Board of Education

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

Minutes April 5, 2011




Oakland, Maryland  21550


Tuesday, April 5, 2011



                        Part I – Call to Order

            Mr. Tom Carr, President, called the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:00 p.m.  Also in attendance were Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, Vice President; Mr. Rodney Durst, Dr. Donald Forrester, and Mrs. Cynthia Downton, associate members; and Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent of Schools.  The meeting was held at Southern Middle School.

                        Part II - Executive Session

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mrs. Downton the Board of Education unanimously agreed to move to executive session at 4:01 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 items that included approval of the March 8, 2011 executive minutes, retirements, emergency coaches, volunteer coaches, professional leave requests, the status of the retirement incentive plan, and negotiations.

            Dr. Teets, Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction; Mr. Keith Harvey, Director of Human Resources; Mr. Larry McKenzie, Director of Finance; and Commissioner Gregan Crawford, ex-officio member, were present during all or part of the Executive Session.

Part III – Opening of Public Session

                        The Board reconvened in public session at 5:35 p.m.

Part IV – Acceptance of Agenda

Student Board member, Elizabeth Sines, joined the meeting at this time.  Mr. Durst offered a prayer, after which Ms. Sines led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Recognition of the designer of the 2010 Christmas card will move to after the approval of minutes.

Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by, Mrs. Downton, the Board of Education unanimously approved the agenda as amended.   

                        Part V – Announcements

            April 6-9           FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 1629

                                                Wolstein Center – Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH


            April 8-9           Northern High School Play, Arsenic & Old Lace, 7:00 p.m.


                       April 12 Special Board of Education Meeting at 6:00 p.m. at Southern Middle   School


            April 15 & 16   SH Spring Play, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 8:00 p.m.


            April 22            Good Friday – No School


            April 27            Administrative Professionals Day


            April 27-30       FIRST Lego League (FLL) Team 971, World Festival, St. Louis, MO


            May 20-21        Garrett County Student Arts Fair at Garrett College


                                    May 20 – High School Honor Chorus, Band and Drama

May 21 – Elementary Honor Band and Chorus and Middle School Honor Band, Chorus and Theatre Performance


            June 5              High School Graduation

-        Southern High School  - 1:00 p.m.

-        Northern High School  -  4:00 p.m.


o   Pittsburgh Robotics Update:  TEAM 1629 has the largest number of students ever this year with 26 members plus the volunteer school personnel mentor/coaches and mentor/coaches from the business community.  There was a lot of support by parents and other individuals at the competition.  The robot had some software/camera problems and the team got off to a slow start.  The team lost its first four matches (although 2 matches may have been lost by other members of our coalition costing us points via penalties). The team came back to a 4-4 record with a final record of 4-6 and finishing 18 or 19 out of 39 teams.   TEAM 1629 was picked by the 6th place team in the final rankings.   Our coalition then played the 2nd ranked team coalition and lost the final 3rd match of the double elimination in the quarter-finals.  The team was also in competition for the Chairman’s Award (which we won last year in Md), but a 15 year veteran team from Pa. was selected.  The Cleveland competition is April 8-9.


o   In an effort to evaluate the Career and Technology programs available to high school students in Garrett County, a decision has been made that instead of sponsoring the Annual School and Business Partnership Luncheon, the CTE Programs at the two high schools will invite local industry and business partners to participate on a Program Advisory Committee (PAC).  The meetings that will be conducted are designed to provide an opportunity for our partners to review Garrett County program of studies in comparison to National Standards and make recommendations as to future revision based on program needs. Those interested should contact Lynn Bell at the Garrett County Board of Education.


o   On March 26, several of the students at SH traveled with their instructors to Baltimore to compete in the SkillsUSA State Convention/Competition where there were approximately 1,076 competitors.  Of those students, three of them placed in the top three in the state in their individual competition areas.  Ben Dicks placed 1st in Cabinet Making, Jason Friend placed 3rd in Cabinet Making, and Cody Sliger placed 1st in Precision Machine Technology.  The two 1st place winners will now travel to Kansas City to represent the State of Maryland in June. 


o   Dr. Jennifer Rankin has been awarded the 2011 Smithsonian Teacher Ambassador Award, which includes an all-expense paid trip to Washington to present her video to Smithsonian stakeholders, as well as to the 2011 Teachers of the Year Banquet.  The award also includes $2,000 for the school.


Each of the 58 STAs submitted a project/proposal for the increase and diffusion of Smithsonian resources. Dr. Rankin created an animated video featuring James Smithson, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein, telling about the benefits of using  She also makes a cameo appearance at the end (as a cartoon) to tell why she likes using Smithsonian resources in the classroom.  Her students have been using animation in the classroom and will be progressing to a project, similar to the one she presented, in May.


o   The Northern Garrett FFA members competed in the Region 1 FFA Career Development Events at Fort Hill High School on March 17, 2011 and were very successful. 

o   The Ag Mechanics team competed with 4 other teams and 17 individuals and placed 1st. The team and individual placings are Toby Grove 3rd, Nathan Fazenbacker 5th, Cody Savage 6th, Tim Knox 7th. The team will advance to the State Competition in College Park in April. 

o   In the Jr Extemporaneous Public Speaking contest,  11 individuals competed with Tyler Gilpin placing 3rd and Colton Grove placing 10th. Tyler will compete in the State CDE in June. 

o    In the Sr Prepared Public Speaking CDE Michael Frantz competed with 8 individuals and placed 5th.  

o   In the Jr Prepared Public Speaking CDE Ashley Edmonds competed with 4 individuals and placed 1st and she will advance to the State CDE in June.  

Part VI – Approval of Minutes

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the minutes of March 8, 2011 were unanimously approved as amended.

                        Part VII – Recognition

               Mr. Carr introduced Sheridan Potts, fifth grade student at Bloomington Elementary 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 2010.  He also welcomed Ms. Potts’ parents and Mrs. Connie Uphold, Principal.  Ms. Belinda Bishoff, art teacher was unable to attend.  Mr. Carr stated that he was very happy to have the opportunity to recognize and congratulate Ms. Potts on her achievement.  Mrs. Uphold added that Bloomington is very proud of Sheridan and her artwork is fabulous.  The Board and Dr. Teets presented her with a framed and matted copy of the Christmas card.

                        Part VIII – Continuing Business

            Mr. Harvey informed the Board that there are slight modifications to the school calendar which was recommended by Dr. Teets at the March board meeting. He indicated that the change provides for a 3 1/2 day Labor Day weekend which may be of some assistance to the business community as well as a change of date for the primary election.  The primary election was originally scheduled on the calendar for February 14, 2012, but has since been verified to be on April 3, 2012.  Dr. Teets recommended calendar A or C for approval.  Calendar A and Calendar C reflect the first day for students as Wednesday, April 24.  Calendar C does not have the four day Labor Day weekend modification where Calendar A does.  Calendar B was also presented as a possibility to the Board with Monday, August 29, 2011 as the first day for students.  Discussion ensured.  Upon a motion by Mrs. Downton and seconded by Mr. Durst, the Board of Education approved (4-1) Calendar A which has Wednesday, August 24, 2011 as the first day of school for students and Friday, September 2, 2012 being a full day for teachers and a half day for students.  Mrs. Sebold opposed.

                        Part IX – New Business

            Mr. Harvey presented a change in the contractual language for teachers.  The Garrett County Education Association has agreed to make the following change in contractual language regarding Article V - Teachers Rights.  The seniority will no longer be determined from the date the teacher’s contract is signed by both parties.  The article will read as follows:



            E. Reduction in Force

2.    Seniority is defined as length of service in the bargaining unit and is determined from the most recent date of hire and shall include time on approved leave or layoff.  If two or more unit members with the same certification are hired on the same date, a random selection process shall occur with all affected employees present to establish their placement on the seniority list.  Their place on the seniority list shall remain the same throughout their employment with the Garrett County Board of Education.


Dr. Teets recommended the approval of the change in contractual language regarding Article V. - Teacher Rights. Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and seconded by Mrs. Downton, the Board of Education unanimously approved the change in contractual language for Article V. -Teacher Rights.

            Dr. Teets recommended the date for the annual retirement dinner as Wednesday, June 8, 2011.  Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education unanimously approved the date of the retirement dinner as Wednesday, June 8, 2012.

            Mr. McKenzie presented a Power Point presentation on the update for the FY 12 Budget.  He reviewed the State Aid influences on FY12 which included the wealth increase, 4.95%, for Garrett County as well as the loss of enrollment of 2.36%.  Mr. McKenzie reviewed the historical analysis of per pupil wealth between Garrett County and the State Average.  He informed the Board of the comparison of state aid funding allocations for FY10, FY11, and FY12.  Mr. McKenzie informed the Board that the county government has committed to $23,159,000, which is the same as last year’s appropriation, as well as an additional $1,000,000 in funding for FY12.  This brings the FY12 local appropriation to $24,159,000 and leaves a shortfall of approximately $3,078,960 to balance the FY12 budget.

            Mr. McKenize also reviewed other budget considerations.  These include state aid including BRFA and 6% Loss Limitation bill which will be resolved prior to the close of the legislative session on April 12.  This could be potential state aid funding of approximately $1,005,000.  Savings may also be attributable to the proposed incentive plan which will be known by April 15.  He reminded the Board that there will be no additional appropriations from county government for FY12 and there is no assurance that their $1,000,000 commitment for FY12 will remain.  The FY12 budget will be finalized once decisions are made on the budget considerations listed above.

            Dr. Teets presented the Board with a Power Point presentation outlining the reasons for his recommendation for closing both Bloomington Elementary School and Kitzmiller Elementary School.  Dr. Teets presentation is attached.

            Dr. Teets recommendation for Bloomington Elementary School is as follows:

            After reviewing the nine components included in Garret County Board Policy 940, information presented by the advisory group, public comments, as well as budget analysis and projections, Dr. Teets recommended the closure of Bloomington Elementary School effective in August 2011.    He recommended that Bloomington students be transferred to Broad Ford Elementary School with the start of the 2011-2012 school year.

            Dr. Teets recommendation for Kitzmiller Elementary School is as follows:

            After reviewing the nine components included in Garret County Board Policy 940, information presented by the advisory group, public comments, as well as budget analysis and projections, Dr. Teets recommended the closure of Kitzmiller Elementary School effective in August 2011.    He recommended that Kitzmiller students be transferred to Yough Glades Elementary School with the start of the 2011-2012 school year.

                        Part X – Personnel Recommendations

            Dr. Teets recommended approval of the following personnel matters:

            Retirement:      Dr. Wendell Teets, Superintendent, CO, eff. 07/01/2011

                                    Sue Waggoner, Executive Director of Instruction, CO, eff. 08/01/11


Emergency Coaches:  Barra Cimons, Girls’ Assistant Basketball Coach, SH


Professional Leave Requests:


PLC/Pyramid Response to Intervention

April 13/14, 2011

Raleigh, NC


ISTE’s Annual Conference and Exposition 2011

June 26-29, 2011

Philadelphia, PA


Mr. Carr informed all in attendance that Dr. Teets had submitted his letter of retirement, which will be effective July 1, 2011, to the Board earlier in the evening.  Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester and a second by Mrs. Sebold, the Board of Education unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendations.

                        Part XI – Board Business

            Ms. Sines reported that today is the end of the grading term.  She was very excited to announce that she has been keeping unofficial tabs on the SAT scores at both high schools and there are a number of students who achieved the special honor of becoming a member of the 1800 club.  Student council traveled to Ocean City for the annual Maryland Association of Student Councils Convention.  This gave Ms. Sines an opportunity to discuss ideas with the leaders at Northern and a decision was made to implement the Study Buddy program next year at both high schools with the National Honor Society students serving as tutors.  Anyone else who  meets the requirements should they apply, may also serve as tutors.  Ms. Sines stated that the convention provides an opportunity to network with other student members of the board and gain a fresh prospective.  She invited the Board to the National Honor Society Induction which is being held on Sunday, April 10 at 2:00 p.m.  Ms. Sines stated that she agrees with Dr. Teets and a loss of supplemental programs and activities will be detrimental and she urges the Board to maintain these programs to the greatest extent as long as possible. 

            Dr. Forrester informed the Board that he and Mr. Carr attended the Legal Services Association (LSA) quarterly directors meeting yesterday.  The first item on the agenda was a request by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to enlist the support of the LSA and the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) to support them in an action against their local government and their interpretation of the maintenance of effort.  MCPS believes the local government’s interpretation is different from what that statute provides for funding for the Board of Education.  After hearing everything on the issue and reviewing much information, the LSA agreed to put both the LSA and MABE’s support for Montgomery County Board of Education. 

Dr. Forrester reviewed other pieces of legislation that may affect the school system.  There was discussion on a charge assessment for each school district for teachers and employees enrolled in the retirement system which is estimated for Garrett County at approximately $70,000 per year.    Another issue Dr. Forrester stated may become impactful is concussions suffered by athletes.  It was indicated that recovery times may vary remarkably so there will be some instructional implications for those students.  There will be some required instructional planning around individual athletes who have suffered concussion in school related activities.  The LSA is not sure on how the outcome will be but it could have impact on 503(b) programs for these individuals.  Dr. Forrester noted that they continue to monitor the increased tax on alcohol and alcoholic beverage which may provide some additional budget relief.  He informed the Board that there is a workshop on May 9 related to the revised ethics law in the state of Maryland resulting in policy changes which will be required by the local school boards of education. 

Mrs. Sebold reported that she, as ex-officio member, and Mrs. Downton, as the alternate ex-officio member, attended the ACE Committee meeting on Monday, March 28, 2011.  She reported that Dr. Teets, Mrs. Waggoner, and Mr. McKenzie were also present and reported on the Superintendent’s budget request to the County Commissioners.  The only action of the ACE Committee was to send a letter to the County Commissioners to support full funding of the budget being sent by the Board of Education.

Mr. Carr stated that he feels for the communities who want a resolution to this question of closure.  He added that the Board has looked at all the missing pieces of the budget which will not be known until after April 12, 2011, which is the scheduled date for Board action on the Superintendent’s recommendation for the school closings.   He stated that without knowing the missing budget information, it would not be fair to make a vote on the Superintendent’s recommendation for the closing of schools on April 12.  Mr. Carr added that he regrets the delay but action on the Superintendent’s recommendation for the closing of schools will not take place until Tuesday, April 19, 2011.  The meeting will be held at Southern Middle School and will begin at 6:00 p.m.

                        Part XII – Public Comment

            Jack Carothers, Jim Browning, Matthew Paugh, and Steven Benson all made public comment in regards to the Superintendent’s recommendation of closing Kitzmiller Elementary School and Blooming Elementary School.

                        Part XIII – Information Items

Along with the items listed, the Board also received the 2010 Maryland School Performance Report and the 2011 Annual MABE Directory.

a)     April 2011 Home & School Connection

b)     April 2011 Hope Health Letter


                        Part XIV – Adjourn

            Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, the Board adjourned the meeting at 7:52 p.m.


_______________________________________ _______________________________________
Mr. Thomas A. Carr Wendell D. Teets
President Secretary/Treasurer
Approved:   May 10, 2011