La Plata, MD – In their final meeting of the year, the Charles County Board of Education (CCBOE) came together to close out not only the 2018 session, but to close out the four-year terms that each board member was elected to back in 2014.

Of the current sitting board, three incumbents retained their seats going into their next term; Current Vice Chairman Jennifer Abell (pictured, right), Michael Lukas and Virginia McGraw. These three, along with the four new members will be sworn into office Dec. 17 at North Point High School. The four new members who won back in the Nov. elections were Elizabeth Brown, David Hancock, Tajala Battle-Lockhart and Latina Wilson.

However, all outgoing members shared similar emotions in their outgoing comments at the Dec. 11 meeting. Along with thanking all of the people who elected them and have supported them across their journeys, the message of hope for a better tomorrow in Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) and a hope of a brighter future for all students was clearly at the root of what each member said.

Outgoing members reminisced on the variety of opportunities they were proud to be a part of over their tenure. Mark Crawford highlighted how he found joy in sharing a bus ride with Thomas Stone High School students one morning, getting to tour the Indian Head Naval Base and Andrews Air Force Base, taking part in “Donuts with Dad”, and most importantly going to a large number of graduation ceremonies. Board Chairman, Barbara Palko (pictured, left), took the opportunity to reflect on a number of “senior portfolio interviews” that showcased what students had accomplished while in CCPS.

After all of these remarks, the 16th CCBOE passed a legacy agenda item that was designed to officially unify the grading scale across the county. The newly established “Policy 5000” officially prohibits teachers from giving out a “minimum grade”. This legislation consists of establishing a failing grade as the traditional 0-59 percent model after the board saw pushback to the initially suggested 50-59 percent model. 

With a near immediate implementation, the uniform scale will become effective across all of CCPS starting at the beginning of the third academic quarter on Jan. 28.