Minutes MCCPTA Delegates Assembly
February 28, 2006
Call to Order: President Cindy Kerr called the meeting to order at 7:37 PM.
Pledge: Ted Willard
PTA Mission: Sharon St. Pierre
Agenda: Cindy noted an error in tonight’s agenda. The Delegates List Serve Survey Instructions should be omitted. She reviewed and commented on the contents of the delegate packets, including the delegate’s protocol. She noted that candidacy for the Board of Education, resignations and changes and resolutions from the Board of Directors would be discussed. In addition, the nominating committee will be making a report. We’ll be voting in April according to our new bylaws.
Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the January 24, 2006 Delegate Assembly were reviewed. The minutes stand approved as written.
Treasurer Juan Johnson presented the treasurer’s report of January 24 through February 28, 2006, the profit and loss budget vs. actual for July 1, 2005 through February 2006, and the balance sheet as of February 28, 2006. Report copies were shown on the overhead transparencies and written copies were available for those who wanted them.
He noted the checking account balance of $31,000 is not money to be spent. The accounts receivable $6, 531 represents the twenty-four schools that have not paid their insurance premiums yet. Two schools have left over premiums from last year, and they have been informed. Note that membership dues are about $7,500 short this year. Membership is lower across the county. There are still some schools that have not paid membership dues. March is the last month to pay membership dues. We are in the red so far this year and will be for one more year. We need to adjust our budget, so we no longer spend more than we are taking in. We have exhausted the excess credit that we had. The audit for 2004 is done and Juan has the draft report. The audit for 2005 should be done in a couple of weeks. Next year it will not take as long to do the audit. The treasurer’s report will be filed for audit.
Cindy asked that we establish time limits for discussion tonight. We’ll have a time keeper. We can vote to extend the time.
The delegate from
Cindy Kerr clarified that the resolution as introduced last month is the resolution as written to be presented. We can discuss and make changes tonight. National and state PTA guidelines say that time doesn’t need to be spent wordsmithing if a general intent is made.
Delegate Lechner’s resolution was shown on the overhead.
Delegate Lechner’s Resolution on IB Programs (and High Consortia):
Whereas “Self-Select/Self Succeed” admissions policies avoid potential gate-keeping and bias problems and allow rigorous programs to be made open to all students willing to meet prescribed entrance requirements and pursue the more rigorous curriculum, and
Whereas it appears that there are only about a quarter of the potential MCPS students enrolled in the highly challenging curriculum of International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, which utilize a standards based and world-wide recognized curriculum in a challenging program for highly motivated and capable students using a criterion referenced grading system, and
Whereas there appears to be a definitive lack of more rigorous Fine Art and Math/Computers/Science programs throughout the county as well as a lack of more practical technical/Vocational programs in the upper county area,
Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
1) MCPS should target the creation of several additional IB programs at MCPS Highs Schools in order to provide similar nearly-local access to all MCPS students,
2)MCPS should create and maintain several additional and complementary programs that focus on more rigorous Science/Computers/mathematics, advanced Fine Arts, and more practical Technical/Vocational skills training, and that these programs each be hosted in different High Schools,
3)MCPS and MCCPTA should conduct a study into grouping al county High Schools into Consortiums, possibly based on the quad-cluster grouping, in order to provide High School students with access to the specialized programs within the consortia High School,
4)the programs should be “self-select/Self-Succeed” or “open enrollment” with prescribed academic admission standards, in order to eliminate the potential for bias in screening and selection processes, and no student shall be shut out of attending their “home area High School” due to the consortia admissions process,
5)The creation of the additional programs should not significantly increase the over-crowding at any of the High Schools, and the creation of the additional programs should consider the ability of providing relief for future HS over-crowding and avoiding the need to make difficult school boundary changes, and
6)MCPS should maintain the current Blair and planned Poolesville magnet HS programs, with a focus on serving student that perform academically at levels that are several standard deviations above the norm.
Delegate Lechner read his proposed changes to the resolution and offered them as an amendment:
Omit “avoid potential gate-keeping and bias problems” in the first whereas
Number 3 should read, “…putting county High Schools into groups possibly based on quad-clusters, in order to provide High School students with equal self-select access to the specialized programs within the High Schools”
In number 4 delete “consortia”
The amendment was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
Discussion of the amendment included taking out the word consortia since it’s an emotional issue for some locals. The intent isn’t to push consortia across the county. The goal is to opening up equal access to special programs. The study could take several years. Clarification for taking the word consortia out and how the meaning changes as a result was given. The selection process is more wide ranging than the North East Consortium or Down County Consortium.
Discussion of the resolution as amended included: the resolution is far reaching and ideal, and not practical; asking for what MCPS can’t do will lead to being ignored by them; great to have more IB programs; currently there’s a middle school magnet in the arts and in a few years we’ll need a High school; issues with consortia – one size doesn’t fit all; information about existing programs, like CTE, was not used in developing this resolution; and that IB programs are very structured and require pre-planning, training and money – you can’t just drop them into schools.
Chris Barclay made a motion to take a vote on the resolution as amended. It was seconded. It was passed by a standing vote of more than two thirds. The vote on the resolution as amended was taken. The resolution failed by a standing vote.
Cindy thanked Delegate Lechner for his work and suggested that he work with the high school committee, gifted committee, and curriculum committees.
Board of Director’s motion regarding candidates for public office:
Cindy gave background information on this motion. At the last delegate assembly it was announced that one officer and one cluster coordinator planned to run for the Board of Education. At that time one had filed and the other was planning to file (and will be filing tomorrow). There was a motion made and passed at the last delegate assembly that in the future if anyone was planning to run for office that notice would be given to the organization. The delegates decided that it was acceptable for these two people to remain in their positions and continue business at the delegate assembly that night. We asked if it was acceptable for the Board of Directors to take further action on this, and that was your wish. At our February Board of Directors meeting Shirley Brandman, Vice President, Educational Issues, resigned. Susie Scofield, Magruder cluster coordinator, said that she would accept restrictions or resign if that was the will of the Board of Directors and delegates, but she wanted to be allowed to remain as cluster coordinator. We accepted Shirley’s resignation and then we had discussion. The result of that discussion is the written with resolution distributed tonight. First, we must fill the vacancy created by Shirley’s resignation. The bylaws allow the president to appoint a replacement until the nominating committee can bring back a name to the delegates. Cindy decided to appoint Sharon St. Pierre to be acting Vice President, Educational Issues. This appointment was approved by the Board of Directors. This opened up the Vice President, Program position. Cindy appointed Ted Willard to that acting position and it was approved by the Board of Directors. According to our bylaws notification must be given prior to an election, so the nominating committee will be giving the names that we will vote on at the next delegate assembly at the end of March. These names will be sent in your packets. Sharon and Ted will stay in their approved acting positions until then.
Chris Barclay, nominating committee chair, made a motion to nominate
Discussion, decision and led to action taken at the February 2, 2006 Board of Directors meeting that included a motion made and seconded that executive officers of the Board of Directors shall resign within a week of filing for candidacy for public office and that all members of the Board of Directors shall refrain from public speaking on behalf of MCCPTA within a week of filing for candidacy for public office. It was seconded. An amendment was made and seconded and passed by standing vote that instead of a week that they no longer speak on behalf of MCCPTA effective immediately upon filing for office. It was seconded. It passed by a voice vote. The question was called and passed on a standing vote.
Executive officers of the Board of Directors shall resign within a week of filing for candidacy for public office and that all members of the Board of Directors shall refrain from public speaking on behalf of MCCPTA immediately upon filing for candidacy for public office.
This motion identifies officers, as listed in our bylaws, not cluster coordinators. The decision as the motion was written was that a person could stay on as a cluster coordinator, but that they would have to refrain from speaking publicly on behalf of MCCPTA immediately, but they could continue their work as cluster coordinators. This motion is on the floor and is recommended to the delegates from the Board of Directors. It requires changing our bylaws if you approve it. Your decision tonight would then be referred to our bylaws committee. They will bring it to you in March, in April you will vote, and then we would submit the changes to the new bylaws to MD PTA. Cindy clarified that Shirley Brandman is the committee chair for grading and reporting. She has agreed that she would stay on in that role if you vote in favor of this motion. Cindy also reminded the delegates that they are leaving a legacy for future, so very carefully consider the impact of your decision.
The motion was seconded.
A delegate made a motion to allow a five minute time limit for discussion. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.
Victor Salazar proposed an amendment to strike “executive officers” and replace it with “any member of the Executive Committee of MCCPTA.” The motion was seconded. It passed on a voice vote.
Discussion of the amendment included its purpose being to define and clarify who the officers are now and for the future. The officers, or executive committee, are those eight people elected by the total body of MCCPTA. It was acceptable to clarify by adding “of MCCPTA” after “…the Board of Directors.” The members of the Board of Directors are: the executive committee, Area Vice Presidents, Cluster Coordinators and committee chairs. A delegate questioned for the length of time required to refrain from speaking publicly (e.g. if the election is lost). Cindy stated that with the motion as written the officer is gone, but the cluster coordinator or committee chair could go back to speaking publicly. It was noted that as written, if the cluster coordinator or committee chair won the election, they would not have to resign. State PTA does not require resignation while running, but does upon election. Cindy can’t find language for National PTA, and she knows of members who hold office.
Sharon St. Pierre made a motion to extend the discussion another five minutes. It was
seconded and passed by a voice vote.
Discussion continued including: potential conflict of interests; allowing the body to elect or not elect a sitting member of an office (e.g. Board of Education, or county council); and problems with running and representing the organization at the same time being moot after the election. A winner of the November election could hold office until May since as the motion is written cluster coordinators and committee chairs are not required to resign upon election. Potential conflict of interests in voting could arise for dual office holders. A question of legality of running for office while holding MCCPTA was raised in regard to negative backlash and an unfair advantage to our candidates. National and state don’t give information in regard to legality.
Jane de Winter made an amendment that added, “If elected to a public office, a member of the
MCCPTA Board of Directors shall resign from the MCCPTA Board of Directors effective immediately.” It was seconded. The amendment was passed by a standing vote.
Discussion of the amendment
included: clarifying that it means any public office (e.g. city council); recent
Board of Directors meeting defining as it meaning countywide office; state of
The motion as amended was passed by a standing vote.
The motion as amended now reads:
Any member of the Executive Committee of MCCPTA shall resign within a week of filing for
candidacy for public office and that all members of the Board of Directors of MCCPTA shall refrain from public speaking on behalf of MCCPTA immediately upon filing for candidacy for public office. If elected to a public office, a member of the MCCPTA Board of Directors shall resign from the MCCPTA Board of Directors effective immediately.
As a result of this vote this language will be referred to the bylaws committee. They will bring it to the delegate assembly in March. Delegates will receive proposed language prior to that meeting with the section and articles for officers. You will be given 30 days to review it. It will be voted on in April and forwarded to the state.
A delegate made a motion to allow five minutes for discussion. It was seconded and passed
by a voice vote.
The president of Rocky Hill,
Donna Pffeifer, gave background and presented the
resolution. This resolution is the result of a parent recognizing a convicted
sex offender from the
Cindy Kerr added that at
last night’s Board of Education meeting there was discussion of and reaction to
Nancy King’s (state delegate from district 39) related House Bill 531. The
Board members wanted to make the contractors financially responsible. This
resolution tells the Board that MCCPTA as an organization supports
Our PTA proposes that the MCCPTA adopt the following
resolution. This resolution is the result of a parent recognizing a convicted
sex offender contracted by a construction company working at
Whereas, MCPS is continually building, maintaining, modernizing, and expanding school facilities,
Whereas, such construction requires MCPS to use contractors and subcontractors not affiliated with MCPS,
Whereas, the above said contractors and subcontractors employ personnel at MCPS facilities that come in direct or indirect contact with administrators, staff, teachers, students, and community members,
Whereas, MCPS requires criminal background checks be performed for all individuals employed by the school system so as to protect its personnel and children from a variety of risks, including threat of physical harm,
Whereas, MCPS is risking the safety of its students and employees by allowing potential convicted felons, including convicted sex offenders, to work as employees of contractors performing services at the schools,
Be it Resolved that all contractors, and their subcontractors, who engage in contracts with MCPS must provide proof of state and federal criminal background checks for any and all employees who work for them at MCPS facilities;
Be it Further Resolved, that individuals found to have been convicted of sex offenses and other violent offenses be prohibited from working in any capacity at MCPS facilities; and
Be it Further Resolved, that MCPS impose sanctions an any contractors who fail to abide by any policies prohibiting the employment of sex offenders and other violent offenders at MCPS facilities.
Discussion of the resolution included Suzanne Weiss thanking Donna and Andrea Bernardo for their work on this resolution, and adding that the Churchill and Wootton clusters voted to support this resolution. They added a second piece to it that technically is a stand alone second part.
Suzanne Weiss proposed a further resolve stating, “We further resolve that criminal background checks of any compensated person who has contact with MCPS students and staff, are required to be obtained, renewed, and reviewed at least every 24 months.” It was seconded. It passed by a voice vote.
Discussion of this amendment included: Cindy noting that a Board of Education member mentioned last night that he believed that even if it came at the expense of MCPS that this should be done for anyone doing business with MCPS, and adding that all Board members expressed a strong responsibility for safety. Suzanne accepted adding “and staff” to the resolution as suggested by a delegate. Andrea clarified that the construction workers were on site for almost a year after the school was opened doing finishing work. The issue of Richard Montgomery was raised because some MCPS staff have told Andrea that since no students are there it’s okay. Richard Montgomery is on site construction, so students are close by.
A delegate made a motion to extend the time of discussion for five more minutes. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
Further discussion included: workers in the buildings during modernizations; definition of contact; clarification of offenses as covered by Nancy King’s bill; language is sufficiently vague to safely allow discretion as to what constitutes a violent offense; availability of jobs for those offenders; question of it being logistically and financially feasible; need for review after hiring; MCCPTA advocacy, not enforcement authority; state would have enforcement if bills pass; working cooperatively with MCPS to get legislation passed for financial compensation; and that the county can impose sanctions on contractors.
A delegate made motion to amend the original resolution at the end to add the phrase, “while students and staff or members of the community are present” in the first resolve. It was seconded. It failed on a voice vote after the question was called.
Discussion included: unopened facility, not requiring background checks, since it’s only the construction crew; playing on schools grounds; enforcement; House Bill 531 line 19 – 23 specifies while students are present.
A delegate called the question. A standing vote passed calling the question.
Discussion of the original resolution included a clarification of a potential convicted felon.
The resolution as amended passed by a standing vote.
Andrea Bernardo made a motion for MCCPTA to support Nancy King’s legislation House Bill 531. It was seconded. It passed by a voice vote.
Discussion included: motion asks for a letter of support from MCCPTA to be sent; MCCPTA letter including suggested recommendations of language for an amendment to include after school hours and summer school hours.
Curriculum Committee Resolution to Support Science and Social Studies in MCPS Elementary Schools:
Ted Willard, curriculum committee chair, noted that delegate advocacy priorities listed elementary science and social studies not being given due diligence. The curriculum committee distributed this resolution at the last delegate assembly and posted it on the list serv, and in the president’s letter. The curriculum committee met with MCPS staff responsible for science and social studies, and learned that MCPS instructional guides for math and reading set minimum times of: 90 minutes for reading; 60 minutes for math, and 40 to 50 minutes for writing each day. Not specified, but implicit in instructional guides are guidelines for art, music, physical education. Science and social studies are not included.
A delegate made a motion to allow five minutes for discussion of this resolution. It was seconded
and passed by a voice vote.
Whereas, social studies teaches the content knowledge, analytical skills and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy and it serves as a forum for all students to explore issues of culture, identity, and diversity as a community,
Whereas, science teaches the content knowledge and methods of inquiry necessary for examining and understanding the world around us and participating in our increasingly technology-based society and its economy,
Whereas, both science and social studies motivate and engage students through stimulating interest in the world around them, and provide a context for acquiring a breadth of academic skill, including creative problem-solving, comprehension of complex system, and multi-dimensional thinking,
Whereas, the federal No Child Left Behind legislation and regulations require that studen6s be taught the full range of knowledge in all areas where a state has standards, not just in mathematics, reading, and language arts,
Whereas, the state of Maryland has developed standards for all students in science and social studies, will start testing elementary and middle school students in science in 2007 and will require students graduating in 2009 and later to pass high school assessments in science, history, and civics,
Whereas, subject area knowledge in science and social studies is necessary for the application of skills in reading and mathematics and contributes to improving achievement levels in those subjects,
Whereas, parents and teachers in
Therefore be it
Resolved, the Board of Education and MCPS should require elementary schools to have schedules that provide time every day devoted to social studies and science instruction that is adequate to teach all state and county standards effectively,
Resolved, the Board of Education and MCPS should monitor and publicly report on time allocated to social studies and science in elementary schools.
Resolved, the Board of Education and MCPS should review and revise its entire elementary curricula to pursue disciplined inquiry by improving integration across all subjects and by incorporating more engaging and extended opportunities for students in science and social studies
Resolved, the Board of Education and MCPS should provide assistance that is adequate to enable teachers to implement such curriculum revisions effectively.
Resolved, the Board of Education and MCPS should ensure that school improvement plans include attention to what the school needs to do to enable all students to meet the county and state standards for science and social studies.
Resolved, the Board of Education and MCPS should monitor and report progress toward meeting county and state standards for science and social studies in elementary schools.
Discussion included a proposed amendment regarding everyday being too confining.
A delegate made a motion to propose an amendment to the resolution for the first resolve that would delete the word “everyday” and add at the end of that first resolve add “and MCPS should include guidelines for the minimum time necessary to teach these subjects in their instructional guides.” It was seconded. It passed by a voice vote.
The delegate from
Discussion included time allocations and whether or not it was a burden to report.
Clarification of the intent of the resolution, as related to testing, noted that standards can be met and measured not necessarily with testing. The county will be phasing in state science assessments and the MCPS aligning with the state curriculum.
The resolution as amended passed by a standing vote.
Cindy acknowledged that she made a mistake at the last delegate assembly by not asking for a two thirds vote after a delegate called the question. She asked for the delegates to excuse that mistake based upon the consensus at that time that the body was ready to vote. She will correct that mistake. She directed the delegates to the quick reference guide for procedures included in delegate packets and noted that we have copies of Robert’ Rules at our meetings. In addition, we have many delegates (attorneys) with experience r with Robert’s Rules who can aid us. It’s not our will to ignore parliamentary procedure. We trust the delegates to help and correct us. In reviewing our minutes we are within guidelines.
Not included in the packets,
but on the table for distribution tonight are the unofficial copy of House Bill
141(to put two parent members, with children in Maryland public schools, on the
state board of education), and the letter of support from MCCPTA. Last month
delegates gave approval to send a letter of support for this bill. February 13
MCCPTA members attended MD PTA Annapolis night. The
Cindy watched last night’s
Board of Education meeting address the Rocky Hill Middle School PTSA resolution
about sex offenders in schools that we will discuss tonight. Nancy King has
introduced house bill 531 (an unofficial copy was distributed tonight) to
legislate holding school systems accountable to do background checks on
offenders of certain sexual crimes for anyone who works in schools. The Board
of Education voted with some amendments restricting it to construction
contractors working on school sites. There was much vocal discussion by Board
members about taking a stand for anybody doing business with MCPS to prove that
their workers have this background check done. Cindy complimented
In response to a question at the last delegate assembly about teacher pensions, Cindy referred to the letter from National PTA on teacher pensions included in the delegate packets. Contact Tom Murphy from our legislative committee with more specific questions.
Cindy added that MD PTA is going through their bylaws files now to bring them up to date and will send the most current list. Reflections submissions depend upon current bylaws. One PTA in our area did not have bylaws submitted for their Reflections. Next year MD PTA will enforce the regulations next year for: incorporation; two signatures on checks; membership dues; insurance and bylaws. Juan and Cindy will be working with the state to reduce our insurance rates next year. Cindy is serving on a work group on evening high school. Cindy’s thought is that the Grading and Reporting has stalled. Reports on Grading and Reporting will be shared.
Vice President - Administration:
Victor Salazar suggested that local units look at their current bylaws to see if they need revisions submitted to the state PTA. Please pay your dues.
Tracy Fox, committee chair, referred delegates to the handouts on the wellness policy and PE resolutions (from last year) distributed in their folders tonight. She gave background information that explained the federal requirements for a wellness policy that includes nutrition standards and physical activity. MCPS has a wellness policy work group that includes parents, pediatricians, and other stakeholders who developed a wellness policy that went to the Board of Education. The Board of Education draft wellness policy is vague compared to the work group’s, but it is consistent with the Board’s other policy language. The Board of Education policy is out for public comment now and the draft letter is for MCCPTA to send to the Board of Education with comments. The health committee is generally pleased with the draft wellness policy, but would like to see more specifics and stronger language in six areas: nutrition education; physical education/activity; snacks; school meals; nutrition standards and parent involvement.
Parents must be included in
the development of the regulations to implement the wellness policy.
Enforcement of the present guidelines by schools was discussed. The one year
state physical education requirement for high school was noted.
A delegate made a motion to modify the language of the wellness policy letter to not make the physical education/activity comments specific to elementary schools. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
The letter from the health committee as modified by the past amendment was approved by a voice vote.
At the last Board of
Related to the health
committee, Cindy noted that she had been contacted by reporter Chris Gordon last
night about a senate bill that would require body mass index measurements being
done for first, third, fifth and eighth graders. Cindy told him that MCCPTA had
no official position on this matter. Cindy did say that parents work
cooperatively on wellness issues, and added that many parents may have privacy
Chris Barclay, committee chair, said that the nominating committee has been meeting for several months. They will bring a slate of nominees to the next delegate assembly on March 28. It will be approved by the Board of Directors and be mailed to you. Voting will be in April. Nominations from the floor can be made at the April meeting with the consent of the nominee. It is important for locals to have area vice presidents and cluster coordinators. Committee chairs can be done later. Chris will put out names of the nominating committee members on the list serv if you have any questions for your quad.
Ted Willard, committee chair, said that MCPS is required to review the math curriculum next year. MCPS has asked Sharon and Ted to comment on this review process. Ted has been serving on a work group for the use of films in schools, particularly the use of R rated films in high schools, and PG-13 films. He went to a work group meeting today. The consensus of the work group is that there should be some means where parts of these films could be used with parental consent. Please contact Ted with you opinions. He noted the statistics that by September first 77% of high school seniors are 17 years or older. (The age for admittance to an R rated movie.) By the first of the year 99% of the seniors are 17 years or older. Ted would like to know if parents would object to these senior students choosing for themselves.
Juan Johnson, committee
chair, said that middle school reform is not going very fast. They have just
received the second set of reports back from the work group. It is mostly
background research, but no real hard recommendations. They submitted questions
to the MCPS department of surveys, who compiled it into a survey for all the
different stakeholders. Three middle school forums will be held (all from 7 to
9 PM): March 23 at
Sharon St. Pierre, speaking for Marney Jacobs (CIP committee co-chair), reported that Marney gave testimony at the Board of Education meeting last night on policy FAA from the report that was adopted at the last delegate assembly. Thanks for the huge turn out at the county council CIP testimony on February 8. The final vote on the capital budget will be taken in May. We’re still actively working on increased funding. Cindy added that Marney included asking them to address policy DNA (surplusing the school property) because as presently written it doesn’t allow for community and parent input. She included that in her testimony and the written testimony asked to allow for more community input. Questions were raised about whether Marney had been approved to include this. We looked at her report from our last delegate meeting, confirmed that the request was included and that delegates had approved her report that she had written.
Grading and Reporting:
The business meeting was adjourned at 9:34 PM.