DORCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Board Citizens Advisory Council on School Environment
May 10, 2018
Present: Katie Holbrook, teacher; Donna Payne; parent; Dr. Casey Scott, Health Department; Sheriff Jimmy Phillips; Zulieka Horsey, Pupil Services; Greg Meekins, NAACP, Larry Windsor, parent; Erin Hill, parent; Shamonie Gaines, C-SDHS student; Melissa Coleman, teacher; Lt. Shane Hinson, Cambridge City Police; Lesley Jackson, parent; Katie Tolley, parent; Phil Rice, Chairperson.
Absent: Clare Spillane, Social Services; Wendell Meekins, Jr., parent, Elder Craig Mathies, Morgan Wright, NDHS Student; Laura Layton, Co-Chairperson.
Mr. Rice stated that Dr. Mitchell has notified school administrators that they are to notify their feeder schools if there is an emergency.
Students are still discussing at their schools their feelings regarding the Student Pledge – I will finish my program of study and become college and career ready! Mrs. Hill presented different options that could be used in place of or with the Student Pledge.
Mrs. Horsey reported that DCPS has received an Equity Opportunity School grant for AP classes. She noted that 9th grade will have pre-AP classes. Mrs. Horsey explained the process for students who request to see a school counselor. She stated that if can’t get in touch with the school counselor the parents can email her and the school principal. Mrs. Horsey will distribute the following at the July 19, 2018 meeting – Mid Shore Mediation data, School Counselor data, Honors information status update, KRA data, and FQA’s. There was discussion regarding Holistic Life Foundation.
Mr. Rice shared that DCPS is looking into piloting a Pre-AP prep class to prepare students for AP classes. Mr. Windsor stated that presently all 9th graders are in Honors English, he would like to see two levels of English. Mrs. Horsey stated that the Board is looking at these opportunities and how to make these adjustments.
There was discussion regarding the need for professional development for substitutes and a Resource Guide for Parents.
Ms. Hill stated that there will be ACEs (Adverse Community Environments) training opportunity on June 5, 2018 at Chesapeake College. She will send the information to Ms. Dayton to send to the committee. Office Hinson stated that there are a lot of students in DCPS that are affected by at least one of the factors Ms. Hill spoke about. Asked what is DCPs doing to handle this disruptive group from disrupting the other students who want to learn? Mr. Rice distributed the Student Calendar Handbook and referenced the Discipline Philosophy, Policy, and Procedures on pages 41-44. It was felt that these procedures are not being followed consistently, and there is concern that teachers are being told not to send referrals to the office. There needs to be consistency and consequences. There is a need for an Alternative Program with appropriate staffing.
Ms. Holbrook spoke about teacher resignations that have been received and the potential for more. She stated the main issues are: workload, lack of respect, and the lack of support. It was felt by the committee that the Board needs to take responsibility and do something.
Mr. Windsor reported that the County Council stated that they would allocate $100,000 for public school security which they will control.
It was felt that the Board need to take responsibility and do something now to improve the system. Nothing has been done for the last four months. Concerned about the number of teachers resigning. Are exit interviews being held? Is the Board aware of reasons teachers are leaving?
Ms. Hill stated she is frustrated that there are so many issues and not much is getting done. People are asking her what this group is doing. We need something concrete and in place by the start of the school year, so we can tell the teachers we are trying to make a difference, and this is what we are trying to do. The Board needs to support the CAC.
Mr. Rice informed the CAC that the Board is working on changes that will become into effect July 1.
The next meeting of the CAC will be Thursday, July 19, 2018, at 5:30 p.m. in the Board Room at the Central Office.
Recorder: Chris Dayton, Administrative Assistant