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)
5) Affirmation of Monthly Contract Awards (Goal 4)
6) Award of Contract: Milk and Dairy Products (Goal 4)
10) Award of Contract: Library Online Subscriptions (Goal 1)
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