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McGraw, Wilson take leadership spots

At the start of the meeting, the Board elected Virginia McGraw as chairman and Latina Wilson as vice chairman. The Board annually elects a chairman and vice chairman each January to serve one-year terms. Click here to read more.

Superintendent presents system updates
Superintendent Kimberly Hill updated the Board on long-range goals, the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, Kirwan Commission recommendations, completion of Billingsley Elementary School and the Be the Difference outstanding volunteer awards nomination process. Superintendent's Report icon acrobat

Superintendent reviews long-range goals
Hill reviewed the Board of Education’s strategic goals, which provide staff with direction and focus. The goals guide decision making, the development of new programs and allocation of funds. There are seven goals that include indicators that measure progress. Goals are:

  • increasing student achievement by using integration of best practices in technology and instruction;
  • providing a safe, orderly and caring environment for students and staff;
  • recruiting and retaining a qualified, highly effective and diverse workforce;
  • communicating, engaging and partnering with parents and community;
  • promoting a variety of pathways to prepare students for college and/or career success;
  • supporting the use of environmentally sound practices in the construction, renovation and operation of facilities; and
  • ensuring responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars by implementing effective practices to best use local, state and federal funding.

System Goals 2018-21 Presentation icon acrobat

Kirwan Commission

Board members learned about Maryland’s Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. Created by legislation in 2016, the commission is more commonly known as the Kirwan Commission. The commission devised new funding formulas for Maryland’s public schools and made recommendations for improving education to keep Maryland’s education system among the best in the nation. The commission advised the state to develop initiatives in five key areas: early childhood education; high quality teachers and leaders; college and career readiness pathways; more resources for at-risk students; and governance and accountability. Staff provided the Board with pros and cons for the key areas. Overview of Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education icon acrobat 

Approving new textbooks
Traci Chappelear, coordinator of career and technology education, explained the textbook approval process to the Board. Before approving textbooks, staff must present the information at three Board meetings and also display the books at two locations for 30 days. Chappelear is proposing the Board approve two new textbooks for use in high schools, “Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques” and “Muscles: Testing and Function, with Posture and Pain.” Both books are on display at the Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building and the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center in Pomfret. Click here to learn more

Touring a new school
Board members went on a pictorial tour of the new Billingsley Elementary School, which opens in September. Supporting Services staff also provided updates on the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School renovation and expansion, the Eva Turner Elementary School modernization and addition, the Benjamin Stoddert Middle School design and other construction projects.  Planning & Construction and Maintenance Projects Presentation icon acrobat

Salaries, new school opening top budget requests
Assistant Superintendent Randy Sotomayor presented the Superintendent’s proposed 2020 operating budget request of $391.6 million. The budget includes a $21.9 million, or 5.9 percent, increase and a $13,923 annual operating cost per pupil, up $433 from the previous year. The largest increases include a reserve of $9.5 million for employee salary increases, $4.9 million in operating costs for the new Billingsley Elementary School; and $2.7 million for student transportation. Other requests include funding for the school safety and security office, eight teachers for enrollment growth, an elementary alternative program and a mental health initiative. Click here to view the Superintendent’s proposed budget and presentation

Legislative update
The 2019 Maryland General Assembly convened Jan. 9. Staff attorney Eric Schwartz highlighted some of the issues of interest to school systems, including the governor’s budget, the Kirwan Commission recommendations, clarification of a sick leave bill, the school calendar order that mandates specific start and end dates, seatbelts on buses and the Superintendent’s contract.  Legislative Update icon acrobat

The Board presented four resolutions: Black History Month, Career and Technical Education Week, Gifted and Talented Education Month and National School Counseling Week. Click here to read about the resolutions.

Student recognition
The Board recognized the following students for excellence in one of the school system’s three focus areas: academic achievement, personal responsibility and career readiness.

  • Emily Maljak, senior, personal responsibility, Maurice J. McDonough High School
  • Trinity Treadway, eighth grade, career readiness, Milton M. Somers Middle School
  • Imani Spencer, fifth grade, academic achievement, Arthur Middleton Elementary School
  • Sherline Avila-Hernandez, fifth grade, academic achievement, Gale-Bailey Elementary School
  • Evelyn Michael, fifth grade, academic achievement, Mary H. Matula Elementary School

Click here to learn more about the honored students.

Employee recognition
The Board honored the following exemplary employees.

  • Nathan Mouli, social studies teacher, McDonough
  • Kristen Barrett, social studies teacher, Somers
  • Meagan Fox, fifth-grade teacher, Middleton
  • Kelly Kavlick, reading resource teacher, Gale-Bailey
  • Robin Figurelle, fourth-grade teacher, Matula

Click here to learn more about these exemplary employees.  

Public forum
Thirteen people spoke at public forum, including six students who also serve as members of the Charles County Branch of the NAACP Youth Committee. Topics ranged from disciplinary issues and suggestions to improve support for teachers to boosting students’ reading proficiency, overcrowding and the use of trailers as classrooms, senior math curriculum, bullying, mental health issues, up-to-date technology and more textbooks, and the need for more severe discipline consequences.

Action items
The Board unanimously approved the following action items:

  • Minutes, including executive and open sessions, from the December meeting and the legislative breakfast.
  • Personnel, including recommendations of seven certificated appointments, two releases without prejudice; four releases with prejudice and one retirement.

Click here to watch the Jan. 8 Board Meeting on CCPS TV