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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, March 8, 2004

At the business meeting held on Monday, March 8, 2004 at the Bel Air Middle School the following actions and discussions took place.

General Public Comments

Dr. Edna Hirsch spoke to the Board urging the school system to review the Foundations of Technology course requirement, suggesting that a half year cultural diversity/half year geography be considered as a substitute. She also urged that schools be aware that their school profiles are important in students being accepted in college, and discussed the issue of a bathroom having been installed without approval at C. Milton Wright High School.

Christine Mack, representing the Meadowvale PTA, urged that the Bulle Rock Development be included in the Havre de Grace Elementary attendance area.

Action Items

Consent Agenda - The Board voted unanimously to approve items on the Consent Agenda including Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards; Approval of Purchase of Classroom Furniture for the new Aberdeen High School; Approval of Minutes for the Board business meetings of January 12, January 20, and February 2 and Work Sessions of January 20 and February 2, 2004; Approval of Three New Modular Classrooms and Approval of Lease of Five Relocatable Classrooms.

Legislative Update and Action - The Board voted unanimously to take positions on several pieces of legislation pending before the Maryland General Assembly including HB871, SB510 - Budget Reconciliation of 2004 - oppose; HB396/HB532 - Prevailing Wage School Construction - support; HB425 Prevailing Wage Rates - Public Works Contracts - Exclusions - support; HB965 Harford County School Construction Financing Act of 2004 - support; HB922 Education Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act - Extension of Phase-in - oppose; SB552 Education Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act - Extension of Phase-in Period - oppose; HB993 Education Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act - Funding Increase - oppose; HB1153 Retirement and Pensions - Re-employment of Retirees - oppose; HB 1164 - Higher Education Maryland Teacher Scholarship - oppose; SB559 Student Health Promotion Act of 2004 - oppose; HB 1199 Primary and Secondary Education - Performance Expectations and Funding - oppose; SB894 Education Fiscal Accountability and Oversight Act of 2004 - oppose.

Research and Development Transfer - The Board voted unanimously to approve the proposed transfer of $113,106 and $1,400 from mid-level research and development accounts to administrative accounts.


Parameters for the 2005-06 Calendar Committee - The Board provided a series of parameters to guide the deliberations of the 2005-06 Calendar Committee.


Bid Award - NHHS Modernization - Kathleen Sanner, supervisor of construction and planning, presented the Board with a report detailing shortfalls in funding for the NHHS modernization project. Mrs. Sanner explained that there is a need for an additional $5,000,000 in state funding this year which has been appealed and the school system is awaiting an outcome of that appeal. She also explained that the bid proposals total $4.3 million above that which was budgeted. Mrs. Sanner and Superintendent Jacqueline Haas provided the Board with several potential alternatives. Mrs. Haas said she would be speaking with county government officials concerning the problem.

Balancing Enrollment - Technical Advisory Committee Recommendation - Havre de Grace Attendance Area - Assistant Superintendent for Operations Joseph Licata presented the Board with information about housing developments planned for the Havre de Grace area. Mr. Licata provided the Board with a chart detailing recommended attendance areas for 10 housing developments in that area. The Board voted unanimously to direct that a series of hearings be held in the Havre de Grace area detailing the recommendations and that action be taken by the Board on the recommendations in 30 days. (No housing units have presently been constructed in the 10 developments planned.)

Presentation of Administrative Guidelines for Evaluating Boundary Exceptions - Student Transfer Requests - Director of Student Services Steve Lentowski presented the Board with a report on the 2003-2004 boundary exceptions. Mr. Lentowski noted that the number of boundary exceptions has continued to decrease. He also pointed out that a fifth qualifying reason had been added to the administrative guidelines - school choice option mandated by No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Superintendent's Report - Mrs. Haas presented the Board with information concerning the HCC tuition waiver for remedial mathematics programs offered at Bel Air High School and Edgewood High School. She said the college had agreed to continue providing the tuition waiver for the courses and will provide information on the progress of students who take the class and proceed to the community college. Mrs. Haas also provided the Board with comments from MSDE on the Harford County Public School Master Plan noting that the plan was "very readable and user-friendly;" and particular praise was provided for the way in which HCPS had gained public input for the plan. Mrs. Haas also outlined changes in the MSDE challenge school intiative. She asked CAO Ray Brown to provide information on the geographic regional cost differential under the Thornton Plan. Mr. Brown said the HCPS school system stands to lose $223,000 next year and $1,000,000 when the phase-in is completed.

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