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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, October 25, 2004

Questions regarding these Board Highlights may be directed to Don Morrison, Director of Public Information, 410-588-5203.

At the business meeting on October 25, 2004 at the Center for Educational Opportunity the following actions and discussions took place.


The October 2004 Harford County Public School Educator Hall of Fame nominees were officially inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Board of Education. Inducted were Richard C. Slutzky, 31-year physical education teacher and coach at Aberdeen High School; and Robert S. Magee, 30-year teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal and Board of Education member/president. Mr. Slutzky compiled an unprecedented record of success as a wrestling coach, his teams having won 20 county titles in 25 years and three state titles. Mr. Magee coined the phrase "Proud to be seen in Aberdeen" while principal at the Aberdeen High School, 1991-1996.

Virginia M. (Ginny) Hinckley, Havre de Grace Elementary School Math Specialist, was recognized for having been named a Maryland Math Teacher of the Year for 2004 by the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Comments by the Board President

Robert B. Thomas, Jr. expressed his appreciation to Board Vice-President R. Robin Rich and to the Superintendent and her staff for their efforts during the time of his surgery for cancer and recovery period recently. He said he looks at life differently since his diagnosis on July 2 and surgery on October 8. He said the school system had shown its "love and support" during that trying time. He also expressed his appreciation to Harford County Education Association and Harford County of PTA's, as well as to his family, in particular his son Kevin, for their support.

Mr. Thomas said he would be leaving the meeting as he continues his recovery. Ms. Rich presided for the remainder of the meeting.

General Public Comments

Keith Goodell, President of the Harford County Education Association, expressed his concern over issues involving workload for teachers. He said that non-instructional tasks are taking away time in the classroom and that he fears if the workload situation is not addressed the school system could lose many of its good teachers.

Brian Rheinhardt, ninth grade English teacher at C. Milton Wright High School, said that his increasing workload makes it more difficult to give individual attention to his students. He mentioned that a change in the schedule at C. Milton Wright has resulted in an increased workload for him and other teachers.

Pat Anderson, Churchville Elementary School teacher, described the duties of an elementary teacher recommending that the Board find ways to alleviate the workload for teachers.

Gerald Martin, 27-year teacher of Foundations of Technology at C. Milton Wright High School said that the change in his schedule has resulted in a 20% increased workload. He said that the HCPS budget had been "balanced for years" on the poor salary of teachers.

Carol Rook voiced her concerns about the condition of Joppatowne Elementary School, requesting that the Board revise its current schedule calling for the renovation of Joppatowne Elementary in 2007. She noted the lack of air conditioning and poor quality of the parking lot among other deficiencies in the building, adding that the school had been told in 2000 that it would be renovated in 2004. That schedule has been revised to 2007 for renovation.

Rhonda Shaak, 11-year music teacher at Fallston Middle School, said she teaches 268 students at all three middle school levels and feels like a "juggler" who hopes that none of the items she is juggling fall.

Old Business

Action Items

Acting on the motion of Board Member Mark M. Wolkow and the second of Thomas L. Fidler, Jr. the Board voted unanimously to approve items on the Consent Agenda including the Monthly Report on Personnel; the New Bus Order for 2005-06; Food Service Bread Contract; Prepackaged Snack Cake Contract; Proposed Resolutions on American Education Week, National Educational Support Personnel Day, National Family Week, and Impact Area Aid Assistance; and Minutes of the September 20, 2004 Board Work Session.

Acting on the motion of Mr. Wolkow and the second of Board Member Salina Pleasant-Grice the Board voted unanimously to adopt the Harford County Public School Legislative Platform presented by Chief of Administration Jay F. May. Mr. May explained the platform contains items that may come before the Maryland General Assembly and represents long-standing positions the Board has held on these items.

By consensus, the Board accepted a report on Supplemental School Improvement Support for Magnolia Elementary School, Aberdeen Middle School and Edgewood Middle School. Presented by Executive Directors of Elementary and Secondary Education, Patricia Skebeck and David Volrath, respectively, the report provided information on efforts to assist schools identified as "in need of improvement" by the Maryland School Assessment (MSA). Additional reports will be made on North Harford Middle School and Aberdeen High School. Board members said the specific recommendations requiring funding will be addressed during the budget deliberations this fall and winter.

By unanimous actions on motions made by Board members Patrick L. Hess and Mr. Wolkow, each seconded by Mr. Fidler, the Board acted to approve the agreement of release between Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland and the Board of Education of Harford County in the termination for default of the North Harford High School 12A Casework Contract with Institutional Furnishings, Inc.; and the approval of a contract with Case Systems, Inc. for 12A Casework at North Harford High School in the amount of $698,000.

New Business


Chief Financial Officer John Markowski and Director of Finance Jay Staab presented the auditors report for the year ending June 30, 2004. The Board was told the audit report provided a "clean opinion" of the financial operations of the school system during the 2003-2004 school year (FY 2004).

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Joseph Licata presented the Board with the Enrollment Report for 2004-05. The report showed that the actual enrollment count, recorded on September 30, 2004, reflected an increase of 116 students compared to the same date in 2003. Mr. Licata said elementary enrollment was up by 63 students, middle school enrollment was down by 251 students and high school enrollment was up by 301 students. He also said that because of the phase-in of the month for kindergarten enrollment (from December 31 - September 1 over a four year period) that group of students has 1/12 less enrollment or about 250 students. Mr. Licata said the enrollments and capacities of individual schools will be used during the balancing enrollment process to be initiated next month.

The Board received a report on memorials on school grounds for former students killed in action. The report presented by Director of Public Information Don Morrison and Mr. May provided information on a proposal to site a memorial on the grounds of the new school system administration center off Courtland Street in Bel Air. Mr. Morrison introduced retired Army Maj. General Joseph H. Brooks and Retired Navy Lt. Edward T. Kreiner, Sr., who along with Retired Army Col. Walter R. (Wally) Mueller, had met with him and Mr. May on October 7 to discuss issues surrounding such a memorial. Mr. Morrison explained that Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas had received a petition with over 1500 signatures suggesting that the Fallston High School football field be r enamed for a marine corporal who had been killed in action in June. He said the Superintendent was seeking the guidance of The Harford County Veterans Commission on appropriate ways to memorialize the ultimate sacrifice of these servicemen. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Kreiner said they believe a central memorial would be more appropriate and practical than memorials at individual schools. Mr. Morrison said the proposal is pending legal and site reviews of the appropriateness of locating a memorial on the Central Office grounds.

Superintendent's Report

In her report to the Board Mrs. Haas mentioned the reauthorization of Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). She said the House and Senate had passed their own version of the bill and urged those interested to send a message to the federal government with the process. She also mentioned that in coming meetings the "Title Programs" would be reviewed with the Board. She added that the Harford County Public Schools is getting less Title I money (funds allocated to students who live in poverty) despite the fact the state is receiving more Title I money. Mrs. Haas told that the Maryland State Department of Education had released the list of school systems in need of improvement. She said that 15 school systems had met all of their targets while nine were listed as in need of improvement. Mrs. Haas said she was delighted to report that Harford County Public Schools is among the 15 meeting all targets. She added that Maryland was among the states not meeting all targets and that the annual measurable objectives (AMO) will be ratcheted up in each of the next years leading up to the 2013-14 "No Child Left Behind" mandate.

Board Comments

Ms. Rich thanked the teachers for the feedback that had been supplied to the Board on the proposed changes to the eligibility rules now before the Board for consideration.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 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