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The Board of Education of Charles County met Feb. 12 for its regular monthly meeting. Joining the Board members for the first portion of the meeting were student shadows Jenyah Davis, Troy Weyer and Chelsea Guzman from Arthur Middleton Elementary School; Clarke Budd, Arjun Garg and Octavia Hickerson from Mary B. Neal Elementary School; and Danny Dancy, Vincent Tu and Savannah Zappone from Indian Head Elementary School. Read more about the Charles County Public Schools student shadow opportunity.

Superintendent seeks discipline committee volunteers
Superintendent Kimberly Hill announced the creation of a discipline committee to review the Code of Student Conduct and disciplinary practices.  Community members are encouraged to apply, click here for information. Additionally, Hill highlighted the opening of Billingsley Elementary School and the implementation of the elementary redistricting for the 2019-20 school year. She updated the Board on scholarship money available for seniors, a reunification center partnership with the College of Southern Maryland and the visit of Japanese student teachers from Bunyko University.  Superintendent's Report icon acrobat

State reviews special education suspensions
Deputy Superintendent Amy Hollstein and Director of Special Education Arden Sotomayor presented a preliminary state report that examines if a school system’s special education data shows significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity. There are three review areas: special education identification, placement and disciplinary removals. CCPS met the standards in identification and placement but was found to have significant disproportionality in disciplinary removals of 10 days or less.  Significant Disproportionality Report icon acrobat 

Board approves FY2020 budget request
The Board of Education unanimously adopted its fiscal year 2020 operating budget request of $392.3 million. The budget request is an increase of $22.7 million, or 6.1 percent more than FY 2019. The budget prioritizes employee compensation, and also adds funds for the opening of Billingsley Elementary School, mental health supports, transportation increases, an alternative elementary program and school safety enhancements. Click here to go to the Budget webpage .

Legislation focuses on calendar, ethics, superintendent contracts
Staff Attorney Eric Schwartz updated the Board on legislation filed by Maryland legislators that involves public education. The Maryland Senate has approved a bill that would overturn Gov. Hogan’s executive order that Maryland public schools start each school year after Labor Day and return control of school calendars to local Boards of Education. The House of Delegates will now consider the bill. Legislators are also considering changes to superintendent contracts and hiring and firing practices, use of casino revenues for capital projects, and public ethics laws for school board members. Click here to read the report icon acrobat

Robert D. Stethem grading policy
Board members discussed and came to a consensus about policy wording that allows for a one-time grade adjustment that can change a grade for a student assigned to the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center during initial placement. The policy, if passed, applies only to students entering the Stethem Center and will allow for a one-time grade adjustment that changes a student’s failing grade of less than 50 percent to 50 percent. There are no changes allowed for grades earned after the initial placement. Board members added clarifications to the proposed policy and will review the item as a report at the March 12 meeting.

Recognition

  • Marvin Jones, executive director of schools, is the 2019 recipient of the James E. Richmond Leadership Award. Click here to learn about Jones’ accomplishments.
  • The Board presented resolutions recognizing Read Across Charles County, Women’s History Month and Fine and Performing Arts Month. Learn more about the resolutions
  • The Board honored five students for their accomplishments in the areas of academic achievement, personal responsibility and career readinessClick here to read about their accomplishments.
    • Kush Patel, senior, career readiness, St. Charles High School
    • Lauren Kahler, sixth grade, personal responsibility, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School
    • Nya Whitney, fifth grade, academic achievement, Dr. James Craik Elementary School
    • Hunter Headley, fifth grade, academic achievement, Malcolm Elementary School
    • Renata Ashton, fifth grade, academic achievement, J.C. Parks Elementary School
  • The Board recognized five exemplary employeesClick here to read more about the employees.
    • Terence Stone, business education teacher, St. Charles
    • Vincent Batts, building service worker, Stoddert
    • Dana Moyer, learning resource teacher, Craik
    • Kathleen Stafford, reading resource teacher, Malcolm
    • Kelsey Jones, third-grade teacher, Parks


Public Forum
Ten people spoke at public forum. Topics included:

  • providing possible solutions for fair and equitable compensation for educators;
  • the need for a more culturally diverse curriculum;
  • recommending and applauding the CCPS Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) students;
  • clarifying the Code of Student Conduct and ensuring levels are progressive;
  • expressing the elementary and middle school views on discipline and the reality of a high school teacher;
  • the exclusion of students from fine arts performances as part of discipline. The speaker objected to performances that count toward a grade being considered as extracurricular.
  • asking for assistance through advertising for the Charles County Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO); and
  • making changes to discipline rules that exclude students from participating in performances and concerts stating these should be considered as co-curricular rather than extracurricular.


Action items
The Board unanimously approved certificated personnel recommendations including nine appointments; five releases without prejudice; two releases with prejudice; one recommendation for termination; three retirements; two leaves of absence; and one administrative appointment. The Board also approved meeting minutes, the FY 2020 budget request and textbook recommendations to purchase "Therapeutic Exercises: Foundations and Techniques" and "Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain."

Click here to watch the Feb. 12 Board meeting on CCPS TV