Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Notes from Board Work Session, 1/22/07

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. Please follow-up for official minutes upon approval. For copies of printed reports presented visit BoardDocs.

Public Forum

  • Bill Fisher - EACC supports the Superintendent’s Budget Proposal

  • Balides - Total Budget = $280M. Total Wages and Benefits = $221M (Wages = 65.2%; Benefits = 13.8%). Total Fixed and Semi Fixed Costs = $47M (16.8%). Total Variable Costs = $12M (4.3%).
  • Richmond - Concerned with what is happening in Annapolis and possible reductions in funding by the state or county.

*Consensus - Wade requested the boards consensus on the accepting the budget as a action item at the February meeting.

Board of Education Meeting Time
  • Wise - pros vs. cons of moving the time. Residents working out-of-town cannot make a 1:00 meeting but staff is tasked greater by late meetings. Referred to Howard County as a possible sample.
  • Carrington - Likes the sample of Howard County which moves public forum and recognition to after 6:00pm.
  • Abell - Action items would also need to be moved until after public forum to allow the public to comment on the action items prior to a Board vote.
  • Cook - Would like to poll the public.
  • Carrington - agreed with Cook
  • Abell - Requested staff input on effectiveness and possibility of a survey.
  • O’Malley-Simpson - Electronic survey could easily be implemented via the web-page and email messaging. In addition, we could post in the newspaper and use the new telephone messaging.
  • Cunningham - Parent Advisory Committee meeting is soon. Poll the members.
  • Carrington - Could people vote more than once; reliability.
  • O’Malley-Simpson - Yes, they could.

* Vote - Abell motioned and seconded by Cook to perform electronic surveys, implement telephone messaging, post in the paper, and poll the committee in regards to changing the meeting time and results reviewed at the next work session.

Board Agenda Items
  • Wade - requested Board members to review the current agenda and determine if any can be deleted.
  • Wise - questions why Board Member Updates and Correspondence is on the agenda.
  • Abell - Not all board members can attend all events and this is the agenda item where that discussion can take place. In addition, members can report on the various committees such as MABE.
  • Overall board discussion and consensus to leave it on.
  • Wade - suggests placing a limit on the number of future agenda items to be brought up by a Board member
  • Pedersen - how many can one meeting handle?
  • Bailey - 2-3 is reasonable but it depends on the topic matter. Wants to encourage fellow members to talk to each other and garner support prior to bringing the item up in public meeting.
  • Wise - Thinks it is poor judgment to add a future agenda item up that was just discussed at public forum.
  • Carrington - Before bringing up future agenda items, members should ask what they will do with the information and if it is for the betterment of the students. Agrees you should know an item is going to pass prior to bringin it up in public.
  • Wade - suggests we have Kitty Blumsack from MABE come in and do a have day training and help us prioritize our future agenda items.

Additional Board time
  • Wade - suggests the Board use additional time on meeting days for tours of schools.
    Overall Board discussion on lengthiness of the day, disturbing the learning environment by such a large group showing up, need to see the activities in the schools, possibility of Board “field trips“ in the future.
  • Carrington - requested the Independent reporter place more positive events in the paper
  • Wise - Requests principals forward dates and times of events
  • Wade - Thinks we should table his suggestion and come back to it at a later date.

Board Emails
  • Wade - Board members should not be responding to emails. Ms. Stubblefield will respond to emails and forward to appropriate staff.
  • Cunningham - discussed staff procedures for dealing with concerns. Try to get it back in the chain of command; teacher, principal, etc.
  • Wade - Individual board members or not to respond to complaints.
  • Cook - requested clarification on procedure.

Board Member Requests
  • Richmond - individual board member requests of staff goes through Mr. Richmond/Mr. Wade first. Members are not to email staff directly for information, they are his employees.

  • Schwartz - Has a copy of the MD School Law Desk book in his office. A member had requested a copy. Does everyone want one? $50 - $60 each
  • Abell - advised she was the member that requested a copy of the book back in October. She received correspondence from MABE stating all members should have one. Due to the cost she would rather review the copy Schwartz has prior to purchasing another copy.
  • Richmond - First meeting of new high school committee will meet tomorrow from 12:00 - 2:00 for lunch and BOE members are invited to attend. Has already met with people regarding technology and performing arts.
  • Richmond - Meeting with CISCO on Thursday. Dinner in the evening at Casey Jones. BOE members are invited to attend.
  • Wade - Joint CCBOE and Commissioners Retreat tentatively scheduled for March 20th and 21st.
  • Wade - Minutes are not to be verbatim but a summary of what was said.
    School Contract
  • Wineland - presented report on the bids received for the construction of the Mary Burgess Neal Elementary School. Gave Superintendents recommendations.

*Vote - Bailey made a motion seconded by Abell to accept the Superintendent’s recommendation and award the contract to Hess, the lowest bidder.

1 comment:

Heather Brooks said...

Thanks Jennifer!

Some of this stuff has my brow furrowed, but at least I know about it.

I want to say, one more time, that ya'll wouldn't have to change the time of the meeting at all if it were televised - then everybody could see it.

Also - I will love to see how the board is going to implement Carrington's suggestion to the Independent reporter.

I really appreciate your hard work.

Also - if I email the board, I hope Mr. Wade gets back to me in a timely fashion! I also wonder, how is he going to speak on behalf of the board about emails without knowing how the rest of you feel about a specific email? Will each email have to wait until the board meetings and you guys will go over them together, decide what you think collectivly as a board THEN answer the email?

Very concerning.