal page?
>> REPORTER: First graders at
Stoneleigh Elementary School are
working hard, like they
typically do.
Even though it's
American Education Week, nothing
really changes -- except for
one thing.
Parents are part of the daily
routine this week, which means
a lot to the students.
>> We want our children to see
that we, as parents, take their
education very seriously.
And I think
actually coming here and showing
up physically and being in the
classroom really shows them how
much we really care.
>> REPORTER: Stoneleigh parents
view American Education Week
as an opportunity
to get involved
in their child's education.
>> It's important for our
parents to come to
American Education Week to see
their children in school
so they get to learn
their children's school routines
and see what the children are
learning in school so that it
can be carried over to home.
>> It really is an opportunity
to spotlight good instruction.
And that's what we have here at
Stoneleigh and at all
Baltimore County public schools.
>> REPORTER: And across the
Beltway, at New Town Elementary
School, American Education Week
is also in high gear.
>> ♪ Sunday, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
Saturday ♪
>> All the months of the year in
order -- who can do that?
>> WOMAN: I was very impressed
with her classroom management.
The kids are on task.
I love the instructions that's
going on right now.
And the kids are participating
in a group setting.
>> WOMAN: I want them to know
that their children are in a
safe, secure environment,
that the teachers care
every bit as much as the parents
about how their children are
going to succeed, and they're
going to bring them up
to their maximum potential.
>> REPORTER: At New Town,
parents are welcome any time,
not just during
American Education Week.
And why is that so important?
>> I encourage parents to come
in, pop in any time.
That way, they can see authentic
learning and not just
something special for
American Education Week.
Because then they can actually
see their children interacting,
seeing our model, the practice
and the apply -- the full
components of the New Town
lesson plan.
>> Each year, the American
Education Week events are
celebrated in bigger and better
Now let's go around the county
to experience firsthand
Newton's law of motion.
And have you ever wondered
about the DNA of a strawberry?
It's a first here.
>> REPORTER: What do you get
when you combine the force of
gravity with the momentum
of a falling object?
You get Western Technical High
School's annual pumpkin smash!
>> We got the kids all energized
about doing free-fall and
velocity and force
and Newton's laws of motion.
They took a pumpkin, and they
have to, engineering-wise, had
to design a container to protect
the pumpkin from
an 80-foot drop.
>> REPORTER: With the help of
the Woodlawn Fire Department,
the containers were suspended at
a great height, while students
gathered to watch their
pumpkins plummet to the ground.
>> STUDENT: My pumpkin didn't
survive, but we made a really
large noise.
So we think we might get, like,
Loudest Impact, which is
kind of cool.
>> Crowd involvement was huge.
You know, the more the crowd got
into it, the more the kids
got into it with the contest.
We had an official pumpkin
referee, who gave a "good"
signal, a "bad" signal.
It was a great event.
>> Let's see, let's see!
We have a pumpkin!
"Around the County,"
I'm Erin Tyszko.
>> REPORTER: These strawberries
donated themselves to a hands-on
science experiment conducted at
Pleasant Plains Elementary
School by mentors from
Randallstown High School.
The purpose of this experiment
was to extract DNA from
these ripe, red volunteers.
>> We took a strawberry, and we
put it into a Ziploc bag,
and we smashed it,
breaking up its components.
Then what we did after that was
pour in this solution of
saltwater and soap, and we pour
it into the bag with the mashed
strawberry, dissolve the cell
membrane, releasing the
contents in the cell.
Then, after that, we filtered
the solids from the liquid,
add ethanol with the liquid, and
it's going to take up the DNA.
>> REPORTER: Randallstown's
biomedical magnet program sought
to broaden the horizons for the
younger students
beyond book work.
>> What we've done -- we've been
working on the partnership now,
this is three years that we've
been doing this, with Halstead
and Pleasant Plains Academy.
And what we do is, we bring
the high school students over,
and they mentor the young
elementary students, and we try
to get them involved in science.
>> It actively engages
high school students, elementary
students, and enriches their
lives in the arena of science.
And it shows the opportunities
that are out there.
>> With this, this won't do
anything, it has no certain
chemical reaction, so it's not
You just have to get a broom.
>> I'm more interested in
science, because, like, it's
more things that you do in
science, 'cause some people just
think of regular book science
and all that.
It's more thing you can do.
We can use different materials
to pour in there, and, like,
just basically find DNA, and
that's something that I'm
interested in.
>> REPORTER: Who knows?
Perhaps these students may lead
a research team one day.
For "Around the County,
I'm Abby Kousouris.
>> BCPS has been taking a closer
look at county-wide suspension
rates and have been actively
looking for ways to decrease
those rates and increase
student achievement.
Let's get in focus and check out
some of the reasons why.
>> I love this school because
the teachers are very
enthusiastic, and they love to
walk around and get you involved
in what they're doing.
Some students act up, and they
get in the way of my learning.
>> REPORTER: Baltimore County
Public Schools has been taking a
closer look at county-wide
suspension rates and have been
actively looking for ways to
decrease those rates and
increase student achievement.
For Golden Ring Middle School,
professional development has
been a key component.
>> We had this amazing
professional development that
changed my entire classroom
around and the whole way I
thought about learning.
Negative 18...
Positive 11 is more than
negative 18.
Whip around!
[Cheers and applause]
The Brain-Based Learning talked
a lot about group collaboration
to get the students to work
together, to get the students
to explain their answers.
So you see a lot of that.
And to the other teachers, it
wasn't easy at first.
It is a huge change from the
But it's worth it.
It really is.
>> Two years ago, we were
number one in the county
in suspensions, discipline
occurrences, and it was a
struggle keeping students
in class, learning.
And that was reflective in test
scores, reflective in behavior,
reflective in pretty much the
daily practices of the school.
We made some drastic changes.
>> When you walk in the school,
you can feel it -- there's
a sense of order, there's a
sense of, these kids know what
is expected of them, they know
what they're supposed to be
doing, and they know that they
have a staff behind them that's
supporting those choices.
>> TAYLOR: As of the beginning
of the 2012-2013 school year,
we were the number-one school in
the county with the largest drop
in disciplinary occurrences
and suspensions.
>> REPORTER: While educators
agree that keeping suspended
students in school is better
than having them home
unsupervised, schools need more
than a room and a teacher for
in-school suspension
to change behavior.
>> Well, I think the key in
changing behaviors is
multi-faceted, but one of those
is that it all starts with
trust and building
And children have to feel
comfortable in school.
They have to feel safe.
And when you feel comfortable
and safe, then you can learn.
>> REPORTER: For the White Oak
school, relationship-building
was just part of their success.
The use of their ABLE room and
student accountability was also
a major factor.
>> The ABLE classroom was in
place when I came here, but many
staff members still felt as
though some students should have
had an out-of-school suspension.
So, last year, I made it a point
and continued to remind them
that I did not believe that
out-of-school suspension
was going to teach
the children anything.
>> In the past, with some of
Noah's schools, he -- I would
always feel like I was a doctor
and had a beeper on and that
they would call and say, "Hey,
Ms. Fisher, you know, Noah
thrown a chair," or, "He's
having a tantrum -- can you
please come and get him?"
And I just thought, you know,
"I can't get on with my day."
And now he's at White Oak, and
he's thriving, and he has to
stand accountable for his
So if he does tantrum or throw a
chair, you know,
they'll work it out.
>> REPORTER: Taking a hard look
at what needs to be done is the
beginning of changing
the school climate.
>> One of the things that we've
really worked on is taking a
look at our suspension rate
as a whole.
Two years ago, it wasn't where
we wanted it.
So, this past year, we were able
to cut our suspension rate
in half.
And really, the reduction in
suspensions came from a holistic
approach to dealing with
students, focusing on students
from a student-centered
standpoint when it
comes to dealing
with student consequences.
>> I love having the
responsibility in the classroom,
because, you know, I feel like I
am able to set up a classroom
environment that is, you know,
easy for my students to learn,
where they feel safe, where they
know what to expect every day,
they know what I expect of them,
either with, you know, what I
expect them to do in class and
how I expect them to act and to
treat each other
and to treat me.
So I've found that as more
consistent I am and the more
that they know exactly what to
expect every day, they feel more
comfortable, and a more
comfortable student is going to
be able to learn better.
>> As students, we know what the
expectations will be, because
we're constantly told by our
administrators and our teachers
and the staff what to do, and we
know what the consequences will
be if we do anything that is
not expected out of us.
>> BCPS is looking for a 2% drop
in suspension rates across the
county by the end of the year.
That does it for this
edition of "BCPS News."
If you have any story ideas,
comments, or suggestions,
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on Facebook and Twitter.
Until next time,
I'm Mary Beth Marsden.
Thanks for watching.