Board of Education

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

Minutes December 11, 2007

 

 

 

MINUTES

 

GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

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                                    Part I – Call to Order

            Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, President of the Garrett County Board of Education, called the meeting to order at 4:06 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.    

                        Part II – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at this time. 

Part III –Executive Session

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mr. Carr, 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.   Personnel items for discussion included a retirement, a resignation, emergency and volunteer coaches, a professional leave and travel request, a field trip request, and an employee disciplinary decision by the superintendent.  Dr. Teets and Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction, were in attendance during all or part of the executive session.  Commissioner Ernest Gregg, ex officio member, joined the meeting at 4:20 p.m.  Additionally, Mr. Tom Woods, Principal of Southern High School, and Mrs. Sandi Smith, Instructional Assistant at Southern High School, were present for a brief time during executive session. 

                        Part IV – Return to Public Session

            Mrs. Sebold welcomed Joanna Guy, junior at Southern High School, who joined the meeting as a representative of GCASC for Mr. Brison Harvey, Student Board Member, who could not attend the December meeting. 

            The Reverend Duane Frederick, representing the Mt. Top Ministerial Association, offered a prayer, after which Ms. Guy led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. 

            Commissioner Gregg left the meeting at 6:15 p.m.

                        Part V – Acceptance of Agenda

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the agenda was approved as drafted.

                        Part VI – Announcements

            Dr. Teets extended an invitation to Board members to join them for their December meeting luncheon on December 18, 2007, at Will O’the Wisp.  Additional announcements included:

·        This morning at 11:00 a.m. the American Dairy Council presented a check for $19,200 to Scott Germain for cafeteria recycling projects.  Southern High School carpentry classes will use a portion of these funds to build recycling sheds for cafeteria products.  

·        Jeri Jones, Pupil Personnel Worker, placed second in national competition in pas de deux Horse Dancing.

·        The December 3 CIP Appeal Hearing resulted in the reinstatement of $755,000 for the Northern Middle Renovation Project. 

·        December 12:  Swan Meadow Christmas Program.

·        December 17:  Southern Middle Band Concert at 7:00 p.m.

·        December 17:  Northern High School Chorus Concert. 

·        Board members are invited to attend the Fall 2007 JROTC Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 19th at 6:30 p.m. in the Southern High cafeteria.  Light refreshments will be served.  (Mrs. Sebold and Mr. Durst will attend.)

·        Students will be dismissed at noon on Dec. 21st

·        School will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2008. 

·        On Saturday, Dec. 1, the three Garrett County FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams all brought home trophies from the Pittsburgh Regional competition where they competed against 61 other teams from around the Pittsburgh area. 

            « Northern Middle won First Place in Robot performance with a top score of 386 out of 400.

            « Southern Middle won Third Place in Robot performance with a top score of 340 out of 400.  They also won Fourth Place in the Research Project.

            « Accident Elementary won Second Place in Teamwork.

·        The Bloomington team represented Garrett County in Annapolis on Saturday, Dec. 8 in a “Practice” tournament in preparation for the Maryland FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Championship Event on January 26, 2008.  They earned a top score (320/400) at the event among the ten teams competing.  Two teams will be participating in the Maryland event:  the returning champions, NeXT GEN from Southern Middle and the runner-up, the team from Bloomington. 

·        U.S. News & World Report in collaboration with the School Evaluation Services, a K-12 education and data research business that provides parents with education data on schoolmatters.com analyzed academic and enrollment data from more than 18,000 public high schools to find the best across the country.  The top schools were placed into gold, silver, or bronze medal categories.  Both Northern and Southern High Schools placed in the Bronze category. 

 

Additionally, Dr. Teets reported that Dr. Melvin Brown passed away this past weekend.  Dr. Brown was a past teacher for the Garrett County Board of Education and Frostburg State University.  He was instrumental in creating and maintaining the botanical gardens at Kitzmiller Elementary School. 

                        Part VII – Approval of Minutes

            Upon a motion by Mr. Carr and a second by Mr. Raley, the Minutes of November 13, 2007, were unanimously approved as amended.

                        Part VIII – New Business

            Ms. Judy Travis, Financial Coordinator, presented the Bi-Annual Financial Report for the period ending November 30, 2007.  The Chief Financial Officer, the Superintendent, and the President of the Board are required to sign the certification prior to its submission to MSDE in April and December of each year. 

            Mrs. Lynn Bell, Director of Secondary Education, summarized revisions to the Student Education Planning Guide (SEPG) which is distributed to every high school student and used to assist with student scheduling.  Board members asked for clarification regarding “weighted” status of merit and honor courses, discussed the difficulty of scheduling four years of foreign language, and asked what costs are involved for ECAP students.  It was noted there are no fees for dual enrollees. 

            Mrs. Bell presented an overview of the proposed pilot course, Reading and Writing Essentials.  She explained the elective course is designed for students entering the ninth grade who have difficulty with English classes and are at risk of not passing the assessment tests.  These students would be identified by IEP or by dialogue with counselors and encouraged to take the class.  Mrs. Bell stated that the high school teachers indicated more help was needed to give students extra help in reading.    Teachers covering these classes would be assigned from existing staff.  Board members discussed whether instructional coaches could be utilized rather than regular English teachers and if this initiative would be more appropriate in a middle school setting.  Mrs. Waggoner stated that instructional coaches are working at both middle schools, and that teachers are developing strategies in sentence writing and paragraph writing at grade level meetings.   Dr. Teets noted the proposed pilot will be brought back next month.

            Mrs. Waggoner reported that the Master Plan Update has been approved by MSDE.  The approval letter commented on the meticulous manner of addressing the issues.  The Board and Dr. Teets offered congratulations and expressed their appreciation to Mrs. Waggoner and her staff for their hard work. 

                        Part IX – Board Concerns

            Ms. Guy presented the Student Board Member report.  Students from both high schools have asked about the possibility of having student email accounts and if a server could be designated for that purpose.  Board members stated that while there are many positive aspects to the request, not all students have ready access to computers.  Mrs. Sebold added that this request would need to be considered as there are several concerns to be considered.            

            Ms. Guy expressed student concerns regarding the need to study for the AP exam and comprehensive final at the same time, and asked whether submitting a project could be an alternative to taking the test.  Mr. Raley stated the AP exam and the AP class final exam should be aligned.  Mrs. Sebold noted the topic will be under Continuing Business on the January agenda. 

            Ms. Guy shared with the Board that a representative from MASC spoke at the December 1, 2007 GCASC meeting about the Maryland Leadership Workshop.  She distributed a brochure for the summer workshop for middle and high school leadership programs, noting that western Maryland is underrepresented. 

The next GCASC meeting will be on January 5, 2008.     

            The Mountain Maryland PACE Reception and Legislative Breakfast will be held on January 24-25, 2008 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel in Annapolis.  Dr. Teets and elected Board members will attend. 

            Mr. Durst presented a report from the recent Legislative Committee meeting where Mr. Mark Collins of MABE spoke on the one percent funding increase for next year. 

            At the November meeting, it was referenced that Mr. Raley wrote to local legislators requesting their support of education funding.  He received a response from Delegate George Edwards who wrote that no county will receive less than a one percent increase for FY2009.  Dr. Teets added that student enrollment is decreasing, and that the one percent increase includes state retirement funds for the first time.  Mrs. Sebold shared that the Board has experienced several good years in which teacher salaries were significantly raised and several large capital projects were initiated, some of which are completed and some ongoing. 

            Mrs. Sebold reported that the next Legal Services Association meeting will be on January 7, 2008, and asked for a board member to volunteer to attend.  Mr. Carr will attend for the board.   

                        Part X – Personnel Items

            Dr. Teets recommended the following items for approval:

 

·        Retirement:                    Sara Ramsey, Reading/Writing Resource Teacher, SX, eff. 02/01/07

 

·        Resignation:                   Michele Ravenscroft, Counselor, SX, eff. 11/28/07

                       

·        Emergency Coaches:      Sara Shaffer, Mock Trial Advisor, SH

                                           Seth Tressler, Assistant Football Coach, SH

 

·        Professional Leave and Travel Approval Request:  At-Risk Youth National Forum, Clemson University, February 2008 (1 staff member)

 

Dr. Forrester moved to accept the superintendent’s recommendation, with a second by Mr. Durst.  Mr. Raley clarified that since the Southern High Senior Trip request was for less that three days of school missed, it is the superintendent’s decision.    Mrs. Sebold called for a vote, and the Board voted unanimously to approve the motion. 

                        Part XI – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at this time. 

                        Part XII - Adjournment

There being no further business, the Board, by consensus, adjourned at 8:27 p.m.

 

 

 

________________________________________ _______________________________________
Charlotte Sebold Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   January 8, 2008