Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Notes from Board of Education Meeting, 12/9/14

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, December 9 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 – Maurice J. McDonough High School

Superintendent’s update to the Board - See report

Correspondence/board member updates
  • Bowie - comment from parent of a former North Point student praises Dr. Hill; another comment from a parent just transferred from Fairfax County says CCPS is better than FX
  • Cook - Enjoyed It's Academic
  • Pedersen - Enjoyed It's Academic; LPHS Senior Interviews; CCASC meeting to say thank you and good bye
  • Lukas - All County Band enjoyable; Military Ball
Education Association of Charles County update - See report

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees update - See report

Student Board member’s update - See report

Student Transfers - See Report
  • Slightly up due to redistricting
  • Wise - Appeals to the state level have all been upheld.  Our Policy is good.
  • Abell - and it works
CIP update - See report
  • Pool at St. Charles moving forward.  Enclosure this winter.  May 2015 Completion.
  • FB Gwynn boiler & roof going to bid
  • Dr. Brown - roof replacement; ordering eqipment for Spring
  • CIP Submission to state; state made recommendations; we appealed
  • St. Charles - requested balance
  • Stoddert MS roof and  boiler
  • Kindergarten additions at Jenifer and Matula
  • Planning for elementary #3 and Mudd renovations
  • Wise - PK legislation moving forward
  • Hill - lot of talk but nothing yet
Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards: The CCPS blueprint - See report
  • This report was put together based on common, reoccurring concerns regarding the standards at the county level.  It addresses the instruction issues, not the political issues.  It will be shared with principals this week with hopes of sharing with parents through PTA etc at every school.
  • Addresses myths vs facts at the local level.
  • Abell - can students opt-out of HSA's or PARCC assessments?  NO.  State requirement
  • Please, please, please provide feedback on this report.  Please keep comments constructive, give specifics, and let me know of any contradictions.
Unfinished business
  • Abell - questions asked previously...when can we receive an update?  Where are we losing teachers to(surrounding counties?); Review of the World History Text Book; Portable classroom update including condition and ownership.
New business  - None

Presentation of plaques to outgoing Board

Board Farewell – 3:30 p.m.

Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Students - Paris Jones, 5th grade, Academic Achievement; C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School; Principal: Troy D. Barnes; Shana Cavanaugh, 5th grade; Academic Achievement; Dr. Brown Elementary School, Principal: Christienne Warren; Sarah Jones, 11th grade; Personal Responsibility; Henry E. Lackey High School; Principal: James Short; Roman Lakner, 5th grade; Academic Achievement; T. C. Martin Elementary School; Principal: Gregory Miller; Michael Petschk, 8th grade; Career Readiness; John Hanson Middle School; Principal: Kathy-Lynn Kiessling
  • Employees - Timothy P. Remo, fifth grade teacher, Barnhart; Carrie J. Lamb, Reading Resource teacher, Brown; Bonnie D. Jenkins, third grade teacher, Martin; Patricia A. Hodson, Media Specialist, Hanson; Camille C. Calloway, Special Education teacher, Lackey
Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Andrew Williams - CCASC - student liasions - speaking on students behalf to reinstate after school activity buses.  Understand may not be possible due to budetary concerns.  Ask the board to consider allowing each individual school to explore options to fund their own activity buses.  After school buses are a necessity for students to participate in athletics, clubs, organizations and tutoring.
Action items
  • Minutes
Motion to accept the minutes by Abell; Second by Cook
Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wise
  • Personnel
Motion to accept the Personnel by Cook; Second by Pedersen
Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wise
  • Pension policy #3920
Motion to accept the Pension Policy by Lukas; Second by Abell
Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wise
  • Extra-curricular and athletic eligibility requirements policy #6431
Motion to accept the Policy #6431 by Cook; Second by Pedersen
Yes = Abell, Bowie, Cook, Lukas, Pedersen, Wise

Monday, December 08, 2014

New Student Assessments Are Accompanied by Bigger Questions

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, just as public school systems in Maryland and other states prepare to give longer and more challenging standardized tests this spring, a national debate has erupted over just how many hours students should be tested in a year.  As reported in the article,

“I think what you are seeing across the country is this backlash against state testing,” said Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance, who believes there may be moves in coming years to reduce federally mandated testing.
This year, an eighth-grader in the Baltimore area will spend from 14 to 46 hours taking tests, depending on which school district he or she is in. And that doesn’t include the tests teachers write and grade themselves — that pop quiz on “The Scarlet Letter” in English or fractions in an elementary school math class.
A recent study by The Center for American Progress, Testing Overload in America’s Schools, found the following:
  • Despite the perception that federally mandated state testing is the root of the issue, districts require more tests than states.
  • Students are tested as frequently as twice per month and an average of once per month.
  • Actual test administration takes up a small fraction of learning time.
  • There is a culture of testing and test preparation in schools that does not put students first.
  • District-level testing occurs more frequently and takes up more learning time in urban districts than in suburban districts.
  • Districts are not transparent about testing practices or purposes.
For more information, see the full story from the Sun and The Center for American Progress.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Wilson honored by Omega Psi Phi for community service

Monique Wilson, director of the James E. Richmond Science Center at St. Charles High School, was recently honored by the Tau Lambda Lambda chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity with a 2014 Outstanding Citizen of the Year award. The award honors community members who demonstrate exemplary leadership and service to the community on the local and state levels that helps improve the quality of life for others.

Wilson has volunteered with the fraternity’s Purple Boot Mentoring Program for the past three years, and was recognized for helping to tutor middle school minority students in topics such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and robotics. The mission of the program is to educate and empower adolescent males in the Southern Maryland region, with an emphasis on mentoring minorities, to serve as role models within their communities.

Program activities focus on several areas of learning for young men that range from how to be engaged in their education and learning about personal responsibility to working with mentors on positive-relationship building. Wilson said she is honored to be recognized for doing something that she thoroughly enjoys.

“It was a surprise to me that I received this honor because educating, giving of my time and helping young people is second nature for me, so to be recognized for doing what I truly enjoy has reaffirmed why I became an educator and shows that the community does value education and it is watching the example we set” Wilson said.

The Purple Boot Mentoring Program was launched in 2009 to provide adolescent males in the Southern Maryland community with opportunities to learn from and work with positive role models.  The Citizen of the Year award was given to three honorees from the Tri-county area for their notable achievements and service to Southern Maryland.

Wilson was honored with her award during the Tau Lambda Lambda’s 10th annual Achievement Week Founders’ Day awards banquet held Nov. 15 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Hall in Waldorf. She also received a citation from the Charles County Board of Commissioners.

For more information on the Purple Boot Mentoring Program, visit http://www.southernmdques.org.

Agenda for Board of Education Meeting, 12/9/14

The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 9, 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. The meeting is televised live on Comcast Channel 96 and Verizon FiOS Channel 12, and is rebroadcast throughout the week. Board meetings are also streamed live on the school system website www.ccboe.com. Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab.

Executive session – 12 p.m.

Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance – Maurice J. McDonough High School

Superintendent’s update to the Board

Reports of officers/boards/committees

  • Correspondence/board member updates
  • Education Association of Charles County update
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees update
  • Student Board member’s update
  • CIP update
  • Maryland’s College and Career Ready Standards: The CCPS blueprint
  • Budget update
  • Legislative update
Unfinished business

New business

Presentation of plaques to outgoing Board

Board Farewell – 3:30 p.m.

Recognition – 4:30 p.m.
  • Students
  • Employees
Public Forum – 6 p.m.
Action items

  • Minutes
  • Personnel
  • New textbooks: Microsoft Office 2013
  • Pension policy #3920
  • Extra-curricular and athletic eligibility requirements policy #6431