BoardNotes: May 2021

Highlights from the Caroline Board of Education Meeting

Caroline County Board of Education meetings are livestreamed and may also be viewed after the meeting has concluded. For information about the Board of Education, including agendas and meeting schedules, please visit the Leadership page of our website.

Moment of Silence

Board members and staff observed a moment of silence in honor of Mrs. Kathy Dill.


The Board approved personnel items as presented by Debbie Siachos, Supervisor of Human Resources Debbie Siachos.

Textbook Adoptions

The Board approved Chemistry, 13e (2019), Raymond Chang and Jason Overby; McGraw Hill.

This textbook aligns with the College Board AP Chemistry course audit outline and the course framework. It includes significant hands-on laboratory components, engaging all students in the practices as well as the content of AP Chemistry. Furthermore, this series includes a robust online teacher and student website for additional support. This text, Chemistry will serve as a critical support for both teachers and students enrolled in High School AP Chemistry.

Public Notice

The Board also approved the Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis, (2021), Jane Piper Clendinning and Elizabeth West Marvin; W.W. Norton and Company.

This textbook aligns with the College Board AP Music Theory course audit outline and the course framework. It includes significant digital components to assist students with their aural skills, covers topics typically taught in undergraduate AP Music Theory courses, and features a spiral-learning approach that revisits familiar work and concepts while adding new layers of understanding. This text, The Musician's Guide To Theory and Analysis will serve as a critical support for both teachers and students enrolled in High School AP Music Theory.

Public Notice

Contract #21-012 Control Upgrades

The Board approved a contract with Control Sources LLC to provide control upgrades to the air handling/conditioning systems at three school locations. The air handling/conditioning systems at Denton Elementary, Ridgely Elementary, and Lockerman Middle schools will be upgraded to eliminate all air-controlled/pneumatic systems and be replaced with electronic controls. Contractor shall begin services on or about June 16, 2021, and complete the project by close of business on August 2, 2021. The funds associated with this project are provided for with Federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funds. The bid process and procedures complied with Board policy and applicable state laws and regulations.

Bid Opening Sheet

Board Member Reports

Ms. Wayman shared that she attended a MABE workshop and participated in the Scholarship Committee, which she found rewarding.

Mr. Barton attended the MABE Legislative Committee meeting and the Rhythm of the Ridge Induction Ceremony.

Ms. DiGiacomo also attended the MABE Legislative Committee meeting, the Rhythm of the Ridge Induction Ceremony, the Scholarship Committee meeting, and the Teacher and Support Employee of the Year presentations. She also met with Ms. Anthony, Director of Special Education and Ms. France, CRHS math teacher, spent a day with Ms. Bonner, gym teacher at RES, and visited LMS, GES, and FES.

Mr. Newcomb also attended the Teacher of the Year presentation and while at CRHS, visited with staff. He also stopped by NCHS to congratulate the Support Employee of the Year, Penny Boyd.

Mr. Newcomb also expressed the Board's appreciation of all staff during Teacher Appreciation Week and throughout the year.

Superintendent's Report

Dr. Simmons noted that May is Children's Mental Health Awareness Month, and thanked the Caroline County Commissioners for their proclamation.

He also shared the news that the Maryland State Board of Education recently passed a resolution supporting a resolution stating that schools should be open for the required 180 days of in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. With this support and barring any unforeseen circumstances, plans for a full opening for all students in the fall will proceed.

In addition, he shared that CCPS is working with the Eastern Shore of Maryland Educational Consortium (ESMEC) on a virtual learning option for the next school year. Currently, a limited number of criteria-based 6-12 grade students is possible, with an option for elementary students also being considered.

Mr. Barton said it was nice to see the resolution because it showed the intention of of the State Board.

Ms. DiGiacomo said the Board is fully supportive, and the community as a whole is ready.

Mr. Newcomb said it sounded like we had the support of the State Board, and the Board is supportive of staff and students. He asked about sharing the news, and Dr. Simmons said a news release was planned so everyone in the community is completely aware.

Dr. Simmons also stated that students who are currently virtual learners are welcome back to in-person learning at any point throughout the remainder of this school year.

Ms. Wayman suggested that the May Work Session agenda include discussing the ESMEC virtual learning option.

Superintendent's Report

Related News Release

Assistant Superintendent & Directors Report

Highlights from all areas of the school system were shared in the Instruction & Administration Snapshot.

Student Representative Reports

Student representatives Zachary O'Brian from North Caroline High School and Gillian Cheezum from Colonel Richardson High School virtually provided reports on activities from schools in their respective ends of the county.

Finance Report

Erin Thornton, Comptroller, presented the Finance Report as of March 31, 2021.


Engagement Survey Summary

Dr. Simmons provided the Board a summary from the Employee Engagement Survey, conducted in February.

Ms. Wayman requested a way to share CCPS Strategic Plan goals throughout the county.

Mr. Newcomb thanked Dr. Simmons for an excellent summary, and stressed to everyone that the Board and staff have a full report with data analysis provided, and will be using that information to make decisions moving forward. He also encouraged staff to participate in the next survey.

Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund II

Milton Nagel provided the Board an update on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund II.



Due to the meeting being closed to the public, citizens were invited to submit public comment via email at

Two comments were submitted and read into the record:

  • Brenda Scanlon provided remarks on the topic of teacher appreciation and retention.

  • John Muller provided remarks on the topic of current and future presentation regarding former Caroline teacher Dennis F. Groce.

Citizens providing Public Comment should note that these procedures are to be followed during this time:

  • In lieu of signing in, citizens are advised to email their remarks to
  • There is a 5 minute time limit for each email.
  • Specific and personal references to students, employees or others associated with the Board of Education will not be permitted. Should someone wish to bring something to the attention of the Superintendent or the Board about a specific person or student, they may do so in writing to the Superintendent or the Board.
  • Rude, slanderous, or threatening remarks are not permitted.
  • The Board of Education does not engage in a discussion of the matter being brought to it during public comment. If appropriate, the Board may direct the superintendent to provide a response following the meeting.

List of Future Discussions

President Newcomb reviewed the list of items for future Board discussions.
  • June 1: NCHS Graduation
  • June 4th: 5th Grade Night (GES)
  • June 3: CRHS Graduation
  • June 11th: Last day of school for students

Next Board Meeting:

May 18, 2021 - Work Session

June 8, 2021 - Regular Monthly Meeting (Closed session @ 5pm and Open session @ 6pm)