Smoking banned on school grounds

April 20, 1999

Smoking banned on school grounds

Smoking is now prohibited on school grounds in Washington County at all times.

The Washington County Board of Education approved a policy change Tuesday that means stricter alcohol, tobacco and drug rules for students.

Smoking is now prohibited during football games, track meets, after hours and on weekends. Neither students nor parents and teachers are allowed to smoke.

"There is zero tolerance and that has to be the mission," said School Board member B. Marie Byers.

The new policy includes changes that will allow principals to begin drug investigations based on their suspicions. Students can be punished for trying to distribute "look-alike" drugs, or legal substances represented as illegal ones. Smokers who are caught three times can be fined.


Teachers association vacancies remain

Vacancies remain on the Washington County Teachers Association board of directors for middle and high school representatives, President Sharon Chirgott said Tuesday.

Chirgott was re-elected last month to another two-year term. Denise Fry of Northern Middle School is vice president, Ronald Miller of Boonsboro Middle School is secretary and Deborah Zacher of Bester Elementary School is treasurer.

WCTA members at large include Carol Corwell-Martin of Salem Avenue Elementary School and Rebecca Parody of Williamsport Elementary School.

Officers and members serve one-year terms. Chirgott said she plans to recruit more members over the summer.

Principals can accept gifts under $1,000

Principals can now accept gifts to schools valued at less than $1,000, but more expensive donations will require further approval.

The Washington County Board of Education changed the limits for school gifts Tuesday. Donations worth between $1,000 and $3,000 now require the superintendent's approval. Gifts with a higher value require the approval of the School Board.

Teacher of the Year speaks at meeting

Applause and a standing ovation greeted the conclusion of a speech from Carol Corwell-Martin, Teacher of the Year, at the Washington County Board of Education business meeting Tuesday.

A new Teacher of the Year will be selected April 27. Corwell-Martin's report to the School Board came as she prepares to pass on the title. It was and continues to be the greatest honor she will ever receive, she said.

"This year has been filled with a multitude of experiences, those which enriched my mind, touched my heart and filled my soul," Corwell-Martin said. "I will continue to seek to be a representative for my profession, for children, and for our community, county and state."

Principals will have one place to turn for discipline procedures if the Washington County Board of Education approves a policy change presented Tuesday.

Guidance Supervisor Joe Millward presented a proposal to revise the school system's disciplinary procedures. Drafted by committee, the proposal consolidates procedures and policy, Millward said.

It restructures the wording and ranks offenses in order of seriousness. The offenses are listed in categories with a list of possible consequences.

If the proposal is passed, principals will not have to rummage around in a pile of documents to decide on an appropriate reaction to student misbehavior, according to Millward. The School Board is expected to take a final vote on the proposal May 4.

Speakers at School Board public hearings may be asked to provide nine written copies of their testimony.

The Washington County Board of Education is considering a policy change that would raise the number of requested copies from six to nine.

Executive Director of Support Services William McKinley said the extra copies will accommodate the increase in the number of School Board members.

- Bruce Hamilton

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