DENTON — An earlier start time and a change in the agenda item order might be coming to future Caroline County Board of Education meetings.
The proposed changes were discussed at the board’s meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10, and could be implemented before the end of 2019.
Milton Nagel, assistant superintendent for administrative services for Caroline County Public Schools, suggested moving the start time for the open meeting, which is open to the public, from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The closed session held before it would also be moved up an hour, from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Nagel said most surrounding counties’ boards of education start their public meetings at 6 p.m.
Nagel also suggested moving heavier agenda items that are up for board approval and might require discussion to the top of order, rather than near the end, where they appear currently.
“We’re conscientious of the fact these meetings can drag late into the night (when they start at 7 p.m.),” Nagel said. “Sometimes (the board) can be asked to act on a $1 million action item when they’re not as sharp, and everyone’s just thinking about getting out of here and going home.”
The proposed agenda would then move into board member, staff and student reports, followed by recognitions of various students and staff.
The public comment period would be later on the agenda, but, combined with the earlier start time, would probably place the timing around where it usually comes up in the current format, Nagel said.
Board member James Newcomb said he would prefer recognitions be done first, to allow students and their parents, who came to the meeting solely for that purpose, to be able to go home as soon as possible.
Board member Tolbert Rowe asked Mark Peach, a parent who often attends meetings and frequently speaks during the public comment period, what he thought of the proposed change in order.
“I’m just here to be here,” Peach said, adding he enjoyed seeing the recognitions.
Rowe asked staff at the meeting what they thought.
A.J. Angeloni, principal of Preston Elementary School, said he was in favor of the earlier start time.
“I could be home right now with my kids (if the meeting had started at 6 p.m.),” he said.
The board agreed to announce formally announce the changes it decides on at its Tuesday, Oct. 1, meeting, and then put them in place either in November or December.