Welcome to the SCH of Howard County!

Click on the envelope below to register for the 2014 Simulated Congressional Hearings!

Click here-->  2014 SCH Dates0.pdf  for a full list of school dates

We are proud to announce that all forty-one HCPSS elementary schools will hold Simulated Congressional Hearings this May and June.  Thus, we are once again seeking government officials, school system personnel, community members and others who exemplify real-world applications of social studies instruction. This is a great opportunity for you to be involved in an inspiring and uplifting event that showcases what our students have learned.  It would be an honor to have you participate.


This event is a performance assessment that culminates our fifth-graders' year of social studies instruction. Your role will be to listen to students, ask questions, and provide feedback.  You do NOT need to be a constitutional scholar to be a great judge.  It will be the students' job to teach you.  We will provide all the training you need on the morning of the event. The civic participation of community members is critical to the success of the program.

Each Simulated Congressional Hearing is a full-day event scheduled from approximately 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m (schedules vary by school).  For information about all elementary schools, including school profiles, addresses, and more, visit this page.


Typical Daily Schedule for the Simulated Congressional Hearings

Training/Orientation: When you arrive at the school, you will be provided a training session.

Opening Ceremony: This is typically an hour long ceremony to kick off the day that includes performances from other grades, chorus, band, and/or orchestra.

Simulated Congressional Hearings: In groups of 3, judges will rotate to the different classrooms to listen to students' speeches and ask them follow-up questions.

Lunch: Lunch is provided by the school if the event is a full-day event.

Roundtable discussions: An informal gathering where students can ask judges questions.

Closing Ceremony: This is a celebration of the student's accomplishments that will include a special slideshow recapping the day.judge12.jpg
Click on the clipboard below to tell us what you thought about the 2013 Simulated Congressional Hearings!


Judge Training Video and Materials to Preview

We have now put the Simulated Congressional Hearing Judge Training Video online at the following website so that you can view it prior to serving as a judge: http://hcpsstv.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2 

If the video does not automatically load, select the video on the right hand side under the 2011 Professional Development menu titled, "Simulated Cong Hearing Judges Training."  It is shown as the 4th choice in the image below.
Screen shot 2012-01-03 at 11.09.11 AM.png

For those that have trouble accessing the video, we will also play the video 15 minutes prior to the "official start" of the judge training at the school.  This way, you can decide whether to watch the video ahead of time or to just arrive early for the training to watch the video with us.  


We The People Textbook

To acess an electronic copy of the We The People textbook that the students use to prepare for the hearings, visit the following site: http://ebooks.civiced.org/?page_id=71

Login: wtpjudge
Password: Y54i98t

Additional Resources

Unit and Follow-up Questions: Unit  Questions are the questions students use to write their prepared testimony.  The Follow-ups are some of the questions that judges may ask during the follow-up question period.

Unit and Follow Up Questions0.pdf

Feedback Form: Judges use this as a guideline for providing feedback to each group.

2013 judge feedback.pdf


If you have questions, please contact us:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for SCH Judges

What should I include on my nametag?
Your nametag should include your name and your current title, company, or responsibility. We will use this information to introduce you to the students during the opening ceremony. Examples of titles may include:
  • Lt. Denise Daily, Howard County Fire Department
  • Ms. Ann McLeary, Legislative Aide for Delegate Smith
  • Mr. Lloyd Johnson, Citizen
What if I can't attend at the last minute?
If circumstances arise at the last minute and you cannot make your scheduled hearing, please email sch@hcpss.org or call 410-313-5693 to let us know.

What if I have special dietary restrictions?
Judges are encouraged to eat breakfast on the day of their scheduled hearing. Due to budgetary cuts, we can no longer provide breakfast. If your SCH is a full-day event, the school will provide lunch for you. If you have special dietary restrictions, please let us know at sch@hcpss.org

What should I wear to the Simulated Congressional Hearing?
Most judges wear professional attire to the hearings. Some judges wear their uniforms such as members of the armed forces or  police department.  As a reminder, campaigning on school property is not allowed (see HCPSS Circular No. 59), therefore please do not wear clothing that suggests you are a candidate running for office or clothing that supports another candidate. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

What should I expect from the roundtable discussion?
The roundtable discussion may be conducted in two formats:
  • A small group of students will engage with the judges in informal discussions.
  • The judges will travel to the students' classrooms. In this format, all of the students will have the opportunity to ask the judges questions.
Individual schools decide how their roundtable will run. The SCH facilitator will make sure to prepare you for the roundtable format on the day of your hearing.

Do I have to attend the closing ceremony?
Judges are strongly encouraged to attend the closing ceremony. The closing ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the students.  We understand, though, if you have other responsibilities that require you to miss the closing ceremony.

Where can I provide feedback?
We truly value your feedback. There will be a feedback form in the folder you receive on the day of your hearing. You're welcome to complete the form and give it to the representative from the Social Studies Office. You can also complete the online version of the feedback form using the link at the top of this page.

Do I need to be an expert on the Constitution to judge?
You do not need to be a constitutional expert to be a judge. The judge training video in addition to the training you will receive on the day of the event will give you the information you need to be an effective judge. It is the studentsí responsibility to teach you about their Constitutional knowledge.

How can I get more involved with this program?
In addition to judges, schools also need coaches to help prepare students for their Simulated Congressional Hearings. If you are interested in this opportunity, please send us an email sch@hcpss.org. We will provide you will all of the training/resources you need.

Consider telling people about how effective this program is in helping our students become responsible and informed citizens. Your support as well as the support of the community is important to keep this program running.

2014 SCH Facilitators
                          Kim (Loisel) Eggborn
Kim is the Coordinator for Elementary Social Studies in HCPSS. She has been a passionate supporter of the SCH over the past 10 years and has presented both nationally and internationally about the benefits of this program.  One of her favorite things about the SCH is the relationships which are fostered as a result of this program between the students and their peers, parents, community, and government.  
Brittany Chairs
Brittany is the Resource Teacher for Elementary Social Studies in HCPSS She has been involved with the Simulated Congressional Hearings (SCH) for 7 years. Her favorite part about the SCH is watching the students celebrate at the Closing Ceremony after all of their hard work.
Corinne Gorzo
Corinne is the Teacher Development Coordinator in the Office of Professional and Organizational Development and has been involved with the SCH program for several years. Her favorite part of the SCH program is the pride and sense of accomplishment shared by the students, their teachers and families.
John Krownapple
John currently serves as the Professional Development Coordinator for Cultural Proficiency in the Howard County Public School System. Prior to this position, he has served the staff, students, and community of Howard County as a professional development facilitator, social studies resource teacher, and classroom teacher. He has been involved with the HCPSS Simulated Congressional Hearings since the very first one in 2002, and he loves engaging wih the students, families and teachers throughout the entire SCH process.
Denise Eakes
Deniseis a 5th grade teacher currently on leave from the county. She has beeninvolved with the Simulated Congressional Hearings (SCH) for 7 years. Her favoritepart of SCH is preparing her students for the Hearings.
Allison Lindahl
Allison is a 5th grade teacher at Dayton Oaks Elementary School. She has been involved with the Simulated Congressional Hearings (SCH) for 4 years. Her favorite part about the SCH is having the students learn about how the government is working in our daily lives.
Michelle Ranker
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Michelle is a 5th grade teacher at Hammond Elementary School. She has been involved with the Simulated Congressional Hearings for five years. Her favorite part of the SCH is supporting staff, students, families and community members in the process.
Rebecca Otte
Rebecca teaches 5th grade at Fulton Elementary.  This is her 11th year of involvement with the Simulated Congressional Hearings.  Her favorite thing about SCH is knowing that the program encourages students to learn about their government so that they can become informed citizens.
Angie Haube
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Angie Haube is a 5th grade teacher at Clemens Crossing Elementary.  She has been involved with the SCH program for 6 years and enjoys watching her students blossom before her as they participate in this meaningful performance assessment activity in social studies. 
Catherine Koch
Catherine is a 5th grade teacher at Laurel Woods Elementary School.

Kristen Lutjen
Kristen is a 5th grade teacher at Hollifield Station Elementary School.
Nick Serkes
Nick is a 5th grade teacher at Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School.