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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, January 25, 2005

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

At the business meeting on January 25, 2005 at the Center for Educational Opportunity the following actions and discussions took place.


The Board of Education inducted posthumously Albert C. Cesky and James R. Harris into the HCPS Educator Hall of Fame. Mr. Cesky was a 30 year teacher, coach, associate principal, and supervisor in the Harford County Public Schools, accumulating unprecedented success on the athletic fields. He introduced many new sports into Harford County and is credited for being a positive role model to thousands of young people. Mr. Harris coached football at his alma mater Havre de Grace High School winning a state championship in 1978. He was a 21 year work experience coordinator acting as an advocate for young people. He also served as athletic director at Havre de Grace High School.

The Board recognized the Harford County Public School Budget Office for having received the Government Finance Officer's Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award in connection with the 2004-05 HCPS operating budget. This was the third year in a row that the budget office has earned the award. Certificates were awarded to Budget Director James M. Jewell, Senior Budget Analyst Jeannine M. Ravenscraft and Budget Analyst Mary L. Edmunds.

The Board recognized the 53 Harford County Public School student musicians who were named to the all-state senior band, all-state junior chorus, all-state senior orchestra, all-state junior chorus and/or all-state senior chorus. Students tryout for the prestigious award and are selected by panels of music educators.

The Board recognized Kimmie Meissner, Fallston High School sophomore, who won the bronze medal in the U.S. Women's Figure Skating Championships on January 15, 2005 in Portland, Oregon. Miss Meissner was featured in the January 25th edition of Sports Illustrated. Because she is only 15 years of age she will not represent the United States in the world championships, but will lead a contingent of U.S. skaters into the junior world championships.

General Public Comments

Jean Mantegna addressed the Board concerning the discontinuation of the Certificate of Merit diplomas. She said seniors have worked diligently for the CM diploma and asked if the CM courses for 9-11 graders will disappear.

Old Business

Action Items

By unanimous vote the Board of Education passed a motion made by Board Member Mark M. Wolkow and seconded by Board Member Lee Merrell to approve items on the Consent Agenda including: Monthly Report on Personnel; Approval of Form Changes to Board Policy Manual, Section Entitled School System Governance and Introduction; Approval of Award for School Buses; Proposed Resolutions on Career and Technical Education Week and National School Counselor Week; Minutes of the December 6, 2004 Board Work Session; December 13, 2004 Board Business Meeting and December 20, 2004 Board Business Meeting.

By a unanimous vote the Board of Education passed a motion made by Mr. Wolkow and seconded by Board Member Thomas L. Fidler, Jr. to conditionally approve the Eagles Wings Charter School application based on conditions including finances, facility, opening date (2006), negotiations, curriculum, school requirements, staff requirements, students, transportation, governance, waivers, and the submission of final documents. Maggie Rohrbaugh addressed the Board on the charter school issue thanking the Board and staff for its consideration of the charter school applications and urging the school system to look favorably on those applications.

Acting on the motion of Board Vice-President R. Robin Rich and the second of Board Member Salina M. Pleasant-Grice, the Board approved an exception to its policy prohibiting memorials on school grounds, authorizing a memorial to former Harford County Public School students killed in combat to be located on the grounds of the new central office building located off Courtland Street and Hickory Avenue in Bel Air. The motion also authorized the school system to continue with planning for the memorial to be cited near the front ramp of the building. The motion also authorized the school system to join with the Harford County Veteran's Commission in raising funds to erect the memorial.

Acting on a motion made by Ms. Rich and seconded by Mr. Fidler, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proposed FY2006 operating budget in the amount of $338,815,327 in unrestricted funds; $21,763,181 in restricted funds; and $11,545,410 in the food service budget. The proposal will now go to the county executive for his review and ultimately to the county council for final action.

New Business


Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Gerald E. Scarborough and Supervisor of English/Language Arts Lynne Owen presented the Board with the Harford County Public School System K-12 Reading Program. Mrs. Owen described the many resources used in providing instruction to students.

Coordinator of Safety and Security Robert Benedetto and Chief of Administration Jay F. May presented the Board with information concerning student identification cards. Mr. Benedetto said a program to supply students at all 50 of the HCPS schools with a student ID badge would have a startup cost of $433,817. He said that options which would allow the cards to be used for other purposes could bring the price tag to over $500,000. The Board took no action on the proposal and will review its options at a later time.

Superintendent's Report

Superintendent of Schools Jacqueline C. Haas provided the Board with an update on the state of the school system. Mrs. Haas had presented the state of the system address in October, 2004 .

Board Comments

Mr. Thomas addressed comments to Mrs. Mantegna who was still in the audience. He said he debated some of the comments she reported having been made by officials at the MD State Dept. of Education and he was confident the superintendent had promptly reported information about the discontinuation of the CM diploma when she became aware of it. He said the value of a local CM diploma to colleges would be worthless. However, he said the Board would take her comments under advisement and she would receive a response in writing to her comments. Mr. Thomas added that a work session would be held on the issue of secondary reform on February 7 at the Center for Educational Opportunity at 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Hess thanked Mr. Thomas for assigning him to participate in the HCPS appeal to the Board of Public Works in Annapolis concerning construction projects which have not been fully funded.

Acting on the motion of Mr. Hess and the second of Mr. Fidler, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 8:50 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