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Harwood in the news   (See ARchives Also)


Southern High earns Blue Ribbon award


Published December 18, 2008 in The Capital

Southern High was named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School by the state today, bringing to 13 the number of county schools that have won the award since 1995.

"This is truly a team effort, and we're blessed to have the support of teachers and parents and the community," said Principal Maryalice Todd. "At Southern we're a family and we work together."

The Maryland State Department of Education chooses six blue ribbon schools each year for having exceptional performance on standardized tests or for showing dramatic improvement while serving economically disadvantaged students.

The schools' names are sent on to the U.S. Department of Education to compete in the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

The last public school in Anne Arundel to win the award was Broadneck Elementary School, which went on to win the national award earlier this year.

Southern has been working hard to increase the opportunities it provides to students, Ms. Todd said. For example, 22 percent more students took the SAT last year than the previous year, and more students who take Advanced Placement courses have been taking the corresponding exams.

Southern also has made progress on state standardized tests, which are now a graduation requirement. As of the end of last year, 98 percent of the class of 2009 had met the requirement. The school also has had some high pass rates on the tests, including a 95 percent pass rate in biology and English and a 97 percent pass rate in algebra and government last year, according to a news release from the school system.

Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell, superintendent of county schools, said Southern also has been successful in getting support from the community. For example, using about $16,000 in donations from area businesses, Southern's Business Advisory Board is planning to open a Career and College Center in the spring.

Dr. Maxwell also said the schools that feed into Southern High have been working well together, which in the end will benefit them all.

"I think this is just the beginning of what I think is going to be a great, great time for Southern High School," Dr. Maxwell said. "They're really on the rise."

Maryland chooses six schools for the award each year. The other five schools named this morning were:

Western High in Baltimore City.

Seventh District Elementary in Baltimore County.

Hammond Middle in Howard County.

Highland Elementary in Montgomery County.

Stephen Decatur Middle in Worcester County.


Very protective zoning’ boosts Harwood’s appeal

  Friday, November 14, 2008

From: Baltimore Business Journal - by Elizabeth Heubeck, Contributor

Home buyers seeking solace from the bustle of the city or suburbs will find a rural oasis in Anne Arundel County’s Harwood community, but most slices of this pastoral paradise don’t come cheap.

Currently, the median home value in Harwood stands at $608,043. A search on revealed several homes for sale in the six figures, topped by a 1756 Georgian estate on 93 acres for $4.5 million. At the other end of the spectrum, a double-wide mobile home is listed for $55,000. Farm property still dominates Harwood’s landscape. Most are tobacco-turned-horse farms; old tobacco barns remain the most common landmark in Harwood today. Local real estate agent Bill Whitman credits “very protective zoning regulations” with the abundance of open space and farmland in 20776. Harwood’s valuable land has safeguarded the community’s housing stock from being hit hard by the housing downturn, local real estate agents say. That could explain why, in a single year, Harwood leapt from No. 26 to No. 17 on the Baltimore area’s wealthiest ZIP code List compiled by the Baltimore Business Journal.

Housing, however, has not been immune to the bust. “Prices here have gone down 15 to 20 percent from their peak in mid-2005,” Whitman said.

Reduced prices may lure buyers looking for quiet living, as there’s not a shred of commercial development in Harwood. But residents don’t have to travel far to find it. Annapolis is a 10-minute drive away, and Baltimore and Washington, D.C., can be reached in approximately 30 minutes.