Threat of violence at Perry Hall High School prompts extra police patrols

perry-hall-high-schoolPolice stepped up their presence at Perry Hall High School on Thursday following a threat of violence.

Rumors spread via social media on Wednesday suggesting that a student was going to bring a weapon to school.

Several students passed around flyers as a hoax and are now facing school disciplinary action and possible criminal consequences.

The school sent the following email to parents on Thursday:

Dear Parents and Families of Perry Hall High School:

Last evening, we received information that there was an alleged threat that a student would be bringing a weapon to school today. This alleged threat was later spread by social media. Before sharing this information with our community, I wanted to confirm that we had obtained a full and accurate report, and I also consulted with the Baltimore County Police. We learned that this threat was a hoax on the part of several students who now face disciplinary action and possible criminal consequences.

As a result of our investigation and actions taken, today will be a normal instructional day for our students at Perry Hall High School. In order to support our community and as a proactive step, the police have assigned additional officers in the area.

We take threats such as this very seriously, and I want to remind our families that it is important for all of us – student and parents alike — to inform school staff or police any time you or your child sees, hears, or reads anything that is suspicious or that may pose a threat to the school or its students. We all have a role to play in ensuring that our school remains a safe and secure learning environment for our children. Please let me know if you have any concerns or questions.

Thank you for your continued support of your student and of Perry Hall High School.

Sincerely yours,
Andrew Last

Some think the email from PHHS is “too little, too late.”

Baltimore County Public Schools Board Member Julie Henn posted to Facebook on Thursday morning:

I have again raised concerns of the community over the repeated lack of timely communication. Parents need timely information to make the best decisions for their children. We are partners with BCPS and we need to be treated as such and not kept in the dark.

Public meeting to be held to discuss new Northeast-area elementary school boundary options

baltimore-county-public-schools-bcpsThe committee charged with considering boundary change options for the new Northeast-area elementary school community will host a public information session to share options for revised attendance boundaries.

Meeting attendees will learn about the boundary change process, review data used to develop the options, and speak directly to committee members. The options for revised attendance areas will be shared online, and all members of the public are invited to participate in an online survey.

The online survey will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, and end at midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.

The public input meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Perry Hall High School, located at 4601 Ebenezer Road in Perry Hall.

The Northeast Area community boundary review/change process involves the following elementary schools: Carney, Chapel Hill, Gunpowder, Joppa View, Kingsville, Oakleigh, Perry Hall, Seven Oaks, and Vincent Farm.

With the support of the Board of Education of Baltimore County, Baltimore County government, and the state delegation, Baltimore County Public Schools is in the midst of a $1.3 billion capital plan, Schools for Our Future. This initiative will add seats to address increasing enrollment and improve existing facilities.

The construction of a new Northeast-area elementary school is underway, and the school is scheduled to open in September 2018. Since Sept. 6, 2017, a committee of parents, community members, school officials, and representatives of the new Northeast area elementary school community has reviewed a variety of boundary options.

The committee will use input from the public information session and from the online survey to help make a boundary change recommendation to the Board of Education on Feb. 6, 2018.

Councilman Marks: Planning money secured for new high schools

baltimore-county-public-schools-bcpsBaltimore County Councilman David Marks confirmed on Tuesday that planning money will be in the upcoming capital budget to advance a new Towson High School and a high school in central or northeastern Baltimore County.

By 2026, Baltimore County Public Schools anticipates that Towson High will be 456 students over its state-rated capacity. Two schools in the central and northeastern Baltimore County will also be overcrowded, with Dulaney High School at 188 students over its state-recommended capacity by 2026, and Perry Hall High at 234 students overcapacity.

“I am delighted by this news from the County Executive’s office,” Councilman Marks said. “As overcrowding has worsened, Towson High School has been a priority for parents in my district who recognize we need a new campus at that location. The construction of a new northeastern high school, meanwhile, has been the ‘Holy Grail’ in our area for so many years. I have personally worked on this issue for nearly two decades. Many thanks to the parents and community leaders, and to School Board members such as Julie Henn, for their advocacy and leadership.”

The planning money begins the process of building the new schools, and there are many questions that will be reviewed by engineers and experts from the school system. The next administration and County Council will need to allocate funding for construction.

16 BCPS students named National Merit semifinalists

National Merit ScholarshipSixteen Baltimore County Public Schools students from eight high schools have been named semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program coordinated by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The honored students are:

Dulaney High School
Samantha T. Engler
Sherry Guo
Abhinav S. Khushalani
Adabelle Xie
Megan Zhang

Franklin High School
Mckenzie K. Patrick

George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
Michael A. Krasnitski
Diana Liepinya

Hereford High School
Justin D. Ciemian
Tyler T. Honeywell

Loch Raven High School
Caleb A. Lacey

Perry Hall High School
Malachi M. Fowler

Towson High School
Ciara E. Donegan
Kristin M. Donegan
Olivia T. Goodrich

Western School of Technology and Environmental Science
Albert J. Ko

“We are so proud of these BCPS students for their demonstrated commitment to academic achievement and for taking full advantage of the instruction and support provided by teachers, families, and administrators,” said BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White. “We wish our semifinalists well as they compete for finalist ranking, and we look forward to following their post-graduate careers.”

About 1.6 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools applied for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program by participating in the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NSMQT®). The highest scoring entrants in each state create the national pool of 16,000 semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of high school seniors in the nation. Most semifinalists advance to the finalist level (based on their academic records, recommendations and SAT scores) and compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.

Through its longstanding partnership with the College Board, which administers the PSAT/NSMQT, Baltimore County Public Schools provides funding so that all students in Grades 9, 10, and 11 students can take the PSAT/NSMQT at no charge to them or their families and that all Grade 11 students can take the SAT at no charge. The PSAT test provides practice for the SAT and provides BCPS educators with important assessments of student strengths and challenges.