Thursday, February 12, 2015


The Charles County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) invites parents and guardians to nominate the person or team who has made a difference in the life of your child with special needs.  • Nominations must be made by the parent, guardian or the student (not other staff members).

• A lot of people help our children, but please limit your nomination to one (1) of the four (4) categories listed below.

• Please make sure the staff member has had direct contact and impact on your child (i.e. not just a nice person that helped you or your family…but someone that actually did something directly for your child).

• Nominations should be for a staff member who has “gone beyond the call of duty” to make a child successful during the 2014-2015 school year.

We will celebrate their contributions with you, their colleagues, administrators, and family members on Wednesday May 13, 2015 at 7 PM at the Waldorf Jaycees Hall, 3090 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD.
Please limit your nomination to one per family!

Make your nominations HERE

Board approves one-time payment for eligible employees

The Board of Education on Feb. 10 approved a one-time payment of $1,000 to all full-time, permanent Charles County Public Schools employees. Eligible employees will receive the payment next week, an action supported by the two employee representative groups – the Education Association of Charles County (EACC) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

“In fiscal year 2015, the school system was not able to provide employees with a step or scale increase or a cost of living adjustment (COLA). The Board agreed with the EACC and AFSCME last year to keep 2015 negotiations open and revisit the budget in January to determine if any employee compensation was possible. The $1,000 payment closes negotiations for the 2014-15 school year,” Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

Employees who are not full time but work a specific number of contracted hours will receive a prorated portion of the $1,000 payment. Cost of providing the payment is $3.4 million for 3,400 employees. Funding sources include lapsed salary savings from retirements, unfilled positions and hiring lags.
Additionally, the Board agreed to provide CCPS bus contractors with funds to pay each full-time, permanent bus driver and attendant with a $500 payment. The cost of the payment is $175,000 and will be funded by savings generated over several months due to lower fuel prices. CCPS currently works with 27 independent contractors to provide school bus services for students. Full-time, permanent bus drivers and attendants are generally those who are assigned to a specific bus contract. The Board has also asked each contractor to provide a matching one-time payment amount to their eligible employees, if possible. Funding for the payment will be provided to bus contractors in March, who will distribute the payment to their drivers and attendants.

“The Board understands the impact the economy has taken on our employees over the past several years. We hope this one-time payment shows our commitment to supporting our employees. The Board continues to seek competitive compensation in its fiscal year 2016 budget request,” Board Chairman Virginia McGraw said.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Notes from Board of Education Meeting 2/10/15

The Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, February 10 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, Thomas Stone High School JROTC

Superintendent’s update -
See Report

Correspondence/Board Member updates

  • Palko - BYOD visited several schools to see in action
  • Marshall - wants to discuss Teachers Academy of MD with teachers; volunteered to serve on MABE Federal Relations Committee
  • Kelly - Art Fair & Science Fair; Daughter of American Revolution Results
  • Crawford - SECAC Meeting
  • Abell - APFO Subcommittee Update; MABE Budget approved; Alternative Education Committee Update
  • McGraw - Scholarship Committee
Education Association of Charles County update
- See report

Student Board Member update - See Report

System goals - See report
  • Marshall - one hour lunch - discipline concerns?  no
  • Marshall - Counselor in all schools not just for at risk students
  • Marshall - cultural competency training for staff same as diversity training
  • Marshall - wants BOE to help CCPS at public forums
  • Marshall - lots of our job shadow students questions, couldn't keep up with them all
  • Kelly - Homegrown teacher recruitment
  • Kelly - marketing county in recruitment
  • Abell - C.C. Special Ed students 3rd fastest growing in state, why?  We are good at what we do
  • Abell - Diversity in teacher recruitment should still be a goal even though we are above the state and national average and should be stated as a goal
2015-16 Code of Student Conduct - See report
CIP update -see report
  • Portables Update - See report
  • State owned portables have a flat roof; local owned have a sloped roof
Overview of transportation department - See Report
  • Palko - Camera cost?  $1,800 per bus...all new buses hav cameras and any old bus routes with a possible issue can be fitted.
CCPS maintenance presentation - See report
Flipped classroom demonstration
Legislative update -
  • $4.6M budget cuts at state
  • GCEI index cut in half for Charles County
  • HB28 - requiring school resource officers in every school in state; to be funded by the state
  • HB135 - school construction excise tax rates - increase in $1.2M
  • SB183 -HB215 GCEI - Mandate the formula
  • HB344 - Special Education due process; who has burden of proof
  • HB389 - Labor Day Bill - School Start after Labor Day
  • SB595 - Amend Charter School Law to make it easier to start chart schools
Teacher separation update - See report
Unfinished business
New business
Future agenda items
  • Abell - Request for the percentage of students in our system using waivers to avoid immunizations.

Recognition – 4:30 p.m
  • Students - Haakon Berglund, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Berry Elementary School, Principal: Melissa Logan; Kailyn Pratta, 5th grade, Personal Responsibility, Dr. Thomas L Higdon Elementary School, Principal: Kathleen Morgan; Cheyenne Toma, 5th grade, Academic Achievement, Eva Turner Elementary School, Principal: Orlena Whatley; Camdin Edge, 8th grade, Career Readiness, Piccowaxen Middle School, Principal: Wendall Martin; Jessica Foster, 12th grade, Career Readiness, La Plata High School, Principal: Evelyn Arnold
  • Staff - David S. Johnson, Building Service Assistant Manager, Berry; Betty T. Horton, first grade teacher, Higdon; Laura M. Birchfield, fifth grade teacher, Turner; Sara T. Keener, Language Arts teacher, Piccowaxen; Kevin D. Barry, Social Studies teacher, La Plata
  • Resolutions Read Across Charles County: Accepting:  Sahana Venkatesh, 6th grade, General Smallwood Middle School; Linda Forrest, Reading Resource Teacher, General Smallwood Middle School, Rajan Venkatesh, 2nd grade, Gale-Bailey Elementary School, Diedra Barnett, Reading Resource Teacher, Gale-Bailey Elementary School
    Women's History Month: Accepting: Dr. Sonya Ford, Chairperson, Charles County Commission for Women
    Fine and Performing Arts: Accepting: Timothy Bodamer, Specialist, Fine and Performing Arts; Madison Meiser, 7th grade, Piccowaxen, Middle School, Orchestra

Public Forum – 6 p.m.
  • Deb Vahle - bus drivers are now receiving school closing notifications  by 5, thank you
  • Shantiqua Wheeler - Princ. Wade overstepping her authority.  teachers are being told they are giving out to many A's and to stop.
Action items
  • Minutes
Motion to accept the Minutes by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Motion to amend the Minutes by Kelly; Second By Crawford
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
Amendment was made to reflect there wasnt a no vote for any candidate for the offices.
  • Personnel
Motion to accept Personnel by Abell; Second by Kelly
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko
  • Superintendent’s proposed FY 2016 operating budget
Motion to Amend remove the PASS program from the budget by Kelly; Second by Crawford
Yes = Kelly; No = Abell, Crawford, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko

Motion to accept the Budget by Abell; Second by Lukas
Yes = Abell, Crawford, Kelly, Lukas, Marshall, McGraw, Palko

Monday, February 09, 2015

REMINDER: Board of Education Meeting, 2/10/15

The Board of Education’s next monthly meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 10, 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 student and staff recognition starts 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. Board meetings are also streamed live on the school system website at Select CCPS TV and then choose the Live Broadcast tab. The following is a tentative meeting agenda.

Executive session – 12 p.m.
Call to order – 1 p.m. - Pledge of Allegiance, Thomas Stone High School JROTC

Superintendent’s update
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 update
·         System goals
·         2015-16 Code of Student Conduct
·         CIP update
·         Overview of transportation department
·         CCPS maintenance presentation
·         Flipped classroom demonstration
·         Legislative update
·         Teacher separation update
Unfinished business
New business and future agenda items
·         New business
·         Future agenda items

Recognition – 4:30 p.m
·         Students
·         Staff
·         Resolutions: Read Across Charles County; Women’s History Month; and Fine and Performing Arts Month

Public Forum – 6 p.m.
Action items

·         Minutes
·         Personnel
·         Superintendent’s proposed FY 2016 operating budget


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Joint BOE/Commissioners' Retreat, 2/4/15 - NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The Board of Education members and the County Commissioners will meet in a retreat on Wednesday, February 4th from 9 1 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland, BI Building, Room #113E. This convening is not a meeting under the provisions of the Open Meetings Act and in accordance with Title 3 of the General Provisions Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.  The retreat will have a Facilitator, Argene Carswell and the agenda and supporting documents can be found below.

Argene Carswell Bio
Argene Carswell Invoice

Retreat Objectives
This half‐day retreat is designed to set the foundation for effective, collaborative Charles County leadership into the future. Specific objectives are to:

  • Strengthen the working relationship between the County Commission and the Board of Education
  • Develop a stronger appreciation of respective roles and individual contribution
  • Begin to identify effective communication mechanisms and how differences will be resolved
  • Begin to chart a dynamic future for Charles County through collaborative leadership
8:30 am – 9:00 am       Coffee/Tea
9:00 am – 9:10 am       Opening Argene         How We Will Work Together
9:10 am – 10:20 am     Our Leadership Journeys All
10:20 am – 10:30 am    Break
10:30 am – 11:45 am    What Should Our Leadership of Charles County All Look Like?
  • With a focus on communication and resolving differences
11:45 am – 1:00 pm Going Forward: What We Want to Create Through All Our Leadership
 (Includes a working lunch)
1:00 pm – 1:15 pm Next Steps All
Closing and Acknowledgements