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HCPS Board Meeting Highlights

Monday, January 22, 2006

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

The following actions and discussions took place at the Board of Education of Harford County meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2007, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Harford County Public Schools Administration Building, 102 South Hickory Avenue, Bel Air.


The Board officially inducted the 118th member of the Harford County Public School Educator Hall of Fame, inducting 33-year Bel Air High School math teacher Richard M. Perrine into the 'Hall' which recognizes those former HCPS educators who made significant contributions to the success of students and colleagues over a period of at least 20 years. Mr. Perrine taught at Bel Air High from 1968 through his retirement in 2001, acting as Department Chair for 17 of those years while bringing his child-centered style to the classroom.

The Board recognized the three Harford County Public School teachers who achieved National Board of Teacher Certification status during the 2006 cycle. The intense, personal staff development program requires teachers to complete a year-long process of developing four portfolios (including two with video tape segments) as well as successfully completing a three-hour, six-part assessment. Achieving the status was Terri Broemm, Health Occupations teacher at Harford Technical High School, Keith Endsley, Science teacher at Fallston High School, and Rebecca Spencer, Teacher Mentor at Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School.

The Board noted the achievement of 20 HCPS elementary and middle schools as having been recognized in the Maryland State Department of Education School Performance program. Students at the schools turned in performances on the 2006 Maryland School Assessments resulting in the school achieving either overall success or significant sub-group improvement. In addition, one of the schools, Havre de Grace Elementary, received $2,745.82 in a monetary award as a result of having been a Title 1 school recognized in the program. Other schools recognized for overall achievement were Bel Air Elementary, Bel Air Middle, Darlington Elementary, Emmorton Elementary, Fallston Middle, Forest Hill Elementary, Forest Lakes Elementary, Fountain Green Elementary, Hickory Elementary, Homestead/Wakefield Elementary, Jarrettsville Elementary, Norrisville Elementary, Prospect Mill Elementary, Ring Factory Elementary, Southampton Middle, and Youth's Benefit Elementary schools. Schools recognized for subgroup improvement included Abingdon Elementary, Bel Air Middle, Darlington Elementary, Emmorton Elementary, Havre de Grace Elementary, Hickory Elementary, Joppatowne Elementary, North Harford Middle, Ring Factory Elementary, and Youth's Benefit Elementary schools.

The Board recognized the State championship won by the Fallston High School Dance team, a club associated with the school, during competition at the First Mariner Arena in Baltimore on January 7th. The Fallston Dance team is coached by Carrie Cummings and Jennifer Richardson. The team is composed of senior captains Sarah Kosmer, Jill Streett, and Briana Rogalski; and other seniors Emily Lyon, Allison Eder, Jody Miller, and Jeanette Garcia; and juniors Jessa Raitzyk, Lauren Carnesi, Leann Keller, Anna Neunaber, Rachael Taylorson, Jennifer Gillis, and Elizabeth VanPelt. The team is managed by Brian Kealy.


Mr. Wolkow discussed a Workflow chart that was developed to outline the work of the Board during the 2006-07 school year. He said the three focus areas are the Strategic Plan, Communications, and the Budget. In particular, Mr. Wolkow discussed aspects of the communication work, showing how the Board under his leadership has placed a special interest in that area.



Acting on the motion of Board Vice President Thomas L. Fidler, Jr. and the second of Board Past President R. Robin Rich, the Board unanimously approved items listed on the Consent Agenda including the Monthly Report on Personnel; Contract Package 2a - Utility Relocation, Bel Air High School Replacement School, Bid Tab Sheet; placement of the Biomedical Sciences Career Pathway program at Bel Air High School; and Proposed Resolutions on Career and Technical Education Month and National School Counselor Week.


Acting on the motion of Board Member John L. Smilko and the second of Board Member Lee Merrell, the Board voted unanimously to approve Educational Specifications for the Joppatowne High School. The project will consist of the gymnasium addition and interior modifications to address issues generated by program and American Disabilities Act requirements. The Educational Specifications will be forwarded to the Maryland State Department of Education. The anticipated schedule for the project calls for bidding during the summer of 2007 with completion in August 2008.

Acting on the motion of Mr. Fidler, the Board voted unanimously to deny the application of Imagine Harford, LLC to create a charter school in Harford County. The application requested the proposed charter school open for the 2007-08 school year, emphasizing a holistic approach to educating students. Staff reported the applicant failed to identify a suitable facility, requested waivers too extensive and intrusive to the ability of the Board/Superintendent to exercise an appropriate degree of supervision; issues with the relationship of Imagine Nonprofit, Inc. with the applicant; problems with the management/governing board of the applicant; difficulties with the proposed budget of the group; and the failure of the organization to provide sufficient specificity in its curriculum; as well as issues with the non-profit status of the applicant. Board Counsel Patrick Spicer told the Board Imagine operates two charter schools in the state (one each in Baltimore City and Prince George's County). Mr. Smilko asked how it could be that those two entities had approved the application and the applicant had "failed so miserably" to satisfy the Harford requirements. Mr. Fidler told a representative of the group that the Imagine "will have the support" of the Harford Board of Education if it is able to clear up the issues cited with its application. He urged the group not to "give up," citing issues with the way the Maryland Charter law is written.

Acting on the motion of Ms. Rich and the second of Board Member Patrick L. Hess, the Board voted unanimously to rescind its policies recognizing and designating exclusive bargaining representatives. Mr. Spicer told the Board the move was a "housekeeping" measure in that the Board had previously recognized and designated the employee organizations selected as exclusive bargaining representatives by the four Board employee units existing prior to November, 2005; and that the Board had recognized AHCATSP/MSTA, the fifth bargaining unit, in a previous action. Mr. Spicer said the two actions made the existing Board policy superfluous.

Acting on the motion of Mr. Fidler and seconded by Ms. Rich, the Board voted unanimously to approve the actions the Board had taken at its public Work Session held prior to the Business meeting in amending the Superintendent's Budget as presented. The changes included the addition of $500,000 for student interventions and $249,000 to pay for student fees in taking Advanced Placement tests; as well as the Board's elimination of 25 items on the Priority List and rearrangement of others. Acting on the motion of Mr. Fidler and the seconds of Mr. Merrell and Mr. Hess, the Board voted to approve the proposed 2007-08 HCPS operating budget. Ms. Rich noted that the elimination of 25 items on the priority list and the reduction of others showed the Board "exercised some fiscal responsibility." The Board approved budget proposal has the 2007-08 proposal at $416,167,410 in Unrestricted Funds (General Fund). In addition, the action reflects a request for approval of $23,766,465 in Restricted (grant) Funds; $13,956,726 in the self-sufficient Food Service Budget; and $139,751,333 in the Capital budget request. The budget will now go to the County Executive for action followed by a review of the County Council which is required by law to pass a budget during June.


Supervisor of Planning and Construction Kathleen E. Sanner and Grimm and Parker partner Carole Mark presented the Board with the Feasibility Study of the Edgewood High/Deerfield Elementary Campus Master Plan, reflecting proposed plans for the modernization/replacement of those two buildings. Mrs. Sanner and Mrs. Mark recommended the Board approve the replacement of the buildings. They said they would be taking the various proposals for the new buildings on the campus to a community meeting in Edgewood scheduled for January 29th. Mrs. Sanner said the plans would be brought back to the Board at its February 12th meeting for action. Mrs. Sanner said the preferred plan at this juncture would be for a new essentially rectangular, multi-story Edgewood High School to be built on the current football stadium with the area fronting on Willoughby Beach Road to be converted into green space to be used as practice/activity fields. Competitive fields, including the rebuilt stadium, would be located to the rear of the building. Mr. Fidler said he disagreed with the position that there is not enough room on the campus to provide for an "Aberdeen/Bel Air High prototype" of a new building. He recommended the planners take another look at the proposal to find a way to offer the prototype as a way to save time and money in the project. Mrs. Sanner and Mrs. Mark presented several options to use portions of the existing Deerfield Elementary School building to be renovated while adding more space to the building, but added the better course would be to build a new building to the rear of the existing one. In the cases of both Edgewood High and Deerfield Elementary, students would remain in their classes at the existing building while the new construction was taking place. Current plans (pending funding) are for the new buildings to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.


Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas reported to the Board on the work of the Maryland Partnership for Teaching and Learning, PreK-16, noting that Maryland is a "teacher import" state, preparing only 2,500 teacher candidates per year and needing at least three times that many. She said Harford County is fortunate that its turnover rate is exceptionally low compared to other school systems in the state. Dr. Haas reported on "A Test of Leadership," a study commissioned on higher education by the state. She said she has set up a time to meet with Harford Community College President Dr. James LaCalle to work collaboratively on dual enrollment opportunities for Harford County Public School students. She said that many students graduate with the belief they have no chance to go to college. Dr. Haas said a high school diploma must come to mean that a student is ready for college or work. She talked about a "seamless integration" of college and high school. Dr. Haas discussed the "expectations gap" where students are not prepared for college work. She mentioned two HCPS high schools that are taking part in a "transition math" program, but added early results don't reflect any marked improvement in those students' performance on HCC math placement exams. Dr. Haas mentioned a "summit" between HCC and HCPS staff to look into the issues. "Students must have clear pathways" to college, she said.

Dr. Haas said she and Governmental Relations Coordinator Kathy Carmello had attended several legislative hearings in the Annapolis General Assembly. She mentioned SB 54, calling for a vaccine for prevention of cervical cancer to be given to female students in sixth grade. She said she would be attending a briefing on options in teacher compensation with an emphasis on providing incentives on teachers to work in challenging schools. She said there is a briefing the following week on BRAC in the House Economic Matters joint hearing room. Dr. Haas said there has been a low start in the submission of legislation, likely because of the new membership.


Mr. Wolkow said he had attended a Deerfield Elementary PTA meeting recently where a "thumbs up" had been given to the plan to replace rather than renovate the school. He said he has been involved in a "Tough choices for tough times" initiative. He noted a Montgomery County "white paper" on High School Assessments, pointing out that the Class of 2009 must pass the four assessments in order to receive a Maryland diploma, adding that there is "still a little time" to address the situation before it becomes a barrier to students' successfully graduating high school. Mr. Wolkow thanked the Har-Co Maryland Federal Credit Union for its continuing sponsorship of the televising of Harford County Board of Education meetings, pointing out the business has been picking up the tab since the beginning of the telecasts in July. He said the Board has paid nothing for the service and that the Board is "very appreciative" of Har-Co's help with the initiative.


With no further business to consider, the Board voted to adjourn at 9:30 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