HCPSS MPIA Request #2023-096

Lori Scott
Requested Information
1. I am requesting the total number of HCPSS schools that have handicapped accessible single point of entry front doors to the school. These doors are the ones accessed by pressing a button to be allowed into the school by the front office staff
2. I am requesting any records within HCPSS that indicates data collected about the number of calls to dispatch for police to come to a school, purpose, and disposition of the event.
3. I am requesting suspension data from 2019-present (1/22/2023) for all students pk,k,1st,2nd grade deaggregated by gen ed/special ed and deaggregated by schools.
Date Received
Response Notes

Responsive to this request, in addition to the records provided below, no data is collected regarding the total number of calls to dispatch for police to include the purpose and disposition of the event. Please note, under the MPIA process, and as advised in the Sixteenth 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 generate new data or summarize data. Briefing reports used by schools to inform administration and security staff of incidents will often note whether the matter required calls to police, however they would require review of each individual report to determine responsiveness and creation of new data to pull counts from such records. Additionally, dispositions of individual incidents and resulting actions would require access to and review of private student files, which are confidential under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which restricts access to student records, and MPIA GP § 4-313, which prevents disclosure of school district records pertaining to individual students.

For reference, while HCPSS has provided calls for service to the Howard County Police Department (HCPD) for HCPSS middle schools previously under MPIA 2021-187, those were in the possession of HCPSS for a review at the time, however, no such reports have been received by HCPSS Security for the current school year. These could be requested from HCPD as the custodian of such records if they have available. You can find information about submitting an MPIA request to HCPD at this site: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/PIA.

In regard to suspension data under number three above, our staff indicates no existing reports of suspensions include both grade and special education services combined by school. For reference, publicly available reports include several of these data points: https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DCAA/SSP/Student/20212022.aspx Specifically, under: https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DCAA/SSP/20212022Student/2022_Student_Suspension_Expulsion.pdf table 4 includes totals by grade for all suspensions and expulsions in Howard (with subsequent tables in this report including breakdown by in-school vs. out-of-school). Alternately, under: https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DCAA/SSP/20212022Student/2022_Student_Suspensions_BySchool_OutOfSchool.pdf and https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DCAA/SSP/20212022Student/2022_Student_Suspensions_BySchool_InSchool.pdf the Howard sections include totals by school with a breakdown for students with disabilities. These charts can also be found within reports for 2020-2021: https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DCAA/SSP/Student/20202021.aspx and 2019-2020: https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Pages/DCAA/SSP/Student/20192020.aspx.


Responsive Documents
Please find attached a listing of HCPSS schools with/without ADA Operators. Per clarification you were seeking to know which of the schools with ADA door operators are located at the central/main access door, staff indicates of the schools in the record provided that do have operators they are all at the main entrance with the exception of River Hill HS, ARL, and Glenwood Middle.
Please find attached a record reflecting suspensions as reported to MSDE mid-year for the current school year by grade, similar to the links provided above. Due to the small populations at the district level in grades K-2, reporting of data at the individual school level beyond what is published by MSDE would require suppression. HCPSS must protect against the potential disclosures of personally identifiable information about students as required by both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which restricts access to student records, and MPIA GP § 4-313, which prevents disclosure of school district records pertaining to individual students. In accordance, HCPSS follows the Maryland State Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics’ guidelines for protecting student privacy in public reporting and suppresses the following from responsive records: populations that fall below 10; percentages that are less than or equal to 5, or greater than or equal to 95; categories directly related to specific student records; and/or information that can reasonably identify an individual student or reveals information from an individual student’s record or could do so when combined with other publicly accessible data. HCPSS has made substantial efforts to ensure the accuracy of this information; however, data collection and reporting is consistently subject to change. Please be mindful when comparing data as many variances can occur between reports based on date pulled, parameters used, categories included, etc.

*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.