Frederick Adds Health Metric to COVID-19 Data Dashboard, Will Help to Guide School Reopenings

Frederick County’s COVID-19 data dashboard now includes the County’s rate of new coronavirus cases, a key metric used to determine when schools may consider reopening for in-person instruction. Guidance from the Maryland State Board of Education said that communities could expand in-person instruction only after their positivity rate drops below 5% and their seven-day average case rate drops to 5 or fewer per 100,000 residents. Frederick County currently meets only one of the two standards.…

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Montgomery to Roll Out Ride On Electric Buses

Montgomery County officials launched the County's first four Ride On electric buses today, with a ceremonial "unplug" ceremony, the buses are scheduled to start running on Friday. Montgomery received a $1.75 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration Low or No Emission Competitive program to purchase the vehicles and charging stations in 2017. Montgomery's Department of Transportation Director, Chris Conklin, said that federal funding accounts for around 50% of the necessary funds to purchase the…

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Baltimore City to Open Student Learning Centers for Small Groups

Baltimore City Public Schools will partner with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks to open 15 elementary schools for students to learn online in small groups, beginning September 28. This partnership will allow for 1,000 students to access remote lessons in small groups throughout the city. The Student Learning Centers will help students who do not have internet at home or are less likely to be able to access classes online, providing a space for them…

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September 2nd Board of Public Works Meeting: What Counties Need to Know

The Board of Public Works (BPW) considered and approved the following requests and recommendations in its September 2, 2020 meeting. This is not a comprehensive list of all considerations and approvals during the meeting. All Counties A request from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for approval to award a contract to improve the statewide status of the 911 telephone emergency system for all counties and Baltimore City.  This request is due to…

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Calvert Names New Director of Technology Services
Amy Lawson (photo courtesy of Calvert County Government)
Calvert Names New Director of Technology Services

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently appointed Amy Lawson as director of the Department of Technology Services. Lawson has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, she held leadership roles in the elite Technology Transformation Service at the General Services Administration, where she focused on user experience, customer experience, and on FedRAMP, the federal government’s cybersecurity framework for cloud platforms. “Amy’s diverse background, with a number of key…

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MD to Enter Stage Three of Recovery, Hogan Continues to Push for In-Person Learning

Governor Larry Hogan today held a press conference to provide an update on Maryland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced Maryland's step forward into Stage 3. Governor Hogan began the press conference by commending the State Board of Education for voting to require local school systems that have not developed in-person instruction plans to reevaluate their plans by the end of the first quarter. As previously reported on Conduit Street, the state recently announced…

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State Board of Ed Delays, Then Adopts New Local Schedule Mandates

State Board of Education adopts new standards for online learning that requires a minimum of 3.5 hours a day of synchronous instruction, gives school systems until December 31, 2020, to adhere to new rules. The Maryland State Board of Education (MSDE) today approved a modified version of State Superindent Dr. Karen Salmon’s recommendation to establish a minimum number of hours for synchronous and asynchronous learning for all 24 school systems, all of which are beginning…

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Howard Announces New Directors of Public Works, Finance Departments

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball last week announced Tom Meunier as the new Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) and Rafiu Ighile as the new Director of the Department of Finance. The appointments are effective on August 31st and September 7th, respectively. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Howard County’s DPW Director Jim Irvin and his wife, Finance Director Janet Irvin, in June announced their retirement after 75 years of collective public service. “Our Department…

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St. Mary’s Approves Non-Public School Transportation Plan

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County this week approved the County's transportation plan for non-public school bus riders and their families. In 1941, St. Mary’s County enacted Public Law, Chapter 116-1, entitled “Bus Transportation,” to the St. Mary’s County Code. This law was established to ensure all children who attend schools in St. Mary’s County be entitled to transportation. The revised Parent/Student Handbook and Back to School Plan provides detailed information on the sanitization of…

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Hogan Urges In-Person Learning, Unveils New Health Metrics to Guide Local School Systems

Governor Larry Hogan today held a press conference to provide an update on Maryland's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage schools to offer in-person learning in the fall. Governor Hogan said that "it is absolutely critical that we begin the process of getting our children safely and gradually back into the classrooms" in order for Maryland to "keep moving forward and to keep making progress" as there is "no substitute for in-person instruction." Hogan…

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