Board of Education

Board of Education
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
Phone 301.334.8931
Fax 301.334.7621

Minutes September 9, 1997

MINUTES

MEETING OF THE GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Oakland, Maryland 21550

Tuesday, September 9, 1997

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Part I - Call to Order

Mr. Dale M. Carpenter, president of the Garrett County Board of Education, called this meeting to order at approximately 3:08 p.m. Members in attendance included Mr. Patrick W. Riley, vice-president, and Mr. Rodney L. Durst and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members, and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.

Part II - Public Comment

At approximately 3:10 p.m. Mr. Carpenter asked for public comment. Mrs. Teresa Domenick addressed the Board regarding health education. She requested that the Board look into the availability of funds from new legislation that has passed, P.L. 104-193, wherein $2.5 million would be available over a five year period for programs in health education, specifically abstinence education. She pointed out the need for abstinence education in our schools and the social, psychological, and health gains to students who would benefit from such a program. Mr. Carpenter recognized her participation in the Teen Pregnancy Program.

Mrs. Domenick further commented that she felt there was a great need for more aggressive instruction in Garrett County’s gifted and talented program. She expressed her concern that an earlier and more intensive gifted and talented program is necessary. Dr. Brenda McCartney, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, PreK - 12, was asked to join the meeting for discussion regarding the gifted and talented program. Dr. McCartney noted that a $3,300 grant is available through the Governor’s office; however, the Request for Proposal for the new Governor’s Excellence in Education grant has not been received at her office at this time. Dr. McCartney further stated that she could not, at this time, say what Garrett County’s action would be until she reads the specifications of the grant.

Mr. Ken Gotsch was recognized by Mr. Carpenter. Mr. Gotsch stated he was a part of the state G&T Educators Committee and had knowledge of the grant. He said that the grant was a competitive grant designed to identify and serve gifted and talented school population K-12, provide staff development to all teachers, and encourage parent and community involvement. He offered to assist in the development of the grant proposal.

Mr. Riley asked that the first issue, health education funding, be revisited since Dr. McCartney and Mr. Albert Coviello, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction were now present. Mr. Coviello added that he had received no further information beyond the fact that federal legislation had passed wherein $535,7212 was appropriated to the state for this program.

Part III - Executive Session

Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board of Education unanimously agreed to move to executive session in accordance with Public School Law 4-106 and Section 10-508 of the State Government Title for the purpose of discussing personnel matters that affect one or more individuals, and a student appeal decision. Mr. Coviello and Miss Henrietta Lease, Director of Personnel, were also present during the executive session. Mr. Jim Raley, associate member, arrived at 4:03 p.m.

During the executive session the Board of Education reviewed personnel matters regarding retiree health insurance premiums and various staff and volunteer assistant appointments. In addition, topics concerning high school band and staff development were noted for information.

On a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Raley, the board agreed at 4:30 p.m. to return to public session.

Part IV - Return to Public Session

At this time Mr. Karlo Gesner joined the public session.

Miss Lease discussed the M.N.S. Conference to be held October 29-31, 1997, with regard to Board members and staff who may desire to attend. After some discussion, all agreed it would be beneficial for a limited number to attend. Mr. Durst will represent the Board along with Miss Lease, Mr. Doug Gaither, Principal of Friendsville Elementary School, Mr. Elmer Redinger, Assistant Principal of Northern Middle School will attend, as well as Dr. Teets, who will be there at that time for the State Superintendent’s meeting.

Mr. Coviello informed the Board of a Legal Services Association’s seminar scheduled for the October 21, 1997 A&S meeting. Board members are invited to attend.

At 4:50 p.m., the Board agreed to take a brief recess.

Part V - Re-opening of Public Session

At 5:10 p.m. Mr. Carpenter opened the session and invited Pastor Randy Nairn of the Mt. Top Ministerial Association to offer a prayer, after which Mr. Carpenter led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

Part V - Acceptance of Agenda

Dr. Teets noted that Mr. Tom Bulka would be unavailable to present information on the Virtual High School at Northern High. Items to be added to the agenda were Middle School Study Committee and ACE Committee appointments and discussion, and a request to review Administrative Policy 173.37, Food and Nutrition Services Advisory Committee. Mr. Rodney Durst asked that discussion regarding local bids concerns be added to the agenda, as well. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mr. Raley, the agenda was accepted as amended.

Part VI - Approval of Minutes of August 12 and 28, 1997

Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Riley the Board of Education approved the Minutes of August 12, 1997. Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Raley, the Minutes of August 28, 1997 were approved with the amendments of an editorial change in Part III, listing Mr. Refosco as joining in the discussion in Part V, and in Part VIII, correcting the date of the Advisory Committee on Education meeting to read September 25, 1997.

Part VII - Presentation of Plaque for Student Board Member

Mr. David Mayfield, teacher at the Southern Garrett High School and advisor to the Garrett County Association of Student Councils, presented an engraved plaque dedicated to student Board members past, present, and future. Mr. Mayfield presented the plaque to Karlo Gesner, current student Board member, and praised the Board of Education for creating a student member position and for purchasing the plaque to recognize these students.

Part VIII - Bids for Fuel Oil and Coal

Mr. Michael Sines, Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations, reviewed the solicitation of bids for fuel oil and coal. Dr. Teets recommended that the fuel oil bid be awarded to Bruceton Petroleum, which presented the lowest bid. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board moved to accept their bid.

Mr. Sines explained the need for a uniform size and quality of coal and that the coal is mixed with wood pellets for emissions purposes. He noted that only one bid proposal was received for coal for Dennett Road Elementary School. Dr. Teets recommended that the bid, which included delivery of the coal to Dennett Road Elementary School, be awarded to Anker Energy Corporation. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board unanimously accepted Dr. Teets’ recommendation.

Part IX - Resolution to Transfer the Loch Lynn and Red House Elementary Schools

Mr. Sines presented the need to transfer ownership of the Loch Lynn and Red House Elementary Schools to the local government after the buildings are vacated. He explained that, upon a recommendation from the Board of Education, necessary paperwork must be processed through the Interagency Committee on Public School Construction in order to return the buildings to local government. Mr. Sines stated it would be expeditious to transfer ownership of the buildings as soon as they are vacated so that they do not become a maintenance concern. Much discussion ensued regarding the possible use the buildings. In response to an inquiry by Mr. Riley about the condition of Loch Lynn Elementary School, Mr. Sines stated that concerns were the need for roof repair, the cost of asbestos removal, the age of the boiler system, and insufficient space for warehousing. Mr. Riley also inquired about the feasibility of razing the facility and having the property available to the Board of Education.

Mr. Sines noted that the option to transfer Swan Meadow students to the Red House building was considered, but the Swan Meadow community did not favor the proposal. Mr. Riley asked that Mr. Sines research the deed to find any clause which may pertain to the previous owner’s wishes in regard to the disposal of the property when it is no longer of use to the Board of Education. Mr. Sines will do so and refer the matter to the Board attorney, if necessary.

Mr. Sines reiterated that several options were explored in order to ascertain what use the buildings may be to the system, but that the Red House Elementary School had no identifiable use to the Board of Education, and that Loch Lynn Elementary School would be a liability.

Dr. Teets recommended that the Board move ahead with the transfer. Mr. Raley moved to accept the recommendation to surrender the Red House and Loch Lynn Elementary School buildings to the local government at the conclusion of their use to the Board of Education. Mr. Riley seconded the motion with the addition of investigating the title of Red House School site. The Board of Education moved to accept the recommendation with a vote of 3-0, with Mrs. Sebold abstaining.

Part X - Field Trip Request

Mr. Charles Harkins, Spanish teacher, and Mrs. Diana Marks, biology teacher at the Southern High School, appeared to request approval of a field trip to Costa Rica for six to twelve students. They explained that the trip was planned to incorporate the concept of blended instruction, with the students having firsthand experience using biology and Spanish skills. Costa Rica was chosen because of the ecosystem (tropical rainforest), climate and stable government. Mr. Harkins and Mrs. Marks explained that making the trip in November would have the students out of school only two and one-half days. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mr. Raley, the Board unanimously approved the field trip.

Part XI - Science Program of Studies, 6-8 and Textbook Adoption

Dr. Brenda McCartney presented for approval the Science Program of Studies, 6-8, and the Holt Science Plus textbook. She introduced several teachers in attendance who had taken part in the development of the program of studies. Dr. McCartney explained that the program of studies, which had been taken to the ACE Committee and had been available for public review, had received very little community response and no further input from the ACE Committee. Discussion followed and some editorial changes were made for the final product. Dr. McCartney noted that Mr. Riley had met with her and shared some points of clarification, the result of which will be a Scientific Method outline as an attachment to the program of studies. Mr. Riley thanked Dr. McCartney for hearing his comments and reviewing them with teachers.

Dr. McCartney then explained that the Holt Science Plus textbook was chosen as the textbook resource for the Science Program of Studies, 6-8. Mr. Riley noted that he reviewed the textbook and hoped that where teachers felt there were "unproven hypotheses" they would seek out supplemental materials. Dr. Teets and Mr. Riley expressed appreciation for the efforts of all involved and for the hard work in the classrooms, as well. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education unanimously adopted the Science Program of Studies, 6-8, and the Holt Science Plus textbook.

Mr. Gesner left the meeting at 6:25 p.m.

Part XII - Math Program of Studies, 6-8

Next, Dr. McCartney presented the Math Program of Studies, 6-8, which had been on public display for a year. She noted that the search for an accompanying textbook had begun this summer. Mr. Durst stated he was pleased with the challenge presented in middle school level math. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board approved the Math Program of Studies, 6-8, with the addition of a statement on page one recognizing that the outcomes are from the Maryland School Performance Program.

Part XIII - CTBS/5 Results

Dr. Patricia Mullinix, Coordinator of Research, Evaluation, and Information offered handouts showing the county-wide results of the CTBS/5 testing in March, 1997 for grades 2, 4, 6 and 11. She explained that schools will receive individual school reports and individual student profiles. Dr. Mullinix revealed that the testing, which includes multiple choice and narrative responses, proved outstanding results overall, with the eleventh grade reaching the ceiling on grade level equivalent scores. Mr. Coviello explained that special education students who received special testing accommodations were reported separately and that special education accommodations cannot override testing requirements.

Part XIV - Public Comment

Mr. Joe Heatherman, Garrett County Federation of Teachers representative, and Randy Paugh, counselor at Southern Middle School, spoke to the Board of their concern that there would be a three week interval between pay periods in December/January. Mr. Heatherman noted that when he inquired of finance why this should occur, the response was that it was necessary to rectify "payroll creep" which occurs every four years or so in an annual twenty-six payroll schedule. Mr. Heatherman noted that the Negotiated Agreement allows for payroll to be distributed every two weeks and that this was a violation of that contract. Mr. Carpenter remembered that the concept of "payroll creep" was brought to the Board of Education and discussed when the twenty-six payroll schedule was begun, and assured Mr. Heatherman that he would receive a written explanation.

Mr. Heatherman also commended Miss Henrietta Lease, Director of Personnel, for her swift interaction during her investigation of an incident involving interruptions in the classroom by a representative of the education association.

At 6:55 p.m. the Board agreed to take a short break.

Part XIV - Personnel Matters

Upon a recommendation by Dr. Teets, Mr. Riley moved and Mrs. Sebold seconded that the following personnel action be approved:

Emergency Coach: Jason Shank, Assistant Basketball Coach, Southern High, effective 11/15/97

Jason Shank, Assistant Volleyball Coach, Southern High effective 9/3/97

Jay Stewart, Athletic Training Assistant, Southern High, effective 8/15/97

Volunteer Assistant: Diane DeWitt, Volleyball, Northern High, effective 8/25/97 - 9/30/97

Mel Mencker, Soccer, Southern High, effective 8/19/97 - 11/15/97

Appointment: Loretta Rodeheaver, .5 Nursing Assistant, Northern Middle, effective 9/15/97

Dr. Teets then addressed the matter of Student Appeal 4-97. Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Riley, The Board of Education accepted the appeal as read.

Part XV - Board Concerns

At the request of Mr. Donald Knode, Assistant in Foods, Dr. Teets asked for clarification concerning the composition of the Nutrition Advisory Committee as to whether the Administrative Policy 173.37 phrase "is to include: . . . one registered dietitian" means that only one dietitian could serve on the committee. Following discussion, Mr. Durst suggested that the policy be amended to read ". . . one or two registered dietitians. "

Next, the Board discussed the need to update the membership list of the Advisory Committee on Education Committee. Mr. Raley raised a concern about keeping a geographic balance not only from northern and southern areas of the county, but eastern and western as well. In addition to enlisting a student from each high school, Mrs. Sebold stated that Teresa Domenick had indicated an interest to serve on this committee. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board agreed to appoint Mrs. Domenick to the committee.

Dr. Teets informed the Board that he, Mrs. Maxine Miller, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, 9-12, Mrs. Lynn Bell, Principal of Southern High School, and parents representing each high school School Improvement Team would be attending the High School Improvement Conference at Johns Hopkins University on September 22, 1997. He invited any Board members who may be interested in attending to accompany the group.

The Board was invited to visit the house building project which is being constructed by Southern High School students in conjunction with Community Action. Mrs. Jo Ann Vent also noted that Board members are invited to accompany her to a site visit on Tuesday, October 14, 1997, at 2:00 p.m., prior to the Board Meeting.

Mr. Raley then opened the discussion regarding the Middle School Study Committee by giving a brief historical background wherein he explained that the Board formulated a committee open to the public so that parents would not feel excluded from the decision making process. The Board then addressed the charge of the committee which is to determine how best to utilize the available time left after mandated program time. Membership of the committee will consist of individuals recommended by the Board of Education who earlier volunteered to serve (5); parent/community members recommended by School Improvement Teams, one each from Northern Middle and Southern Middle Schools (2); representative from the ACE committee (1); representative from the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce (1); teachers recommended from the respective middle school faculties, one each from a related artsarea and an academic content area (4); principals of both middle schools (2); and ex-officio members: Mr. Raley representing the Board of Education, Mr. Coviello and Dr. McCartney. The first meeting of the committee will be on October 6, 1997, at 7:00 p.m. at the Garrett Community College.

Next, Mr. Durst stated that he had been contacted regarding the bid process and award of the bid for computers at the Northern Middle School. Mr. Durst invited Mr. Doug Sisler to speak of his concern that the bid was not awarded locally and the unfairness to the local economy that there is no local preference given during the awarding of bids. Mr. Sisler cited the inability of small businesses to compete with the buying power of larger companies. He also stated that he had contacted county representatives, Roscoe’s Bartlett’s office, and the Governor’s office, and had been informed that there was a local preference clause that should have applied to the bid process. Dr. Teets explained that both the Maryland Code and federal regulation did not permit a local bid preference. Dr. Teets further responded that he also had spoken with Monty Pagenhardt and Jim Murray and that each of them had indicated there was no "no local preference." Dr. Teets further explained that when federal grant funds are involved there is language stating that bids "shall be" solicited and that the lowest bid will be accepted. After additional comments by Mr. Sisler which included allegation as to the integrity of the bidding process, Mr. Carpenter stated that the issue at hand is clarification of the law. Mr. Durst suggested that the Board attorney research the law regarding local preference in the awarding of bids, including regulations specific to state or federal grant restrictions. Mr. Raley suggested that perhaps district and state representatives also should be contacted in an effort to assure that correct information was given.

Additional brief discussion centered on the October Board agenda and Dr. Teets asked that agenda items or concerns be directed to him a week in advance, if at all possible.

Part XVI - Adjournment

The Board of Education agreed to adjourn at 9:08 p.m.

 

________________________________________ _______________________________________
Dale M. Carpenter Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
  Approved: October 14, 1997