Letters to the editor - 8/11

August 11, 2002

School Board reaches out to 'stakeholders'

To the editor:

One of the key goals that we, the current elected Washington County School Board, established last year was achieving a high level of stakeholder and community involvement in the school system. In further considering what we want to achieve over the next five years, we believe that it is essential to keep and strengthen this goal.

In what way can stakeholders and community members make their views known to us? One of the best ways is through participating on a board advisory committee.

Some citizens in Washington County may not be aware that years ago the elected School Board established 12 standing board advisory committees to provide systematic stakeholder and community input, examine current issues and their impact on students and the system and explore and recommend options to the board.


They are are made up of individuals willing to devote their time, think objectively and independently and who can work as team players. They represent all sectors and areas of our community.

The committees are as follows:

1. Budget Advocacy and Review Committee - This committee is comprised of persons who have expertise in the financial area or an interest in examining, making recommendations and promoting the school budget.

2. Calendar Committee This committee is made up of representatives from all school employee groups, students, and community members who are interested in preparing the annual school calendar.

3. County Citizens' Advisory Council The members of this committee include parents, businesspersons and community leaders who are interested in studying issues relating to the pursuit of educational excellence.

4. District Technology Planning Committee This committee makes recommendations on issues relating to technology and instruction, and consists of business and community leaders, parents and school system staff.

5. Equity Advisory Committee This committee's charge is to advise elected board members regarding issues of equity such as respect for the individual, democratic values, fair play and appreciation of differences. Students, staff, and community members from across the county are welcome to participate.

6. Ethics Panel This standing committee, which welcomes interested citizens and members of the legal community, renders advice to the board concerning interpretation and application of ethics regulations.

7. Facilities and Enrollment Committee Reviewing enrollment data, facilities usage information, and aiding in the resolution of related issues is the role of this committee. Citizen residents from each of the school cluster areas are encouraged to apply for membership.

8. Family Life Advisory Committee In consultation with school system staff, parents and community members on this committee help develop, implement, and evaluate school system family life programs.

9. Finance and Audit Review Committee This committee includes parents, businesspersons, and community leaders who are interested in reviewing financial audits in the school system.

10. Professional Development Advisory Committee Under the direction of the Director of Staff Development and Mentoring, this committee is comprised of representatives of school system staff who are interested in planning and promoting programs that support professional growth.

11. Safe Schools Committee School staff, parents, students, community health and safety professionals interested in the development of policies and procedures that promote school safety are invited to participate on this committee.

12. School Citizens' Advisory Committees On these committees, parents, community members, faculty, and students work with their school and the County Citizens' Advisory Council on issues such as program and budget priorities and community involvement.

How can an individual become an advisory committee member? Please submit a brief letter expressing your interest to serve on a particular committee and describe your qualifications or background. Your letter will be forwarded to the appropriate committee chair. As member vacancies occur, the chairs will recommend interested persons to the board.

Letters of interest may be submitted via U.S. mail or in person to:

Debra Cechovic, Board Secretary

Washington County Public Schools

820 Commonwealth Ave.

Hagerstown, Md. 21741

Letters of interest may also be submitted via E-mail to:

For questions or further information, please call Cechovic at 301-766-2994, or Shulamit Finkelstein at 301-766-2985.

Because of the upcoming turnovers on the board and on a number of the advisory committees, it is important that we maintain strong stakeholder and community involvement. We invite you to join with us at the Board of Education to help shape the policies that will move our school system toward world-class status.

Mary L. Wilfong

Elected School Board Member

Washington County, Maryland

To the editor:

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