Staff have been busy attending state meetings where they have received briefings on new policies and updates on the state assessment program. Many staff have also been involved in grant writing in an effort to bring additional funds into schools to support instructional programs. Principals, guidance staff and office staff are busy preparing student schedules, updating policies and procedures and preparing the buildings for a new school year.
During the past few months, the Transportation Department has been analyzing each bus route and making any needed changes. Special Education routing is redone. Kindergarten routes are designed. This summer, over 300 transportation staff received training in CPR and other important skills related to safe driving.
While the Finance Department has been busy producing and distributing the operating budget book for the new fiscal year, the Pupil Services Department has been involved in processing out-of-district requests and non-resident applications. The pupil services handbook and the health services manual must also be revised. Character Education workshops have been conducted, and preparation has taken place for training for guidance and nursing staffs.
Summer is probably the busiest time of year for the Human Resources Department. Their goal is to make sure all employees are in place for the beginning of the school year. A tremendous amount of time has been spent coordinating employee transfers, new hires, reassignments, and increases or decreases in assignments. This summer alone, there have been 376 new hires and transfers. Work has also begun on the 2002-2003 school calendar, which is presented to the Board of Education in August.
In Central Office, some reorganization has taken place in an effort to provide better services and support for students. Three new positions - Director of Quality Assurance, Director of Middle Schools and Director of Minority Achievement and Intervention Programs - should improve efficiency and delivery of services.
The summer provides an opportunity for Plant Maintenance to replace major equipment. Many of these replacements cannot take place while students are in school. Plant Operations staff have been busy "deep cleaning" schools, a process that involves the comprehensive cleaning of an entire school. Furniture is removed from the classrooms and areas that cannot be cleaned during the school year receive special attention. Again, this is a project that can only take place when students are not in school.
In the area of School Construction, portables have been moved to locations where they are needed. Parking lots have been paved and roof replacements have taken place at Northwest Middle School and Liberty High School.
The summer has also been a very busy time for the staff of Century High School. When the school opens its doors to students on Aug. 27, it will mark the first time in 20 years that a new high school has been built in the county. Preparations have been taking place for an open house and the arrival of students and a new teaching staff.
It would be impossible to list all of the activities that take place during the summer months to provide a smooth transition into a new school year. We don't really realize all the time and effort that goes into making sure our students are successful. And on that note, I would like to extend best wishes to students, staff and family members for a rewarding school year.
C. Scott Stone
Hampstead Member, Board of Education of Carroll County
Frazier and Dell cause for rebellion
There was something in the air at the first meeting on the Piney Run treatment plant. Oh, the expected cast of characters was there, saying the expected things. Robin Frazier told us how God apparently is in favor of the project, Donald Dell assured us we could trust him to do the right thing, and Julia Gouge was once again a voice of common sense. Frazier and Dell had their top bureaucrats tell us what great idea this was, as if they'd be willing to risk their jobs by supporting any other course. Then you had some from the large landowners' group and the professional Republicans, wearing American flag stickers to impress upon us that those who oppose the plant aren't real Americans.
Of the more than 300 people there, however, I'd estimate from the number of speakers and the crowd reaction, that the vast majority was opposed and wanted the commissioners to know it. All in vain, as it was obvious that the two pushing this wasteful idea, particularly Frazier, knew they were right and saw the meeting as an opportunity educate the misinformed masses so that they too would perceive the wisdom of this wonderful plan.