Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Notes from Board Meeting, 10/09/07

The televised Board Meeting will be replayed on Channel 96 on Wednesdays at 9:00 am and Sundays at 2:00 pm for your viewing enjoyment :)

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 - one child at Stone. Don't restrict schools too much. Rule books and policies set forth by BOE are not being followed when it comes to discipline and student conduct. Student behavior towards each other and teachers appalling. Incidents NOT being reported, not following rules of respect for one another. Not being enforced.

Action - Approval of Minutes from 8/14/07

*Vote to approve 9/11/07 and 9/24/07 minutes
Correspondence/Board Member Updates
  • Carrington - Visiting schools was an absolute joy
  • Wise - Dr. Brown planting of wetlands was phenomenal
  • Pedersen - Thank you to schools for welcoming us
  • Cook - received a 6ft banner from a school saying "Welcome Ms. Cook"
  • Wade - BOE Calendar - one day retreat with Commisssioners has been requested. Date TBD. 10/25 Meeting with CSM needs to be rescheduled due to staff availability. Date TBD. 11/29 Legislative Breakfast 7:30 am - 9:00 am - Middleton, Levy, Graves, Hodge all confirmed.
  • Wade - MABE Conference in OC - Wade, Pedersen, Cook, Wise attended. Wise asked to Chair MADE Legislative Committee. She accepted.
  • Cook - Discussion during seminar regarding technology. Charles way ahead of the rest of the state.
  • Pedersen - Seminar on listening to your public. Gave example of how our focus changed on planetarium to include the Arts.
  • Wise - Educating students for an unknown future

Report – Superintendent – Jim Richmond

  • Enrollment not as high as anticipated
  • Met with Mikulski, interested in assisting with alternative funding for new high school
  • Minority Achievement Meeting
  • College Fair well attended. 134 colleges/universities. 1500 students transported during the day. 1750 attended in evening.
  • Various student congratulations
  • Rebroadcast of meetings will occur on Wednesdays at 9:00 am and Sundays at 2:00 pm; future webstreaming
  • Parents@ School website launch
  • Activity buses are a success
  • 10/18 Adult Education Graduation
  • 10/23 Communication Advisory Meeting/Parents Advisory Meeting
Report – EACC – Bill Fisher

  • Thanks to Pederesen, Wise, Cook for attendance at community forum
  • http://www.greatschoolsmaryland.org/
  • 10/19 bus to MSTA Convention
  • 10/10 FEA Deadline for essay contest extended until 10/15
  • EACC & MSTA visited Hoyer to discuss changes to NCLB
  • Also in discussion with Gov. O'Malley's plan on freezing Thorton funding

Report - Student Board Member - Ashin Shah

  • CCASC Meeting discussed staffing concerns and HSA's
  • Activity buses
  • HS 2011
  • Cunningham & Richmond attended and addressed students
  • Task Force to target School lunches
  • St. Mary's & Calvert - joining forces to advocate for So. MD
  • MS Meeting - discussion on ideal MS
  • Wise - intersted in outcome of staffing and HSA's discussion
  • Shah - Doesn't have official responses yet
  • Cook - Interested in school lunch results

Report - Deputy Superintendent - Ron Cunningham - Sheriff's Office Update

  • See Report on Board Docs
  • Statistical Review
  • Truth & Consequences - High school 5-day program
  • Crime Solvers Program - successful $500 handed out thus far
  • Abell - New fashion accessory in school...ankle bracelets...
  • Grier - generally for non-violent offenders; monitored daily
  • Abell - Public perception that CCSO & CCPS are concealing incidents in schools. Sited new Montgomery County Report - comprehensive School Safety Report provides a running talley of student offenses involving weapons, drugs, sexual misconduct and violence at each school.
  • Rye - CCSO & CCPS is NOT concealing incidents. Publicizing all. Report is a possibility if that is what the two parties want.
  • Abell - Juvenile Drug Court - # of graduates? Program successful?
  • Rye - One graduate so far. Another in Nov. Program is successful.
  • Wise - Attended graduation and was impressed
  • Carrington - also attended. 14 arrests include arrests at sporting events
  • Rye - No. Only Juvenile Intervention Officer arrests during school
  • Cook - Are the schools safe?
  • Rye - yes
  • Bailey - Teen Court - 199... are they all CCPS?
  • Rye - No some are from private schools , etc.
  • Pedersen - After school events - statistics included?
  • Rye - No. Only Juvenile Intervention Officer during school
  • Pedersen - Football games, confrontations prevelant...what can we do?
  • Rye - not sure. Thinks we are doing all we can
  • Carrington - Officers have made a big difference in our schools
  • Richmond - Thank you. Meets quarterly with Sheriff's Office and plans for the future

Report – Testing - Judy Estep

  • See Report on BoardDocs
  • HSA/MSA - Ayp explanation and statistics
  • SAT - Statistics...scores dipped a little
  • See pie chart on # of students taking various tests
  • AP statistics
  • AP Action Plan - CCPS worked with CSM and MSDE and College Board on an action plan to improve AP scores. Plan outlines with a timeline on BoardDocs. Essentially review data and provide support for AP teachers as well as enhance feeder courses for AP classes
  • Cook - Thank you for AP Action Plan
  • Wise - Switch from BCR testing to multiple choice and effects
  • Eichel - Should not affect our teaching. All students still need to know how to write.
  • Wise - Perception of dumbing down test
  • Eichel - Enrichment part (writing) state never really needed them for accurate assessment. Analogy of cool whip on a sundae.
  • Pedersen - 8th grade HSA Test for Algebra ho is this reported
  • Eichel - Scores are held until they get to 9th grade
  • Abell - SAT's are for seniors only? Dropping scores for county as opposed to rising scores for state and nation
  • Eichel - Yes graduating seniors scores and analyzing the drop in scores and another report will be forthcoming date TBD
  • Bailey - HSA; MSA; BCR; ECR; AYP;NCLB Explain to general public
  • Jepsky - Explanation of acronyms. For example, one 3pt BCR will be replaced with three multiple choice
  • Abell - AP Action Plan - Great. Wish we had this a few years ago. Scores droppinf...hope this action plan succeeds. Asked again for scores by subject and by school.
  • Wade - We will discuss this ...whether we want to task staff
  • Abell - Don't we already have this information?
  • Eichel - College Board reports by system and school average...
  • Wise - Has a hang-up with producing statistics by schools. May single out and emabrass specific teachers; what we have is sufficient
  • Eichel - scores with 5 or less stuidents would have to be omitted from singling out specific students.
  • Abell - Reminded everyone that we have received this documentation in previous years as a Board and staff document only, not publicized.
  • Shah - Funding for Kregar's specialized participation with SAT doesn't appear to be raising scores.
  • Estep - Kregar's involvement is not portrayed in these results
  • Bailey - Asked Estep to speak about students requiring emedial courses in college
  • Jepsky - long explanation; question not answered
  • Bailey - Asked again
  • Jepsky - Some students take time off between high school and college and therefore require remedial courses.
  • Abell - Ap Audit performed by College Board in Spring/Summer...results
  • Estep - All classes passed. Some in process of audit due to new teachers
  • Wise - Reiterate about remedial college courses
  • Jepsky - Some students wait to take placement exams
  • Pedersen - Doesn't matter where they are going to school as long as their acquiring knowledge. Encourage SAT testing.

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

  • Neal - 50% complete on schedule
  • Somers - still ongoing - on schedule
  • Martin - sign for Gov. contibution mandatory. New boilers complete
  • Craik - sign for Gov. Re-roof accomplished. AC & heating still ongoing
  • Mt. Hope - pre-construction meeting
  • Pedersen - Update on Mattawoman gym floor
  • Wineland - water damage and humidity problem. Prices from two companies, hopefully start during winter break, four weeks long
  • Abell - Auxillary gym?
  • Wineland - No. Hopefully weather will participate
  • Wineland - Award for North Point Common Areas

Report – Budget – Paul Balides

  • Presented September financials
  • Annual audit completed; present in November - no findings or issues in the managment letter.
  • Trans fats discussion by commissioners. Analysis very small amount in system. mainly in snack items and commodity items.
  • Presentation on Bridge to Excellence funds in November
  • Wise - Health Care Costs - system encourage healthy lifestyles
  • Balides - Health Plan encourages annual physicals and exams
  • Wise - Encourage Cunningham to get principals to share programs
  • Carrington - How often do we bid out health care
  • Balides - Look at it and weigh costs and benefits every year
  • Pederson - Husband receives gift certificates from employer for exercising. Suggests similar program for CCPS
  • Pederson - Trans fats - snack machines?
  • Balides - Restrictions and guidelines must be followed by federal and state guidelines. Timers are used to prohibit sales during the day. 4 out of 35 items had trans fats

Report - Housing/Staffing Update - Keith Hettel

  • Smart Keys 4 employees offered to CCPS and funded by county
  • Wise - Any fine print that the teachers need to adhere to for example teach here for X # of years?
  • Hettel - None seen thus far
  • Abell - County funds all? Not taken from our budget at a later date?
  • Hettel - County fully funding
  • Pedersen - concerned with 10 mile stipulation
  • Hettel - first time home buyers, 10 mile stipulation not restrictive; in county
  • Hettel - consensus of Board requested
  • Abell - In agreement
  • Unanimous among Board members
  • Hettel - Update on remaining staff openings
  • Bailey - Quality of long term subs/certification
  • Hettel - List kept by level and subject. Principals familiar with subs, lined up in advance

Action - Personnel

*Vote to approve Personnel

Action - FY08 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan

*Vote to approve FY08 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan


Action – Board Travel Guidelines

*Vote to approve Board Travel Guidelines

Unfinished Business

  • Abell - Motion for to obtain AP scores by subject and by school.
  • Bailey - Seconded for discussion
  • Bailey - found prior year reports inspirational to show growth and beneficial. interested in staff time involved?
  • Wise - Why by school?
  • Cook - was intersted in the same informaiton; but swayed otherwise
  • Abell - Ensure progress and equality across the county amongst all schools
  • Shah - Individual school data is essential; students want assurance that course quality is equal amongst schools.
  • Pedersen - Is also interested in information. However, is well aware statistics and figures can be used against you but we swore to our public that we would be open and honest during our campaign. Without this information, are we?
  • Wise - Against publicizing information, embarassing to individual teachers
  • Carrington - all schools have the same subjects and good teachers. Publicizing won't make a difference.

*Vote to obtain AP Scores by subject and school
Yes - Abell, Cook, Pedersen, Shah (opinion only)
No - Bailey, Carrington, Wade, Wise


New Business

  • Bailey - Legislative Breakfast - invite St. Mary's and Calvert legislators?
  • Abell - Parent concerns over inconsistency of use amongst the schools in regards to the automated phone and email messaging system. Some schools are implementing and use daily while others don't use at all.
  • Cunningham - will follow-up with the schools

Future Agenda Items

  • Pedersen - Procedures for disciplinary actions for students taken by Principals and Vice Principals



Anonymous said...

Another reason why we either need cameras in the classroom or an open-door parental visitation policy:


Do YOU want your child being taught by a crackhead?

And another reason as to why we need to wake these people up at CCBOE.

Who hires these people? And a "spokeswoman" declined to comment due to personnel confidentiality.

What a joke!

Anonymous said...

I see where the AP audit had all the classes passing.

How could a class with a year to year average pass where students have an average score below a "2"?

What criterion was used to audit the classes?

Jennifer Abell said...

Not sur eof the criterion. The audit was performed by The College Board...I will try to gather some additional information.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Abell:

I checked the AP website. They are performing a basically wishy-washy audit, not requiring any type of expertise of the teachers teaching the class, etc.

I was very disappointed to see how mundane these audits are. But I wasn't suprised. Enrolling every kid that is breathing and listening to an Ipod in an AP class is big business for the College Board.

Schools shouldn't brag about passing the AP audit. It reminds me of the administration bragging about having a 50% proficient scores on the assessments. With the lousy instruction going on in many of the science and math classrooms, they are basically setting up these kids to take a couple courses of remedial math and English in college BEFORE actually taking classes that will earn them legitimately transferable college credit. They'll end up taking 75 credits due to the fact they are academically still in high school.

Thank you BOE. Why don't you hire some people to audit these teachers? How many times do students have to hear, "You should have learned that last year"?
Why doesn't the chairperson of the department apply a 2x4 to these teachers in their respective departments that ARE NOT TEACHING THE STUDENTS WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO LEARN?

Please ask Mr. Richmond to start getting into these classrooms, observe these teachers, and hold these people accountable for dumbing down these classes?

What do you think that Montgomery and Fairfax Counties would do if they had such instruction?

Thank g*d for Jay Matthews. At least he believes that our schools are in the top 5% of the nation.

Jennifer Abell said...

Thank you for looking into this. Unfortunately I believe my hands are tied without those scores to validate my suspicions. Still thinking...

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Abell:

Could you sue the school system to release the scores through the Freedom of Information Act?

Jennifer Abell said...

Sue wouldn't be the right word, but file for the scores under the Freedom of Informaiton Act or the Public Information Act. Let me do some research.