"Thank you for keeping prices the same," Board Member W. Edward Forrest said. "It makes a big difference. It makes meals more affordable for all families in the county."
High school students to get new textbooks
Washington County high school students will be using new English literature anthology textbooks, which will replace the 12-year-old texts currently in use.
The Washington County Board of Education voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve spending about $390,000 on the textbooks.
Board Member Justin M. Hartings said he noticed when looking at the anthology textbooks that students were reading portions of texts he remembered reading in their entirety in high school.
"I want to make sure we're still having kids read full texts," Hartings said. "You can't appreciate the tragic character unless you read all of 'Hamlet.' You don't get it the same way if you just read Act 5."
Officials told school board members in addition to the anthology textbooks, students also read full books. The school system recently placed an order for 12,000 novels, fiction books and biographies to be read by students.
Superintendent evaluation policy could be altered
The Washington County Board of Education voted Tuesday to preliminarily do away with a timeline outlining the steps of the evaluation of the superintendent of Washington County Public Schools.
The vote to do away with the timeline was 5-2, with board members Donna Brightman and William H. Staley opposed.
The timeline currently calls for a workshop in February for the School Board and the superintendent to develop criteria for the evaluation process and other specifics, the creation of measurable job targets in April, and for the submission of documents and data from the superintendent to the board in June or July.
The timeline also calls for board members to complete their evaluation of the superintendent in July, and for board members to meet to discuss their evaluations and develop the board's written evaluation of the superintendent in August or September.
"Basically, it sort of eliminates the details of the evaluation process," Brightman said.
Brightman said the superintendent is the school board's only employee, and it's important the public know the board is doing its job in evaluating that person.
Brightman said she voted against the school system's fiscal year 2010 budget for the same reason she voted against the evaluation changes -- "transparency."
She said much of the decision-making on the budget was "done behind closed doors," and she is afraid the superintendent's evaluation is "headed down the same path."
WCPS wins award
Washington County Public Schools has received recognition for its professional development program from the Maryland Council of Staff Developers (MCSD).
The honorable mention award will be presented at the MSCD conference in the fall.
-- Erin Cunningham