Schools staff to review board policies

September 17, 1995|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,Sun Staff Writer

Harford School Superintendent Ray R. Keech and his staff are beginning a yearlong review of school board policies and will present monthly updates of their findings to the county's board of education.

It will be the first "careful and thoughtful review" of board policies in 14 years, according to a resolution approved by the board at its meeting Monday.

"The board simply feels there should be a cycle of review," President Anne H. Ober said late last week. The measure was not prompted by any specific problem with policies in the manual, she said.

A review of policies for dealing with businesses also is possible, she said.

In August, a West Virginia retreat for principals and instructional supervisors funded with donations from businesses and private organizations raised questions about the ethics of school system employees soliciting money from companies under contract to the school system or seeking contracts.

Reviewing and updating the manual is expected to be a time-consuming task for Dr. Keech and his administration. The manual is more than 500 pages, and a committee would have to be appointed for each section that needs substantial revisions, said Donald R. Morrison, school system spokesman.

In other action, the board appointed two teams to represent the board during contract negotiations with two unions this fall.

The Harford County Education Association (HCEA), which has more than 1,600 members and represents the county's 2,300 teachers, and the Harford County Educational Services Council (HCESC), which represents more than 500 clerical and academic support workers, will begin negotiating new contracts in November.

The HCEA will try to make up for the past five years when raises for senior teachers lagged behind the rate of inflation, said Jean Thomas, president of the teachers union.

"At this point, we don't think we are greedy," she said.

The president of the HCESC, Pamela Cottrill, said she was not ready to talk about what the union might be focusing on during negotiations.

At its meeting tomorrow night, the board also will consider revising the calendar for the current school year and will hear a report on an in-house review of the facilities and construction departments and a presentation on marketing the positive aspects of the school system.

BOARD MEETINGS MOVE

Starting tomorrow, the Harford County Board of Education will hold its public meetings in the auditorium at C. Milton Wright High School. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. The board meets in public session the second and fourth Monday of most months, but that schedule is subject to change to accommodate holidays or other events.

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