BoardNotes: October 2022
Highlights from the Caroline Board of Education Meetings
OCTOBER BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
Board Member Reports
- Ms. DiGiacomo attended several events and expressed her love for the students and staff.
- Mr. Jones attended several sporting events and shared his gratitude for the families, players, and the coaches. He reflected that success was not always measured in wins and losses but rather in influencing others, and he appreciates how the coaches do that.
- Mr. Barton shared that he enjoyed interacting with employees, particularly during time at the YMCA. As a YMCA board member, he was surprised that only two counties took advantage of the staff membership opportunity offered, and proud that Caroline was one of them.
- Mr. Newcomb stated that despite not having children in the schools anymore, he could not resist attending high school athletic events. He also enjoyed the CRHS Homecoming festivities.
Dr. Simmons discussed the school system's involvement in Caroline's Collective Impact and the importance of the work being done by community agencies and groups. He explained the Collective Impact group is in the process of creating a plan of action that will address specific areas. Dr. Simmons discussed the series of community meetings that the Human Services Council is holding throughout Caroline, and encouraged attendance by all.
Director of Instruction Lindsey McCormick reported on activities of teachers and students as it relates to instruction. She also shared that FES students received new instruments, provided by funds from the Community Schools grant.
Director of Special Programs and Student Services Elizabeth Anthony highlighted various professional development activities that occurred during September.
Director of Operations Bill Mengel reported that computer technicians have been placed in every school which has led to better service and a decrease in the number of work tickets being submitted. He also highlighted that they are implementing a plan to use funding from the School Safety Grant Program to place 800-MHz county-based radios at all schools.
Student Representative Reports
Colonel Richardson High School Student Board Representative Shelbi Briggs highlighted events and information for the schools in the south county including CRHS Homecoming activities and how much everyone appreciated getting back to 'normal'.
North Caroline High School Student Board Representative Leslie Monter Casio highlighted events and information for the schools in the north county, including NCHS Homecoming activities.
Overnight Field Trip Request
The Board approved an overnight field trip request for 45 CRHS band students to attend Music in the Park, a national competition in Williamsburg, Virginia from May 17-20, 2023.
INDIVIDUAL ACTION ITEMS
Citizens Advisory Committee
The Board approved new appointments to the Citizens Advisory Committee. Each year, members of the Board of Education and school principals alternate the responsibility of making nominations to the Citizens Advisory Committee. This year the members of the Board of Education submitted the names for consideration. These individuals will serve for two years (2022-2023 and 2023-2024).
- Becky Brown, nominated by Mr. Jones
- Joanna Durando, nominated by Mr. Newcomb
- Lauren Lerch, nominated by Mr. Barton
- Carmeshia Murray, nominated by Ms. Wayman
- Angel Perez, nominated by Ms. DiGiacomo
Designation of Exempt Administrators & Appointment of Negotiating Team Members
The Board designated the following administrators as Exempt Administrators:
- Dr. Tara Downes, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
- Ms. Lindsey M. McCormick, Director of Instruction
- Mr. William Mengel, Director of Operations
- Ms. Elizabeth Anthony, Director of Special Programs and Student Services
- Dr. Robert W. Willoughby, Supervisor of Human Resources
- Ms. Erin B. Thornton, CPA, Chief Financial Officer
- Ms. Deborah E. Siachos, Coordinator of Human Resources
- Dr. Nicole M. Vondenbosch, Principal, Colonel Richardson High School
The Board approved the appointment of Negotiating Team members:
- Dr. Robert W. Willoughby, Chief Negotiator
- Ms. Deborah E. Siachos
- Ms. Erin B. Thornton
- Ms. Lindsey M. McCormick
- Dr. Nicole M. Vondenbosch
Capital Improvement Plan
The Board approved the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which is required by the Interagency Committee for School Construction (IAC) to be updated and approved annually by all local boards of education. Following the Board of Education’s acceptance and approval, the CIP is also submitted to the County Commissioners for its acceptance.
The proposed FY24 CIP reflects the Board’s priorities as shown in the previously approved Educational Facilities Master Plan. A summary of all current and future years projects is included, Form 102.4, and can be found on page 4 of the document. The FY24 CIP requests funding for the full replacement of the roof at Federalsburg Elementary School.
Chief Operating Officer Erin Thornton presented the school system’s budget calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. Budget discussions that will take place at upcoming Board Meetings as well as with the County Commissioners and CCPS stakeholder groups.
- Tuesday, December 6, 2022: Budget development discussion – Board Meeting - 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 3, 2023: Budget development discussion – Board Meeting - 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 10, 2023: School System Improvement Council and Citizens Advisory Council – Board of Education - 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, January 17, 2023: Board Work Session with County Commissioners – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 7, 2023: Preliminary Budget Approval – Board Meeting – 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 8, 2023: Submit approved proposed budget to Caroline County Commissioners
- Tuesday, March 7, 2023: Budget discussion – Board Meeting – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 4, 2023: Budget discussion – Board Meeting – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 2, 2023: Budget discussion – Board Meeting – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 6, 2023: Final Budget Approval – Board Meeting - 6 p.m.
Employee Engagement Survey
Dr. Simmons presented information about the upcoming Employee Engagement Survey. He explained the first three surveys had been conducted later in the school year. However, the decision was made to move the survey to earlier in the school year so there was time to take action on the data the survey provides and then to measure progress. Dr. Simmons shared that the same vendor (Qualtrics / New Measures) would once again be used to conduct the anonymous survey.
Board members discussed the need for employees to take the survey during the two weeks it is open (early November), and to fully engage in the questions.
OCTOBER 18 WORK SESSION
School Safety Presentation
School Safety Coordinator Michael Gestole updated the board on school safety efforts in Caroline County. He highlighted the role of the Maryland Center for School Safety and the requirements and responsibilities of the School Safety Coordinator position.
Mr. Gestole also discussed the role of the School Resource Officers (SRO) and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Caroline County Sheriff's Office. He explained the data reporting requirements, use of grant funding, the training and projects moving forward.
Caroline County Public Schools serves over 5,800 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. We provide a progressive, academically challenging education that prepares students for higher education, careers, and life.