At a business meeting set for September 23rd, the Harford County Board of Education plans decisions on a proposed $80 million capital budget request for next year, and reversing a proposed ban on extracurricular team and club activities in private residences. The School Board also plans honors for the 2013 Nurse of the Year, and the winners of this year’s Custodial Awards.
The Monday business meeting will begin with a period of recognitions. First up, Board members will congratulate Havre de Grace Elementary School nurse Janet L. Mueller for being selected as the 2013 Harford County Public Schools Nurse of the Year.
The Board will also recognize the HCPS Food and Nutrition Office and all 34 county elementary schools for achieving Bronze Level status and a monetary award from the HealthierUS School Challenge, a voluntary national certification initiative for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. According to the published agenda, Harford County is one of only five school systems in the state with HealthierUS schools.
Last but not least, Board members will honor top scoring schools in this year’s Custodial Awards Program. Winners were chosen following the results of two inspections – one announced and one surprise inspection – by the Facilities Management Department. Inspectors awarded points based on surface cleanliness and evidence of dirt buildup (or lack thereof) over time. And the winners are: Patterson Mill Middle/High School, Fallston Middle School, and the following elementary schools:
Bel Air Elementary
Forest Lakes Elementary
Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary
Red Pump Elementary
William S. James Elementary
On the consent agenda, Board members will approve the August 2013 report on personnel who have left the school system, been placed on leave of absence or are newly employed. The report shows that a total of 118 people were hired in August to fill available vacancies in teaching and similar certificated positions, such as guidance counselors and speech language pathologists.
Under action items, Board members will vote on revisions to their policies on extra-curricular activities and clubs. The latest revisions roll back an earlier plan to ban activities such as meetings, practices and celebrations in private residences. The reversal is apparently in response to public input received since the ban was first proposed in late July. The newly revised policy for extra-curricular activities, which is mirrored in the newly revised policy for clubs, removes the proposed prohibition against activities in private residences or on private property, but leaves intact the following language restricting the actions of HCPS coaches and supervisors:
“HCPS coaches or supervisors may not plan, sanction or supervise a team or organization activity which occurs at a private residence or property, including the private residences or property of coaches or supervisors.”
Monday is also decision day for the capital budget request for the fiscal year 2015, which must be approved by the Board before it is forwarded to the state in October. Revised upward since the last Board meeting to include a $4.6 million HVAC project for the Center for Educational Opportunity, the total request now stands at $80.2 million. Of the total, $20 million is to be requested from the state, and $60 million is requested from the county. Major projects included in the proposed budget request are outlined in the published agenda as follows:
“This year’s program includes requests for funding required to complete the Fallston High School HVAC Project, to begin construction of the Youth’s Benefit Elementary School Replacement Project, local planning approval for projects at Joppatowne High School and Havre de Grace High School, and construction funding for six (6) systemic renovation projects. Also included in this year’s program are requests for thirty-four (34) locally funded initiatives to include, but not limited to, an open space classroom renovation at William S. James Elementary School, domestic water improvements at North Harford Middle School, Technology Infrastructure projects, Security Measures, ADA Improvements, CTE requirements, Energy Conservation Measures, and additional facility and education requirements that support the Board of Education’s Strategic Plan.”
In other fiscal matters on the agenda, the Board will receive a quarterly financial report from Jim Jewel, assistant superintendent of business services. The published report for the final quarter of the fiscal year 2013 shows an unaudited, unassigned fund balance of $5,374,477 as of June 30th, or 1.27% of the school system’s $424million operating budget. The fund balance is the accumulated excess of revenues over budgeted expenses at a particular point in time. The unassigned fund balance as of June 30, 2013 is the amount that would be available for emergencies in the (current) 2014 fiscal year, or for assignment to ongoing expenses in FY 2015. In August, the Board was criticized for its handling of the budget by Harford County Executive David Craig, who questioned the size of the school system’s unassigned fund balance.
The Board meeting will conclude as usual with the superintendent’s report, provided by Interim Superintendent Barbara Canavan.
The September 23rd Board meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. The public comment period is set for 7:05 p.m. Below is the published meeting agenda. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Board Open Session – 5:40 PM – Board Room
Board Closed Session – 5:45 PM – Board Executive Conference Room
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
*Times are approximate
Call to Order – Mrs. Nancy Reynolds, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Recognitions (Goal 2)
-2013 Nurse of the Year, Janet L. Mueller, Havre de Grace Elementary School
– HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC)
– Custodial Awards Program
7:05 PM Public Comment
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: September 9, 2013 (Goals 1 – 4)
3) Benefits Advisory Committee Report (Goal 3)
7:40 PM B. Decisions on HCPS Board Policies: Patrick P. Spicer, Esq., (Goal 4)
– Clubs (06-0010-000)
– Curricular and Extracurricular Activities (06-0007-000)
8:00 PM C. Decision on FY2015 Capital Improvement Program, Proposed Budget Requests, FY2015 CIP Worksheets, Mr. Cornell S. Brown (Goal 4)
8:20 PM D. Presentation of Quarterly Financial Report for the Period Ending June 2013, Mr. James M. Jewell (Goal 4)
8:35 PM E. Superintendent’s Report
8:45 PM Future Meetings Review