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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, November 21, 2005

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

At the business meeting on November 21, 2005, held at the Center for Educational Opportunity building beginning at 6:30 p.m., the following actions and discussions took place:

Board President R. Robin Rich announced that Board Members Salina M. Williams and Thomas L. Fidler, Jr. would not be able to be present for the meeting; and introduced newly appointed Board Member John L. Smilko, who represents Joppatowne on the Board.


Ms. Rich recognized Director of Public Information Donald R. Morrison who presented four sets of recognition items for the Board's consideration. First, the two November candidates for induction into the Harford County Public School Educator Hall of Fame were introduced. Frank A. Stultz, 30-year Harford teacher and administrator, was best known for his 13-years as charter principal of Fallston High School from 1977 through his retirement in 1990. Mr. Stultz was credited for setting the tone for the school as one of the top academic institutions in the country. The second inductee was Kurt W. Bittle, 34-year retired Bel Air High School art teacher, who had a lead role in making the school's art program one of the most renowned on the Atlantic coast. Mr. Bittle, an accomplished artist in his own right, began a spring art show that came to be one of the most celebrated in the area and was responsible for many of his students receiving art scholarships.

The second of the recognitions involved Deborah M. Clark, 21-year HCPS physical education teacher, the last eight at Homestead/Wakefield Elementary School where she was this year named Maryland's Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD) in recognition of her outstanding work in making each of her students a "winner." Mrs. Clark emphasizes wellness and a desire for a lifetime of being active among her grades three through five students.

The third of the recognitions noted the lifesaving efforts of two Fallston High School students - senior Alyssa D. Kauffman and junior Amanda L. Beck - who came to the aid of their bus driver, Karen A. Miller, when Mrs. Miller suffered a heart attack while driving her afternoon route on October 28, 2005. The students placed a 9-1-1 call, stayed on the line to direct emergency help to the site where Mrs. Miller had successfully steered the bus to a halt, and held calm the veteran driver while joining others on the bus in reacting in a mature fashion during the emergency.

The fourth award went to the Fallston High School Marching Cougar Band in recognition of its 2005 season which included a victory in the Chapter IX, Group 1 competition, resulting in an invitation to the Atlantic Coast Championships. The band is directed by Craig Harvey with student Drum Majors Kaitlin Rayman and Bethany Shurer.



By a unanimous vote, the Board approved the motion of Board Vice President Mark M. Wolkow and member Patrick L. Hess to endorse items on the Consent Agenda including the Monthly Report on Personnel; Approval of Changes and Appointment of Membership to Board-Sponsored Citizen Advisory Committees; Approval of Proposed Resolution on Retiring Employees; Approval of Proposed Contract for Purchasing "Everyday Mathematics Program K-5"; and Approval of Award for Trucks, Vans and 4x4 Utility Bodies with Snow Plows.

Acting on the motion of Mr. Wolkow and the second of Mr. Hess, the Board voted unanimously to endorse proposed amendments to the FY 07 Capital Improvement Program as outlined by Supervisor of Planning and Construction Kathleen E. Sanner. Mrs. Sanner told the Board that, since the original submission and approval of the proposed FY 07 Capital plan by the Board on September 12, 2005, additional information including the 2005 enrollments, the development of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plans, discussions with the County Executive, revised budget cost figures, and the work-session with the State have resulted in changes in scope and funding requests. Among the changes is the implementation of full-day kindergarten at eight additional schools next year, resulting in the need for 14 relocatable classroom buildings to house the programs next year. Also, two additional units will be needed for Edgewood High School to deal with elevated enrollments. The amended FY 07 request focuses first on replacing and/or modernizing existing facilities (rather than adding elementary capacity) at Joppatowne and Deerfield elementary schools. The recommendation also calls for the expansion of capacities at Bel Air and Edgewood high schools from 1423 and 1379, respectively, to 1600 as part of modernization/replacement projects at those schools. In both cases, Aberdeen High School's design will be used as a prototype. In addition, a proposal for Aberdeen High School to be expanded from its 1360 capacity to 1615 to absorb a continuing larger enrollment of students. Also, the budget for the replacement of the heating/ventilation/air conditioning at North Harford Middle School is being increased by five percent ($800,000) to $8,545,000 as a result of the experience at Edgewood Middle School last year. Also, the number of new and replacement buses has been increased, resulting in a request up from $840,000 to $1,120,000. Systemic re-roofing projects have been increased to $15 per square foot. And, the state has requested an amendment to reflect the separation of the state allocation for the waste water treatment system at North Harford Middle School from the high school project.



Edgewood High School Principal Joseph Schmitz, along with Supervisor of Business LaVerne Pitts (who acts as Director), Mercantile Bank representative Scott Elliott, and EHS Finance Academy teacher Carolyn Kustanbauter presented the Board with an update on the operation of the Finance Academy at the school. Mr. Schmitz said the program had begun in the 1998-99 school year and has enjoyed a very successful run with the support of businesses which offer students a summer internship among other supports. The principal said a new set of Academy Positioning Criteria from the National Academy Foundation will place considerable new expectations on students and the school if the Academy is to continue in good standing with the national organization. Ms. Kustanbauter functions as on-site director, but is provided only one extra duty period to orchestrate the demands of the program. Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas said she will meet with the national organization to determine the amount of latitude the local Academy will have in meeting the new expectations.

Assistant Superintendent for Operations Joseph P. Licata and Janet Costanzo, who administers the Use of Public School Facilities by Outside Groups for Mr. Licata's office, provided a report to the Board. The report shows that use of school facilities by non-school and in-school groups has increased substantially in recent years - from 30,500 for all of last year to 27,000 this year through November of this school year. He said use of the facilities by commercial/religious groups increased from 363 in 04-05 to 923 through November. He said there were four churches using school facilities last year and seven are now using the facilities with two more awaiting approval. Mr. Licata went over changes that are being contemplated to provide the school system with more control over the use of the buildings by outside groups. Some of the proposed changes are intended to allow the school system to recoup more of the actual costs involved with such use. The Board does not have to approve the procedural changes, but asked that it be given a report of those made and their impact.

Dr. Haas presented the Board with her Superintendent's Report, pointing out that school retirees should "do nothing" currently about the proposed changes in Medicare Part B. She said the Ben Carson Charter School is no longer affiliated with its former leader Denise Beck and the new representatives are due to receive consideration of a conditional approval for the fall of 2006 in January. She reminded the Board that the schools and school offices would be closing early the day prior to the Thanksgiving holidays, but that the switchboard would be manned until the close of regular business hours. Dr. Haas said the central office functions will be moved from their current locations over the winter holidays, with e-mail services going down from December 26th through January 3rd. She said the offices would be moved in stages during the winter holiday shutdown and that the central office functions would be up and running on the first day schools open after the holidays on January 3rd. Dr. Haas said the new U.S. Department of Education "growth model makes no sense" as it applies to the calculation of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

During the period of Board comments, Mr. Hess said he is excited about the proposal to move up the Bel Air and Edgewood high school modernization/replacement projects. He thanked Mr. Licata for his presentation on outside use of school facilities noting that the school system has to operate like a business regardless if the user is a charitable organization or a church. Board Member Lee Merrell said he recently attended the "Cougars of Character" luncheon at Fallston High School and was inspired by students who were being honored for their positive character and wholesome contributions to the school/community. He said that some schools are under the mistaken impression that their choirs cannot sing Christmas Carols as part of their winter concerts, noting that organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have intimidated public agencies into "going overboard the wrong way" on the church/state issue. Mr. Smilko said he had done a "lot of learning" in his week on the Board of Education and looked forward to more of the same. Student Representative to the Board William R. "Will" Garrett said he felt the Academy of Finance is "promising" and talked about the efforts of Mr. Schmitz in helping a family whose home had burned recently, noting how "tight-knit" the Edgewood community is. Mr. Wolkow said he had been asked recently to address the Harford Technical High School National Honor Society inductees and their parents and had been appointed to the Maryland Association of Boards of Education Charter School Committee, adding that he hoped to be able to help "find a way out of the tangled web" of charter legislation. Mr. Wolkow said he had enjoyed the recent legislative night sponsored by the Harford County Council of PTAs. He noted his participation with the Board's Audit Committee and said the group is looking for additional members. He also commended the Academy of Finance presentation and complimented the students who had recently had letters published in the "Baltimore Sun." Ms. Rich thanked Mr. Wolkow for agreeing to serve on the MABE Charter committee; and noted her recent attendance at a charter school authorities meeting during which Mrs. Sanner and Coordinator of Governmental Relations Cathy Carmello had presented. Ms. Rich said parent activist Lisa Breece has been appointed to attend the Maryland Parent Leadership Institute for a three week training session involving family involvement and the transition from elementary to middle school. She thanked those in attendance - especially the Board of Education members - for their diligence and wished all good fortune, noting "we have so much to be thankful for" during the Thanksgiving season. Ms. Rich noted that the recommendations of the Superintendent's Technical Advisory Committee on Balancing Enrollment would be received by the Board at a work session on November 28th which has been moved to the Aberdeen High School auditorium. She added that the Board would be receiving the proposed FY 07 school system operating budget on December 19th and a work session on the budget has been planned for January 3rd.

With no more business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 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