MEETING OF THE GARRETT COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Oakland, Maryland 21550
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Part I – Call to Order
Mrs. Charlotte Sebold, President, called the monthly meeting of the Board of Education to order at 4:02 p.m. Also in attendance were Mr. Rodney Durst, Vice President; Mr. Thomas Carr, Dr. Donald Forrester, and Mrs. Cynthia Downton, associate members; and Mrs. Sue Waggoner, Interim Superintendent of Schools. The meeting was held at Southern Middle School.
Part II – Executive Session
Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education unanimously agreed to move to executive session at 7:02 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 including field trip permission requests, negotiations, and personnel/administration issues.
Mrs. Barbara Baker, Assistant Superintendent; 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 –Re-Opening of Public Session
The Board reconvened in public session at 8:10 p.m. Mrs. Sebold led a moment of silence after which Mr. Carr led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Durst stated that he said a silent Protestant prayer in the name of Jesus.
Part IV – Acceptance of Agenda
Mrs. Sebold stated that the Approval of Minutes of January 10, 2012 will be postponed until the February 14, 2012 board meeting and the action item for Grade Level Reconfiguration Pk-4; 5-8/ 9-12 Grade Level Reconfiguration will be deleted from the agenda. Upon a motion by Mr. Carr, seconded by Dr. Forrester, the Board of Education unanimously approved the agenda as amended.
Part V – Announcements
· January 18 7:00 p.m. Friendsville Elementary Public Hearing (FV)
· January 25 7:00 p.m. Weather Make-Up Date
· January 19 7:00 p.m. Kitzmiller Elementary Public Hearing (KZ)
· January 23 7:00 p.m. Weather Make-Up Date
· January 24 7:00 p.m. Dennett Road Public Hearing (SH)
· February 1 7:00 p.m. Weather Make-Up Date
Part VI – Continuing Business
Mrs. Waggoner informed the Board that she has met with Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Wildesen, and the Administrators and Supervisors to discuss the bullying concerns that arose from public comment at the January 10, 2012 board meeting. She stated that board policy 453.0, Prevention of Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation, can be found on the Board of Education website and the Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation Reporting form can be found under the Parent Resources link. She also advised that the reporting form can be obtained at the central office in the pupil services department or at any of the schools. Mrs. Waggoner wanted to assure that all parents were aware of how to access the information and that all reports are taken very seriously. She also shared with the Board that Bullying has been addressed in several ways with staff and students. Education on bullying has been addressed within the schools by staff developments, student trainings, student orientation, parent awareness, various programs such as PBIS and Second Step, anti-bullying program, alternative structure program, school wide assemblies, and hallway monitoring. A chart has been created to explain the past practices, current practices, and future practices of these various types of education. Mrs. Wagggoner informed the Board that the chart can also be found under the parent resources link.
Mrs. Waggoner continued with a PowerPoint presentation for the five-year plan. She gave an overview of what was presented as part of the five-year plan at the January 10, 2012 board meeting. This overview included the reconfiguration of grade levels, PK-4; 5-8; and 9-12, middle school enrollment by grade levels, scheduling factors, and the proposed schedule.
Mrs. Waggoner stated that the public comment and concerns were heard at the January 10, 2012 meeting. As a result, an elementary alternative plan was created. She stated that there were concerns regarding the state rated capacity of the schools expressed at the January 10, 2012 meeting and explained that the state rated capacity is a guide and not a requirement. She explained the importance of maximizing all the space in the elementary schools and that there may be the possibility of keeping 5th grade in the elementary school should the three schools being proposed to close are approved for closure. She informed the Board that this will result in an average elementary class size of 24 with a proposed teaching staff at the elementary level of 79. She continued that the principals and instructional team are committed to making this work. Mrs. Waggoner then reviewed the projected enrollment, classrooms, and average number of students by grade for all the elementary schools. The major concern for enrollment falls with the Kindergarten students. Dr. Phil Lauver, Supervisor of Pupil Services, has created a formula to project the number of Kindergarten enrollments per school from the birth rate statistics. In order to get a more exact number of which schools will be receiving the Kindergarten students, it is imperative to move the Kindergarten enrollment to February as opposed to March and April. Mrs. Waggoner asked the public to help spread the word in the change of registration for Kindergarten enrollment.
In regards to state rated capacity, should the three schools close and be relocated, she explained that although four elementary schools will exceed the state rated capacity, the countywide average is 6% over capacity and factoring in middle school and high school brings the overall percentage to 6% under capacity.
Moving forward, Mrs. Waggoner explained that the next steps are to confirm Kindergarten enrollment, continue to look at staffing needs at all levels, proceed with school closing process, and revise and monitor transition plans. In closing, Mrs. Waggoner stated that the proposal is to remove the 5th grade reconfiguration proposal at this time, providing that numbers can work for the alternative elementary proposal.
Mrs. Sebold stated that this is a new idea and that the Board wants to do what is in the best interest of the students. She stated that the alternative elementary proposal would keep the 5th grade students in the elementary schools but will increase class size.
Part VII– Public Comment
Mike Robinson, Monica Sisler, Nadine Grabania, Jess Whitlemore, Melissa Long, Tracy Jenkins, Becky Gowan, Stephanie McKenzie, Elizabeth Hebden, Spencer Schlossnagle, Jill Horner, Rob Lockmiller, Sherry Spencer, Hank Liverance, Jeff Maule, John Brobst, and Kathy Meagher made public comment in regards to the grade level reconfiguration.
Mrs. Sebold announced that the County Commissioners have agreed to level funding the same as last year. She thanked everyone who had a hand in making the alternative plan possible as well as all those who have given public comment. In working together, the hope is that there is a solution which will work for everyone.
Part VIII – Board Business
Mrs. Waggoner recommended approval of Mr. John Pucciano as a member of the Advisory Committee on Education. Mr. Pucciano will be representing the Republican Central Committee. Upon a motion by Dr. Forrester, seconded by Mr. Carr, the Board of Education approved Mr. John Pucciano as the Republican Central Committee representative for the Advisory Committee on Education.
Part XIV– Adjourn
Upon a motion by Mr. Carr, the Board adjourned the meeting at 9:26 p.m.
|Mr. Charlotte Sebold||Sue F. Waggoner|
|Approved: February 14, 2012|