Welcome to our community.

In this community, you can submit ideas, vote on existing ideas, or add comments.

To submit an idea, please click the Submit New Idea button at the top of the navigation sidebar. You will then be asked to add a title and choose a campaign for the new idea. You will also have the option to add tags to the idea. To vote on an idea, simply click the up or down arrows to the right of the idea title/description. And to add a comment, click in the box below the idea.

If you would like to see all ideas created with a specific tag, you can click on the word or phrase via the tagcloud in the navigation sidebar area under "What we're discussing". You can also view ideas sorted by Campaigns from the right navigation area. To return to this page, click the All Ideas link.

Campaign: Operating Budget

Improve School Lunches

I suggest the HCPSS Food and Nutrition Service follow the lead of other school systems in the country and provide students with healthier school lunches, including foods from local farms, items with less fat and sodium, and possibly organic options. These other school systems do this with the same budget and federal regulatory framework as Howard County. Salad bars have also been implemented successfully with proper ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

15 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Expand Technology in the Classroom

I suggest we look at ways to replace textbooks with electronic text books and online simulations/games to encourage more engaging learning experiences, especially for those students suffering from attention deficits. Technology in the real world is not sequestered in a computer lab. No one's home or place of work is set-up in this fashion. Our schools should not be either. Our schools must prepare students for the ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

12 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Food Revolution in School

I suggest we change the way we handle food at school. It's silly to feed our kids poor school lunches in the cafeteria and ban cookies and brownies in the classroom for parties. No one ever became obese over what they ate at a birthday party. Besides school lunches, I believe we need to improve school breakfasts, provide healthier snacks to students, allow food and drink at appropriate times in the classroom, make the ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

11 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Create a working educational farm on underutilized HCPSS Land

Eating is an agricultural act. The food that ends up on our dinner tables and in our youth's lunches is supported by complex systems of production, processing, transportation, and marketing. A productive small farm embedded in the school system brings fresh local food to more outlets throughout Howard County while transforming the relationship that students have to food they eat and the environment that supports its production. ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

11 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Introduce e.Learning and Distance Learning

I suggest the HCPSS introduce e.Learning classes by recognizing already accredited online classes for its students. These classes could be offered to students in schools who do not currently have access to classes listed in the curriculum and catalog to create equity between schools. These classes could support Home and Hospital educational programs, as well as Special Education student needs. Ultimately, these programs ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

10 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Establish Countywide School Volunteer System

I suggest the HCPSS build off of the guidelines created for the PTA Council of Howard County's Clinical Volunteers Corps utilized in SY2011 for the flu vaccinations to create a policy/framework to recruit and deploy volunteers countywide - not just parents in their own home school. This would allow for parents of current students, former students, and other citizens to give back to our schools and support the "crown ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

8 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

World Language Instruction Starting in Kindergarten

I suggest we implement world language instruction starting in kindergarten. In the world, there are multi-lingual citizens and then there are Americans. We need to prepare our graduates to win in the global economy and to do so, they must speak at least one more language than English. We must offer students at an early age - when they can actually learn the language better - the chance to start learning Chinese, Spanish, ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

8 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Post New Textbooks and Instructional Materials Online for Input

Instead of the current process of putting hard copies in the HCPSS lobby around the winter holidays with paper feedback forms, I believe that we should place information, excerpts, reviews, and additional resources on these newly proposed materials online for parents, citizens, and others to review and provide input to school system staff 24 hours a day, instead of just in-person during limited hours.

Submitted by

Voting

8 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Create Employee Wellness Prgm w/ Financial Incentives

Building off of what other school systems and universities have done, the HCPSS should roll-out an employee wellness program that provides employees with financial incentives to be healthier. These incentives could reward employees who stop smoking, lose weight, take their medications appropriately, exercise, and engage in other activities that lower their health costs. These programs have been proven to save millions ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

7 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Expand Public Input in Decision-Making

I suggest that the Board of Education look at more convenient ways to engage public input early in the decision-making process, rather than just collecting feedback later in the process. This would include using standard market research tactics that businesses use everyday to better understand their customer's needs and desires. This may include the use of online surveys, focus groups, phone interviews, wikis, and other ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

7 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Post Citizen Committee Reports Online

Every month, the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education and PTA Council of Howard County present a report to the School Board. Annually, the Board of Education's Operating Budget Review Committee present two reports to the School Board. And there are other citizen committees that provide reports. These reports should be available online for the public to access, for staff to access, and for each of these ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

6 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Entrepreneurship Education - Employers not just Employees

I suggest we add basic entrepreneurship education to the HCPSS career academies so students learning a vocational trade learn how to be the employer and not just the employee. I suggest we offer integrated entrepreneurship perspectives into our curriculum so students who are looking to become doctors, lawyers, engineerings, and accountants can also learn how to run their business and practice and not just their profession. ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Timing of Review of New Materials

Currently new materials are put out for review around the winter holidays. This, it seems, is about the worst time for such a review, because people are so tied up they will not have time to look over the material. I imagine there are deadlines for selecting materials so they can be ordered, so the review could not reasonably be doen later, but perhaps the materials could be identifed earlier to allow for easier public ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Include Teacher Turnover Data on Principal Evaluations

"The Cost of Teacher Turnover Low performing schools rarely close the student achievement gap because they never close the teaching quality gap – they are constantly rebuilding their staff. An inordinate amount of their capital – both human and financial – is consumed by the constant process of hiring and replacing beginning teachers who leave before they have mastered the ability to create a successful learning culture ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

5 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Create Human Capital Mgmt Task Force to Optimize Workforce

To save over $30M annually and optimize our employee talents (human capital), I recommend that the HCPSS design and implement a Human Capital Development Plan for the HCPSS, consistent with recommendations from the Board of Education's Operating Budget Review Committee the past several years. With over 80% of the budget spent on employee related costs, the only way to really find cost-savings is to address employees. ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Expand Interscholastic Sports into Middle School

I suggest the HCPSS expand certain interscholastic sports into Middle School. Most college scouts are now looking at 12 and 13 year old players and many other states and jurisdictions already have this in place. For students who cannot afford to pay to play during these years, they have a huge competitive disadvantage when entering high school. This program would benefit students and families in many ways.

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Better STEM education for advanced learners

I suggest before Howard County can claim to be the best it has to be able to compete with the best. In STEM education, public schools like Thomas Jefferson in Fairfax Co. and Montgomery Blair in Montgomery Co. have the credentials to prove they are the best. Montgomery Blair has won just about every national competition Including Intel, Siemens, TetraGrid'10, International Physics Olympiad, etc. Their students finish ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

4 votes

Campaign: Board Policies

Dual Enrollment - Earn College Credits with High School Courses

http://www.explorebaltimorecounty.com/education/109775/baltimore-county-public-schools-offer-fast-track-degrees-via-community-college-partnership/ Building off of this pilot in Baltimore County, the HCPSS should create a dual enrollment program with the community college. Many advanced high school courses (AP) have a college level equivalent. Now, we require a student who receives an A or B in this college preparatory ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

2 votes

Campaign: Operating Budget

Scale Six-Sigma Program System Wide

Building on the successful pilots of Six-Sigma LEAN methodologies in the HCPSS and recommendations from last years OBRC, I suggest that we appoint a Six-Sigma Advisory Committee consisting of school system staff, citizens with black belt and green belt certifications in Six-Sigma LEAN, DMAIC, and DMADV who can advise and help the school system scale these cost-savings, process improvement initiatives. This should realize ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote

Campaign: Operating Budget

Automate School Lunch Sales for PK-12

THE HCPSS Food Services needs to join the 21st century by moving to a 100% automated sales system. The current system at the elementary school level wastes HUGE amounts of student instructional seat time as the stand in line to exchange coin and HUGE amounts of time of paraeducators who handle these lunch orders when they could be in classrooms assisting with instruction. The average grade-level paraeducator spends ...more »

Submitted by

Voting

1 vote

Displaying 1 - 25 of 41 Ideas