HCPSS MPIA Request #2020-391

Requested Information
In reference to the recent decision to hold virtual graduations, at a cost of $180,000:
1) Please provide a copy of the survey completed by HCPSS seniors, class of 2020, in March/April 2020 in which the Superintendent and Board solicited input from seniors as to their preferences for graduation, awards ceremonies and other events given the coronavirus pandemic would preclude the traditional events. Please provide a copy of all questions and available choices for each (as if the survey being presented to complete now) as well as accumulated data on the number of responses received and the percentage of responses in favor of each choice on each question. We understand this data is available, as it was discussed briefly and in summary in an April Board meeting by the student member.
2) Please provide a copy of the Request for Proposal or other form of competitive solicitation that was publicly issued for the virtual graduation project, including timelines for response. Please identify when, where and how the RFP was distributed and announced. Otherwise, if there was no RFP, please confirm (as stated at the May 14 Board meeting), and provide a copy of and identify the same as to how the bids were solicited.
3) Please provide a copy of each firm's proposal received among the 4 that were identified for video services, including scope of services, timelines, deliverables and costs.
4) Please provide a copy of the most current HCPSS procurement policy governing contracting for video services with reference to any exceptions when there are urgent and time sensitive matters, such as with the virtual graduation.
5) Please provide copies of all meeting minutes at which the selection of the ultimate firm Showcall at cost of $180,000 was decided upon, including reference to why a local business (of which two bid) was not selected to support local businesses in these difficult economic times but instead we chose a firm that is a good distance away from Howard County.
6) Please provide a copy of the signed contract between HCPSS and Showcall highlighting how students' privacy preferences will be gathered and honored in the creation of the video, and to ensure that HCPSS student images (still, video and audio) will NOT be used by Showcall in its future promotional materials, website or any revenue-generating pursuits.
7) Please identify where the excess funding over $119,000 originally budgeted for graduations will be transferred from to meet the $180,000 commitment for virtual graduation within the current operating budget.
Date Received
Response Notes

Responsive to this request, in addition to the documents provided below, no minutes of meetings related to the selection of the vendors requested under #5 exist. Under the MPIA process, and as advised in the Fourteenth Edition of the Maryland Public Information Act Manual created by Maryland’s Office of the Attorney General, an agency is only obligated to produce existing records and is not required to answer questions that would create records to satisfy a PIA request. Additional time would be needed to review vendor proposals and correspondence.  

Responsive Documents
Survey data, collected by student representatives from the class of 2020, was shared with the Board of Education and HCPSS staff by the Student Member of the Board. Discussion of these results can be heard in the April 16, 2020, Board of Education video minutes during the student member’s board report: http://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=BNER57681B86.
Under MPIA GP § 4-330, we have redacted sociological information where it contains personal phone numbers or has the potential to pose a risk to individual safety or privacy.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

***Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.