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 February 8, 2010



Oakland, Maryland 21550


Tuesday, February 8, 2010


Part I - Call to Order

Dr. Donald Forrester, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:04 p.m.  Also in attendance were Mr. Thomas Carr, Vice President; Mr. James Raley; Mrs. Charlotte Sebold; and Mr. Rodney Durst, 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 Mr. Carr and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education agreed (4-0) to move to executive session at 4:05 p.m. in accordance with Public 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 that included emergency coaches, volunteer coaches, a professional leave requests, 2010-2011 personnel staffing, and negotiations.

Dr. Teets, Mr. Ervin Fink, Executive Director of Administration; Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction; were present during all or part of the executive session.

                        Part IV – Reopening Public Session

            Dr. Forrester reconvened the public session at 5:40 p.m.    

                        Part V - Acceptance of Agenda

Upon a motion by Mr. Raley and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board approved (4-0) the agenda as amended.  The following was added to Board Business: 

Information Hearing Date of March 2, 2010 at Northern Middle School Concerning the Change in the Policy regarding the Boundary in the Finzel Area  

     Forming of the Southern School Facilities Attendance Area Study Committee

                         Part VI – Announcements


The following announcements were offered:

  • February 1-5                                                   National School Counselor Week
  • February 15                                                     President’s Day – School in Session
  • February 21     2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.              Open House at GEARS


  • Becky Sanders, teacher at Crellin, was named the 2010 Maryland Environmental Teacher of the Year.  She was honored at Loews Hotel on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.


  • 2009 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Maryland Championship Recap - Five teams competed from Garrett County.  Team 343, Polar Extremes from Northern Middle School (mostly 8th graders), Team 409, LEGO Rangers from Southern Middle School (mostly 7th graders), Team 418, Fiery SnowBricks from Northern Middle School (6th graders), Team 427, Movers from Accident Elementary (mostly 5th graders), Team 431, NeXT Gen from Southern Middle School (6,7, and 8th graders)


AWARDS:      Champions Award:  First Place – Team 418, Fiery SnowBricks

                        Champions Award:  Second Place – Team 431, NeXT Gen

Innovative Solution Award:  Second Place, Team 343, Polar Extremes

Robot Performance Award:  Third Place, Team 427, Accident Movers


All 5 Garrett County teams were in the top ten highest scoring teams at the event


  • First United Bank & Trust was recently recognized by the Maryland Bankers Association as a winner of their 2009 Financial Education Award in two categories.  The Bank was recognized for their outstanding contributions toward enhancing financial literacy among Maryland’s School-Age children (middle school level) and was recognized again in the Young Adult category (high school level).  First United Bank & Trust partners with the Board of Education to sponsor the Gear Up “Real Deal” program.  A trophy was presented on February 3.


Part VII - Approval of Minutes


Upon a motion by Mr. Carr and a second by Mr. Raley, the Minutes of January 12, 2010 were unanimously approved as amended. 

Part VIII – Continuing Business

            Mr. Lear was out of town at a Gear Up conference; therefore, Mrs. Waggoner presented the Middle School Program of Study of Family and Consumer Science and the supporting textbook, Applying Life Skills, Glencoe, 2010 to the Board.  Mrs. Waggoner informed the Board that no public comment was received regarding the textbook or the Program of Study.  Dr. Teets recommended the Middle School Program of Study for Family and Consumer Science and the textbook, Applying Life Skills, for approval.  Upon a motion by Mr. Carr and a second by Mr. Durst, the Board of Education approved (4-0) to accept the Middle School Program of Study for Family and Consumer Science and the accompanying textbook, Applying Life Skills.

            Mrs. Waggoner also presented the Middle School Program of Study for Technology Education and the supporting textbook, Introduction to Technology, Glencoe, 2010 to the Board.  Mrs. Waggoner informed the Board that no public comment was received on the textbook or the Program of Study.  Dr. Teets recommended the Middle School Program of Study for Technology Education and the textbook, Introduction to Technology, for approval.  Upon a motion by Mrs. Sebold and a second by Mr. Raley, the Board of Education approved (4-0) to accept the Middle School Program of Study for Technology Education and the accompanying textbook, Introduction to Technology.

            Dr. Teets informed the Board that the superintendent’s meeting was cancelled last week due to inclement weather.  The Race to the Top was to have been a major topic of discussion.  It was expressed to Dr. Grasmick that there needs to be more discussion before decisions can be made and responses can be given on any decisions.  Dr. Grasmick agreed and postponed the deadline to respond until after the superintendent’s meeting.  Dr. Teets informed the Board that he was supposed to respond by tomorrow, February 9, 2010, that there is interest in Race to the Top without obligation and March 9, 2010, was the deadline to respond with an agreement to participate.  All these deadlines have been delayed.  The superintendent’s meeting will be rescheduled within the next couple weeks. Dr. Teets shared with the board that he is concerned that they are going to use this to move the Race to the Top criteria to all federal programs.   He pointed out that Education Week printed an article stating that this is very likely what will happen.  He also brought to the Board’s attention that President Obama alluded to this fact in his State of the Union address when he stated that the Race to the Top will become standard for all federal programs.  He stated that it looks as though this criterion is going to be forced and in order to get any type of federal money that you will have to buy into it.  Mrs. Waggoner shared a graphic organizer that she was given at her last meeting in regards to Race to the Top.  She pointed out that it was referred to as the third phase of reform for Maryland according to Dr. Seremet.  Mrs. Waggoner explained that at the state level there was the reform resulting in the voluntary state curriculum, the Bridge to Excellence, the Master Plan, and this is now the next focus.  It will be referred to as the Maryland Education Reform Plan Part 3.  It states that every Maryland student should be college and career ready.  The organizer points out in regards to standards and assessments that there is an anticipated date of adoption for common core standards by June 2010.  The curriculum will be revised and Maryland will be a joining a consortium of states for assessment development.  The first year of national assessment is anticipated to be 2013-2014.  Also, as a result of this, there will be updates made to the Master Plan up to 2012.  At that time, a full fledge Master Plan will need to be created in order to be aligned with all the new changes.  Mrs. Waggoner also explained that in regards to the data system, she has been designated as the super user at the county level who will be assigned to determine who will have access to which levels or which reporting requirements.  Mrs. Waggoner has been participating in webinars in order to delineate how the reporting requirements will be met.  The plan also looks into accelerating the longitudinal data system.  The reform plan also takes into account highly effective educators.  The tenure statues are currently being revised along with the development of teacher and principal evaluation system frameworks.  Mrs. Waggoner also explained that the Breakthrough Center of MSDE will focus on low achieving schools.  She informed the Board of a new grant, Title I 10-3G, that Maryland is submitting for those schools in greatest need for improvement, corrective action or restructuring.  

            Mr. Carr informed the Board that Frederick County has refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding and they are worried about the union’s reaction to transferring the better teachers to the lower achieving schools.     

            Dr. Forrester realized he had missed the prayer and pledge.  He asked Mr. Durst to offer a prayer and then led the assembly in the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America.  

            Mr. Fink informed the Board the reduction in state aid for FY11 is $925,409.00 from the previous year.  As part of that, there is a built in 3% increase for transportation across the state. He stated that the Governor only placed a 1% increase in his budget and there is the possibility of losing an additional $50,000 in state aid due to this change.  He reported that the County Commissioners were initially going to fund the budget at maintenance of effort which would be a reduction in county appropriation funding.  Since then, the County Commissioners have decided to maintain level funding for FY11. This is good news because there was an anticipated loss of $577,000 in county appropriation funds.  The biggest increase in reduction that has to be dealt with this year is the $925,409 of loss in state aid. Mr. Fink and the staff are working on ways to reduce that amount.

            Dr. Forrester stated that there needs to be an awareness of the serious nature of the financial short fall.  It is going to require some difficult decisions on the part of administration and the Board of Education.  Every line item will be thoroughly explored to see if the items are essential for next year or if they can be deferred or eliminated.    Mr. Raley suggested that spending for the rest of this year be reviewed because the County Commissioners have also allowed for any balance of funds from this year to be carried over to next year.  Mr. Fink informed the Board that there was one day spent with the staff analyzing the budget and deciding on areas that funds don’t necessarily have to be spent for this year.   He reminded the board that there was $750,000 carried over into this years budget from last years budget and the projection is that there will be $750,000 to carry into next year. 

            Mr. Fink asked the Board for their thoughts on the schedule for presenting the budget to the Board.  He would like to present the superintendent’s budget in April for initial consideration.  He reviewed how the budget presentation has been done in the past.  The Board would like to make this decision at the March meeting. 

                        Part IX – New Business

            Ms. Sandy Rodeheaver reviewed with the Board information on the Summer Reading Program.  The Summer Reading Program books and information can be viewed at   Ms. Rodeheaver has read all the books being offered this summer and gave an overview of each book that will be available for free to each student entering grades six and nine.  Along with the book, students will receive coupons for free products at local businesses.  The Board thanked Ms. Rodeheaver for her presentation.

            Mrs. Kotulak presented the proposed policy and administrative procedure, Fitness and Athletics Equity for Students with Disabilities.  She reviewed the policy and procedures and due to this, she explained that Mrs. Bell made the necessary modifications to the curricular, co-curricular, and extra curricular policy and administrative procedures. Mrs. Waggoner added that the changes to the curricular, co-curricular, and extra curricular policy and administrative procedures were made in order to meet COMAR requirements.  Mr. Durst appreciated the wording of the policy so that no one is given an advantage or a limitation.  Dr. Teets stated that a lot of work has gone into the creation of the policy and procedure and thanked Mrs. Kotulak for her efforts.

               Dr. Teets introduced Sierra Uphold, tenth grade student at Northern High School, 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 2009.  Mr. James Paxton, art teacher, was unable to attend, but sent his congratulations for Miss Uphold.  Dr. Teets commented on the difficulty to choose one from the many creative design submissions and the privilege he had to tell her that she was the winner.  The Board and Dr. Teets expressed their appreciation for Miss Uphold’s great artistic work and presented her with a framed and matted copy of the Christmas card. Sierra was accompanied to the meeting by her parents.

                        Part X - Recognition

            The Board of Education recognized Rebecca Sanders, teacher at Crellin Elementary School, who was named the 2010 Maryland Environmental Teacher of the Year by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.  She was honored at Loew’s Hotel on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.  Mrs. Waggoner shared a slideshow presentation of Mrs. Sander’s recognition by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.  Mrs. Sanders shared with the Board that this award is a joint effort between all the staff and children at Crellin.  She stated that she was very proud to represent the staff and thanked everyone for the recognition.  She also expressed how thankful she is to work in such a supportive county and with such a supportive staff.  Also present to share the recognition with Mrs. Sanders were Linda Stephens, Crellin teacher, Barb Baker, Director of Elementary Education, and Dr. Dana McCauley, Crellin principal.  Dr. Teets and the Board congratulated Mrs. Sanders.  Mrs. Sanders received a $5,000 cash award that she will donate to Crellin Elementary School to go toward the environmental education laboratory fund.  

            Dr. Teets pointed out how fortunate the county is to have the Maryland Environmental Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Rebecca Sanders; the Maryland Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Jennifer Rankin; and the Maryland Distinguished Principal of the Year, Dr. Dana McCauley, as part of the staff.

            Dr. Teets introduced NeXT GEN FLL.  The NeXT GEN FLL team presented their “miBus” application research presentation.  They came in second in the Maryland Championships last weekend.  Their research project involved a bus tracking and notification system.  Dr. Teets and the Board members were involved and asked many questions.  Dr. Teets thanked Ms. Arlene Lantz, teacher, as well as several parents who were in attendance for the presentation, their hard work, and dedication. 

                        Part XI – Public Comment

 There was no public comment at this time

            Part XII – Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

            Emergency Coaches:     Diane Smith, Mock Trial Advisor, NH

                                                Diana Ashby, Girls’ Tennis Coach, SH


Professional Leave Request:      Be The Best You Can Be Coaches Clinic

                                                            January 21-23, 2010

                                                            Cherry Hill, New Jersey


Upon a motion by Mr. Durst and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education approved (4-0) the superintendent’s recommendations.

             Part XIII – Board Business

Mr. Ian Aiken, student board member, was not present.

Mr. Carr has been to various meetings downstate since the last meeting.  He attended a leadership meeting on January 15, 2010 which was a recap of what he attended at MSN last year.  The topic of discussion was labor negotiations.  The Board of Directors meeting for MABE was attended by Charlene Dukes, college president of Prince George’s Community College.  In order to save money, MABE is doing away with the Summer Leadership Conference and the breakfast at the National Convention in Chicago.  MABE will also give LEAs a break and not increase the dues this year.  Mr. Carr also attended the NSBA Leadership. He expressed his interest in knowing what NSBA is doing on a federal level to help the school boards in the country.  Mr. Carr also attended a planning committee meeting.  MABE will have the fall conference at the Clarion in Ocean City on September 29, 30 and October 1.  There will no longer be a student board member orientation held at this conference.  This will eliminate the students from missing a week of school as well as saving on expenses.  There will be a one day session in August before school starts for the student board members.  On Thursday, Mr. Carr and the MABE Board met with Senator Ed Kasemeyer and Mike Bush, Speaker of the House of Delegates.  This meeting was an effort to get them to talk about the labor relation board and binding arbitration.  Later that day the MABE Board met with the PSSAM Board to try to line up our forces to get the word out to come to grips with what this labor relations board is really going to mean with the binding arbitration.  There was also discussion about signing the MOU with the state for the Race to the Top and how very little is known and what will be required.  The legislative luncheon for this week has been postponed. 

An informational hearing will be held on March 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Northern Middle School regarding the proposed policy modification for the Finzel area students attending Route Forty Elementary and Students in Grades 6-11 attending Allegany County Schools living in the Finzel area.  The proposed policy change is as follows:

“Students living in Garrett County currently attending Allegany County Schools in grades 6-11 will be permitted to continue attending Allegany County Schools through graduation.  Students living in Garrett County who are not currently attending Allegany County Schools will no longer have the option to attend Allegany County Schools effective with the 2010-2011 school year.  Siblings of students currently enrolled in Allegany County Schools will be permitted to enroll in Allegany County Schools only if it causes families to have students in two different middle schools or two different high schools at the same time.”

This type of modification was also made in the Bloomington area with the opening of Mountain Ridge High School in Frostburg.  Mr. Robert Watson, attorney, will facilitate the meeting.  Anyone wanting to speak to the Board regarding the modification of the policy will have to sign up for public comment.  There will also be tours of Northern Middle School given before and after the meeting.

Dr. Forrester announced that there will be a Southern Elementary School Facilities Attendance Area Study Committee created to look at issues related to capacity, attendance, and condition of buildings.  The committee will then provide the Board with recommendations to consider that will bring our facilities and enrollment into better alignment with prevailing financial situation of the county.  This will be done in the spring with an initial report, if possible, before the end of the school year.  If there is a recommendation to close any schools, committees will be established for each of those schools and hearings will be held.  The Board will take all the recommendations and information into consideration and make a decision by the beginning of the second semester of the next school year. 

There was discussion on who is going to establish/appoint the Southern Elementary School Facilities Attendance Area Study Committee.  Mr. Raley pointed out that this is going to involve a lot of time on a committee member’s part because this will be a very thorough study.  The Board will appoint the committee.

            Part XIV –Adjournment

Upon a motion by Mr. Raley and a second by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education approved (4-0) to adjourn the meeting at 7:59 p.m. 

Part XVII - Information Items   

a.           Erate Funding

b.          Garrett County Public Schools Annual Report 2008-2009 & Education Superlatives

c.           January 2010 ASBO Matters

d.          Transportation Department:  The Steering Wheel

e.           February 2010 Home & School Connection

f.           February 2010 Hope Health Letter

g.           February School Activities Calendar



_______________________________________ _______________________________________
Dr. Donald D. Forrester Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   March 9, 2010