Policies and Procedures Handbook

Last Updated: 8/1/98
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550


Board Policy

General Philosophy

     We believe that the major responsibility of the school is to develop each individual's intellectual capacity to its maximum.

     We believe that the schoolshares with the home, the church, and other community agencies the responsibility of each individual's education.

     We believe that the school also assists these institutions in developing an appreciation of our democratic heritage and fosters the perpetuation and improvement of this democratic heritage.

     We believe that education is an active, continuous process which involves the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and understandings from which arise the attitudes and values of each individual.

     We believe that the intellectual development cannot be separated from the physical, social, and emotional development of each individual.

     We believe that education develops the abilities to meet, to recognize and to solve problems in such a manner that the individual assumes responsibility for the self and for society as a whole.


     Full-day kindergartens are provided to all communities in Garrett County.

     Children who become five years of age on or before December 31 of a particular year may enter kindergarten that year, but are not required to enter. Children who become six years of age on or before December 31 of a particular year must enter kindergarten or the first grade that year.

The Elementary School

     Eduiation is a continuum which spans an individual's life. The elementary school occupies a unique position in this continuum; as it becomes the foundation of formal education and reaches children in their most formative years of life. The elementary school coordinates and integrates experiences by placing emphasis on the development and mastery of basic skills and the use of these skills in the acquisition of knowledge that allows each child to attain maximum development in relationship to ability and environment. The school also recognizes its responsibility to develop in each child a positive self-concept, to mold favorably attitudes toward all learning, and to promote growth toward independence and interdependence within the child's environment.

     The elementary school is defined as kindergarten or grade one through grade five, plus non-graded special education classrooms, and has a part of its program of studies curricula adopted by the Garrett County Public Schools. These curricula include reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, art, music, and health.

The Middle School

     The middle school serves as an educational experience laboratory for the needs of the early adolescent. It consists of grades six, seven, and eight, plus nongraded special education classrooms; and exists as a school in its own right, being distinctly different from the junior high school; and for the most part, free from the image of the secondary school.

     The middle school continues coordination and integration of educational experiences with more emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge, than on the development of basic skills. Flexibility is to be the basic characteristic of the middle school -- not only in organization and programmatic offerings, but also in design and substance; thus allowing each individual to attain multiple experiences and to expand intellectual horizons.

     The middle school's program of studies is comprised of curricula approved by the Garrett County Public Schools and include reading, language arts, social studies, American history, science, mathematics, algebra, industrial arts, home economics, art, music, band, chorus, physical education, health, and family life and human relationships.

The Secondary School

     The secondary school provides each individual student in grades nine through twelve, plus non-graded special education classrooms, with an educational base that allows education to continue throughout a lifetime. For many students, this is their last touch with formal education; for others it is just the beginning! It is imperative, therefore, that the secondary school and its programs be broad enough in scope and flexible enough to organization to allow each student to acquire knowledge necessary to understand further the self and its relationship to others, to understand the environment and its relationship to self and others, and to be aware of work and its relationship to self, to environment, and to others. The secondary school must also provide opportunities for the exploration of cultures, the arts, and the humanities. Through a democratic environment, it must also provide a framework and a process which results in critical thinking on issues which affect the individual and society. The secondary school must also provide opportunities in vocational education and develop attitudes favorable toward work which hopefully carry over into adult life.

     Realizing that all students do not have identical educational experiences when they enter secondary school and also will not have identical experiences when they leave the secondary school, the educational program provided must be commensurate with the student's needs, abilities, interests, and vocational choice. Realizing also that all students will continually be retrained as their occupational choices disappear or change, the educational programs provided to all students must be of such an academic caliber that any student who needs such additional training will be able at any time in his or her career to secure such training or additional schooling beyond the secondary level. Although a program of studies exists for students who plan to enter college after graduation, for students who plan to enter a vocation after graduation, for students who plan no further formal education after graduation, and for students who are undecided prior to and after graduation, each program must meet the above challenge. Each secondary school provides a program of studies with the courses offered by curricula approved by the Garrett County Public Schools.

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Section 300
Table of Contents 
Instruction 320 ARR
Adopted no date specified
Revised 8/13/81, 6/14/84, 6/7/88