The county Board of Education sorted through 71 school improvement recommendations suggested by a task force of teachers, parents and community leaders earlier this year, giving the nod to all but a handful.

The board charged a steering committee, composed of administrators and teachers, to review and then rank the recommendations, which cover all aspects of education, ranging from student achievement to parental and community involvement. The committee is expected to present the board with its priorities in May.

Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said he would like to see the district implement a five-year improvement plan, beginning July 1, 1991.

Although the board generally concurred with most of the recommendations, there were concerns about the fiscal impact of several, including the expansion of foreign language programs to middle and elementary students.

"Yes, we can have elementary or middle school foreign language programs if we have the resources," Shilling said. "It's a matter of where you put the resources."

Despite financial concerns, a majority of the board agreed the foreign language recommendation should be made a priority.

Board President T. Edward Lippy said there may be a number of recommendations that will fall by the wayside because of lack of money.

The board declined to give priority to a recommendation for the school district to explore ways to assist private, non-profit, day-care providers in establishing programs in the schools.

Both board members and educators said they had concerns about whether providing day care was a primary responsibility of a school system. But the board agreed the system should look for ways to provide day care to help teen-age mothers remain in school.

Also given low priority was a proposal for the school system to reimburse employees for an unlimited number of graduate courses.

The board modified a recommendation to eliminate Carroll's academic certificate programs, in which students receive a certificate for excelling in certain areas. Instead, the board agreed to modify the program to eliminate some certificate programs that weren't working.

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