Board of Education

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

Minutes March 11, 2003



Oakland, Maryland 21550

Tuesday, March 11, 2003


Part I - Call to Order

Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, President of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m. Members in attendance included Mr. James M. Raley, vice president; Mrs. Madeleine Collins and Mrs. Camilla Rawe, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools. Commissioner Ernest Gregg was also in attendance. Mr. Rodney L. Durst, associate member, was not in attendance.

Part II - Public Comment

There was no public comment at this time.

Part III - Executive Session

Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mr. Raley, 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 Code for the purpose of discussing personnel matters affecting one or more individuals and to conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations. Dr. Teets; Commissioner Gregg, Dr. Brenda McCartney, Assistant Superintendent; and Mr. Ervin Fink, Director of Finance and Human Resources were in attendance during all or part of the executive session. In addition to negotiations, discussion topics included a retirement, a resignation, a volunteer coach, tenure candidates and a bus driver for final approval.

Part IV - Reopening the Public Session

The Board recessed from executive session to reconvene in public session at 5:40 p.m. Student member Sara DiSimone joined the meeting at that time. Mrs. Sebold recognized the Reverend Mark Hickman of the Bethel United Methodist Church who offered a prayer, after which Ms. DiSimone led 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 Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the agenda was approved, 3-0, with the addition of MABE Summer Leadership Conference as last item under A Board Concerns.@

Part VI - Announcements

The following announcements were offered:

C Honor Chorus Program will be held on March 25, 2003 at Southern Garrett High School at 7:00 p.m.

C Honor Band Program will be held on April 8, 2003 at Northern Garrett High School.

C Student Art Fair will be held at Garrett College on May 3, 2003 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

C The Northern High National Honor Society Induction has been postponed.

C The Science Expo will be held at Frostburg State University on March 21, 2002 with set up during the day, a reception at 6:00 p.m., and the awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m. In addition to Northern High School, Southern High School and Bloomington School students will compete.

C Northern High School Talent Show will be held on March 26, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.

C Dr. Teets announced that the Route Forty Elementary School construction project is now under roof and back on schedule following the setbacks resulting from the winter weather.

C Mr. Scott Germain, Program Manager for Food and Nutrition Services is State Director for Food and Nutrition Department at ASBO.

C Latest issue of MABE= s School Board News has picture of Sara DiSimone as student Board member.

C The FY 2004 Budget Request will be presented to the Commissioners on March 20, 2003.

C Mr. Raley will attend a Behavior Intervention Task Force Committee Meeting on March 27, 2003 at 6:00 p.m. at South High School in Hagerstown.

Dr. Teets shared items (a brick and an board with a handmade nail in it) brought to him by Mr. Tim Taylor from the old Board of Education building on South Fourth Street. Mrs. Collins will prepare a display of these items.

Part VII - Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Mrs. Collins, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Draft Minutes of February 11, 2003 (revised) were approved (3-0) with grammatical correction.

Part VIII - Instruction

Mrs. Lynn Bell, Director of Secondary Education 9-12, presented the draft Board Policy 331 Maryland and Garrett County Graduation Requirements which was first read at the March Board meeting. Following discussion relative to the need for greater clarity of weighted and unweighted grade averages in the determination of merit and honor graduate status, the Board delayed taking action on the policy until the April meeting. Mrs. Bell will revise the policy to reflect those concerns for consideration at the April meeting.

In consultation with high school principals and feedback from instructional staffs, Mrs. Bell asked that June 8, 2003 be considered as this year= s commencement date. She noted that graduation on this date would allow senior activities to be completed prior to the beginning of undergraduate finals. Dr. Teets recommended the Board approve this date. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board approved, 3-0, the date of Sunday, June 8, 2003 as graduation day with commencement ceremonies to be held at 1:00 p.m. for Southern Garrett High School and at 4:00 p.m. for Northern Garrett High School.

Dr. McCartney reviewed a request for professional leave and travel for the principal and two staff members at Broad Ford Elementary School who will be presenters at a Co-nect conference in Atlanta, Georgia on April 30 - May 2, 2003. Dr. Teets recommended the trip be approved. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board approved, 3-0, the professional leave request.

Dr. McCartney reported on the progress on the Master Plan development, distributing replacement pages for the agenda attachment IV. She described the attachment as the A heart@ of the draft Master Plan which is organized around the current Board of Education Goals as they relate to (1) Student Achievement, (2) Pupil Services, and (3) Staff Development.

Part IX - Administration

Mr. Michael Sines, Director of Facilities, Maintenance and Operations, reviewed the six bids that were submitted for the Bloomington School boiler replacement project. He noted the department was fortunate to have received this much participation from good firms. Mr. Sines noted there was a great disparity in bid amounts, but felt there was no problem accepting the lowest bid. Dr. Teets recommended the Board accept the lowest bid from R. H. Lapp & Sons, Inc. for the sum of $125,422. Discussion included the need for $15,000 in local funds, that design fees are separate from the bids received, and that a portion of federal money not used for the project may have to be returned. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board accepted, 3-0, the bid from R. H. Lapp & Sons, Inc.

Mr. Sines gave an overview of the Energy and Operational Analysis as it relates to the Board= s Performance Contract with Honeywell, Inc. during the first four years of the agreement. He noted a cost avoidance of $130,042 in this fourth year report which is approximately half of the guaranteed savings of $255,910 over the original ten-year agreement. The Board pays approximately $5,000 per year to generate the energy audit. Mr. Sines noted the additional demands to monitor and conduct maintenance of controls with the addition of Yough Glades Elementary and the addition of Route Forty Elementary School in the near future. He stated that savings from terminating the energy audit could be used to assure proper operation of the pneumatic/electrical controls in aging facilities and that his department will continue to do data analysis of energy use. Dr. Teets recommended the Board approve the termination of the performance contract energy audit, adding that Honeywell sees no problem with this action. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, The Board approved the superintendent= s recommendation.

At the Board= s request, Mr. Sines gave a brief update on the progress of the Route Forty Elementary renovation. He shared photographs of the site and reported that the primary roof structure is in place, the building is sealed, 75% of the interior walls are in place on the west side, and work is on schedule. Mrs. Sebold expressed appreciation for the project= s progress.

Dr. Teets reported the State Superintendent, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, notified him in writing that the State Board of Education approved the following changes to the school calendar which he had requested for action at their February meeting:

C Granted a waiver of three days due to closure for severe weather. All Maryland jurisdictions were granted two days (February 18-19, 2003). Garrett County received the extra day (February 17, 2003) since prior approval had been given by the State for school on this date.

C Granted approval for Garrett County to have school on the Monday after Easter (April 21, 2003) and Memorial Day (May 26, 2003).

Dr. Teets explained these changes were reviewed and recommended by the calendar committee and would allow for more instructional days prior to high school assessment. With these changes, the last day would be June 16, 2003 for students and June 17, 2003 for teachers pending no additional adjustments being needed for inclement weather. The last three days would be half-days for students with final exams being conducted at the middle schools and high schools during that time. Upon a motion by Mrs. Collins, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board approved (3-0) the calendar revisions.

Mr. Fink reviewed the proposed 2003-2004 School Calendar developed and recommended by a calendar committee made up of representatives of employee groups, parents, central office staff and a board member. Mr. Fink noted accommodations in the calendar for high school assessments, staff development and professional days, and weather. He also reviewed A triggers@ to accommodate calendar changes which were included in the A notes@ to clarify ends of grading periods and make-up day parameters. The calendar will be on the April agenda for action.

Mr. Fink presented for review revisions to Board Policy 551.12b Placement of Personnel on Salary Schedules noting changes were made to allow  new hires from outside the system to be placed no higher than the sixth step of a category, effective July 1, 2003, and gradually increase that one step per year until reaching step ten, effective July 1, 2007, based on their years of previous experience. Additionally, changes were made to the policy to bring in previous Garrett County teachers at full Garrett County experience. This policy will be on the April agenda for action.

At 6:55 p.m., the Board took a short break.

Part X - Public Comment

There was no public comment.

Part XI - Personnel

Dr. Teets recommended Board approval of the following personnel matters:


  • Linda L. Fleming, Principal, Swan Meadow School, effective July 1, 2003


  • Karen Lea Durst, 3.5 hours per day Cafeteria Assistant, effective Feb. 14, 2003

Bus Driver for Approval:

  • William E. Walters for Lori Kyle

Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board approved, 3-0, the recommendations.

Part XII - Administration, continued

Mr. Fink presented the revised Board Policy 710 Retiree Insurance which, in anticipation of a new insurance benefit package for retirees, would be discontinued for new employees, but would remain in existence for those employees who are receiving this benefit. This policy will be brought back for action at the April meeting.

Mr. Fink also reviewed the accompanying Administrative Procedure710.1 Retiree Insurance, noting proposed revisions to align with Policy 710.

Dr. Teets reported on the status of the school system= s emergency preparedness. He explained that three years ago, each school developed its own emergency management procedure to cover a variety of situations. A copy of each school= s plan is available at the central office. Dr. Teets highlighted his coordination with law enforcement agencies and the health department, noting police have blueprints of all school buildings, aerial photos, video records, keys and emergency phone numbers. The health department also has a grant which may allow a virtual tour recording of each school. Additionally, Dr. Teets and Mr. Sines are members of the county disaster plan committee. Discussion with Board members included giving parents information about schools= emergency plans, uses of schools as emergency shelters, site and time frame for inoculations if needed, procedure for hazardous materials in proximity to students, definition of A secure the perimeter@ and A lock down,@ and keeping the manual updated. Dr. Teets stated that staff has been proactive in emergency planning, that staff will continue to consider best methods of communication with parents and media, and that he will review these points at the Administrators and Supervisors Meeting on March 18, 2003.

Part XIII - Board Concerns

Mrs. Sebold reported on her meeting with the State Board of Education on February 25, 2003 in Baltimore. She noted that Mr. Durst as past MABE president and Mrs. Collins as a member of the MABE executive board also were at the meeting. Mrs. Sebold said topics covered by Dr. Grasmick included snow days, the No Child Left Behind Act, and paraprofessional testing. Mrs. Collins noted executive committee issues included the pilot electronic meeting grant, commercialism in the schools, and vending machines in regard to nutritional issues for students.

Mrs. Collins noted the MABE Summer Leadership Conference will be held in Cumberland on June 19-20, 2003. The theme will be A data driven decision making.@

Mrs. Sebold noted the deadline for MABE= s 2003-2004 Board of Directors= nominations is May 5, 2003. She noted that Mr. Durst, who is in Nashville, Tennessee today is chair of this committee.

Mr. Fink explained that the four employee groups had reviewed and ratified their respective Comprehensive Agreements for July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2006 and highlighted the following negotiated points of the proposed agreements:

C Salary increases of 4%, 4%, and 3% over the next three years.

C Increase in the amount paid for dependent insurance from $125 to $200 per month.

C A New Retiree Insurance Program.

C Changes to strengthen the Teacher= s Sabbatical.

C A new Sabbatical Program for Support Personnel.

C Establishment of $600 Salary Supplement for Assistants Passing the Paraprofessional Test.

C Change for check distribution on snow days to the Board office only.

C Changes in the Masters+30 and Masters+60 to allow for undergraduate hours taken for the purpose of gaining additional certifications.

C Creation of a Professional Staff Development Committee to collaborate in staff development described in the contract.

C Allowing teachers to have payroll deductions for Voluntary Political Contributions.

C Elimination of mailing vacancies during the summer months - employee must use website and telephone information line.

C Change of duty day definitions for the workday preceding Thanksgiving and Christmas to two and one-half hours early.

C Guarantees teachers a minimum of three days of staff development time if voluntarily transferred into a school upon the request of the Superintendent with a school improvement plan under No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

C Implementation of borrowed sick leave for Support Personnel.

C Change in contract language dealing with preparation time, lesson plans, teacher evaluation, and teacher protection.

C Eliminates requirement of employee= s signature for letters sent by certified mail.

Mrs. Sebold asked for a motion for approval of the negotiations. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board approved the Comprehensive Agreements for July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2006 for the following employee groups:

- Garrett County Education Association

- Garrett County Education Association - Support Personnel

- Garrett County Federation of Teachers

- Garrett County Administrators and Supervisors Association

Mrs. Sebold, Board members and Dr. Teets expressed their appreciation for hard work by Mr. Fink toward the completion of the negotiations.

Dr. Teets gave a brief overview of several current bills in Maryland legislation impacting education. He noted HB270 (increasing fines and points for passing a school bus with red lights flashing) was defeated in committee vote but will be attempted again next year. Dr. Teets testified in favor of HB585 to increase school bus speed limit on interstate highways. Although a letter opposing the bill to allow home-schooled children to participate in public school extra-curricular activities was sent to Delegate Edwards, Dr. Teets reported we have not received a response. He stated that MSDE and PSSAM also opposed this bill.

Additionally, Dr. Teets noted the only response to the request for input into MABE= s 5-Year Strategic Plan was from this Board.

Mrs. Sebold distributed copies of the National School Board Association (NSBA) A Call to Action@ Bulletin noting the Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to meet on March 12, 2003 and asking for support for education funding levels at the federal level. Mr. Raley noted that Senator Paul Sarbanes, who represents Garrett County, is a member of the committee and an advocate for education.

Dr. Teets noted the defeat of a bill which would remove the need for approval by the State Superintendent of action taken by a local board against its superintendent.

Mrs. Sebold distributed copies of the MABE announcement of the opening of its online campus and noted the first two courses available online were on the legal parameters of school prayer and parliamentary procedure for school boards. The first course is free.

Mrs. Sebold explained a letter had been sent to MSDE, as requested by MSDE, to certify that no Board policy prevents or denies student participation in school prayer.

Mrs. Sebold noted a Spring Multicultural Staff Development Conference on Saturday, May 3, 2004 in Harford County.

Mr. Fink noted changes to the FY 2004 Budget Request which were made following the public presentation of the Superintendent= s Budget on March 5, 2003, and distributed several replacement pages. Discussion centered on the impact of fifteen previously restricted grants that have been incorporated in the State Aid formula and have, therefore, become part of the FY2004 budget. This was a change made from Thornton Commission to allow local Boards to have greater discretion in the use of these funds. Mr. Fink pointed out the capital outlay amount will change as a result of the Bloomington Boiler Project award. Additionally, an overall increase of $5,000 for county band allocation was included in the budget.

Part XIV - Return to Executive Session

The Board recessed from public session at 9:25 p.m. to move to executive session to continue discussion prior to finalization of the budget.

Miss DiSimone left the meeting at this time.

Part XV - Return to Public Session

The Board returned to public session at 9:48 p.m. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board voted 3-0 to approved the FY 2004 Budget as amended, in the amount of $37,372,062.

Part XVI - Adjournment

There being no further business, the Board, by consensus, adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m.

Part XVII - Information Items

  1. February 2003 Attendance Bulletin
  2. MSDE Bulletin, Vol. 14, No. 3 (02/04/03)
  3. MSDE News Release: State Board Honors the Late Reginald L. Dunn (02/25/03)
  4. MSDE News Release: MSDE Web Survey Nets Huge Increase in User Volume (02/14//02)
  5. MSDE News Release: Blizzard Causes State Superintendent to Request Authority to Grant Waivers to 180-Day Requirement (02/24/03)


________________________________________ _______________________________________
Charlotte Sebold Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   April 8, 2003