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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, April 26, 2004

At the business meeting held on Monday, April 26, 2004 at the Bel Air Middle School the following actions and discussions took place.

Recognitions

The Board of Education recognized several individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments. Among those honored were the two inductees into the HCPS Educator of Hall of Fame for April. Benjamin S. Carroll and George J. Makin, Jr. were inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. The dance teams from Aberdeen High School and C. Milton Wright High School were honored for outstanding performances at the Towson University and National Dance Association (Orlando, Florida), respectively. William M. Ekey was honored as Maryland's Service Learning Principal of the Year. The Board honored the nine Teacher of the Year finalists for 2004-05 - Kathryn A. Brooks, John Archer School; Joan A. Cable, Roye-Williams Elementary School; Patricia A. Carpenter, Abingdon Elementary School; Patricia A. Finney, Edgewood High School; Angela L. Golden, North Harford Middle School; Robert P. James, Jr., Edgewood Middle School; Lisa C. Mullen, North Harford Middle School; Gregory P. Plotycia, Planetarium Teacher; and Annamarie V. Windsor, Edgewood Elementary School. The Board also honored the 2004-05 Teacher of the Year, Joan M. Hayden of Bel Air High School.

General Public Comments

Maureen Nersten representing the Harford School Health Services Association thanked the Board for its support and noted that School Nurses Day is May 12 during which the public is invited to honor those who serve as school nurses. Ms. Nersten was accompanied by several HCPS School Nurses who presented the Board with "first aid packets."

Action Items

Consent Agenda - The Board voted unanimously to endorse items on the consent agenda including the March Monthly Report on Personnel. The Board motion also endorsed the Proposed Resolutions on 2004 Merit Scholastic Awards; Salute to School and Nutrition Service Personnel; Home and Hospital Teachers Appreciation Day; National Physical Fitness and Sports Month; Pupil Personnel Worker Week; School Nurses' Day; School Psychology Week; and Teacher Appreciation Week. In addition the motion endorsed the Award of Contract for Food Service Frozen Pretzels.

The Board voted unanimously to lay over until its May 10, 2004 meeting a decision on its 2005-06 school system calendar.

The Board voted unanimously to approve the Family Life Curriculum change which integrates focus area 3 content on abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy for implementation in fall 2004 into the 7th grade science curriculum.

The Board voted unanimously to reaffirm the Student Dress Code and acknowledged a change in the accommodation for medical health reasons in the administrative guidelines.

The Board voted unanimously to retain one of the school system HMO providers, Optimum Choice, and self-insuring the plan.

The Board voted unanimously to award contracts in the amount of $27,209,767 for the modernization/expansion project at North Harford High School with notice to proceed and award of contract to be dated May 6th pending availability of funds.

Presentations

The Board received a presentation on School and Class Size in which a recommendation is made to move the 3rd grade from the primary to the intermediate classification; to set the class size for primary students (K-2) to 20 students; to set the class size in grades 3-5 to 25 students. Jennifer Handlin representing HCCPTA spoke on the class size issue pointing out that the organization does not support increasing class sizes.

In the Superintendent's Report, Superintendent Haas and Nancy Spence, Coordinator of Partnerships for Student Achievement, suggested to the Board that changes should be made to the current policy on advertising in schools to allow for private corporate sponsorships and partnerships with the school system. The Superintendent also told the Board that the Superintendent's Association is suggesting the Maryland State Department of Education provide a technical manual on the scoring of High School Assessments. In addition, the Superintendent told the Board that the State Superintendent has recommended to the State Board that there be no local diploma tracks.

Board New Business/Comments

Board members made presentations on topics of interest. Student representative to the Board, Mike Morey, provided names of newly elected student representatives. Board member Thomas Fidler provided an update on the school system administration building. Board member Mark Wolkow noted the "Best Night of the Year" Teacher of the Year Banquet held April 22; discussed Board self-appraisal and reported that 75 people from the Edgewood High School community attended the Orioles game recently. Board member Robert Thomas reported on a briefing with the county on the adequate public facilities ordinance and future funding and that the County Council is working to find additional funding for the Board of Education. Board member Robin Rich reported on having attended the Brown vs. Board of Education panel discussion on April 24th at the Hosanna School. Board member Salina Pleasant-Grice said she was particularly impressed with the student presentations at the Teacher of the Year Banquet. Board President Robert Magee, while praising the Teacher of the Year and finalists, said that every day all teachers are doing their job well in the classroom.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 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