Weather Related School Alert: All Garrett County Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20, 2019, because of the predicted inclement weather that includes possible heavy snowfall and ice accumulation. Code Orange and liberal leave in effect for employees. Administrative offices will open at 10:00 AM. Should a change in code status for employees be necessary, the announcement will be made by 8:00 AM.

Board of Education

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

Minutes January 8, 2008




Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, January 8, 2008



Part I - Call to Order

Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:00 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

Mrs. Sebold recognized Mrs. Mary Sincell McEwen who addressed the Board as a band parent and Booster.  Also in attendance was Mr. Josh Elmlinger, music educator and past band member.  Mrs. Sincell discussed the decreasing enrollment in band, the importance of music education, class scheduling concerns, and the Boosters’ plan of action for recruitment.  Dr. Teets replied that the Board and administration have been supportive of band and music education financially and have encouraged participation.  He added that scheduling concerns will be addressed with counselors so that students who want band and music classes will have every possible opportunity to schedule them.  The Board thanked Mrs. McEwen and Mr. Elmlinger for coming to the meeting to share their concerns.

Part III –Election of Officers

 In order to conduct the election for president of the Board of Education, Mrs. Sebold relinquished the chair to Dr. Teets who asked for nominations.  Dr. Forrester nominated Mr. Raley, with a second by Mr. Carr.  Dr. Forrester moved to close the nominations with a second from Mr. Carr.  Dr. Teets called for a vote and  the Board unanimously elected Mr. Raley as president for 2008.

Mr. Raley then assumed the chair and asked for nominations for the vice presidency.  Dr. Forrester nominated Mr. Durst and moved to close nominations with a second from Mr. Carr.  Mr. Raley called for a vote, and the Board unanimously elected Mr. Durst as vice president for 2008.

            County Commissioner Ernest Gregg, ex officio member, joined the meeting at 4:20 p.m.

Part IV - Executive Session

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education agreed to move to executive session at 4:25 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 prepare for the evaluation of the superintendent.  Board members discussed personnel items which included a resignation, volunteer coaches, a request for leave without pay, professional leave and travel requests, and disciplinary action of an employee by the superintendent.  Dr. Teets; Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration; and Commissioner Gregg were in attendance during all or part of the executive session.  

Part V - Return to Public Session

Mr. Raley reconvened public session at 5:45 p.m.  Ms. Tanya Devine, representative of GCASC sitting in for Mr. Brison Harvey, student board member, joined the meeting at this time.  The Reverend Duane Frederick offered a prayer, after which Ms. Devine led the assembly in the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America.

Part VI - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold and a second by Dr. Forrester, the Board unanimously approved the agenda with the addition of PACE arrangements under Board Concerns; AP Exam and Course Finals Alignment under Continuing Business; and the December 2007 Attendance Bulletin under Information Items.

            Commissioner Gregg left the meeting at 6:00 p.m.

                        Part VII – Announcements

The following announcements were offered:


·        Tanya Devine, student at Northern High School and member of the GCASC, is attending on behalf of Brison Harvey. 

·        MABE has confirmed the appointment of Rodney Durst to Maryland’s Federal Relations Network for 2008 for his Congressional District.    The first meeting is January 14, 2008.

·        The Maryland State Board of Elections sent a letter encouraging county boards of education to include the following information in communications with students and parents:


If you are 17 years old, but will be 18 on or before November 4, 2008, you are allowed to register to vote at this time.  You will also be permitted to vote in the upcoming Presidential Primary election to be held on February 12, 2008 if you are affiliated with one of the principal political parties (Democratic or Republican).  The voter registration deadline is January 22, 2008. 


·        Crellin Elementary School was awarded $1,000 from the Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation.  They plan to use the money to develop a Bird Attractant Garden Identification Guide for their garden located outside the K, 1, 2 classroom windows. 

·        January 18:  Bloomington Lego League presentation to the community will be on Friday, 1/18 at 1:45 p.m.

·        January 21:  Schools closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

·        January 25:  Students dismissed at noon for Professional Day.

·        Winter Sports are in full swing at both high schools.

·        The Southern High School Newspaper, The Acorn, received a Gold Rating by the MD/DC Scholastic Press Association for Publication Context.

·        February 1 – 29:  Grades 6-12 Anti-Drug Poster Contest will be held with the winning poster to be used by Garrett 8 in their pre-movie community slides, and in stores and newspapers.  The Board will recognize the winner in April. 


Additionally, Dr. Teets noted he made a request to the State Board to use Presidents Day and Easter  Monday as make-up days for days missed due to inclement weather. 

Part VIII - Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mrs. Sebold, the Minutes of December 11, 2007 were unanimously approved as amended.

Part IX – Continuing Business

            Mrs. Lynn Bell, Director of Secondary Education, shared the final draft of the Student Education Planning Guide, highlighting any changes which were made from the December meeting review.  She noted the Guide has been printed and will be available the next week for student scheduling.  The Board thanked Mrs. Bell for the excellent document. 

            Mrs. Bell presented a pilot program entitled “Reading and Writing Essentials” which was first reviewed at the December meeting.  The course would be slated to begin with the 2008-2009 school year.  Accompanying Mrs. Bell in her presentation was Mr. Tom Woods, Southern High Principal, Mr. Bill Carlson, Northern Middle Principal, and Mr. Jack Rickman, Southern Middle Principal, who advocated the program for students at risk of failing the assessments.  Mrs. Bell noted the course will assist these students in catching up and preparing for the testing program.  Identified students at Northern would take this course along with English I; at Southern High, this course would be offered first semester and English I during second semester.  Dr. Teets recommended approval of the pilot course.  Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board unanimously approved the “Reading and Writing Essentials” pilot course. 

            Mrs. Sebold expressed her continuing interest in students’ concerns relative to the alignment of AP exams and AP course final exams.  Mrs. Bell reported that the high school principals are gathering data on this topic with plans to present their findings at a future board meeting.  Mr. Raley noted the Board will revisit the topic next month.   

            Part X – Recognition of 2007 Christmas Card Designer

Dr. Teets introduced Austin Smith, fourth grade student at Dennett Road Elementary School, as 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 2007.  Dr. Teets remarked on the difficulty to choose one of many creative design submissions, noting that Austin’s design of a forest scene with deer certainly represented Garrett County. The Board and Dr. Teets expressed their appreciation of Austin’s talent and artwork and presented him with a framed and matted copy of his original artwork which was used to create the card.  They also thanked Mrs. Bonnie Frederick, Austin=s art teacher, for her efforts and for coming to the meeting.  Austin was accompanied to the meeting by his parents, Susan and Mickey Chapman.  He is also the son of Mr. Darrin Smith.

                        Part XI – Presentation of Gavel

            Dr. Teets presented Mrs. Sebold with the traditional, “treasured” gift of a wooden gavel which was signed by the other Board members and Superintendent in honor of Mrs. Sebold’s past year as Board president.  

                        Part XII – New Business

            Mrs. Barbara Baker, Director of Elementary Education, presented two proposed series of math textbooks for PK-5 classes.  She explained that the process of started last summer with teacher review of seven series.  After aligning with curriculum, two programs were selected for piloting, Growing With Mathematics and Harcourt Mathematics.  At a final review last week, teachers unanimously chose the Growing With Mathematics series which will be on display for public review and comment for a month.  The texts will be brought back to the February meeting for approval.  

                        Part XIII – Board Concerns

            Ms. Devine reported that the GCASC met on January 5 at Garrett College.  Representatives from all secondary schools are interested in attending the MASC Legislative Session on February 2 in Ocean City.  Plans are moving forward for the GCASC Senior Citizen Prom at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on May 11.  Ms. Devine relayed a request from a teacher who asked if there are online means available for parents to have access to their children’s grades and progress.  Mr. Raley added that Allegany County is piloting online grading and means to student records, although paper records will continue to be printed.  Staff will check on this request. 

            Email addresses of most Board members will be available on the Board’s web page. 

                                    Part XIV - Public Comment

            There was no public comment at 7:00 p.m.

                        Part XV – Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets presented the following personnel recommendations:

·  Resignation:                           Connie L. Moats, Part-time Custodian, BR, eff. 12/31/07


·  Leave Without Pay:                Betty Elliott, 5 days during January 2008


·  Professional Leave and Approval Requests:

-   - Council for Exceptional Children National Convention & Expo, John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Boston MA, April 2008  (4 staff members) 

-  - Gear Up Capacity-Building Workshop, Las Vegas NV, Feb. 2008  (3 staff members)

   - ASBO International Leadership Conference, Denver CO, Feb. 2008  (1 staff member)


·  Superintendent’s Disciplinary Action of an Employee


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

Part XVI – Board Concerns

            Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold and a second by Dr. Forrester, the following selections were unanimously approved for 2008:

C                  The regular meeting time will remain as the second Tuesday of each month, beginning at 4:00 p.m. to move immediately into executive session, with a public session to reopen at 5:30 p.m.  Time will be set aside for public comment at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

C                  The Board will retain Mr. Robert Watson, Esquire as Board Attorney.

C                  The Board will continue to use the services of Rodeheaver & Associates as auditor for the current year.


Mr. Raley asked Board members to select committees on which to serve for the current year.  By consensus, Board members choose committees on which to serve as ex officio members, as follows:

C             Health Advisory Committee                                  Charlotte Sebold (T. Carr, alternate)

C             Hickory Env. Ed. Center Advisory Committee      Don Forrester (C. Sebold, alternate)

C             Multicultural Advisory Panel                                 Rodney Durst (T. Carr, alternate)

C             Wellness Council                                                 Rodney Durst (C. Sebold, alternate)

C             Food & Nutrition Advisory Council                     Tom Carr (C. Sebold, alternate)

C             Fine Arts Advisory Council                                  Don Forrester (T. Carr, alternate)

C             Advisory Committee on Work Force Preparation  Don Forrester (C. Sebold, alternate)

C             Advisory Committee on Education (ACE)            Don Forrester (T. Carr, alternate)

C             Ethics Panel                                                         Rodney Durst (D. Forrester, alternate)

C             Calendar Committee                                            Charlotte Sebold (D. Forrester, alternate)

C             Master Plan Steering Committee                           Jim Raley (T. Carr, alternate)

C             MABE Budget and Planning                                 James Raley

C             MABE Legislative Committee                               Rodney Durst (T. Carr, alternate)

C             MABE Federal Relations Network                        Rodney Durst

C             Legal Services Association (LSA)                        T. Carr (D. Forrester, alternate)


            Dr. Teets stated he would relay the Board’s annual invitation to parent/teacher groups, School Improvement Teams, and other parent involvement groups to attend the February Board meeting to voice budget requests, share their concerns, and/or outline their programs.  Dr. Teets will relay this invitation to principals at the next Administrators and Supervisors Meeting.  The superintendent’s budget calendar will be approved in February, with the budget presentation to be held in March.   Student groups will be invited to the April meeting.       

             Mr. Carr presented a report from his attendance at the MABE Legal Service Association meeting on January 7, 2008, in Annapolis.  Topics included an update on pending legislation for the 2008 Maryland Legislature. 

            Dr. Teets and all elected Board members will attend the Mountain Maryland PACE Reception and Legislative Breakfast on January 24-25, 2008 in Annapolis. 

Part XVI - Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.


                        Part XVII - Information Items


            In addition to the listed items, Board members received MSDE’s The Fact Book 2006-2007 and the Collaborative Transition Program Mid-Term Report 07-08:

a.     Home & School Connection, January 2008

b.     MSDE News Release:  Redesigned Web Site Supports School Improvement in Maryland  (12/05/07)

c.      MSDE News Release:  MSDE Opens Application Process for New Principal Fellows  (12/07/07)

d.     MSDE News Release:  Dr. Nancy Grasmick Reappointed State Superintendent of Schools  (12/11/07)

e.      December 2007 Attendance Bulletin


________________________________________ _______________________________________
James M. Raley Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   February 11, 2008