Board of Education

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

Minutes October 14, 1997




Oakland, Maryland 21550

Tuesday, October 14, 1997



Part I - Call to Order

Mr. Dale M. Carpenter, president of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at approximately 3:04 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

Mr. Terry Weaver offered comment in support of the expansion and enhancement of the school enrichment program, and expressed his wish that the program be expanded into earlier grades. Mr. Weaver also expressed concern that many parents are hesitant to come forward to express their views to the Board because they fear reprisals at the school level toward their children. Mr. Durst indicated he understands the perception may exist, but feels it is not grounded in fact. Mr. Riley then gave Mr. Weaver a copy of a memo, dated October 6, 1997, from Dr. Brenda McCartney, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, PreK - 8, in which her intent to submit an application for the Gifted and Talented Excellence in Education Incentive Grant is stated.

Part III - Executive Session

Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, 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 to meet with the Board’s attorney. Mr. Albert Coviello, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Mr. Robert Watson, Board attorney, were present during the executive session. During the session an appeal hearing was held. Mr. James Raley entered the meeting during the hearing.

Part IV - Return to Public Session

Mr. Karlo Gesner, student member of the Board of Education, joined the meeting at this time. At 5:25 p.m., Mr. Carpenter reopened the public session by asking Pastor Randy Nairn to offer a prayer, after which Mr. Carpenter led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

Part V - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the agenda was unanimously accepted with the addition of discussion of high school assessment under Board Concerns, and the moving of personnel matters to the end of the agenda following the reconvening of the executive session.

Mrs. Sebold noted that the Advisory Committee on Education will meet on October 28, 1997 and that the Middle School Study Committee will meet on October 22, 1997.

Part VI - Acceptance of Minutes of September 9, 1997

Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Minutes of September 9, 1997 were unanimously accepted with the addition of further explanation regarding the executive session on page 2897, and clarification that Dr. Teets was speaking on Mr. Knode’s behalf on page 2902.

Part VII - Administrative Concerns

Mr. James Murray, representing the firm of Rodeheaver & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, presented the Board of Education of Garrett County Financial Report ending June 30, 1997, noting that this was an unqualified report. Mr. Murray reviewed the several components of the audit, including the Combined Balance Sheet for All Fund Types and Account Groups; the Combined Statement of Revenue, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balance - All Government Fund Types; the Statements of Revenue Expenditures, and Changes in Fund Balance - Budget and Actual for the Current Expense Fund - Unrestricted; Current Expense Fund - Restricted; Food Service Fund; and School Construction Fund. In general, Mr. Murray noted that the rate stabilization fund did not realize savings for FY97, that there was marked improvement in the Food and Nutrition Services program, that interest earnings were up, and that no material weaknesses in internal structures were found. Discussion ensued wherein Dr. Teets expressed his concern regarding the necessity of budgeting a carryover each fiscal year in order to balance the next year’s budget.

Next, a discussion followed regarding the budget format and the fact that Dr. Teets and his staff are actively looking at budget software packages to update or replace the current system. Mrs. Sebold noted that the Board wants to see the budget book contain a column that reflects the projected actual expenditures. Dr. Teets briefed the Board on the attorney’s findings regarding legal opinion on local bid preference, noting that Mr. Watson found no basis for local preference being given and that the Board is granted no authority to accept any bid other than the low bid on the basis of local preference.

Mr. Michael Sines, Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations, noted that six bid proposals were received for a new pick-up truck. Mr. Sines noted that in deference to local bidders, the proposal specified delivered price to Oakland. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board voted to accept the lowest bid in the amount of $17,614 from Criswell Chevrolet in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Next, Mr. Sines explained that he and his staff had researched the architect’s proposed design project for the Southern High School Connecting Corridor and concluded that the project may have been over designed resulting in bid proposals exceeding the available funds. Mr. Sines further explained that he felt the project could be modified and completed for approximately $180,000 using in-house staff in combination with some subcontracting for masonry projects. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board unanimously voted to reject all bids and authorize Mr. Sines and his staff to proceed to order materials and solicit bids as necessary to complete the Southern High School Corridor.

Dr. Teets requested authorization to obtain a plaque for Yough Glades Elementary School which would be comparable to those located at other schools. Discussion followed as to what names would be appropriately placed on the plaque. Mr. Riley moved, and Mr. Raley seconded, that the National Motto be inscribed on the plaque. After discussion relative to historical usage of the Motto, the Board unanimously voted to include the inscription, "In God we trust," on the Yough Glades plaque.

Next, Mr. Coviello explained the bid process regarding the purchasing of furniture and equipment for Yough Glades Elementary School. He distributed to the Board a prioritized list of items which noted the lowest bid that meets specifications. He further explained that a few items would need to be purchased separately. In addition, Mr. Coviello explained that in one instance, a vendor offered a bid for Item #28 in error and asked for feedback as to whether to hold that vendor to his quote. After much discussion, Mr. Riley moved to accept, and Mrs. Sebold seconded, Dr. Teets’ recommendation to accept bids as described by Mr. Coviello as bid package #1 in the amount of $110,201.45, holding the vendor to the price quoted on Item #28. Continued discussion focused on whether or not the vendor of the bid on Item #28 can legally withdraw his bid, with Mr. Durst stating that he felt the vendor should be allowed to submit a corrected, adjusted bid due to error. Consequently, a friendly amendment was added to the motion that if the vendor can legally withdraw, the bid would go to the next lowest quoted bid or be accepted at vendor’s cost for Item #28. The vote was 3-1, with Mr. Durst dissenting.

Part VIII - Public Comment

At this time public comment was solicited. Mr. Ken Gotsch requested an update on the gifted and talented grant proposal. Mrs. Kathy Skipper added that she, too, was in attendance in support of the program. Dr. Brenda McCartney shared a memo regarding the status of the grant application and told Mr. Gotsch and Mrs. Skipper that each of them would be contacted to attend a meeting along with some staff members and other interested community members to assist in developing the grant proposal which is due to the Maryland State Department of Education by November 18, 1997.

Mr. Riley mentioned that he, Mrs. Sebold, Mr. Durst, Mr. Raley and Dr. Teets attended the Maryland School Board convention where Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus gave a speech in which he was insistent that we "have as much excitement about academics as we do about athletics." In this regard, Mr. Riley stated that he was pleased to see people come to speak with the Board about their interest in academics.

At this time, the Board agreed to take a short break.

Part IX - Instructional Concerns

At 7:35 p.m., Mr. Coviello introduced Mr. Tom Bulka, computer science teacher at Northern Garrett High School. Mr. Bulka presented visual information on a variety of applications of the Virtual High School program. He noted that Northern High School was one of six charter schools chosen for the initial creation of the statewide Virtual High School program in which the school was provided equipment, software and funding to network with other schools. The three year funding program was provided by the National Science Foundation to place emphasis on computational science. Mr. Bulka showed examples of the individually created web pages and collaborative computer projects in which his students are involved. At the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Bulka requested approval to attend the National Supercomputing Conference in San Jose, California, where he has been asked to be a presenter. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board unanimously approved the trip.

Next, Mr. Chuck Trautwein, computer resource teacher at the Board of Education, presented the results of the bid proposals received for computers for Southern High School. He noted that the bid notice appeared twice in The Republican newspaper, otherwise there was no solicitation outside the local area. At Dr. Teets’ recommendation, Mrs. Sebold moved, and Mr. Riley seconded, that the lowest bid be accepted. The Board unanimously voted to accept the bid quotation from VITALink Computers and Supplies, Markleysburg, Pennsylvania, in the amount of $19,962 for 18 systems.

Next, Mr. Coviello introduced Ms. Vicky Olson, representing the the Family Education Network. Ms. Olson explained that her organization provides computer linking services and materials at no cost to the schools. This information is aimed at parents who wish to focus on educational issues or school programs and activities through a community web link which would be accessible through each school’s web page. During discussion, Ms. Olson noted that eleven of twenty-four counties in Maryland have already taken advantage of the offer. In response to inquiries relative to the funding sources of Family Education Network’s program, Ms. Olson explained that sponsors were sought on a nationwide basis, following rather conservative fundraising standards. After considering the benefits of linking to the Network versus the potential problems regarding advertising by sponsors, the Board agreed to postpone taking action regarding the Family Education Network’s offer until the November meeting. In the meantime, Ms. Olson left a video for the Board to review.

Then Mr. Coviello requested approved professional leave for Mr. Jack Rickman, Prncipal, and Mr. Mark Ravenscroft, computer teacher at Southern Middle School, to attend an Internet Academy in Virginia Beach. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board unanimously voted to approve the trip.

Next, Mrs. Jean Wilt, Spanish teacher at Northern High School, requested approval for a field trip to accompany four or more advanced placement Spanish students to Mexico on or about June 8, 1998, following graduation. Mr. Durst moved, seconded by Mr. Raley, to accept Dr. Teets’ recommendation that the trip be approved. The vote was unanimous for approval.

Mr. Lowell Leitzel, French teacher at Southern High School, requested approval of a field trip to Vannes, France on or about June 15, 1998. Mr. Leitzel explained that this is an exchange program with French students wherein students travel every other year. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board unanimously voted to allow the trip.

At 9:05 p.m., Mr. Steve Kisner, agriculture teacher, explained that his Soutehrn High School FFA students won a State Championship in Parliamentary Procedures and, therefore, are State representatives at the National Competition in Kansas City, Missouri, in November. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board unanimously approved the field trip and wished them well.

Mr. Bill Robinson presented his request of the Board to approve a Northern High band field trip to Toronto, Canada sometime in April or May, 1998. Mr. Robinson explained this would be a performance trip and that attendance at the Adjudication Festival would mean a maximum of two school days missed for the students. He further noted that the National Honor Society may want to make this trip, which would help to reduce the per student travel costs. Mr. Durst moved and Mr. Raley seconded Dr. Teets’ recommendation to approve the field trip. The Board unanimously voted to allow the trip.

Following the requests for field trips, Mrs. Maxine Miller, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, 9-12, presented the High School Math Program of Studies for final approval. She explained that the document had been on display for public comment, was taken to the Advisory Committee on Education for review, had been updated with the few changes from last Board meeting, and has been a working draft for a year except for the Core Learning Goals. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board voted unanimously to accept the High School Math Program of Studies. Additionally, Mr. Riley requested that the Superintendent check as to whether or not approval is necessary for programs of studies in working draft form.

Next, Dr. McCartney introduced Dr. Rex Archer and Mrs. Kendra Todd of the Health Department who were in attendance for the presentation of the Health Advisory Committee report. Dr. McCartney discussed each part of the package which the Board received. After noting that World AIDS Day is December 6, 1997, she asked that action be taken by the Board as to whether students could participate in the poster quilt activity in conjunction with the fourth grade AIDS lesson. The quilt square would focus on the sentence "I am hopeful I will remain healthy because ...". Dr. McCartney further explained that a similar lesson at the middle school level would be developed using the same slogan on a tee shirt. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board voted 3-1 to allow participation, with Mr. Riley casting the opposing vote.

Dr. McCartney introduced two brochures, Teens Talk Drugs and Teens Talk Sex, which will be on display for public review for a month. She explained that, if approved for use at the November Board meeting, these brochures would be used in teacher directed instruction.

Also at the next Board meeting, approval will be sought for the recently revised fourth and fifth grade developmental lessons for girls and boys. Dr. McCartney also noted that the parent letter/permission form was changed slightly to be more "parent friendly."

Lastly, discussion centered on seeking support for the Garrett County Health Department’s submission of an abstinence education program grant, proposed as part of the after school program for middle school students. The Health Advisory Committee recommends to the Board of Education that the Abstinence Education Program receive support in order to offer Southern Middle and Northern Middle School seventh and eighth grade students who particpate in the Health Department sponsored after school program an abstinence education component. Dr. McCartney pointed out modifications and deletions to the curricula, "Removing the Risk" and "Sex Can Wait", which were suggested by the Advisory Committee. The Committee requests a letter of support from the Board to be submitted along with the grant proposal. Mr. Carpenter said he felt encouraged by the program and that, since the Board will meet again on October 16, 1997, action will be taken at that time. In the meantime, a letter of support will be drafted for signatures if approved at that time. Mrs. Sebold shared a letter she received from Mrs. Teresa Domenick in support of using this program in an after school setting. Mr. Riley thanked Dr. Archer for actively pursuing this grant opportunity.

Part X - Board Concerns

Upon a recommendation by Dr. Teets, Mrs. Sebold moved to accept Monty Pagenhardt’s letter of resignation, dated September 18, 1997, from the Advisory Committee on Education. Mr. Riley seconded the motion and the Board voted unanimously to accept his resignation. Mrs. Sebold requested that a letter be sent to Mr. Pagenhardt thanking him for his service to the committee. Discussion followed as to the Board’s responsibility to keep the membership current within the appropriate membership categories.

Next, Mr. Carpenter shared a letter from the United States Department of Education focusing on information regarding the 3rd International Math and Science study results of fourth and eighth graders in forty-one (41) participating countries. Results showed that fourth graders in the United States of America tested above international averages in both areas, but by eighth grade, the math scores were below average in math. Dr. Teets questioned the validity of such statistics on the basis of differing methods of student selection for test taking when all United States’ students are tested but often only college bound students are tested in many other countries.

In conclusion, Mr. Riley noted that a resolution was passed at the MABE Confernece for the State Board to take no further action regarding high school assessment until local concerns have been addressed. He stated that now would be a good time to raise concerns in the form of a formal letter to Rose LaPlaca expressing Garrett County’s reservations as to the speed of development and the direction of the assessment instrument. Dr. Teets stated that a letter would be drafted by staff and brought to the October 16 special meeting for the Board’s signatures.

Part XI - Return to Executive Session

At 10:45 pm, upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mr. Riley, the Board unanimously agreed to return to executive session. Mr. Coviello was also present for the session. During this portion of the executive session, the Board reviewed employee appointments, volunteer and emergency coach appointments, leave without pay, bus drivers for approval, resignations, and staff disciplinary action, as well as issues dealing with high school band trip and staff development.

Part XIII - Return to Public Session

Mr. Carpenter reopened the public session at 11:00 p.m.

Part XII - Personnel Matters

Dr. Teets reviewed the following recommended personnel action in the absence of the Director of Personnel, Miss Henrietta Lease:

Temporary Employee: Karen Wood, HEEC Resident Program, counselor

Volunteer Assistant: Steve Savage, Football, Northern High School, 09/26 - 11/07/97

Volunteer Coach: Karla Bray, Athletic Training Program, Northern High School, 09/97 -05/98

Jim Railey, Cross Country Program, Northern High School

Emergency Coach: Christy Eyler, Assistant Softball Coach, Southern High School, Step 3,

03/0198 - 06/15/98

Resignation: William Dignan, .53 Special Education Teacher, Southern High School,

effective 9/22/97

Matt Hill, Golf Coach, Southern High School, effective 10/01/97

Loretta Rodeheaver, .5 Nursing Assistant, Northern Middle School,

effective 09/18/97

Appointment: Ralph Liller, bus driver, Board of Education bus in Kitzmiller area,

effective 10/15/97

Pamela Kinsinger, .5 Nursing Assistant, Northern Middle School, Step I, effective 10/15/97

Drivers for Final Approval: Sharon Annette Harris for Dale Evans, Inc.

Terry Lynn Beal for Billy Bender Chevrolet, Inc.

Richard Lee Sines for Vernon Sines

Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously accepted the personnel recommendations of Dr. Teets.

Part XVI - Adjournment

After agreeing to meet in special session on October 16, 1997, at 6:15 p.m., in order to meet with the Board attorney, to review a letter of support for the abstinence grant, and to review a letter of concern regarding high school assessment, the Board of Education agreed to adjourn at 11:11 p.m.


________________________________________ _______________________________________
Dale M. Carpenter Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
  Approved: November 11, 1997