Thursday, December 13, 2007

Notes from Board Meeting, 12/11/07

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 - Use to be excited about Charles County . MSA scores proved a good system prior to moving here. System has been a disappointment. One child in elementary and one in middle school. Children not receiving a rigorous and challenging education. Expect order and discipline in classrooms. Expect more from school board and results not lip service

  • Male - More taxes but no new funds for school construction. Look at alternatives. Mentioned last months comments re two sessions at one high school. Address issues of overcrowding without building. Be a leader that you promised to be during your campaign and stop being led by administration

Action - Approval of Minutes

*Motion by Carrington, seconded by Pedersen to approve 11/13/07 minutes

Report – Superintendent – Jim Richmond (Given by Ron Cunningham)

  • View Report
  • Richmond keynote speaker at Public Services Summit held in Stockholm Sweden
  • Committed to doing whatever possible to promote safe driving on the part of our students
  • Middleton will meet with SGA's on Thursday to solicit input
  • Richmond meeting with CSM to discuss offering drivers education at schools after hours.
  • It's Academic competition
  • First JROTC Military Ball
  • Archery tournament, all-county concerts, regional art show
  • Parent @ School - will be adding a link to determine your school zones based on address
Correspondence/Board Member Updates
  • Pedersen - Legislative committee - CCPS $5.7M less than last year
Report – EACC – Bill Fisher
  • View Update
  • General Assembly (read report)
  • Extra pay for extracurricular activities committee
  • Myths & Facts about teachers pay

Report - Student Board Member - Ashin Shah

  • Meeting this Thursday. Coffey & Middleton attending to discuss teen driving issues
  • Upcoming conference @ Chopticon
  • Senior Prom Feb 29th @ Jaycees
  • ARC of Southern Maryland volunteer opportunities

Report - Deputy Superintendent - Ron Cunningham, Keith Grier - Student Services - Homeless Students

  • View Student Service Report
  • McKinney Vento Act is the federal law that governs the right of homeless students (enrollment without barriers, school of origin, transportation, free meals, supplies/materials)
  • Federal grant $23,000 in final year will be reapplied
  • 05/06 = 325 students; 06/07 = 341 students; 07/08 already at 221 and expect to exceed last years number
  • Attendance problems - Chronic problems identified by school. If results aren't positive, referral to Central Office. Goal is to identify causes for absences and prepare and implement a plan
  • Court Liaison - Mr. Sams (Juvenile court, Adolescent Drug Court, Children in Need of Assistance)
  • Reportable offenses - system notified by sheriff's and a meeting is held to determine if student is dangerous to themselves or others
  • Pedersen - homeless vs living with grandparents
  • Staff - certain questions you are allowed to asks and certain ones you cannot according to mandates
  • Pedersen - Safe Nights - do we work with them
  • Staff - yes rather closely
  • Bailey - documentation questions on immigrants
  • Staff - birth certificates, etc. One case at a time. We accept all students and then attempt to get birth certificates
  • Bailey - What if not a U.S. citizen
  • Staff - We still accept them and teach them
  • Shah - How are new to the system homeless students zoned
  • Staff - wherever they are currently located

Report – Special Education - Judy Estep

  • View Special Education Report (tons of information)
  • Requests a CCPS facility as opposed to High Roads; possibly transitional from residential non-public facility to regular school
  • Early Childhood Inclusion - again tons of information...see report
  • Abell - High Roads is "for profit"...why are we supporting them and providing so much assistance?
  • Dr. Holland - good question
  • Staff - They are our students and we want to support them and make sure they receive what they need. High Roads knows where and what they need to do.
  • Pedersen - Look forward to having these kids under our roof
  • Carrington - Look at budget and grants to get this started
  • Wise - send students all the way to Texas?
  • Staff - one student who wasn't accepted at facilities in Maryland or surrounding states

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

  • See report CIP Update
  • Neal - 60% complete; open in August, turns over to principal in June
  • Somers 60% complete; finish in August
  • Craik - 95% complete; finish in January
  • IAC & Grasmick meeting 12/3
  • Pedersen - possibility of having two sessions at one high school...which high school would be the best location to implement
  • Wineland - Doesn't want to answer this question; defer to Cunningham
  • Cunningham - Doesn't want to identify any one high school and cause concerns
  • Bailey - economic ramifications
  • Abell - supports Pedersen; seeking alternatives needs to be addresses including dual sessions and year round schooling
  • See report Inclement Weather Procedures for details and procedures

Report - Budget - Paul Balides

  • View Report Budget Update
  • November financials. Right where we need to be

Report - Human Resources - Keith Hettel

  • See Report Drug/Alcohol Testing Program Policy #1, #2
  • Add/change policy 4821 to state the superintendent can implement drug and alcohol testing policy
  • Pedersen - # of employees needing drug testing annually
  • Hettel 2- 5 employees
  • Pedersen - Why adjustment to policy for low #'s
  • Hettel - Alcohol suspicion on the job but we cannot require testing
  • Wise - Independent lab used, same as bus drivers
  • Carrington - If work injury or accident, do we test?
  • Hettel - No
  • Abell - Hopefully we drive them to the lab and are the unions in agreement with this policy
  • Hettel - yes we drive them and EACC has concerns with outcome of tests and actions taken
  • Shah - Who orders testing
  • Hettel - Priniipal, follows a check list
  • Bailey - wording change in #1 to say and/or
  • Wise - # of counties implement
  • Hettel - quite a few: knows Carroll County does

Action - Personnel

*Motion by Wise, seconded by Carrington to approve Personnel

Action - Schematics on high school 2011

  • Bailey - Calvert County project only $57M. Staff comparison on square footage shows ours is actually cheaper per square foot.

*Motion by Pedersen, seconded by Wise to approve schematics on high school 2011

Action - Addition of Courses to Program of Studies

*Motion by Wise, seconded by Pedersen to approve addition of courses to program of studies

Unfinished Business

  • Cook - Community outreach initiative from MABE needs to be worked on
  • Abell - "What Counts"? Committee was formed in September
  • Pedersen - Blue Ribbon Commission - Diversity forum 2/16...8-2 @ CSM

New Business

  • Full Day Kindergarten Design Consultants (no electronic report provided)

*Motion by Carrington, seconded by Wise to approve full day kindergarten design consultants

Future Agenda Items

  • Wise - revisit board meeting time in January
  • Pedersen - firm understanding of rebroadcast times
  • Abell - Wednesdays at 9 am and Sundays at 2 pm
  • Abell - Update on Dual Enrollment discussions with CSM
  • Abell - review Board Benchmarks and Communication Goal set in 2005 due for annual review. suggested the possibility of having a board committee to review. Left to discretion of chairman.
  • Wade - wants a motion

*Motion by Abell to review board benchmarks and communication goal
No Second - No Vote

  • Wade - wants a more specific motion

*Motion by Abell, seconded by Bailey to review board benchmarks and communication goal as a committee
No Vote

  • Pedersen - What is Ms. Abell looking to change?
  • Abell - Not looking to change anything in particular. Part of the original motion that was passed in 2005 stated that we would review these annually and we have not done so. New board needs to review, change, or delete but it needs to come forward for that.
  • Wise - would prefer the whole board
  • Pedersen - review at the work session in January
  • Bailey - changing it to work session instead of committee he won't second it.

*Motion by Abell, seconded by Pedersen to review board benchmarks and communication goal during a work session

  • Carrington - financial literacy- stock market game...we are one of only 4 counties in the state not participating
  • Estep - we do participate in a stock market game, uncertain if its the same exact one
  • Bailey - Schedule a meeting for the board to discuss APFO subcommittee report



Anonymous said...

I saw the board meeting on tv. Shame on the perfect Ms. Wise for making a crackpot remark about Ms. Abramson's caffeine consumption. On the other hand, It's not comforting to know the board supports wasting tax money and grant money carting young kids and parents to the Olive Garden to teach parents how to eat in public with their kids and not be embarrased. The Olive Garden! For real? What happened to school cafeterias? Embarassed? About what? The fact that their child is developmentally delayed? Shame on them. Embarassed because the kid has no table manners? Well, manners start in the home. If kids don't comply, get a sitter. And about "teaching" moms to read shorter stories to young children. Were these parents trying to read War and Peace to their disabled pre-k kids before they were enlightened by the wisdom of your employees? Duh, and we wonder why there is never enough money for "education."

Anonymous said...

When will Mr. Wade wake up and listen to the parents (voters) at public forum? Both speakers this week spoke (quite well) about wanting more leadership from the board members. Mr. Wade keeps saying he doesn't want to task the schoolhouse because the schoolhouse is busy. Please tell him, Ms. Abell, that tasking is what L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P and governance is all about! If he's uncomfortable with that, get off the pot.

PITA said...

I watched the board meeting on Thursday night/Friday morning. Please know that I will not be offeneded if you edit out the breaks. I really have no desire to sit there and watch "Stay tuned" for 15 - 20 minutes. (Real time, I get it. But re-runs?!) And, no. I don't want to see the county fair winners or the school lunch menu either.
F-A-S-T F-O-R-W-A-R-D or
E-D-I-T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm assuming you hired an experienced videographer to do this stuff. Therefore, I can't help but conclude CCPS is hoping we will fall asleep, flip channels, or decide to make better use of our time by tuning out to clean a toilet.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Peterson is disappointing. Your notes say she wanted to know what you wanted to change with regard to the board goals. Does Ms. Peterson ever look at her gas guage after she fills up her tank for the first time? Does she not think it appropriate to monitor the progress? Why does she think you always have some ulterior or sinister motive up your sleeve? I am glad to see that your notes reflect she eventually seconded your motion after Mr. Bailey weezeled out - again! I guess since he's running for Congress, he can't really have a position on much of anything!

Anonymous said...

Glimmer of Hope!

I interviewed a high school senior from Thomas Stone yesterday. This student attended high school in Bethesda for 9th and 10th grade before moving to Chuck County. I asked the student to compare the experiences. The student said that there was generally no difference between the level on instruction at Stone vs. Bethesda. The student said the teachers made the difference...good and bad teachers at Stone...good and bad teachers at Bethesda. What was most obvious to the student was the levels of funding (ME - Impressed that the kid was that astute). The student stated that there was a BIG difference between the schools in level of resources available to the students and schools.

I've been hammering the system hard lately. I was good to hear for a student that things may not be as bad as they seem! I'm making a point to separate my feeling from the facts from now on.

LegalBeaglette said...

I’m curious about the “level of funding” comment: Did the student say that CCPS had more resources, or fewer, than Bethesda? And to what “resources” specifically did he refer?

Mr. Wade has, throughout his tenure, failed to “task” school administration. Questions from school board members that should be asked and answered have always been discouraged by him – it’s as if he thinks the issues are none of the Board’s business, the questions are bothersome, and the staff has no responsibility to respond. As our elected representatives, I have an expectation that they WILL ask questions, WILL request data, and ARE entitled to responses. As the article on APFO noted, Mr. Wade as Board president is responsible for setting the agenda, and I am disgusted that the county revisions were never addressed by the Board. Just flapping in the wind, utterly ignored, while parents wonder why their children are in portable trailers (not served by that wireless technology the system sings about, I’m told), and while he has known for some time that funding is an ever-increasing concern. He and the Board had months of opportunity to review those revisions, pose questions, express concerns, suggest changes…but he ignored it. Why? That is clearly, as an earlier commenter stated, a failure of leadership. The school system should not be running on auto-pilot.

As for the televised Board meetings: We waited so long for this, purportedly because of the expense and Mr. Richmond’s insistence that it be done “right.” A reputable, professional organization would be embarrassed – the long periods of “Stay Tuned” are as low-end as Board Minutes posted with the capital red letters DRAFT even after they have been formally approved.

Anonymous said...

I see if very fitting to post this on the website.

It's nice that the police are actually doing something about perverts and I hope that the system will continue to police these people.

Students need to come forward and bring names of any teachers or employees that either gawk, make suggestive comments, or touch ANY students at anytime.

This also includes using derogatory or vulgar language or humiliation.

I hope that the BOE hires someone competent to scan this guy's computer and give it to the FBI for anything further. This is ridiculous that we have this type of behavior going on.
I think that they should have a public forum on who hired this guy, who did the background checks, who interviewed his past employers (and why did he leave THERE?).

This is ANOTHER reason why Richmond's ridiculous (2) 45 minute observation rule needs to be sacked like a lousy quarterback.
We need parents in the classrooms, in the hallways, in the BOE meetings, monitoring their children's classroom. Until enough parents get the balls up to DEMAND the practice stops of shielding the parents from regular visits of the schools stop, "they" will continue to bash the parent's rights.
Thank God we have kids in the schools to dig up the dirt.
Neither the local Independent rag nor the schools will do it:
Check it out:

im1ru2 said...

I just heard on my mobile alerts that it is Wade and Wise for another year. Phoey!

Anonymous said...