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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Keyword: education

gradution caps tossed in the airJulian Baker
Intern, Baltimore County Office of Communications

More than 7,000 seniors will graduate from high schools in Baltimore County this year. 7,000 kids, like me, have to decide what they want to do the summer after graduation. Those questions range from “What weekend do I go to the beach?” to “What college will I go to?” and everything in between. It’s a tough time, but a fun one as well.

It all comes to a head; homework, spring sports, clubs, college applications, concerts and competitions, relationships with classmates, summer jobs, proms and graduation parties. And then, like the air out of a balloon, it all just sort of…ends.

 That balloon metaphor works especially well when you consider how close adulthood actually is. Your time as a carefree high schooler feels like it’s escaping you, if it wasn’t for your last summer vacation.

Life begins to look a lot like a Kerouac novel. Long, lazy days at home, a book on the beach, road trips to nowhere (come September, those road trips will start to feel more like pilgrimages than excursions). At first, boredom isn’t a bad thing. It’s a welcome respite from years of stress. Getting into college is the number one thing on high schoolers’ minds for four years, possibly more. When the last day of school rolls around, it does feel like a relief. Four years of hard work has paid off, and you can enjoy some freedom before four more years of hard work at college.

For recent high-school graduates, thinking too much into the future leaves a little bit of sadness. It makes me feel that I’m not appreciating my time as a kid enough, that I’m letting some memories of summer as a high schooler slip away a little. But thinking too much about the present brings anxiety, too. Worrying about plans on a Friday night takes away from plans for college, and it makes me feel that I won’t be well enough prepared.

But I suppose the point of life is balancing those two things. In my opinion, life’s too short to not have fun. So I’ll work at Meadowood Park this summer, and I’ll spend money on fast food, and I’ll head down to the beach with friends. Because with four fun years behind me, and four more fun years ahead, it’s time to enjoy this time.

So if you’re one of those 7,000 high school graduates in Baltimore County this year, or your son or daughter is one, keep that in mind. Have fun, relax, spend a little money, and enjoy life.

photo of mother serving meal to kidsMichelle Darling, Dawn Pipesh and Susan Oberfeld; Foster Parent Program
Baltimore County Department of Social Services

National Foster Care Month is in May and as such, it’s a perfect time to thank the many, dedicated families who care for our county’s foster children. It’s also a great opportunity to let others know about our ongoing need for foster parents.

At any given time in Baltimore County, between 500 and 600 children are in foster care.  They range in age from infants to young adults up to age 21.

In addition to providing a safe and loving place to call home, foster families help a child’s healing process. With each foster child they take into their home, these families help end the cycle of abuse and neglect.  They can be instrumental in helping a child to be the first in his or her family to finish high school or even go to college.

Are you interested in changing a child’s life and empowering their future? Can you offer safety, stability and nurturing to one of our County’s most vulnerable children? If so, our social workers are eager to work with you. We provide training and ongoing support throughout the home study process as well as afterwards, when a child is accepted into your home. Financial and medical assistance are also provided.

To become a resource parent, you must:

·        Attend an information meeting

·        Complete a registration and authorization for clearance forms

·        Complete 30 hours of pre-service training

·        Obtain your first aid and CPR certifications

·        Complete the home study approval process

To be a resource parent, you need to:

·        Have patience, flexibility and a commitment to children

·        Be over age 21

·        Be able to meet your family’s financial obligations

·        Have room for a child

·        Be in good physical and mental health

·        Agree to have a background check, including criminal background

·        Agree not to smoke around the foster child, including both in your home and in the car

Free, monthly informational sessions are available. For more information on becoming a foster parent:

·        Call: 410-853-3170                

·        Email:     

·        Go to:

It could be the best thing you ever do – for yourself and for a child.

montage of imagesTeri Rising, Historic Preservation Planner
Department of Planning

While it is hard to believe today, educational opportunities for young women were not readily available during the mid-19th century in the United States.  In Baltimore County, we are fortunate to have several historic schools that were founded for the primary purpose of educating young women.  These institutions were made possible by the shared vision of women and religious organizations who provided the resources necessary for their establishment.  While their historic campuses feature a variety of 19th century architectural styles, together they tell a story of those who dedicated their lives to the mission of educating young women.  In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s learn about some of these historically significant schools. 

Just outside of historic Reisterstown is the former Hannah More Academy campus which was established in 1832.  Built on land donated by Mrs. Ann Neilson, the former girls’ Episcopal boarding and day school provided education to young women until it merged with Saint Timothy’s School in Greenspring Valley in 1974.  While the original school buildings were lost to fire in 1857, the school was rebuilt and today houses various nonprofit offices and recreational space.  Located on the campus is the Gothic Revival board and batten Saint Michael’s Chapel, a National Register property and Baltimore County Landmark. 

photo of Mount de SalesThe Mount de Sales Academy has been educating young women within the walls of its historic campus in Catonsville since 1852.  Organized by the Sisters of the Visitation, this was the first Catholic institution in Baltimore County to provide educational opportunities to young women of all religions and backgrounds.  The school is also significant as the oldest educational facility in the County still actively in use for its original purpose.  The 19th century collection of campus buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and the Baltimore County Landmarks List.

photo of Oldfields SchoolOldfields School is situated in the former village of Glencoe that grew with the arrival of the railroad in 1838.  Located near the Gunpowder River, Oldfields School was founded by Mrs. Anna Austen McCulloch in 1867.  The school began in her mid-19th century double tenant house, now a Baltimore County Landmark, and referred to on campus as the “Old House”. Unlike many early schools for young women, Oldfields was not affiliated with any particular denomination and was known for its progressive curriculum which featured subjects and activities not easily found in other institutions of the time. 

Further Reading-

To learn more about the history of women’s education along with these historic schools:

National Women’s History Museum – The History of Women and Education

Baltimore County’s National Register properties

Baltimore County’s Final Landmarks

Mount De Sales Academy

Oldfields School

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