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Stone student takes a seat on the dais

DeJuan Woods, a rising senior at Thomas Stone High School, took the oath of office as Charles County Public Schools 26th student member on the Board of Education. The student member gives an opinion vote on matters before the Board and works with a student liaison committee. Learn more about Woods here.

Superintendent’s update

Superintendent Kimberly A. Hill clarified facts about the Fresh Start Academy, a Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) program for children in kindergarten to second grade who are unable to access the curriculum due to unsafe behavior. Additionally, Hill commended the Class of 2019 that earned more than $120 million in scholarship offers. Superintendent's report icon acrobat

Support staff codifies contract

Sara Burch, president of the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), signed the support staff negotiated agreement with the Board of Education. The agreement includes a 3 percent cost-of-living increase for all support staff as well as other salary incentives. ASFCME contract icon acrobat

Understanding the Career and Technology Education selection process

Staff members reviewed Career and Technology Education (CTE) programs of study at North Point, Maurice J. McDonough and Henry E. Lackey high schools as well as at the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center. The panel explained the application process, including how applicants receive an overall score, and the program acceptance process.  Career Technology Education Selection Process Presentation icon acrobat

Mental health is focus of Student Services

Student services staff presented information on mental health and wellness initiatives and the role of school psychologists and counselors. Staff members explained how adverse childhood experiences and traumatic experiences can impact learning for children. CCPS has 36 full-time school psychologists and 79 full-time school counselors. Student Services Update icon acrobat

CCPS is testing for lead in drinking water

CCPS has tested all school and building drinking water outlets for the presence of lead. Assistant Superintendent of Supporting Services Michael Heim said his office has only received results for three schools and explained the required parent notification process. Water Quality Reports webpage

County updates Board on opportunity zones

Members of the Charles County Economic Development Department (EDD) and CCPS supporting services office updated the Board on a Charles County Commissioner initiative to create “opportunity zones.”  The project proposes redeveloping areas in Waldorf and includes 798 new multi-family and townhouses. The developments could affect nearby schools including Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer and J.P. Ryon elementary schools, Mattawoman and John Hanson middle schools and Thomas Stone High School. The county is asking the Board to collaborate on ensuring there are adequate school seats to handle the growth. Location of Opportunity Zones Presentation icon acrobat

Board increases tuition rates

CCPS annually sets tuition rates for admitted students who are not residents of Charles County. Typically, there are three sources of payments: parents of students who want their children to attend our school system, out-of-county school systems, and out-of-state agencies for foster care students placed in our school system. Tuition rates for out-of-state students increases to $13,050 and to $8,650 for in-state tuition. Tuition rates vary for students requiring special services.

Board increases daily, hourly wages

The Board unanimously approved new hourly and daily pay rates. The daily amount paid for substitute and long-term substitute teachers is increasing by $7 per day. The daily rates will increase to $83 for non-degreed substitutes and $104 for degreed substitutes. The pay for long-term substitutes will increase to $137–$207 depending on experience. The minimum wage for hourly employees increases from $10.10 to $11. FY 2020 Daily and Hourly Wage Rates icon acrobat

Recognition

The Board honored the Washington Post Teacher of the Year award to Brooke Shnipes, English teacher at La Plata High School and the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center; the Maryland Outstanding Teacher of the Year to Melinda Wright, second-grade teacher at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School; and the Outstanding Vice Principal of the Year award to Anthony Carroll of Matthew Henson Middle School. The Board also presented Outstanding support staff awards to Ronald E. Brawner Jr., general maintenance worker I, CCPS maintenance shop; Marie Woodland, building service assistant manager, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building; Tammy Dudley, kindergarten instructional assistant, J.C. Parks Elementary School; and Ronald Cave, computer analyst II, Starkey.

Public Forum

Four people spoke during Public Forum and discussed the future of education, the ABCs of success, the power of great teachers who help children, issues with graduation and a student’s high school experience, and the Fresh Start Academy.

Action items

The Board unanimously approved personnel actions, including 43 appointments, 20 releases without prejudice, five releases with prejudice, eight retirements, four leaves of absence, one recommendation for termination and one administrative appointment. The Board also unanimously voted to pass May’s meeting minutes, new textbooks for CTE courses, a cell phone policy, the Educational Facilities Master Plan, a contract for the renovation and addition at Eva Turner Elementary School, and the fiscal year 2020 budget. The Board passed with a 6-to-1 vote the 2020-21 school calendar, with Board Member David Hancock opposing.