BoardNotes: November 2021

Highlights from the Caroline Board of Education Meetings

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.

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Board Member Reports

Board Members shared highlights of their work from the previous month, and reported the following activities:

Mr. Newcomb:

  • MABE Conference
  • Colonel Richardson Homecoming parade
  • CRHS Girls Soccer Senior night
  • Conference call with MABE planning for Superintendent search
  • Monthly meeting conversation with Superintendent
  • Appeal Hearing
  • Misc. football, volleyball and soccer games

Ms. DiGiacomo:

  • Board meeting
  • NCHS Homecoming Parade & football game
  • Helped with Police Unity Ride
  • Helped with Leo function
  • Leo Meetings
  • Work session
  • Appeal Hearing
  • Meet with numerous staff members during the month

Mr. Barton:

  • Board meeting
  • Football chains
  • Several volleyball games
  • Appeal hearing

Mr. Jones:

  • North Caroline Homecoming Football Game
  • Appeal Hearing

Superintendent's Report

Superintendent's Report

Dr. Simmons spent a day at Ridgely Elementary this month and enjoyed visiting with staff and students. He also attended the costume parade at Denton Elementary School.

Directors' Report

Directors Report

Director of Instruction Lindsey McCormick highlighted after-school programs at GES and FES, high school evening school for credit recovery with transportation, tutoring during quarantine, award from Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation and the Maryland Ag Teachers Association to Jodi Callahan, and CADD students project.

Director of Special Programs and Student Services Elizabeth Anthony highlighted a new hire to fill the vacant school psychologist position with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), the upcoming SECAC meeting, and growth of the English Learners population.

Director of Operations Bill Mengel highlighted transportation department data including the number of buses on the road, number of students assigned to a bus, total miles driven every day, and current driver requirements.

Student Representative Reports

Student Representative Reports

Colonel Richardson High School Student Board Representative Zahid Ashraf highlighted events and information for the schools in the south county he represents including spirit week, Spelling Bee finalists, and upcoming events.

North Caroline High School Student Board Representative Zachary O’Brien highlighted events and information for the schools in the north county he represents including fall testing, spirit week, Spelling Bee finalists, after-school programs/sports, and upcoming events.

Finance Report

Finance Report

Comptroller Erin Thornton updated the Board on pertinent financial matters on Oct 31. She noted overages in some of the line items where the budget needs to be realigned to match changes that were made after the budget was adopted, as well as unexpected needs that arise over the course of the year. Four months into the fiscal year, CCPS has spent approximately 73% of the budget and is in good fiscal shape for the year.


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


Stephanie Miller (in-person), Lisa Gowe (emailed), Amy Anderson (emailed) and Ann Marie Bouchal (in-person) addressed the Board on the topic of salaries and benefits for CCPS Instructional Assistants.


Audit Reports

Comptroller Erin Thornton presented the two annual audits of our financial management, the Financial Report and Audit Communications. Both documents indicate that the Board of Education has conducted its financial matters in accordance with accepted standards, without noted exception.

FY21 Audit Communications

FY21 Financial Report

Budget Adjustments for FY2021

The Board approved budget adjustments for FY21 as presented by Comptroller Erin Thornton. She explained that the budgeted amount for the County Appropriation must be increased and unrestricted state revenue must be decreased to reflect actual. Revenue from other sources was less than what was budgeted due to a decrease in interest rates as well as lower than anticipated miscellaneous revenue. Restricted revenue must be increased to balance with the expenditures for restricted programs.

Total expenditures in the areas of other instructional costs, special education, pupil personnel services, health services, operation of plant, maintenance of plant and fixed charges exceeded their budgeted amounts. The reasons for these over expenditures are as follows:

  • Other Instructional Costs: Additional needs such as Brightlink projectors for GES classrooms; VoIP Gateways for classroom phones at RES, DES, LMS, NCHS; equipment for 1:1 device program
  • Special Education: Actual salary costs greater than budgeted
  • Pupil Personnel Services: Contract for Alternative Program (previously handled in-house)
  • Health Services: Actual salary costs greater than budgeted
  • Operation of Plant: Utilities higher than anticipated due to price increases
  • Maintenance of Plant: Cost of supplies needed for repairs at various schools/locations was higher than anticipated; approved year-end projects
  • Fixed Charges: Rising costs associated with unemployment, health insurance and accrued leave

The areas of administration, school management & support, instructional salaries, instructional supplies, pupil transportation and capital outlay will be decreased to offset the over expenditures in the above categories.

It was noted that the County Commissioners must also approve these adjustments.

Teacher Evaluation Committee

The Board approved convening a Teacher Evaluation Committee for the following purposes:

  • To determine if there is a need to add “Developing” as a rating for select populations of teachers.
  • To discuss a pilot of a new evaluation platform.

Committee members will include:

  • Lindsey McCormick, Director of Instruction (Chair)
  • Lee Sutton, Principal of Ridgely Elementary
  • Takyiah Benson, Assistant Principal of Lockerman Middle School
  • Dr. Nicole VonDenBosch, Principal of Colonel Richardson High School
  • Melissa Mulligan, Supervisor of Instruction (Math)
  • Christal Harkowa, Supervisor of Instruction (ELL/504/G&T)
  • Carissa Hollinger, Supervisor of Special Education
  • Amy Anderson, CCEA President or designee
  • CCEA Members: Peggy Wittman, Laura Eser, Stacey Todd, Sharon Conaway


Gifted & Talented Program Update

Christal Harkowa, Supervisor of Instruction, updated the Board on the Gifted and Talented Program.

Gifted & Talented Program Update

Secondary Writing Instruction Update

Renee Hesson, Supervisor of Instruction, updated the Board on secondary writing instruction.

Secondary Writing Instruction Update

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