Board of Education

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

Minutes February 13, 2001



Oakland, Maryland 21550

Tuesday, February 13, 2001


            Part I - Call to Order

        Mrs. Madeleine Collins, President of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. Members in attendance included Mrs. Camilla Rawe, Vice President; Mr. Rodney L. Durst, Mr. James M. Raley, and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.

            Part II - Public Comment

        There was no public comment at this time.

            Part III- Executive Session

        Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education unanimously agreed to move to executive session at 4:05 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 affecting one or more individuals and to protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business. Dr. Teets; Dr. Brenda McCartney, Assistant Superintendent; Mr. Ervin Fink, Director of Finance and Human Resources; and Commissioner Gregg were in attendance during all or part of the executive session. During executive session, the Board discussed personnel matters including retirements, resignations, leave without pay, volunteer coaches, and the superintendent=s disciplinary action of an employee.

            Part IV - Opening of Public Session

        The Board reconvened in public session at 5:35 p.m. Student Board member Amanda Pagenhardt joined the meeting at this time. Mrs. Collins asked the Reverend Ann Harrison of the Mt. Top Ministerial Association to offer a prayer, followed by Miss Pagenhardt leading the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

            Part V - Acceptance of Agenda

        Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously accepted the agenda and its addendum with the addition of an information item regarding the PTA Association.

            Part VI - Announcements

        Dr. Teets shared a note from Michelle Harman in which she thanked the Board for their support and for allowing her to present information about her efforts to achieve National Teacher Certification; Dr. Teets thanked Dr. Pat Mullinix for expanding the information contained in the recently published Annual Report for the 1999-2000 School Year.

The following announcements were offered:

• Honor Band program will be held on February 23, 2001 at Northern High School.

• On February 27, 2001, the Executive dinner for Board of Education presidents will be held in Baltimore; and this is also the date for the MABE Assessment Workshop. Mrs. Collins will attend both events.

• The annual School+Business=Partnership luncheon will be held on April 10, 2001 (Board meeting day).

• Thornton Commission Study committee meets February 14, 2001. Dr. Teets will be on the panel for middle schools.

• Dr. Teets introduced Beth Bowers who will be reporting on the Board of Education meeting for The Republican newspaper.

• Mock Trial family night will be on February 15, 2001 at the District Court in Oakland. Southern High School does not have a sponsor for Mock Trial and, therefore, no team this year.

            Part VII - Approval of Minutes of January 9, 2001

        Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Minutes of January 9, 2001 were unanimously accepted with the corrections of two dates.

            Part VIII - Single Audit Report

        Mr. Jim Murray, auditor for Rodeheaver & Associates, reported on the Single Audit Report for Federal Award Programs ending June 30, 2000. He reported on the components of Laws and Regulations, Internal Control Structure, and Financial Data. Mr. Murray noted that no weaknesses in internal control or material weaknesses were found. However, he explained the efficiency and method of filing the Free and Reduced Meal Applications in the Food and Nutrition Department was a concern. Dr. Teets distributed to Board members copies of a letter which would be sent to MSDE in response to the audit findings, along with a draft revised application which will be submitted to the Nutrition Services Branch at MSDE for approval.

        Mr. Murray noted that the Board of Education continues to be a low-risk auditee which allows for a reduced scope of coverage of federal programs. Dr. Teets expressed his appreciation to Mr. Murray for his expertise, and to Mr. Fink, Mrs. Travis and the finance office staff, and the grant administrators for their commendable work.

            Part IX - Student Recognition

        Dr. Teets explained that a student-designed card has been used as a Christmas greeting from the Board and Superintendent for the past three years, and is sent to all staff, each Maryland county superintendent and the state superintendent, and many community members and organizations. Dr. Teets introduced Laura Bonser, a ninth grade student at Southern High School, who is the creator of the Christmas 2000 card. He presented her with a framed and matted copy of the card and expressed his admiration of the design and her talent. Miss Bonser was accompanied by her parents, Suzanne and Robert Bonser, her sister Karen, and her art teacher, Cindy Ringler. Mrs. Collins noted her appreciation of the efforts of the young artist.

        Dr. Teets asked Ms. Ringler to update the Board on her status to become a contestant on the television show, AWho Wants to be a Millionaire?.@Ms. Ringler explained she has one more interview to become eligible.

            Part X - Instruction

        Dr. Donald Forrester, Director of Elementary Education, offered details on the following Professional Leave and Travel requests:

• Co-nect Critical Friends Conference, March 3-7, 2001 in Memphis, Tennessee. Jodi Nichols and Marie Magruder of Bloomington School will attend.

• Co-Nect AKids Who Know and Do,@ March 27 - March 31, 2001 in San Francisco, California. Rebecca Shook and Winnie Thomas of Bloomington School will attend.

        Dr. Teets recommended approval. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Professional Leave and Travel requests were unanimously approved.

        Mr. Martin Green, Director of Secondary Education, 9-12, presented a Field Trip request from Northern High School for Spanish III - IV students to travel to Spain over the Easter break to gain first-hand experience of the language and culture. Mrs. Jean Wilt, Spanish teacher, explained the itinerary and costs of the trip, and noted the time away from school would be four to five days. Dr. Teets recommended approval of the trip. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously approved the request.

        Mr. Green, with assistance from Mr. Gary Reichenbecher, principal of Northern High, offered details relative to the following Professional Leave and Travel requests:

• School Tech Expo in New York City, March 28 - 31, 2001 in New York City to secure information to improve building level planning of effective technology use. Five staff members will attend.

• National Art Education Association Convention, March 14 - 18, 2001 in New York City. Art teachers Teresa Roberts, Northern High, and Sonia Pratt, Southern High will attend.

        Dr. Teets recommended approval. Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously approved both travel requests.

        Mr. Green requested Professional Leave and Travel approval for two days for Paul Edwards to attend the National Association of Basketball Coaches Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 30 and April 1, 2001. Dr. Teets recommended approval. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously approved the request.

        Dr. McCartney, Dr. Forrester and Mr. Green presented summaries of School Improvement Plans for the Board=s review, noting that, as in past years, one school is asked to present its plan in detail. This year, Northern High School=s School Improvement Plan was presented by Mr. Reichenbecher, principal. Mr. Reichenbecher outlined the five objectives and fifty-one strategies in Northern=s Action Plan, noting that the five-year objectives end with the 2004-2005 school year. He discussed the Accreditation for Growth Process, highlighting the expectation of a fifteen percent increase in objective milestones. Additional discussion centered on AP classes, roles of various committees, inclusion of monthly character traits, and the need to improve and provide information for post-secondary education. Mrs. Collins and the Board thanked Mr. Reichenbecher for his very informative presentation.

        Mr. Gregg excused himself from the meeting at 7 p.m.

            Part XI - Public Comment

        There was no public comment at this time.

            Part XII - Personnel Action

        Dr. Teets recommended the following personnel matters for approval:

• Retirements:    Thomas Fowler, Principal, BR, eff. 7/1/01, (Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program)
                        Robert Quick, Assistant Principal, SH, eff. 7/1/01 (Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program)
                        Maureen Sharps, Teacher, DR, Ordinary Disability Retirement, eff. 12/01/00

                         Sonya Golden, Instructional Assistant, AC, eff. 7/1/01

• Resignations:    Laura Greaser, Behavior Support Teacher, DR, eff. 2/1/01
                        George G. Skiles, Part-Time Cafeteria Worker (3.5 hrs/day), NH, eff. 1/26/01
                        Jennifer A. Schroyer, 4 hr/day cafeteria worker, Satelliting from NH to AC, eff. 2/9/01

• Leave Without Pay:    Naomi Beitzel, Instructional Assistant, GV, February 21-23, 2001 (3 days)

• Emergency Coach:    Thomas Reilly, Softball Coach, NH, Step 1

In addition, Dr. Teets asked for approval of a proposed disciplinary action of an employee. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously approved Dr. Teets=recommendation.

            Part XIII - Dialogue with Parent/Teacher Organization Representatives

        At the January 2000 A&S Meeting, Dr. Teets asked principals to extend an invitation to any and all parent/teacher groups to attend the February Board meeting to discuss any areas of concern or to highlight programs their organization considers to be of special interest. The following groups were represented:

Dennett Road Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO):

Nancy Deal, President, and Mary Ann Murphy, Secretary, highlighted fund raising programs through which the PTO acquired a pottery wheel for the art department, helped pay for the Ag Lab coming to their school, and will sponsor a performing arts program on March 7, 2001. When asked about the new boiler system recently installed at Dennett Road, they said there is still room temperature differences at opposite ends of the building. Dr. Teets and the Board thanked Mrs. Deal and Mrs. Murphy, noting their invaluable service to the students and schools.

Swan Meadw PTO:

Dan Yoder, Secretary, and Ray Miller, Treasurer, highlighted projects that the PTO sponsored through their one fundraiser, the Annual Harvest Sale. This past year, funds were used to sponsor the MD Science Program at their school; to assist the accelerated math and reading programs; to purchase additional recreation equipment; to provide $1,500 for a matching grant for the Swan Meadow library; to provide home arts materials and a laser printer for the grades 1-2 classroom; and to provide a bus and meals for a trip for all Swan Meadow students to travel to Washington, D.C. Mr. Miller commented that Wal-Mart matched the concession stand fund at the Harvest Sale which also helped to pay for the trip to D.C. The Board and Dr. Teets thanked the PTO for their efforts on behalf of the students and their community.

Southern High School Improvement Team (SIT):

SIT team members Sherry Taylor and Sheila Edwards discussed the role of the SIT team at Southern High. Positive comments about pre-scheduling, parents being kept well informed, the need for a SIT team in the absence of a parent/teacher organization, and the renovation and grounds improvements were offered. Additional comments included the need for restroom facilities near the soccer field and adequate lighting for the band, concerns about assessment testing, and the need to inform parents of SIT meetings and to encourage parental input in the SIT process. Mr. Durst noted the benefit of community members keeping the County Commissioners informed as to the needs of the school facilities. The Board and Dr. Teets thanked Mrs. Taylor and Ms. Edwards for coming to the Board meeting to share their concerns and for their efforts on behalf of the students.

Band Boosters from Southern and Northern Garrett High Schools:

Attending on behalf of the high school bands were Susan Bell, Northern High Band Booster, and Kathy Johnson, Richard Hill, and Liz Gilbert, Southern High Band Boosters. Mrs. Johnson distributed copies of Southern High=s Direct Band Expenses and Cash Flow Report; a memorandum (11/2/00) from Mr. Green to Dr. Teets regarding AMonies budgeted for high school bands;@a letter to Parents of Southern High Band Boosters outlining the band fundraising needs to remain active. Mrs. Bell distributed copies of ANHS Band Boosters - Points for Board discussion@and a report showing Northern High=s band Fundraising and Expenses.

Mrs. Johnson explained that the problems facing the Southern High band are the same ones facing the Northern High band. She spoke of the declining numbers of student band members, the time commitment of the parents who remain involved in the fundraising efforts and chaperoning duties, and the difficulty raising money with reduced booster membership. Mrs. Johnson requested the Board of Education to assist the band program financially and by supporting their efforts to actively encourage students in fine arts programs.

Mrs. Bell spoke of the impact of less band instruction time at the middle school level, noting the lower level of expertise of students entering high school band. Additionally, she spoke of the ratio of band instructors to students versus soccer coaches to students and the need for equivalent instruction; Northern High Boosters=fundraising efforts; instrument replacement and repair costs; uniform replacement costs; and a need for additional band instruction and instructors, as well as a vocal music teacher to serve the needs of both middle and high school students.

In addition to the topics previously mentioned, discussion between the booster representatives and Board members included the county music program as a whole; the impact of the many and diverse extra-curricular programs available to students; time demands placed on students; and seeking grants and alumni sponsors. Mrs. Collins assured the representatives that the Board was sensitive to their concerns and thanked them for coming to the meeting.

Accident Elementary School Parent/Teacher Association:

Mrs. Pam Masters, president of the PTA, explained that all but seven of Accident Elementary students= families are members of the PTA. The fundraising efforts provide $10.00 per year toward each student=s field trips, and have sponsored the Dynamark Program which teaches students the dangers of the Internet. The Board and Dr. Teets thanked Mrs. Masters for taking the time to attend the meeting to share their achievements.

Southern Middle School Improvement Team:

Ms. Sheila Edwards, parent, shared concerns regarding the lack of information sent to parents and SIT members about SIT meeting dates. She also noted that budget matters were not discussed at the SIT meetings she has attended, and felt that information on how to become a SIT member should be more readily available considering there is no other parent/teacher organization at Southern Middle School.

        Mrs. Collins stated that, although the SIT process differs from school to school, an effort should be made to gather parent input. Dr. McCartney explained that the SIT process has been in place for several years, and that some things become institutionalized and rote. Continued discussion included how SIT teams are chosen, shared decision-making in school-based management, and a need for a revitalization of the SIT process.

        Mr. Tom Gorley, president of the Broad Ford Elementary School PTO and SIT member, will attend the March meeting as he was unable to attend in February.

            Part - Board Concerns

        Mr. Durst reported on his attendance at the MABE Leadership Academy, noting that two topics of discussion were vouchers and mandatory training for Board of Education members. He explained that Maryland is proposing a Board member training plan, which would include a mandatory attendance at seven of ten staff development sessions for a new board member, as part of the accountability process as board members set goals and standards for school systems. Discussion centered on the legitimacy of Amandated@training for elected officials and the repercussions of non-attendance, MABE and MSDE roles in the proposed training plan, and school board reform issues.

        Miss Pagenhardt reported on State Student Council issues and noted that Northern and Southern High School Student Councils have nominated a teacher for the Mike Michaelson Student Council Advisor of the Year. This award will be announced in March at the annual Student Council Convention. Miss Pagenhardt also relayed concerns of unrealistic assessment test scores because of students=indifference during the test taking process.

        Mrs. Collins reported on the MABE Annual Legislative Day Meeting on February 1, 2001 in Annapolis. Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Rawe, Mrs. Sebold and Dr. Teets attended a presentation by Eric Schwartz on current bills before the Maryland legislature. Following the presentation, they met with Delegate George Edwards and Senator John Hafer during lunch to discuss mutual concerns, including the collective bargaining bill. Mr. Durst noted that a hearing on the collective bargaining bill will be held on February 21, 200l. Whether the Board should take a stance on the bill and if Board action was needed was discussed. Mrs. Collins recognized Ms. Irene Sigel, GCEA representative, who inquired as to the appropriateness of taking action when the item was not on the Board agenda as an action item. Discussion of several aspects of the bill continued with no decision about placing the item on the March agenda.

        Mrs. Collins noted that the LSA dues ($2,100 for FY 2001) may be increased up to an additional $200 for FY 2002.

        Mrs. Collins relayed a request for suggestions for MABE mini-round sessions to the upcoming Annual conference in Ocean City.

        Mrs. Collins shared a letter from Delegate Barkley asking for support of a bill for more funds to purchase graphing calculator for schools.

            Part XV - Recess to Executive Function

        Seeing no further business, the Board recessed at 9:35 p.m. to executive function to discuss renewal of the superintendent=s contract.

            Part XVI - Reconvene in Public Session for the Purpose of Renewing the Superintendent=s Contract

        Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously voted to renew the contract of Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent, for four (4) years. Mrs. Collins added, for the record, this included moving expenses to be placed in the appropriate year=s budget, as required; an additional five (5) days of annual leave per year; and a five percent (5%) increase in salary.

            Part XVII - Adjournment

        Seeing no further business, the Board, by consensus, adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m.

            Part XVIII - Information Items

a. MSDE Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 1

b. MSDE News Release: Panel to Take year-Long Look at School Reform (1/30/01)

c. MSDE News Release: Board Votes State Reconstitution for Baltimore City School (1/31/01)

d. January 2001 Attendance Bulletin

e. Revision to High School Course Descriptors, 2001-2002

f. Letter from CSS Middle States Commission to Lynn Bell, Southern High School re: Official Notice of Accreditation (12/1/00)

g. Home & School Connection, February 2001

h. Times-News Article re: Garrett schools ahead . . . technology in the classroom (2/4/01)

i. ASBO Matters, Volume XXXIII, No. 3 (Winter 2001)

j. MSDE Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 2

k. MSDE News Release: Outstanding Service-Learning Educators Rewarded (2/9/01)

l. Annual Report for the 1999-2000 School Year

m. Comprehensive Agreement Between the Board of Education of Garrett County and the Garrett County Federation of Teachers, 2000-2003 (Board member packets only)

n. Handbook for Administrative and Supervisory Employees, 2000-2003 (Board member packets only)

o. Letter from Maryland PTA with attachment: 2001 Public Policy and Legislative Program Position Paper (2/9/01)


________________________________________ _______________________________________
Madeleine Collins Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   March 13, 2001