Howard County Library System
 
HCLS Spelling Bee - Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the HCLS Spelling Bee?
As part of the A+ Partners in Education initiative, Howard County Library System (HCLS) presents and BB&T and the Friends of Howard County Library sponsor the eighth annual HCLS Spelling Bee.

The winner of the HCLS Spelling Bee will represent Howard County at the National Bee at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in the Washington, DC area.

The HCLS Spelling Bee is an oral bee organized under the rules of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.


What is the Scripps National Spelling Bee?
The Scripps Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational promotion, administered on a not-for-profit basis by the E.W. Scripps Company and over 275 local spelling bee sponsors in the United States, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe; also the Bahamas, Canada, China, Ghana, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. Their headquarters office in Cincinnati, Ohio coordinates the national finals, enrolls sponsors, and produces word lists and study materials.


When will the HCLS Spelling Bee take place?
The spelling bee will take place on March 7, 2014 at 7 pm at Reservoir High School and will be open to the public.


What is the prize for the winner of the HCLS Spelling Bee?

The winner and runner-up will receive scholarships. The schools or home school associations of the first and second place finalists will receive trophies. All contestants will receive a certificate.


Who is eligible to participate?
  • Howard County Public School System students
  • Students who attend a private school located in Howard County, Maryland
  • Home school students who reside or attend home school classes in Howard County and participate in a local bee with a minimum of fifteen contestants, conducted by a Howard County home school association.

Each school/association contest will determine the champion speller to be sent to the HCLS Spelling Bee. Participation by each school/association is voluntary. The following qualifications must be met:
  • Students must be at least in fourth grade and not have passed beyond the eighth grade on or before February 1, 2014; and
  • They must not have reached their 15th birthday on or before August 31, 2013.
 
Spellers must meet the other basic requirements, and those available on spellingbee.com.

Spellers must participate in school/association spelling bees, which must be conducted by January 27, 2014.

Participating schools must complete and submit School Participation Data and School/Association Winners forms (see Coordinator’s Handbook, p. 16-17) by January 27, 2014 to:

John Watson
Howard County Library System
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045

Fax 410.313.7742
Phone 410.313.7750
E-mail john.watson@hclibrary.org


I am a home schooler. How do I participate?
Students must reside in Howard County and participate in a local bee with a minimum of 15 contestants, conducted by a Howard County home school association. Individual families cannot host their own bees and send their winner to the HCLS Spelling Bee.


Where do you get the words for the HCLS Spelling Bee?
The words come from two sources: the Scripps official study booklet and the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and its Addenda Sections copyright 2002, Merriam–Webster.


What will happen during the HCLS Spelling Bee?
Spellers will be asked, one by one, to orally spell a word given to them from the judges. The judges will tell the speller if the word is spelled correctly. If the word is spelled correctly, the speller will proceed to the next round. If the word is spelled incorrectly, the speller will be eliminated from competition.

If one of the last two spellers misspells a word and the other speller, after correcting the error, misspells the new word, the misspelled new word shall be referred to the other speller. If this other speller succeeds in correcting the error and spells the next word on the list correctly, s/he shall be declared the champion. If both spellers misspell the same word, both shall continue in the competition. The one who first misspelled the word shall be given a new word to spell.


If spellers make a mistake while spelling a word, can they make a correction?
No. Spellers are allowed to begin spelling the word again PROVIDED THAT THEY DO NOT CHANGE ANY OF THE LETTERS THAT THEY ALREADY SAID.


How long does a speller have to spell a word?
The speller has a maximum of two minutes to hear the word, ask questions about the definition then spell the word. Spellers are allowed to start spelling then ask for the definition, use in a sentence, or country of origin. Once the information is given, the speller either continues spelling or starts spelling again PROVIDED THEY DO NOT CHANGE ANY OF THE LETTERS THEY ALREADY SAID.


Who makes the final decision if a word was spelled correctly or incorrectly?
The judges are in complete control of the competition. Their decisions shall be final on all questions.


What if the HCLS Spelling Bee winner cannot attend the National Bee?
If the champion of the HCLS Spelling Bee is unable to attend the National Bee, the first runner-up will compete.


Does the HCLS Spelling Bee winner have to pay to participate in the National Spelling Bee?
Courtesy of BB&T and the Friends of HCL, all expenses are paid! The champion and one parent or guardian will stay for Bee Week, May/June 2013 (exact date TBA), at the official spelling bee hotel, the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in the Washington, DC area. During Bee Week, the Howard County winner will participate in the National Spelling Bee as well as activities for the entire Spelling Bee time, even if they are eliminated from competition.


Can anyone go and watch the National Spelling Bee?
No. There simply are not enough seats for the general public to attend. Most of the seats are for the press—they comprise a majority of the audience. However, the winner will get a registration packet, which asks for names of family and friends who will attend.


Where can I find study materials?
Study materials are online at spellingbee.com/study-tips.


I want to participate. Whom do I contact?
Encourage your school to participate by calling the principal. Interested schools should contact:

Kelli Shimabukuro
Community Education & Partnerships Coordinator
Howard County Library System
6600 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045

Fax 410.313.7742
Phone 410.313.7750
E-mail kelli.shimabukuro@hclibrary.org

The deadline for registering in the HCLS Spelling Bee is September 30, 2013.


 
Spelling Bee