At a business meeting set for April 8, the Harford County Board of Education plans to vote on policies that would expand advertising in schools, allow school facilities to be named after financial donors, and permit memorials on school grounds. Also at the Monday meeting, the Board is set to ratify a tentative labor agreement that includes salary increases for all employees next year. In addition, recognitions are planned for HCPS Teacher of the Year finalists, and champion student athletes.
Board members are set to vote Monday evening on three policy changes first presented for discussion in February and endorsed by Superintendent Robert M. Tomback:
Revenue opportunities would expand under proposed policy revisions allowing ads that defray the cost of school construction or school activities. However, reflecting Board input since the policy revisions were first proposed, ads on school buses would be prohibited unless approved by the Board. In addition, communications from PTAs, governmental agencies or child care facilities would not be considered advertising.
Naming of Public School Facilities or Parts/Areas Thereof
School hallways, walls, athletic fields and trees are among the features that could be named after a person, under proposed revisions to the policy that currently governs the naming of entire school facilities. The revised policy also expands the criteria for all naming decisions to include monetary contributions from the person to HCPS, and allows the Board to change or eliminate names at any time.
Memorials on School Grounds
Memorials on school grounds, currently prohibited, would be allowed under the revised policy, which also limits memorials to a picture or photograph not to exceed 3 ft. by 2 ft.; a tree or shrub; and/or a plaque or inscription. Memorials on HCPS property where a school is not located would also be newly allowed. Also under the revised policy, the Board reserves the right to change or remove a memorial at any time.
In other business, Board members are set to ratify a labor agreement negotiated with the Harford County Education Association for the fiscal year 2014. The agreement establishes a 1% cost of living increase for all employees, plus one step increase for those who are eligible, subject to funding availability. The total cost of the wage increases for all HCPS employees is $7.7 million, according to Jim Jewell, assistant superintendent of business services. Funding for the increase has been requested from county government.
Board members will recognize the finalists for Harford Teacher of the Year, including the winner, Havre de Grace Elementary School fifth grade teacher Kristin Schaub. The other finalists for 2013-14 are: Tara N. Buecker, physical education/health teacher at Jarrettsville Elementary School; J. Laura Childs, English teacher at Edgewood High School; Kimberly A. Harner, special educator at Southampton Middle School, and Kristine E. M. Jurgs, special educator at Southampton Middle School.
As Harford’s winner, Schaub will enter the competition for the Maryland Teacher of the Year, with results due in October.
Student athletes will be recognized for their achievements in winter season sports. The Aberdeen High School girls basketball team will be recognized for winning the Class 3A State Championship. Individual state champions will also be recognized, along with team sportsmanship award winners from the following high schools: Bel Air, Harford Technical, C. Milton Wright and Edgewood.
A $650,000 check will be presented to HCPS from Baltimore Gas & Electric’s Smart Energy Savers Program. According to an earlier press release, the school system has used the program to fund energy-efficient mechanical and electrical improvements in 42 of its 58 school buildings.
As part of the consent agenda, Superintendent Robert Tomback will request approval of a $4,195,000 contract award to Phillips Way, Inc. to replace the HVAC system at North Harford Elementary School. Additional consent agenda items include tenure recommendations and the monthly personnel report, which identifies employees who have left the system; been placed on leaves of absence, or are newly hired.
Teri Kranefeld, HCPS manager of communications, will ask Board members to give the Calendar Committee more time to develop the 2014-15 school calendar, in part because more information is due from the state about the timetable for state testing under the new Common Core curriculum.
As usual, the meeting will conclude with a report from Superintendent Robert Tomback.
The April 8 meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the boardroom at the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air. A public comment period is planned for 7:15 p.m. Below is the published meeting agenda. Please note that published agendas are subject to change.
Monday, April 8, 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
Baltimore Gas & Electric’s (BGE) Smart Energy Savers Program – Check Presentation
6:50 PM Recognitions:
2013-14 HCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists
2012-13 Winter MPSSAA State Winners & Sportsmanship Awards
7:15 PM Public Comment
7:25 PM Introductions
7:30 PM Board Committee Reports and Comments
7:45 PM A. Consent Agenda:
3) HCPS Tenure Recommendations
5) Minutes of Previous Board Business Meeting: March 11, 2013
7:50 PM B. Decision on Board Policies, Patrick P. Spicer, Esq.
– Advertising (Policy No. 06-0024-000)
– Memorials on School Grounds (Policy No. 06-0025-000)
– Naming of Public School Bldgs or Facilities or Parts/Areas Thereof (Policy No. 20-0024-000)
8:05 PM C. Decision on Calendar Policy Waiver, Ms. Teri Kranefeld
8:20 PM D. Superintendent’s Report
8:30 PM Future Meetings Review