The Harford County Board of Education will hold its first meeting since the sudden death of Board President Leonard D. Wheeler in earlier this month, with a moment of silence and an opportunity for public remarks planned in his memory on Monday, September 24, 2012. Following a brief recess, the board business meeting will resume with a weighty decision planned on the capital budget request for next year. Board Vice-President Rick Grambo will preside over the meeting as interim president.
School board members are scheduled to vote on a $59.8 million capital budget request for the fiscal year 2014. Approximately $33 million of the total amount would be requested from Harford County government, with the remaining $26.8 million requested from the state.
Sure to draw attention are two line items in the budget request, one to begin funding construction on a new school building for Youth’s Benefit Elementary School in Fallston and another to further plans for a new school building for Havre de Grace High. Advocates for each school have attended past school board meetings, rallying for their respective projects.
Both the Havre de Grace and Youth’s Benefit projects were recently added to the capital budget by Superintendent Robert Tomback, who recommended the move despite an earlier school board decision to put all major capital projects on hold pending the outcome of a countywide analysis of school facilities. A replacement school for Youth’s Benefit was among the priorities put on hold. Havre de Grace High school was not originally a school board priority, but the project has powerful support from Harford County Executive David Craig who provided some planning funds in an earlier budget. Prior to the vote, school board members may make amendments to the capital budget recommended by Tomback.
School board members will hear two presentations Monday evening. Jean Mantegna, assistant superintendent for human resources, will make a presentation on recruitment and retention in HCPS.
Bill Lawrence, associate superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment, will provide a presentation from the World Languages Task Force. For French, German and Spanish, the task force will recommend standardizing the offerings in middle and high schools to include at least five levels leading to Advanced Placement courses. The task force will also recommend level one and level two courses, similar to those offered in high school, to replace the current offerings in middle school, and an expansion of languages into elementary school. A pilot program for Chinese language will be recommended in at least one feeder system from elementary through high school. Other recommendations include the promotion of teacher exchanges with a sister city in China, and the expansion of Chinese and other less commonly taught languages to other high schools and to summer and/or after school programs in elementary school.
On the consent agenda, school board members will be asked to approve a request by a residential developer with property located near C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air. North Fountain Glen Road LLC, in connection with the development of the Sandy Ridge subdivision, is requesting the right to install storm drains and pipes to connect to the storm water management system located at the high school. The developer is also requesting the right to install plantings and off-site reforestation at the school to comply with requirements of the Harford County Code. In exchange for the necessary easements, the developer will pay the cost of landscaping improvements to school property.
Also on the consent agenda, Superintendent Tomback will recommend board approval of a contract for benefit enrollment services to Benefit Focus, at a fee of $1.50 per member per month, or approximately $149,000 per year. The move is a cost-neutral shift from the current provider, according to the superintendent’s recommendation.
As always, the meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Tomback.
The September 24th school board meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is scheduled for 6:55 p.m.
Below is the published meeting agenda. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
*Times are approximate
6:30 PM Call to Order – Mr. Francis F. Grambo, III, Interim President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Moment of Silence in Memory of Dr. Leonard D. Wheeler
October 15, 1938 – September 11, 2012
At this time, anyone who would like to bring remarks in memory of Dr. Leonard D. Wheeler are invited to do.
6:50 PM Recess
6:55 PM Public Comment
7:10 PM Introductions
7:20 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:35 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Monthly Report on Personnel (Goal 3)
2) Minutes of Previous Meeting: September 10, 2012 (Goals 1 – 4)
4) Award of Contract: Benefit Enrollment Provider (Goal 3)
7:40 PM B. Decision on FY14 Capital Improvement Program, Mr. Cornell S. Brown (Goal 3)
– Board Report,
8:00 PM C. Presentation on Recruitment and Retention Ms. Jean A. Mantegna (Goal 3)
8:20 PM D. Presentation on World Languages Task Force, Mr. William A. Lawrence (Goal 1)
8:40 PM E. Superintendent’s Report
8:50 PM Future Meetings Review