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Board of Education Town Hall

The Board of Education of Charles County held it's first Town Hall meeting on 9/28/2015 at St. Charles High School. More than 50 members of the Charles County community attended and participated in a question and answer session with the Board, and Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Hill and her staff.   Accordion Demonstration

As a Board of Education member how much time do each of you spend annually observing the instructional process?

I have been an active Board member since being elected in November 2014. Invitations are sent to Board members to attend various functions at schools on a regular basis. I attend as many activities as my schedule will allow. I have attended Awards assemblies, Elementary and Middle school promotion exercises, class plays, competitions such as DI, MESA, Math Challenge and History Challenge, read to classes (4) on Read Across Charles County Day, and visited five schools on opening day this year. Recently, I attended a presentation of the SAIL program at McDonough High School and had the opportunity to interact with students and observe their classes. On an average, I attend one to two school functions each week. As a Board member, our role does not include observing instruction on a regular basis. However, there are many opportunities to visit schools and interact with students and staff. I recently retired as a Charles County Public School Principal. I am familiar with most of the instructional programs in our schools and do my best to stay informed about current trends in education.

What percentage of instructional time is consumed by common core testing, "dry runs", practice tests, stress tests, cogat, pre-tests, post-tests, quarterly tests, and celebrations of successful testing including but not limited to parties, picnics, field trips, dances, etc…?

Pre test and post test take one class period to administer. The only tests that take more time would be mock tests that provide both teachers and students a roadmap on strengths and weakness in preparation for the Biology, Science, and government state assessments as well as for Advanced placement tests.

Cogat is a 30 minute screening test for students in grade 2 and new students.

We no longer administer quarterly assessments.

Do unimpressive SAT and ACT results along with declining enrollment in AP classes indicate that we are on the wrong path in Charles County?

SAT scores followed the State and National trend and the slight decrease may be attributed to the test not matching the curriculum. The new SAT will be administered during the spring administration. Charles County ACT scores remained consistent although participation increased. Our AP program is vital and strong and continues to be a challenging curriculum for all students..

What is your response to those who criticize the county's decision to prevent students from receiving a grade lower than 40%?

Currently, the grading guidelines state that an F is 59%-0%. Defining an F as 59%-40% is a decision that was made at the school level, and was most likely made so that students who are earning failing grades early in the quarter have the opportunity to earn a passing grade once their work improves.

What is the funding source for all of the new computer labs installed throughout the county to accommodate testing and how much has been spent on them? - Mr. Balides

Total spent on PARRC was $8.1 million, includes infrastructure, computer labs, and furniture. Note in the response that the computer labs are used for instructional purposes when not used for testing.

Source of funding was a loan for $2.9, fund balance $5.2 million..


The purpose of the Board Town Hall is to provide parents, students and community members an opportunity to ask questions and discuss items about education and schools. The Board plans to host additional Town Hall meetings in the future.
About the Board of Education
School system news

The Board received some questions and comments in advance by email to Click here
to read these questions and answers.

Click here to access meeting notes containing additional questions and comments from speakers in attendance.  


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