Board of Education

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

Minutes January 13, 1998



Oakland, Maryland 21550

Tuesday, January 13, 1998



Part I - Call to Order

Mr. Dale M. Carpenter, president of the Garrett County Board of education, called the meeting to order at approximately 3:05 p.m. Members in attendance included Mr. Patrick W. Riley, vice-president, Mr. Rodney L. Durst and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members, and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.

Part II - Public Comment

Mr. Carpenter recognized Steve Benson, UNISERV Director, who voiced his support for the adoption of the Advanced Placement U.S. History textbook, A People and A Nation, which is the textbook selection committee’s recommendation. He explained that, since the Board has a policy wherein the Board delegates the responsibility of textbook selection to a committee of professional educators, the Board should support the committee’s recommendation. In response to Mr. Carpenter’s inquiry, Mr. Benson stated that he understood that the Board delegated the responsibility of recommendation, but not that of final selection.

Next, Mr. Carpenter recognized Sheila Edwards who distributed to the Board a letter in which she reiterated her statements that the selection process was not followed by the Board in accordance with the Board Policy 347.31 Selection of Text/Media.

Part III - Executive Session

Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Riley, the Board of Education unanimously agreed to move to executive session at 3:23 p.m. 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. Mr. Albert A. Coviello, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Miss Henrietta Lease, Director of Personnel, were asked to remain for the executive session. Mr. Jim Raley entered the meeting at 3:23 p.m. Mr. Mike Sines, Supervisor of Maintenance and Operations, was present for a portion of the meeting. During the executive session, transfers, temporary assignments, an appointment, a leave of absence, leave without pay, and a retirement were discussed.

Part IV - Reopening of Public Session and Acceptance of Agenda

Mr. Karlo Gesner, student member of the Board of Education, joined the public session which began at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Carpenter then asked Pastor David Snodgrass of the Crellin Assembly of God Church 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

Mrs. Sebold asked that the following items be added for discussion under Board Concerns: MABE Legal Services Association, and Attorney Panel. Mr. Durst asked to add the MABE Executive Committee Meeting under Board Concerns, as well. Upon a motion by Mr. Riley, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the agenda was accepted as amended.

Part VI - Approval of Minutes of December 9, 1997

Mr. Raley asked that Mrs. Linda Fleming’s title (Principal, Swan Meadow School) be added on page 2925, and that on page 2927, "replace van" be amended to read "solicit bids." Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Raley, the Minutes of December 9, 1997, were accepted as amended.

Part VII - Single Audit Report

Mr. Jim Murray of Rodeheaver and Associates presented the last phase of the FY 1997 Audit Report. He reported on the components of Laws and Regulations, Internal Control Structure, and Financial Data. He noted that no material weaknesses were found in the component of Internal Control Structure. His only finding dealt with special education student reporting requirements which was addressed by Wilda Massi, Director of Pupil Services. Mr. Murray went on to explain that new laws regarding the auditing process would be in effect for the next audit year which may result in several other, smaller programs being audited. Mr. Murray indicated Rodeheaver and Associates’ desire to remain as the auditing agent for the Board of Education for the coming year.

Part VIII - Board Concerns

At this time Mr. Carpenter relinquished the chair to Dr. Teets in order to conduct the elections of president of the Board of Education. Dr. Teets asked for nominations. Mr. Carpenter nominated Mr. Riley. Mr. Raley moved, and Mr. Durst seconded that the nominations be closed. By acclamation, Mr. Riley was elected president for the calendar year 1998. Mr. Riley assumed the chair and asked for nominations for vice-president. Mr. Durst nominated Mr. Raley. Mr. Carpenter moved, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, that the nominations be closed. By acclamation, Mr. Raley was elected vice-president.

Mr. Riley proceeded to ask the Board members to consider the meeting day, time and place for 1998. Discussion centered on the fact that the second Tuesday was also the date of the County Commissioners’ meeting. Mr. Durst moved that the meeting be changed to Thursday, but the motion died for lack of a second due to several potential conflicts for this meeting day. Then, upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mr. Carpenter, the Board unanimously voted to keep the meeting day, time and place the same.

Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board voted unanimously to retain Mr. Robert Watson as school board attorney for the calendar year 1998.

Upon a motion by Mr. Carpenter, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously voted to retain Rodeheaver & Associates to complete the audit for Fiscal Year 1998.

Mr. Riley proceeded to review committee assignments. As a result of this review Board members agreed to serve as representatives on the following committees:

Teacher Education Coordinating Council Mr. Riley (alt. Mr. Carpenter)

Health Advisory Committee Mr. Durst (alt. Mrs. Sebold)

Hickory Environmental Education Committee Mr. Carpenter (alt. Mr. Riley)

Multi cultural Advisory Panel Mr. Riley (alt. Mr. Raley)

Wellness Council Mr. Carpenter (alt. Mrs. Sebold)

Food & Nutrition Services Advisory Council Mrs. Sebold (alt. Mt. Carpenter)

Fine Arts Advisory Committee Mr. Raley (alt. Mr. Gesner)

Advisory Committee for Work Force Preparation/RLMB Mrs. Sebold (alt. Mr. Riley)

MABE Legislative Committee Mr. Durst (alt. Mr. Raley)

MABE Legal Services Association Mrs. Sebold (alt. Miss Lease)

MABE Budget and Planning Committee Mr. Carpenter (alt. Mr. Raley_

NSBA/MABE Federal Regulations Network Mr. Riley, if needed

Ethics Panel Mr. Durst (alt. Mrs. Sebold)

Upon a motion by Mr. Carpenter, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously confirmed the committee assignments.

Part IX - Administrative Concerns

Mr. Donald Knode, Assistant in Food & Nutrition Services, presented to the Board his proposal to purchase a one ton cargo van for the Food and Nutrition Program. Upon a motion by Mr. Carpenter, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board unanimously voted to accept the lowest bid from Shaffer Ford, Oakland, Maryland, in the amount of $18,329.80.

Dr. Teets updated the Board as to the status of the opening of the Yough Glades Elementary School. He noted that on January 12, 1998, he accompanied the architect and fire inspector on a walk-through of the building and that he is awaiting the fire inspector’s report. He reported that the cafeteria equipment had arrived, that the building was close to substantial completion, that some equipment for the emergency generator has not arrived, that the final punch list is being reviewed, and that tours and an open house would be scheduled.

Mr. Sines presented the bid proposals for the HVA System and Doors/Windows package for the Southern High School Corridor project. He noted that these are the last components to finalize this project with a cost projection of $188,000, which is $50,000 less than previous estimates. Dr. Teets commended Mr. Sines for his fine work on this project. Mr. Durst moved to accept the bid proposal for the doors and associated hardware, and windows package from Folk’s Paint & Glass in the amount of $26,200; and the proposal from R.H. Lapp & Sons, Inc. to complete the heat, ventilating, and air system work in the amount of $18,476. Mr. Raley seconded the motion, and the Board voted 3-0 to accept these proposals. Mr. Carpenter was absent during this presentation.

Mr. Refosco reviewed with the Board the proposed changes to Administrative Procedure 853.3 Awarding Bus Contracts. In response to an inquiry by Mrs. Sebold, Dr. Teets explained that the Procedure had been reviewed with the Bus Contractors’ Association and that he and Mr. Refosco had met personally with four members of their board. After more discussion which included the uses of media to advertise for contractor and driver positions, Mr. Riley thanked Mr. Refosco for his presentation.

Part X - Instructional Concerns

Mr. Richard Clever, band director for Southern High School, requested approval for the band to travel to Orlando, Florida, from April 9-12, 1998, noting that the trip was scheduled over a holiday so as not to interfere with classes. Dr. Teets recommended that the trip be approved. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mr. Carpenter, the Board unanimously voted to approve the field trip.

Mrs. Maxine Miller, Director of Curriculum and Instruction 9-12, outlined the process by which the textbook selection committee made its recommendation for the Advanced Placement history textbook. She explained the year long process which involved the circulating of eight textbooks and narrowing the selection to four after the committee meeting on October 24, 1997, at which Mrs. Sebold and Mr. Riley were present. Mrs. Miller noted that the committee utilized the board policy on textbook selection, which offers criteria to be considered, and a suggested AP U.S. History Course Outline. She also noted that a November, 1997, meeting was not necessary because both Northern and Southern High teachers were in agreement that A People and A Nation would be the committee’s recommendation to the Board. In addition to the committee recommendation, Mrs. Miller did readability level assessments on the three texts which were on display for public review, noting that the committee’s recommendation showed a grade sixteen placement, appropriate for the college level course. Mrs. Miller shared with the Board copies of public comments, as well as letters from the public relative to the texts on display. Mr. Carpenter expressed his pleasure that so many parents and students had participated in this process by reviewing the texts and making comment. He stated that the only comments that bothered him were made by persons who did not comment on the texts except to say that the Board should approve the committee recommendation without considering the very valuable comments made by students and others. Mr. Carpenter noted the Board’s goal was to have a balanced text but judging from the comments it appears that all of the books have some bias. After extensive discussion regarding the merits and flaws of each of the displayed texts, Dr. Teets stated that the textbook is not the "course," and that balance would be provided through the teacher, syllabus, and course content. Dr. Teets complemented the committee as well as the Board for their intent to act in the best interest of the students. He then recommended that the Board accept the committee’s recommendation. Mr. Riley commented that the real question seemed to be: "Was the policy followed?" He recalled that adoption of the policy with unanimous consent of the Board involved the coming together of persons from "both sides of the aisle" around fundamental American principles. He continued, stating that last month he made a motion to place two books not recommended by the committee on public display. This action was apart from requirements of the policy. He stated that perhaps the water had been muddied, but that making materials available for public review is always a positive thing. "There is no reason why the Board should not have the benefit of public opinion when we come down to making what is rightly our decision, an up or down on the committee’s final recommendation. The real issue is, was the policy followed, does the recommendation meet the requirements established and did the committee follow the policy." He continued by reading the objectives and criteria of the text/media policy. Mr. Raley commented that the placing of three textbooks for people to choose from did muddy the water. He reviewed all the comments and found that there were good and bad comments about every book. He stated that he opposed placing additional texts on display because he wanted only the committee’s recommendation to be placed on the table and to know how people felt about only the committee’s recommendation. Continuing, Mr. Raley said that it was the supplemental materials that really pull the course together, you take the best of all the materials when teaching a very advanced course. Mr. Raley then suggested that in the future when we have multiple textbooks that this Board can live with we should approve a list of acceptable texts for final selection at the school level. "I don’t see any thing wrong with any of the three texts or readers and I would be inclined to place them all on a list and accept the schools’ decisions on which ones to use." He then stated his willingness to make a motion in this regard after hearing public comment. Mrs. Sebold noted the usage of the AP history textbooks in various other locations as researched by Mrs. Miller. She noted that most teachers use one of the three that have been discussed. She expressed the difficulty of the Board’s decision and found that in reading the public comments some people have trouble sticking to the topic and resort to personal attacks. She also noted that in summer another AP history text had been recommended and that the policy was not followed. She expressed her displeasure at being assaulted because she makes conservative decisions and noted that her decisions are based on who she is as a person and what she values. At this time, the Board moved on to public comment.

Part XI - Public Comment

During public comment, several people spoke to the issue of text/media review. Doug Gaither spoke on behalf of the A&S Association (and distributed a letter) and as a parent in support of the committee’s process as outlined in the Board’s current policy. Madeline Collins stated that the personal opinions of parents should not be the final word and that the real issue of textbook selection is "academic worth." Gloria Salazar spoke in support of the committee recommended text in that it offered many different ideological and multicultural perspectives. Mr. Carpenter stated that he was sure that the Board would give the committee’s recommendation a high degree of regard, at the same time we have opposing views that must be considered. Nancy Railey spoke as to whether or not it was appropriate for the Board to put additional textbooks on display after the committee made its recommendation. Susan Bell, School Improvement Team member from Northern Middle, stated that the AP text should be a "very challenging book" and noted similar comments for each of the three displayed. Karlo Gesner noted that American Pageant and America Past and Present were similar to texts already used, but that A People and A Nation seemed more literary. Sheila Edwards noted that her "specific outrage" was that the process was, in her opinion, not followed by the Board when the Board placed the two additional texts on public display. Lesa Whittemore spoke in agreement with Ms. Edwards. She suggested that the public input and comment be made prior to the committee’s final recommendation. Mr. Riley noted that she made a good point and that perhaps the policy should be revised to include public input earlier in the process. Linda Walker stated that she would like to know what was wrong with the recommended text - why it didn’t meet criteria - to which Mr. Carpenter replied that the recommended text was called "unbalanced," i.e., conservative versus liberal. Laura Stutzman noted that she found the texts very close in content. Jill Roberts thanked the Board for the opportunity to comment and noted her concern was that another group of kids will miss out on the AP history class if a text is not selected. Keith Roberts stated, that unless there is something compellingly wrong with the committee’s recommendation, the Board should accept it and give the kids an opportunity to take AP history. David Insley thanked the Board for the open forum regarding the textbook and would recommend that it happen again. He suggested that in the future that textbooks be placed at the library so individuals could research the content of the texts. He felt that the committee’s recommended text did have a liberal slant.

Part XII - Instructional Concerns, continued

Mr. Coviello noted that A People and A Nation was used in two other Maryland counties, one of which is Howard County which has one of the highest performance records in the state. He continued by stating that since there is a committee process, there should be a preponderance of contrary evidence before challenging the committee’s recommendation. Dr. Teets endorsed the committee’s recommendation and assured the Board that the policy was followed. Mr. Riley explained that he found the committee’s recommended text to be liberally biased to the point that he does not want his tax dollars spent on such a textbook. He also stated that, in his opinion, the majority of Garrett County citizens would not want to spend their tax dollars purchasing the text. Continuing, he stated that he could not support the committee’s recommendation. He did note that the supplemental readers were actually very good and noted the agreement of public comment in that regard. Mr. Riley noted that he had available a list of his findings to support his case against the text. Mr. Carpenter moved, and Mr. Raley seconded, to accept A People and a Nation as the Advanced Placement history text and American Issues and The American Spirit as supplementary readers. The vote carried 3-1, with Mrs. Sebold voting in the negative. Mr. Raley asked Mr. Coviello to consider revising the policy to allow schools to choose their own texts from a list of acceptable texts. Dr. Teets expressed reservations about such a revision. He noted that he would suggest taking public comment prior to the committee’s final recommendation. At 8:05 p.m. the Board took a five minute break.

Part XIII - Additional Public Comment

Mr. Ron Petrella reiterated his commitment to a girls’ soccer program at the varsity level.

Part XIV - Personnel Matters

The following personnel recommendations were presented by Dr. Teets:

- (Reference January 13, 1998 official Minutes, on file at Garrett County Board of Education) -

Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mr. Carpenter, the Board unanimously approved the personnel recommendations.

Part XV - Activities Review Committee Recommendations

Mrs. Maxine Miller pointed out the four recommendations of the committee:

1. Due to the rising costs and the increase in the number of sports, we recommend an increase of 50% in the transportation dollars allotted for athletics.

2. As other sports are added in the future, additional funding for transportation shall be added proportionally.

3. We enthusiastically support the implementation of girls’ soccer as a varsity sport. However, without an increase in transportation funding, any new sports program would adversely affect established programs.

4. Deletion of cross country as a sport at Northern High School with the understanding it can be reinstated should interest increase.

Ensuing discussion centered on logistical and financial considerations such as scheduling practice times, the need for additional fields and upkeep of current playing fields, increased costs for transportation, uniforms and officials fees, and ways to increase gate revenue. At the end of the discussion, Dr. Teets noted that he would recommend adding girls’ varsity soccer at both high schools if it could be done without adversely affecting established programs. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board unanimously accepted Dr. Teets’ recommendation.

Part XVI - Instructional Concerns, continued

Dr. Patricia Mullinix, Coordinator of Research, Evaluation and Information spoke to the Board about the 1997 MSPAP Data. She shared several graphs which highlighted the Garrett County scores and showed that they have been well above the state average every year with 47.4% students scoring satisfactory overall this year. She also noted that each Garrett County public school is meeting attendance standards. Per his request, Dr. Mullinix will provide Mr. Riley with a Comparison Graph with each county labeled. Mr. Riley thanked Dr. Mullinix for her well prepared presentation.

Next, Mr. Coviello presented a request for Gary Galloway, Principal of Dennett Road Elementary School, to attend the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ national convention in Orlando, Florida, from April 4 through April 7, 1998. Mr. Galloway is treasurer of the MAESP and would attend as a Maryland state delegate. No funding of this trip is requested.. Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board unanimously voted to approve Mr. Galloway’s request to attend the NAESP Conference.

Part XVII- Board Concerns

Dr. Teets explained that the Board of County Commissioners moved up the date for budget FY 1999 submissions. He noted that the Commissioners had already been provided with the Capital Improvement

Program data and a proposal for Northern and Southern High Schools’ gymnasium. New budget calendar dates are as follows:

Presentation of Superintendent’s Budget to Public February 19, 1998, 7:00 p.m.

at Garrett Community College

Board of Education Work Session February 26, 1998, 6:00 p.m.

Board of Education Action on FY 1999 Budget March 2, 1998, 6:00 p.m.

Budget Submission to County Commissioners March 6, 1998

A news release will be available the week prior to the public meeting.

Mrs. Sebold commented on the MABE Legal Services Association’s request for an increase in dues from $2,000 to $2,100, and that there was no vote on the issue as a quorum was not present. She also noted some of the services provided to Boards of Education included assistance in legal matters, seminars, inservice, and newsletters. She noted that Eric Schwartz has been here twice in the past year for inservices. Mrs. Sebold also explained that an "Attorney Panel" list which is available to Boards of Education is being published and whether or not to include fees on the print-out is an issue coming up for a vote soon. The Board stated that Mrs. Sebold may vote to drop the fee listing from the Attorney Panel print-out. Mr. Durst also shared information from a MABE report concerning MABE’s support of local school board issues.

Next, the memorandum, dated January 5, 1998, from Dr. McCartney regarding selection of EEEP students was discussed in light of major changes in existing enrollment procedures now required by the State. Dr. McCartney will bring a report on this subject to the next meeting.

Lastly, Dr. Teets noted that the ethics form given to each Board member was to be completed and returned to him by January 31, 1998.

PART XVIII - Adjournment

By consensus, the Board agreed to adjourn at 10:20 p.m.

________________________________________ _______________________________________
Patrick W. Riley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
  Approved: February 10, 1998