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Board of Education briefs

June 03, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Exceptional eighth-grader honored during meeting



Springfield Middle School eighth-grader Aubrey Sparks was recognized Tuesday during a Washington County Board of Education for her academic achievement.

Aubrey will skip high school and enroll in college this year. She has been accepted to Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Va., where she will participate in the school's Program for the Exceptionally Gifted.

Board of Education discusses school-owned vehicles policy



The Washington County Board of Education preliminarily approved a policy Tuesday that could lead to stricter guidelines regarding the use of school system-owned vehicles.

The vote was 6-0, with board member William H. Staley absent. The draft policy will go before the board again for a final vote. The draft doesn't yet spell out what the guidelines are, but it allows the board to decide later what they will be.

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Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael has said that more-specific guidelines might be necessary to ensure the vehicles are used appropriately.

The school system owns 17 vehicles that may be signed out for short trips, and at least nine employees have vehicles they take home during the school year. Five employees take vehicles home during the summer.

School board considers policy on public meetings



The Washington County Board of Education preliminarily approved a policy Tuesday that regulates public meetings and community outreach efforts.

The school board voted 4-1 to require video and audio recordings of all regular meetings. Board member Donna Brightman was opposed; board member William H. Staley and Vice President Ruth Anne Callaham were absent.

Those records will be kept for six months and then "disposed of," according to the draft policy approved Tuesday.

Brightman said she voted against the draft policy because the proposed changes could "reduce citizen participation."

Board President Wayne D. Ridenour said the policy concerning public participation was consolidated in the draft and does not limit that ability.

"We're not trying to hide anything," he said.

Ridenour said the business of the Board of Education is more public than ever since board meetings are available in real-time video on the Internet.

Improvements approved for Boonsboro High, Northern Middle



The Washington County Board of Education approved $636,600 in improvements Tuesday to Northern Middle School and $809,850 for replacement equipment at Boonsboro High School.

The vote was 4-0, with Vice President Ruth Anne Callaham and board members William H. Staley and Donna Brightman absent.

The bid for a new ceiling and lighting replacement project at Northern Middle was awarded to GRC General Contractor Inc.

The bid for replacement of heating and air conditioning equipment at Boonsboro High was awarded to Warner Industrial of Frederick, Md.

Board of Education accepts donations for two schools



The Washington County Board of Education voted Tuesday to accept donations for two county schools.

The vote was 5-0, with board member William H. Staley and Vice President Ruth Anne Callaham absent.

A Hagerstown nonprofit organization called Many Individuals Helping Individuals donated $3,755.98 to purchase an inflatable bounce for Marshall Street School students. The bounce will offer students a safe environment for physical and aerobic activity, according to documents presented to the school board.

The board also accepted a donation of $4,279.59 for Boonsboro Middle School from Martin's Food Markets A+ Rewards Program. School officials say the money will be used for special student events and to support instruction.

Two schools to receive interest-free loans



Clear Spring and Boonsboro high schools each will receive interest-free loans from Washington County Public Schools.

The Washington County Board of Education approved the loans Tuesday, 5-0, with board member William H. Staley and Vice President Ruth Anne Callaham absent.

There is more than $188,000 in a school system fund dedicated to this type of loan. The school board will loan Clear Spring High $20,000 to construct a storage building and modernize its concession stand, officials said.

The loan will be paid back at a rate of $4,000 each year for the next five years. Officials expect the school to raise the money through fundraisers and concession stand sales.

Boonsboro High School will receive $20,000 to start a junior varsity lacrosse program. The loan will be paid back at a rate of $10,000 each year for the next two years. Officials expect fundraisers and grant money to pay off the loan, officials said.

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