Building service manager James Brown will retire due to kidney trouble after more than a decade at Blair and 31 years in MCPS. A replacement manager will probably be found by the fall.
Security staff will now strictly enforce a Blair policy that requires students without adult supervision to leave the school building at 3:30 p.m. The new initiative came after lax enforcement had led to large numbers of unsupervised students staying late at school, a situation security staff, administrators and building-service workers had deemed unsafe.
If the walls of Blair could talk, they would groan. Lights are broken in and around the school, making rainy days particularly dark. Bathroom sinks have a tendency to break, sometimes leaking through the floor. The "injuries” have added up: Look five years earlier, and one finds out why: Substandard material was used in constructing parts of the new school. The mistakes have been costly for both the students and the school system alike.
A chemical spill at a Washington, D.C., public high school last month brought reassurances from the Blair science department that a chemical-related emergency would be extremely unlikely at Blair. School officials identified some problem areas but maintained that safety guidelines are being upheld.
Several high school principals have clashed with Superintendent Jerry Weast on his perceived push to discourage underperforming students from taking the SATs, his redirection of crucial resources from individual high schools to Central Office and his alleged mistreatment of administrators.
Six Blair office secretaries were denied the right to wear jeans in an arbritration hearing after they filed a grievance against Principal Phillip Gainous. The Supporting Service Employees International Union (MCCSSE), which represents the secretaries, plans to appeal the May 9 decision.
The following is a transcription of the speeches made by Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Secretary of Education Rod Paige at their visit to Blair on Friday, March 7.
Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge and Secretary of Education Rod Paige unveiled a new initiative to assist schools in emergency response plans at Blair today.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. brings the troubles of a struggling 1920s black music group to a present day audience in an entertaining but powerful way. The August Wilson play follows the ups and downs of Ma Rainey and her back-up band as they try to cope with an oppressive and prejudiced society.
Tito "Benjamin” Bonilla rushes to pick up the phone. "Good evening, thank you for calling the Sheraton Hotel, Washington, D.C., downtown. This is Benjamin, how may I help you?” Despite his navy blue uniform and professional tone, guests may think Bonilla is young. They're right: Bonilla has gotten an early start in the work force.
A large number of Blair students consistently fail to clean up after themselves and are causing heavy workloads for an understaffed janitorial department, according to Building Services Night Manager Harold Walker, who said Blair students leave the most trash in the county.