Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Board approves salary increases, St. Charles funding in FY 2016

The Board of Education approved its fiscal year 2016 budget Monday night, providing salary increases for employees and funding the addition of a senior class at St. Charles High School.

The Board’s FY2016 operating budget is $334.2 million, reflecting a $6.8 million increase or 2.1 percent more than FY2015. The county provided an additional $4.2 million and state funding increased $640,512. To pay for mandatory cost shortages, the school system moved $5.2 million from the fund balance to the general fund and cut nearly $7.4 million from budget categories including lapsed salaries, technology replacement reserves and utilities. The school system is using the fund balance for general operations and to complete one-time maintenance projects, such as carpet replacements and school playgrounds.

“We value our employees and providing compensation was our first priority. This is an investment in our people who we expect to provide educational access, equity and excellence while making a difference in the lives of children each day. It’s important that we remain competitive so we are able to hire the best new teachers as well as retain our experienced staff,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) employees are two steps/levels behind on the salary schedule. Salary step and levels are incremental increases in salary based on previous qualifying professional experience. The last time the school system gave an across-the-board cost-of-living (COLA) increase was 2009.

Pending approval of the school system’s two employee groups, the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), all eligible employees will receive a step/level increase. The budget funds a 2 percent COLA for certificated employees at levels 20 or 10, depending on the assigned salary scale. The budget includes a 1 percent COLA for support staff in steps 17 and above.

In addition to salary and the St. Charles opening, other mandated increases include the teachers’ pension, Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) insurance premium, athletic trainers, bus contracts and Project Lead the Way (PLTW). There will be 24 staff members and additional supplies and materials added to St. Charles High School, which are critical to adding a senior class of more than 300 students.

Also affecting the budget is the increased cost of health insurance. To offset increases, the school system and unions agreed to raise health insurance copays for office visits and prescriptions by $5 and emergency room visits by $75, unless admitted. The change is anticipated to save the system $500,000.

Hill said staff worked to avoid program and staffing cuts while making budget reductions. Funding the increases requires reducing an additional $7.4 million beyond state and county funding levels. Savings came from lapsed salaries and FICA targets, increasing health insurance copays, decreasing classified pension plan funding, and eliminating reserve budgets for unanticipated expenditures in programs, technology and utilities.

The FY2016 budget increases the per pupil operating cost to $13,104.

“This budget does not reduce or eliminate successful programs or school improvements. This is a budget that will help us maintain our academic success and provide strong support to the classroom, our students and our staff,” Hill said.

A copy of the Board’s approved fiscal year 2016 budget summary is available at http://www.ccboe.com/aboutus/boe/budget.php.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Notes from Board of Education Work Session, 6/22/15

The Board of Education Work Session on Monday, June 22 will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at http://www.ccboe.com/ . 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 – 5 p.m.

Call to Order – 6 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum

  • Mina Tarajamo - North Point student in 10th grade.  Reconsider transfer of Timothy Lobell, Theater Arts Teacher to Thomas Stone High School.  Loves him, he works hard, don't move him.  Petition, letter to the editor.
Action Items
  • FY 2016 operating budget - BOEApproved FY2016 Operating Budget.pdf (203 KB)
  • Kelly - Cutting budget on instructional materials and increased cost on transportation after assuming some routes internally?
  • Lukas - Page 5 savings from lapsed salaries? 3.4M is insurance; fund balance
  • McGraw - Classified pension plan funding
  • Kelly - State funding calculation noticed; GCEI not funded but compensatory funding for free and reduced funding went up.
  • Kelly - what if transfer tax not approved on 6/24; funding should stay intact, they would need to come up with a different revenue source.
Motion to accept the FY2016 Operating Budget by Lukas; Second by Marshall
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Motion to accept the Out of County Tuition Rates by Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Approval of FY 2016 daily and hourly salaries - Hourly Salaries 2015-2016.pdf (12 KB)
  • Abell - Instructional Assistants increase; increase to same as temporary
  • Kelly - Computer Analyst Max salary - becoming increasing complicated and needing more experience
Motion to accept the FY2016 Daily and Hourly Rates by Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Approval of the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) contract
Motion to accept the EACC Contract Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Approval of the American Federation of State, County, &Municipal Employees (AFSCME) contract
Motion to accept the AFSCME Contract Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Approval of Personnel
Motion to accept Personnel Contract Marshall; Second by Abell
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko

Work Session - Board goals - suggested Board goals-blended w/ Supt goals 042715.(2).pdf (51 KB)
  •  Kelly - Change order of goals by importance?
  • Abell - add disclaimer, "in no certain order"
  • Kelly - add federal funding under Goal #4
  • Palko - #7 doesn't like increase enrollment
  • McGraw - #8 Continue to promote and implement
  • Palko - #6 no STEAM to STEM but add Fine and Performing Arts
  • Lukas and Kelly - quantifiable, measureable goals
Adjournment

Friday, June 19, 2015

Board of Education Work Session, 6/22/15

The Board of Education of Charles County is holding a public work session at 6 p.m., Monday, June 22, in the boardroom at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building. The agenda is as follows and is subject to change:

Executive session – 5 p.m.

Call to Order – 6 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance

Public Forum

Work session
FY 2016 operating budget

Out-of-county tuition rates

FY 2016 daily and hourly salaries

Board goals

Adjournment

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Principal, Vice-Principal Transfers and Appointments

PrincipalThe Board of Education today approved the appointment of five new principals and 10 new vice principals for the 2015-16 school year. Additionally, Superintendent Kimberly Hill announced nine principal transfers, nine vice principal transfers and administrative appointments.

New principals include:
  • Christina Caballero, vice principal at Mattawoman Middle School, has been named as principal at Matthew Henson Middle School.
  • Louis D’Ambrosio, vice principal at William A. Diggs Elementary School, has been named as principal at Arthur Middleton Elementary School. 
  • Kevin Jackson, vice principal at Theodore G. Davis Middle School, has been named as principal at William B. Wade Elementary School.
  • Kim McClarin, vice principal at North Point High School, has been named as principal at Theodore G. Davis Middle School. 
  • Susan McCormick, vice principal at Thomas Stone High School, has been named as principal at John Hanson Middle School. 
Hill also announced a number of principal and administrative transfers, including:
  • Evelyn Arnold, principal of La Plata High School, transfers to principal at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center.
  • Douglass Dolan, principal of Mattawoman, transfers to principal at La Plata High School.
  • Sonia Jones, principal of Henson, transfers to principal of Mattawoman.
  • Kathy Kiessling, principal of Hanson, transfers to principal of General Smallwood Middle School.
  • Kathy Perriello, principal of Smallwood, transfers to principal at Henry E. Lackey High School.
  • Sabrina Robinson-Taylor, principal of Middleton, transfers to principal at Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School.
  • Verniece Rorie, principal of Mitchell, transfers to principal at Gale-Bailey Elementary School.
  • James Short, principal at Lackey, has been named as the Director, Hearing Officer/Court Liaison for the school system.
  • Stephanie Wesolowski, principal at Davis, has been named as Coordinator of Instructional Assessment.
Vice principal appointments include:
  • Paul Alvarez, administrative assistant at Thomas Stone to vice principal at St. Charles High School;
  • Shane Blandford, teacher from William B. Wade Elementary School to vice principal at Mary H. Matula Elementary School;
  • Nichole Bolden, teacher at Mattawoman to vice principal at Milton M. Somers Middle School;
  • Anthony Carroll, instructional resource teacher at Smallwood to vice principal at Henson;
  • Brian King, administrative assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School to vice principal at Davis;
  • Gary Lesko, administrative assistant at St. Charles High School to vice principal at Mattawoman;
  • Jason Mackey, administrative assistant at Smallwood to vice principal at Lackey;
  • Shanif Pearl, administrative assistant at La Plata to vice principal at Thomas Stone;
  • Kevin Reisinger, administrative assistant at North Point to vice principal at Maurice J. McDonough High School; and
  • Todd Wonderling, teacher at Piccowaxen Middle School to vice principal at Mitchell.
Vice principal transfers for the 2015-16 school year include:
  • Nicholas Adam, from Malcolm Elementary School to Diggs;
  • Michelle Beckwith, from Mitchell to Middleton;
  • Patricia Mooring, from Middleton to Malcolm;
  • Tamra Nissen, from Henson to Hanson;
  • Carl Pascarella, from Lackey to McDonough;
  • Jean Ritter, from Matula to Indian Head Elementary School;
  • Steven Roberts, from McDonough to North Point;
  • Belinda Shatley, from Somers to Davis; and
  • Brad Williams, from Davis to Stethem.
Administrative appointments include:
  • Michael Heim, assistant supervisor of transportation as director of transportation. 
Hill also announced the retirement of three principals: Penny Nye of Wade, Toni Melton-Trainor of Gale-Bailey and Wayne Freeman of Stethem.
The Board approved the Superintendent’s appointments on June 9. All new assignments take effect July 1.

Notes from Board of Education Meeting, 6/9/15

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, May 12 will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at http://www.ccboe.com/ . 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, St. Charles High School
Swearing-in of new Student Board member - Welcome Pearson Benson
Recognition of high school athletes

Correspondence/Board Member updates
  • Kelly - attended MABE training; Art exhibit; K field trip to the zoo; 5th grade field trip to Richmond Science Center; Parents Matter dinner - we should recognize at the BOE; Move from STEM to STEAM
  • Crawford - Praise on graduation to planning; wore stars and stripes tie in honor of Flag Day
  • Palko - NPHS Academy of Nursing pinning ceremony; LaPlata Art Exhibit
  • Abell - Attended Adult Independence Program Graduation, kudos to staff and students; Alternative Education Committee held its last meeting and should be presenting to the board shortly; FIMR Committee requesting another staff person to replace Molly Johnson who retired; Graduations - kudos to staff,  CCSO, SHA, county government, NP Culinary Academy and of course all the students.  Received numerous email and FB messages regarding the inability to hear their child's name called.  Discuss in more detail under Ms. Lawson's presentation.
  • Marshall - Well orchestrated graduation.  Thank you to Ms. Delacruz who hosted the CCSO and SHA at Diggs during graduations.
Education Association of Charles County update

Student Board Member update - Pearson Benson SMOB report for June 9th.pdf (28 KB)

Graduations 2015 - TurnstileCountsFor2015Graduation.pdf (48 KB)
  • Ms. Lawson ensured the board that a task force will be formed to address strategies regarding the crowds at graduations and the inability of parents to hear their child's name called.  Students, parents, administrators will brainstorm and provide recommendations for next year's graduations.
CIP update - CIP Update_ June 9 2015.pdf (330 KB)
  • Martin - site improvement; enlarge parking, lighting
  • Brown - rooftop units, boiler and new ceiling
  • Gwynn Center - boiler and roof replacement
  • Gaile-Bailey - Sanitary improvements; sewer; design roof replacement; improve parking, lighting
  • Matula - Kindergarten addition; august 2016 occupancy
  • Jenifer - Kindergarten addition; august 2016 occupancy
  • Elementary school #2 - site acquisition on Billingsley Road approved by state
  • Mudd - planning and design for renovations
  • Parks - connect to public waterline
Partnership between CCPS and the College of Southern Maryland - Instruction - CCPS_CSM_JuneBoard Presentation 5 9 15.pdf (221 KB)

Legislative update

Unfinished business
  • Kelly - Board correspondence regarding emergency situations at schools; on work session
  • Palko - Video of PT305 update
  • Hill/Abell - Staff/parent/board committee to discuss assessments, curriculum, testing.  Parent meeting will happen during PAC on October 27th at 7.  staff committee will be convened.
New business
  • April 2016 Board Meeting - needs to be moved because it is during the national conference.  Consensus was to move it to the following week.  Tuesday, April 19th.
Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Resolutions: Maryland/Charles County Teacher of the Year, Sarah Desrosiers, Life Skills teacher, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award, Gene Hopkins Jr., social studies teacher, Milton M. Somers Middle School
  • Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year – Louis D’Ambrosio, William A. Diggs Elementary School
  • Outstanding Support Staff – Victor Woodland, building service manager, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; Madonna Gaume, technology facilitator, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School; Eric McElhenny, electronic technician, CCPS Radio Station Road Annex; Bijon Trice, secretary to the principal, John Hanson Middle School; Nghia Dang, computer analyst, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building; and Renee Ward, head of accounts payable, Starkey Building.
Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Keith McGrit - bus driver from Compton Bus
  • Kathy Lancaster - bus drivers and attendants not happy with salaries; don't get paid for days missed, holidays, overtime, etc.  No unemployment benefits during the summer.  no health insurance because contractor didn't pay the insurance premium.  do not have adequate retirement plans.
  • David Beach - bus driver, graduation ceremonies students praised teachers and staff but not bus drivers.  we are only recognized when something goes wrong.
  • Casey Hochum - St. Charles High School parent; fights occur daily, scared to go to school, Spanish class out of control, principal denied problem of fights, staff confirmed.  Teachers have stated the class is out of control.  teachers and students scared to go to school. students are disrespectful, rude.  No control or consequences...teachers quitting, students want to be homeschooled.
  • Teresa Ward - parent at St. Charles, son is scared to go to school; poorly ran, changing classes, lunch taken away one week and given back the next week, no consistency, teachers and students both feel this year has been a waste.  Child is a guinea pig and ripped from one school to another.  Students uncontrollable and cant learn in class because kids are disruptive.  don't feel welcome, wants to be homeschooled.  time for change.  asked the school about home schooling.  asked to walk the halls with administrative central office staff and they never called back for an appointment.
Action items
  • Minutes
Motion to approve the Minutes by Abell; Second by Marshall
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Personnel
Motion to approve Personnel by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Educational Facilities Master Plan
Motion to approve the Educational Facilities Master Plan by Kelly; Second by Abell
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • 2016-17 Calendar
Motion to approve the 2016-17 Calendar by Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Adjournment

Monday, June 08, 2015

Charles County Public High Schools Ethnicity Statistics

I was recently asked by a reader to provide the statistics of black (African American) / white students in our high schools.  The MSDE 2014 Report Card, which is publicly accessible, provides such demographic data for all Maryland public schools, and includes student mobility, students receiving special services, attendance and graduation rates, and teacher qualifications.    In response to the specific request that was made:


Thomas Stone = 1,287 Total Students

  • 728 Black/African American = 57%
  • 408 White = 32%
Lackey = 1,208 Total Students
  • 695 Black/African American = 57%
  • 414 White = 34%
Westlake = 1,425 Total Students
  • 1,104 Black/African American = 77%
  • 130 White = 9%
North Point = 2,203 Total Students
  • 1,253 Black/African American = 59%
  • 580 White = 26%
McDonough = 1,118 Total Students
  • 585 Black/African American = 52%
  • 405 White = 36%
La Plata = 1,412 Total Students
  • 307 Black/African American = 22%
  • 944 White = 67%

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Agenda for Board of Education Meeting, 6/9/15

The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, June 9 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 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 www.ccboe.com. Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab. The following is a tentative meeting agenda and is subject to change.

Executive session – 12 p.m.
Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, St. Charles High School

Swearing-in of new Student Board member
Recognition of high school athletes

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
  • Graduations 2015
  • CIP update
  • Partnership between CCPS and the College of Southern Maryland
  • Legislative update
Unfinished business

New business
Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Resolutions: Maryland/CharLes County Teacher of the Year, Sarah Desrosiers, Life Skills teacher, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; Washington Post Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award, Gene Hopkins Jr., social studies teacher, Milton M. Somers Middle School
  • Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year – Louis D’Ambrosio, William A. Diggs Elementary School
  • Outstanding Support Staff – Victor Woodland, building service manager, Theodore G. Davis Middle School; Madonna Gaume, technology facilitator, C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School; Eric McElhenny, electronic technician, CCPS Radio Station Road Annex; Bijon Trice, secretary to the principal, John Hanson Middle School; Nghia Dang, computer analyst, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building; and Renee Ward, head of accounts payable, Starkey Building.
Public Forum – 6 p.m.

Action items
  • Minutes
  • PersonneL
  • Educational Facilities Master Plan
  • 2016-17 calendar
Adjournment
 
Executive session

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

PARCC Shortens Its Common-Core Test

Education Week
Published Online: May 21, 2015
 
In the face of rising opposition to testing, the PARCC consortium has decided to carve 90 minutes off its 10- to 11-hour-long assessment, and shift the start of testing to later in the school year.

The redesign of the test was approved Wednesday in a unanimous phone-conference vote by the board of governors of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. Eleven states and the District of Columbia belong to the consortium, which created tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The revised design will take effect with the 2015-16 PARCC tests in English/language arts and mathematics, which are given to students in grades 3-11.
In addition to shortening the test, the new design also folds PARCC’s two testing windows into one 30-day window, and requires that states wait until three-quarters of the way through the school year before starting the testing period.

Currently, PARCC states have a 12-week window to give the longer, more-complex performance tasks, between Feb. 16 and May 8. They have an eight-week window for the end-of-year component, which contains shorter-answer items: from April 13 to June 5. Within those windows, states choose 20-day periods in which to administer the tests.

Next year, states will have one 30-day period to give the tests. It can’t begin until 75 percent of instruction has been completed—day 133 in a 180-day instructional year—and it must be finished by the time 90 percent of instruction has been completed.

This year, teachers in states that began early—such as Ohio, which opened its testing season on Feb. 16—complained that they hadn’t had enough time to teach their material before testing began.

Read more HERE
 
 
 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Commissioner Resolution on DRRA's for 5/19/15

Did anyone happen to notice the below Resolution on the commissioners agenda for Tuesday, May 19th under Approval Items?

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND
RESOLUTION NO. 2015-_____
A Resolution concerning
CHARLES COUNTY DEVELOPMENT
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AGREEMENT
FOR THE PURPOSE OF suspending temporarily consideration of development rights and responsibilities agreements (“DRRAs”) in which the County is requested to issue school allocations in exchange for monetary payments.
WHEREAS, Chapter 297, Zoning Regulations, Article XVI, Adequate Public Facilities Requirements of the Code of Charles County, Maryland, requires developers to demonstrate that a proposed subdivision for development will not adversely affect the adequacy of public facilities, including schools, serving the area, project or development; and
WHEREAS, §297-259B of the Code of Charles County, Maryland provides that no final plat for residential subdivision or development services permit for a residential site plan shall be approved until school capacity allocations have been granted by the Director of the Department of Planning and Growth Management; and
WHEREAS, Maryland law, Land Use Article of the Maryland Annotated Code §7-301, et seq. (“Land Use Article”), grants Charles County the authority to establish procedures and requirements for the consideration and execution of the DRRAs; and
WHEREAS, Pursuant to Land Use Article, §7-301 et seq, and Chapter 297, Zoning Regulations, Article XXX, Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreements, of the Code of Charles County, Maryland, Charles County, Maryland, the County Commissioners, are authorized to enter into binding development rights and responsibility agreements with any party having legal or equitable interest in real property; and
WHEREAS, the County Commissioners and developers of real property have entered into DRRAs under which the County has agreed to provide school capacity allocations for development in certain quantities and at certain specified times in exchange for monetary payments; and
WHEREAS, in March, 2013, the County Commissioners appointed the Adequate Public Facilities Committee to study and report on the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance as it relates to school allocations to ensure the policy is achieving its goals and to present solutions to address the situation of certain schools being over capacity; and
WHEREAS, in May, 2014, the Adequate Public Facilities Committee delivered a report to the County Commissioners which contained a detailed analysis and a series of recommendations; and
WHEREAS, the County Commissioners have requested the staff of the Department of Planning and Growth Management and the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services to study the statutes, rules and policies of the State of Maryland and the County in connection with the funding of the capital costs of constructing school capacity to accommodate new development in the County and, if appropriate, to propose changes to law and policy for the purpose of ensuring that the County is able to fund these capital costs in a fair, effective and timely manner; and
WHEREAS, the County Commissioners have requested the staff of the Department of Planning and Growth Management to study the County’s laws, manuals and policies, including the approval of DRRAs, which govern the determination and allocation of school capacity and are fashioned to ensure that development proceeds where school capacity is reasonably available and, if appropriate, to propose changes for the purpose of ensuring that school capacity allocations are granted in a fair, effective and timely manner; and
WHEREAS, the County Commissioners have directed staff to provide a report and recommendations on or before November 1, 2015.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,
(1) That the Director of the Department of Planning and Growth Management shall suspend, until November 14, 2015, consideration of applications filed after the effective date of this resolution, for DRRAs in which the County is requested to issue school allocations in exchange for monetary payments.
(2) That this Resolution shall become effective upon the date if its adoption.
ADOPTED this _____ day of __________________, 2015.
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF
CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND
______________________________
Peter F. Murphy, President
______________________________
Ken Robinson, Vice President
_____________________________
Debra M. Davis, Esq.
______________________________
Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed.
ATTEST:
______________________________ Bobby Rucci
Carol DeSoto, Acting
Clerk to the Commissioners

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Notes from Board of Education Meeting, 5/12/15

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, May 12 will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at http://www.ccboe.com/ . 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 - Report
 
Correspondence/Board Member updates
  • Palko - All County Band & Chorus, Skills USA - Conratulations
  • Marshall - # of citizens who watch the televised board meeting.  We are not a political body but a governing body.
  • Kelly - Yolanda Judge congratulations for Parents Matter Award; Kudos to Matula band and chorus for performance
  • Crawford - Elem. Math Challenge, lots of fun, kudos
  • Lukas - Kiwanis Clubs in County - Thank you
  • McGraw - Letter from teacher, "Thanks for standing behind us and the $1,000 bonus" - Robin Riddick
Education Association of Charles County update - Report

Student Board Member update - Report

Matthew Henson Middle School’s anti-bullying initiative - Presentation

Principal evaluations
Communications update
 Solar field projects - Oral report

Educational facilities master plan - Report
  • Lukas - questions revolving around Mudd and addition when enrollment seems to be decreasing at that school
Teacher evaluations and curriculum repository - Report

Credit recovery at Thomas Stone High School - Presentation

2016-17 calendar - Report
  • Lukas - shortening of spring break and winter break in exchange for ending earlier in June
Legislative update - Unavailable at this time

Unfinished business -
  • Abell - Meeting with CSM scheduled yet
  • Hill - Not yet; will be scheduled by end of year
  • Kelly - Quarterly meetings with commissioners; next one not scheduled
  • McGraw - has not been done yet
  • Kelly - College and Career Readiness Update
  • Hill - waiting for data
New business - None

Future agenda items
  • Kelly - request subcommittees for policy review
  • Lukas - staff overview of broad categories of policy
  • Crawford - questioned need to review policy at this time
  • Benson - Requests review transferring eligibility to play sports to say all extra curricular activities to match current policy on GPA or get rid of all together
  • Palko - PTO Guidelines adopted
  • Lawson - Jones has worked with the PTO council and it has been adopted and will be disbursed to board members
  • Kelly - Information sharing with Board members in regards to incidents at schools such as if emergency services are called are media is involved.
Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Resolution: Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award – Thadine Wright, principal, J.C. Parks Elementary School
  • Students - Rebecca White, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School, Principal: Verniece Rorie; Zaria Smith, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Mary B. Neal Elementary School, Principal: Carol Leveillee; Jasmine Forbes, 8th grade, Career Readiness, Mattawoman Middle School, Principal: Douglass Dolan; Desiree Satchell, 12th grade, Personal Responsibility, North Point High School, Principal: Michael Simms
  • Staff - Joanne Brown, occupational therapist/special education teacher, F.B. Gwynn Center, Principal: Daphne Burns; Connie Mattingly, learning resource teacher, Mitchell; Julie Colaizzi, science teacher, Neal; Debra A. Van Roon, language arts teacher, Mattawoman; Pamela Jones, Culinary Arts teacher, North Point
  • Recognition of 2014-15 student liaisons - Georgia Benson, Student member of the Board, Westlake High School; Maya Kidane, alternate Student member of the Board, North Point High School; Chelsea Cox-Brown, Thomas Stone High School; Amanda Hobgood, Henry E. Lackey High School; Aaron King, Maurice J. McDonough High School; Thomas Martin, La Plata High School; Paris Mercier-White, St. Charles High School
Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Deb Vahle - Stetham Center Explorers Program.  Greenhouse.  Grow plants, flowers, operate tractors, career readiness, job entry, etc.  Proud of her son who is preparing to start his own company and thankful for the alternative teaching.
  • Jonathan Koger? - disappointed in the education system in CCPS.  Music is important.  Middle School son had to make a choice between music and another program.  Disservice to our students.  Competing at Towson this Saturday as a 6th grade student for clarinet but will not be participating next year because he chose technology.  Decision he shouldn't have to make.  Unfortunate.
  • Conor Orsillo - 10yo Malcolm Elem.  Big Buddy Little Buddy Program.  When entering 6th grade, assigned a 7th grader as a big buddy, a go to person for anything.  Someone who looks out for me and I look out for him.  The 7th grader will have a Grand buddy in 8th grade. :) and when i'm in 7th grade I get a little buddy. Same for high school.  can be matched by sports interest or clubs.
Action items
Motion to approve the Minutes by Abell; Second by Marshall
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Personnel
Motion to approve Personnel by Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Motion to approve the intercategory budget transfer request by Lukas; Second by Marshall
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Adjournment

Monday, May 11, 2015

'You are smart!' Teachers send inspirational letter to primary school pupils ahead of crucial exams

Daily Mail.com
May 10, 2015
By Jenny Awford for MailOnline

Parents have praised a primary school for sending an inspirational letter to Year 6 pupils telling them there 'are many ways of being smart' ahead of their crucial exams.
Teachers at Buckton Vale Primary School in Cheshire penned a message to students aged between 10 and 11 saying their SATs will not assess what makes them 'special and unique'.
The letter highlights the children's talents including their natural ability for sports, singing, playing musical instruments and speaking several languages.
It said: 'Next week you will sit your SATs tests for maths, reading, spelling, grammar and punctuation. We know how hard you have worked, but there is something very important you must know:
'The SATs test does not assess all what makes each of you special and unique. The people who create these tests and score them do not know each of you the way that we do and certainly not in the way your families do.'
They were also told how their laughter can brighten the darkest day and that the examiners do not know the pupils are kind, trustworthy and thoughtful. 
It was signed by the deputy headteacher Mrs Brown along with two other teachers and has been shared more than 51,000 times on Facebook.
'They have not seen your natural talent for dancing or playing a musical instrument,' it continued.
'They do not know that your friends can count on you to be there for them; that your laughter can brighten the darkest day or that your face turns red when you feel shy.'
Hundreds of parents have praised the school for the 'heartwarming' letter which helped ease the pressure on the students. 
Helen Foster said: 'I've shown this to my daughter who also is sitting SATs next week. It's a nice way to say how proud i am to have her as my daughter.'
Donna Owen said: 'I have 11-year-old twins who sit their SATs next week, they go to a different school but your letter was shared by a group of friends, I sat and read it with them with a tear because it's so true, would like to wish everyone good luck for next week and thank you for sharing this letter.'
Joanne Gubb said: 'I have just shared this to my son and his friends. What a fantastic thoughtful letter to send to the children. 
'Only wish our school has the insight to send something similar. Such enormous pressure on young shoulders but this sums it up perfectly! Good luck to all the kids taking exams this week.'
The letter goes on to say that exams are not the most important things in life and that they will not tell you 'everything'.
It said: 'The levels you will yet from this test will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. There are many ways of being smart.
'You are smart! So while you are preparing for the test and in the midst of it all, remember that there is no way to 'test' all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU!'
It ends with an Aristotle quote: 'Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.' 

Read original article here.