The Harford County Board of Education will hold a business meeting on October 8th that will include Hall of Fame honors for Patricia Skebeck and recommendations from the school board’s citizen advisory committees.
For her 30 years of service in Harford County Public Schools, former teacher and administrator Patricia L. Skebeck will be inducted into the Educator Hall of Fame. Prior to her retirement in 2009, Ms. Skebeck also served as interim superintendent following the unexpected death of Superintendent Jacqueline Haas.
Beverly Hagner, Magnolia Middle School’s food services manager, will also be recognized at the October 8th meeting. Ms. Hagner is the state winner of the School Nutrition Association’s 2012 Louise Sublette Award for “creating excitement and interest in the school’s nutrition program, building sales and improving employee morale”, according to the meeting agenda.
On the consent agenda, negotiating teams will be approved to represent the school board in labor negotiations for the 2013-14 school year.
Also on the consent agenda, board members will approve a $292,843 contract award to educational publisher NCS Pearson of Chandler, AZ. The contract will include Web-based upgrades to “SuccessMaker Math”, a math intervention program currently serving 1,200 students in HCPS. Pricing was determined by the publisher because the materials involved are copyrighted. The purchase will be funded by federal Title I and special education grants.
The school board’s citizen advisory committees will present their respective annual reports on career and technology education; family life education; gifted and talented education; special education, and school safety and security.
Career and Technology Education (Formerly Vocational – Technical Education)
According to the committee report, a pre-engineering program is in the planning stages for North Harford Middle School, in addition to programs already funded at Havre de Grace, Southampton and Edgewood middle schools. At the high school level, pre-engineering programs will start this year at Aberdeen and C. Milton Wright. A biomedical sciences program is planned for Havre de Grace High School in the fall of 2013. The location of future magnet and signature programs in HCPS is being reviewed, and efforts are underway to increase opportunities for mentoring and internships.
Family Life and Human Development:
Citing the declining age of puberty, the committee recommends expanding family life and human development education by including students in elementary school below grade five, where such instruction currently begins. In accordance with the state curriculum on health education, the committee also recommends that health instruction be provided in each year of middle school, which would require additional staffing of health instructors. At three middle schools, science teachers are currently delivering program content, according to the report.
Gifted and Talented Education:
Reporting on the results of public forums held last spring, the committee found that children were believed to be underserved by the current program and program communication was poor. Policies and services were also inconsistent within the school system, according to input gathered by the committee. Equitable services and improved communication are recommended for gifted education in elementary, middle and high school, with additional training recommended for middle school classroom teachers.
Acting in accordance with the federal law on special education, the committee serves as an advisory council to parents of disabled students and to the school board. In support of the former, a series of community presentations were offered by the committee last school year on topics such as anxiety and behavior, transitions, and preparing for special education meetings with school staff. The committee recommends improved communication with parents via HCPS Web pages and plans presentations this year on topics including the use of seclusion, exclusion and restraints.
Safety and Security:
Last year, the school board asked the committee to: review the use of bus cameras that monitor student behavior and safety; review the effectiveness of the system for managing school visitors; and to evaluate the implementation of remote access controlled school doors. All three initiatives are effective and should continue, according to the committee report. Piloting so-called “red light” bus cameras is also recommended, pending the approval of local enabling legislation. Such external bus cameras help law enforcement ticket motorists who illegally pass school buses when the buses’ stop arms are activated, according to the committee report. For this school year, the committee seeks board approval to review the critical incident plans in place at individual schools and to review the effectiveness of metal detectors.
Links to the full reports from each citizen advisory committee can be found in the agenda published below.
Rounding out the school board’s October 8th agenda, Jean Mantegna, assistant superintendent for Human Resources, will make a presentation on employee recruitment and retention.
As always, the meeting will conclude with a report from Harford Schools Superintendent Robert Tomback.
The October 8th meeting of the Harford County Board of Education 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, October 8, 2012
Board Closed Session – 6:00 PM – Board Executive Conference Room
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 Recognitions:
6:55 PM Public Comment
7:05 PM Introductions
7:10 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:25 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Minutes of Previous Meeting: September 24, 2012 (Goal 1-4)
2) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 4)
7:30 PM B. Annual Reporting from Citizen Advisory Committees (Goals 1,2 & 4)
Career and Technology, Family Life Education, Gifted and Talented, Special Education, Safety and Security (Goals 1,2 & 4)
8:30 PM C. Recruitment and Retention, Ms. Jean A. Mantegna (Goal 2)
8:50 PM D. Superintendent’s Report
9:00 PM Future Meetings Review