School board rejects early dismissal plan

Students in high schools will attend full class days during state assessments

June 27, 2002|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

The Carroll school board rejected a proposal yesterday to dismiss some high school students three hours early on days when others in their buildings are taking state-mandated high school assessments.

The early dismissals would have applied only to students not taking tests on days designated as high school assessment days. Students would have needed only a parent's permission and transportation home.

But school board members rebuffed the superintendent's suggestion, arguing that they have worked hard to increase instructional time for high school students, not decrease it.

"We let students out early for final exams. We let them out early at the end of the year. And now we're going to let out early the kids who are not taking assessments?" board member C. Scott Stone asked. "I'm not going to support this."

Stephen Guthrie, who officially becomes the school system's assistant superintendent of administration Monday, explained that most students not taking assessments during the two weeks of the school year set aside for the tests typically are left with substitute teachers.

"These are kids whose teachers were pulled out of their classes to administer and proctor the assessments," he told the board. "We would have to bring substitutes anyway."

Stone bristled further at the suggestion that students' time with substitute teachers is "downtime."

Interim Superintendent Charles I. Ecker withdrew the proposal, slicing his finger across his neck and smiling as it became clear the board did not support the idea.

In other business, the school board:

Approved a stricter student dress code proposed by the county's Student Government Association. The rules prohibit hats, visors and bandanas and require that shirts have two straps, cover the entire back and hit the top of students' pants, skirts or shorts. The code requires that skirts and shorts rest mid-thigh or lower when a girl is seated.

Named Donald P. Bell principal of New Windsor Middle. The 25-year veteran of Carroll schools had been an assistant principal of East Middle.

Appointed Jimmie Lynn Saylor as the new director of human resources. A former human resources director of Carroll County government, she has spent the past seven years as human resources administrator of Howard County government.

Named Florence K. Oliver acting principal of Liberty High. A former teacher and school counselor, she has been an assistant principal at Liberty.

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