Board of Education

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

Minutes May 8, 2007

MINUTES

 

GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

 

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

___________

                                    Part I – Call to Order

            Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, President of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at 3:47 p.m.  Members in attendance included Mr. James M. Raley, Vice President; Mr. Thomas Carr, Mr. Rodney L. Durst, and Dr. Donald Forrester, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.  Commissioner Ernest Gregg, ex officio member, was also present. 

                        Part II –Executive Session

By consensus, the Board moved to closed session to conduct an interview for the 2007-2008 student board member.  In addition to those previously listed, Dr. Brenda McCartney, Assistant Superintendent, and Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration, were in attendance during all or part of the first session of the executive session.  The student board member candidate was present for the interview. 

                        Part III – Return to Public Session

            At 4:10 p.m., Mrs. Sebold reconvened public session.

                        Part IV – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at this time. 

                        Part V – Meeting with Student Councils

            Mrs. Sebold welcomed Lindsay Crabtree and Stevee Royce, student council members from Southern Middle School.  It was noted that Mrs. Nancy Pagenhardt, advisor, was unable to attend.  The students thanked the Board for their support and funding for transportation to conferences and student council activities.  They gave an account of the years’ activities and fund raisers which included “Pennies for Patients,” decorating for the senior citizen prom, and election of officers.  Other topics of discussion included the new boiler system for Southern Middle and Broad Ford Elementary Schools, and the need for repair of Southern Middle’s gym floor.  Mrs. Sebold thanked the students for coming to the meeting and for their efforts on the student council.  Additionally, she thanked the parents who accompanied the students to the meeting. 

            Mrs. Sebold welcomed Stephanie Law and Jessica Harvey, student council members from Northern High School.  Ms. Michelle Harman, advisor was unable to attend.  Ms. Law discussed student nutrition and wellness concerns.  She requested that a nutrition facts poster, or information cards, be posted in the cafeteria for students to review nutritional content of food items.  Board members noted the request will be a topic at the next Food & Nutrition Advisory Committee meeting and shared with the Food and Nutrition Services Manager.  Ms. Harvey inquired as to the feasibility of an elective physical activity class or other means to bring more physical activity to students every day.  Dr. Teets replied that legislature has considered that elementary students should have physical activity class every day; but, the reality is that staff and space are not available for this to occur.  Board members added that more activity should be available during the summer, that parents could oversee that exercise is done at home, and that students could make exercise part of their daily routine.  Additional topics covered by the students included a request for funds for “Best Buddies International” field trips, their appreciation for AP classes and having the AP test paid by the Board, their appreciation for support of sports and clubs, the need for repair of the tennis courts, and their appreciation of lighting in student parking lots.   Mrs. Sebold praised the Best Buddies program and stated the Board will check on funding for FY2009.  Board members thanked the students for coming to the meeting and for their efforts on behalf of the Northern High students.  Dr. Teets added that Ms. Law serves as a student member of the Advisory Committee on Education and the Health Advisory Committee. 

            Dr. Teets noted that Mr. Lowell Leitzel, Garrett County Association of Student Councils advisor, was unable to attend, but sent his regards to the Board members. 

            Mrs. Sebold welcomed Phillip Adams, Joanna Guy, Brison Harvey, and Stephanie Weaver, student council members from Southern High School.  The students reported on various council activities, including Mix It Up Day, Winter Homecoming Dance to benefit the Leukemia Foundation, Hats On Day where students could pay one dollar to wear their hats for the day, and the school talent show.  Additional activities included the fall blood drive, senior citizen prom, and the Maryland Association of Student Councils convention.  The students expressed their appreciation for the transportation funding to attend regional and state meetings.  Other topics of discussion included a request for a salad bar and more fresh items in the cafeteria, a concern about guidelines for cleanliness in the cafeteria, and a request for posting the nutritional values of food items.  Additionally, the students and Board members discussed security concerns in light of a recent bomb threat at Southern High and items in the national news.  Dr. Teets noted that, although the school resource officer funding was not approved for the sheriff’s office, he and his staff have great cooperation with local law enforcement agencies and meet together on a regular basis.  Dr. McCartney commended the students for being proactive with security by reaching out to all students through their various activities.  Mrs. Sebold added that the council understands that activities need to be broad enough to include students from all walks of life. 

            Mrs. Sebold recognized Mr. Tom Woods, principal of Southern High School who accompanied the students to the meeting.  Mr. Woods commented that the council members are respectful and responsive to all students.  Dr. Teets noted that the council’s activities were commended in Southern High’s recent accreditation report. 

            Mrs. Sebold and Board members thanked the council members for coming to the meeting. 

            Ms. Danielle Daniels, student board member, was unable to attend the meeting. 

            Mr. Gregg left the meeting at 5:15 p.m.

                        Part VI – Executive Session

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education unanimously agreed to move to executive session at 5:20 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.  Dr. Teets, Dr. McCartney, and Mr. Fink were in attendance during all or part of this executive session.  Mrs. Barbara Baker, principal of Grantsville Elementary School, joined the meeting for a brief time. 

                        Part VII – Re-opening of Public Session

            Mrs. Sebold reconvened public session at 6:25 p.m.  The Rev. Duane Frederick, representing the Mt. Top Ministerial Association, offered a prayer after which Mr. Carr led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

                        Part VIII – Acceptance of Agenda

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the agenda was unanimously accepted with the following additions:  Under Information Items, add the April 2007 Attendance Bulletin; and under Board Concerns, add CMS Art Alliance. 

                        Part IX – Announcements

·         May 9:  School Nurse Day

·         May 10:  Envirothon at the 4-H Center

·         May 11:  Northern High Spring Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.

·         May 12:  Best Buddies Event at Par-Matt Lanes

·         May 14:  Southern High Spring Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.

·         May 13:  Math/Science/Technology Showcase, 2-5:00 p.m. at the Wisp

·         May 15:  High School Success Night, 6:00 p.m. at Northern High

·         May 19:  Armed Forces Day

·         May 22:  Middle School Success Night, 6:30 p.m. at Southern Middle

·         May 25:  Swan Meadow School Graduation, 7:30 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley Community Center

·         May 28:  Memorial Day, Schools Closed

·         Southern Middle Musical, “Children’s Letters to God” has been changed from May 10-11 to May 31 at 7:00 p.m.

·         May 29:  ACE Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Garrett College  

·         June 3:  Commencement – Southern High School @1pm; Northern High School @4pm

·         Mr. Doug Oxford, teacher at Southern High School, has been name the Garrett County Teacher of the Year for 2007-2008.         

 

                        Part X – Approval of Minutes

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the Minutes of April 10, 2007 were unanimously approved as amended. 

                        Part XI – Instruction

            Ms. Jennifer Kotulak, Supervisor of Special Education, reviewed the FY 2008 Special Education Staffing Plan.  She noted the plan is required by COMAR and must be approved by the local Board.  It will be an action item at the June meeting.

                        Part XII – Recognition of the Crellin “Corps of Discovery” Program

            Mrs. Sebold welcomed Dr. Dana McCauley, principal, and Mrs. Becky Sanders, teacher, from Crellin Elementary School who were invited, along with the entire fifth grade class, to be recognized for winning a President’s Environmental Youth Award for Region 3.  (There are 10 national regions.)  Mrs. Sanders explained that last fall the students wrote a persuasive letter highlighting their Crellin Community “Corps of Discovery” program to apply for this award.  They were notified of their selection in February.  The Awards Ceremony took place on April 20, 2007 during a two day trip to Washington, D. C.  In Washington, students were treated to a tour of monuments, memorials, the Smithsonian Institution; went to the capitol building; and met with EPA officials and Senator Roscoe Bartlett.  Additionally, the students were invited to Annapolis where they met with the Lieutenant Governor and received a Proclamation.  Additionally, Delegate Beitzel took them to the House Building, and Senator George Edwards escorted them on a tour of the State Building.   Lt. Governor Brown plans to visit Crellin Elementary School on May 18, 2007. 

            The students shared a Power Point presentation which detailed their projects and activities, and answered questions from the Board about their project.  The Crellin Community Corps of Discovery is an association of community members, environmentally concerned citizens, and Crellin School staff and students dedicated to the improvement of the Youghiogheny watershed in Crellin; to the development of adaptive reuse of the land for the community; and creating a unique learning environment for the Crellin Elementary School students.  The fifth grade students who attended the Board meeting are as follows:  Kiana Alexander, Melanie Ashby, Dylan Dawson, Karley Gibson, Zackary Gidley, Kenzie McCauley, Sheri Sisler, Dakota Strawser, and John Zimmerman.   Also in attendance were Gary Yoder of the Department of Natural Resources, Joe Mills from the Bureau of Mines, and several parents.  Crellin fifth grade students who were unable to attend the meeting are Keith Chapman, Brian Rinker, Colten Holland, Briana Craig, and Wyatt Sanders.  Dr. McCauley thanked everyone for their support and assistance, including Dr. Teets and Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Director of Elementary Education, who helped chaperone the students to Washington, D.C.  Dr. Teets and Board members congratulated Dr. McCauley, Mrs. Sanders, and the students for this exemplary award and thanked them for coming to the meeting.

                        Part XIII – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at this time.

                        Part XIV - Personnel

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel items:

 

·         Retirements:       Thomas W. Ables, Special Education Teacher, NX, eff. 07/01/07

                                Elaine M. Jamison, Instructional Assistant, SX, eff. 07/01/07

              Rose Ann Riley, Secretary V, SH, eff. 08/01/07

 

·         Resignations:      Heather Mancuso, Special Education Teacher, SH, eff. 06/14/07

                                Elizabeth Sauder, Teacher, SH, eff. 06/14/07 

 

·         Appointments:     Barbara Baker, Director of Elementary Education, CO, eff. 07/02/07

                                Cynthia Farmer, English Teacher, SH, eff. 08/23/07

                                Kathy Zimmerman, English Teacher, SH, eff. 08/23/07

                                David Browning, Assistant in Maintenance and Operations, CO, eff. 07/02/07

Pamela Humberson, Secretary III, Medical Assistance Clerk, CO, eff. 07/02/07

 

·         Leave Without Pay:  Sharon DiGioia, Teacher, YG, 2 days in April

                          Shirley LaRue, Part-Time Cafeteria Worker, SH, 5 days in May

 

·         Professional Leave and Travel Request:  National Reading First Conference, America’s Center, St. Louis MO, July 18-20, 2007  (3 staff members) 

 

·         Field Trip:   FBLA National Leadership Conference, Chicago IL, June 28-July 1, 2007  (one staff member and students)

 

·         Six percent salary increase for non-represented staff

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendations.

                        Part XV – Recognition of Earth Day Essay Contest Winners

            Mrs. Sebold recognized Mr. Bruce Taliaferro, Coordinator of Hickory Environmental Education Center, and Mr. Pat Delaney, Principal of Route Forty Elementary School.  Mr. Taliaferro explained that students in grades five, seven, and nine were asked to celebrate Earth Day by entering the 1st Annual Charlie Strauss Earth Day Essay Contest, sponsored by Hickory Environmental Education Center in honor of Mr. Strauss, who was instrumental is the creation of the Center in 1965.  The essay topic was “How can my school become a better steward of the Earth by being a Green School?”  Hickory received 150 entries from eight schools.  The winners were as follows:

                        Jordyn Folk                   Route Forty Elementary School

                        Rachel Frazee               Northern Middle School

                        Malachi Artice              Northern High School

Ms. Folk read her essay to the Board.  Ms. Frazee and Mr. Artice were unable to attend.  Mr. Taliaferro explained that Garrett County has the highest percentage of green schools in the state.  The Earth Day Essay Contest will become an annual event and the winners’ names will be posted on a plaque at the Center.  Dr. Teets and Board members thanked Mr. Taliaferro and Mr. Delaney for coming to the Board meeting, and congratulated Ms. Folk on her winning essay. 

                        Part XVI – Administration

            Mr. Jim Thomas, Director of Facilities, Maintenance and Operations, presented the FY 2008 Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) for review.  He explained the EFMP is updated annually and is sent to the state for approval in July.  The EFMP will be an action item at the June meeting. 

            Dr. Teets explained that the FY 2008 local budget request of $1,289,965 was cut by the County Commissioners (by a 2-1 vote) to $900,000.  Dr. Teets and Mr. Fink presented a slide presentation outlining three options to decrease the FY 2008 budget by $389,965.  The options included the elimination, or delay, of several projects and staff positions.  Dr. Teets recommended Option #3 which would reduce the budget $62,000 in maintenance projects, $5,000 for superintendent’s designated projects, $49,865 for purchase of a special education bus, $40,000 by reducing a family support worker from full- to half-time, $54,100 for Project Lead the Way, $25,000 for staff development, $110,000 by eliminating two instructional coaches, and $43,000 by not funding an additional maintenance position.  Dr. Teets added that using some of the undesignated reserve fund may be an option, although his preference would be to move to a three percent balance in that fund.  Board members voiced their concerns relative to the cuts.  Points of discussion included the impact on instructional programs as outlined in the Bridge to Excellence Master Plan, the feasibility of bonding some projects, the impact of cuts on renovation and maintenance of buildings, and the uncertainty of future years’ funding in light of Thornton funding cuts and the geographical index formula.  Additional topics included the need to prioritize funding for extra-curricular activities and transportation, the effectiveness of instructional coaches for student progress in passing the High School Assessments by 2009, the cyclical nature of purchasing textbooks and technology, and whether keeping a three percent undesignated/unreserved fund is realistic.  Mr. Fink noted there will be new 2009 federal regulations regarding retiree insurance, wherein the Board will be required to set up a trust fund to ensure adequate funds to cover retirement benefits.  Dr. Teets stated that the capital budget is intact, including a commitment from the Commissioners for local funds for the Northern Middle renovation.  Dr. Teets thanked the Board for their input, noting he and staff will incorporate their suggestions into a revised budget which will be an action item at the June meeting.         

            At 9:00 p.m. the Board took a short break.

                        Part XVII – Board Concerns

            Upon a motion by Mr. Raley and a second by Mr. Durst, the Board unanimously approved Brison Harvey as the Student Member of the Board for the 2007-2008 school year.  Mr. Harvey is a junior student from Southern High School, president of the Student Council, and a member of the Advisory Committee on Education. 

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Raley, the Board unanimously approved June 13, 2007 as the date for the Retirement Celebration which will be held at the Will O’the Wisp at Deep Creek Lake.  Invitations will be mailed to this year’s retirees and staff who retired last year after the 2006 Retirement Celebration was held. 

            Mrs. Sebold asked Board members to let the superintendent’s office know who would be attending the MABE Summer Leadership Conference on June 21-22 at the Chesapeake Beach Resort. 

            Mrs. Sebold noted an invitation to the Arts in Education Alliance meeting on May 29, 2007, in Baltimore. 

            Mr. Durst gave a brief report from the MABE Legislative Meeting on Monday, May 7, 2007. 

                        Part XVIII – Adjournment

            There being no further business, the Board, by consensus, adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

                        Part XIX – Information Items

            In addition to the following information items, Board members received the 2007 MSDE Report:  Better Lives Built on a Strong Foundation, the Maryland Report Card:  2006 Performance Report:  State and School Systems, and the 2007-2008 School Calendar.   

a.       Home & School Connection, May 2007

b.       MSDE News Release:   Maryland Joins in National Algebra II Effort  (04/10/07

c.       MSDE News Release:  Excellence for Minority Achievement Awards Ceremony Honors Educators, Students, Community Leaders and Groups  (04/20/07)

d.       MSDE News Release:  State Board of Education Accepts State Technology Plan  (04/26/07)

 

 

________________________________________ _______________________________________
Charlotte Sebold Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   June 12, 2007