Board of Education

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

Minutes October 5, 2004

MINUTES

MEETING OF THE GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, October 5, 2004

___________


            Part I - Call to Order

        Mr. James M. Raley, President of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at 4:06 p.m. Members in attendance included Mrs. Madeleine Collins, Mrs. Camilla Rawe, and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.

            Part II - Public Comment

        There was no public comment.

            Part III - Executive Session

        Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education agreed, 3-0, to move to executive session at 4:07 p.m. in accordance with Public School Law 4-106 and Section 10-508 of the State Government Code to discuss personnel matters affecting one or more individuals; to consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation; and to review a professional leave and travel request and a field trip request. Dr. Teets, Dr. Brenda McCartney, Assistant Superintendent, and Mr. Ervin Fink, Director of Finance/Human Resources were present for all or part of the closed session. Personnel topics included resignations, retirement, emergency and volunteer coaches, a bus contract transfer and a disciplinary action taken by the superintendent.

        Mr. Rodney L. Durst, Board Vice President, joined the meeting at 4:07 p.m.

            Part IV - Reopening of Public Session

        Mr. Raley reconvened the public session at 5:34 p.m. by asking the assembly to observe a moment of silence following which Ms. Laura Costa, Student Board Member, led the Pledge 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 Board unanimously approved the agenda with the following additions: Under Instruction, add Update of High School Assessment (HSA); and under Information Items, add "The Steering Wheel" - Oct. 4, 2004; MSDE News Release of September 30, 2004; and U.S. Office of Surface Mining News Release of Sept. 22, 2004.

            Part VI - Announcements

        The following announcements were shared:

  • Northern High School Gym Lobby/Renovation Dedication is Wednesday, Oct. 6th at 7:00 p.m. in Northern's gym.
  • Oct. 8th is the Maryland Teacher of the Year Gala at Martin's West in Baltimore. Garrett County's Teacher of the Year is David Bender, Social Studies Teacher at Southern High School.
  • Staff Development Day is Thursday, October 14th at Southern High School.
  • Jadyn Swerbinsky and Andrew Goad, students at Southern High School, were elected Senators from the state of Maryland and represented Maryland at their respective Boys' and Girls' Nations. Boys' and Girls' State and Nations are sponsored by the American Legion (an extra-curricular activity). Dave Bender says this is the first time there is a Senator from Garrett County.
  • Maryland Center for Character Education (MCCE) 2004 School of the Year Award Winner: Southern Garrett High
  • U.S. Office of Surface Mining Award has been given to the Garrett County Community Action Committee - a Watershed Cooperative Agreement Worth $100,000 for the Crellin Tipple Acid Mine Drainage Project.
  • Unofficial September 30 Enrollment if 4,735 - Last year's September 30 Official County was 4,810.
  • Garrett County Commissioners formally approved the Capital Improvement Program for the Board of Education as presented on October 5th, contingent upon the availability of local funds that will be allocated during the normal budgetary process.
  • College Expo will be held on October 11, 2004.

            Part VII - Approval of Minutes of September 14, 2004

        Upon a motion by Mrs. Collins, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Minutes of September 14, 2004 were unanimously approved with an editorial correction and the insertion of "for exception" on page 3601, paragraph three, second sentence, following "meet the criteria . . ."

            Part VIII - General Financial Report Ending June 30, 2004

        Mr. James Murray, CPA, of Rodeheaver & Associates, P.C., presented the Financial Report for the period ending June 30, 2004. He was accompanied by Mr. Daniel Porter, CPA, who assisted in the audit for Rodeheaver & Associates. Also, in attendance were Mr. Fink, Ms. Judy Travis, Finance Coordinator, and Mr. Scott Germain, Food & Nutrition Services Manager. Mr. Murray explained the report, which is done in accordance with standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards and generally accepted accounting principles, expressed an unqualified opinion on financial statements and limited assurance on the remaining contents of the report. The Independent Auditors Report expressed an opinion on basic financial statements which are the responsibility of the Board's management and an analysis of individual school accounts which is not a required part of the basic financial statements.

        Mr. Murray complimented Mr. Fink, Ms. Travis and the financial department staff for their assistance which allowed the audit report to be completed so rapidly.

        In regard to internal control over financial reporting in the Food Service area, the auditors recommended the Board consider greater segregation of duties for cafeteria managers and staff, that a point-of-sale system be expanded to automate the reporting of participation and income activity, and that vendors' invoices be forwarded directly to the central office to be agreed to purchase orders prior to payment. It was also recommended the central office FNS staff conduct physical inventory counts independent of cafeteria staff.

        Additionally, auditors discussed their findings relative to the fixed asset reporting system, wherein capital assets are reported to a third party subcontractor employed to maintain property and equipment records. The report recommended that administration develop a methodology for accurately reporting capital asset additions and dispositions including construction in progress activity to the third party contractor.

        Mr. Murray continued by recommending the Board procure fidelity bond coverage beyond that which is currently held by the superintendent to include other employees who may authorize appropriation of assets and affect the financial reporting of the same.

        Additionally, he recommended the Board reiterate the policy that school principals require and retain detailed third party invoices or documentation in support of payments made from school activities funds.

        Mr. Murray reviewed the Management's Discussion and Analysis (MDA) - June 30, 2004 which is prepared in conjunction with the auditors' financial statements and required by the new reporting model, commenting on the excellent work of Mr. Fink, author of the report. This section presents an objective analysis of the Board's financial activities based on currently known facts, decisions, or conditions. Mr. Murray continued with a comprehensive overview of the basic financial statements, notes to these statements, and supplementary program information. He explained that capital improvement revenues are reported as income and expenses as depreciation.

        Most of the school system's actual budget of $37,238,580 was provided through County and State of Maryland taxpayers. County and other local revenues as reported in the MDA totaled $17,995,021, State revenues totaled $18,625,208 and federal revenues totaled $618,351. The Statement of Net Assets shows Total Assets of $42,611,507 as of the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2004, reflecting Total Liabilities of $8,065,376 and Total Net Assets of $34,546,140 (a 4.63% increase from FY2003). The Statement of Fund Balances Sheet showed a total fund balance of $1,418,948 for the Current Expense Fund and $549,682 in the Food Services Fund.

        Board members commented on the readability of the MDA and expressed their appreciation for Mr. Fink's work. Dr. Teets expressed his appreciation to Mr. Fink, finance staff, and the auditors, adding that steps have already been taken to address the audit findings in the Foods and Fixed Assets areas.

            Part IX - Administration

        Dr. Teets recommended RHL Engineering Co. as the engineering firm for development and design in preparation for Southern Middle School Boiler Replacement Project. He explained that following the engineering stage, the project would be put out to bids. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board unanimously approved the recommendation.

            Part X - Instruction

        Ms. Jennifer Kotulak, Supervisor of Special Education and Dr. Phil Lauver, Supervisor of Pupil Services reviewed the proposed revisions to Board Policy 431.22 and Administrative Procedure 431.23 Homeless which was presented for information at the October Board meeting. Dr. Teets recommended the Board approve the policy. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously approved Board Policy 431.22.

        Ms. Kotulak and Dr. Lauver reviewed the proposed new Board Policy 445.0 Student Behavior Intervention which was presented for information along with its accompanying Administrative Procedure at the October Board meeting. Ms. Kotulak distributed copies of the updated procedure. Dr. Teets recommended approval of the new policy. Upon a motion by Mr. Durst, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously approved the recommendation.

        Mrs. Lynn Bell, Director of Secondary Education, 9-12, presented the Science Program of Studies, 9-12 for review, noting the program of studies was developed during a summer workshop with a follow-up meeting in September. She explained the program of studies is designed to address the demands of regular, merit, and honors level classes, with the Core Learning Goals and Skills for Success being a part of the content areas. Mrs. Bell distributed a chart of current and proposed courses for the next school year which lists all high school science classes, including Advanced Placement options. Discussion included the relative merits of allowing students to take the more rigorous classes without the necessity of taking an AP test. The Science Program of Studies will be an action item at the November Board meeting.

        Dr. Teets provided an update on the latest results of the High School Assessment, noting each group's State ranking, as follows:

Algebra/Data Analysis All students:  #1
    Special Education #1
    Free & Reduced Meals (FARMs) #1
       
Biology All Students #7
    Special Education #5
    FARMs #1
       
Government All Students #5
    Special Education #12
    FARMs #1
       
English All Students #17
    Special Education not ranked
    FARMs #10

        Dr. Teets stated the figures were outstanding and he is pleased for the students and staff for this accomplishment. It was suggested that some form of recognition be offered for this achievement. Additionally, it was suggested that the possibility of giving credit for eighth grade algebra be reviewed. However, it was noted that students take a higher level math course for credit in high school in lieu of Algebra I.

        At his time the Board took a short break.

            Part XI - Public Comment

        There was no public comment at this time.

            Part XII - Personnel Recommendations

        Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

Resignation:

  • Chloe Ann Watson, School Psychologist, eff. at the end of the 2003-2004 school year
  • Linda M. Alkire, Teacher, SX, eff. end of work day 10/18/04

Retirement:

  • Thomas E. Steeple, Head Custodian, FV, eff. 01/01/05

Emergency Coach:

  • Chris Metcalfe, Softball Coach, SH, Step 1, $1,360

Bus Contract Transfer:

  • Bus No 1 - from W. G. Wassail, Inc. to Wanda Gayle Wassail

        Additionally, he recommended approval of a Professional Leave and Travel request for Jim Morris, Coordinator of Staff Development to attend a Staff Development Conference in Canada and a Field Trip Request for the Northern High School FFA Agronomy Team to travel to the national contest in Indiana. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board unanimously approved the superintendent's recommendation.

            Part XIII - Board Concerns

        Miss Costa presented the Student Board Member Report which included highlights of Northern High School's Student Council meeting on September 24, 2004, and the Garrett County Association of Student Councils (GCASC) meeting on October 2, 2004. Items discussed included starting a student committee to emphasize post-secondary education, book bag use in the schools, the need for more physical activity and obesity awareness, field trip funding, freshman seminar, and more efficient methods of holding student council meetings during the school day. Additionally, Ms. Costa noted the following student council events:

  • GCASC Fall Costume Dance @October 30, 2004 at Southern High School
  • Middle School Leadership Conference @November 6, 2004 in Carroll County
  • High School Leadership Conference @November 20, 2004 in Calvert County
  • Bloodmobile @October 29, 2004 at Southern High School
  • George Lander and Rebecca Kenyon are the new student council advisors at Northern Middle School.

        Dr. Teets recommended approval of Andrew Goad, student at Southern High School and Lakin Weimer, student at Northern High School as student representatives on the Advisory Committee on Education. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board unanimously approved the appointments.

        Mrs. Sebold presented a report on the MABE 2004 Annual Conference which was held on September 28 - October 1, 2004 in Ocean City, Maryland. Mrs. Sebold, Mrs. Collins, Mrs. Rawe and Dr. Teets attended. Each offered a brief report on the workshops they attended. Topics included a dialogue about student achievement, high school graduation requirements, the Steele Commission, school readiness, paperless board meetings, and strategies for school improvement. Additionally, attendees reported on other activities and round table discussions, noting the conference was a positive experience.

        Ms. Costa left the meeting at 8:10 p.m.

        Mr. Raley explained the Garrett County Salary Study Commission will be convening and will be asking the Board to make a presentation to them in January 2005.

            Part XIV - Adjournment

        Seeing no further business, the Board, by consensus, adjourned the meeting at 8:33 p.m.

            Part XV - Information Items

        In addition to the following items, Board members received a copy of the 2004-2005 Directory for Garrett County Public Schools.

  • Home & School Connection, October 2004
  • MSDE News Release: HSA Scores Rise as MSDE Releases Additional School Information (8/14/04)
  • MSDE News Release: Maryland Higher Education Commission: Maryland Students Among the Best-Prepared in Nation Report Card Says (9/15/04)
  • MSDE News Release: Six Maryland Schools Achieve National "Blue Ribbon" Recognition (9/17/04)
  • MSDE News Release: Program That Supports Business Ownership by People With Developmental Disabilities Recognized as One of 25 Innovators of the Year by Daily Record (9/24/04)
  • MSDE News Release of September 30, 2004: Character Education Showcase Honors Best Programs, Practices
  • U.S. Office of Surface Mining News Release of Sept. 22, 2004: U.S. Office of Surface Mining Awards Garrett County, Maryland Community Action Committee a Watershed Cooperative Agreement Worth $100,000


 

________________________________________ _______________________________________
James M. Raley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:  November 9, 2004