Attendance low at Washington County schools' Citizens Advisory Council meeting

October 21, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- The Citizens Advisory Council held a meeting Monday night that was not attended by any CAC members.

The group is a parent involvement organization mandated and approved by the Washington County Board of Education, according to the Washington County Public Schools Web site.

The meeting, which was open to the public, was attended by one Northern Middle School PTA member, a staff member at Rockland Woods Elementary, School Board Vice President Donna Brightman and two school system staff members.

One of those staff members, Arnold Hammann, director of information management and instructional technology, gave a presentation about schools' use of technology.


More than 5,000 computers and laptops are being used in Washington County Public Schools, he said.

Twenty-seven local schools are connected to a fiber-optic network. More than 250 ceiling-mounted LCD projectors are being used in classrooms, and at least 150 interactive white boards are in place.

These are just some of the technical advances throughout the school system, and Hammann said more are being put in place this school year. About 600 middle school computers that are at least six years old are slated to be replaced this year. Secure student e-mail accounts and social networking are expected to be available for instructional purposes, he said.

At least 10 portable laptop labs will be added to elementary schools, and Hammann said one recently was made available at Clear Spring Elementary.

Several other initiatives also were being undertaken this school year.

In light of the sparse attendance at Monday's meeting, John Davidson, the school system's liaison to the CAC, said that involvement in the CAC has been much greater in the past.

"There's not a lot of community involvement in CAC," Davidson said.

Brightman said the group is cyclical and is typically more active when there is a "hot topic."

If you go ...

What: Citizens Advisory Council meeting to discuss school overcrowding and possible solutions

When: Nov. 24, 7 p.m.

Where: Washington County Public Schools central office, 820 Commonwealth Ave., Hagerstown

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