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200 people could be involved in school study

January 15, 1998

200 people could be involved in school study

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

Up to 200 people from across the county could be pulled together to study what needs to be done in Washington County schools following a curriculum audit that showed a wide range of problems in the district, Washington County Board of Education officials said Tuesday.

The audit made 11 recommendations to improve schools, and school officials are organizing committees to study each recommendation and decide how they will be implemented, according to schools Superintendent Herman Bartlett.

Each of the groups will send its plans to a steering committee, which will put together a final plan, school officials said during a meeting with the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

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The Washington County Board of Education met with the commissioners at Fountain Rock Elementary School to discuss budget issues and other areas.

The steering committee will be headed by Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Theresa Flak and local businessman Mike Callas, said Bartlett.

The curriculum audit, released in September, said the school system had shortcomings in curriculum development, had high dropout rates among blacks and did not use computers frequently.

The audit also found problems in the way black students are placed in special education programs and said inequalities exist among schools in terms of available resources such as library books and media equipment.

The commissioners met with school officials to determine how the school district was doing with its development of a three-year budget plan.

The commissioners agreed to give the school board $750,000 for the renovation of South Hagerstown High School earlier than scheduled if the board agreed to a longer budget plan.

The commissioners wanted the longer budget plan by April.

School officials said the long-range plan to address recommendations in the curriculum audit will have a budget, but it probably will not be ready until next fall.

The commissioners appeared to be willing to wait.

"I would hope that you bear with us. I think when we finish this process, you will be very proud of what we do," Bartlett said.

"We do realize its a complex endeavor ... and it will take time to get it right," saiCounty Commissioners President Gregory Snook.

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