Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

Board of EducationMeetings → September 8, 2009

Board of Education Meeting: September 8, 2009

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Full Agenda (PDF)

Approval of the Agenda; Hispanic Heritage Month; MCPS-US Census Partnership Agreement

Hispanic Heritage Month: The Board declared September 15 to October 15, 2009, as Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring Hispanic American or Latino students, staff members, businesses, and community leaders who are contributing to the success of Hispanic students in Montgomery County Public Schools.

Hispanic Americans or Latinos currently represent 22.1 percent of the overall enrollment of MCPS. These students increased their participation in Advanced Placement exams from 696 students taking at least one AP exam in 2007 to 742 students taking at least one AP exam in 2008.

MCPS–U.S. Census Partnership Agreement: The Board passed a resolution declaring it is an official partner with the U.S. Census Bureau for the 2010 Census. The U.S. Census documents a count of everyone living in the United States every 10 years.

As a unique link with families and communities, schools can facilitate the dissemination of critical information about the importance of everyone’s participation in the Census, to reflect a more accurate count of traditionally undercounted communities.

Public Comments
Board/Superintendent Comments
Oral Update on the Opening of Schools
Consent Items
Human Resources

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education made the following administrative appointment:

  • Peter M. Ostrander, currently secondary program supervisor, Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction, as magnet coordinator, Montgomery Blair High School
Goal 2: Provide an Effective Instructional Program Sequence of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction

The Board discussed ongoing efforts to increase enrollment and improve performance of all students in advanced-level courses. The number of MCPS students enrolling in and successfully completing advanced-level courses continues to rise.

MCPS has been working to develop a systemwide process to ensure that all students’ strengths are identified, that they have access to challenging curriculum and instruction, and that parents receive timely communication about their child’s instructional program.

This process is helping meet the goal of increasing all students’ enrollment and performance in gifted, Honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and other college-level courses, with a focus on improving enrollment and performance of African American and Hispanic students.

“The presentation at the Board table on the pilot to be phased in at 25 elementary schools is exciting,” said Board Vice President Pat O’Neill. “It will provide better monitoring in the schools, better communication with parents and ultimately multiple opportunities for students to articulate into accelerated and enriched instruction.”

Board Member Judy Docca said, “I was very pleased to hear in the presentation that we are no longer putting our students in an academic box based upon one assessment in second grade. It is vitally important that we continue to recognize and meet the needs of all our students, and I believe this streamlined process will assist in that endeavor.”

Goal 1: Ensure Success for Every Student Reduction of Suspensions

The Board of Education discussed progress made during the 2008–2009 school year to help eliminate the disproportionate suspension rates of African American, Hispanic, and special education students. Although work remains to be done, 2008–2009 saw the lowest number of out-of-school suspensions in the last five years for MCPS at all school levels and a decrease in the level of disproportionality in suspension rates.

This includes steep declines in out-of-school suspension rates for each racial/ethnic group and special education students. Recommendations being implemented are based on the concepts of reducing suspensions by focusing on teaching/learning and their effects on student engagement and behavior development, and on identifying alternative responses to inappropriate behavior.

The M-Stat Suspension Team continues to work on ensuring consistent implementation of the recommendations and on providing a systemwide infrastructure for monitoring progress.

Board President Shirley Brandman said, “Our efforts to reduce suspensions reinforce our commitment to every child. It translates into one of the most powerful messages to our children: We are not giving up on you, we are here to support you, and we want you in school.”

Board Member Judy Docca said, “I commend staff on the huge effort made last year to reduce suspensions and to assist our students. Staff's efforts continue to keep our students in school, while teaching students how to better handle situations so troubling behavior is not repeated. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are off to a great start in dealing with this very complex issue.”

Board of Education Items
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