Panel weighs changes for school-construction standards, funding

Building additional schools and pushing for more up-to-date, efficient and innovative design proposals is under review by a state panel charged with examining school construction. Today, an estimated 65,297 students in Maryland public schools are in temporary classrooms such as trailers, and there is $23 billion in estimated statewide school construction needed through fiscal year 2023, according to the Maryland State Department of Education and local schools. Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Anne Arundel and Prince George’s, discussed a revised version of an earlier bill, the Maryland Overcrowding Reduction Act of 2018, at Tuesday’s meeting of the 21st Century School Facilities Commission in hopes of combating school overcrowding problems across the state. (Md. Reporter)

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Hopkins partners with investment management firm to boost early stage research

Johns Hopkins University scientists will get a $65 million infusion of funding from a Wall Street investment firm to boost early stage therapeutic research that also could help bring drugs and treatments to market. Deerfield Management, a New York-based healthcare oriented investment management firm, will disburse the money over five years. More funding will be made available for research that shows strong commercial potential. The collaboration will be called Bluefield Innovations. The money will ease the burden on scientists and the university to identify funding for research on new therapies. (Balt. Sun)

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Harford schools reverse recent trend, add students

Harford County Public Schools, reversing seven straight years of enrollment declines, has 354 more students this school year than it had a year ago. That’s the largest increase in more than 15 years. The next biggest enrollment increase was reported in the 2001-02 school year, the first year for which enrollment figures are available on the school system’s website, when there were 269 more students. Since then, the only other increases reported were 91 more in the 2003-04 school year and 29 more in 2008-09. (Aegis)

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Incoming Harford Community College students get acclimated to college life during iPrep week

Charese Michel, a first-year student at Harford Community College, says she picked up a host of skills during the week-long iPrep program that helped her have a smooth start to the fall 2017 semester. “Overall I thought that it was a great program,” Michel said during a presentation on iPrep to the HCC Board of Trustees Tuesday. “I had a great learning environment.” She and five of her fellow first-year students talked about their experiences with iPrep. The pre-semester orientation program is designed to help students acclimate to college life, get a refresher on math and reading and writing skills and prepare to retake the ACCUPLACER test so they can start off with college-level classes and avoid remedial math and English courses. (Aegis)

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Baltimore wins grant to launch hotel apprenticeship program for youth

Baltimore will be one of a handful of cities to participate in a new apprenticeship initiative that aims to pair local youth with jobs in the hotel industry. The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Maryland Hotel Lodging Association on Thursday awarded $50,000 to Baltimore nonprofits who will identify and train young adults to fill openings at hotels throughout the state. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Working out of the library, Maryland Legal Aid helps people grapple with issues only a lawyer can fix

Tyrone Burns was out of work and desperate when he saw the post on social media. Maryland Legal Aid was offering free legal help at the Pennsylvania Avenue branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The nonprofit’s lawyers could help him clear his record of old criminal charges. It sounded too good to be true, but the 35-year-old West Baltimore man took the chance. He had been working as a sports coordinator for a youth program until his employer ran a background check that revealed several criminal charges. The program let him go. At the Lawyer in the Library clinic, a Legal Aid attorney helped Burns scrub his record of six charges and three traffic tickets. (Balt. Sun)

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Parents unhappy with WCPS’ handling of alleged sexual abuse of daughter by another student

A Washington County couple is speaking out after they say the public school system failed to adequately address the alleged molestation of their daughter by another student on a school bus multiple times earlier this year. The girl's parents contacted Herald-Mail Media on Monday, claiming Washington County Public Schools had not taken the allegation seriously enough and failed to keep them informed throughout the investigative process that began a week before. "Everything was just business as usual," the girl's father said, referring to what they perceived as a lack of urgency from school officials. (Herald-Mail)

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Howard County's interim superintendent helps serve-up Thanksgiving at Ducketts Lane

The Thanksgiving-themed lunch served at Ducketts Lane Elementary School on Thursday had all the usual items — mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy — with one addition: hot dogs. Interim Superintendent Michael Martirano helped serve up the school’s annual Thanksgiving lunch, held in every Howard County school the week before the holiday. Donning a pair of protective gloves and a visor, Martirano hopped behind the kitchen counter to help dole out helpings to first-grade students, asking if they wanted turkey or a hot dog. (Columbia Flier)

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