Tag: CHS

Centennial Holds Jump Start Information Meeting

Words and photos: Maggie Ju

On Tuesday, November 28, an information session for the Howard County Public School System’s new JumpStart program was held in the Centennial High School auditorium from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Various speakers were given the opportunity to speak, and the audience amassed well over 100 attendees.

The key speaker was Bill Barnes, the HCPSS Chief Academic Officer, who explained in detail the eligibility, merits, and cost of participating in JumpStart. The choices available are not open to all grade levels, and Barnes emphasized that students would have to prepare for rigorous work. Despite the challenges, he remained optimistic about enrollment.

“I am so encouraged by the turnout tonight, just for interest,” Barnes said.

Aaron Alder, Howard Community College’s Assistant Director of Admissions, expanded on what was previously stated by Barnes. With the main “Flexible” and “Structured” programs split into subcategories, it is not difficult to find the one that is right for each prospective participant.

“I know there’s a lot of different program options, and they seem confusing,” Alder said, “but just let us know who you are, and we can help guide you to the right thing.”

Other people who shared their experiences included a former JumpStart student, his mother, and a cybersecurity manager at HCPSS’ Applications and Research Laboratory. They agreed that the program was extremely beneficial and a great advantage to students.

JumpStart, a partnership between HCPSS and HCC, gives high school students the opportunity to enroll in college courses and earn college credit. It was proposed as an incentive to relieve overcrowding, as JumpStart students from Centennial, Howard, and Long Reach would attend classes at Oakland Mills and River Hill.

JumpStart will be implemented beginning in the 2018-2019 school year in lieu of the proposed redistricting plan.

More information can be found at hcpss.org and from high school guidance counselors.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.


Centennial Staff Take The Stage

Words: Mikayla Martin

Photos: Laila Abu-Ghaida

Centennial’s Dancing with the Staff was held this past Friday, November 3. The show had a huge turnout, with many students coming to see their favorite teachers perform.

The show displayed the talents of teachers like: Mr. Slopek, Mrs. LaPointe, Mr. Panzarella, Mrs. Reynolds, and Mr. McCoy.

Senior Ashely Xu and her partner Mrs. Landi won the crowd vote while senior Josie Brock and Ms. Hammers, won the judges’ vote.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Interim County Superintendent Holds Press Conference With Student Journalists

Words: Zach Grossman and Meghan Moore

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano met with high school journalists for a press conference at the Board of Education to discuss topics that students were concerned about.

Martirano began the conference with opening remarks, asserting himself as an “extremely student-centered leader.”

Students brought up topics such as the promotion of mental health in the school system, dropout rates, language barriers, overpopulation and redistricting, and technology in the classroom.

When asked about the modification of the vision statement to include the emotional well being of students, Martirano confidently stated that he believes that there needs to be a balance between academic work and achievements as well as students’ emotional well being.

“I want every young person to feel comfortable in school,” said Martirano. “Children need to feel comfortable in school before that educational process can occur. If the students don’t feel a sense of belonging, and being safe and taken care of, then that really starts causing great hindrance to the achievement of academic goals and being a productive citizen of society.”

He added that the county has even added positions within the upper administration to promote the wellness of students. In addition to promoting wellness, Martirano stated that he hopes for the school system to become a “pluralistic society… where everyone is valued within that community.”

When asked about overpopulation and redistricting, Martirano relayed that the three most overpopulated high schools are Centennial, Long Reach, and Howard. He stated that they intend to offer opportunities to relocate students from those three schools to schools like River Hill and Oakland Mills, which have empty or low-attendance classrooms.

There are four viable plans to manage overpopulation and redistricting currently being reviewed by the Board; however, Martirano shared that the school system does not intend to redistrict the entire county until construction of High School 13 is underway.

Throughout the meeting, Martirano commented on numerous other topics. He shared passionate aspects and visions to improve early childhood opportunities to combat potential student dropouts. He also shared a vision of community outreach for parents who have a hard time comprehending the English language. Martirano reasoned his passion by stating that “parents are the primary teachers.”

Because so many schools in the county are overpopulated, technology resources are outdated. Martirano said, “we have not kept up with the technology needs of the 21st century school system.”

According to staff members in several schools around the county, the Howard County Public Schools System does not have sufficient technology resources to match the student population. Martirano stated, “When we have such high performing schools and we have technology needs, I find that unconscionable.”

According to Martirano, the school board recognizes these issues fully and is looking to make change, but technology also equals money.

HCPSS has an annual budget of $820 million dollars, and Martirano expressed that incorporating technology resources into the budget is a “…very heavy lift from a financial point of view. So if you’re not keeping up with the replacement cycle, and you don’t have a strategic plan, once again, another issue is coming right square on my desk.” Although Martirano admitted that “we need to do a better job,” he also explained that the school system must “balance priorities.”

Changes and improvements will come progressively, but the issue is something that concerns Martirano. “It keeps me up late at night because our students don’t have the tools at the level at which I would expect the optimal learning environment to occur.” Martirano said he is “firmly driven by taking care of young people’s needs.”

Martirano has empowered his technology leaders to solve the myriad of issues surrounding technology. “I have individuals right now who are overseeing my technology department to begin the development of a strategic plan.”

Martirano ended the conference with closing statements about his vision for HCPSS.

“I see our [school system’s] best days ahead of us.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.


Eagles Win Against Oakland Mills (Carolyn Eichhorn)

This past Friday, August 31st, 2012, the Centennial Eagles Varsity Football team played their first season game against Oakland Mills at 7pm. It was an exciting game for fans as the Eagles fought there way to a 20-6 win. Michael Price, Quinn Western and Tyler Morris all scored for the Eagles while Nick Cooper made two extra points.

“The game showed how aggressive we play and fast we are,” said Head Varsity Coach Todd Kriner. “They will be some of our biggest strengths on the field this season.” The win against Oakland Mills was the first home win for Kriner since he took the coaching position in 2011. “The game was exciting for the players, coaches, and the fans.  It’s nice to start [the season] with a win.”

Kriner expects this team to do well this season due to the increased strength of the players and players with more experience.

This week the Eagles will play at Wilde Lake against the Wildecats at 7pm. “Our goal is to play hard and not shy away from anything” Kriner added.