School Board briefs

October 04, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Board gets report on mentoring program

The Washington County Board of Education received a report during a Tuesday evening meeting about the school system's new teacher academy and mentoring program.

The academy took place for about six days over the summer, and more than 180 educators new to teaching or new to teaching in the county took part in the program, according to the presentation.

The teachers developed methods to establish classroom expectations, studied curriculum strategies and built a support system, officials said.

Four teachers who participated in the academy spoke during the presentation, and all said they had a positive experience at the academy and with the mentoring program. Those teachers were Jonathan Hibbert of Western Heights Middle School; Justin Burnett of South Hagerstown High School; Tanya Cole of Lincolnshire Elementary; and Carly Pumphrey of Winter Street Elementary.

Maintenance plan for fiscal 2008 approved

The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a maintenance plan for the school system for fiscal year 2008.


The document describes a number of maintenance projects planned for the next several years in the county's schools. It was described by Boyd Michael, assistant superintendent for school operations, as a "fluid document."

Board Vice President Jacqueline B. Fischer asked why Winter Street Elementary was slated for at least three maintenance proposals when, according to the capital plan, planning for a new facility is scheduled to begin within the next seven years.

Officials said those maintenance projects were scheduled in case funding for a new facility falls through.

Board Member Paul W. Bailey asked about possible maintenance projects to athletic locker rooms.

Professional services contracts approved

Two professional services contracts were approved during Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.

The board voted unanimously on both contracts. Board Member Russell F. Williams was absent.

The school system was awarded a Teaching American History grant by the United States Department of Education, officials told the board. The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History agreed to participate with the school system in the grant. The institute creates history-centered schools and academic research centers, organizes seminars and enrichment programs for educators, and offers other services, according to a document presented to the board.

Washington County will participate with Allegany and Garrett counties.

The board also voted to approve a professional service agreement between the school system and the Chesapeake Coalition of Essential Schools Inc. The cost of the program, which is more than $53,000, will be paid through Bester Elementary School's comprehensive school reform grant, officials said.

The Comprehensive School Reform Base includes 10 days of technical assistance, 20 days of school-based coaching and other professional development.

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