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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, June 28, 2004

At the business meeting held on June 28, 2004 at Bel Air Middle School the following actions and discussions took place.


The Board of Education conducted four sets of recognitions. The first recognition was for the June HCPS Educator Hall of Fame members. Inducted in the Hall of Fame were Mary H. Boni, 22-year elementary school teacher and originator of the "Patriot" program; and the late Edward V. Goetz, 25-year life/science teacher at North Harford Junior High/Middle School, an ardent environmentalist. Also recognized were the winners of the 2003-04 custodial recognition program. Elementary winners were: first place -Fountain Green Elementary School, Norrisville Elementary School, and Hickory Elementary School. Elementary runners-up were Dublin Elementary School, Roye-Williams Elementary School, Darlington Elementary School, North Bend Elementary School, John Archer School and Jarrettsville Elementary School. The middle school winner was Bel Air Middle School; and runners-up were Fallston, Southampton and Havre de Grace middle schools. The high school winner was Fallston High School; and the runners-up were Havre de Grace, C. Milton Wright, and Edgewood high schools. The third recognition was for the 2003-04 HCPS Nurse of the Year. Carol P. Dawson, 16-year HCPS school nurse, the final ten of which have been at Edgewood Elementary School, was honored as Nurse of the Year. Mrs. Dawson retired at the end of the 2003-04 school year. The fourth recognition was for four students at Joppatowne Elementary School who created the winning entry in the Harford County Comcast Cablevision "What the Star Spangled Banner Means to Me" contest. The four students, Kassi Kilduff, Taylor Merritt, Amber Short, and Alex Velasco, under the leadership of enrichment teacher Andrea Smith, completed a "story board" which was used by Comcast to create a 30 second public service announcement honoring the Star Spangled Banner which was shown on non-network Comcast channels between Flag Day, June 14th and Independence Day, July 4th.

General Public Comments

Ed Hopkins and Butch Himpler discussed the issue of busing for secondary students in the Harford Woods subdivision of Bel Air. Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Himpler said that conditions on the roads that students have to walk to those Bel Air schools are hazardous and asked the Board to make an exception to its rule that students living within a mile and a half must walk to school.

Comments by Robert S. Magee, Board President

Mr. Magee, 5-year member of the Board of Education, who served this past year as the Board's president provided comments about his tenure on the Board. Mr. Magee expressed his pleasure at having been able to serve for that period of time and provided several suggestions including the expansion of physical education offerings in the Harford County Public Schools, the creation of a comprehensive alternative education program for the school system, a suggestion that the Board President serve for a two-year term, and that citizens should consider service on the Board of Education.

Action Items

The Board unanimously passed items on the Consent Agenda including the Monthly Report on Personnel, the 2004 Educational Facilities Master Plan, Approval of School Bus Transportation Contract, Approval of Contract for Food Service Milk & Cottage Cheese, Approval of Contract Covering the Removal of Asbestos Containing Material, Approval of Computer Equipment, Approval of Minutes from the May 24, 2004 Board Business Meeting, and Approval of Tentative Agreement with the Harford County Educational Services Council (HCESC).

The Board unanimously approved the FY05 Operating Budget as follows: Unrestricted Funds $296,445,773; Restricted Funds $20,220,803; and Food Service Fund $10,776,803.

The Board unanimously approved the following promotions/appointments of administrative personnel; or recognized the following assignments of administrative personnel made by the superintendent.

  • Jeffrey M. Fradel, principal, Bel Air Elementary
  • Monique Wheatley-Phillip, assistant principal, Bel Air Elementary
  • Lisa Sundquist, principal, Edgewood Elementary
  • Michael Seymour, supervisor of equity and cultural diversity
  • Allyn Watson, supervisor of compensatory education
  • Christian J. Anderson, Sr., assistant principal, Southampton Middle
  • Mary A. Boswell-McComas, assistant principal, Aberdeen High
  • James Lynn Johnson, assistant principal, TBA
  • Melissa Mickey, assistant principal, Bel Air Middle
  • Blaire McDonnell White, assistant principal, Edgewood Middle
  • Kandace E. N. Wilson, assistant principal, Bel Air High
  • Madeleine C. Synnott, assistant principal, middle school pool
  • Gerald Mentz, secondary assistant principal pool

Director of Technology Andrew Moore presented the Board with an update on the status of technology in the Harford County Public Schools. Mr. Moore discussed the computer to student ratio in the system, talked about innovations in administrative and educational technology, and summarized plans for the coming year and future developments in technology. The Office of Technology provides periodic reports on the status of technology to the Board of Education.

Executive Director of Elementary Education Patricia Skebeck and Forest Lakes Principal Linda Chamberlin provided the Board with a presentation on recommendations of the elementary scheduling committee. The group recommends implementing a consistent schedule for subject offerings in each of the county's 32 elementary schools, standardizing time spent for integrated language arts (ILA), math, science, special areas and other offerings in the elementary schools. The committee asserted its belief that ILA and math should be emphasized in the schedule and that time used for administrative tasks should be consolidated into instruction.

Director of Special Education Ann-Marie Spakowski provided the Board with a special education staff plan, an annual requirement of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). The staffing plan that has been prepared to fulfill this reuirement focuses on specific required elements. These include assurance that maintenance of effort is demonstrated by the local school system and that procedures are in place for systematically and regularly reviewing staffing needs to ensure that adequate personnel is available to address the needs of students as identified in their Individual Education Plans.

Superintendent's Report

Superintendent Jacqueline Haas presented the Board with information about the Maryland State Board of Education's 9-2 vote to make the passing of four high school assessments a graduation requirement for those students graduating in 2009. She said the Board action will allow for students to pass three of the four tests and still graduate so long as their composite score exceeds an established rating. She also said that students would be able to substitute SAT, ACT, or AP Biology for certain tests. Mrs. Haas added that the topic continues to be controversial. The superintendent also provided the Board with an update on Charter Schools mentioning that the school system continues to work with the two original charter applicants as well as a third new applicant. She said that Baltimore City is considering capping the number of approved Charter Schools but that the Governor wants to see the process moved forward. Mrs. Haas added that the federal government has provided $3.8 million in grants for Charter Schools. She said the law leaves too many holes. Mrs. Haas also discussed the impending installation of security cameras in some high schools. She said the school system would work closely with the Sheriff's office and municipal police agencies regarding security cameras.

New Business by Board Members

The Board unanimously approved the use of $186,000 in unencumbered funds from the Facilities Management Office to provide four-pipe heating/air conditioning system at Edgewood Middle School rather than the previously approved two-pipe system. Board Member Mark Wolkow challenged the Havre de Grace/Fallston areas to find people to serve on the Board of Education. Each Board Member expressed his/her appreciation for the efforts of Mr. Magee both as a Board member and Board President. Board Vice-President Robert Thomas suggested that Mr. Magee should be a member of the HCPS Educator Hall of Fame. Mr. Thomas moved and Board Member Robin Rich seconded that the proposed new middle/high school on Patterson Mill Road near Bel Air be named the Patterson Mill Middle/High School. The proposal will be held over until the August 9, 2004 meeting at which time the Board is expected to finalize its action. The Board will accept comments on the proposal until final action is taken.

Special Note

Regular Board business meetings will be held at Bel Air Middle School through September, 2004. Subsequent Board business meetings will be held at the former Aberdeen High School North Building.

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