(Sept. 1, 2022) The Worcester County Public Schools Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Aug. 16 and discussed things such as staffing for the special education department to ensure students with disabilities get the best opportunity to learn, a waiver of the procurement process with regards to funds for improving a district-wide antenna system, and the hiring of several new staff members.
Windy Phillips, the supervisor of special education services, presented a staffing plan for the department to the board of education on Aug. 16 that ensures each student with a disability gets the necessary resources to learn in the least restrictive environment.
The plan, which can be found attached to the board of education meeting agenda, includes public input and staffing patterns of service providers who specialize in special education and other related services.
Also included in the plan is the number and type of service providers needed in the school district, how the plan will be used to monitor the assignment of personnel to ensure students are being provided with free appropriate public education, or FAPE, in the least restrictive environment, or LRE.
The plan also goes over the number of vacancies in the district and how FAPE is included when vacancies occur.
Worcester Public Schools was awarded two Maryland Emergency Education Relief grants in June, and the money is intended to go toward the expansion of the district’s Distributed Antenna System to improve cellular coverage in school buildings and the immediate surrounding areas.
Brian Cook, the grants manager for the school district, asked the board to waive the conventional bidding process because of grant requirements that place a stringent timeline on using the funds.
Board Member Todd Ferrante moved to allow the competitive process to be waived, which was seconded by board members Nate Passwaters. The motion carried with a unanimous vote from the board.
Board members accepted the resignations of nine employees while hiring 19 others and promoting one.
Some of the roles that saw turnover included educational assistants, cafeteria staffing, custodians, social workers, and teachers.