The Board of Education of Charles County met Aug. 11 for its regular monthly meeting. Observing social distancing guidelines, the Board met via WebEx, a video conferencing tool. Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) streamed the session live. Click here to watch the meeting

Superintendent presents reopening plan
Superintendent Kimberly A. Hill updated the Board on the school system's reopening plan, a 91-page draft document on the ccboe.com website that includes sample student schedules, instructional methods, special education compliance details, COVID-19 safety protocols, transportation procedures and cleaning processes. There are also frequently asked questions (FAQ) gathered from emails, AskCCPS, students, teachers, and surveys over the past few months. The five phases start with virtual teaching and learning and add groups of students in each phase until CCPS can fully open to all students in Phase 5. Superintendent's Report icon acrobat

EACC ratifies contract
Linda McLaughlin, president of the Education Association of Charles County (EACC), announced that the EACC membership approved its 2020-21 contract. She also spoke about ongoing discussions about working conditions, professional development and the EACC involvement in new teacher orientation next week. EACC President's Report icon acrobat

AFSCME ratifies contract
In a written report, Sarah Burch, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), announced the 2020-21 support staff contract ratification. Burch thanked the Board members for supporting the recalibration of salary scales. She also expressed appreciation for technology, building service and food and nutrition employees who have provided food and services throughout the pandemic. AFSCME President's Report icon acrobat

Students want more input
Ian Herd, student member of the Board of Education, urged the Board to provide more opportunities to gather student input, including a student survey to understand student opinion better. He also urged the Board to move to Phase 2 of the reopening quickly to provide special populations of students the option to return to schools in person if they so choose. Student Member's Report icon acrobat

CCPS plans the Road to Reopening
Members of the Superintendent's Operations team provided a broad overview of the Road to Reopening document, including plans for instruction, safety, cleaning and sanitizing, communications and technology.  

Review the reopening plan and frequently asked questions (FAQs) at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/reopening-plan-fall-2020.

Instructional staff also profiled the life of a student in elementary and secondary levels icon acrobat

Staff presents draft equity plan
Kimberly Hairston, director of equity and diversity, and members of the CCPS equity committee, gave an equity policy update for Board consideration. The policy was created by an Equity Task Force, guided by Dr. Ebony Green, senior director for equity at the Institute for Student Achievement. The draft policy requires CCPS to look at all practices and procedures through a lens of educational equity based on the principals of inclusion, fairness and justice in allocating resources, opportunity and treatment. "Educational equity" means providing access to essential academic, social, emotional and economic resources and supports to engage students throughout their academic career. Read the draft policy here.icon acrobat The committee will present the policy to the Board again at its September meeting.

Project status update
Assistant Superintendent of Supporting Services Mike Heim presented an overview of construction projects. Highlights include the progress of the modernization and addition at Eva Turner Elementary School, which is 52 percent complete. Click here to read the full overview.

School seat allocations
Heim and Steve Andritz, director of planning and construction, provided the Board with an update on proposed legislative changes to the current Adequate Public Facilities manual that, if adopted, would change how the county allocates CCPS seats along with how many school seats are allocated each year to developers.

The proposed legislative changes will impact student enrollment at schools. Increased enrollment can affect class sizes, the possible placement of portable classrooms at schools to address overcrowding, and the consideration of redistricting to move students from overcrowded schools to schools with more open seats. 

The Planning Commission of Charles County will conduct a Public Hearing on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. to consider proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 297 Section 258 of the Code of Charles County, Maryland, and the Adequate Public Facilities Manual. The Office of Planning and Growth Management with Charles County Government awards school seats yearly to developers to build apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes based on the number of available school seats in the development's zone.

Board members encouraged parents with opinions about the legislative changes to contact the Planning Commission and the Charles County Commissioners. Read more here.

Public forum
The Board received 22 emails for Public Forum. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, an in-person public forum is not available at this time. The Board will review all submissions.

Action items
The Board unanimously approved seven sets of meeting minutes, including June 9, June 18, June 22, June 29 Staff town hall, June 29 Community town hall, July 7 and July 14.

The Board unanimously approved the Superintendent's recommendations for certificated staff, which include 114 certificated appointments, 14 releases without prejudice, two retirements and three administrative appointments. The administrative appointments are Matthew Golonka as Content Specialist for Health and Physical Education; Rebecca Pearson as Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE); and Matthew Newcamp as a vice principal at General Smallwood Middle School.