Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Attendance During the Week of Spring Break

A request was made for attendance data during the week of Spring Break.

Student attendance data is below:

SPRING BREAK 2014
 
SPRING BREAK 2015
MONDAYAPRIL 7
93.5
 MONDAYMARCH 23
94.8
TUESDAYAPRIL 8
95.2
 TUESDAYMARCH 24
95.4
WEDNESDAYAPRIL 9
95.7
 WEDNESDAYMARCH 25
95.6
THURSDAYAPRIL 10
95.5
 THURSDAYMARCH 26
95.0
FRIDAYAPRIL 11
93.9
 FRIDAYMARCH 27
93.3
 
 
 
MONDAYAPRIL 14
86.8
 MONDAYMARCH 30
87.5
TUESDAYAPRIL 15
80.3
 TUESDAYMARCH 31
87.4
WEDNESDAYAPRIL 16
CLOSED
 WEDNESDAYAPRIL 1
78.0
THURSDAYAPRIL 17
CLOSED
 THURSDAYAPRIL 2
CLOSED
FRIDAYAPRIL 18
CLOSED
 FRIDAYAPRIL 3
CLOSED
 
 
 
MONDAYAPRIL 21
CLOSED
 MONDAYAPRIL 6
CLOSED
TUESDAYAPRIL 22
95.3
 TUESDAYAPRIL 7
93.7
WEDNESDAYAPRIL 23
95.8
 WEDNESDAYAPRIL 8
94.5
THURSDAYAPRIL 24
93.5
 THURSDAYAPRIL 9
95.3
FRIDAYAPRIL 25
93.3
 FRIDAYAPRIL 10
93.9

Staff attendance for the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to this year’s spring break is described below. 

Monday, (3/30):  The average number of teacher absences on a Monday is 242.  On 3/30 there were 441 teacher absences.

Tuesday (3/31):  The average number of teacher absences on a Tuesday is 244.  On 3/31 there were 472 teacher absences.

Wednesday (4/1):  The average number of teacher absences on a Wednesday is 263.  On 4/1 there were 517 teacher absences.

Monday, April 20, 2015

PARCC Working to Shorten Its Tests

Education Week
By Catherine Gewertz
April 16, 2015 8:49 AM


PARCC officials say they are working on ways to shorten their assessment and administer it during one window, instead of the two periods currently required.

That news came in testimony Wednesday night before a committee of the Ohio legislature, which is considering whether to keep PARCC—the exam the state gave for the first time this year—or dump it. The tests can take nine to 11 hours, though many students finish earlier.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, PARCC's chief of assessment, Jeff Nellhaus, told the House's test review committee that the consortium is working with Pearson, which was a key player in designing the test, to combine the performance tasks with the end-of-year portion of the test.

This year, students in the District of Columbia and 10 states are taking the longer, more complex performance tasks between Feb. 6 and May 8. They are taking the end-of-year portion, which consists of multiple choice and short-answer items, between April 13 and June 5.

States choose four-week windows within those periods, and districts have some flexibility in scheduling the test over those weeks. As we reported a few months ago, Ohio chose one of the earliest testing windows, beginning Feb. 16, which caused some concern and stress in its teacher corps.

Nellhaus told the committee that PARCC officials recognize that parents and schools are unhappy about the length of the test. He said the consortium wants to "streamline" the tests into one window and make them "somewhat shorter," according to the Plain Dealer. Nellhaus didn't say how long the streamlined version might be.

Read more HERE

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Notes from Board of Education Meeting, 4/15/15

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, April 14 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 – 10:30 a.m. Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, Henry E. Lackey High School JROTC

Recognition of winter athletes - See Report

Superintendent’s update - See Report

Correspondence/Board Member updates

  • Palko - Request for Math Tutorials on web site
  • Kelly - attended several ceremonies and events and impressed by both students and coaches.  Volunteer and Teacher Appreciation Week coming up.  Many of us attended the National School Board Association in Nashville at the end of March and learned a lot. Spoke of presentations she visited.  One in particular on anti-bullying.
  • Palko - Parent Connection session at NSBA conference
  • Lukas - DI ceremony, Senior Citizens Prom was great, Minority Achievement showcase
  • McGraw - NSBA Conference; kudos to Dr. Mudd history club
Education Association of Charles County update - See Report

Student Board Member update - See Report

Winter sports update - See Report

St. Charles High School pool update - Oral report - no date yet on opening

Testing overview - See Report (Please see this for the complete testing timeline)

  • Palko - questions concerning the number of times the teachers get to see their students (specials)
  • Palko - why do parents receive a scale score and teachers receive a percent score
  • Kelly - Kindergarten assessments - late in year
  • Kelly - teachers must be certified to give test
  • Marshall - raising the bar?
  • McGraw - Portfolios
2016-17 school calendar - See Report
  • proposed changes to 15-16 Calendar based on survey
  • Abell - Requested posting on BoardDocs ASAP for Public consumption
  • Crawford - Thank you for going back to the drawing board
  • Spring Breaks will no longer be one week, now only Thursday - Monday
  • 6 snow days built into calendar and extended through June
  • 15 - 16 Proposed Changes Report
Legislative update
  • Basically, the house and state passed a budget the governor does not like and he doesn't have to allocate any funds to it. :)
  • HB135 - Charles County School Construction Excise Tax Rates - PASSED
  • SB595 - Charter School Bill - PASSED with amendments
  • SB497 - Commission to Review Testing Statewide - PASSED
  • HB278/SB??? - Dyslexia education - PASSED
  • HB535/SB538 - IEP changes for visually impaired - PASSED
  • HB642/SB508 - Contractors/subcontractors prohibition on criminals - PASSED
  • HB1032 - Public Safety weapons transport by retired - PASSED
  • HB755/SB695 - PIA Compliance Board - PASSED
  • HB396/SB204 - Election Law - PASSED
Unfinished business
  • Abell - number of items requested at the last meeting including committee on testing
 New business
Motion to accept the 15-16 School Calendar Changes by Abell; Second by Palko
Yes = Abell, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko; No = None

Future agenda items
  • Palko - Program Quality Indexes; Matthew Henson Bullying Program
  • Kelly - Survey to post graduates on college/work readiness
  • Abell - Board and CSM meeting on programs available
Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Students - Danielle Monopoli, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School, Principal: Kristin Shields; Jacob Gallagher, 5th grade, Career Readiness, Indian Head Elementary School, Principal: Timothy Rosin; John Canonizado, 8th grade, Academic Achievement, Theodore G. Davis Middle School, Principal: Stephanie Wesolowski; Ricardo Cardoza, 12th grade, Personal Responsibility, Westlake High School, Principal: Chrystal Benson
  • Staff - Megan E. Barrows, pre-kindergarten teacher, Indian Head; Kathleen C. Parry, music teacher-vocal, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy; Joanne S. Shelak, science teacher, Davis; Bradley Grey, science teacher, Westlake
  • Resolutions: Teacher Appreciation Week, Administrative Professionals Week, Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week and National Physical Education and Sport Week.
 Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Mary Gyrus - student LaPlata HS, graduating senior, wants graduations moved back to Show Place Arena. Does not want to graduate at a rival high school.  Has a petition.  Wants results of our survey. Focus on ceremony not location.
  • Amir Quadry?(sp) - Pres. of LPHS Thespian Society.  Club invited to attended in Nebreska.  Wants BOE support to help.
Action items
  • Minutes
Motion to accept the Minutes by Abell; Second by Marshall
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko; No = None
  • Personnel
Motion to accept the Personnel A by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko; No = None
 
Motion to accept the Personnel B by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko; No = None; Abstain = Kelly

Adjournment

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

REMINDER: Board of Education Meeting, 4/14/15


The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, April 14, 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 www.ccboe.com. Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab. The following is a tentative meeting agenda.

Executive session – 10:30 a.m.
Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, Henry E. Lackey High School JROTC
  • Recognition of winter 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
  • Winter sports update
  • St. Charles High School pool update
  • Testing overview
  • 2016-17 school calendar
  • Legislative update
Unfinished business

New business
Future agenda items
Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Students
  • Staff
  • Resolutions: Teacher Appreciation Week, Administrative Professionals Week, Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week and National Physical Education and Sport Week.
Public Forum – 6 p.m.

Action items
  • Minutes
  • Personnel
Adjournment

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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

Summary
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

Thoughts
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

Summary
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.

Handouts

Thoughts
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

Summary
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. 

Handout

Thoughts
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

Summary
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!

Handout

Thoughts
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


Summary
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

Thoughts
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


Summary
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.

Handout

Thoughts
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

Summary
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

Thoughts
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

Summary
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

Thoughts
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?

Summary
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.  

Handouts

Thoughts
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 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, 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
 
Adjournment

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, www.ccboe.com 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 www.ccboe.com. 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
Adjournment
 
 

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

10TH ANNUAL SECAC STAFF APPRECIATION AWARD NOMINATIONS

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.