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School Board communication questioned by PTA

October 15, 2000

School Board communication questioned by PTA



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


The president of the Washington County Council of PTAs said the organization has several concerns about the school system, including the way the Board of Education communicates with the public.

President Jenny Belliotti questioned School Board members about recent Funkstown issues including the closed door meeting with Wal-Mart developers in which the height of a proposed wall that would separate store property from the elementary school were discussed. She also wanted to know why parents were notified that the school's kindergarten program would become full-day until after the fact.

"Why were parents notified through the newspaper that their kindergartners would go from half-day to full-day?" Belliotti asked.

The kindergarten program was changed to a full-day program on Oct. 2.

"This is not the way we involve our communities," Belliotti said. "It's not how you soothe the problem. Including parents in the process is essential."

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"I agree with you," board member Doris Nipps said. "That should have been discussed with those parents."

Board member B. Marie Byers also agreed and said the School Board sometimes violates its own school community relations policies.

Belliotti thinks the Board of Education is doing a good job, but it needs to make a better effort of communicating with the public. She said the PTA is also concerned with a proposed advanced K-12 learning program, a shortage of substitutes and the amount of hours school counselors work.

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