Board of Education

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

Minutes February 8, 2005



Oakland, Maryland 21550

Tuesday, February 8, 2005


            Part I - Call to Order

        Mr. Rodney L. Durst, President of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m. Members in attendance included Mrs. Madeleine Collins, Vice President; Mr. James M. Raley, Mrs. Camilla Rawe, and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.

            Part II - Public Comment

        Several parents asked to speak before the Board regarding their concerns about the Freshman Seminar at Northern High School (Amy Hartung-Jones, Tom Rosser, Lynn Newman, Judy Pittman, Carol Voelkel, and Jim Raley). Additionally, letters from Carol Bass and Kerrie Margroff were shared with the Board. The parents voiced concerns that the Freshman Seminar interferes with student schedule needs (especially band and/or foreign language), that many topics offered in the class are redundant and not challenging to a certain level of students, and that the time in the class could be better utilized. Parents offered suggestions to make the course an elective, giving students more options as to their schedules and information needs, and asked that decisions regarding the restructure of this course be made prior to students making next year's schedules. Board members thanked the parents for their feedback, noting the course was designed to address drop out and transition issues, and that many of their concerns were discussed at the outset. The Board assured the parents that their concerns would be addressed through staff and administration review of the Freshman Seminar.

            Part III - Executive Session

        Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Board of Education agreed to move to executive session at 4:45 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, to protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business, and to consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation. Dr. Teets and Dr. Brenda McCartney, Assistant Superintendent were in attendance during all or part of the executive session. Personnel items discussed included appointments, a substitute teacher's concern, professional leave requests, and volunteer coaches.

            Part IV - Return to Public Session

        Mr. Raley reconvened public session at 5:45 p.m. Student Board member, Laura Costa joined the meeting at this time. The Reverend Par Kerr of St. Paul's Methodist Church offered a prayer, after which Ms. Costa led the assembly in 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 agenda was unanimously approved with the addition of "Freshman Seminar" under Board Concerns, and "The Steering Wheel" under Information Items.

            Part VI - Announcements

        `The following announcements were offered:

  • Northern Middle Science Fair: February 8 and 9, 2005; Open House on February 9, 2005 at 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Northern High Science Fair - Wednesday, February 9, 2005.
  • Crellin Spaghetti Supper on February 12, 2005, 5-7:00 p.m. The supper, sponsored by the PTO, is to provide funds for playground equipment.
  • MABE 3rd Annual Legislative Day Luncheon: Wednesday, February 16, 2005, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., at the Miller Senate Office Building.
  • The State Board of Education Dinner with local Board Presidents will be held on February 22, 2005 in Baltimore. Mr. Durst, as well as Mrs. Collins as a member of the MABE Executive Board, will attend.
  • Tom Woods, Principal of Southern High School, will be inducted into the Maryland State Coaches Hall of Fame on February 19, 2005.
  • There will be a Flag Day Celebration on June 14 at the WISP, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. A small group of individuals will create a "human flag" on the hill.
  • Honor Band Concert: March 17 at Northern High School.
  • Student Arts Fair: April 22-23 at Garrett College.
  • Superintendent's FY 2006 Budget Presentation: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room.

            Part VII - Approval of Minutes

        Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Collins, the Minutes of January 11, 2005 were unanimously approved as presented.

            Part VIII - 2004 Christmas Card Designer.

        Dr. Teets introduced Megan Viar, Southern High School Class of 2007, as the designer of the Christmas Card which was sent from the Board and Superintendent to Board employees, each Maryland school district, and various county and state agencies in December 2004. Dr. Teets remarked on the difficulty to choose one of many creative design submissions, noting that Ms. Viar's design of a little girl sledding downhill had a great expression on her face. The Board and Dr. Teets congratulated Ms. Viar and presented her with a framed and matted copy of her card. They also thanked Ms. Cindy Ringler, Megan's art teacher, for her efforts and for coming to the meeting.

            Part X -Administration

        Dr. Teets recommended Ms. Jennifer Bentlejewski to be added as a member of the Food & Nutrition Services Advisory Committee. Ms. Bentlejewski is a Registered Dietitian for the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service. Upon a motion by Mrs. Collins, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously approved the recommendation.

        Dr. Teets reviewed the Superintendent's Report - July 1, 2001to January 31, 2005 - Four-Year Goals Summary and Future Goals, which provides an overview of major highlights and accomplishments during that time frame. Information contained in the booklet was gathered from directors and the assistant superintendent. The superintendent's analysis was structured around the Board of Education Goals as noted in Board Policy 105. Dr. Teets added that these goals could not have been accomplished without the strong leadership and stability of the Board of Education. As well, he credited the support of a great staff, parents, community, and local government for a successful educational experience for local students.

            Part XI - Instruction

        Mrs. Lynn Bell, Director of Secondary Education, 9-12, presented the following proposed foreign language textbooks which were discussed at the January meeting, noting that no comments were received during the past month while they were on display for public review:

  • Realides 1 (Prentice Hall)
  • Realides 2 (Prentice Hall)
  • Realides 3 (Prentice Hall)
  • Discovering French (Valette-Valette McDougal Littell)

        Dr. Teets recommended approval of the texts. Upon a motion by Mrs. Collins, seconded by Mrs. Rawe, the Board unanimously approved the recommendation.

        Dr. McCartney distributed copies of the revised Health Program of Studies, PK-5. She explained that 35-40 teachers and school nurses assisted in the revision. The draft Program of Studies was written using the new Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC) in Health as guidance and to comply with Maryland Bylaw. All Programs of Study and materials being presented have been reviewed by the Health Advisory Committee. Dr. McCartney noted the Program focuses on developing good habits and positive attitudes that will guide the student through the formative years. Also noted is the inclusion of PK curriculum for the first time. Additionally, Dr. McCartney distributed forms for the following recommended supplemental materials:

  • Changing for Girls, Lesson Outline, Grades 4 and 5
  • Changing for Boys, Lesson Outline, Grades 4 and 5
  • HIV/AIDS Lesson Outline, Grade 4

        The Health Program of Studies, PK-5 and the supplemental requests will be on display for public review and comment and brought back to the Board for action in March.

        Next, Dr. McCartney presented an overview of Health Program of Studies, 6-8, noting that in the past, supplemental speakers from different agencies have been brought to the Board for approval by specific name. In the current draft version, "staff" person rather than a specific name is used. Additional resources were reviewed:

  • Learning About Growing Up: From Boyhood to Manhood (Video), Grade 7 - Boys
  • Learning About Growing Up: From Girlhood to Womanhood (Video), Grade 7 - Girls
  • Birth Control Methods (Chart) - Grades 7, 9, and Family Life Elective, Grades 10-12
  • TIME to Wait for SEX (Video) - Grades 7, 9, and Family Life Elective, Grades 10-12

The Health Program of Studies, 6-8 and the supplemental requests will be on display for public review and comment and brought back to the Board for action in March.

        During discussion, Dr. McCartney noted that letters are sent home wherein parents indicate their desire for their child to participate or not participate in various lessons. Additional discussion centered on the grade level at which certain health lessons are taught, the need to be sensitive to a student's background and experience, the need to provide education to combat ignorance, and meeting bylaw guidelines.

        Mrs. Bell presented the Health Program of Studies - Grade 9, noting the goal of the program is to provide students with information leading to responsible decision-making to improve and maintain healthy lifestyles. It was noted the class is co-ed. Discussion centered on the class atmospheres in this mixed class, addressing sexual harassment issues, and the need for males and females to be comfortable discussing class topics.

        Next, Mrs. Bell introduced the Family Life Program of Studies, Grades 10-12. She noted the highlighted changes to make the program consistent, explaining that no changes in content were made. Both the Health and Family Life Programs of Studies will be on display for public comment and review for a month and brought back for Board action in March.

            Part XII - Board Concerns

        Ms. Costa provided a report on Northern High's "Best Buddies" Bowling Trip on January 26, the upcoming Special Olympics on March 1, and that five Northern High student council members will be attending the upcoming Legislation Session. In response to Ms. Costa's inquiry regarding the possibility of summer remediation classes, Mrs. Bell explained that staff is beginning discussion on a summer remediation for high school students to begin in 2006 in response to high school assessment needs.

            Part XIII - Public Comment

        Mr. Durst recognized Karl Schwalm, M. D. who spoke on the medical liability insurance crisis in the state of Maryland and twenty-two other states. He stated this crisis is especially acute in the area of obstetrics wherein the cost of insurance makes recruiting additional doctors difficult and/or forces some doctors to seek a community where lower cost liability insurance coverage could be obtained. Citing the variance in rates in different states, he suggested caps on litigation pay-outs as a solution. Noting the critical need for recruitment in rural areas such as Garrett County, he asked for the Board's support of upcoming medical liability legislation. Dr. Teets stated he would share this information with PSSAM, and suggested that the teacher's association may be of support, also.

        Mr. Durst noted that community goals include economic development, a great school system and a great health system in order to grow and attract people to the area and thanked Dr. Schwalm for sharing his information with the Board.

            Part XIV - Personnel Recommendations

        Dr. Teets presented the following personnel recommendations:

  • William Hady, Head Custodian, GV, eff. 02/07/05, Head Custodian Salary Scale, Step 1, $25,564
  • Annabelle M. Martin, Custodian IV, SH, eff. 02/09/05, Step 1, $19,566
Professional Leave and Travel Requests:
  • Jennifer Kotulak and Jeri Jones, Central Office, to a conference on disabilities
  • Philip Carr, Northern High Coach, to attend Nike Coach of the Year Clinic

Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mr. Raley, the Board unanimously approved the recommendations.

        On behalf of the Board, Mr. Raley moved to renew the superintendent's contract for an additional four years, pending negotiations on the terms of the employment contract. Following a second by Mrs. Collins, the Board unanimously approved the motion.

            Part XV - Discussion with Parent Involvement Groups

        Both Northern and Southern High School Band Boosters accepted the Board's invitation to attend the February Board meeting to discuss their events, fundraising efforts, and budgetary needs. On hand were Rodney Glotfelty and Vern Wampler of the Northern High Boosters, and Cathy Johnson and Sheila Edwards representing the Southern High Boosters. The Boosters thanked the Board for its continued support and funding and emphasized increasing transportation costs and their fundraising efforts. Additionally, they stated they will request additional funding from the County Commission for the upcoming year as the Commission gave each Booster group $5,000 last year for uniforms. The Boosters also cited additional staffing needs and funding needs to augment musical instruction. The Boosters and Ms. Costa also addressed the need for a county auditorium by way of long-term capital funding, grants, or special legislation. Board members noted the school system has an aggressive capital program. Dr. Teets emphasized the need to include auditorium as part of the long-range Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Board members thanked the Boosters for attending the meeting and assured them their needs would be considered as the budget is developed.

            Part XVI - Board Concerns, continued

        Mr. Raley reported on the Mt. Maryland PACE reception which he and Dr. Teets attended on January 27-28, 2005 in Annapolis. He noted that PACE is one of the premiere events in the state and is an excellent opportunity for communication exchange with legislators and other attendees.

        Dr. Teets recommended the approval of the transfer of approximately 5.9 acres of land near the Crellin Elementary School from the County Commissioners to the Board of Education to be used as part of the playground and land reclamation project, and approval of a Dead of Easement and Right of Entry for Abandoned Mine Reclamation for the State of Maryland which is necessary to access the property to "treat" the soil which contains coal. Upon a motion by Mr. Raley, and a second by Mrs. Collins, the Board approved the recommendation pending review by the Board attorney, Robert Watson.

        Dr. Teets recommended the approval of Ms. Tamra Canfield, representing the Garrett County Department of Social Services and replacing current member, Rick DeWitt, as a member of the Advisory Committee on Education. Upon a motion by Mrs. Rawe, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Board unanimously approved the recommendation.

        Mr. Raley suggested that the Board, in light of previous discussion about medical liability insurance costs, create a letter in support of legislation which would benefit rural areas in retaining and recruiting physicians. Dr. Teets will draft a letter on behalf of the Board.

        The 3rd Annual MABE Legislative Day Luncheon will be held on February 16, 2005 in Annapolis.

        A letter from MABE asking local Board to submit suggestions for mini-rounds for the fall conference was shared.

        The Board revisited the Freshman Seminar concern discussed earlier with parents. Following their discussion with Dr. Teets, Dr. McCartney and Mrs. Bell on scheduling, an possible opt-out component, the use of surveys, activities and lessons during the Freshman Seminar courses, and the urgency to address this concern before the next year's scheduling is complete, the Board, by consensus, agreed to hold a special meeting for this topic to follow the Superintendent' Budget Presentation on March 1.

            Part XVII - Move to Executive Session

        At 9:15 p.m. the Board returned to executive session to discuss terms of the superintendent's contract renewal.

            Part XVIII - Adjournment

        At 11:30 p.m. the Board reconvened in public session. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at that time.

            Part XVI - Information Items

  1. January 2005 Attendance Bulletin
  2. Home & School Connection, February 2005
  3. Hickory Environmental Education Center - Advisory Committee - Minutes of December 3, 2004 (as per Policy 173.32)
  4. MSDE News Release: State Continues to be Among Leaders in AP Growth (01/25/05)
  5. MSDE News Release: MSDE Receives Gates Foundation Grant to Help Local Libraries . . . (01/24/05)
  6.  The Steering Wheel, January 28, 2005


________________________________________ _______________________________________
Rodney L. Durst Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   March 8, 2005