The Harford County Board of Education’s meeting agenda for June 24 includes proposed changes to the policy on cell phones and other portable communication devices, final approval of the capital budget for next year, and a presentation on new capital projects proposed for the fiscal year 2015. The busy agenda for the June 24 meeting, which is also the last for departing Superintendent Robert Tomback, includes an agreement on reduced college tuition rates for high school students and Hall of Fame Honors for retired Ring Factory Elementary School teacher Donna Zavacky.
First on the agenda is a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to be signed with Harford Community College (HCC), implementing a reduced tuition schedule for students who take courses at the college while they are still in high school. Tuition discounts for so-called “dually enrolled” students are required under sweeping legislation passed by the 2013 Maryland General Assembly to promote college and career readiness.
In accordance with the law, the cost differential between full tuition and the discounted rates will be absorbed by HCPS and HCC in accordance with established guidelines. The reduced rates paid by students will be $62 per credit hour for the first four courses, and $82.70 per credit hour for courses in excess of four. Dually enrolled students receiving free and reduced meals will not be charged tuition at HCC, with costs to be absorbed largely by HCPS. Full tuition rates at HCC for the fall semester are set at $92 per credit hour. The MOU is to be effective immediately upon signing by Superintendent Tomback and HCC President Dennis Golladay.
In other Board business, proposed changes to the policy on portable communication devices (PCDs) will be presented, with action to be taken at a future meeting.
Affecting devices such as cell phones, lap tops and tablets, the proposed changes newly allow elementary and middle school students to use and store the devices at school and on buses, within prescribed limits. In addition, sequential sanctions currently in place for student violation of the PCD policy are removed from the revised policy, in favor of written procedures to be developed at a later date.
The new rules proposed for younger students mirror those currently in place for high schoolers. Specifically, middle and elementary school students would be allowed to possess PCDs on school grounds during the regular school day, provided they are turned off and kept in the student lockers in middle school, and backpacks or cubbies in elementary school. Use of the devices would also be allowed before and after the regular school day.
On buses, the revised PCD policy allows students in any grade to use the devices, except for conversation, calls, photographing, videoing, or the use of audio without ear buds. The revised policy also includes provisions against use of PCDs for harassment or invasion of privacy.
A new policy entitled “Procurement of Green Product Cleaning Supplies” will also be proposed Monday for action at a later date. The policy is in response to 2012 state legislation mandating that school systems make best efforts to buy environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.
Action items on the June 24 agenda include final approval of the capital, restricted, and food service budgets as amended to align with funding provided for next year.
The proposed capital budget for the fiscal year 2014 has been decreased from a requested $62.1 million to $32.4 million to reflect the funding levels approved by state and local government. Among the approximately $30 million in unfunded projects are: $13.6 million for renovations at Joppatowne High School; $3.7 million toward a building replacement for Havre de Grace High, and $7.9 million requested for technology infrastructure.
The revised capital budget also reflects funding for projects that were not initially requested by the Board, but were nonetheless funded by state and/or county government. They include $1.7 million funded by state and local authorities for school security measures, and local funding for the following initiatives: $1.6 million for upgrades to the Aberdeen High School stadium and weight room; $250,000 for electrical upgrades to support technology at Homestead Wakefield Elementary School, and $250,000 for weight room repairs at Joppatowne High. Funds provided by local government for the above projects cannot be redirected by the Board to fund other projects without the approval of the Harford County Council.
Other action items on the Monday agenda include Board approval of the 2013 Educational Facilities Master Plan, which is an eleven-year timeline of potential capital projects extending to the fiscal year 2024. Adjusted to reflect available funding for next year, the plan also lists many projects as being “on hold” pending the outcome of a planned county survey of facilities that is expected to identify capital improvement needs.
In a related agenda item, a presentation on the proposed fiscal year 2015 capital budget request is also planned. Among the new projects included in the $75 million request are a roof replacement for Churchville Elementary School; HVAC improvement projects for Dublin, Prospect Mill, Darlington and Ring Factory elementary schools, and renovations to correct open classrooms at William S. James Elementary, in order “to meet educational adequacy.” In addition, a total of $18 million is requested from state and local government to begin construction of the planned replacement building for Youth’s Benefit Elementary School.
No funding is requested for the construction of Havre de Grace High School in fiscal year 2015 budget, as the Board has yet to approve a design. The renovation project for Joppatowne High is also on hold, due to funding constraints, although local planning approval for both projects is to be requested from the state.
In recognition of 43 years of exemplary service, elementary school teacher Donna Zavacky will be inducted into the HCPS Educator Hall of Fame. A former Harford County Teacher of the Year, Zavacky is also a three-time winner of the Teacher of the Year award from the Harford County Chapter of C.H.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders).
On an unusually full consent agenda, Board members will accept the monthly report on personnel who have left the school system, been placed on leaves of absence, or are newly employed. Notably, no teachers left the system or announced retirements during the monthly reporting period, which ended on May 31.
Also on the consent agenda, the Board will approve a replacement contract for its purchasing card agreement with US Bank. The new contract will provide for better rebates as part of the MD P-Card Consortium contract. The no-cost move is estimated by school officials to double rebates received by HCPS to $260,000 in fiscal year 2014. The contract has a term of five years, with options for a five year renewal.
Other consent agenda actions are as follows:
Contracts for nursing services provided to medically fragile students will be awarded to three vendors, following an evaluation of seventeen proposals received. Contract awards totaling approximately $190,000 per year will go to: Maxim Healthcare Services of Towson, Global Medical & Health Services, LLC of Pikesville, and Chesapeake Medical Staffing of Timonium. The one-year contracts include a renewal option.
Forest Lakes Elementary School will get a new HVAC system, under a $207,000 contract to be awarded to Trane U.S., Inc. of Hunt Valley. The new system will replace one that is operating at half capacity and in need of frequent repairs, according to a report by school officials. The contracting vehicle for this project is a national governmental purchasing cooperative, with funding to come from the school system’s fiscal year 2013 budget for major HVAC repairs.
Bell Techlogix, of Richmond, VA, will get a $318,940.80 contract for the annual license renewal of Microsoft products, via the school system’s participation in the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC). School officials estimate that the cost of the software licenses without the MEEC agreement would otherwise be $404,783.14 for the contract year.
FPC Holdings, Inc. of Elkridge will get a $162,658.27 contract to provide food service supplies and paper goods to schools throughout the school year. The company was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder on the one-year contract, which also includes a renewal option.
A deteriorating stream crossing on the campus of Fallston Middle School will be completely restored, under a $396,206 contract to be awarded to Angler Environmental of Odenton. School officials say the restoration is necessary in order to improve safety and the environment.
Angler Environmental is also to receive a $149,155.41 contract for the inspection and maintenance of 40 storm water management facilities as needed to ensure compliance with state and local regulations.
The contracting vehicle for both of the above projects this is Baltimore County Government’s OnCall Design-Build Environmental Restoration contract #B-437.
As usual, the meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Tomback. The report will be the last from Tomback, who announced in February that he would not seek a second term.
Below is the published meeting agenda for June 24. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Board Open Session – 5:55 PM – Board Room
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
6:50 PM Recognition: HCPS Educator Hall of Fame Ms. Donna M. Zavacky (Goal 2)
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 Personnel Report (Goal 3)
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: June 10, 2013
3) Contract Award: Maryland P-Card Consortium (Goal 4)
4) Contract Award: Nursing Services (Goal 4)
6) Contract Award: Microsoft Campus License Renewal (Goal 1)
7:40 PM B. Decision on Amended Capital, Restricted & Food Services Budgets Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 2)
7:55 PM C. Decision on 2013 Educational Facilities Master Plan, Mr. Cornell S. Brown, Jr. (Goal 4)
8:00 PM D. Presentation of FY 2015 Capital Improvements Program, Mr. Cornell S. Brown, Jr. (Goal 4)
8:15 PM E. Presentation of HCPS Board Policies
– Procurement of Green Product Cleaning Supplies Mr. Jeff LaPorta (Goals 1 & 4)
– Portable Communication Devices, Ms. M. Angela Morton, Mr. Joseph A. Schmitz(Goals 1 & 4)
8:35 PM F. Superintendent’s Report
8:45 PM Future Meetings Review