On the meeting agenda for May 13th, the Harford County Board of Education is planning votes on expanding advertising opportunities in schools and awarding high school credit for foreign language courses completed in middle school. Board members will also hear a financial report including a projected $4.4 million unassigned fund balance for the 2013 fiscal year.
In the first of two scheduled votes, Superintendent Robert Tomback will recommend Board approval of a plan to award high school credit for World Language courses successfully completed by students in middle school. According to the proposal, beginning in the 2013-14 school year, the credit earned would count as an elective toward high school graduation requirements. However, the credit would not satisfy World Language graduation requirements, nor would course grades be included in high school GPA or class rank computations. Tomback’s published rationale is as follows: “Awarding credit for World Language in middle school will increase students’ opportunity to take higher level and AP World Language courses in high school.”
Also on the agenda, ongoing revisions to the Board Policy Manual will continue with Board action requested on a revised policy to expand advertising opportunities in schools.
Under existing policy, advertising is generally prohibited with exceptions made for ads that defray the cost of school-sponsored publications, or time-limited ads related to a single event, such as an award ceremony or extra-curricular presentation. Such ads may recognize a person or an entity for financial or in-kind contributions to HCPS.
The revised policy recommended by Superintendent Tomback also allows ads that defray the construction cost of any public school structure, or the cost of any school function or school activity. At the direction of the Board, the proposed policy recommended by Tomback in February has been further revised to generally prohibit advertising on school buses, and to require that all written advertising contracts be subject to prior approval by the school system’s general counsel. Written contracts must also include a “termination for convenience” provision, designed to give the school system flexibility in established agreements with advertisers. Additional provisions in the revised policy proposal are linked to in the agenda below.
With Board action planned for a future meeting, the following policies will be recommended for deletion on the grounds that they are administrative and/or operational in nature and therefore properly belong under the authority of the superintendent rather than as a function of Board policy: Absence of Principal; Emergency Procedures of Public Schools; and Management of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders. The policy on Student Control and Classroom Management, which requires principals to run their schools in a manner that is conducive to learning, is recommended for deletion because the requirement is inherent in the principal position.
On the consent agenda, Gregory Packaging, Inc. will get a contract award to furnish and deliver juice products to the school system at an “estimated annual value of $136,209” for one year, with a renewal option for up to four additional one-year terms, according to the published agenda item. Gregory Packaging is reported to be the lowest responsive and responsible bidder on the contract.
Also on the consent agenda, an HVAC replacement for the 1989 classroom addition at Prospect Mill Elementary School is planned via a $439,700 contract award to Trane U.S. Inc. of Hunt Valley. The contracting vehicle for this project was established by a national governmental purchasing cooperative, according to the published agenda. Funding for the turnkey project is to come from the fiscal year 2013 capital budget.
Chief of business services Jim Jewell will present a third quarter financial report for the 2013 fiscal year. Included in the published report is a discussion of the fund balance, which is the surplus from prior years when revenues exceeded expenditures. Typically used for emergencies or to pay for one-time expenditures, a portion of the accumulated fund balance has been assigned in recent years to help fund ongoing school system operations. According to the published report, the remaining unassigned fund balance projected for year-end FY2013 is $4,445,258, or 1.03% of the school system’s unrestricted operating budget.
As usual, the meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Tomback.
The May 13 meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
The published meeting agenda appears below. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Board Closed Session – 6:00 PM – Board Executive Conference Room
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
*Times are approximate
Call to Order – Mr. Francis F. Grambo, III, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Public Comment
6:50 PM Introductions
7:00 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:15 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Affirmation of Monthly Contracts (Goal 4)
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: April 22, 2013 (Goals 1 – 4)
7:20 PM B. Approval of Earning High School Credit for World Language Courses Taken in Middle School, Mr. William A. Lawrence (Goal 2)
7:40 PM C. Presentation on HCPS Board Policies, Patrick P. Spicer, Esq. (Goals 2 & 4)
8:00 PM D. Presentation of Quarterly Financial Report for the Period Ending March 31, 2013, Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 4)
8:15 PM E. Superintendent’s Report
8:25 PM Future Meetings Review