Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Notes From Board Work Session, 4/23/07

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 Board Docs.

Public Forum

  • Male - 3 children in CCPS. Visitation policy makes hm feel isolated and shut out. Thanks for revisiting. Research shows NCLB requires systems to get parents involved.
  • Male - Principal at North Point. Virginia Tech, safety & security issues. In the past has had parents confronting other students; parents confronting teachers regarding grades, parents using the school as a weapon in a divorce. Able to use policy. Wants this policy.
  • Female - Special Education teacher at North Point. Believed in open door policy in the past. Times have changed. Security, safety & parents who won't leave. Life skills trips and parents following and interacting with other studetnds. Privacy os other students is an issue.
  • Female - Principal at Stoddert. Responsible for safety and security of all students. Parental limitations are a necessity. Students will suffer from unlimited parental visitation.
  • Female - 3 children in CCPS. Supports current visitation policy. Principals should retain authority on parental visits.
  • Female - Principal at Wade. Policy has decreased interruptions and strangers in buildings. Responsibility of educating children; parents are welcome at events. Formal observations need to be planned to limit distractions. Parents should not feel that teachers are putting on an act just because observations are scheduled.
  • Female - Principal at Jenifer. Committed to involving parents but certain parameters must be in place to allow for a limited number of distractions.
  • Female - School Psychologist. Therapeutic behavior counseling and modification necessary in some IEP's. Visitors cause distractions in some and distress in others. Risk of private student diagnosis, treatments and records confidentiality breaches. Lack of trust doesn't get resolved by numerous visits but open communication and collaboration can.
  • Female - CCPS Life Skills Coordinator. Encourage parental involvement in developing and implementing IEP's. Distractions cause severe set backs in treatment.
  • Male - School Psychologist in State program. Unannounced parent visits cause severe distraction, distress, and delay in therapeautic process. Encourage parental involvement but it must be structured and limited.
  • Male - President of the EACC. Agrees with current policy. Agrees with parental involvement in events and volunteering when asked. Asked for an increase in security protocols.
  • Female - Child with autism in CCPS. 500 signature petition. Charles County used to have an open door policy. St, Mary's, PG, Montgomery, King George all have open door policies. No other county has restrictive guidelines like Charles. Inability to communicate with school to continue similar treatment at home. Parental involvement is an asset.
  • Male - 4 Children in CCPS. 2 in Special Education with IEP's. Sites goals of Policy 1240. Rules are counterproductive to visitors and these goals. Cannot observe the different behaviors between home and school. Wants to see children in their academic environment in order to assist and reinforce behavior modification processes at home.
  • Female - Child(ren) in CCPS and Employee. Supports visitation policy. Scheduling is a necessity. Work with the school community. Principals know who has a hidden agenda and who doesn't and should have authority to deny access.
  • Female - Child(ren) and an educator in a neighboring system. Thaks to Abell for bringing this matter forward again. Insulted by comments from teachers and administrators in the paper. Not all parents are dangerous. Her system has asked all teachers to NOT give parents busy work and send them to the copy room but have them work with students in small groups. Should change policy to truely invite parents to get involved.
  • Female - Grandchild in CCPS. Appalled at the policy. Policy discourages parental involvement. Getting a masters in Special Education. Worked in NY, VA, MD, DC school systems and has never encountered a policy as negative as CCPS.
  • Female - 2 Children in CCPS. School is a public facility. Children we acting differently at school than at home. Denied observation of children. Wanted to observe interactions with teachers and other students in order to reinforce and implement at home. Child told her after she finally got to ovbserve, "that wasn't what we normally do." Teacher had modified the lesson and interaction based on the observation appointment.

Redistricting (S. DiSabantino, G. Barrett, D. Evans)

  • Cook - Hawkins Gate Road issue. Explain to audience the bigger picture.
  • DiSabantino - Pinefield Elementary in pllannng. Will affect 9-10 other elementary schools. Domino affect. Has to have foresight for the future.
  • Wise - Hawkins Gate will not be redistricted again in the near future.
  • DiSabantino - No.
  • Wise - Will they come back to middle school and high school in LaPlata?
  • DiSabantino - Yes.
  • Pedersen - Questions regarding safety and transportation issues.
  • DiSabantino - Accident on Middletown Road with student car two years ago. Student at fault.
  • Wise - Buses travel Piney Church Road daily. No accidents. New section of Piney Church Road...will it be developed when this school opens.
  • DiSabantino - Hawkins Gate to Matula 3.4 miles; to Neal 3.6 miles.
  • Wineland - Billingley to stadium will be four lanes. 2 lanes to Rt. 488 will be straightened.
  • Pedersen - Prior student movements. Dentsville to Piccowaxen over 20 years ago. Acton Lane to McDonough. Asks for rationale to include Hawkins Gate.
  • Evans - Described procedure of redistricting committee.
  • Wise - Reiterated process. DiSabantino did not lead the group or direct the committee.
  • Abell - Why not wait until Pinefield is complete for the massive redistricting.
  • Wineland - Need to releave some of the schools now.
  • Abell - Possibilty of development near Neal filling the school by opening day.
  • DiSabantino - Could help fill but not to capacity.
  • Carrington - Redistricting a fact of life with a school a year
  • Pedersen - LaPlata growth and numberof allocations compare to Charles growth and number of allocations
  • Wineland - LaPlata and Indian Head do not have to follow county allocations because they are their own municipalites. LaPlata allows a higher number of allocations because they say their housing doesn't produce as many students. Overcrowded schools is not their problem.
  • Bailey - Redistricting committee did a great job compared to charts he reviewed 12 years ago. Wouldn't it be easier for rezoning for the bigger picture, all nine schools at once, rather than one school at a time.
  • DiSabantino - Able to have foresighte enough to know whats coming down the pike. There's only so many options available once everything is laid out on the drawing board.

New Business

  • Heidelberg USA Day Resolution

* Vote - Wise motioned and seconded by Carrington for resolution.

Yes – All


Executive (Closed) Session

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