Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Notes from Board of Education Meeting, 12/13/11

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, December 13 will be re-broadcast on Comcast Channel 96, Verizon FIOS Channel 12 and is available via webstream at http://www.ccboe.com/ . 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

Superintendent's update to the Board - see report. Extra discussion on tele-presence

Correspondence/Board member updates
  • Pedersen - dinner at Mt. Hope/ Nanjemoy was delicious.
  • Pedersen - Career Day at Mattawoman was very successful
  • Cook - All County Orchestra was fabulous
  • Wade - Joint Military Ball was very colorful and was very valuable for our cadets
  • Wise - Portfolio interviews; North Point...several are done on disc and include videos
  • Bowie - Senior interviews; very impressed; MABE legislative seminar was very informative
  • Wise - Wade was honored for the citizen of the year by Omega Si Phi
Education Association of Charles County update - See report

Student Board member update - See report

Deputy Superintendent update - Maryland State Golf Championship - McDonough High School

CIP update
  • IAC appeal
  • SMECO presentation of refund check - $145,708 for partnership on energy conservation (Demand Response Program)
F. B. Gwynn Center Renovations - see report (Power Point to be added to board docs post meeting)
Student Transfers
  • Dr. Vaira - Principals' meeting changes requested...deadline from March to May. Concerns with item #5 and #6.
  • Mr. Richmond - Recommends leaving the current policy & rules in place and let staff review them and come back to the board with recommendations.
  • Abell - was going to recommend strike #5 & #6 from the committee's recommendation. Current enrollment numbers show 9 elementary schools, 4 middle schools and two high schools with openings due to being under state-rated capacity.
  • Bowie - asked if possible to form committee to include teachers without children in the system.
  • Lukas - concerned with wording on capacity limitations
  • Lukas - questioned reasoning for changing the policy to begin with
  • Abell - board wanted to take a look at the policy/rules based on a report given in August showing the number of out-of zone transfers. Consideration must be given to the legal appeals that come before the board involving out-of-zone transfer denials. The board is tasked with deciding whether or not the Superintendent's denial contains one or more of four elements: illegal, immoral, unreasonable, or arbitrary. The first three aren't an issue. It's the "arbitrary." The committee's recommendation was based on policies in place in other counties across Maryland to close any loopholes and remove the question as to whether or not a decision was arbitrary.
Motion to accept the Superintendent's recommendation by Cook; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wade, Wise

Legislative Update
  • key issues are funding, teacher retention and maintenance of effort
  • do NOT expect any additional funding over last year from the state
  • possible shift of teacher retirement cost to local governments
  • more information after the session begins
Unfinished business
  • Hettel - Subsitutes: 360 had degrees of BA or BS and above. 350 are below. No count on AA degrees because we don't ask, but the question has been asked and they are collecting the data.
New business
  • Lukas - North Point removal of "nest" time.
  • Full discussion took place on the single lunch periods.
  • Bowie - anti-bullying seminar
Future agenda items
  • Pedersen - referenced an article on diversity
Recognition- 4:30 p.m.
  • Students - Duane Kizer, fifth grade, Academic Achievement, C. Paul Barnhart; Arrin Sanders, fifth grade, Personal Responsibility, Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School; Elise Hopkins, eighth grade, Academic Achievement, John Hanson Middle School, Principal; Lashawn Queen, twelfth grade, Career Readiness, Henry E. Lackey High School
  • Staff - Robynn Mudd, first grade teacher, Barnhart; Tina Thomas, secretary, Brown; Brenda Richards, gifted education teacher, Hanson; Laura Buzzell, mathematics teacher, Lackey
  • War of 1812 DVD Project: La Plata High School seniors: Geoffrey Hammersley; Christopher Cheney; Jonathan Teeney; Matthew Bellerose; Casey Gaskins and Jennifer Munoz; and Michael Mazzeo, history teacher, La Plata
Public Forum- 6 p.m.
  • Liz Brown - EACC - still has members that want to speak on how potential changes could affect their lives
  • Mary Fenton - J C Parks Elementary - thank you for allowing her children to attend local schools. Please keep policy that allows this to continue
  • Jennifer Turner - Piccowaxen - 2 children that had attended local school. School family. Supporting colleagues. Daughter got out of zone transfer to LaPlata. Can't believe it got this far.
  • Debborah Hahn - Middleton - 29 years. Son graduated already but had an issue in elementary school and she was allowed to transfer her son. Son got chicken pox at school and was allowed to sit in the office while she completed her class.
  • Cindy Hangartner - Wade - benefits received, enjoys perk. Saves on daycare and can be more involved with her own son's education who attends with her. Teachers will still give 100% but extra curricular activities will be affected. Several colleagues live outside of county and are weighing what their options are if they have to pay tuition.
  • Christy Nelson - Piccowaxen - has a daughter that is nonverbal special needs child who attends out of zone. Very upsetting to think she may need to find another daycare and school for her daughter.
  • Kelly Craft - Risk losing amazing teachers. Consider the life of a teacher: we knew what we were getting into when we became teachers, but bringing our children to school with us lessens the stress. Please reconsider.
  • JoAnn Garner - T.C. Martin - 11 years - lives in St. Mary's county. Has a 4 and 7 year old. Son attends TC Martin. Consider all the contributions the teachers already make prior to imposing tuition. Works from 7 -6 every day and her son is with her. Please reconsider.
  • Sean Starcher - LaPlata HS - son will be entering 6th grade next year. Wants son to attend Somers. 13 years ago, took a pay cut to come here. Will have to reconsider her employment if this policy passes.
  • James Brietinger - moved to La Plata...both students attend LaPlata High School out of zone. Retired but wife is a teacher. Thinks policy change is disguised as overcrowding. Has not seen statistics on enrollment that justify overcrowding. Quoted Item #8 as the only difference he sees that tightened up loop holes.
  • Rick Hood - Band teacher at Somers - daughter is a sophmore at La Plata HS. Lives in Hollywood. Stays after frequently and daughter stays with him. Has received an excellent education.
  • Julianna Herscher - TC Martin - son is an 8th grader at Hanson out-of-zone. Did not feel comfortable with him walking to and from local school Stoddert. IRT so her work location could change from year to year. Children maintain highh academic standards and they are not discipline problems or have transportation issues.
Action items
  • Minutes
  • Motion to accept by Abell; Second by Wade
    Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wade, Wise
  • Personnel
  • Motion to accept by Wade; Second by Pedersen
    Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wade, Wise

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