February 5, 2013
Occasionally, good intentions can be taken to the extreme. We thank past Washington County boards of education for putting students first, and milking every drop of use out of the rickety old central office complex on Commonwealth Avenue. We also congratulate the current board for knowing when to say enough. The school board decided last week that it will not renovate the aging campus, which is nearly $5 million behind in maintenance needs, a sum Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said could easily double in the near future.
January 29, 2013
The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday decided not to renovate Washington County Public Schools' Central Office complex and will meet with various groups to hear ideas about housing the school system's administrative offices. The school board will meet soon with groups such as the Greater Hagerstown Committee, Hagerstown's mayor and City Council, Sora Development, economic development officials, and other private developers and groups, Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said.
January 20, 2013
Here are some of the things happening this week in Washington County Public Schools: Monday, Jan. 21 Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, schools and central office closed Tuesday, Jan. 22 Professional Learning Day - No school for students South Hagerstown High - Second semester meet-the-teacher night, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 Clear Spring High - Fellowship of...
December 17, 2012
For years, if not decades, talk of a new home for the Washington County Board of Education has been one of those things that just wasn't talked about in the company of constituents. It was believed that the perception of putting administrators ahead of students was akin to political suicide. And indeed, politics aside, this has been a noble course, especially as temporary classrooms were sprouting up across the county. The needs of the students certainly come first. And rightly or wrongly, the central offices on Commonwealth Avenue were always held up as an avatar of bureaucratic largesse.
December 11, 2012
After hearing about long-term options to house Washington County Public Schools' operations during Tuesday's school board meeting, board members took steps to get more information and give people the opportunity to learn about the Commonwealth Avenue complex's condition. School system officials will develop specifications for office space for the operations now housed at the Commonwealth Avenue complex, Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said. Wilcox said, if the board sees fit, a work session will be scheduled, perhaps in February, for the board and staff to share what they think is needed for the office space.
October 14, 2012
Gael Butcher, principal of Marshall Street School and the Washington County Job Development Program at Marshall Street - both aimed at helping special-education students, will retire in February. Butcher said Thursday that at the time of her retirement, she will be just shy of five years as principal of Marshall Street and Job Development. Butcher, who lives in Middletown, Md., said she plans on spending more time with her husband and children. After retiring in 2005 from Frederick County (Md.)
September 2, 2012
Here are some of the things happening this week in Washington County Public Schools: Monday, Sept. 3 Labor Day - Schools and central office closed. Tuesday, Sept. 4 Washington County Board of Education Meeting - 1 p.m. (broadcast live on Antietam Cable Channel 99) Clear Spring Middle - PTSA meeting in media center, 6 p.m. E. Russell Hicks Middle - Band Boosters meeting, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 E. Russell Hicks Middle - Flag squad meeting, 7 p.m.; grades seven and eight meet- the-teacher night, 6 p.m. Lincolnshire Elementary - Volunteer orientation in cafeteria, 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept, 6 Boonsboro Middle - Grades seven and eight meet-the- teacher night, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Fountaindale Elementary - Parent community meeting, 6 p.m. Friday, Sept.
June 17, 2012
If the Washington County Board of Education Central Office were a prison, and some might argue that it is, the courts would declare its conditions to be an unconstitutional breach of inmates' rights. Spongy floors, asbestos, a terrarium's worth of various and sundry spores flowering throughout, an odor commensurate with the day's humidity and so on are all part of the package. And that would just be the health and safety issues. For those with an eye on the bottom line, the building, cobbled together through the years, is a money pit. It's already $5 million worth of maintenance in arrears, and the cost of keeping it together with duct tape and bailing twine will only increase.
June 5, 2012
The Washington County Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution for the superintendent to investigate a long-term solution for housing the school system's administrative offices. The superintendent is to report back to the school board no later than Dec. 31, according to the resolution board member Justin Hartings said he drafted over the weekend. Hartings said the board doesn't have to do anything with the superintendent's results, but “I think we need to make sure we're not throwing good money after bad.” Hartings' resolution calls for not using any school system funds for maintenance at the school system's current Central Office, located off Commonwealth Avenue in Hagerstown, without the board's approval.