Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NSBA Conference: Attention Adaptivity: How to Know If REAL Learning is Taking Place!

Current research in neuroscience shows positive correlations between cognitive abilities (attention, memory, etc) and improved student achievement. Calcasieu Parish Public Schools (enr. 34,000) will focus on the innovative concept of Attention Adaptivity, specifically the use of an individual's attention data to inform instruction and allow it to adapt to the individual learner with the goal of optimizing the student's attention, and to achieve academic success. In this session, you will learn how to help students understand their learning deficits and how to erase them.

Handouts - None

It was interesting to watch them run the software program on a test subject from the audience.  The subject was suppose to watch a brief video about the galaxy and outer space, etc, maybe five minutes in length while an electrode was stuck to her forehead to monitor her attention on the video.  The video was complete with a couple of pop-up ads intentionally for distraction.  End result, a teacher would be able to tell what material the student wasn't focused on or their attention waivered for re-teaching.  Question actual functionality.

NSBA Conference: Rigorous Academics is Not Enough to Close the Achievement Gap

Learn about Roseville Area School District's (enr. 7437) 10 year journey to create alignment and accountability in delivering the equitable, respectful learning experience critical to every child's academic success. See how development of an Equity Vision and Scorecard drives the difficult conversations, mobilizes change, and monitors progress from the classroom to the boardroom. The importance and impact on achievement of becoming student centric and using cultural competence to differentiate professional development will be highlighted.


I like the concept but worry about implementation in a district as large as ours.  The one referenced has only 7,500 students enrolled as opposed to our 26,000+.  I like the score card reports.

NSBA Conference: The Cheaters the Liars and the Scandal; How to Survive Standardized Testing

This presentation is focused on understanding the roles and responsibilities of the school board and the administration to develop policies and procedures geared towards preventing testing irregularities and managing the impact on the students, the district and the public when a testing irregularity occurs. School districts can be successful in managing through state assessments with collaboration between the school board and the administration to understand the culture in the district and implement measures to prevent testing irregularities. 


ehhh....wasn't feeling this one as much either. Seemed geared more towards the administrators and staff rather than the board members or at least for our current situation.

NSBA Conference: Teaching at the Speed of Learning

Come, bring your own device (BYOD) and join other forward-looking districts shifting from student sit-and-get to student-led education. Examine online tools and discover how integrating handheld technology complements your current programs, supports required curriculum and helps you meet Common Core Standards. Experience how motivation and assessment emerge organically from the process and products of project-based learning. Get links to resources, tutorials, and exemplary student collaborations to take back and share with your instructional leaders!


Love, love, love this session.  Right up my alley and the next steps for our new BYOD policy.  Please take a look at the handout.

NSBA Conference: Years of Action - A Strategic Plan for Every Student - Every School - Every Day

The Toronto District School Board's (enr. 232,000) mission is to enable all students to reach high levels of achievement and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become responsible members of a democratic society. To accomplish this, we are committing ourselves to the Years of Action 2013-2017. During this time, we will direct our focus and align our resources to support every student, every school, every day of the year. Learn how.

Handout 1
Handout 2

This was a good session, unfortunately it was not what I thought it was going to be.  It focused more on overall system goals.  I believe CCPS already has good, rigorous system goals in place.  I ended up leaving to attend another session.

NSBA Conference: Sexual Violence and Schools: Navigating Title IX in 2015

Title IX and schools' responses to sexual violence are among the hottest and most complex topics in education today. Through this interactive session, board members and administrators will understand how to respond to a student complaint of sexual assault in compliance with recent federal guidance and be able to draft policies and procedures that comply with Title IX and OCR standards. Everyone will receive a "Title IX Toolkit" to bring back to their schools.


I had a hard time with this one.  I understand the legalities involved for a school system, but my morality, ethics and compassion always want to outweigh the legalities.  Interesting information.

NSBA Conference: Achieving Academic Success In Minority Males: Guaranteed

Explore ways to create a shift in behavioral management and reduce violence within the school by identifying and implementing motivational mentors. Learn the logistics and tenets of a motivational mentoring program, and formulate a plan for recruiting motivational mentors internally and externally. Design a strategy for engaging parents and community members in the educational process through the motivational
mentoring program.

Handout 1
Handout 2
Handout 3
Handout 4
Handout 5

Very nice engaging presentation about how to reach the 'Alpha Male'.  Again back to my idea of reaching out to the local fraternities to assist with mentorship reigns loud.

NSBA Conference: Parent Power: Making Connections That Work

Are you looking for meaningful ways to engage parents beyond PTA meetings? Virginia Beach City Public Schools' (enr. 68,647) Magna Award-winning Parent Connection is designed to remove barriers to engagement and help parents navigate the resources and information available to support students and families. Schools can't expect parents to be involved if the relationship is not reciprocal. Therefore, Parent Connection is truly a customer-focused initiative. Come learn easy-to-replicate outreaches to serve and engage parents.

Handout 1
Handout 2

Again, the majority of the ideas, CCPS has already implemented.  However there were several key targeted programs I liked, such as the "Beach Bag Program"

NSBA Conference: The Uncommon Common Core - Where Do They Stand?

In 2010, the nation's governors and state education chiefs announced the release of voluntary common core standards that aim to develop college- and career-ready high school graduates. Within a year, 45 states had signed on. But what began as an unprecedented national consensus soon devolved into controversy where it remains today. Join Patte Barth who will provide a national update on the status of common core and offer insights into their more contentious elements. Leave with some communication strategies to help you engage your community in a common core conversation based on fact, not fiction.  


Fortunately, most of the communication methods discussed during this session are already implemented by CCPS. Again the three points of concern seem to be developmental appropriateness, implementation and measurement.  No clear cut answers were found here. :(

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Notes from Board of Education Meeting, 3/10/15

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, March10 will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at . To view the full agenda and the various reports, please visit BoardDocs .

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.

Executive session – 12 p.m.

Call to order – 1 p.m. Pledge of Allegiance, Westlake High School JROTC

 Superintendent’s update - See Report

  • Highlights - Weather, Spring Break, assessments, testing, Bunkyo University, graduation, PreK registration
 Correspondence/Board Member updates
  • McGraw - Thank you to all staff that had to work through the inclement weather; thank you to Abell and Kelly for testimony at joint commissioners meeting; Read Across Charles County; and Spelling Bee
  • Marshall - Two concerns - recruitment and retention of teachers; testing
  • Kelly - serving on the Parents Matter; Attended MABE Conference Planning Committee; Aware of typos on worksheets going home with students; concerns regarding teaching to the test; Allocations Committee; Read Across Charles County
  • Palko - invited to Teacher Academy of Maryland at McDonough;
  • Crawford - attended state board of education meeting
  • Abell - Attended Healthier Partnerships of Charles County; and Joint Commissioners School Allocations Meeting
  • Lukas - Read Across Charles County; Chess Tournament
Education Association of Charles County update - See Report

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees update
  • Highlights - thank you for the $1,000; future negotiations
Student Board Member update - See Report

Security update
  • This was an oral update and I do no not post my notes on this topic for obvious reasons.  Please watch the video for more detailed information if so desired.
Overview of robotics program
  • Students from Piccowaxen Middle School presented on STEM and Robotics - awesome demonstration
Legislative update
  • House looking to restore some of the governors educational budget cuts
  • HB486/SB595 Charter School Expansion Bill - heard in house and senate not moved out of committee yet in either; not helpful to public schools
  • HB135 Charles County Excise Tax - Still in committee
  • SB 390 Burden of Proof Bill for children with disabilities - still in committee
  • HB389/SB455 - Labor Day Bill - school to start after Labor Day; still in committee
  • McGraw/Crawford - requested amendment to HB135 wording to include renovations....Hill responded that she is working through commissioners and delegation to conclude who sponsored the bill.
Unfinished business

New business

Future agenda items
  • Abell - Requested the formation of a committee to include  teachers, central office staff, board members, parents, students to review and understand assessments and testing the process and the data as a collaborative effort.
  • Marshall - Board Goals sub-committee requesting submission by April 1st.
  • Marshall - Teachers Academy of Maryland
  • Marshall - Testing, Assessments, review, costs, etc
  • Kelly - parent involvement; how to get involved in your child's school
  • Palko - visited New Orleans; North Point students involved with renovations of a ship/submarine in New Orleans
  • Palko - SLO's and teacher evaluations presentation
  • Lukas - GWWO Survey
Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Students - Wesley Thompson, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, William Diggs Elementary School, Principal: Sandra Taylor; Nehemiah Strawberry, 5th grade, Personal Responsibility, J.P. Ryon Elememtary School, Principal: Robert Opiekun; Veronica LeBeau, 8th grade, Career Readiness, General Smallwood Middle School, Principal: Kathy Perriello; Rainey Southworth, 12th grade, Academic Achievement, Thomas Stone High School, Principal: Michael Meiser
  • Staff - Jennifer Jenkins, special education instructional assistant, Ryon; Jacqueline Stancliff, fourth-grade teacher, Diggs; Anita Riggans, special education teacher, Smallwood; Nancy Jeffrey, German teacher, Stone
  • Resolutions: Month of the Young Child - Accepting: Octavia Butler, kindergarten teacher, JP Ryon Elementary School; Tionna McAllister, kindergarten, J.P. Ryon Elementary School; National Student Leadership Week - Accepting: Student liaisons
Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Calvin Compton - doesn't like that we used the inclement weather make up dates during spring break.  People have vacations planned, surgeries, etc. urges board to reconsider and make an emergency reconsideration.
Action items
  • Minutes
Motion to accept the Minutes as amended by Kelly; Second by Marshall
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Personnel
Motion to accept the Personnel by Lukas; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko

Schools opening for three days during spring break

Charles County Public Schools will open for students and teachers for three days during spring break – Monday, March 30; Tuesday, March 31; and Wednesday, April 1. Wednesday, April 1 will be a two-hour early dismissal day for students and afternoon prekindergarten students attend that day. The school system has used seven inclement weather days so far this school year, of which only four are built into the school calendar. The use of spring break days for lost instructional time is outlined in the Charles County Public Schools Parent Handbook/Calendar annually.

The Board of Education generally approves the school calendar two years in advance, and has already approved the use of spring break for make-up days this school year. Charles County Public Schools will not submit a waiver of inclement weather days to the Maryland State Board of Education, as waivers are generally granted only in extreme cases and when school systems have made efforts to make up missed days.

Schools will be closed for spring break April 2-6 (unless more inclement weather days are used), and reopen on Tuesday, April 7. Administrative offices are closed on Friday, April 3 and Monday, April 6. Students who are absent from school March 30, March 31 and/or April 1 should submit a note to school upon their return. The note should indicate the reason for absence so it can be properly coded. Some students may be absent due to plans made to take advantage of the expected spring break. Students who have arranged college tours or have circumstances that, in the judgment of the principal, constitute a sufficient cause may receive an excused absence from school.

Maryland law requires school to operate 180 days for students each school year. The school system builds four inclement weather days into its calendar each year, which are deleted from the end of the year if not used. All days have been used this school year, making Tuesday, June 16 the last day of school for students.

Information regarding inclement weather make-up dates is also published on the CCPS website, and on page 10 of the 2014-15 Charles County Public Schools Parent Handbook/Calendar. Schools were closed due to snow and ice storms on Jan. 14, Jan. 27, Feb. 17, Feb. 18, Feb. 26, March 5 and March 6. Delayed openings or early closings do not affect the use of inclement weather days.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Letter to the Editor on 3/4/15, My Response

A Letter to the Editor was published in the Maryland Independent on March 4, 2015 directly naming me.  My response to that letter has been submitted for publication, and can be found below.

I suspect I’m like most people. I don’t like paying taxes. I complain about them. I worry where I’m going to get the money to pay my taxes. And, in the end, I figure it out and pay. Then I enjoy the amenities my taxes provide – an excellent school system, roads, libraries, snow removal, water and sewer, police, fire, emergency medical services and more.

In a recent letter to the editor, a writer took me to task for making an offhanded remark on social media about my property tax increase and my lack of continued eligibility for a homeowner’s tax credit. He called me out as a member of the Board of Education who advocates for the needs of the school system, but used my personal situation along with assumption and misinformation to make his points. I would like to respond to that March 4 letter to the editor.

Shortly after becoming a divorced mother of four, I researched all programs that I might qualify for to help me maintain a stable home for my children. I qualified for the Homeowner’s Tax Credit, which I was able to take advantage of for two years. I would encourage anyone going through a time of financial hardship to do the same. It helped me keep my home.

The writer correctly points out that I volunteered as a member of the county’s School Adequate Public Facilities Program and Funding Review Committee. The committee worked to research possible revenue sources for the commissioners to consider for future school construction, renovations and school operating costs. At the end of a yearlong, laborious process, the committee provided the commissioners a recommendation listing feasible revenue streams to consider.  If by serving on this committee and completing the work required makes me in favor of increased taxes, I am guilty as charged.   

The writer also states that as a member of the elected school board in 2014, I demanded the commissioners use $6 million of Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreement (DRRA) funds to construct a pool at the new St. Charles High School. The video of the joint Board/Commissioners meeting does not support the writer’s claim. The video shows Board of Education member Donald Wade requesting, not demanding, the county commissioners to fund the pool. The county commissioners agreed and determined the funding source for the pool, which will be used by Charles County Public Schools students and the entire community.

The writer refers to a robo call to parents and staff about the lack of funding provided by the commissioners for this year’s school budget and possible cuts that might need to be made as a result. What we communicated was fact, not fiction.  As a result of the unfunded budget, the school system implemented cost saving measures that would not affect the classroom such as eliminating after-school activity buses. 

The writer goes on to imply that the school board is fighting to increase taxes, which is not true. The Board of Education is not a funding authority; our mission is to provide direction and educational policy for the school system.

Finally, the writer states the school system is sitting on $18 million dollars in unallocated fund balance, but he should have read the report rather than assuming what it said. The $18 million fund balance is a cumulative amount from the last five years and a direct result of management decisions to not fund OPEB and not proceed with maintenance projects and technology replacements. This was done at the direction of the county commissioners and the Board of Education. While seeking state approval for St. Charles High School, the county needed to provide assurances that operating costs for the new school would be funded.  The FY2014 fund balance contains designated funds and will be allocated as follows: health insurance reserve (selfinsurance 7.5 percent of claims) $2.9 million; contingency reserve (1 percent of annual operating budget) $3.6 million (approximately equal to the FY2015 fund balance requirement in the revenue portion of the budget); and a capital maintenance/technology reserve of 12.3 million.

In closing, everyone has an opinion and it’s great that we live in a country where we can voice these opinions.  However, we must be careful when voicing our opinions that we do not present them as facts.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

REMINDER: Board of Education Meeting, 3/10/15

The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, March 10, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. and student and staff recognition starts at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12 and is rebroadcast throughout the week. Board meetings are also streamed live on the school system website at Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab. The following is a tentative meeting agenda.

Executive session – 12 p.m.

Call to order – 1 p.m.Pledge of Allegiance, Westlake High School JROTC

 Superintendent’s update

 Reports of officers/boards/committees
  •  Correspondence/Board Member updates
  •  Education Association of Charles County update
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees update
  • Student Board Member update
  • Security update
  • Overview of robotics program
  • Legislative update
Unfinished business
New business
Future agenda items
Recognition – 4:30 p.m
  • Students
  • Staff
  • Resolutions: Month of the Young Child; National Student Leadership Week
Public Forum – 6 p.m.
Action items
  • Minutes
  • Personnel

Monday, March 02, 2015

Joint Board of Education/Comissioners January School Allocation Meeting

Members of the Board of Education and staff from Charles County Public Schools will be attending the Commissioners meeting on Tuesday March 3, 2015, at 10 a.m. in the Commissioners’ meeting room for the January School Allocations Cycle.

Please see the below report.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


The Charles County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) invites parents and guardians to nominate the person or team who has made a difference in the life of your child with special needs.  • Nominations must be made by the parent, guardian or the student (not other staff members).

• A lot of people help our children, but please limit your nomination to one (1) of the four (4) categories listed below.

• Please make sure the staff member has had direct contact and impact on your child (i.e. not just a nice person that helped you or your family…but someone that actually did something directly for your child).

• Nominations should be for a staff member who has “gone beyond the call of duty” to make a child successful during the 2014-2015 school year.

We will celebrate their contributions with you, their colleagues, administrators, and family members on Wednesday May 13, 2015 at 7 PM at the Waldorf Jaycees Hall, 3090 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD.
Please limit your nomination to one per family!

Make your nominations HERE

Board approves one-time payment for eligible employees

The Board of Education on Feb. 10 approved a one-time payment of $1,000 to all full-time, permanent Charles County Public Schools employees. Eligible employees will receive the payment next week, an action supported by the two employee representative groups – the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

“In fiscal year 2015, the school system was not able to provide employees with a step or scale increase or a cost of living adjustment (COLA). The Board agreed with the EACC and AFSCME last year to keep 2015 negotiations open and revisit the budget in January to determine if any employee compensation was possible. The $1,000 payment closes negotiations for the 2014-15 school year,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

Employees who are not full time but work a specific number of contracted hours will receive a prorated portion of the $1,000 payment. Cost of providing the payment is $3.4 million for 3,400 employees. Funding sources include lapsed salary savings from retirements, unfilled positions and hiring lags.
Additionally, the Board agreed to provide CCPS bus contractors with funds to pay each full-time, permanent bus driver and attendant with a $500 payment. The cost of the payment is $175,000 and will be funded by savings generated over several months due to lower fuel prices. CCPS currently works with 27 independent contractors to provide school bus services for students. Full-time, permanent bus drivers and attendants are generally those who are assigned to a specific bus contract. The Board has also asked each contractor to provide a matching one-time payment amount to their eligible employees, if possible. Funding for the payment will be provided to bus contractors in March, who will distribute the payment to their drivers and attendants.

“The Board understands the impact the economy has taken on our employees over the past several years. We hope this one-time payment shows our commitment to supporting our employees. The Board continues to seek competitive compensation in its fiscal year 2016 budget request,” Board Chairman Virginia McGraw said.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Notes from Board of Education Meeting 2/10/15

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, February 10 will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at . To view the full agenda and the various reports, please visit BoardDocs .

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.

 Executive session - 12 p.m

 Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, Thomas Stone High School JROTC

Superintendent’s update -
See Report

Correspondence/Board Member updates

  • Palko - BYOD visited several schools to see in action
  • Marshall - wants to discuss Teachers Academy of MD with teachers; volunteered to serve on MABE Federal Relations Committee
  • Kelly - Art Fair & Science Fair; Daughter of American Revolution Results
  • Crawford - SECAC Meeting
  • Abell - APFO Subcommittee Update; MABE Budget approved; Alternative Education Committee Update
  • McGraw - Scholarship Committee
Education Association of Charles County update
- See report

Student Board Member update - See Report

System goals - See report
  • Marshall - one hour lunch - discipline concerns?  no
  • Marshall - Counselor in all schools not just for at risk students
  • Marshall - cultural competency training for staff same as diversity training
  • Marshall - wants BOE to help CCPS at public forums
  • Marshall - lots of our job shadow students questions, couldn't keep up with them all
  • Kelly - Homegrown teacher recruitment
  • Kelly - marketing county in recruitment
  • Abell - C.C. Special Ed students 3rd fastest growing in state, why?  We are good at what we do
  • Abell - Diversity in teacher recruitment should still be a goal even though we are above the state and national average and should be stated as a goal
2015-16 Code of Student Conduct - See report
CIP update -see report
  • Portables Update - See report
  • State owned portables have a flat roof; local owned have a sloped roof
Overview of transportation department - See Report
  • Palko - Camera cost?  $1,800 per bus...all new buses hav cameras and any old bus routes with a possible issue can be fitted.
CCPS maintenance presentation - See report
Flipped classroom demonstration
Legislative update -
  • $4.6M budget cuts at state
  • GCEI index cut in half for Charles County
  • HB28 - requiring school resource officers in every school in state; to be funded by the state
  • HB135 - school construction excise tax rates - increase in $1.2M
  • SB183 -HB215 GCEI - Mandate the formula
  • HB344 - Special Education due process; who has burden of proof
  • HB389 - Labor Day Bill - School Start after Labor Day
  • SB595 - Amend Charter School Law to make it easier to start chart schools
Teacher separation update - See report
Unfinished business
New business
Future agenda items
  • Abell - Request for the percentage of students in our system using waivers to avoid immunizations.

Recognition – 4:30 p.m
  • Students - Haakon Berglund, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Berry Elementary School, Principal: Melissa Logan; Kailyn Pratta, 5th grade, Personal Responsibility, Dr. Thomas L Higdon Elementary School, Principal: Kathleen Morgan; Cheyenne Toma, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Eva Turner Elementary School, Principal: Orlena Whatley; Camdin Edge, 8th grade, Career Readiness, Piccowaxen Middle School, Principal: Wendall Martin; Jessica Foster, 12th grade, Career Readiness, La Plata High School, Principal: Evelyn Arnold
  • Staff - David S. Johnson, Building Service Assistant Manager, Berry; Betty T. Horton, first grade teacher, Higdon; Laura M. Birchfield, fifth grade teacher, Turner; Sara T. Keener, Language Arts teacher, Piccowaxen; Kevin D. Barry, Social Studies teacher, La Plata
  • Resolutions Read Across Charles County: Accepting:  Sahana Venkatesh, 6th grade, General Smallwood Middle School; Linda Forrest, Reading Resource Teacher, General Smallwood Middle School, Rajan Venkatesh, 2nd grade, Gale-Bailey Elementary School, Diedra Barnett, Reading Resource Teacher, Gale-Bailey Elementary School
    Women's History Month: Accepting: Dr. Sonya Ford, Chairperson, Charles County Commission for Women
    Fine and Performing Arts: Accepting: Timothy Bodamer, Specialist, Fine and Performing Arts; Madison Meiser, 7th grade, Piccowaxen, Middle School, Orchestra

Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Deb Vahle - bus drivers are now receiving school closing notifications  by 5, thank you
  • Shantiqua Wheeler - Princ. Wade overstepping her authority.  teachers are being told they are giving out to many A's and to stop.
Action items
  • Minutes
Motion to accept the Minutes by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Motion to amend the Minutes by Kelly; Second By Crawford
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Amendment was made to reflect there wasnt a no vote for any candidate for the offices.
  • Personnel
Motion to accept Personnel by Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Superintendent’s proposed FY 2016 operating budget
Motion to Amend remove the PASS program from the budget by Kelly; Second by Crawford
Yes = Kelly; No = Abell, Crawford, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko

Motion to accept the Budget by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko

Monday, February 09, 2015

REMINDER: Board of Education Meeting, 2/10/15

The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. and student and staff recognition starts at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12 and is rebroadcast throughout the week. Board meetings are also streamed live on the school system website at Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab. The following is a tentative meeting agenda.

Executive session – 12 p.m.
Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, Thomas Stone High School JROTC

Superintendent’s update
Reports of officers/boards/committees

·         Correspondence/Board Member updates
·         Education Association of Charles County update
·         American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees update
·         Student Board Member update
·         System goals
·         2015-16 Code of Student Conduct
·         CIP update
·         Overview of transportation department
·         CCPS maintenance presentation
·         Flipped classroom demonstration
·         Legislative update
·         Teacher separation update
Unfinished business
New business and future agenda items
·         New business
·         Future agenda items

Recognition – 4:30 p.m
·         Students
·         Staff
·         Resolutions: Read Across Charles County; Women’s History Month; and Fine and Performing Arts Month

Public Forum – 6 p.m.
Action items

·         Minutes
·         Personnel
·         Superintendent’s proposed FY 2016 operating budget


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Joint BOE/Commissioners' Retreat, 2/4/15 - NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The Board of Education members and the County Commissioners will meet in a retreat on Wednesday, February 4th from 9 1 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland, BI Building, Room #113E. This convening is not a meeting under the provisions of the Open Meetings Act and in accordance with Title 3 of the General Provisions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.  The retreat will have a Facilitator, Argene Carswell and the agenda and supporting documents can be found below.

Argene Carswell Bio
Argene Carswell Invoice

Retreat Objectives
This half‐day retreat is designed to set the foundation for effective, collaborative Charles County leadership into the future. Specific objectives are to:

  • Strengthen the working relationship between the County Commission and the Board of Education
  • Develop a stronger appreciation of respective roles and individual contribution
  • Begin to identify effective communication mechanisms and how differences will be resolved
  • Begin to chart a dynamic future for Charles County through collaborative leadership
8:30 am – 9:00 am       Coffee/Tea
9:00 am – 9:10 am       Opening Argene         How We Will Work Together
9:10 am – 10:20 am     Our Leadership Journeys All
10:20 am – 10:30 am    Break
10:30 am – 11:45 am    What Should Our Leadership of Charles County All Look Like?
  • With a focus on communication and resolving differences
11:45 am – 1:00 pm Going Forward: What We Want to Create Through All Our Leadership
 (Includes a working lunch)
1:00 pm – 1:15 pm Next Steps All
Closing and Acknowledgements

Thursday, January 29, 2015

County, schools see hike in graduation rates

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) graduation rate hit 91.4 percent in 2014, its highest rate since 2010, according to data released by the Maryland State Department of Education this week. As student graduation rates increase, the CCPS dropout rate continues to decline.

The CCPS four-year cohort graduation rate jumped from 89.8 percent in 2013 and has improved more than five points since 2010. Additionally, CCPS students also improved across all subgroups. The CCPS average exceeds the state graduation rate of 86.39 by five points.

 “I can’t tell you how proud we are of the accomplishments of our students,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill told high school principals. She credited principals, teachers and staff for helping students stay in school and graduate with their class. “None of this would have been possible without your hard work and your commitment to being the difference,” Hill said.

Four of six high schools posted graduation rates greater than 90 percent. Henry E. Lackey High School’s graduation rate jumped from 87.25 in 2013 to 90.51 in 2014. La Plata High School posted a 2014 rate of 92.82, down from 94.64, and North Point High School’s graduation rate remained the highest in the county at 95.94 percent, despite a slight decrease. Westlake High School improved its graduation rate to 91, up from 88.3 percent in 2013. Maurice J. McDonough High School increased its graduation rate from 88.75 to 89.07 in 2014, and Thomas Stone High School increased by nearly 7-points, raising its rate from 80.65 in 2013 to 87.36 in 2014.

 Gradation rates for students of all races/ethnicity were above 90 percent. Four-year cohort graduation rates by race/ethnicity are:

  • Asian: greater than 95 percent;
  • African American: 90.06 percent;
  • Hispanic/Latino: greater than 95 percent;
  • White: 91.94 percent; and
  • Two or more races: greater than 95 percent.
While gaps in graduation rates between some student groups remain, the numbers improved across the board in 2014:
  • The graduation rate for students receiving free or reduced-price meals (FARMS) increased more than three percentage points, from 79.06 percent to 82.2 percent.
  • The graduation rate for special education students improved more than 10 percentage points, rising to 75.16 in 2014 from 64 percent in 2013.
  • Both girls and boys improved four-year cohort graduation rates. Females bettered their four-year cohort graduation rate to 94.37, up from 93.27 in 2013. A higher percentage of males graduated in 2014, up 2 points from 86.42 in 2013 to 88.56 in 2014.
Hill said, “Even though we surpassed the state average for FARMS and special education students, we still have work to do to close the achievement gaps for these subgroups.”
 The percentage of students dropping out of school also has declined. The CCPS four-year cohort dropout rate has declined from 6.13 percent in 2013 to 4.97 percent in 2014. The State’s dropout rate was 8.35 percent in 2014. Dropout rates provide a cumulative dropout rate across the four years since the cohort first entered grade 9. This rate includes as dropouts those students who did not graduate after four years but did not return for a fifth year. There were 2212 students in the four-year adjusted cohort, with 2,022 earning diplomas in four years.
Maryland five years ago moved to the cohort graduation rate, which follows a set group of students from freshman year through their senior year. The State includes both the four-year cohort and five-year cohort rate in its accountability program. Data released this week is for the four-year cohort graduation rate for the class of 2014 and includes summer graduates. The calculation follows students from the time they first entered grade 9 and includes those who graduate after four years. The five-year cohort rate does not include summer graduates and is released in June.
Graduation Rate – Four-year Cohort Rates at a Glance
All Students – Charles County Public Schools
High School                                       2013 Cohort                                       2014 Cohort
Henry E. Lackey                                87.25                                                   90.51
La Plata                                            94.64                                                   92.82
McDonough                                       88.75                                                   89.07
North Point                                        97.67                                                   95.94
Thomas Stone                                   80.65                                                   87.36
Westlake                                           88.3                                                     91.0
Charles County                                  89.8                                                     91.4
Maryland                                           84.97                                                   86.39