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Washington County Board of Education briefs

January 22, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Board agrees to hold fewer work sessions



The Washington County Board of Education reached a consensus Tuesday to dispense with the board's weekly work session, and hold such sessions only when necessary.

Board members agreed that a work session should be held only when the School Board or school system staff deem such a meeting necessary.

The School Board also reached a consensus to change the time a work session would begin from 9:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

When those work sessions are held they will be televised on cable channel 99.

School Board business meetings will now start at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., and will end by 10 p.m. Those meetings will remain televised.

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Behavior modification

model report presented

At Tuesday's Washington County Board of Education work session, Martha Roulette, the school system's director of student services, and Sharon Conley, school psychologist, presented a report on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, a behavior modification model in place in four of the county's schools.

Conley said that at Eastern Elementary School, a model PBIS school, students are reminded to be respectful, responsible and ready through banners and signs in the school's hallways, classrooms and restrooms. She said teachers are encouraged to incorporate the teaching of social skills into lesson plans and to acknowledge good behavior through special rewards.

School Board member Jacqueline Fischer asked that more definite times be assigned for staff development of PBIS in the future.




Board hears report on special education study



Martha Roulette, the school system's director of student services, presented the Washington County Board of Education in its work session Tuesday with results of a regional study on special education programs that state the school system does not overidentify students for special education programs.

Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties' public schools were lumped into a report by consultant firm MGT of America, which was submitted to the Maryland State Department of Education and the Western Maryland Education Consortium.

The report says Washington County has the highest rate of reported abuse and neglect and teen pregnancy of the three counties studied. It also says that overall, the state's western counties have higher rates of cigarette, narcotics and Ecstasy use than other regions in the state.

The Eastern Shore has higher rates in terms of students using marijuana or binge drinking, according to the report.

Roulette said the firm commended the school system for its performance on state standardized tests and special education services.

It recommended the school system implement an additional supervisor position in special education, expand pre-kindergarten and kindergarten services and make more time for staff development.

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