Mount Savage School

Mount Savage School (Photo from

CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County School Board on Tuesday discussed its proposed Teaching On Controversial Issues Policy that establishes guidelines in the classroom and/or during other educational activities under the supervision of a teacher during a school day.

The intent of the proposal is to protect teachers and give them direction when addressing controversial issues with students, board attorney Mike Llewellyn said.

The policy is modeled after others across Maryland, although not every school system in the state has such a plan.

“It’s not required” by state law or policy, Llewellyn said.

Allegany County Education Association President Kim Sloane, who is working with the policy committee on the proposal, asked for an additional month to refine language in the document.

The board agreed to send the proposal back to the policy committee.

In other ACPS news:

• Prior to Tuesday’s open meeting, the board met in executive session for roughly two hours to obtain legal advice and discuss security. After the public meeting, the board voted to reconvene in executive session.

• The board received a construction and maintenance report that included an update on the second phase of the Mount Savage School roof replacement, which is roughly 65% complete. Board vice president David Bohn said some residents were “pretty upset” that metal letters were removed from the building during the roof replacement process. The letters will be sandblasted and mounted on a wall of the school, he said.

• A property survey of the former Allegany High School on Sedgwick Street is complete. The board attorney will prepare deeds to transfer the property to county government. The county will allow the school system to use athletic fields on the property for one year.

• The school system submitted an application for the FY 2019 Aging Schools Program for funds to replace a boiler at George’s Creek Elementary that dates to the building’s original 1975 construction. 

  The board approved a second reading of a policy to identify the process for developing, adopting, revising and reviewing policy.

• The board approved a second reading of a Behavioral Threat Assessment Policy that establishes procedures for the assessment and intervention with students, staff, and individuals whose behavior pose a threat to the safety of the school environment. 

• The board approved a second reading of a policy that provides for the structure, function, and training of a Threat Assessment Team.

• Public comments included concern over staffing needs at Parkside Elementary School, and the importance of proper nutrition for students.

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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