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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, January 12, 2004

At the regular Board of Education of Harford County business meeting held on Monday, January 12, 2004 at Bel Air Middle School the following actions and discussions took place.

Consent Agenda

The Board unanimously approved the Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards; Minutes of the October 27 and November 10 Board business meetings; Award of Contract for Paper Supplies; Award of Contract for Cafeteria Tables; and Approval of Appointment of Bruce Hart as a member of the Harford County Public School Ethics Panel.

General Public Comments

Former Board member Karen Wolf discussed her official resignation as a member of the Board of Education of Harford County for the past eight years. Mrs. Wolf thanked the Board and the staff for its support and indicated she had enjoyed her term on the Board. Mrs. Wolf cited the ill health of her parents and her need to care for them as the major reason for the resignation.

A series of speakers discussed the Aberdeen High School student scheduling situation.

David Stacks, Denise Moore, Pat Benedict and Jerry Lacey discussed their dissatisfaction with the new 8 period day schedule at Aberdeen High School. Tom Szerensits, Principal, Aberdeen High School, discussed the background of the schedule and the efforts of the school to address the concerns of parents and staff. He pledged to continue working with those in the community.

Actions Items

The Board of Education approved by 4-1 vote (Mr. Robert Thomas dissenting/student representative Mr. Michael Morey cast a negative preferential vote) to approve the educational specifications and schematic design for the new middle/high school at Patterson Mill. It was stipulated that all efforts would be made to increase the seating capacity of the auditorium to as close to 900 as possible.

The Board voted unanimously (Mr. Morey cast a negative preferential vote) to refer the proposed use of handheld metal detectors and "Alco-Blow" for the detection of alcohol by students at extra-curricular events to the Policy Review Committee. Board President Robert Magee directed that regulations controlling the use of metal detectors and alcohol detection equipment be in place in time for the beginning of the 2004-05 school year.

The Board voted unanimously to approve weight room modifications and the installation of dugouts at C. Milton Wright High School.

Mr. Stephen Fine and Mr. David Thomas discussed the potential negative impact of depot and other non-direct busing for Harford Technical High School. The Board voted 4-1 (Mrs. Robin Rich dissenting) to table consideration of proposals for transporting students to magnet schools and magnet programs. The motion directed that Board members, Mrs. Rich and Mr. Mark Wolkow, serve on a committee with staff members to develop a consensus on the proposal to be brought back before the Board.

Mr. Larry English expressed his skepticism over enrollment projections at Southampton Middle School.

The Board took a series of actions on proposals from the Superintendent's Technical Advisory Committee on Balancing Enrollment for the 2004-05 school year.

  • The Board voted unanimously to move one pre-k program from Deerfield Elementary School to Edgewood Elementary School. As part of the motion, the Board also voted to add four relocatable classrooms to Deerfield Elementary School.
  • The Board voted unanimously to table consideration of the assignment of specific subdivision attendance areas in the Havre de Grace area until next year, pending definitive information and timelines.
  • The Board voted unanimously to monitor enrollment and subdivision growth at the following schools: Fountain Green, Prospect Mill, Hickory, Forest Hill and Forest Lakes Elementary Schools; and to support the future planning and construction of a new elementary school in that area.
  • The Board voted unanimously to monitor enrollment and subdivision growth at Bel Air Middle School; and to support the construction of a new middle/high school in the area by 2007.
  • The Board voted unanimously to maintain current relocatable placement at Edgewood Middle School.
  • The Board voted unanimously to continue the planned 2.1 million dollar capital improvements at Fallston Middle School; and to support the construction of a new middle/high school in the area by 2007.
  • The Board voted 4-1 (Mr. Thomas dissenting) to delay Phase 2 boundary adjustments between Southampton Middle School and North Harford Middle School until September 2005 and reconsider the proposal next year.
  • The Board voted unanimously to convene a task force to develop day, evening and summer alternative education; develop virtual classrooms; and develop a plan to house expanded special education services. The Aberdeen High School north building will be vacant beginning next school year and various proposals for its use have been made. Mr. Magee directed that school system administrators, Mr. Joe Licata and Mr. Steve Lentowski, meet with the Aberdeen mayor and city council to discuss future use of the north building.
  • The Board voted unanimously to monitor enrollments and subdivision growth at Aberdeen, Bel Air, C. Milton Wright, Edgewood, and Fallston High Schools; and support the construction of a new middle/high school in the area by 2007.

Mr. Magee directed that other items on the agenda including the Presentation of the Quarterly Financial Report for the period ending September 30, 2003; the Superintendent's report including update on secondary reform work groups; and Update on the FY05 Capital Improvement Requests; opportunity for Board members to present new business be addressed at the January 20th work session (Bel Air Middle School, 7:00 p.m.)


This document contains a summary of issues that came before the Board of Education of Harford County and actions taken by the Board at the public business meeting at the meeting date referenced on the document. These are not official Board-approved minutes. Board minutes are not posted on the HCPS web site because of the time lapse that occurs between the meeting, their preparation, and ultimate approval by the Board.
For copies of approved Board minutes, please e-mail Lynn.Hutchinson@hcps.org