School Board briefs

May 03, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

All-day kindergarten debate continues

A debate about the possibility of postponing all-day kindergarten at Paramount Elementary School likely is heading back to committee, after Washington County Board of Education members disagreed Tuesday over a citizen's suggestion to hold off on the program.

According to board member Roxanne R. Ober, a citizen inquired about the possibility of waiting to implement all-day kindergarten until the scheduled completion of the new Maugansville Elementary School in the fall of 2007. Ober said while she supports all-day kindergarten, she believes the move could save the system money.

All-day kindergarten classes are scheduled to start at Paramount this fall, which would increase the amount of space needed by the school.

School Board Vice President Jacqueline B. Fischer told Ober two portables intended to relieve overcrowding at Paramount already are on order, and she said she believed the board would not realize cost savings from holding off on all-day kindergarten. The new school also eventually might need the extra classrooms, she said.


"I would have to disagree because I would think there would be some cost savings if you don't order two portables and you don't furnish them," Ober said. Looking into the possibility is part of the board's "due diligence," she said.

Telemeco, Semler get new positions

Bester Elementary School will have another new face next year.

Michael R. Telemeco will replace first-year assistant principal Matthew Semler, according to a personnel vote Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Education.

Semler, who went to Bester as part of the school's restructuring last year, will serve as principal of Winter Street Elementary School, which also is undergoing restructuring.

Telemeco has eight years of experience outside the county, according to information provided at the board meeting.

Board OKs textbooks for new program

A demanding new program planned for North Hagerstown High School will come complete with new textbooks.

The Washington County Board of Education agreed Tuesday afternoon to purchase new biology textbooks for the International Baccalaureate Programme and advanced-placement classes across the county. The total price for the books and related materials is $27,017.28, according to information provided to the board.

The books cost $103.97 each.

The high school has applied to the International Baccalaureate Organization to start an IB Programme, which requires that students study six subjects, including mathematics and computer science, the arts, experimental sciences, a second language, English, and individuals and societies.

Board approves job reclassifications

A divided decision to change some job titles will increase the amount of time Washington County Public Schools pays principals' secretaries to work.

The Washington County Board of Education voted 5-1 to accept the reclassifications, with member Roxanne R. Ober voting in opposition. Board member Bernadette M. Wagner was absent from the Tuesday afternoon meeting and student representative Usama Qadri was in class, President W. Edward Forrest said at the start of the meeting.

According to a letter from Executive Director of Human Resources Edward Lynch to Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan, the changes include increasing principals' secretaries' workdays from 7 1/2 hours to eight hours, which would cost the system $133,000, and upgrading the pay-grade level of the Williamsport Elementary School head custodian to reflect the building's size and the job's responsibilities.

In a phone interview after the meeting, Lynch said some changes, such as the reclassification of transportation specialists as supervisors, would cost the system no money or would reduce overtime costs. Though the principals' secretaries reclassification is not included in the fiscal year 2007 budget, Lynch said the increased cost of the additional half-hour each day per position could be absorbed by the school system.

The human resources department is planning to audit all job descriptions within the next 12 months, Lynch said.

Ober said after the meeting that she is opposed to some of the reclassifications, and she supports looking into auditing all of the system's job descriptions.

Hancock project set to be done by Aug. 7

A $175,000 project to install new lighting, a drop ceiling and partitions at Hancock Elementary School will be finished by Aug. 7, according to information provided to the Washington County Board of Education.

The board voted to approve a contract with GRC General Contractors Inc., of Zullinger, Pa., to enclose the cafeteria. Bid proposals ranged from $175,000 to $222,000, according to information provided to the board.

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