BoardNotes: October 2020

Highlights from the Caroline Board of Education Meeting

Caroline County Board of Education meetings may be viewed live or after the fact on the district's Vimeo page. For information about the Board of Education, please visit the CCPS website Leadership page.



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


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 have submitted the names for consideration. These individuals will serve for two years (2020-2021 and 2021-2022).

Kathy Dill, Board President - Megan Nichols

C. Tolbert Rowe, Board Vice President - Abigail McNinch

Louise Cheek, Board Member - Name to be submitted at a later date

George Abner, Board Member - Moneka Sudler

James Newcomb, Board Member - Richard Uva

Negotiations Team

The Board approved the following persons as exempt administrators:

  • Milton Nagel, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services
  • Lindsey McCormick, Director of instruction
  • Elizabeth Anthony, Director of Special Programs
  • Derek Simmons, Director of Student Services
  • Deborah Siachos, Supervisor of Human Resources
  • Erin Thornton, Comptroller
  • Dawn Swann, Principal

The Board also approved the following Negotiating Team:

  • Deborah Siachos, Chief Negotiator
  • Edward F. Centofante
  • Milton Nagel
  • Lindsey McCormick
  • Erin Thornton
  • Dawn Swann
  • Penny Bradley

Board approval of exempt administrators and the negotiating team was necessary in order to begin the negotiating process.

Comprehensive Maintenance Plan for FY21

The Board approved the FY21 Comprehensive Maintenance Plan (CMP) to be submitted to the Interagency Committee on School Construction (IAC).

The IAC requires an annual update of the Comprehensive Maintenance Plan. This plan represents one of several activities enabling the IAC to monitor and evaluate how well Maryland’s school systems are systematically and comprehensively protecting the state’s capital investment. Caroline County’s specific objectives for its CMP are to:

  1. Provide the most effective environment possible for teaching and learning.
  2. Minimize potential disruptions to the educational program.
  3. Preserve and protect the asset value of school property and facilities.
  4. Maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of facility functions and systems.
  5. Provide the foundation for effective risk management and preventative maintenance programs.

FY22 Capital Improvement Program

The Board approved the FY22 Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The Interagency Committee for School Construction (IAC) requires the CIP to be updated and approved annually. The CIP is also submitted to the County Commissioners for acceptance.

The proposed FY22 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 6 of the document. The FY22 CIP requests year three funding approval for the Greensboro Elementary Replacement School and the approval of a partial roof replacement at Ridgely Elementary School.


No Kid Hungry Recognition

The Board recognized Beth Brewster, Supervisor of Food Services, and her team for their work in feeding children since the initial school closure in March.

According to a letter from No Kid Hungry to Superintendent Patty Saelens, "Because of the work of this dedicated staff, more than 300,000 meals were served to kids in Caroline County since COVID-19 closures began. It is not an easy task to quickly develop a way to serve kids under a new program in a brand new situation in just a few days, but they did it and did it tremendously! In addition, the FNS team jumped to action with continuing summer meals in September. It has been a challenging time with a lot of uncertainty, and Beth and her team have been inspiring."

Dr. Saelens stated, "I'm happy to recognize Beth for her leadership and the work of her team, and always so proud to say that I'm a colleague of hers." Mr. Rowe praised the new facility at the Support Services Center that houses the backpack program. Ms. Brewster, joining the meeting via Zoom, praised the amazing community that supports efforts to combat food insecurity and added the the Transition Center students volunteer to help the Backpack Program once a week.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. Saelens shared that she was thankful to the staff, administrators, students and families for their hard work throughout the beginning of school. She reported that the goal was to safely bring in as many students as possible, and that it was exciting to have the youngest learners back to the buildings this week.

Dr. Saelens stated that the October work session would include a complete Recovery Plan update.

Dr. Saelens asked for a moment of silence for Cathy Alder, a member of the Colonel Richardson Middle School family who recently passed away. She shared that Mrs. Alder was an integral part of the CRMS family and community, and will be greatly missed by the students and staff.

Assistant Superintendent & Directors Report (Snapshot)

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

Student Representative Reports

The students report on activities from their respective schools.

1. North Caroline High School - Dr. Saelens reported that the NCHS was unable to fulfill the role, and a new representative would be identified soon.

2. Gillian Cheezum - Colonel Richardson High School Report


September Enrollment Update

Mr. William Allen, Supervisor of Pupil Services, provided an update on September enrollment data. Dr. Saelens and Mr. Allen shared information about families opting to homeschool their children given the current circumstances brought about by the pandemic. It was reported that many are reluctant to withdraw or transfer their students but were facing hardships that necessitated the move. Dr. Saelens discussed a virtual learning option being explored by the Eastern Shore of Maryland Education Coalition (ESMEC), but that is not yet available. Mr. Allen explained that he makes contact with each family considering or opting for homeschooling to ensure that they have all the information necessary for their child to be successful. He reminded the Board that if homeschooling students are not enrolled in a homeschooling 'umbrella' program, CCPS is responsible for providing oversight, even though homeschooled children are not factored into our per-pupil funding.

Class Size Report

Ms. Suzanne Jones provided the Board an update on class sizes for the 2020-2021 school year. She shared that given the unusual circumstances, the Board could be proud of the core academic class sizes, which is the result of hard work by principals and the instructional teams.

2020-2021 Budget Calendar

The Board approved the following calendar of events for development of the 2021-2022 budget.

Tuesday, December 1, 6:00 pm - Budget development discussion

Tuesday, January 12, 6:00 pm - Budget development discussion

Tuesday, January 19, 6:00 pm - Board work session with County Commissioners

Wednesday, January 20

  • 4:30 pm - School System Improvement Council
  • 6:30 pm - Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting

Tuesday, February 2, 6:00 pm - Budget Approval

Wednesday, February 3 - Submit approved proposed budget to Caroline County Commissioners

TBD, 9:00 am - Caroline County Government budget roundtable discussion

TBD, 6:00 pm - Caroline County Government public hearing to receive testimony on budget requests -

TBD, 6:00 pm - Caroline County Government public budget hearing on proposed budget

Tuesday, June 8, 6:00 pm - Final Budget Approval

Capital Projects Update

The Board approved the Capital Projects Update for the FY21 as approved by Milton Nagel, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services.


Because the board meeting was virtual, citizens were invited to submit public comment via email at One email was received, shared with the Board and Superintendent, and read aloud during the meeting by the Public Information Officer.