Board of Education

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

Minutes February 11, 2008

 

MINUTES

 

MEETING OF THE GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

Oakland, Maryland 21550

 

Monday, February 11, 2008

___________

 

Part I - Call to Order

Mr. James M. Raley, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:00 p.m.  Also in attendance were Dr. Donald Forrester and Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.  Commissioner Ernest Gregg, ex officio member, was also present.

            Mr. Raley announced that the Superintendent would give his public presentation of the Proposed FY2009 Operating Budget.  Following the presentation, the board will be meeting in executive session. 

Part II – Public Comment

            There was no public comment at this time.

            Mr. Rodney L. Durst, Vice President, and Mr. Thomas Carr, associate member, joined the meeting at 4:15 p.m. 

Part III –Superintendent’s Budget Presentation

            Dr. Teets presented a Power Point presentation of the Proposed FY2009 Operating Budget.  He stated that the budget primarily maintains current programs and contains no new initiatives, adding that the budget seeks additional funding from the County Commissioners primarily for transportation fuel cost increases ($152,325), funding the third year of the negotiated salary contracts ($1,856,675), and funding of the Garrett County Employees Health Care Plan ($717,732).  Dr. Teets noted the need to support established goals and the implementation of the Master Plan for Garrett County Schools.  He gave an overview of budget reductions and relayed a need for a fifteen cent increase in paid lunches to support the school lunch program.  Dr. Teets thanked the Commissioners for having funded an aggressive capital improvement program, noting the FY2009 budget for Northern Middle Renovation, the Grantsville Addition, the Northern Parking Lot and Design, and equipment needs.  Additionally, he noted a request for $880,000 to comply with a new accounting requirement (per Governmental Accounting Standards Board -45) for post-retirement insurance liability.  (The county can elect to fund this amount or count it as a liability for the board, Garrett College, and county employees.) 

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 4:45 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.  Board members discussed personnel items which included an appointment, resignations, emergency and volunteer coaches, bus drivers and assistants for final approval and deletion, and a professional leave and travel request.  Dr. Teets; Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration; Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction; and Commissioner Gregg were in attendance during all or part of the executive session.  

Part V – Re-Open Public Session

             Mr. Raley reconvened public session at 5:45 p.m.  Mr. Brison Harvey, student board member, joined the meeting at this time.  The Reverend Pat Kerr, representing the Mt. Top Ministerial Association, offered a prayer, after which Mr. Harvey led the assembly in the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America.

Part VI - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board unanimously approved the agenda with the addition of ACE membership for action under Board Concerns.

                        Part VII – Announcements

                                                The following announcements were offered:

       

·        Last week was National Counselor Week.

·        This week is American Vocational Week. 

·        Feb. 12:  Primary Election Day, Schools closed

·        Feb. 16:  At the 2008 AASA National Conference on Education, the Crellin Elementary School “Corps of Discovery” Project will receive the National Civic Star Award sponsored by AASA and Sodexho.  Dr. Dana McCauley, principal, will attend.  Also attending are Mr. Joe Mills of the Bureau of Mines and Mr. Gary Yoder of the Department of Natural Resources, representing two of the many agencies and community members who helped make their project a success. 

·       

·        Feb. 17:  Random Acts of Kindness Day

·        Feb. 18:  Schools will be in session for Presidents Day.  Schools have been closed five days for inclement weather as of today.

·        VFW District 3 essay contest winners:  Dustin Platter of Northern High School finished first in the Voice of Democracy contest and advanced to the state level in January.  Kiersten Butler of Northern Middle School finished second in the Patriot’s Pen contest. 

·        On January 26 at UMBC, the NeXT GEN Team of Southern Middle School won the Champions Award for the second consecutive year and will again go to the Georgia Dome in April to compete in the World Championships.  The Bloomington Team, Radioactive Tater Tots, won first place in the Robot floor competition and NeXT GEN finished second in the floor competition.  Arlene Lantz and Phil Malone are the main coaches for the NeXT GEN team and Chuck Trautwein and Bill Ack are the main coaches of the Bloomington team.

·        The MSDE Service Stars for Garrett County are Rachel Skipper, senior at Southern High School, and Amanda Beitzel, senior at Northern High School.  MSDE will honor this year’s Service Stars recipients at a reception on May 12 at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City.  Students are chosen who have made noteworthy contributions to their community through service and service-learning. 

·        The following students won Maryland State awards in 4-H and placed in national competition:  Kaitlin Gnegy, SH, 8th place in Electrical; Catlin Carrico, SH, 3rd place in Welding; and Eric Tichnell, SH, 6th place in Welding.  This places them in the top 10 in their area in the nation. 

·        MSDE School Recognition Awards for 2007 were awarded to Accident Elementary, Swan Meadow, and Yough Glades Elementary Schools.  This is Yough Glades’ second year; and as a Title I school, they were awarded $5,757. 

 

Part VIII - Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Mr. Carr, seconded by Dr. Forrester, the Minutes of January 8, 2008 were unanimously approved as amended.

Part IX – Continuing Business

             Mrs. Barbara Baker, Director of Elementary Education, shared that no comments were received while the proposed elementary textbooks were on display since they were first reviewed by the Board at the January meeting.  Dr. Teets recommended approval of the elementary math textbooks for PK-5, Growing with Mathematics, 2008 edition (Wright Group/McGraw Hill).  Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board unanimously approved the texts. 

            Mrs. Lynn Bell, Director of Secondary Education, presented data relative to Advanced Placement courses in response to an expressed concern about the AP Exam and Course Finals.   She gave an overview of enrollment in AP courses from 2005 through 2008, noting that all students who are enrolled are required to take the AP Exam (fees are paid by the Board of Education).  Course finals are similar to AP Exams; but instructional time after the AP Exam is administered in May could include in-depth study of specific concepts and enrichment activities which would be included in the course final.  Student tutorials are offered prior to the AP Exams.  She noted that most AP teachers have participated in the AP Audit and that 79% of AP teachers have been approved by the College Board to teach AP courses.  Of the thirty-four AP courses endorsed by the College Board, Garrett County provides an opportunity for students to enroll in seventeen.  She acknowledged concerns over discrepancies between grades for the class and AP Exams scores.   Mrs. Bell stated that initiatives are in place to increase the number of students enrolling in more rigorous courses and to improve student performance on AP Exams.  In response to students’ suggestion to do a project instead of the course final, she noted the type of final exam should be the teacher’s choice. 

            Part X – Recognition of FIRST LEGO League Maryland Champions

            The FIRST Lego League (FLL) NeXT GEN team from Southern Middle school attended the board meeting to be recognized for winning the Maryland State FLL Championship and to present their research project to the Board members.  NeXT GEN will represent Maryland at the FLL World Festival in Atlanta, Georgia in April.  The following team members and coaches were present:

                        Emily Huxford                                      Aaron Lantz

                        Colin Lynch                                          Nick McGettigan

                        Stepanie Shreve                                    Sam Thomas

                        Arlene Lantz, Coach                             Willie Lantz, Coach

                        Phil Malone, Coach                               Ronni DiGioia, Coach

                        Sandy Rodeheaver, Coach

 

Also in attendance was Mrs. Randee Craig, Principal of Swan Meadow School, and several parents. 

This year’s FLL theme is Alternative Energy Resources, with each team required to present a research project as part of the competition.  The NeXT GEN team discussed wind and solar alternatives with Matt Sherald of PIMBY and did an energy walk through with John Emerick of Allegany Power  who donated an electrical meter to monitor usage.  Additionally, the team conducted an energy audit of Swan Meadow School and put together short term and long term alternative solutions to improve the energy efficiency at the school.  They also studied thermo scan imaging at Swan Meadow School with Mark Watkins of Hot Shotz, noting problems at the school and discussing low cost solutions.  A culminating activity of the team was researching methane digesters as a long term energy solution.  In that direction, the team visited the Mason Dixon farm and saw an anaerobic methane digester which converts methane gas from cows’ waste into electricity.  Dr. Teets and Board members congratulated the team on their success and wished them well in the world competition.  As well, they expressed their appreciation of the research project and suggested they share the details of their energy audit and solutions with the Director of Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations. 

                        Part XI –Public Comment

            There was no public comment at 7:12 p.m.

                        Part XII– Personnel Recommendations

             Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

                                   

·        *Appointment:               Fred Holtschneider, Part-time Custodian, BR, eff. 02/13/07

 

·        *Resignations:               Amie Thomas, Teacher, GV, eff. 01/24/08 

                                                Jack C. Riley, JROTC Teacher, SH, eff. 02/29/08

 

  • *Emergency Coaches:    Edward Carr, Assistant Baseball Coach, SH

                                                Diane K. Smith, Mock Trial Advisor, NH

 

  • *Transportation :           Drivers for Final Approval:         James Plank for Herbert Myers, Inc.

                                                Assistants for Final Approval:      Heidi Shadel for Alice Bittner, Inc.

                                                                                                Colleen Collier for Wayne Collier, Inc.

                                                Drivers for Deletion:                  Joseph Paugh

                                                                                                Randall Tusing

                                                Assistants for Deletion:               Kevin Spiker

                                                                                                Angela Welch

 

  • *Professional Leave and Approval Request:

-      NIKE Coach of the Year Clinic, Atlantic City NJ, February 2008  (2 staff members) 

    

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

Part XIII – Invitation to Booster Groups

            Mr. Raley noted that the Board extends an invitation annually to parent and booster groups to attend a board meeting to share their projects and concerns.  He recognized Mr. Duane Salisbury, band instructor at Northern High School, and representative of the Northern High Band Boosters.  Mr. Salisbury gave an update of the band and music activities, noting the Band Boosters are considering changing to a music booster group.  He noted a request from the Boosters to hire another music teacher in order to assign a full-time music teacher to each high school.  Other discussion topics included low enrollment in band, a need for more liberal transportation funds, and the difficulty of fundraising.  Dr. Teets noted that the transportation budget has been increased the past several years, and that budget constraints would not allow an additional hire for music.  Dr. Teets expressed his appreciation to the fine music and band programs, and thanked Mr. Salisbury for attending the meeting. 

                        Part XIV – New Business

            In response to a remark by Mr. Raley about current unused textbook funds, Mr. Fink noted that all elementary expenditures are on page 65 of the budget, as elementary funds are not coded by subject area.  He also noted that middle and high school texts funds have been encumbered, but not expended.  Mrs. Waggoner discussed the text reorder cycle and proposed changes due to budget constraints. 

By consensus, the Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 5:30 p.m. to review the budget and, possibly, to take action.  Mr. Fink stated the budget timeline needs to be moved forward this year.

            Mr. Durst again suggested an addition to the budget for a “situational awareness” class for students.  Mrs. Waggoner noted that staff has already considered his request as part of the freshman seminar, and she will check on its current status. 

                        Part XV – Board Concerns

            Mr. Harvey explained that Ms. Michele Harman has stepped down as Student Council Advisor at Northern High School and a replacement is needed.  The Maryland Association of Student Councils’ Legislative Session will be held on February 2, 2008, in St. Mary’s County.  Student Council representatives will attend the April board meeting. 

            All elected members of the Board of Education and Dr. Teets attended the Mountain Maryland PACE Reception and Legislative Breakfast on January 24-25, 2008.  Dr. Teets noted it was the highest participation at the conference to date. 

            Mr. Carr and Mr. Durst attended the LSA meeting earlier today in Annapolis.  Mr. Carr distributed materials from LSA and the status of several current bills was discussed. 

            The Maryland State Board of Education will hold its annual dinner for local board presidents on February 26, 2008, in Baltimore.  Mr. Carr will attend in his capacity as a member of the MABE Board of Directors, and, likewise represent Mr. Raley and Garrett County. 

            The Legislative Day Luncheon and Meeting will be held on February 21, 2008, in Annapolis.  Mr. Carr will attend. 

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of Mrs. Tonya Vernon as an at-large member of the Advisory Committee on Education.  Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mr. Durst, the board unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendation.

                        Part XVI - Adjournment

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

 

                        Part XVII - Information Items

 

In addition to the listed items, Board members received the MSDE 2007 Performance Report, the Directory of Maryland Public Education 2007-2008, and Maryland Education System:  Ranks Among Nation’s Best (Winter 2008) brochure.

a.           January 2008 Attendance Bulletin

b.           Home & School Connection, February 2008

c.           MSDE News Release:  Maryland’s State Education System Ranks Among Nation’s Best (01/09/08)

d.           MSDE News Release:  Bridge to Excellence Continues to Fuel School Improvement (01/29/08)

e.           MSDE News Release:  Task Force Supports Having Preschool Available for All  (1/30/08)

 

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