NB may split land for easier sale PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor   
Thursday, 26 September 2013 09:36
NORTH BALTIMORE - The school district is not opposed to splitting land it's trying to sell into smaller parcels.
At Tuesday's school board meeting, Superintendent Marlene North said she was not interested in dividing the 4.67 acres into many small pieces, but would consider dividing it in half or into quarters.
The property, on Second Street, is the site of the district's former Main Building.
The board in May signed a six-month contract with John Newlove Realty to sell the land.
The property is listed at $159,900.
North reported that due to changes in the state budget bill, funds from the sale of the land can no longer be reinvested in district property. The money can be used to reduced debt or for technology, she said.
The district had talked about using sales funds for the sports complex.
"It's just difficult to swallow that we can't make those decisions in our local district anymore," North stated.
The land was offered at auction in February, but the board turned down the top bid of $68,000.
Elementary Principal Scott Lockwood told the board that the school's Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Committee met to review results from a recent bullying survey.
The survey was conducted in 2011 and again this spring.
In 2011, 36 percent of students surveyed reported they did not feel safe at school; that decreased to 17 percent in 2013.
The survey also showed an increase to 32 percent from 25 percent in the number of students who see peers stepping up to stop bullying incidents.
Lockwood said the areas that still need improvement are encouraging students to report bullying incidents, decreasing the incidents of student-related threats, and teaching children the qualities and importance of creating friendships.
Also discussed was the fact that playground monitors need to be aware of "blind spots" around playground equipment, and to move around to watch kids from different angles.
An issue with having sixth-graders on the playground the same time as kindergartners has been addressed by creating a "no crossing zone" at the track.
The two age groups share the playground for about five minutes, North explained.
The board also learned that D.S. Brown, of North Baltimore, is volunteering manpower to build a gazebo-like structure at Powell Elementary.
The Parent's Club purchased the structure but has been unable to find the manpower to install it. The company also will supply some funding for support structures as well as landscaping around the project.
The structure will be located between the preschool building and the south entrance to the school.
The installation should take place around the middle of October, North said.
Dr. Bob Falkenstein, principal at the middle/high school, said he is in the process of collecting information on how area schools calculate a student's cumulative grade point average.
"As we better prepare students for college and beyond, I want to ensure that our grading system best supports students to take a risk and try hard courses, especially at the college level," he reported.
Currently the high school has a 4.0 scale with no weighted grades.
He told the board he plans to have a proposal for members' consideration this school year.
The district this fall will add a stone parking lot west of the current student parking space at the middle/high school, adding 70 to 75 spaces. The space will be blacktopped in the spring.

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