Roundup: Middle School Sports, Asynchronous Learning, Perryville Living Shoreline And More


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HAVRE DE GRACE - It's time to catch up on some stories from around Havre de Grace this Wednesday. We have five stories for you today; Let's get more informed faster.

Harford County Board of Education Considering Asynchronous Virtual Instruction Days For Inclement Weather

The Harford County Board of Education is considering allowing three asynchronous virtual learning days throughout the school year. The coronavirus pandemic caused many issues for public schools across the country, but it did help states and counties develop comprehensive learn-from-home plans.

The proposal states that In the event of inclement weather, high school graduation, professional staff learning, or other events, the school board can choose to host a virtual learning day. School systems would have the opportunity to use a maximum of three of the eight allotted inclement weather days as asynchronous virtual learning days.

The new virtual inclement weather days would result in the final possible school day being June 20 rather than June 23.

On Monday, the board of education presented an overview of the feedback they received about the proposal. According to Eric Davis, the county schools' chief of administration, 284 out of 371 comments favored having asynchronous virtual learning plans to cover inclement weather days.

If HCPS adopts this measure, they will join Carrol, Anne Arundel, and Howard counties in approving plans for virtual instruction over the past few months.

Harford County Middle Schools Start Sports This Year

HCPS has started a middle school athletics program. Beginning this fall, middle school students will compete in a school-sponsored league akin to high school sports.

Harford County Boys and girls middle school basketball teams will start practicing this year, with other teams to begin in the spring. Students will try out, maintain good grades, attend practices, and travel to compete with other middle schools in the county.

Advocates such as Harford County Public Schools Athletics Supervisor Debbie Basler hope this change will improve the middle school experience.

"Time management, sportsmanship, responsibility, commitment, how to handle adversity, all of those things we are going to be emphasizing in our instruction on the court," Basler said. "Education-based athletics has been so successful at the high school level, why not middle school?"

Harford County Man Arrested For Murder Of 13-Year-Old Girl

According to police, 35-year-old Tavon Battle was arrested at his home in Harford County in connection to the shooting of 13-year-old Kelsey Washington.

Police say Washington was shot on November 7 on the 1400 block of East Fayette Street in Baltimore.

She was pronounced brain-dead at the hospital and died on Monday, November 14.

Police were able to identify Battle by acquiring videos and photos from the public.

Battle was questioned by police and transported to central booking, where he was charged with first and second-degree murder.

Perryville Reconsidering Living Shoreline Concept

Perryville's Mayor, Matt Roath, along with city commissioners, have decided that there needs to be more funding currently available to move forward with plans for a living shoreline at Ice House Park.

The board had planned to turn the under-utilized park into an area akin to Havre de Grace's living shoreline.

Perryville officials had an opportunity to tour Havre de Grace's "regenerative design" project, which includes the living shoreline. Havre de Grace paid a meager $250,000 of the $10 million price tag. Underwood & Associates in Annapolis designed and built the project and covered the remaining total with grants.

The Cecil Whig reports that some Perryville officials would still like the see the project completed.

"I would still very much like to see this project happen," City Commissioner Christina Aldridge said.

"We should find other ways to fund this. It would broaden the appeal of the waterfront," City Commissioner Robert Taylor said. 

Four Harford County School Board Members Recognized For Outstanding Service.

As the term ends for Harford County Board of Education members, County Executive Barry Glassman presented certificates to four board members.

Board President Rachel Gauthier and members David Bauer, Sonja Karwacki, and Jansen Robinson received certificates. Superintendent Sean Bulson also thanked the members for their service.

"Like boards around the country, you have served on the board during the hardest time to serve on the Board of Education," Bulson said. "I am immensely grateful for your service to this community and this board."

According to Bulson, the members will continue to serve through December 4. On December 5, the school board will hold a meeting to swear the newly elected members into office.

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