The members of the Harford County Board of Education will hold a planned business meeting on August 8, marking the last business meeting scheduled before the start of the new school year. Among the items on the board’s agenda are proposed revisions to the policy on gang-related activities; a contract to repair the running track at Joppatowne High School; a preview of next year’s proposed capital budget, and a vote on the plan to hold future graduations at selected Harford County high schools.
The school board policy on gangs and gang-related activity is up for revision, prompted by state legislation passed in 2010 and based on a model policy developed by the Maryland State Department of Education. Among other provisions, the model policy sets forth requirements for schools to report gang activity and allows for information about gang activity to be shared within schools, and between schools and law enforcement entities.
Among the proposed Harford County revisions is a requirement that gang activity or suspected gang activity be reported to the school principal or school security officer, with an investigation to be initiated by designated school administrators and the security officer within 24 hours. Also under the proposed revisions, information about a student received from law enforcement, the State’s Attorney and the courts is to be shared with personnel at the student’s school. While such information is considered confidential and not part of the student’s education record, any arrests, disposition of charges, and reports of gang activity are to be shared with school personnel “for use in providing the student(s) appropriate educational programming.” Provisions are also made for the eventual destruction of gang-related reports on specific students and for the sharing of non-student-specific information with outside entities. HCPS would share non-student-specific gang activity information with law enforcement, the State’s Attorney, the Public Defender, gang prevention and intervention programs, or “any other appropriate individual” under the proposed policy revisions. After a period of public review, the revised policy on gangs and gang-related activity will be voted on at a future school board meeting.
After fifteen years of wear and tear, irreparable dips have developed in the latex running track at Joppatowne High School, according to the HCPS Purchasing Department, which is requesting board approval of a renovation contract with American Tennis Courts, Inc. of Baltimore. The $150,610 price tag is based on a similar contract awarded by Montgomery County Public Schools, according to a Purchasing Department report.
A $48.8 million proposed capital budget request for the fiscal year 2013 is up for another board discussion. First presented to the new nine-member school board last month, the capital budget must be submitted to the state each year by October 15, with possible amendments to follow based on funding and other factors. Topping the current list of board priorities is a controversial plan to move the special education John Archer School from its current location near Harford Technical High School in Bel Air, to the campus of Bel Air Middle School. Among the opponents of the move is the Harford County councilman representing Bel Air, Jim McMahan, who laid out his concerns at the beginning of the year.
Also on the agenda is a board vote on the plan to utilize newly built high school facilities to host large-scale graduation ceremonies. The graduation plan was originally presented to the school board on June 27, before five new members joined the now nine-member board. At the time, the recommendation was for C. Milton Wright and Fallston high schools to hold future graduations at Bel Air High School; Patterson Mill students were recommended to graduate at Edgewood High School, and North Harford students were recommended to graduate at Aberdeen High. Home-site graduations were recommended for students attending Aberdeen, Bel Air and Edgewood, and for the remaining schools, which have lower enrollment and smaller graduating classes: Joppatowne, Havre de Grace, Harford Tech, John Archer and the Alternative Education Program.
The August 8 agenda also includes a monthly report on personnel, affirmation of monthly contracts, and a presentation from the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation. As always, the meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Robert M. Tomback.
Below is the published agenda for the August 8 meeting of the Harford County Board of Education. Published agendas are subject to change.
MEETING OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2011
HCPS A. A. ROBERTY BUILDING
102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014
Board Business Meeting – 7:00 P.M. – Board Room
7:00 P.M. Call to Order – Dr. Leonard D. Wheeler, President
Quorum Roll Call
Adoption of Agenda
Pledge of Allegiance
*7:05 P.M. Public Comment
*7:15 P.M. Introductions
*7:20 P.M. Presentation on Greater Excellence in Education Foundation, Ms. Deborah G. Merlock, President, GEEF
*7:35 P.M. Board Committee Reports and Comments
*7:50 P.M. A. Consent Agenda:
1) Monthly Personnel Report, Tenure Recommendations (Goal 3)
2) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 3)
3) Running Track Renovations and Repairs – Joppatowne High School (Goal 3)
4) Minutes of Previous Meetings: (Goal 3)
• July 11, 2011
5) Decision on Appeal Case Results August 1, 2010 through June 20, 2011 (Goal 3)
*7:55 P.M. B. Decision on Recommendations for Future Graduations, Mr. Joseph A. Schmitz
*8:30 P.M. D. Presentation of Policy, Patrick P. Spicer, Esquire (Goal 3)
• Prohibition of Gang Related Activities (Policy No. 02-0008-000) (Goal 3)
*8:45 P.M. E. Superintendent’s Report