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Reviewing the Harford County Board of Education Handbook and agreeing on a communication process with the new superintendent were the focuses of Saturday's annual school board retreat.

Meeting in the board room of the A.A. Roberty Building in Bel Air, the school board reviewed sections of its handbook, which was last updated in 2005, to determine what needs to be improved.

Board members also formulated procedures for communication between the school board and the superintendent.

Some handbook sections the school board agreed to rework include its and the school system's mission statements, the beliefs and priorities of the school system, school visitations by board members and the authority and responsibility of the school board.

Different school board members were selected to spearhead the rewriting of those sections, with most rewrites scheduled to be completed by October.

The school board also used the retreat to establish how its members should communicate with Superintendent Robert Tomback, who began serving July 1.

Tomback said he would like all requests for information, data and research to go through him, so that he may forward the request to the appropriate person to get the answer.

"This way they don't have to ask if Rob [Tomback] knows," he said of the people who work under him. "I get to see the answer. It's a learning opportunity for me. Each question you ask will lead to a more precise, more thorough and meaningful discussion."

Specific questions about items on the board meeting agenda will also be directed to the superintendent, with the board president also being made aware of those inquiries.

For more details on the Board of Education retreat, read this Wednesday's edition of The Aegis.

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