The Board went into closed Executive Session at 4:00 pm to discuss personnel, negotiations, legal matters, and administrative functions. Board President Susan Morgan opened the Public Meeting at 6:05 pm.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Superintendent reviewed the Board Calendar (see below), and the three Student Board Representatives presented highlights of recent activities at North Dorchester (ND) HS, Cambridge-South Dorchester (CSD) HS, and the Dorchester Career & Technical Center (DCTC).
The Board recognized the excellent work done by Meals til Monday since 2017 to support DCPS students and families facing food insecurity.
Ms, Laurie Bell provided the Board with the annual report on the activities of the Maryland Business Roundtable (MBRT) Next Generation Scholars Program at Cambridge-South Dorchester HS.
Dr. Jodi Colman, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment provided the Board with the Beginning of the Year instructional update on Reading and Mathematics performance. Dr. Coleman reported that gaps between performance at the end of last year and the beginning of this year were somewhat smaller than in previous years. Some growth was shown in ELA (reading and writing) at several schools, including Hurlock ES, Sandy Hill ES, Vienna ES, Warwick ES, and CSD HS. Math results were not as good. Teachers are focusing on working with individual students to address their specific skill deficits. Structured intervention strategies are available for teachers to develop targeted instructional plans for individual students. DCPS has begun using a survey tool to access student engagement and instructional activities.
Under its Consent Agenda, the Board approved the minutes of previous meetings and work sessions; updated policies on conflicts of interest, financial disclosures, lobbying, grade reporting, homework, mandatory child abuse reporting, food services operations and school wellness, the updated Capital Improvement Plan, and an MOU on Non-Certificated Administrators and Supervisors.
The Board approved a grant is from the University of MD Center for Computing Education for $10,168.12 to support the K-12 computer science program; payment to the High Road School and the Strawbridge School for non-public placements of students with disabilities (for each student, the DCPS contribution is $59,437 and the MSDE contribution is $59,196); the North Dorchester High School Lacrosse Program; a textbook for adolescent students who need continued support with foundational reading skills; an advanced placement textbook recommended by the College Board for use in AP Modern World History classes; and new floorcoverings for all PK-1st Grade Classrooms at Choptank ES ($100,804.71). The Board also approved the first reading of updated policies on ethics exemptions, ethics sanctions, equal opportunity employment, and recruitment and hiring. The December monthly meeting of the Board will be held on Monday, December 4, 2023.
The Board received the Appropriation & Expenditures Report and the Capital Projects and Technology Report, neither of which included any items of concern.
There were no oral or written comments from the public attending the meeting.
Board Members and the Superintendent delivered closing remarks, thanking Dr. Coleman for the instructional report and all those who participated in the meeting. Mr. Diaz commended Mr. Mike Richardson for his continuing efforts to ensure that our schools are safe and secure. Mr. Wheedleton emphasized the importance of data driven instruction and community collaboration, and Ms. Hubbard stressed the importance of the efforts being made to improving reading performance. Dr. Stafford noted that the holiday season should make everyone appreciate the importance of family. Dr. Morgan quoted Oprah Winfrey’s statement that “Education is the way to move mountains, to build bridges, to change the world.” The Superintendent announced that, beginning in December and continuing over the following few months, he will be holding an evening Superintendent’s Forum in every school.
The Public Meeting was adjourned at 7:40 pm