Wednesday, April 21, 2010

About those school lunches...

From Jamie Oliver to Rear Admirals, the quality of school lunch offerings is under ever-increasing scrutiny. Some current blurbs:

Jamie Oliver improves Huntington, W.Va.’s eating habits

By Jane Black
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's happy-ending time for Huntington, W.Va.: Six-year-olds can now distinguish between tomatoes and potatoes. Cooks are tossing apple-cucumber salads with honey dressing for the lunch line. College students and parents are learning to make omelets and soups in free cooking classes. And Jamie Oliver, the crusading British chef who arrived last fall to help change habits in "the unhealthiest town in America," has apparently won the hearts, minds -- and stomachs -- of the locals.

With the finale of his ABC program this Friday, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" has officially been televised. But can the six-part, prime-time series help a real revolution take root?

There is progress!

Report says school food making kids unfit to serve

The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 20, 2010; 9:30 PM

WASHINGTON -- Too fat to fight? Many American children are so overweight from being fed french fries, pizza and other unhealthy foods at school lunchrooms that they cannot handle the physical rigors of being in the military, a group of retired officers say in a new report.

National security is threatened by the sharp rise in obesity rates for young people over the last 15 years, the group Mission: Readiness contends. Weight problems are now the leading medical reason that recruits are rejected, the group says, and thus jeopardize the military's ability to fill its ranks.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Notes from the Board of Education Meeting, 4/20/10

The Board Meeting on Tuesday, April 20th will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at . To view the full agenda and the various reports, please visit BoardDocs.

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.

Executive session 12 p.m.

Call to order 1 p.m.

  • Pledge of Allegiance, Maurice J. McDonough High School's JROTC unit

Reports of officers boards/committees

Superintendent's update

  • Read report

Correspondence/Board member updates

  • Wade - kudos to board members attending national conferences
  • Cook - spoke on sessions attended at conference
  • Pedersen - spoke on sessions attended at conference
  • Carrington - ditto
  • Wise - attended conference in Colorado Springs

Education Association of Charles County update

  • Read Report

Student Board member update

  • Read report

CIP update

  • Read Report
  • One Room School House - Edward L. Sanders, wife and son attended and spoke of the donation of the school house to CCPS. It has been relocated to the Davis Middle School Site.
  • New High School - reviewed design & floor plan. Budget is $59,580,000 without pool. Pool would cost $6.2M. Bidding to start soon & bidding is very competitive. Possible for budget to include pool. Still planning on 1600 seat HS (school will open overcrowded)...state wants 1300; building designed for plan to cut back, but would delay planned opening of 2013.

Instruction Update

  • Career & Technology - See Report

Budget Update

  • See Report

Legislative Update

  • Maintenance of Effort bills did NOT pass
  • Labor Relations Board PASSED (mediators b/n boards and unions)
  • Race to the Top PASSED
  • Policy on Gangs and violence PASSED
  • Youth Crisis hotline PASSED
  • Parents of Multiple Births student placement PASSED
  • Ethics - Conflict of Interest Policy PASSED
  • Virtual Schools PASSED
  • Transfer of Pension committee

Draft policy update 6411.11 Physical education and athletic programs for students with disabilities

Unfinished business

New business and future agenda items

  • Request from Michelle Obama to have one member from every Board to be on the Let's Move committee

Recognition 4:30 p.m.

Public Forum 6 p.m.

  • Latrina Carr - concern about implementation of topics discussed at the What Counts Forums? Wants to see topics implemented. Concerned about communication between parents and teachers and the lack thereof. Has asked on numerous occasions for responses from teachers. Needs attention.

Action items

  • Minutes
  • Motion by Carrington; Second by Cook
    (yes) Abell, Carrington, Cook, Bailey, Wise, Wade, Pedersen

  • Personnel
Motion by Carrington; Second by Pedersen
(yes) Abell, Carrington, Cook, Bailey, Wise, Wade, Pedersen
  • Revision to Superintendent's Contract

Motion by Wade; Second by Pedersen
(yes) Carrington, Cook, Wise, Wade, Pedersen: (no) Bailey: (abstain) Abell

  • SY2011 - 2012Calendar

Motion by Pedersen; Second by Wade
(yes) Abell, Carrington, Cook, Bailey, Wise, Wade, Pedersen


Monday, April 19, 2010

REMINDER: Board of Education Meeting, 4/20/10

The Board of Education's next monthly meeting is Tuesday, April 20, at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building on Radio Station Road in La Plata. The public portion of the meeting begins at 1 p.m. and recognition begins at 4:30 p.m. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and is rebroadcast throughout the week. Program schedules are available at

Executive session 12 p.m.

Call to order 1 p.m.

• Pledge of Allegiance, Maurice J. McDonough’s JROTC Unit

Reports of officers/boards/committees

• Superintendent’s update
• Correspondence/Board members updates
• EACC update
• Student Board member update
• Deputy Superintendent’s update
• CIP update
• Oral update on high school project 2013
• Instruction update – Career & Technology Education
• Budget
• Legislative update
• Draft Policy update – Policy #6411.21 - PE & Athletic Programs for Students with Disabilities

Unfinished business

New business and future agenda items

Recognition 4:30 p.m.

• Students
• Employees
• Teacher Appreciation Week
• Administrative Professionals’ Week
• Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week
• National PE & Sport Week
• Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leader

Public Forum 6 p.m.

Action items

• Minutes
• Personnel
• SY 2011-2012 Calendar


Friday, April 02, 2010

Study of space becoming a victim of school budget cuts

By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 2, 2010

The David M. Brown Planetarium opened a few months after the United States put a man on the moon. More than 40 years later, little has changed in the weathered white dome that marks the entrance to the Arlington County school system's headquarters. Students sit in the same faded electric blue stadium seats and stare up at a stellar showcase provided by 16 slide projectors, two laserdisc players and the original Spitz A4 star projector.

School officials estimate that it would cost $500,000 to make the facility, named for an Arlington graduate killed in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster, state of the art again. Instead, Superintendent Patrick K. Murphy has proposed closing the dome and converting it to standard classrooms. His proposal follows a decision last year by the Fairfax County School Board to cut funding for elementary field trips to the nine planetariums there.

More than 500 planetariums were built in the heat of the space race, many of them proud additions to public schools made possible by federal funding. Today, school boards across the country are debating whether the costs of maintaining or updating the aging domes are worth it for a generation of students shaped more by the Information Age than the Space Age. Read more HERE.