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School system honors veterans

Superintendent Kimberly A. Hill highlighted American Freedom Week, a time when the school system celebrates and thanks its veterans and members of the military. She previewed a report on the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Junior Officers’ Reserve Training Corps (JROTC) program and the inaugural CCPS Turkey Trot 5K. CCPS is donating the nearly $5,000 in proceeds from the Turkey Trot to help replenish the Southern Maryland Food Bank’s pantry before the Thanksgiving holiday. Superintendent's Report for 10-12-2019 icon acrobat

Making homework count

Elementary schools no longer grade homework assignments, but no grade does not mean homework does not count, said Deputy Superintendent Amy Hollstein. Meighan Hungerford, director of elementary schools, and Kevin Jackson, principal of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Elementary School, joined Hollstein to discuss changes to homework grading procedures at the elementary level to ensure grading is fair and consistent across the county. When teachers assign homework, the school system asks that they make it meaningful and provide formative feedback, Hollstein said. Students still receive a score in personal responsibility for completing homework. Elementary Homework Presentation icon acrobat

Charles County JROTC

More than 860 CCPS high school students are enrolled in JROTC programs. The JROTC program curriculum is accredited through each military branch and teaches students about military history, leadership, wellness and life skills. Instructors from several high schools presented a JROTC program overview to the Board. Click here to read the overview.

Revolutionizing the future

The new CCPS Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system will revolutionize the school system’s business processes.  Assistant Superintendent Randy Sotomayor said some of the goals for the project include managing employee life-cycle tracking, such as personnel records, improving efficiency, providing automatic reporting for requirements mandated by federal, state and/or local government agencies and streamlining accounts to accommodate multi-year projects, budget and grants. CCPS Resource Planning Presentation icon acrobat

Inclusion and Diversity Resolution

Board Member David Hancock reintroduced an Inclusion and Diversity resolution. He said the Board recognizes many groups and events and he proposed the new resolution for presentation in June. He said the resolution recognizes the school system’s standards that everyone should feel safe and included within CCPS walls. The Board, in a split vote, passed the resolution later in the evening under action items and after the Board accepted several wording revisions. Inclusion and Diversity Resolution icon acrobat


The Board recognized four students for excellence in the area of personal responsibility, academic achievement and career readiness.

  • Ashani Davis, senior, personal responsibility, Thomas Stone High School
  • Brady Freundel, Grade 8, academic achievement, General Smallwood Middle School
  • Shirley Luu, Grade 5, academic achievement, William A. Diggs Elementary School
  • Logan Bivens, Grade 5, career readiness, J.P. Ryon Elementary School

The Board recognized five exemplary employees.

  • Sabryna Valen, ESOL teacher, Stone
  • Christine Trest, learning resource teacher, Smallwood
  • Amanda Nadeau, second-grade teacher, Diggs
  • Bianca Watson, fifth-grade teacher, Ryon
  • Renard Barnes, special education instructional assistant, F.B. Gwynn Educational Center

Public Forum

Three people spoke at Public Forum. Sean Heyl, a Maurice J. McDonough High School teacher, thanked the Board for the doors at McDonough and the enhancements to school safety and security. He talked about the need to come up with a short-term solution to stop evacuation of elementary school classes due to the behavior of one child. He said classroom evacuations affect everyone, from the teachers to the students who have to routinely leave their classroom. Patty Stine, a member of the Charles County Early Childhood Advisory Council, said her group would like to collaborate with the Board to raise awareness and conduct programs to increase school readiness for Charles County children. Hiba Khan, a sophomore at McDonough, said America is suffering from a mental health crisis. She would like to see schools teach about the different types of mental health illnesses and increase awareness on a broad level to lessen stigma and isolation for lack of care or attention to their mental health needs. She said she is determined to promote the cause,

Action items

The Board approved the minutes of the Oct. 8 meeting and the Oct. 28 Town Hall; personnel actions, including five certificated appointments, one release without prejudice;  four releases with prejudice and one leave of absence; 2020 Legislative positions; and an Inclusion and Diversity Resolution for recognition in June.

Earlier in the meeting under new business, the Board approved an intercategory budget change to include an increase of $452,200 for the Fresh Start Academy and a Food Services and Nutrition realignment to address shortfalls in revenues and increased costs of goods sold. The increase, $704,372, will be covered by a fund balance in the Special Revenue Fund. Additionally, the Board approved transferring $3.5 million from the prior year fund balance to cover the cost of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The Board also approved including LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the 2020-21 calendar notes in June.

Watch the Board meeting

Want to learn more about the Nov. 12 Board meeting? Watch the complete meeting.

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