Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Notes from Board Meeting, 9/11/07

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.


  • Health Careers Month
Public Forum

  • Male -Doesn't agree with smooth opening of schools. Daughters math and science MS classes do not have teachers only subs. Text books not issued, just given busy work. Central advised him they do not know when teachers will be available. Tried to move daughter to another school; not enough teachers there either. Schools should have sent a letter home to parents advising of situation and working in cooperation with parents to rectify. Gym floor was deemed unsafe by Parks and Rec but CCPS continues to have gym classes.

Action - Approval of Minutes from 8/14/07

*Vote to approve 8/14/07 minutes
Correspondence/Board Member Updates
  • Pedersen - Blue Ribbon Commission - represents education sub-committee. Working with Mr. Cunningham and Judy Estep on presentation to sub-committee. Seeking input on how diversity is or should be addressed in schools
  • Abell - Distributed an information DVD on Autism provided by Richard White
  • Wise - need to make MABE committee assignments. Abell - Budget, Nominating; Cook - Budget; Wade - Board, Conference Planning; Wise - Legislative; Pedersen - Legislative; Bailey - Resolutions.
  • Wade - White House Internship opportunities provided
  • Wade - Charles Conty Economic Summit RSVP's are due

Report – Superintendent – Jim Richmond

  • Work on studio for broadcasting is continuing. Still working ont he panning of cameras and audible clarity. Studio actrually located in the Annex Building. Future broadcasts of student events to complete schedule.
  • College Fair 9/17 at Jaycees. 130 colleges
  • MSDE HSA Forum 9/18 at North Point
  • New staff Reception at Middleton Hall 9/26
  • Research and Assessment Department continues to analyze testing data. No school on state improvement
  • Hired over 260 new teachers
  • Davis MS opened
  • Neal work is still on track
Report – EACC – Bill Fisher
  • Thank you for support of crab feast
  • "I Can Do It" training for new teachers
  • Bus to MSTA convention on 10/19
  • Essay Contest for FEA, "Engineer Your Future, Become A Teacher"
  • Tri-County Forum at SMECO on 9/27. Commissioners Cooper, Patterson and Hodge will be attending.
  • Cook - Format of forum
  • The forum will have a moderator presenting information; power point; lack of funding and budget cuts.

Report - Student Board Member - Ashin Shah

  • New Schedule for CCASC Meetings
  • 10/4 all board members and staff invited 9:00 LPHS
  • Formulating student opinion on HSA data

Report - Deputy Superintendent - Ron Cunningham

  • Smooth school opening; Staff rode buses
  • Staff and students seen happy and eager for the new year
  • Davis opening. Thanks to P. Dorsey for her support and diligence. More students than expected
  • 5 employees promoted to principals all participated in leadership training
  • 22 new vice principals
  • Current enrollment 26,570 (Estimates...Elem = 11,000; MS = 6,200; HS = 9,200) Official count takes place on 9/30/07
  • Wise - Are we above our enrollment projection
  • Cunningham - No; in fact we are under

Report – Registration/Residency Requirements– Keith Greer

  • See Report on Board Docs for all the information presented
  • In order to Register a student you will need ... a physical exam, proof of immunizations, a birth certificate, and proof of residency (detailed in report).
  • Currently 315 students in CCPS are homeless
  • Out of county tuition usually paid on a monthly basis
  • Wise - What happens if parents fall behind or don;t pay tuition bills?
  • Grier - Try to work with the families
  • Carrington - Shocked by #7 on the list (Residency verification of living arrangements, 514 students)
  • Wise - Same sentiments
  • Pedersen - Agrees. # of PPW's required
  • Grier - When students/families are caught attending school illegally we do not bill them, just ask to leave.
  • Abell - Why can't we bill them?
  • Grier - We bill but they don't pay and we would have to file suit civilly.

Report – Update on Russian Partnership - Rosellen Houser

  • Fourth year of an ongoing teaching partnership with Pensa Russia
  • No cost. Grant for fuve years
  • See Report
  • Wise - What happens after 5 years, grant extended?
  • Houser - Yes. Next phase is for the Russian and American teachers involved to visit another country together
  • Shah- How many teachers have actually participated?
  • Houser - 12. Application/selection process

Report – 3 Year old Program - Judy Estep

  • Previously at Mt Hope Nanjemoy and Barnhart; adding Indian Head and J P Ryon.
  • See Report
  • Cook - How many applications received and determination process?
  • Estep - Based on need - free and reduced lunch
  • Pedersen - Would English language learners be accepted
  • Estep - Yes
  • Wise - Safety issues with sharing with the Lifelong Learning Center
  • Estep - No all safety concerns have been addressed
  • Carrington - Transportation?
  • Estep - 3 year olds ride the bus by themselves and we have car seats for those in need

Report – Master Plan Update - Judy Estep

  • See Report
  • Used to address success
  • Above state average on highly qualified teachers in the system
  • One of the state's goals involved the number of suspensions for elementary schools with the requirement being 16% or less. We are under 5%.
  • Shah - Reducing suspension rate; does that interfere with administrative discipline? Are we keeping normally suspended students in schools so as to meet the state requirements and make our statistics look good?
  • Estep - absolutley not; infractions are not occurring
  • Cook - Advanced students
  • Estep - Gifted resource identification and enhancement for those teachers
  • Carrington - Retention rate of those teachers
  • Estep - Most are still with us. Redaing retreat planned for MS and HS principals

Report – Supporting Services (CIP)- Chuck Wineland; Steve Hagis, Jerry Barrett

  • Neal - 35% complete; on target for completion 6/1/08
  • Somers - Roof; work continuing. Completion 8/08; Students in relocateables currently will move to the second floor for the next semester and students currently on the first floor will move to the relocateables.
  • Craik - Roof replacement; ongoing
  • Martin - Boiler replacement complete before winter
  • Henson - carpet/tile replacement
  • Indian Head - Bathroom renovation
  • Piccowaxen - basketball and tennis courts renovated. All middle schools will receive
  • LPHS parking lot renovations
  • McDonough - Irigation system installed; on well water; knocks out AC unit during drought. Limited use.
  • Bailey - Per parking space cost
  • Wineland - $3,500 per spot for 100+ spaces
  • Bailey - cost adding spaces vs adding buses
  • Carrington - Toured Somers today; fabulous work. Annex 1 tour and ability to monitor equipment in all schools; outstanding

Report – Comprehensive Maintenance Plan FY08- Chuck Wineland & staff

  • Scheduled maintenance and replacement of equipment and building facilities.

Report – Budget – Paul Balides

  • Presented August Financials

Report - Intercategory Budget Change

  • No additional funding. $1,975M increase in revenues. (legal settlement; rental facilities, interest income.) Expenses adjusted to compensate.

Report - Staffing Update - Keith Hettel

  • 16 Secondary openings (6 math; 4 science; 2 computer; 4 various)
  • 5 Elementary openings
  • 5 Special Education Openings
  • 12 Support Staff
  • Going to Cleveland area for recruiting
  • Wade - state legislators are well aware of our shortage of teachers
  • Pederson - Utilize our long term subs
  • Hettel - long term subs are treated like new teachers and are generally paired up with a department chair
  • Cook - Long term subs paired with their expertise
  • Hettel- Yes
  • Bailey - compared to last year, how are we doing
  • Hettel - less of a gap last year. Consider opening of Davis
  • Bailey - Program with CSM "homegrown teachers"
  • Hettel - program still in existence and working. pre-hire. program does not include secondary teachers
  • Bailey - Certification Waivers
  • Hettel - Conditional certificate. Currently only about 5%. Hold for 2 years. Have to show progress and reapply.
  • Bailey - Correlation between required certification and lack of enough teachers
  • Hettel - No
  • Bailey - Retired teachers leaving the area? Reaching out?
  • Hettel - 30 retired teachers currently woking in system
  • Bailey - Utilize high % of retired military
  • Hettel - yes
  • Cook - Job share; professionals changing careers
  • Hettel - yes & yes
  • Pedersen - Job share works very well, etc.

Action - Personnel

*Vote to approve Personnel

Action - State 2009 CIP

  • Bailey - New schools - start-up costs- talk with commissioners
  • Wineland - commissioners are required to send a letter of a commitment to the state for their portion
  • Bailey - Heartburn on non-commitment from commissioners for start-up costs.

*Vote to approve State 2009 CIP
Yes - Carrington, Cook, Pedersen, Wade, Wise
Abstain - Abell, Bailey

Action – Schematics for Full-Day Kindergarten

*Vote to approve Schematics for Full-Day Kindergarten

Action - Recurring Resolutions

*Vote to approve Recurring Resolutions
Yes - Bailey, Carrington, Cook Pedersen, Wade, Wise
Abstain - Abell

Unfinished Business

  • None

New Business

  • Wise - 3:30 Executive Session, 4:30 Recognition, 5:30 Meeting, 6:30 Public Forum
  • Abell- 4:30 Executive Session, 5:30 Recognition, 6:30 Public Forum followed by Meeting
  • Pedersen - Communication Survey results
  • O'Malley Simpson - public forum late; recognition 4:30 - 5:30; staff prefers 5:30
  • Wade - Work sessions without recognition start at 6:00
  • Abell - Still reviewing meeting times in January
  • Wise - Yes.
  • Wade - appointing Wise as chair of a committee on how we task staff
  • Wade - Work session we will discuss board travel
  • Bailey - CSM and BOE Meeting
  • Bailey - Requests retreat with county commissioners
  • Bailey - Chairman draft letter to governor about recruitomg/producing more teachers in the state
  • Wise - college for educators

Future Agenda Items

  • Abell - AP scores
  • Estep - October Meeting
  • Abell - Freshman Seminar Update
  • Estep - January Meeting



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update!

im1ru2 said...

Per the "3 Year Old Program" two things come to mind; first, the issue of safety and Carrington brought this up directly concerning transportation. I see the little ones getting off and on the buses now and can not help but think how they must be getting tossed around and even worse goes through my mind thinking about the dreaded "what if" possibility. Estep responded that all is well and if needed "3 year olds ride the bus by themselves and we have car seats for those in need". Well as far as I am concerned, EVERY CHILD NEEDS A CAR SEAT, BUT CERTAINLY EVERY 3 YEAR OLD NEEDS ONE!

I don't know why we are waiting for the uh-oh, but it is on its way and when it comes, God help us all. Every single one of those little ones should be strapped in tight to a car seat, no exceptions.

Next, is the enrollment and acceptance procedure for the 3 year old program at the Mt. Hope Nanjemoy School. Why have we limited the program to only the low income and/or minority? Where is the diversity in this program? Several families in Nanjemoy, not minority, not low income were notified that they were accepted, made plans to have there child/ren there on the first day of school, showed up the first day with the kid(s) to be told Mt. Hope made a mistake. The kids were very sad and the parents very upset. This program needs to open up and be more inclusive. All kids need exposure to more kids regardless of where they come from. All kids deserve an education; not just the poor, not just the rich, not just the kids in the middle. All of them. If you are going to start a program start it with a representation from some of everything. Isn’t that what we all have been fighting for all these years?

LegalBeaglette said...

When Ms. Estep referred to car seats for “those in need,” is she referring only to special needs children, perhaps those who require wheel chairs? Otherwise, no child safety restraint is used?

Jennifer Abell said...

IM1RU2 and LegalBeagelette,

Let me clarify before ya'll ju,mp all over Ms. Estep. Remember these are just my notes and I should have clarified. Ms. Estep was refering to those children REQUIRED to be in a car safety seat per Maryland Law with regards to age, height, and weight.

3 Year old program at Mt. Hope Nanjemoy...
wow, I'm truely sorry for those parents and children. I'm not sure what happened there, this is the first I'm hearing of this, but I'll check into it and get back to you.

im1ru2 said...

Thank you for looking into the Mt. Hope 3 year old matter. If you need anything from me let me know and I will find out from the parents.

As for the "age, height and weight restrictions" for the kids per Maryland law. I don't know (yet) but I am going to look it up today, but shouldn't all 3 year old kids meet those criteria for car seats. I think my youngest was in a car seat until he was almost 7 years old (kicking and screaming at me the whole time - I' m too old Dad!). I believe you have to meet all the criteria not just one of them. But I will check...

im1ru2 said...

Unless there is something more specific to school buses (and that will be shocking to me for the 3 year olds!) here is what the MVA says about seat belts for 5 and under:

Maryland 5 years and younger or 40 pounds or less Must be in child restraint (that means car seat).