Board meeting recap 2022-4-28

Public forum:

  • topics: SRO, student safety, special education

Reservoir High School Report

SMOB report

  • student leader meeting with the board ( three students from each school, ARL and Homewood)

Superintendent Report

  • Howard High is a new green school.
  • HCPSS is increasing mental health support for our students.
  • Covid data: uptick cases in schools, HoCo county and Maryland. Keep the current school operating practice.
  • Stabbing incident at Long Reach High School. Schools went into lockdown and modified lockdowns.

HCEA Appointment

HCASA(Association of Supervisors and Administrators)

Proclamation: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Proclamation: Mental Health Awareness Month

HCPSS is going to implement multi-factor authentication very soon as the board just approved the MFA purchase order.

HCPSS Discipline Data (school suspension)

FY 2023 Operating and Capital Budgets & FY 2024-28 Capital Improvement Program 

For scenario 2, we assume the county will give us extra money by keeping(not decreasing) the HCPSS spending percentage(51%) in the total county spending, which is 14.5 million dollars. This now falls to the county council’s hand.

Board meeting recap 2022-3-24

Public forum:

Musgrove Farm HOA shared septic cost

Report:

Glenelg High School:

Two candidates for SMOB election: Oliver Song and Abisola Ayoola from Wilde Lake High School

Superintendent Report:

  • For Unvaccinated Staff and Volunteers, they will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing. •Additionally, we announced that school visitors and volunteers will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination before entering the school building.
  • The quarantine policy keeps the same.

Dr. Martirano will provide guidance on how to reduce screen time shortly.

Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (HCASA)

Portable class room update

Approve the recommendations for installation of relocatable units for the school year 2022–2023. In total, there are 212 units, 255 class room spaces and 7650 seats for the portables.

Blueprint Local Flexibility – Low Performing Schools 

  • The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future requires the annual identification of schools with low performance to initiate $7,000 incentive pay for Nationally Board Certified (NBC) teachers at those schools. Schools selected would be designated as low performing for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Elementary School: Cradlerock, Swansfield, Middle School: Harper’s Choice, Lake Elkhorn, Oakland Mills, Wild Lake, High School: Oakland Mils, and Homewood Center.

School Start Times Format/Template (Brian Nevin; Tom Platt, Decision Support Group LLC) – REPORT

Proposed Instructional Materials and Review Schedule

Result from 2022 internal audit of COVID-19 relief fund’s usage

With such a big chunk of new money coming into the school system and to be used in a fixed time frame, we want to make sure HCPSS is using the money correctly. So we had an internal audit.

Summary: HCPSS has clearly defined planning and budgeting, accounting and reporting, and auditing processes for the use of relief funds. HCPSS recognizes the risk on operations when relief funds expire and is planning to use them in a manner which reduces or eliminates the risk to the extent practicable.

Board meeting recap 2022-3-10

Public forum:

  • home and hospital program

Student Representative Report: Centennial High School

Superintendent Report:

  • Promotion of Tammy Jones to principal, Lime Kiln Middle School
  • Covid update: none of the metrics the health department has been regularly tracking to inform COVID‐related decisions are in the red or danger zone.
  • Tents will come back to all elementary schools
  • Field trips: overnight and school‐to‐school field trips may now resume. One factor that may still result in a denial of an overnight field trip is if it is to an area of the country that has been identified as a COVID “hot spot”.
  • Student‐Athlete Vaccination and Testing: we are discontinuing the weekly testing requirement for student‐athletes who have not confirmed their vaccination status.
  • End of Year activities: Schools are planning in‐person end‐of year activities this spring. This includes celebration and promotional opportunities. Additionally, proms and graduations will be occurring in‐person

Appointment

  • Howard County Education Association

Incentive Pay Discussion for NBC teachers at Low Performing Schools

  • The board discussed $7,000 incentive pay for Nationally Board Certified (NBC) teachers at low performing schools, following Blueprint for Maryland legislation. The eight schools are: Cradlerock ES, Swansfield ES, Harper’s Choice MS, Lake Elkhorn MS, Oakland Mills MS, Wilde Lake MS, Oakland Mills HS, Homewood.

Portable Classroom Discussion

  • The board discussed portables for Bollman Bridge ES, West Friendship ES, Folly Quarter MS, Mount View MS . In total there are 212 units, 255 class room spaces, 7650 seats in HCPSS. The motion failed. We will have discussions in the next board meeting.

Policy Discussion:

  • Approved: Policy 6080 Sustainability
  • Approved: Policy 9400 Student Behavior Intervention
  • Approved: Policy 1060 Bullying, Cyberbulling, Harassment, or Intimidation
  • Approved: Policy 4070 Fund Balance
  • Report: Policy 1050 Tobacco-Free Environment
  • Report: Policy 9230 Alcohol, Other Drugs, Prescription Medication and Over the Counter Products 

Board meeting recap 2022-2-24

Board meeting recap 2022-2-24

Public Forum:

topics: Musgrove Farm share septic fee structure, cameras in self-contained classrooms, masking, political indoctrination

Administrative Appointment/Promotion 

Student Representative Report: Mt. Hebron High School.

We are excellence, We are community, We are Hebron

Superintendent Report:

  • Howard County Public School System Class of 2021 achieved a graduation rate of 94.1 percent, which exceeds the Maryland average of 87.2 percent, and is up from 93.4 percent in 2020
  • The rates for students with Limited English Proficiency increased by 18.98 percentage points from 47.22 percent for the Class of 2019 to 66.21 percent for the Class of 2021.
  • The rates for African American, and Hispanic and Latino/Latina students, increased by 1.97 and 5.92 percentage points, respectively, from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2021.
  • The rates for students receiving Free and Reduced Meals increased by 4.57 percentage points, from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2021
  • And, Asian American, white, and students who identified as two or more races achieved graduation rates of 95 percent
  • As of yesterday, February 23rd, the positivity rate in Howard County was 3.32 percent and the 7-day average was 10.92 and continues to drop.
  • Also as of yesterday, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 62 and 17 among staff, and we had 112 students and 29 staff members in quarantine as of Tuesday, February 22nd. At the recent high point for the virus, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 945 and 108 among staff, and we had 6,142 students and 241 staff members in quarantine. We currently have 6 active outbreaks.
  • Mask mandate may be changed to “optional” if the Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive & Legislative Review committee votes to rescind the mask mandate tomorrow.

The board voted to make mask “optional” starting Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

English Language Arts Strategic Plan

Picture of the Day, HCPSS Kindergarten Art Work

BOE meeting recap 2022-1-13

BOE meeting recap 2022-1-13

Public forum:

  • topics include: environmental literacy, mask breaks, concerning about covid-19

Student Representative:

  • Homewood

Student Board Member (Peter Banyas) Report:

  • talked about the student townhall on covid, board virtual coffee hour, HCASC virtual general assembly.

Superintendent report:

  • promotions and transfers
  • Student Board Member Peter won the United States Senate forum in DC.
  • 25% salary increase for substitute teachers

Howard County Educator Association (HCEA) presentation

  • presentation from Prof. Meagan Fitzpatrick

Policy

  • Policy 1025 Title IX Sexual Harassment, Report
  • Policy 2010 Student Representation, approved
  • Policy 4100 Investment, approved
  • Policy 4070 Fund Balance, deferred
  • Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity, approved.

Public Forum Evening

topics included: reading strategic plan, covid-19 mitigation strategies and loss

Administrative Agenda

  • Bids and contracts
  • Class Size Report
  • School Start Times
  • Operating Budget Review Committee
  • 2022-2024 Proposed Academic Calendar

I am attaching some student’s art work hanging in the BOE central office.

HCPSS Seeks Members for Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board, by Dec. 21, 2021

HCPSS Seeks Members for Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board, by Dec. 21, 2021

Apply by Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021

HCPSS is currently seeking Howard County parents/guardians, community members and staff interested in joining the Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board. Committee members share their expertise and exchange ideas to advise, support, and advocate for the continuous improvement of the instructional technology and library media program and support students in becoming college and career-ready.

The advisory board supports HCPSS staff in:

  • Establishing short and long range goals for services, resources, and technology integration
  • Maintaining a current collection policy/collection development plan
  • Implementing special program activities and celebrations
  • Advocating for the instructional technology and library media program by encouraging community support and funding

The committee will meet periodically during the school year, with the first meeting on Friday, Jan. 7 from 7:30-9 a.m., which will be held virtually. Future meeting dates will be determined at the Jan. 7 meeting.

Interested participants are asked to submit a statement of interest by Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.

For more information, please contact the Office of Instructional Technology and Library Media at 410-313-7141 or email Melissa_Daggett@hcpss.org or Julie_Wray@hcpss.org.

Board meeting recap 2021-12-7

I am beginning to document some board discussion and voting for easy digestion.

If you register to speak virtually, please make sure your name on Zoom matched your registered name such that our tech team will move you to be a speaker.

The board elected Ms. Vicky Cutroneo as Chair and Ms. Antonia Watts as vice chair.

Public forum topics: LGBTQ+ textbooks, Musgrove Farm Shared Septic, African American/Special Education, plastic bag usage in lunch, mask requirement for stage performance.

Report from Howard County High School

SMOB report: school visits, etc

Superintendent Report:

Celebration:

● This year’s Merrill teacher honorees include Samuel Polack, GT resource teacher at Rockburn Elementary School, who years ago taught 4th and 5th grade GT math to UMD Merrill student honoree William Gerst.
● Next, Paula Roberts, a math teacher at Howard High School, was recognized by her former student Eunice Braimoh.
● Two teachers at Atholton High School are also being honored: Lynette Burns is a GT teacher, whose former student was Ally Merwitz.
● The other Atholton honoree is Jennifer Street, a world language teacher and instructional team leader, whose former student was Selena Cen.

Covid Update:

I have an update on our school health metrics. As of yesterday, December 6th, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases in schools was 95, and we had 1,172 students and 31 staff members in quarantine. We have 16 current active outbreaks; please note that this number is not reflected on the Maryland Department of Health website due to
its recent hack. We have a total of 58 students who were initially identified as close contacts and ultimately tested positive over the 14-day quarantine period. Overall, our numbers remain similar to those that I reported on November 18.

I am pleased to note that as of Friday, December 3, 85.2% of Howard County 12-17 year olds are fully vaccinated, with 92.6% having received their first dose. It is also encouraging that 37.4%, or approximately 12,000 children ages 5-11
have already received their first dose.

At this time there will be no change to our current protocol requiring indoor masking for all students, staff and community members, regardless of vaccination status.

Tents:

All tents are now being removed in decreasing order of school capacity utilization, which is the same as the order in which they were installed. They will be reinstalled outside each elementary school at the beginning of March 2022, with the specific timing dependent on weather condition

Staffing shortage and hiring effort

Incident at Howard High School

Special Education Statement:

I will not remove students receiving special education services from their classroom or school, or reduce or eliminate special education services.

Motion:

The board approved a motion: student performers have the same standard as student athletes on mask protocol.

Appointments

HCEA (HoCo Education Association) and HCASA(HoCo Association of Supervisors and Administrators)

School Construction Report

  • Hammond High School, 45% completed, ready in 2023
  • HS 13, 39.6% completed, ready in 2023
  • Talbott Spring ES, 42.9%, ready in 2022

Policy Discussions

  1. Report: Policy 6060 Community Improvement to School Sites or School Facilities Charter
  2. Report: Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services Charter
  3. Report: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School (new cycle)
  4. Approved: Policy 8100 Field Trips.
    • The purpose of this modification is to allow JROTC instructors to accompany students on field trips as they are not MSDE certified. The definition of Teacher-in-Charge was modified to include Department of Defense (DoD) Certified JROTC Instructors.
  5. Approved: Policy 8010 Grading and Reporting: Prekindergarten through Grade 5
    • The purpose of this modification is to clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
  6. Approved: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School
    • For year 2021-2022 year only
    • The purpose of these modifications are, for SY21-22 only, to revise the final course grade to 5% for midterms and 5% for final examinations and clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
  7. Approved: Policy 3030 Research Involving Employees and Students

Evening Public Forum

topics covered: SMOB election, student wellness and student search and seizure

Public Hearing on Policy

  1. Policy 2010 Student Representation
  2. Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity
  3. Policy 9260 Student Search and Seizure

Administrative Agenda

  • The board denied the charter school application ( Reading Opens Doors Charter School)

Howard County APFO 101

Howard County APFO ( adequate public facility ordinance) 101

The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) provides a growth management process that will enable the County to provide adequate public roads, schools, and other facilities in a timely manner and achieve general plan growth objectives. This process is designed to direct growth to areas where adequate infrastructure exists or will exist.

HCPSS Commits to Incentive Pay for All Bus Drivers, Attendants and Contractors

HCPSS Commits to Incentive Pay for All Bus Drivers, Attendants and Contractors

HCPSS Commits to $5,000 Incentive Pay for All Bus Drivers and Attendants; Up to $4,000 Incentive Pay for Newly Hired Drivers; Up to $3,000 for Bus Contractors to Help Fill Inactive Routes

The Howard County Board of Education took action today to begin addressing the bus driver shortage that has impacted HCPSS since the beginning of the school year. The Board approved amendments to transportation contracts to provide a financial incentive for school bus drivers and attendants. This action would not have been possible without a $2 million commitment from County Executive Calvin Ball. The remaining costs will be covered with transportation savings in HCPSS’s budget. The additional funding will provide:

  • $5,000 in one-time incentives for all current bus drivers and attendants;
  • $1,500 signing bonus and up to a total of $2,500 in monthly incentive payments for all newly hired bus drivers and attendants;
  • $3,000 over three months to help bus contractors with driver shortages recruit and hire new staff to activate the remaining 95 routes; and
  • A 10% payment to bus contractors for each incentive bonus paid to bus drivers and attendants for overhead costs.

The school system wants to help bus drivers during this difficult time by getting these funds directly into their pockets. The initial $2,500 incentive bonuses for current bus drivers and attendants will be disbursed to all bus contractors within ten days of execution of the amended contracts and the remaining $2,500 will be paid monthly through the end of the school year.

The Howard County Public School System contracts its bus services to several local vendors, who will distribute the bonuses to their employees and will be required to provide verification to HCPSS that bus drivers and attendants received their payments timely.

While these short-term financial incentives are necessary to remain competitive as many other districts explore similar incentives, the long-term sustainability of transportation operations will require several strategies. HCPSS will work with bus contractors to examine the feasibility of increasing bus driver pay and benefits to support the recruitment and retention of high-quality bus drivers.

Since the start of the school year, HCPSS has experienced a shortage of approximately 95 bus drivers. The driver shortage has required many doubled bus routes, causing many students to arrive at school early or remain later at the end of the school day and resulting in significant challenges and inconvenience for drivers, families and school staff. Addressing the bus driver shortage requires a sustained effort and multiple action pathways. HCPSS has implemented a number of outreach initiatives, including recent hiring fairs, in order to attract new drivers and staff in other critical shortage areas, and will continue to work with bus contractors in an effort to reduce the number of driver shortages.

The Superintendent and Board of Education members thanked the County Executive for the county’s commitment of American Rescue Plan funding to help support this effort.

HCPSS Student Yield Per House Unit Increasing

There have been discussions on the student yield per house unit, especially the resale yield and new development yield. Please see my other article: https://chaowu.org/2021/05/30/latency-and-disconnect-in-the-new-construction-yield-and-school-over-capacity/ . I have strong opposition to use new development yield to plan for new housing development. There is no need to use two yield numbers as the Howard County Council used before. Just use a moving average number per school level is good enough to project student growth. I believe many families moving into Howard County for better education and we should try our best to provide that education support and maintain that quality.

Based on data collected, originally from Drew Roth, then augmented by Arthur Wang, I computed the student yield per house unit. Thank you, Drew and Arthur. I removed the enrollment data of 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic and only use the data between 2013-2019.

From Figure 1, we could see the trend is clear: HCPSS Student Number per House Unit is increasing over years. There are possible reasons (demographic shift) I can think of right now (a little over simplified):

  1. Newly developed homes have more students per house unit than old homes do.
  2. Senior residents without school age children moving out faster than families with children moved in.
  3. On average, families moving in have more children than families moving out.
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4

The data is attached below:

I would love to hear your feedback and refine my analysis.

Speech at New Educator Orientation

Good morning.

I’m pleased to be among the first to welcome each of you to our school system. Though we are all wearing masks, that doesn’t change this message of welcoming.

As a new educator or an educator taking on a new opportunity, you’re at the start of a wonderful professional journey. You are sure to enjoy many fulfilling and exciting moments during your first year and in the years to come. At the same time, the first year of teaching is always challenging, and we know the pandemic brings some additional challenges.

Please know that the school system, your home school, and this community are here for you, and we will support you every step of the way. We all want to help you with a good start, and make sure you have the support and resources you’ll need to be successful.

You, our educators and staff, can only be at their best if you feel valued and effective in your roles. An excellent program of professional development has been prepared to support you, starting with this orientation and continuing throughout your career with our school system.

The road you have chosen is one of the most meaningful and rewarding life adventures that anyone can experience. I thank you for committing to the education profession and joining our school system, especially during this unprecedented time. After seeing what has happened and is happening in this country, I would say we need to rejuvenate the teaching of science and democracy. We should teach our students to be good people, and remind them of their responsibility in this world.

I belong to a family of teachers. My older brother, sister-in-law, and my three little brothers and sisters are all teachers. Their dedication and support for their students always inspire me. In reflection of my own teachers and professors, I credit my success today to them, because they trusted me to be capable of achieving something. That trust broke the barrier of poverty and instability and propelled me forward.

I am also looking forward to our own community, our parents, our students, and community leaders showing their support for you. Each of them has an important role to play.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to society and culture support for your work. The education of the younger generation lays the foundation for this country’s future.

On behalf of the Board of Education, congratulations, and welcome once again to the Howard County Public School System.

HoCo BOE hiring board administrator

Our current board administrator Mrs. Kathy Hanks will retire soon. We will miss Mrs. Hanks greatly. Her professionalism is the best I have ever seen.

We are hiring for a new one.

Position Type:
  Central Office, Professional/Administrator to the Board of Education

Date Posted:
  6/25/2021

Location:
  Central Office, Howard County Public School System

Closing Date:
  07/11/2021

Here is the link for application

https://www.applitrack.com/hcpss/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=Central+Office%2c+Professional

Administrator to the Board of Education
This position opens on June 25, 2021 and closes July 11, 2021.


DESCRIPTION
Under the supervision of the Chairman of the Board of Education (BOE), the Administrator to the Board of Education provides oversight and implementation of the daily operations of the Board of Education office including the supervision of assigned administrative staff.  The Administrator serves as a liaison between members of the Board of Education, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) staff, and constituents.  The Administrator works closely with the Office of the Superintendent to coordinate joint meetings, the development of the quarterly agenda, and the response to urgent matters.

The ideal candidate for this position has exceptional ability to manage complex and time sensitive projects. With outstanding customer service and communication skills, this individual deals tactfully and effectively with school administrators, school system staff, external organizations, and the general public. The ideal candidate is skilled in the use a variety of computer software and cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and video conferencing platforms. The ability to exercise judgment, resourcefulness, discretion, and confidentiality in this role is paramount.

To learn more about employment with HCPSS, please visit https://www.hcpss.org/employment/.

ESSENTIAL POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Schedules and participates in all Board of Education business meetings, work sessions, special meetings, and public hearings, documenting actions and discussions. Provides leadership in agenda management by preparing and maintaining all Board meeting agendas. Transcribes, prepares, and oversees distribution of meeting minutes. Oversees maintenance of official archive of all Board meeting minutes.  Maintains the confidentiality of materials.
  • Serves as the primary compliance officer for the Open Meetings Act as it pertains to Board meetings. Ensures all meeting are announced and agenda posted.
  • Maintains the Board calendar and strategically plans and implements activities related to official Board business. Establishes short-term and long-term priorities and milestones to address them on time.
  • Serves as first point of contact between the Board and the community.  Exercises independent judgment to answer questions from constituents and internal staff on matters related to the Board, originates a wide variety of correspondence, and refers inquiries to the appropriate person or department. Interprets and communicates HCPSS policies as needed to respond to and resolve inquiries.
  • Maintains effective communication and collaboration with the Office of the Superintendent.
  • Provides timely notice to the Board of sensitive or potential crisis situations within the school system.
  • Collects, researches, compiles, organizes, and presents information on a variety of issues at the request of Board Members. Maintains a list of Board requests for action, unfinished Board business, and future agenda items. Follows up with staff on outstanding action items.
  • Serves as the liaison for appeals to the Board of Education.  Collaborates with the Board’s attorney concerning Board requests and appeals by the public and employees. Processes appeals to the Board in accordance with established procedures. Arranges Board hearings in a timely manner. Informs appellant of the Board’s appeal procedures. Assigns hearing examiner and ensures relevant legal material is available for review prior to the hearing.
  • Coordinates Board retreats and orientation for new Board members. Schedules professional development for Board members as needed. Informs Board members of operating procedures and protocol for meetings, hearings, executive sessions, and other Board activities.
  • Establishes and maintains communication and effective working relationships with community and stakeholder groups, internal and external organizations, and agencies that provide educational related services.
  • Maintains the Board calendar and has authority for commitment of time. Arranges meetings between Board members and executive staff, elected officials, and other constituents as requested.

The above list is a summary of the functions of the job, not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks, and duties.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
Applicants must meet all the following qualifications, listed below, to be considered for the vacancy.

Education:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in public or business administration, public relations, communications, or a related field.

Experience:

  • At least (5) five years of experience working with senior leadership and executive level staff and providing leadership in the execution of highly complex projects and administrative tasks. 
  • Experience supervising and training staff.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience running effective meetings utilizing parliamentary procedure.
  • Knowledge of the Maryland Open Meetings Act.
  • Experience utilizing BoardDocs Pro or similar school board management software.
  • Knowledge of the Maryland Annotated Code for Education.
  • Knowledge of the general organization and functions of Maryland public school systems.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends, frequently under pressure.

SALARY
This is a 12-month per year position in the Administrative, Management, and Technical employee group. The current salary range for this position is Group G, $102,020- $148,624. Salary placement will be in conjunction with salary procedures of the Howard County Public School System which considers relevant prior experience. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, this position is exempt from overtime.


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
Only applicants who submit all the requested information by the closing date of the vacancy will be considered for this position. Interviews will be limited to those applicants who, in addition to meeting the basic requirements, have experiences and education which most closely match the position qualifications and the needs of the school system. 

Please note that a completed application includes:

  • A complete application form that includes a listing of employment locations with dates of employment and names of direct supervisors.
  • All supplemental materials (i.e.: resume, letter of introduction, and transcripts) required to verify that you meet the minimum qualifications.

HCPSS requires an official evaluation of foreign credentials to verify educational qualifications.
For questions regarding this vacancy, please contact:

Sandy Saval
Human Resources Business Partner
Office of Human Resources
(410) 313-6689
sandy_saval@hcpss.org


Equal Opportunity Employer
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  HCPSS ensures equal employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.

20 recommendations from 2021 OBRC

Here are 20 recommendations from 2021 OBRC.

  1. The OBRC recommends the Board request the Superintendent to obtain and provide the Board with a health benefit participation comparison among peer counties to clarify the findings in SB and Company’s Agreed-Upon Procedures Report. (Recommendation approved 12 to 5 with 2 abstentions) 

2. The OBRC recommends that HCPSS modernize its technology curriculum to expand the introduction to coding as a second language and computer science as a core discipline from K-12. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

3. The OBRC recommends the Board fully fund the line item on page 290 of the Superintendent’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget of $174,000 for contracted services that “Increases funding to provide reading intervention and dyslexia tutoring services provided by Orton Gillingham.” (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

4. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to present a cost-benefit analysis of the expected expenditures and/or savings incurred or expected through advancing expertise, training and certification of critical education staff and shifting to in-house staff development in science based and data driven reading intervention programs (one example is Orton Gillingham) to provide student tutoring versus contracting with outside services. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

5. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to more clearly define the HCPSS implementation process and initiatives that allow HCPSS to sustain and fully comply with the Ready to Read Act of 2019 and the key performance indicators on page 289 of the Superintendent’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget and to decrease the achievement gap of students that are identified as failing the benchmark of proficient in reading, including defining the 5 year (or longer) plan and the expected operating dollars that would be expended and/or saved. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

6. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to conduct a comparative analysis, using surrounding school districts, of the special education teachers/teacher’s aides to student ratio and the respective average caseloads. The OBRC requests the analysis compare current job descriptions and responsibilities of special education related services and support staff (i.e. paraprofessionals and behavioral specialists), to provide information to assess if HCPSS is utilizing the most effective staffing formula models to provide mandated special education services. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

7. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for utilizing HCPSS employed and trained staff vs. temporary teacher’s aides, including the expected 

expenditures and/or savings incurred to convert staff from temporary to full-time employees and necessary steps and timeline for the conversion. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

8. The OBRC recommends the Board request detailed staff turnover reports for Programs 3320 & 3321 for fiscal years 2018 to 2020 to explain the discrepancies between the budgets and actuals for salaries. The Board requests the report include the number of vacancies on the first day of school, the last day of the first semester, and the last day of school. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

9. The OBRC recommends the Board request a detailed explanation of where excess funds for Programs 3320 & 3321 were reallocated/reinvested in fiscal years 2018 to 2020 (excluding the federal pass-through funding in fiscal year 2020 that distorts the final numbers). (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

10. The OBRC recommends the Board request that the fiscal year 2022 budget reflect the delineation between federal pass-through dollars in Program 3321 – Contracted Labor and traditional funding sources to clarify the massive increase in spending that has not been explained in the fiscal year 2021 budget or fiscal year 2022 budget proposal. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

11. The OBRC recommends the Board review salary increases and discontinue the practice of “me-too” salary adjustments for AMT staff not covered under the bargaining positions to achieve closer alignment with salary maximums in peer counties. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

12. The OBRC recommends the Board direct the Superintendent to provide the Board with a comparison of four similar size peer county models for administration of community service and pass-through programs such as Health Services, Infants & Toddlers, and Mental Health Services to clarify the cost impact on HCPSS. (Recommendation approved unanimously) 

13. The OBRC recommends the Board include full funding of $5,357,451 in the Operating Budget for the Funding Commitments for Special Education New Enrollment. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

14. The OBRC recommends the Board ask the Superintendent to prepare a report that includes information from each department and/or division that has Policy 1080 implementation responsibility and budgetary impact. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

15. The OBRC recommends the Board provide full funding from sources including the Operating Budget and other sources of funds for the new Digital Education Center. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

16. The OBRC recommends the Board include full funding in the Operating Budget for Sustaining Technology Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Safeguards. (Recommendation approved 13 to 0 with 2 abstentions) 

17. The OBRC recommends the Board include full funding in the Operating Budget for Enhanced Efforts in Reading Instruction and Dyslexia Training. (Recommendation approved by consensus) 

18. The OBRC recommends the Board consider the one-time funding listed in the application for ESSER II in determining what areas may be reasonable to consider reducing in the primary Operating Budget, where one-time expenditures exist, with the intention to leverage the enhanced opportunities in state funding to meet HCPSS goals. (Recommendation approved 9 to 0 with 5 abstentions) 

19. The OBRC recommends the Board not set the management presentation schedule for the OBRC. (Recommendation approved 12 to 1) 

20. The OBRC recommends the Board give the OBRC an opportunity to provide monthly reports at Board meetings during the budget period of January to June to improve communication and feedback between the Board and the OBRC. (Recommendation approved by consensus)