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Provide information on how we are using the Pearson Partnership i3 funds.

Question#: 44

ANSWER:

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was awarded $4,999,635 from the United States Department of Education for the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. The grant is for three years, FY 2011 through FY 2013. The budget provides for 1.0 project supervisor and 11.0 elementary integrated curriculum specialist positions that collaborate with team members, school staff, and stakeholders to support the development of the elementary Curriculum 2.0 that includes the following:

  • New internationally-driven standards in math, reading, and writing.
  • A renewed focus on teaching the whole child.
  • Integration of thinking, reasoning, and creativity for a lifetime of learning.
  • The technology within myMCPS to create an online professional learning community that includes access to all instructional resources.

In addition, the budget for the i3 grant includes employee benefits for the 12 positions, travel funds for required conferences, office supplies, contractual funds for the required grant evaluation, local travel for MCPS school visits, and indirect and audit costs.

The grant requires a 20 percent private sector match and Pearson, LLC, has committed $1,250,000 over the three year period. This amount is budgeted in the Entrepreneurial Activities Fund. These funds provide for substitutes for teacher training in the year the curriculum is rolled out, contractual services to complete requirement specifications to code and develop the interface for the teacher instructional planner, professional part-time salaries for translation of student materials to support language immersion, and development of professional videos and training materials. In the future, Pearson LLC will sell curriculum materials developed through the partnership and MCPS will receive a percentage of the sales. Although the curriculum has been purchased by Pearson, it is being developed by MCPS educators for use in MCPS classrooms. MCPS always retains final authority over what is taught in its classrooms.

45. Provide the number of discipline review cases handled over the last two years.

Budget page reference: N/A

The Disciplinary Review and School Assignment Unit conducts investigative conferences to determine if suspension or expulsion is warranted. The number of investigative conferences conducted for school year 2009-2010 was 542 and the number for school year 2010-2011 was 489.

46. How many students with emotional disabilities were served last year and what is the projection for this year and next year? Why are there fewer students with the primary code of emotional disabilities? Explain why there is a reduction of 8.5 teacher and 12.5 paraeducator positions.

Budget page reference: 5-51

According to the Maryland Special Education/Early Intervention Services Census Data and Related Tables Report, MCPS served 663 students classified with an emotional disability (ED) during the 2010–2011 school year. This report reflects the official child count for students with disabilities for each local education agency in the state of Maryland for October 10, 2010.    MCPS has projected 650 students with an ED code for the 2011–2012 school year.  However, the official Maryland State Department of Education Census Data Report for October 29, 2011, has not been issued.  Once it is available, this report will provide information regarding the actual number of students served by MCPS with an ED code for the 2011–2012 school year. 

Determining the projection for all students with an ED code for the 2012-2013 school year has not yet been calculated since the ED code does not drive the staffing allocation for budget development.  Instead, the staffing is based on the continuum of services available to students with disabilities and the IEP determines the placement and services/program.  This information is used to determine which staffing model, ratio, or formula is used to develop the budget. 

According to Maryland census data, there has been a decrease in the number of students identified as ED since 2003.  In 2003, 9,775 students statewide were identified with this disability compared to 7,460 in 2010.  The decrease in the number of students identified as ED may be attributed to the following factors:

  • The design, implementation and monitoring of Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavioral Intervention Plans for students prior identification.
  • Support provided to school-based teams by the Department of Student Services (DSS) and the Department of Special Education Services.
  • Effective collaborative practices regarding instructional and behavioral strategies delivered by general and special education teachers.
  • The implementation of the Collaborative Problem Solving model.
  • Interventions and supports provided by special education paraeducators who serve students in the general education environment.
  • The implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
  • The accurate administration and interpretation of assessments used to determine a student’s eligibility as ED.
  • The peer review process that requires the review of all assessments for students found eligible as ED.

Based on the review of FY 2012 enrollment and staffing allocations, specifically for the ED Cluster Model Program, it was determined that 8.5 teacher and 12.5 paraeducator positions can be reduced for FY 2013.  Staffing for this specific program is primarily designed around a ratio, with consideration given to a teaching station model to enable appropriate grade level combinations at the elementary level and to accommodate class schedules at the secondary level.  Fewer staff members are needed for the teaching station model at the secondary level and it was determined that positions that were held in reserve were not needed.  Even with a reduction in staffing, the needs of students will continue to be fully met. 

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