School board

January 08, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

Policy on designated attendance eyed

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved 7-0 the final reading of a revised policy that changes the time by which parents must apply for permission to have their children attend schools outside their designated attendance areas.

The policy was revised to move the deadline for parents to apply for special permission up by a month, to April 1, and to move the deadline by which principals must render a decision on granting special permission from July 15 to May 30.

Computer system to aid policy updates

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved 7-0 spending $7,800 a year to use Board Docs, a computer system that will enable school board members to update policies and agenda items via the Internet, eliminating the need for paper copies of policies that are distributed regularly at meetings and to the public.

The start-up cost would be $12,403 to buy nine Dell laptops and two wireless access points, which would be used during the board's meetings.


William Blum, the school system's chief operating officer, said the school board would save $5,183 a year by using the computer system instead of making copies.

Student help programs listed

Washington County Public Schools Executive Director of Elementary Education JoEtta Palkovitz-Brown and the school system's executive director of secondary education Boyd Michael III on Tuesday presented to the school board a list of programs offered to students who need extra help in school.

About 650 elementary school students at 10 schools are in 13 programs, such as a homework club or a literature club, which are taught by 65 teachers, according to the report provided by Palkovitz-Brown.

Nearly 2,200 middle school and high school students are in a variety of reading and math help programs, among other programs, such as dropout prevention, offered at each of the county's secondary schools and taught by nearly 190 teachers, according to a spreadsheet report provided by Michael.

Grant to help qualify math instructors

Jana Palmer, Washington County Public Schools elementary math and science supervisor, on Tuesday presented to the Washington County Board of Education a nearly two-year $151,416 grant to provide professional development in math at elementary and middle schools with the help of professionals from McDaniel College.

Palmer said although the county's overall math scores are above state average, large gaps in student performance exist for some subgroups of students.

Through the grant, elementary school student achievement specialists, or school-level data trackers, will team up with middle school math department heads for training by personnel from McDaniel College to provide professional development in math at each of their schools. Certain middle school math teachers will prepare for and take the Praxis II test. Passing the test enables teachers without certain certification standards under the federal No Child Left Behind Act to be considered highly qualified teachers, she said.

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