The Howard County Board of Education took the following actions at its Nov. 20 meeting. For more information, call 992-0500.
VALUES EDUCATION -- The board voted 5 to 0 to require teachers to include instruction in various social values, directly or indirectly, as part of their lesson plans. The requirement will go into effect next fall.
The proposal requires that the following qualities be taught: appreciation of diversity, commitment to learning, community service, compassion, democracy, equality of opportunity, freedom of thought and expression, global responsibility, honesty, integrity, justice, perseverance, respect and care for the environment, respect for human dignity, respect for self, responsibility, responsible citizenship and self discipline.
The values education will be integrated into subjects already in the curriculum rather than taught in separate classes, school spokesperson Patti Vierkant said. Details on how the requirement is to be met are to be worked out later.
The requirement, put together by a task force of administrators, educators and parents, was proposed partly in response to growing demand from parents and teachers in the county for values education in the schools, according to a report describing the proposal. School officials also are concerned, the report states, about "a general deterioration of societal values over the past several decades" and the national increase in crime, drug abuse and teen pregnancies among students, which reflect a breakdown of values.
In compiling the list of qualities that should be taught, the task force solicited suggestions from more than a dozen people in the county, including several public figures.
PRINCIPALS NAMED -- The board appointed principals at two new schools scheduled to open in September. Jesse Smith, now principal of Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia, was named principal of Mayfield Woods Middle School in Elkridge. Andy Barshinger, now principal of St. John's Lane Elementary School in Ellicott City, was named principal of Pointer's Run Elementary School in Clarksville. Both appointments become effective Jan. 1. The salaries for the two positions have not been set. Replacements for Smith and Barshinger will be named at the Dec. 13 board meeting, school officials said.