The Harford County Board of Education plans a busy July 21st business meeting to include approval of plans for a new Havre de Grace Middle and High School facility, and revised policies affecting student discipline and the marking system in advanced classes.
First on the agenda is a swearing-in ceremony for Patterson Mill High School senior Hannah Jones, selected as the Board of Education student member for 2014-15.
Next, the Board will recognize top custodial teams in the 2014 Custodial Awards Program. Please see related story here.
Following board member comments and a public comment period, the Board plans to approve a lengthy consent agenda, including formal acceptance of donated property adjoining Harford Glen, the school system’s environmental education center in Bel Air. The donation by Helen M. Kefauver and Kefauver Lumber Company is comprised of an 8.6 acre parcel plus a smaller parcel of .6 acre.
Also on the consent agenda is the appointment of members to the 2015-16 calendar committee. The committee is scheduled to meet and make recommendations at a public work session set for September 8, 2014.
Finally, the consent agenda includes approval of the following contract awards:
– $1,356,624.20 contract award (estimated value) to Cloverland Farms Dairy of Baltimore for milk and dairy products supplied to school cafeterias for one year beginning August 1, 2014. Cloverland was the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for the contract, which includes an option to renew for four additional one-year terms.
– $113,276 contract award to Trinmar Contracting Services, Inc., of Edgewood to replace the boiler air handling unit with an upgrade at C. Milton Wright High School. According to the published agenda, the upgrade is necessary due to the age of the existing unit and lack of available maintenance parts.
Additional contract awards are up for approval on the consent agenda, but no further details were available as of press time due to what appear to be a number of broken links in the published agenda. The remaining contract awards are listed on the agenda as follows:
– Operation and Maintenance of Waste Water Treatment Plants
– On-Call Design-Build Environmental Restoration Services
– Library Online Subscriptions
– Automated External Defibrillator Refresh
– Wi-Fi Infrastructure Equipment
Next on the agenda, the Board plans to vote on revisions to its policies entitled “Use of Report Cards and Marking System” and “Student Discipline”. No details were published for these agenda items. However, recommended revisions to both policies were presented at a previous Board meeting and posted on the school systems’ website for public comment.
The “Use of Report Cards and Marking System” policy revision increases the point value, or “weight”, assigned to certain letter grades earned in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes. Such point values are used in the calculation of a student’s grade point average (GPA), which is a key factor in college admissions.
Specifically, the proposed policy maintains the point value of 5.0 for an “A” in a “weighted” course (versus 4.0 for an “A” in a standard course). However, the point value for a “B” in a weighted course would increase from 3.75 to 4.0; and the value would rise for a “C” from 2.5 to 3.0. The value for a “D” in a weighted course would drop from 1.25 to a 1.0 under the proposal. Middle school students would also receive the revised grade point values in the rare cases where middle school students take classes that qualify for weighted grades on their high school transcripts.
The policy revision was recommended by school officials who said that Harford students were at a disadvantage in the competition for college admittance, and the proposed changes would bring grade point values in line with those of other Maryland public school systems.
In addition, the revised policy would authorize the superintendent or her designee to make additional courses eligible for weighted grades, such as courses in the Project Lead the Way Pre-engineering and Biomedical sequence, the Aberdeen Science and Math Academy, and North Harford’s Natural Sciences and Agricultural Science Magnet Program.
Also on the agenda for Board approval is a revised policy entitled “Student Discipline”, which consolidates and revises a number of existing policies and procedures to comply with new regulations adopted in January by the Maryland State Board of Education.
The new state regulations discourage zero-tolerance policies, discourage long-term suspensions or expulsions except as a last resort, and require that daily school work be provided to suspended or expelled students, among other changes. The state regulations must be reflected in local board policy prior to the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
Next on the agenda, the Board plans a decision on the 2014 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan. The annual report, which must be submitted to the state, outlines plans for inspections, maintenance and upgrades of school grounds, facilities and fixed equipment under headings such as paving, boiler inspections, roof replacement, painting, vehicle replacement, compliance and resource conservation.
The Board also plans a decision on the educational specifications for the Havre de Grace Middle and High School replacement facility. No further details were published for this agenda item as of press time.
Under presentations, the Board will take another look at its capital improvement program budget request for fiscal year 2016. The capital request is typically subject to several rounds of amendments before it is approved by the Board in September and submitted thereafter to state and local funding authorities.
Lastly, a report is expected from Superintendent Barbara Canavan.
The July 21st board business meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air, with a public comment period scheduled for 7:15 p.m. The published agenda appears below; please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, July 21, 2014
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 – Board President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
6:35 PM Swearing-In Ceremony: 2014-15 Student Member to the Board of Education – Miss Hannah Jones, Patterson Mill High School
6:45 PM Recognition: 2014 Custodial Awards Program (Goal 2)
7:00 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:15 PM Public Comment
7:30 PM A. Consent Agenda:
1) Minutes of Previous Board Meeting: June 23, 2014 (Goals 1 – 4)
2) Monthly Report on Personnel (Goal 3)
3) Donation of Real Property from Helen M. Kefauver and Kefauver Lumber Company (Goals 1 – 4)
4) Appointment of 2015-16 Calendar Committee Members (Goal 2)
5) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 4)
6) Award of Contract: Milk and Dairy Products (Goal 4)
7) Award of Contract: Combustion Air Upgrades at C.Milton Wright High School (Goal 4)
8) Award of Contract: Operation and Maintenance of Waste Water Treatment Plants (Goal 4)
9) Award of Contract: On-Call Design-Build Environmental Restoration Services (Goal 4)
10) Award of Contract: Library Online Subscriptions (Goal 1)
11) Award of Contract: Automated External Defibrillator Refresh (Goal 4)
12) Award of Contract: Wi-Fi Infrastructure Equipment (Goal 4)
7:35 PM B. Decision on HCPS Board Policies: Use of Report Cards and Marking System and Student Discipline with Procedure, Patrick P. Spicer, Esq. (Goals 1 – 4)
7:55 PM C. Decision on 2014 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan, Mr. Cornell Brown (Goal 4)
8:15 PM D. Decision on Havre de Grace Middle and High Replacement School Educational Specifications, Mr. Cornell Brown (Goal 4)
8:35 PM E. Presentation of FY 2016 Capital Improvement Program, Mr. Cornell Brown(Goal 4)
8:55 PM F. Superintendent’s Report
9:05 PM Future Meetings Review
Show Me the Money says
I wonder how 8 positions for teacher specialist were recently advertised when only 3 positions were added to the budget that was approved by the board? Will they be approved this evening? Where did they find the money when no raise was given to teachers? How much money did that cost? Who are we supposed to trust?
Since those positions are 11 month “teacher” positions, they will range anywhere from $61,000 and up. I would say minimum it will cost roughly half a million (without factoring in benefits) for those positions.
I don’t understand how in budgetary times where there have been no step increases or COLA for so long that they create more jobs out of the classroom. As a teacher I am offended at this choice. Is the cost of these positions worth the cost? What will they be doing? What is the return in the investment?
Correct me if I am wrong says
D-James got millions approved for only 20 jobs at the Proving Ground – she was the darling of the teacher’s union and will be again.
I like how multiple trade teachers at Harford Tech bailed off the sinking ship this past year. HCPS, good luck finding anyone worth a shit to get paid, what? $42,000. HCPS Employment page tells no lies, the multiple trade teacher vacancies just stay open.
LOL YOURSELF says
Print some copies of the Employment page and go to the Texas border. I hear that there is a surge of highly motivated and educated young men ready to take the jobs that US citizens will not do – that is if the county doesn’t mind all the tattoos.
Believe me, people want to do the work, but not for what Harford County pays. Hence, all the trade teachers Rollin’ out. More pay, albeit a sacrifice in potential benefits back in the Private sector.
Harford Tech is too unique that if a few well liked, veteran trade teachers leave it is highly unlikely in current HCPS salary climate, an equal replacement will be found.
Whoever wants to thumb me down feel free, eventually more tech programs will kick the can down the road, just like plumbing.
Donkey's Big 5th Leg says
Its sad HCPS let’s all these important, essential teachers just walk out the door.
$80,000 central office administrative position’s. LOL
What’s funny is, particularly for trade reachers is that once they leave, usually they never step foot back in a public school job. So? They could just up and quit in the middle of the year and walk out. The school will let them know they won’t be hired back since they didn’t follow contract stipulation of quitting the job. As if someone would come back for the poverty pay
Not so quietly observing HarCo's death spiral... says
Ha! Those trade teachers don’t care that they get letters saying they can’t come back…My friend told me that the welding and the machining teachers left midyear for 6 figure salaries in the private sector. Why would they stay for another year of no pay increase? Harford Tech is going to be hard pressed to find someone of quality for those jobs at the pay and reputation HCPS now has. I heard 2 twenty-somethings talking over lunch and one was whining that they got stuck taking a teaching job in Harford County but they’d keep applying until they could get one with Cecil. I’ve heard from several people that Cecil’s interviewers have been smug about hiring and telling candidates to go back and thank HCPS for sending them their brightest and best.
Even raising the grading scale for AP classes isn’t going to help with this problem
Leave teaching and make money says
Wow! If you believe everything that is posted in these threads, everybody leaving HC teaching is making a six figure salary. Or, was there an art teacher that left to start selling paintings for 2.5 million each – or was it a Harford County coach who is now coaching in the NFL for 20 million plus endorsements. Whatever the case, every teacher leaving Harford County is flush with cash.
word on the street says
@ lol yourself,
The country already like tattoos, you must not get out often.
If HCPS is revising the grading policy, why don’t they add +/- modifiers to the letter grades. There’s a big difference between 80% and 89% and the report card should reflect that. Parents should know if their kids are just barely squeeking by or just missed an A.
Teacher Lurker says
What an excellent, logical suggestion. As a teacher, I watch kids every year bust themselves for a 79% and receive a, “C,” while other students in the same class earn a 69.6%–and ALSO receive that, “C.” Definitely not right….which in the end means that the policy will never change. 🙁
Concerned PARENT says
My daughter was in the Animal Science program. Naomi Knight retired w/o notifying her students over the summer after making promises to them that she would stay through 2015. I don’t blame her; she has been working for such a long time and will probably retire happily. With 4 or 5 tech area teachers leaving, it will be hard to replace them. So what in the world happens now?! Plus Animal Science doesn’t even have a job listing for a teacher. This could mean one of two things: 1. they already have a back up teacher or 2. Animal Science will no longer be a tech area next year. Wow. Bring on Aug. 25.