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Washington County school board briefs

September 21, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

College readiness specialist says WCPS trying to reinforce importance of college



Washington County Public Schools is trying to reinforce the importance of attending college, a district official said Tuesday during a discussion of SAT scores.

Lori Parks-Murphy, a college readiness specialist for the district, said schools prepare profiles of teachers and staff, including their college backgrounds, for students to see.

One school named its reading groups after colleges.

Those techniques were mentioned along with other ways to get students thinking about a college education as a group of school district officials briefed the school board Tuesday about the latest SAT results.

The average SAT score in the district last year was 1,506, compared to 1,480 in the 2008-09 school year. In 2007-08, the average SAT score was 1,508.

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The SAT participation rates -- students who took the test -- were 47 percent in the last school year, 50 percent the previous year and 48 percent in 2007-08.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the school district had "pitifully low" SAT participation among minority students 15 years ago, but the rate has improved.

Last year, 9 percent of Washington County public school students took the ACT, another standardized college-entrance exam.

Teacher of the Year and finalists recognized



The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday recognized the district's 2010-11 Teacher of the Year and the finalists.

Marjorie Kellman, a health occupations teacher at Washington County Technical High School, was the Teacher of the Year. She received a $500 check on Tuesday.

Kellman said it was an honor to receive the award, which was seen as validation for the work of teachers at the technical high school.

The school board gave Golden Apple awards to Kellman and three finalists for Teacher of the Year -- Karri Ernst, an AP government teacher at Boonsboro High School; Michael Leith, a seventh-grade math teacher at Hancock Middle-Senior High School; and Lori Uzicanin, an art teacher at Potomac Heights Elementary School.

Another finalist -- Tameron Marriner, a kindergarten teacher at Rockland Woods Elementary School -- did not attend the board meeting.

School board candidates to get extra time to place political signs at polls



School board candidates soon will have extra time to place political signs outside polling places that are part of the school district.

During a public comment period on Tuesday, candidate Jacqueline Fischer asked the board to change its current regulation, which prohibits political signs before 5 a.m. on the day of an election.

Fischer, a former board member, said that leaves little time for candidates to put up signs before 7 a.m., when polls open.

Fischer, one of six school board candidates to advance in the Sept. 14 primary, said she raced from site to site and couldn't get to all of them in time for the opening of the polls. It could get dangerous in November, when the weather will be worse, she said.

However, board President Wayne D. Ridenour told Fischer that the board already has decided to change the regulation. Starting this year, candidates may place political signs outside polling places any time after 7 p.m. the night before the election.

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