The Harford County Board of Education plans a business meeting on April 14th to include recognition for Teacher of the Year finalists, a teachers’ union presentation on wage disparities, and approval of revised policies for extra-curricular activities and clubs.
First on the agenda, the Board plans to recognize Lawrence M. Jehnert, third grade teacher at Edgewood Elementary, who was recently named HCPS Teacher of the Year for 2014-15. The Board will also recognize the other finalists: Jeanne M. Donlick, mathematics teacher at Harford Technical High School; Nicole L. Ivey, social studies teacher at Edgewood High School; Alisa J. Janiski, fourth grade teacher at Prospect Mill Elementary School; and S. Craig Llewellyn, art teacher at Edgewood High School.
Mr. Jehnert will represent HCPS in the Maryland Teacher of the Year competition, with a winner to be announced in October 2014.
Next on the agenda, Ryan Burbey, president of the Harford County Education Association, the bargaining union representing teachers, will make a presentation showing disparities in teacher salaries between Harford and Allegany counties. The presentation is another in a recent series from Mr. Burbey comparing teacher salaries in HCPS with other Maryland school systems.
According to the published presentation, HCPS teachers with a bachelor’s degree could make between $762 and $5,362 more in Allegany County Public Schools, depending on their years of employment. Other salary variations are shown depending on both longevity and education levels attained. The presentation also shows HCPS teacher salaries at various levels ranking between 12th and 24th (last) in the state. The full presentation appears in a link on the agenda published below.
On the consent agenda, the Board is set to approve the next areas of study for its five citizen advisory committees. The committees will report their findings to the Board in October for consideration during development of the annual budget request. For each committee, Superintendent Barbara Canavan’s published recommendations are as follows:
“1. Career and Technology Education – Evaluate the adequacy of the Career and Technology Education programs being offered in all high schools in terms of meeting both student and workforce needs, particularly those related to internship/mentoring opportunities and investigate non-traditional funding sources to support CTE programs.
2. Family Life Education – Evaluate the Family Life and Human Development Education program in Grades K-12 in terms of compliance with the State Standards for Comprehensive Health Education and investigate possible delivery models for realigned family life education content in grades four and five.
3. Gifted Education – Research and propose cost-effective gifted and talented identification and service model delivery options for students in grades 6-12 for a continuum of services.
4. Safety and Security – The Committee respectfully requests to pursue the following areas of study during the 2013-2014 school year:
a.) Continue to review individual school critical incident plans
b.) Conduct on-site school inspections to review if schools are in compliance with various safety initiatives. This would include, but not be limited to, the use of the Visitor Management System (VMS) and the locking of doors.
c.) Investigate the benefits/effectiveness of the AAA Mid-Atlantic Safety Patrol Program in our elementary schools.
5. Special Education – To explore the continuum of programs for students with disabilities in HCPS and make suggestions for enhancements, as appropriate.”
Also on the consent agenda, the Board is set to approve a $120,697.14 contract award to Angler Environmental of Odenton, MD, for repair of the storm water management system at Red Pump Elementary School, which is currently in violation of county regulations. According to the supporting documentation, the contract is “piggybacking” on a contract established by Baltimore County Government Contract #B-437. Funding is to come from the fiscal year 2011 Capital Projects Account.
Lastly on the consent agenda, the Board plans to approve a $205,176.03 contract award to Playground Specialists, Inc. of Emmitsburg, MD, for the purchase of an adaptive playground at John Archer School, which serves students with special needs. According to the supporting documentation, the school does not have an accessible playground that meets the needs of its students who range in age from 3-21 years old. The equipment cost was established through piggybacking a publicly solicited Frederick County Public Schools Playground contract RFP #09-MISC-10. Funding sources are as follows: Harford County Parks and Recreation, $50,000, John Archer School PTA, $3,000, various community sources $7,000 and Harford County Public Schools, $145,176.03.
Pending Board approval, installation is expected to begin on or around June 1, 2014.
Under action items, the Board plans a decision Monday to update its policies and procedures on extra-curricular activities and clubs. The planned action comes after more than a year of proposed revisions, followed by feedback from Board members and the public, followed by further reviews.
An original effort to ban all team activities, including celebrations, in a team member’s private home was revised in response to feedback so that the current proposal only bars HCPS coaches or supervisors from planning, sanctioning or supervising team activities that may take place in a private home.
The latest proposal also allows elementary and middle school students to occasionally participate in marching band activities otherwise allowed only for high school students.
In addition to the above policy revisions, revised procedures outlining safety precautions for students in extra-curricular activities and clubs are also recommended for Board approval. Included in the procedures, which are under the purview of Superintendent Barbara Canavan, is a requirement that information regarding concussions be given to students in athletic activities in accordance with Section 7 – 433 of the Education Article of the Maryland Code. The procedures also allow for the limited use of power tools by students, and set conditions allowing volunteers to oversee extra-curricular and club activities.
Participants in the Destination Imagination program had objected to procedures implemented earlier this school year barring parent volunteers from supervising extra-curricular activities and prohibiting students from using power tools. They also sought clarification on the definition of banned power tools.
Under the revised safety procedures, power tools are defined and exceptions to the ban are specified. For example, hot glue guns are allowed for students from elementary through high school. Middle school students may also use cordless screw drivers; high school students may also use cordless screw drivers and cordless drills. Students can use other power tools under the supervision of a current HCPS technology teacher if the teacher has been trained on their use and uses them regularly in class. Students in such cases must also pass an applicable safety test. All power tools used in extra-curricular and club activities must be owned by HCPS. Volunteers are also allowed to supervise students under the following provision:
“All Extracurricular Team and Club activities shall be conducted under the supervision and control of the Harford County Public School Team coach; or Club staff sponsor or a volunteer who has been approved by the Team coach or Club staff sponsor to supervise and control a particular activity.”
The complete extra-curricular and club policy and procedure documents up for approval Monday appear in the link on the agenda published below.
Last on the agenda is a report from Superintendent Canavan.
The April 14th board business meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air, with Vice-President Rick Grambo presiding. The public comment period is planned for 7:05 p.m. The published agenda and detailed links appear below. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, April 14, 2014
Board Open Session – 4:55 PM – Board Room
Board Closed Session – 5:00 PM – Board Executive Conference Room
Board Business Meeting – 6:30 PM – Board Room
*Times are approximate
Call to Order – Mr. Francis F. Grambo, III, Vice -President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:50 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:05 PM Public Comment
7:20 PM Presentation on Teacher Salary Comparisons, Mr. Ryan Burbey, HCEA President
7:40 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 4)
2) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: March 24, 2014 (Goals 1 – 4)
3) Approval of Charges for Board Sponsored Citizen Advisory Committees (Goals 1 – 4)
5) Adapted Playground at John Archer School (Goal 4)
7:45 PM B. Decisions on HCPS Board Policies, Patrick P. Spicer, Esq. (Goals 1-4)
– Curricular-Extracurricular Activities (06-0007-000)
– Clubs (06-0010-000)
8:05 PM C. Superintendent’s Report
8:15 PM Future Meetings Review