Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

FY 2015 Budget Questions and Answers

During the budget process, questions asked by members of the Board of Education are compiled. Appropriate staff from Montgomery County Public Schools answer the questions as soon as all information has been gathered to respond in full. The questions and answers are also made available to the public on this website.

Answers to other budget questions may be requested from the Department of Management, Budget, and Planning through our ask a budget question form.

Download the Budget Questions and Answers pdf 

Questions 1-10

 

1. Respond to the testimony from the Korean Parents Association regarding the elimination of funding for Korean translation services. Provide information on how positions and other resources are used to provide translation services. Are the resources sufficient considering the growing need for translations in Amharic? What is the cost to restore the position that was eliminated in the budget?

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE:  Chapter 4-55

ANSWER:

Korean translation services are not being eliminated.  While a full-time position is no longer required to provide Korean translations, contractual funds will be used to provide the services. Korean has fallen to the eighth most commonly spoken language in MCPS.   Korean represents just 1.16 percent of the ESOL student population, or 190 speakers and there are approximately 825 parents who prefer to receive written communication in Korean.

Currently, the Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) translation team in the Division of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)/Bilingual Programs includes 5.0 communication specialists who provide translation services in Spanish, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.  These were the top five languages for which translations were requested at the time the LASU was established.

The four positions that will remain in FY 2015 and the $373,861 that is budgeted to provide contractual translation services is expected to be sufficient to provide high-quality routine and urgent translation and proofreading services in all requested languages. In addition, the Language Line is available for MCPS staff members to communicate and support the language needs of our families.

As a result of changing demographics, the Division of ESOL/Bilingual Programs will continue to monitor the work of the translation team and evaluate its capacity to address the needs of our families and the MCPS community.

The cost to restore a 1.0 FTE communication specialist to the budget is $108,100 ($75,226 for salaries and $32,874 for benefits).

2. Respond to testimony regarding the proposed change in the work schedule (from 12-month to 10-month) for College and Career Information Coordinators.

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-26

Answer:

A workgroup was formed in the fall of FY 2012 to review several 12-month positions to determine if any should be changed to 10-month positions.  The workgroup included each employee organization’s executive director, other representatives from each employee organization, and MCPS staff.  The workgroup implemented a process to review positions and gather input.  This process included an initial review to decide what positions would be excluded, and a secondary review to gather data on the remaining positions.  The College and Career Information Coordinators are included in the secondary review, and the work has not been completed.  However, there is no recommendation to change the work schedule of the College and Career Information Coordinators in the FY 2015 Superintendent’s Recommended Operating Budget.

3. Respond to testimony alleging that a significant amount of food is wasted in school cafeterias. How much food is discarded? What happens to food that has been prepared when schools close as a result of weather emergencies?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 8-99 

Answer:

In elementary schools, cafeteria managers are responsible for placing food orders and use past production information as a guide to determine quantities of food to order.  Students select lunch entrées in the morning. This information is then utilized by cafeteria staff to determine the number and type of entrée items that need to be prepared.  Entrées that are not heated remain under refrigeration or frozen so they may be used at a later date.  

In secondary schools, cafeteria managers produce food orders according to historical information.  If extra items are produced, entrées may be heated for one additional time, as long as the quality is still acceptable.  Accompaniments to the entrée, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk are refrigerated and then served the following day.

Students who purchase school lunches are required to select at least three of five available menu items, one of which must be a fruit or vegetable. To limit the amount of food waste, students are discouraged from selecting additional items if their intention is not to consume them. However, if a student selects three items and does not wish to consume any of them, most schools have “share” tables where these items can be placed.  Any student who wishes to select a “share” table item is free to do so. In general, most waste in the cafeterias is made up of partially eaten food items and milk containers that contain small amounts of milk.

In the event of weather emergencies, meals for elementary schools would have already been delivered the day before. The meals are refrigerated and/or frozen and then served to students when school re-opens.

The Division of Food and Nutrition Services conducts focus groups with students to seek input and ideas for items that they would like to see on the menu. They are afforded the opportunity to taste and provide feedback on food items that could potentially be added to the menu. The goal is to provide healthy and appealing meals to students. This is an important process to reduce food waste and increase student participation in the school meals program.

4. Provide information about how counselor positions are budgeted and allocated to schools.

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-3 through 1-26

Answer:

School counselors address how student concerns and needs impact a student's ability to access education and to succeed in the learning environment.  They work in partnership with school staff to teach skills that are necessary for academic success and to promote positive academic, personal, interpersonal, health, and career development for all students. 

Elementary counselors are allocated 1.0 per school except in smaller schools that are allocated a .5 and in the three largest schools that are currently allocated 1.5 FTE or an additional .5 position.  There are four teacher-level positions in each school: counselor, staff development teacher, reading specialist, and media specialist.  Smaller schools have a total of 3.0 or 3.5 FTE positions allocated, and the school determines which of the four positions will be full-time and which will be part-time depending on the school and student needs.  In FY 2015, a total increase of 8.0 FTE positions is recommended to increase the 3.0 or 3.5 positions to 4.0 positions in smaller schools. In addition, 5.5 positions, specifically for counseling, have been added to the elementary budget to support our largest and most highly impacted schools. 

Secondary school counselors are responsible for student scheduling.  Also, high school counselors are responsible for working with students on the college application process.  This includes everything from college preparation to writing recommendations for each student.  As a result, secondary counselors are allocated based on a guideline of 250 students to 1 counselor. 

5. Respond to concerns raised about the ability of the Blair High School registrar position to manage the required workload. What other resources are available at the school to support the registrar? Should additional resources be added considering that Blair High School has 24 feeder middle schools, a high mobility rate, and many students that are from families that have never been involved in the college application process? Provide an update of the information provided last year at this time (Question/Answer 49) regarding the workload associated with transcripts and college applications. Provide a chart showing the number and types of support positions for each high school.

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-18

Answer:

I. The request for an additional registrar at Montgomery Blair High School is based on the amount of work assigned to the registrar, including college transcript submissions.  The request for an additional registrar at Montgomery Blair High School was addressed last year at this time in a response to the Board of Education and in a letter to the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) representatives. These responses are attached for reference.  Key points described in these responses on why Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has not allocated an additional position are outlined below.   The information below has been updated and additional information is provided. 

  • The work related to college transcript submission is not the sole responsibility of the registrar.    Each high school has several positions allocated to use to support this work.  It is the schools responsibility to distribute the workload appropriately.  Positions that can support and complete this work include the college/career information coordinator (CIC), the registrar, the counseling secretary, and other secretarial positions. [In fact the CIC job description states that the role of the CIC is to “assist students in all aspects of the college planning process including the application process…”] In addition, all high schools are allocated funds to hire temporary part-time support to assist with tasks during the busier times of the year. Twelve high schools with the largest enrollments and largest number of college applications submitted were contacted last year to determine how they manage the application workload, summer programs, and scholarships. It was revealed that schools use an array of resources to divide the workload based on the needs of the school. Some schools assign the work of college transcript submission to the CIC with no assistance from the registrar. In other schools, the work is assigned to a secretary, while other schools divide the task between the positions.  In addition, other schools have assigned secretarial support to their registrar. Montgomery Blair High School has these options and can divide the workload among staff as other schools have done. Despite suggestions to distribute this work, Montgomery Blair High School has chosen not to do so.  

The following table outlines support staff positions allocated to high schools.  It does not include building services, food services, or technology positions.  It also does not include special program positions for ESOL, special education, and ROTC.  As noted, these positions are allocated to schools to support their programs.  It is expected that schools distribute the workload according to the position job descriptions and the needs of the school. 

School

Enrollment

Secretary I
10 months

Financial Specialist

Secretary II
10 months

Secretary II
12 months

Registrar

Administrative
Secretary

Total Clerical-level

Security

Paraeducator
10 months

Media Assistant

English Assistant Composition

CIC

Total Instructional – level
(does not include security)

Total

Montgomery Blair

2,790

4

1

2

2

1

1

11

9

3.13

2.5

3

1

9.63

29.625

Thomas S. Wootton

2,259

4

1

2

1

1

1

10

5

2.5

2.5

2.375

1

8.375

23.375

Walter Johnson

2,237

4

1

2

1

1

1

10

5

2.63

2.5

2.5

1

8.63

23.625

Richard Montgomery

2,166

3

1

1

2

1

1

9

5.5

2.38

2

2.375

1

7.755

22.25

Winston Churchill

2,093

3

1

2

1

1

1

9

5

2.25

2

2.25

1

7.5

21.5

Gaithersburg

2,081

3

1

2

1

1

1

9

6

2.25

2

2.25

1

7.5

22.5

Northwest

2,011

3

1

2

1

1

1

9

6

2.25

2

2.25

1

7.5

22.5

Sherwood

1,980

3

1

2

1

1

1

9

5

2.25

2

2.125

1

7.375

21.375

Clarksburg

1,959

3

1

2

1

1

1

9

6

2.25

2

2.125

1

7.375

22.375

Paint Branch

1,947

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

2.13

2

2

1

7.13

21.125

Walt Whitman

1,921

3

1

2

1

1

1

9

4

2.13

2

2.125

1

7.255

20.25

Quince Orchard

1,878

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

2.13

2

2

1

7.13

21.125

BCC

1,872

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

5

2.13

2

2

1

7.13

20.125

Springbrook

1,749

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

1.88

2

1.75

1

6.63

20.625

James Hubert Blake

1,694

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

1.88

2

1.875

1

6.755

20.75

Albert Einstein

1,651

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

1.75

1.5

1.625

1

5.875

19.875

Col. Zadok Magruder

1,595

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

1.88

2

1.75

1

6.63

20.625

John F. Kennedy

1,581

3

1

1

1

1

1

8

6

1.88

1.5

1.75

1

6.13

20.125

Northwood

1,497

2

1

1

1

1

1

7

5.5

1.63

1.5

1.625

1

5.755

18.25

Watkins Mill

1,449

2

1

1

1

1

1

7

6

1.63

1.5

1.5

1

5.63

18.625

Wheaton

1,336

1.5

1

1

1

1

1

6.5

5

1.38

1

1.375

1

4.755

16.25

Rockville

1,305

1.5

1

1

1

1

1

6.5

4

1.38

1

1.375

1

4.755

15.25

Seneca Valley

1,275

2

1

1

1

1

1

7

5

1.5

1

1.375

1

4.875

16.875

Damascus

1,231

2

1

1

1

1

1

7

5

1.38

1

1.375

1

4.755

16.75

Poolesville

1,202

0.5

1

1

2

1

1

6.5

3

1.38

1

1.25

1

4.63

14.125

As noted, workload for college applications and document handling is distributed to registrars, secretaries, and the career-college coordinator.  In addition, schools are allocated temporary part time funds to use during busy times.  Many schools use these funds to support their guidance office during registration and college application season.  The funds are allocated as follows:

Projected Enrollment

Allocation

< 1400

$2,225

1400–1799

$2,450

1800–2199

$2,675

2200–2599

$2,900

2600 +

$3,125

In summary, the college application submission work as well as other paperwork can be split between staff.   In some schools, secretarial support is provided to the registrars during busy times of the year.  In the case of Montgomery Blair High School, in addition to the registrar and the CIC, the school has nine secretaries plus a fiscal specialist.  The secretaries are allocated to provide support for the main office and the counseling office. As with other schools, it is expected that the workload will be divided among the staff as needed. Secretaries, counseling staff, and registrars all have a role in the work of enrollment and record keeping. Also, during different times throughout the year, the work assignment may change based on workload.  Temporary part-time funds also are allocated to the school to hire additional support during busy times.  Many schools use these funds to support the counseling office. 

  • Although Montgomery Blair High School is the largest high school in MCPS, past data does not suggest that it has the most college applications submitted.  Data from last year revealed that as of January 1, 2013, five high schools had more total applications submitted.  Of the five high schools, two have significantly more applications submitted.  This data is incomplete as it was taken mid-year.  It does not include applications sent by U.S. mail or applications sent after January 1, 2014.  The data is provided below.

High School

Applications Submitted

Winston Churchill

3,606

Thomas S. Wootton

3,601

Bethesda-Chevy Chase

3,176

Walter Johnson

3,049

Walt Whitman

3,040

Montgomery Blair

2,932

For FY 2014, January 1 data reveals that three schools have submitted more applications.  As with last year, two of the schools have submitted significantly more applications. 


High School

Applications Submitted

Winston Churchill

4552

Thomas S. Wootton

4516

Walt Whitman

3883

Montgomery Blair

3789

  • Due to changes in technology, the work that was performed in the past by hand or required numerous steps has been reduced and has reduced the workload of registrars. Numerous upgrades in recent years have been implemented to streamline the work of registrars. These improvements have automated manual tasks and have enabled registrars to better manage students’ records.  They include the following:
  • Checking grade submissions has been redistributed to teachers and administrators with the implementation of the electronic gradebook. Teachers easily can see and correct issues before submitting their grades at the end of each marking period, which frees the registrar of this work.
  • Registrars have been given the ability to change grades of middle school students who are enrolled in high school classes and receive a grade at their school.
  • High schools have implemented the Naviance College Readiness System, which enables school staff to upload students’ transcripts to the students’ schools of choice. Naviance allows registrars to monitor the status of each application and reduces the need for the registrar to send college transcripts and applications via U.S. mail and reduces the need for follow-up phone calls to colleges.   Prior to Naviance each record was printed, copied, weighed, stamped and mailed.  This process was time-consuming.  The new system has reduced the time requirements significantly. 
  • Automating select Student Record (SR) cards, this was previously manually updated by registrars with student information at the end of each school year. School registrars had to print SR cards and send them via the Pony for students that transfer from one MCPS school to another. Now, updated student information is printed on the cards before they are distributed to schools. Work is ongoing to put all SR cards online, which will reduce the need for schools to manually update or distribute these cards. 
  • Retentions are done automatically through the system.  Prior to the improvement, retentions were completed by hand.
  • Central printing of attendance cards makes the need to print stickers that adhere to each card an obsolete task. 
  • Electronic updates of tests scores and other data preloaded into OASIS means schools do not need to keep and retain hard copies. 
  • Electronic transcripts means that schools do not need to keep and organize hard copies.  Prior to electronic copies registrars received hard copies of transcripts that were filled and each time the transcript was needed it was located and copied and then sent out.  Electronic copies means that the transcripts are at their fingertips and can be either emailed or printed and mailed. 


While some work has been streamlined due to technology, there is work to be done.  Registrars perform many record keeping tasks.  These tasks are completed with the use of technology but they are still time consuming.  While duties and responsibilities vary from school to school, the register performs the following. 

  • Grade corrections
  • Grade reconciliation for students who come from another district or incomplete semester
  • Grades for students receiving home and hospital instruction
  • Send HSA score reconciliation for students who come from other districts
  • Diploma orders
  • Transcript corrections
  • Schedule cards organization for the beginning of a semester
  • Preparation of records to be sent to Central Records for scanning and permanent retention (we are moving to doing this electronically but are not there yet).
  • Processing of no shows by the September 30 deadline (for MSDE)
  • Schedule corrections after 25th day
  • Coverage of counseling office and phone coverage when secretary is out; back-up phone coverage other days
  • Report Card distribution
  • Collecting documents and updating residency/re-distribution of returned mail
  • Updating student/family information
  • Student WDs/transfers and archiving of records; responding to requests from transfer school
  • Completing and signing forms for DJS, SSA, IRS, INS, Social Services, HOC, GED, etc.
  • Correction of all other forms of data in OASIS system; enroll/WD codes, OYG, etc
  • Monitoring of transcripts for off-site students under MCPS purview; private placements, OPTG, correctional facilities, MCPS special services & some Alt ED
  • College application process including sending of transcript/application packets
  • Updating and maintenance of Naviance database system (college/career database)
  • Respond to questions from parents, students, counselors, admin, teachers clarifying decisions and MCPS policies
  • Attend bi-monthly meetings to keep current on policy changes & best practices
  • Update departments on database deadlines/calendar items
  • Maintaining records room:
    • Daily filing of documents
    • Pickup and delivery of student files as needed
    • Keeping four years of files on WD students & responding to document requests
    • Keeping four years of graduate records and responding to document requests
    • Final reconciliation of graduate transcripts and permanent record cards to meet MSDE requirements
    • Yearly archiving of files to Central Records (done after four years are over)
    • Respond to audits for documents concerning residency, attendance, birth certificate, etc.

                                                                       
II.  The question as to whether additional resources should be added due to mobility rate, the school being part of the consortium and having many feeder schools, and having families involved in the college application process for the first time is address below. 

  • There are 14 schools with mobility rates greater than Blair’s mobility rate.  Mobility rate is always an important factor but is no more of a factor at Blair than at the other 14 schools that have higher rates.  Although student mobility creates work for staff because new students must be enrolled in the Down County Consortium (DCC) schools, the registration component is done centrally by the Division of Consortia Choice and Application Program Services (DCCAPS). For non-consortium schools, registration is performed at the school by the registrar or other assigned staff.  The mobility rate of high schools is shown below. 

School

      Mobility

Northwood

18.6

Watkins Mill

18.6

Wheaton

17.9

Seneca Valley

15.1

Gaithersburg

14.4

Kennedy

14.1

Springbrook

13.9

Blake

13

Eintstein

12.3

Clarksburg

11.5

Paint Branch

11.4

Rockville

11.3

Northwest

10.2

Richard Montgomery

10.1

Blair

9.7

Magruder

9.7

BCC

8.6

Quince Orchard

8.4

Walter Johnson

8.3

Whitman

8.3

Sherwood

7.8

Damascus

6

Wootton

5.1

Churchill

<5

Poolesville

<5

  • Having more feeder schools does create additional work because records come from many places.  But unlike non-consortium schools, registration of students is performed through the choice process at DCCAPS.  Two staff who register students are assigned to that office, a registrar and an enrollment assistant. Although the process may vary somewhat from school to school, the general process of registering DCC students is described below.
  • Students are assigned to school through the choice process. 
  • School receives a download of the students that are assigned to them.   The information flow happens electronically.  In prior years it was important that the students were both in SASI database and in OASIS.  So, registrars would be tasked with checking regularly.  Beginning  in FY 2014 with 21 schools (13 high schools) and continuing in FY 2015 with all the other schools this is no longer the case since MCPS will no longer use the SASI scheduling data and has integrated the scheduling into the OASIS system. 
  • New enrollees to the consortia attendance area are directed to contact DCCAPS to schedule an appointment to enroll the student. DCCAPS requests the general enrollment documents (residency, proof of identity, etc.) from the parents and upon acceptance of the documents presented for enrollment into MCPS, the students is enrolled, an ID is assigned, a school assignment folder is presented with copies of the enrollment documents, and the parent contacts the school to schedule a registration appointment.  This does not take any action of the local school registrar’s part. 
  • The student and parent present the school assignment folder to the school staff at the appointment, the student’s i.d. is activated in the system, and as necessary, documents reviewed.  The student meets with a counselor to begin the course registration process.
  • So, for non-consortium schools the registration (the collecting of the required document or the reassigning from one school to another) is done onsite by the registrar whereas in the DCC cases that work is done centrally by DCCAPS office which has a registrar.
  • The school registrar activates each student.   This means going into the system and taking the student from inactive to active. 
  • The registrar may need to send a request for records to the previous school.    When the records arrive, the forms are processed.  For students already in MCPS these forms are already in the system.  Schools with more mobility obviously have more students to register later in the process.    When a student moves out of a school the student’s hard copy records need to be sent to the new school.  This requires finding the records and sending them.  For the receiving school, the school contacts the previous school and requests the records to be sent.   Once received, the documents are filed.   For a student leaving, the registrar will print records before releasing the student electronically.   

Based on this process there is no evidence that being part of a consortium school is more work for registrars. 

Because DCCAPS completes the electronic part of the registration process, the work for the consortium registrar is less intensive than for non-consortium registrars. 

MCPS staff continues to work with all schools to ensure that each has the resources and knowledge to ensure all students achieve at the highest levels and are prepared to compete globally.  The college application process is an important one for our students.  Staff are committed to ensuring that every student is well served during this process.  Schools have numerous resources to perform the required duties and responsibilities.  Staff will continue to work with Blair High School to review their available resources and to identify how work can be distributed to ensure that our goals are met.  This includes continuing the work of having DCCAPS perform enrollment tasks for all students as well as looking at how current resource could be used to support the process.  If it is determined that the workload at Blair High School or other high schools exceed the resources made available, other resources will be provided to support the process and ensure all student needs are met. 

49. Provide information on how our large high schools are able to manage the workload associated with transcripts and college applications. How are registrar positions allocated? Is additional secretarial support needed in the registrar’s office?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  1-19

Answer:

Registrar positions are allocated one per school.  The work related to college transcript submission is not the sole responsibility of the registrar.  Schools are allocated several positions that can support and complete this work including the career information coordinator (CIC), the registrar, the guidance secretary, and other secretarial positions. The career information coordinator job description clearly outlines that the role of the CIC is to “Assist students in all aspects of the college planning process including the application process.”   In addition, each high school is allocated funds to hire temporary part-time support to assist with tasks during the busier times of the year. 

Twelve schools with the largest enrollments and largest number of college applications submitted were contacted for how they manage the workload pertaining to the college application process.  It was revealed that schools use the array of resources provided to divide the workload based on the needs of the school.  Some schools assign the work of college transcript submission to the CIC with no assistance from the registrar.  In other schools, the work is assigned to a secretary, while other schools divided the task between the positions.  It is important to note that although Blair High School has the highest enrollment, it does not have the largest number of applications submitted.  In fact, as of January 1, 2013, based on the data from the Naviance system, five schools have more college application submissions completed.  Of the five schools, two have significantly more applications submitted.  The data is provided below.

School Name

Applications Submitted

Churchill

3,606

Wootton

3,601

BCC

3,176

Walter Johnson

3,049

Whitman

3,040

Blair

2,932


This data does not include some of the applications sent by hand.  A limited number of colleges and universities do not take electronic applications, therefore paper applications are sent by hand.  Consequently, the number of applications should increase by a small percentage to account for paper submissions. 

Similarly, for enrollment and record keeping tasks, schools assign workloads based on the time of the year.  In the case of Blair High School, in addition to the registrar and the CIC, the school has nine secretaries.  The secretaries are allocated to provide support for the main office and the guidance office.  As with other schools, it is expected that the workload will be divided among the staff as needed.  Secretaries, CICs, and registrars all have a roll in the work of enrollment, record keeping, and college application submissions.  Also, during different times throughout the year, the work assignment may change based on workload. 

6. Should MCPS develop a staffing formula for elementary counselors that considers the needs of students considering that MCPS elementary students face problems that students did not have to face ten years ago?

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET REFERENCE PAGE: CHAPTER 5 - 51

Answer:

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) provides a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses the needs of students from kindergarten–Grade 12 and is aligned with the Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) 13.A.05.05.02.  School counseling programs are expected to address three major areas of students’ lives: (1) school success; (2) career development and decision making; and (3) interpersonal relationship skills.  

COMAR does not mandate or provide a recommendation for a school counselor-to-student ratio at any grade level. Currently, the MCPS ratio for counselors in middle and high schools meets the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommendation of 250 students per counselor.  The 130 counselors assigned to elementary schools reflect an overall staffing ratio of one elementary counselor for 536 students.  Most elementary schools have a 1.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) counselor position.  The three largest elementary schools have 1.5 FTE counselor positions, and seven of the smallest elementary schools have a 0.5 FTE counselor position.

MCPS is focused on implementing a coordinated student services team (CSST) model in all  schools.  This model includes the school-based counselor, the assigned psychologist and pupil personnel worker, as well as other school staff members.  The FY 2015 budget includes additional staffing (4.0 FTE psychologist positions, 3.0 FTE pupil personnel worker positions, and 7.7 FTE elementary school counselor positions) to implement the CSST model.  These additional positions and those to be hired over the next several years will provide for lower caseloads for employees, improved services to the most vulnerable students, and will enable elementary school counselors to better address the needs of students in their schools.   MCPS plans to fully implement this model and evaluate its impact on student success before deciding whether to adopt a specific staffing formula for elementary school counselors.

Some MCPS students are facing increasing challenges that may require more intensive mental health or therapeutic supports than those which counselors are able to provide.  The more significant therapeutic needs of these students are best met through clinical models, such as Linkages to Learning.  Currently, Linkages to Learning delivers these additional services to students and their families.  It is strong and effective partnerships such as Linkages to Learning that can best provide the resources that students needing more intensive mental health support may require to be successful in school.

7. Testimony from the founder of the Robotics Club at Kennedy High School indicated that it has been difficult to retain teacher sponsors. How are stipends allocated to teachers to support high school extracurricular activities?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-18

Answer:

The FY 2015 Operating Budget includes $5,865,266 for extracurricular stipends for high schools.  There are two different types of stipends, Class 3 and Class 1.  Class 3 stipends are the predetermined stipends outlined in the MCEA Contract.  These include athletic and non-athletic stipends.  Each school is allocated these stipends to be used as described in the contract and the extracurricular handbook. These are listed below. 

Extracurricular Activities

 Stipend Amount

Band/Competitive Marching

 $ 2,310

Band/Marching Pep Band

 $ 1,540

Band/Marching - Preseason

 $    896

Band/Pep Band Director

 $    840

Band/Instrumental Music Director

 $ 2,380

Music Theater Director

 $    910

Choral Director

 $ 4,200

CPR/AED Trainer

 $    595

Debate

 $ 3,150

Drama

 $ 4,718

Flag/Majorette Rifle/Team Sponsor

 $ 2,100

Forensics

 $ 3,150

It's Academic

 $ 1,400

Mathletes

 $ 1,638

Mock Trial Program

 $ 1,260

Newspaper Advisor

 $ 3,150

Senior Class Advisor

 $ 3,500

Junior Class Advisor

 $ 2,450

SGA

 $ 3,780

Stage Director

 $ 4,662

Yearbook Advisor

 $ 3,150

Assistant Athletic Director

 $ 4,410

Assistant Game Manager

 $ 2,268

Baseball, JV

 $ 2,758

Baseball, Varsity

 $ 4,172

Basketball, JV (B)

 $ 3,304

Basketball, Varsity (B)

 $ 4,522

Basketball, JV (G)

 $ 3,304

Basketball, Varsity (G)

 $ 4,522

Basketball Scorer/Timer (B)

 $    588

Basketball Scorer/Timer (G)

 $    588

BOCCE (Co-ed) (Corollary

 $ 1,610

Cheerleaders Plan I Fall (must have 2 sponsors)

 $ 2,149

Cheerleaders Plan II Fall, Varsity

 $ 2,324

Cheerleaders Plan II Winter, Varsity

 $ 1,827

Cheerleaders Plan II Fall, JV

 $ 1,841

Corollary Sport Facilitator

 $ 2,310

Cross Country (co-ed)

 $ 3,374

Cross Country Assistant Team over 40 (co-ed)

 $ 3,164

Diving Coach (County)

 $ 2,884

Field Hockey, Varsity (G)

 $ 3,402

Field Hockey, JV (G)

 $ 2,408

First Aid Assistant Fall

 $ 1,792

First Aid Assistant Winter

 $ 1,400

First Aid Assistant Spring

 $ 1,400

Football Assistant Coach

 $ 4,816

Football Head Coach

 $ 5,586

Football Ticket Manager

 $    938

Golf (Co-ed)

 $ 1,834

Gymnastics

 $ 1,834

Indoor Track (Co-ed)

 $ 3,262

Indoor Track Assistant (Co-ed) Team over 40

 $ 3,024

Intramural Dir. (Co-ed)

 $    532

Lacrosse, JV (B)

 $ 2,380

Lacrosse, Varsity (B)

 $ 3,052

Lacrosse, JV (G)

 $ 2,380

Lacrosse, Varsity (G)

 $ 3,052

Night Game Manager

 $ 1,526

Pompons

 $ 3,430

Pole Vault

 $ 2,380

Soccer, JV (B)

 $ 2,660

Soccer, Varsity (B)

 $ 3,500

Soccer, JV (G)

 $ 2,660

Soccer, Varsity (G)

 $ 3,500

Softball (Co-ed) (Corollary)

 $ 1,610

Softball, JV (G)

 $ 2,758

Softball, Varsity (G)

 $ 4,172


Swimming and Diving

 $ 3,010

Team Handball (Co-ed) (Corollary)

 $ 1,610

Tennis (B)

 $ 3,038

Tennis (G)

 $ 3,108

Ticket Manager, Countywide Athletic Event

 $ 2,800

Ticket Manager, General Athletic Event

 $ 2,296

Ticket Manager, Basketball

 $ 1,092

Track Assistant (Co-ed)

 $ 3,444

Track Head Coach

 $ 3,738

Volleyball, Varsity (B)

 $ 3,234

Volleyball, Varsity (Co-ed)

 $ 3,234

Volleyball, JV (G)

 $ 2,394

Volleyball, Varsity (G)

 $ 3,290

Weight Trainer Director (Co-ed)

 $ 1,260

Wrestling, JV

 $ 3,696

Wrestling, Varsity

 $ 4,830

In addition, each school is allocated an additional 840 hours or $11,760 in stipends.  These Class I stipends are used for other extracurricular activities such as clubs or other activities. Schools determine which additional clubs to offer based on needs and interest at the particular school. Schools submit their plans for Class 1 and Class 3 stipends at the start of each school year.  Changes can be made throughout the year using a change process so long as the funds have not already been spent by the school.  Guidelines for Class 1 activities are outlined in the extracurricular handbook. They cannot be used to augment existing Class 3 stipends, schools must submit a plan that includes a description of the activity including start and end date, and any one activity may not exceed 100 hours.

8. What is the bilingual capability of front-office staff in our high schools? How are we working to hire bilingual staff to meet the needs of the school community?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 10 - 11

Answer:

There are currently 31 bilingual employees who work in MCPS high school front offices. The majority of these bilingual employees speak Spanish and other languages include German, Farsi, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Of the high schools that have indicated that they do not have bilingual front office staff, there are other bilingual staff and teachers available in the school to assist parents and community members.

At each stage of the staffing process, the Department of Recruitment and Staffing works with schools that are seeking to fill positions with bilingual staff.  Staffing specialists work with MCPS schools when advertising vacancies to determine if the schools prefer bilingual candidates.  Also, the employment application includes questions to identify bilingual candidates.  The pre-screening interview allows staffing specialists to identify candidates’ fluency in languages other than English.  In addition, staffing specialists on the Supporting Services Team monitor the pool of applicants that are on the MCPS careers website, so that qualified bilingual support service candidates are interviewed. 

9. How many parent community coordinator positions are budgeted, and what schools do they serve?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 4-59 and Chapter 7-7

Answer:

The FY 2015 Operating Budget includes 12.0 parent community coordinator (PCC) positions in the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP). This is an increase of 2.0 positions from the FY 2014 Operating Budget.  There are 15.0 PCC positions and 3.5 parent services assistant positions in the Division of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Bilingual Programs.  In addition, there are 7.9 PCC positions that serve Title I schools.  There are 25.8 social worker and social services assistant positions that work with parents of students in Pre-kindergarten and Head Start Programs, and 18.75 positions that work with parents of special education students in the Infants and Toddlers program and some pre-school programs.
ESOL Parent Community Coordinators
The 15.0 PCCs in ESOL serve all elementary and secondary schools, special education centers, and alternative programs. The positions provide regularly scheduled services in 53 schools.  Regularly scheduled ESOL parent outreach services are provided to targeted schools using ESOL program and enrollment data and Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) status for the Limited English Proficient (LEP) subgroup, and Annual Measureable Achievement Objective (AMAO) data. 
Status 1 is assigned to schools in which AMAO I and AMO targets for LEP students were not met in reading and math and all of the Multidisciplinary Educational Training and Support (METS) sites, Thomas Edison High School of Technology (TEHST), and the next two largest non-METS high school ESOL centers.  Status 2 schools are those whose AMO targets for LEP in reading and/or math were not met and Title I schools with a projected enrollment of 170 or more ESOL students.  Schools designated as Status 1 receive up to seven hours of service per week.  Schools designated as Status 2 receive up to four hours of service per week.
OCEP Parent Community Coordinators

The following table shows the clusters and priority schools within each cluster to which 9.0 FTE PCCs in OCEP are assigned.  

9


PCC

Clusters Served

Priority Schools

1.0

Clarksburg, Damascus,
Quince Orchard, Poolesville

Clarksburg HS, Ridgeview MS, Rocky Hill MS, Brown Station ES, Damascus ES, Fox Chapel ES

1.0

Churchill, Richard Montgomery, Rockville, Wootton

Rockville HS,  Richard Montgomery HS, Earle B. Wood MS, Julius West MS, College Gardens ES, Meadow Hall ES, Twinbrook ES

1.0

DCC – Wheaton, Walter Johnson
Walt Whitman

Wheaton HS, Mario Loiederman MS, Parkland MS, Tilden MS,
Wheaton Woods ES

1.0

DCC – Albert Einstein
DCC – Kennedy Cluster

Kennedy HS, Argyle MS, Bel Pre ES, Strathmore ES, Sligo MS, Flora Singer ES

1.0

Bethesda-Chevy Chase, NEC– James Hubert Blake, NEC­– Sherwood

Briggs Chaney MS, Farquhar MS, Rosa Parks MS, Cresthaven ES, Roscoe Nix ES

1.0

DCC – Montgomery Blair
DCC – Northwood

Montgomery Blair HS, Northwood HS, E. Brook Lee MS, Silver Spring International MS, Montgomery Knolls ES, Pine Crest ES

1.0

Northwest, Seneca Valley

Roberto Clemente MS, Christa McAuliffe ES, Clopper Mill ES, 
Great Seneca Creek ES, Waters Landing ES

1.0

Gaithersburg, Magruder, Watkins Mill

Neelsville MS, Gaithersburg ES, James Daly ES, South Lake ES, Stedwick ES, Whetstone ES

1.0

Gaithersburg, Watkins Mill

Gaithersburg HS, Forest Oak MS, Gaithersburg, MS, Watkins Mill HS, Montgomery Village MS, and Watkins Mill ES

In addition, a 1.0 FTE PCC position supports the Study Circles program in the following schools:

  • Clarksburg HS                                    Damascus HS
  • Earle B. Wood MS                 Fields Roads ES
  • Kingsview MS                        Neelsville MS
  • Sligo MS                                 Springbrook HS
  • Farquhar MS                           Watkins Mill HS
  • Julius West MS                       Redland MS
  • Parkland MS                           Ridgeview MS

One of the 2.0 PCC positions added in the FY 2015 Operating Budget for OCEP will provide additional support for Study Circles, and the other position will focus on activities to implement Community Engagement Teams and work with the Intervention and Innovation Schools.

10. Provide achievement data for middle schools that have an 8-period day compared to those that do not. Update the information provided last year that detailed the cost of restoring the 8-period day at all middle schools?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  N/A

Answer:

Middle school staffing is based on a formula that assumes that each student takes seven classes and each teacher teaches five classes.  Adjustments to the formula are made for resource teachers and team leaders who teach four classes to allow time for their leadership responsibilities.  To staff schools at five of eight schedules, the staffing formula would be adjusted to calculate each student taking eight classes.  This would add approximately six teachers per school at a cost of $393,741, including employee benefits.  Currently there are six middle schools offering 8-period days: Silver Spring International, Argyle, A. Mario Loiederman, Neelesville, Takoma Park, and Parkland.  Restoring this type of scheduling to the remaining 32 schools would require adding 192 teachers at a total new hire cost of $12,599,712, or an average salary cost of $18,834,272, including employee benefits.

Maryland School Assessment (MSA) data for the 8-period day schools and the non-8-period day schools are provided below.   There are significant differences in performance among students scoring advanced in reading and math at all three grade levels, with 7-period schools scoring significantly higher.  When making the comparison between 8-period schools and non-8-period schools for students scoring proficient and above, the performance between the two types of schedule shows less contrast.

Table 1
Percentage of MCPS Grade 8 Students Who Successfully Completed Algebra 1
with a C or Higher

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

51.2

48.4

49.7

Non-8-Period Day Schools

64.7

64.5

61.2

Table 2
Percentage of Students Scoring Advanced only on MSA by Grade and Subject

Grade 6

READING

MATH

2011

2012

2013

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

45.6

44.2

44.9

30.5

30.8

25.7

Non-8-Period Day Schools

55.6

55.9

56.5

39.1

43.1

38.1

Grade 7

READING

MATH

2011

2012

2013

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

46.9

47.4

52.3

24.8

24.5

23.9

Non-8-Period Day Schools

60.8

59.4

63.9

36.5

36.2

36.2

Grade 8

READING

MATH

2011

2012

2013

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

48.3

44.9

47.1

29.7

28.8

29.2

Non-8-Period Day Schools

59.2

51.8

61.1

45.4

45.3

43.3

Table 3
Percentage of Students Scoring Advanced and Proficient on MSA by Grade and Subject

 Grade 6

READING

MATH

2011

2012

2013

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

86.4

86.5

84.4

80.2

79.9

72.7

Non-8-Period Day Schools

90.0

90.9

89.8

84.3

86.4

80.8

 Grade 7

READING

MATH

2011

2012

2013

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

87.9

83.8

86.2

74.1

72.4

71.3

Non-8-Period Day Schools

91.5

90.2

92.1

82.3

83.6

81.6

 Grade 8

READING

MATH

2011

2012

2013

2011

2012

2013

8-Period Day Schools

85.8

82.9

83.2

63.5

62.8

63.7

Non-8-Period Day Schools

90.1

89.0

89.4

77.2

79.7

77.0

Questions 11 - 20

11.The superintendent’s recommended FY 2015 Operating Budget adds 5.0 positions to the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships at a cost of $532,230. Please provide specific details about the nature of these positions, including whether they will be school-based or central office positions and the plan for using these positions.

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 7 - 5

Answer:

The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships requests five new positions to provide leadership for two major functions which were strategically identified through alignment with the MCPS Strategic Planning Framework:  Family and Community Engagement and Institutional Partnerships.  The proposed roles of these positions are as follows: 

1.  Director I, Parent and Community Engagement – This position will provide leadership, planning, and oversight to all OCEP efforts aimed at building its capacity to implement new strategies and initiatives.  The position will be responsible for the success of the Community Engagement Teams (one of OCEP’s major initiatives for building capacity in schools and communities).  It also will provide leadership in leveraging MCPS’ family-facing resources, develop community engagement professional learning circles and training models that support student achievement, and oversee the implementation and expansion of Study Circles. 
2. Parent Community Coordinator, Family and Community Engagement – This position will be used to increase engagement capacity at schools, connect parents to MCPS resources, and assist parents in advocating for their children.  The position also will help implement activities of the community engagement teams that work with Intervention and Innovation schools.

3. Director I, Organizational Partnerships – This position will be responsible for developing relationships with businesses to bring in new financial, material, and in-kind resources to support MCPS initiatives.  In addition, the position will be responsible for maintaining and strengthening existing partnerships and interagency programs such as Linkages to Learning, Excel Beyond the Bell, and the Kennedy Cluster Initiative.

4. Administrative Secretary I, Organizational Partnerships –­ This position will provide administrative services support for OCEP’s partnership efforts and also will assist the existing administrative secretary who supports 17 OCEP staff.

5. Parent Community Coordinator, Study Circles.  This position will be deployed in schools as OCEP works to expand Study Circles throughout the district.

12. Provide specific details of the plan for the $3 million requested to acquire mobile devices for classrooms to expand the use of technology for teaching and learning as well as use for PARCC assessments. Are these costs for hardware only? Will there be software and maintenance costs for these devices? How will software be acquired and evaluated? What is the training plan for employees? Are mobile devices the optimal device to use for assessments as compared to desktops or laptops?

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE:  Chapter 1-8

ANSWER:

The $3,000,000 requested for mobile technologies in the FY 2015 Operating Budget directly supports the district’s strategic thinking about technology for teaching and learning.  The MCPS 2014–2016 Strategic Technology Plan that was shared with the Board of Education on May 30, 2013, frames a vision for how    MCPS has begun to reimagine learning in a connected, digital age. In addition, the plan also highlights the forces that are both pulling and pushing us to this future. Specifically, the plan summarizes how digital and mobile technology are changing how we live, work, and learn, and therefore is driving us to adapt and integrate these technologies to create inspiring and motivating learning experiences.

This funding will support the purchase of mobile devices, enhanced warranty coverage, and the software that enables teachers to easily manage and support students as they use these devices. A variety of learning opportunities for teachers are available and planned. This includes CPD classes, supporting teachers during their collaborative planning time, co-teaching with and coaching teachers during instructional time, providing just-in-time quick guides and online recorded modules, and working with teachers before and after their school day to support them in integrating these technologies in impactful ways with their instruction.

The $3.0 million request in the FY 2015 Operating Budget enhances the district’s ability to systematically move forward in integrating greater customizable and flexible learning opportunities directly in our classrooms. Advances in mobile, social, information, and cloud technologies are facilitating these new opportunities for how we teach and learn. The convergence of these four technologies (our students and staff are already deeply immersed with these technologies outside of school) present tremendous opportunities to redesign our learning environments. Since mobile devices (which include laptops, tablets, and hybrid laptop-tablets) wirelessly connect to the network and can be recharged out of the way, we can integrate these technologies into existing classroom configurations and support teachers as they implement a variety of technology-enhanced, student-centered pedagogical strategies.

The systematic integration of the mobile technologies along with the interactive, multimodal pedagogical strategies they support promotes deeper, more customizable, and collaborative learning options for our students. Moreover, to prepare students to succeed in college and career pursuits, MCPS schools must have the ability to use instructional resources and pedagogical strategies that incorporate the technologies that are part of daily life outside the classroom. Consequently, the $3,000,000 requested for mobile technologies in the FY 2015 Operating Budget is a critical step in supporting the MCPS 2014–2016 Strategic Technology Plan’s vision for classroom communities as follows:

  • digital curricular resources offer students multiple opportunities to integrate challenging content, represented through different mediums including text, video, audio, graphic, and multimedia formats;
  • technology supports disciplined inquiry and making students’ thinking visible as they make sense of complex and real-world phenomena;
  • there are ambitious expectations for all students, and the flexibility for grouping and access to learning is in place to meet their needs;
  • highly effective teachers and all staff members have the resources and support to expertly engage students in digital learning and communicate with their parents/guardians about their progress;
  • technology-enhanced formative and performance assessments are used effectively to make daily instructional decisions and to provide meaningful feedback to students that empowers them to own their learning; and
  • technology is used to differentiate instruction and scaffold learning opportunities that meet the learning needs and diverse backgrounds of all students.

This vision for learning requires greater access to a variety of digital, mobile, and multimodal technologies to create the inspiring and engaging learning experiences our students and staff are demanding.

In addition to being an integral part of students’ everyday learning experiences, the integration of the mobile devices this budget request supports also will enable MCPS to comply with the state’s PARCC online assessment requirements. The new state assessment requirements expand mandatory online testing to students in grades 3-11. The Maryland State Department of Education’s recommended PARCC testing requirements specify a one-to-one computer-to-student ratio within the largest tested grade level. To comply with these testing requirements, MCPS will need a minimum of 18,000 additional PARCC compliant devices to be able to complete the state’s assessment within the prescribed testing window.

Practically, there is not sufficient space in our classrooms to accommodate 18,000 or more desktops across our schools. Furthermore, desktop and computer lab-based access do not provide real-time access to technology-enhanced learning opportunities, loses time in transition to the labs, and is not aligned with the future of technology and learning. By contrast, given the smaller sizes, increased processing power, ability to connect wirelessly, and the options for power management of mobile devices, those models that satisfy the prescribed size and processor requirements are ideally suited to support creative, engaging classroom learning experiences and facilitate the administration of the PARCC assessment. Mobile learning devices are an essential part of providing students meaningful opportunities to engage the curricular content from the perspective from which they will be assessed on the state’s new performance-based assessments. Moreover, the introduction of mobile devices also will accelerate our work to transition the MCPS assessment program to a fully computer-enabled platform.

13. Please indicate specifically how the superintendent’s budget addresses each of the Board’s budget priorities?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  N/A

Answer:

The Board of Education’s FY 2015 Operating Budget Interests, adopted on September 10, 2013, assisted the superintendent as the FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget was formulated.  The ten budget interests of the Board are as follows: 

  • Provide multiple pathways enabling graduates to be globally competitive and college and career-ready.
  • Meet the needs of each individual child, including their health and social and emotional wellbeing and a strong start for all students before kindergarten.
  • Continue to reduce variability of performance/address student performance issues.
  • Retain and support staff to create the conditions for success that support schools and students.
  • Expand and support community engagement in our schools. Work hard to ensure that communities and families know what they need to do to support their children.
  • Maintain and improve our special education programs and processes.
  • Promote instructional strategies and curriculum that engage students through innovative delivery methods and 21st Century physical spaces.
  • Focus on all students and ensure all students have equity of access to appropriate and higher level courses so that outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status and all gaps in achievement are eliminated.
  • Ensure the budget is aligned to the Strategic Planning Framework and organize and optimize resources, including the implementation of the Strategic Technology Plan and the Environmental Sustainability Plan, while providing the highest quality business operations and support services that are essential to the educational success of all students.
  • Pay attention to areas of great need, in particular, middle school.

The following are examples how the Superintendent’s FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget is aligned with the Board’s budget interests.


 

Provide multiple pathways enabling graduates to be globally competitive and college and
career-ready.

The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget supports a wide range of programs that help prepare students to be ready for college and careers.  These programs include International Baccalaureate, magnet programs, signature programs, and career pathway programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and education.  The FY 2015 budget also continues funding for the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) Program that was implemented in ten high schools in FY 2014.  The FY 2015 budget includes $136,534 of new funding along with $300,000 of funding that is realigned to support the redesign of Alternative Programs to strengthen the instructional program and learning environment for students who have not been successful in traditional middle school and high school programs.  In addition, while the Special, Choice, and Signature Programs have provided multiple options to support MCPS students, the FY 2015 budget includes funding for an outside study of these programs to assess their effectiveness in meeting the needs of students in the 21st century.

Meet the needs of each individual child, including their health and social and emotional wellbeing and a strong start for all students before kindergarten.

The new strategic planning framework Building Our Future Together:  Staff, Students, and Community focuses on three competency areas including academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning.  Coordinated Student Services Teams (CSST) in the schools align services and programs to enable students to acquire social emotional competence, help educators promote social/emotional learning, identify mental health needs, and provide mental health support.  The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget also adds 5.5 counselors, 4.0 school psychologists, and 3.0 pupil personnel as part of a multi-year effort to enhance the work of the CSSTs in MCPS schools. This multi-year plan adds positions over three years to lower caseloads for staff and enhance services to our most vulnerable students.  In addition, in FY 2014, MCPS initiated the Intervention Schools Network, comprised of 10 schools to improve timeliness and quality of interventions for students who are struggling as well as to improve academic results in math and literacy and decrease dropout rates.  The network is a holistic, team-based approach to support students, and bring together families, communities, and school staff to identify students’ growth areas and support their academic, behavioral, and social emotional needs.  The FY 2015 budget also provides $226,881 of additional funding for professional development at these intervention schools, as well as for the development, implementation and monitoring of an early warning indicators system to help identify areas of need. 

Continue to reduce variability of performance/address student performance issues.

The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget continues to provide resources to support programs to address variability in student performance.  In FY 2014, we added 30 middle school focus teachers to provide instruction to students who have not been successful in mathematics and English lowering the student teacher ratios for instruction and provide high quality teachers to high needs schools.  The FY 2015 budget adds 15 high school focus teachers to continue to reduce the achievement gap between White and Asian students and their Black and Latino counterparts.  These teachers, like the middle school focus teachers, will be added to the most impacted high schools, and combined with 23.5 existing positions to reduce class size.  Budgeted resources and efforts of all MCPS offices, schools and staff are integrated and focused on reducing performance variability among students. 

Retain and support staff to create the conditions for success that support schools and students.

Our ability to retain and support high quality teachers, leaders, and support staff is a critical element for ensuring the success of our schools and students.  The FY 2014 budget added professional development funding to support staff’s ability to implement Curriculum 2.0 and other requirements.  The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget annualizes the step, longevity and bonus increases that personnel will receive on February 8, 2014, and negotiations are ongoing regarding additional compensation and benefit changes for next year.  In addition, the FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget provides $800,000 for the Career Lattice to attract and retain high-performing teachers, especially in high-need schools, to promote leadership skills among teachers, both in the classroom and in the larger school community, and for collaborative and reflective practices that influence school culture and student achievement.    The Career Lattice is the result of our continued collaboration with our employee associations.  The budget also includes $251,932 to provide opportunities for elementary schools with large Special Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), or arts teams with more than four positions to have a team leader.  In addition, 12 additional middle schools will receive resources to ensure that team leaders and content leaders for departments are allocated as separate positions.  This will allow for more focused attention on each of the content areas so teacher leaders have more time to coach and work directly with teachers in the department.  

Expand and support community engagement in our schools. Work hard to ensure that communities and families know what they need to do to support their children.

The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP) was established in FY 2013 as part of the superintendent’s reorientation to serve as the primary catalyst to improve student outcomes by engaging parents and forming strategic partnerships with community organizations.  The FY 2015 budget expands OCEP adding 5 positions and $532,230 to increase efforts to collaborate with county agencies, nonprofit and community organizations.  This includes leadership positions for OCEP’s efforts to develop strategies and expand networks with corporate partners and exploring trends and activities in community organizing around education.  The FY 2015 budget also adds parent community coordinators to provide additional coordination for OCEP’s parent and community engagement teams.  In addition, our ESOL and Special Education staff will continue to provide extensive parent outreach along with the Office of Communications and its variety of tools such as the web, social media, and television to reach MCPS parent. 

Maintain and improve our special education programs and processes.

The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget includes $449.5 million (about 20 percent of the total operating budget) to provide services to 17,503 students with disabilities.  The budget provides an additional 76.6 positions and $8.0 million over FY 2014 for serving special education students.  Over the last several years, funding has been added to provide hours-based staffing in all middle schools.  Overall, resources for Special Education have increased over the last decade to serve an increased number of students and provide services to students at an earlier age, all with the goal of providing educational programs in the least restrictive environment.

Promote instructional strategies and curriculum that engage students through innovative delivery methods and 21st Century physical spaces.

Like the FY 2014 budget, the FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget continues the implementation of Curriculum 2.0, designed to engage all MCPS students with rigorous instruction.  Our secondary curriculum is being updated to address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  Professional development funding was added in FY 2014 to provide training and support for elementary school teachers who are implementing Curriculum 2.0 and for secondary English and math teachers to address curriculum changes with CCSS.  The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget adds 7.0 teachers to support students who this year are taking compacted mathematics for Grades 4 and 5 in Grade 4 so they can participate in compacted Grade 5/6 mathematics next year.  The FY 2015 budget also adds professional development funding to prepare for Wheaton High School’s transformation from a traditional high school to a project-based learning community.  Another strategy receiving additional funding in FY 2015 is the Innovation Schools Network.  This funding will be allocated to individual Innovation Schools to support the development and implementation of each school’s improvement plan and for leadership teams to deepen their work as leaders of school improvement practices. 

Focus on all students and ensure all students have equity of access to appropriate and higher level courses so that outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status and all gaps in achievement are eliminated.

Within MCPS, the Department of Instructional Programs in the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP) works to tailor curriculum implementation to diverse learners’ needs across the school district.  The Department collaborates with other components of OCIP as well as with the offices of School Support and Improvement, Special Education and Student Services, and Community Engagement and Partnerships to develop strategies of equity in achievement for all students.  In addition, the Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction provides programs, resources, professional development, and schools support required to implement a challenging curriculum and instruction for all students to achieve at the highest levels.  There will continue to be a focus on programs and resources directed to eliminate the achievement gap. 

Ensure the budget is aligned to the Strategic Planning Framework and organize and optimize resources, including the implementation of the Strategic Technology Plan and the Environmental Sustainability Plan, while providing the highest quality business operations and support services that are essential to the educational success of all students.

Along with the Board’s budget interests for the FY 2015 Operating Budget, the new Strategic Planning Framework Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff, and Community was integral in the development of the Superintendent’s recommended budget.   From its five district wide milestones to the key competencies of academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning, all were important in the crafting of the budget.  In terms of optimizing resources, both budget realignments as well as reductions are reflected in the FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget.  The Superintendent has said on many occasions that before we ask for additional resources, we must fully utilize the resources we currently have.  For example, from a technology standpoint, the FY 2015 budget includes $3 million in additional funding along with realigned funding to utilize innovative mobile technology to create new opportunities for how we teach and learn in the digital age.  In addition to being an important part of enhancing our students’ learning experiences, these devices will assist MCPS to comply with the state’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) online assessment requirements.

Pay attention to areas of great need, in particular, middle school.

The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget continues the focus on middle schools that was reflected in the FY 2014 Operating Budget.  Some of the most significant gaps in achievement between White and Asian students compared to their Black and Latino counterparts have been in middle schools.  The FY 2014 Operating Budget added 30 focus teachers to work with students who are struggling in math and English in schools with the greatest need.  Training and substitute funding was also added to literacy leadership teams in middle schools as the new CCSS is rolled out.  The FY 2015 Recommended Operating Budget adds 10.5 teachers to address the performance of English language learners to ensure that these students attain and progress in English proficiency, and score proficient in reading and mathematics.  Additional funding is also included to continue implementation of the middle school improvement strategy.  A pilot group of five middle schools and leadership teams will study ways to incorporate the Strategic Planning Framework’s competencies of academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning throughout the middle school instructional programs. 

14. For each of our middle schools, how much additional staffing or resources beyond base levels does each receive due to special programs, such as IB, language immersion, magnet, consortium, middle school reform, etc.? Please also list all middle schools that receive no additional resources beyond base funding.

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  1-11

Answer:

Every middle school is provided administrative, teacher-level, and support staff positions that are allocated based on guidelines.  Included in the teacher-level positions are the leadership positions.  The leadership staffing allocations to schools include content specialists and team leaders for middle school reform schools, or resource teachers for non-middle school reform schools.  In addition to the leadership positions, additional positions are allocated based on programs and school needs.  The additional positions include coordinator staffing (allocated to magnet and consortium schools), ESOL staffing (based on ESOL enrollment), special education staffing (based on programs and special education student enrollment), focus teacher staffing (based on FARMS rate and enrollment), special program teachers (based on the programs at the school), and academic intervention positions (based on identified needs and requests made by the school).  The additional positions allocated to middle schools are shown in the attached table.

School

Coordinator

Academic Intervention
Teacher

Alternative Program Teacher

Special Program
Teacher

Focus Teacher

ESOL Teacher

Special Education Teacher

Special Education Paraeducator

ESOL Paraeducator

A. Mario Loiederman Middle School

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.8

2.8

9.8

7.438

0.75

Argyle Middle School

1.0

0.8

1.0

1.8

2.2

5.8

3.063

Benjamin Banneker Middle School

0.6

1.0

1.6

0.6

8.8

5.25

Briggs Chaney Middle School

0.6

1.0

1.8

1.0

8.8

6.5

Cabin John Middle School

0.4

0.8

14.2

16.81

Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School

0.8

1.0

1.2

3.2

9.2

7.438

Earle B. Wood Middle School

0.6

0.8

2

1.4

15.2

14.44

Eastern Middle School

1.0

0.8

1.0

1.2

1.0

2.8

9.8

6.5

0.75

Forest Oak Middle School

0.6

1.0

1.8

2.2

9.2

8.25

Francis Scott Key Middle School

1.2

1.0

0.8

2.0

2.4

6.8

4.375

Gaithersburg Middle School

0.6

1.0

1.2

1.4

15.7

16.81

Herbert Hoover Middle School

0.4

0.4

9.5

7.625

John Poole Middle School

0.4

4.0

1.75

John T. Baker Middle School

0.4

8.2

6.313

Julius West Middle School

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.0

3.2

8.8

5.875

0.75

Kingsview Middle School

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.6

6.2

3.5

Lakelands Park Middle School

0.4

0.6

0.8

1.2

12.7

11.81

Martin Luther King Middle School

0.6

1.0

0.8

1.2

1.0

5.8

3.5

Montgomery Village Middle School

0.8

1.0

0.8

1.4

3.2

8.2

6.563

0.75

Neelsville Middle School

1.0

1.0

0.8

1.8

3.6

8.0

5.25

0.75

Newport Mill Middle School

0.6

1.0

0.8

1.2

1.8

9.2

7.0

North Bethesda Middle School

0.4

0.8

6.2

4.375

Parkland Middle School

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.8

1.4

8.0

5.0

Redland Middle School

0.6

0.8

1.0

1.0

4.8

2.625

Ridgeview Middle School

0.4

0.6

0.6

0.8

4.2

3.25

Robert Frost Middle School

0.4

0.8

5.2

3.5

Roberto Clemente Middle School

1.0

0.6

1.0

2.6

1.6

1.2

3.0

10.96

Rocky Hill Middle School

0.4

0.6

0.6

8.2

6.063

Rosa M. Parks Middle School

0.4

6.2

4.375

Shady Grove Middle School

0.4

0.6

0.4

0.6

7.8

5.625

Silver Spring International Middle School

0.6

1.0

0.8

2.0

2.6

11.0

10.94

Sligo Middle School

0.6

1.0

1.0

1.4

7.8

6.063

Takoma Park Middle School

1.0

0.6

0.6

1.2

0.4

2.0

5.2

3.063

0.75

Thomas W. Pyle Middle School

0.4

1.4

9.2

6.5

Tilden Middle School

0.4

1.8

12.2

14.88

Westland Middle School

0.4

0.8

1.6

8.2

5.688

White Oak Middle School

0.8

1.0

1.6

3.4

9.2

7.25

0.75

William H. Farquhar Middle School

0.4

0.4

6.8

5.438

15. Please explain why a .5 evaluation specialist must be added to the Office of Shared Accountability to conduct a study of the Kennedy Cluster Project as opposed to having this study performed with existing staffing?

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE: Chapter 6-6

ANSWER:

The Kennedy Cluster Project’s Multi-Agency Team began operating in September, 2009, and has met twice a month during the ten-month school year.  The team has worked on an average of 12 cases per month, for a total of 600 cases during the last five years.  While an observational study has been conducted pro bono by a retired Office of Shared Accountability (OSA) staffer, members of the County Council and some members of the Board of Education have been asking for quantitative information that shows the Kennedy Project is making a positive difference for the students it serves.  Without a thorough quantitative study, it is difficult to justify continued funding of this project.

A quantitative study will be difficult and time consuming because each individual student’s file will have to be reviewed in detail, reviewing academic achievement, attendance, and disciplinary records.  A researcher also will have to work with county and state agencies that are partners with the school system in the Kennedy Project, looking at what services families are receiving from different agencies and making judgments regarding the effectiveness of those services.  Since the focus of the Multi-Agency team is not to work with the individual student referred by a school but rather with that student’s family, a researcher also will need to examine the records of other children in a referred student’s household.  To be referred, a student must be enrolled in one of the seven project schools.  However, with choice programs at both the middle and high school levels within the Down-County Consortium, a referred student is likely to have siblings at other schools outside the Kennedy Cluster.  Thus, the effects of the Kennedy Project extend throughout the down-county area.  To date, OSA has not had sufficient resources to dedicate a researcher for this work.

If the Superintendent’s budget proposal is adopted and the Kennedy Project expands into the seven schools in the Watkins Mill Cluster, the number of families being served through this model will increase, and the work of a researcher will become more demanding.  If and when the workload diminishes, a review will be done to determine if the position continues to be needed.

16. Please explain why 5.3 academic intervention teachers were realigned from the middle school budget to the elementary school budget in the current FY 2014 budget, which continues into the proposed budget?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-3 through 1-17

Answer:

In prior years when schools were organized by clusters with each 4-5 clusters reporting to a community superintendent, academic intervention teacher positions were allocated to community superintendents based on the educational load of all schools within each cluster.  The positions were then allocated based on plans submitted by schools, and the position allocations by level were different than the number budgeted by level.  The academic intervention positions were adjusted in the budget to reflect the distribution of the positions among the three levels.  In short, the change reflects how the positions are being allocated.   Each year the positions will be adjusted if the educational load is redistributed between the three levels. 

17. Reading support teachers were cut in prior year budgets. How are these positions used? Was any consideration given to restoring any of these positions?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-3

Answer:

There are seven reading support teacher positions in the FY 2015 Elementary Schools budget.  The positions are allocated to 14 schools (.5 each) to work with small groups of students on reading interventions and reading support. The restoration of the positions that were cut in prior year budgets was not considered for the FY 2015 budget.  The reduction of the positions made in prior years has not appeared to have had a bearing on student achievement.  Although a study on the impact of the reduction has not been completed, initial data does not support the need to restore these positions. 

18. The proposed budget projects an enrollment increase of 2,721 students and includes 75 positions to increase individualized services for special education services. In the current budget, there was a projected student enrollment increase of 2,336 students and included 95 positions to serve special education students. Please explain why the proposed special education staffing increase is less than last year’s proposal when the enrollment projection is greater.

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE:  Appendix E-16

ANSWER:

The number of staff budgeted to serve students with disabilities is determined based on the number of students projected to enroll in the various special programs, as well as the staffing ratios and service models established for those programs.  Also, the location of the programs through the county is considered.  Additional staff is required when it is necessary to open a new site to limit the time students must be transported.  Detailed staffing information by program is provided in the FY 2015 MCPS Special Education and Related Services Budget Guidelines shown on Page 16 in Appendix E in the Superintendents Recommended FY 2015 Operating Budget document.

19. What is the impact on the proposed budget due to the closure of the charter school?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-3

Answer:

The FY 2015 Superintendent’s Operating Budget includes $1,182,647 to support the Crossway Community Montessori Charter School.  The closure of the charter school at the end of this school year will result in a reduction to the FY 2015 Operating Budget of $955,890.  This funding supports administrative, clerical, and building services position salaries, as well as consultant services, contractual services, supplies and materials, furniture and equipment, and related employee benefits.  The remaining budget of $226,757 will be required for continued support of these students. This amount will provide for teacher and paraeducator positions, substitutes, and related employee benefits. This and other amendments will be forwarded to the Board of Education prior to its final action on February 11, 2014.

20. If the proposed state disciplinary regulations are adopted as currently proposed, will there need to be additional funding to provide services to suspended students?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  N/A

Answer:

On January 28, 2014 the Maryland State Department of Education is scheduled to take action on the proposed state disciplinary regulations.  At that point, the need for future funding needs will be more apparent.

The proposed guidelines suggest the timeline for planning and implementation as follows:

  • Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will review and revise policies, regulations, communications and roll-out plans during the 2014-2015 school year
  • LEAs will focus on implementation of the new regulations during the 2015-2016 school year

The proposed state disciplinary regulations appear to be an unfunded mandate.  Because Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has been in support of this effort, a number of steps have been taken:

  • There is a dedicated Suspension Workgroup that has been meeting regularly to remain abreast of proposed changes and to discuss implications for our work.
  • During the next formal meeting of the workgroup, three subgroups will be formed to specifically discuss the following needs:
      • A comprehensive communication plan
      • Required professional development
      • A comprehensive implementation plan
  • The United States Department of Education (USDE) recently published Guiding Principles:  A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline.  This document will be used as a resource to guide the group’s future work.
  • MCPS has provided funding for Alternative I teachers for all secondary schools for a number of years, and continues to review programming for students who are suspended both in and out of school.

Questions 21 - 25

21. Do schools have any flexibility in reallocating staff and resources to enhance teaching and learning in their classrooms? e.g. eight period day requests, school registrar at Blair High School? If not, why not? Please provide specific information as to the available processes for any such reallocation

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-18

Answer:

Schools have some flexibility in terms of how to use allocations to support programs and enhance teaching and learning.  As noted in the response to Question 5, the work related to college transcript submission is not the sole responsibility of the registrar.    Each high school has several positions allocated to support the work including the college/career information coordinator (CIC), the registrar, the counseling secretary, and other secretarial positions.   However, there are times when schools trade or reallocate a position.  This occurs when it is determined that the work cannot be distributed among existing resources and that another existing resource is not required at the level it is allocated. In the case of Blair High School, the first step is to look at the existing resources and determine how the workload can be distributed.  If the workload cannot be distributed among the existing resources, the next step would be for the school to determine the type and frequency of the work that remains and conclude if another existing resource could be “traded” for a position that could do the identified work. 

In the case of scheduling, schools must use the existing process included in the MCEA contract to change their schedule.  Although schools are permitted to “trade” staffing to meet the need, the trade must follow requirements including Board of Education class size guidelines and contractual guidelines for release periods. For example, a school cannot use existing staffing to create a schedule where teachers teach four classes and the class size exceeds guidelines.   Any change from the standard seven-period schedule where teachers teach five classes must meet the requirement established in the MCEA contract. 

22. Provide a list of schools that have minority achievement programs.

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  N/A

Answer:

The following high schools have minority achievement programs. 

Albert Einstein

Bethesda-Chevy Chase

Clarksburg

Col. Zadok Magruder

Damascus

Gaithersburg

James Blake

John F. Kennedy

Montgomery Blair

Northwest

Northwood

Paint Branch

Poolesville

Quince Orchard

Seneca Valley

Sherwood

Springbrook

Thomas S. Wootton

Walter Johnson

Watkins Mill

Wheaton

23. For FY 2015, which high schools will receive the focus teacher positions to help lower class size?

Expand/Collapse Answer

Budget Page Reference:  Chapter 1-18

Answer:

The 15 focus teacher positions added in the FY 2015 Superintendent’s Operating Budgeted will be combined with the existing focus teacher positions that are allocated to the Down County Consortium and other highly impacted schools.  The positions are allocated based on FARMs and enrollment to provide staffing to lower class sizes in English and Mathematics.  The formula will be weighted so that schools with larger enrollments and/or higher FARMS rates will receive more staffing.  While final formulas will be confirmed in March when staffing allocations are shared with schools, initial staffing simulations result in the following high schools receiving positions. 

Albert Einstein

Clarksburg

Col. Zadok Magruder

Gaithersburg

James Blake

John F. Kennedy

Montgomery Blair

Northwest

Northwood

Paint Branch

Quince Orchard

Rockville

Seneca Valley

Springbrook

Watkins Mill
Wheaton

24. Provide information to the Board on the ESOL Allocations Work Group.

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE:  N/A

ANSWER:

In response to concerns regarding staffing levels raised by ESOL teachers through the ESOL Labor Management Collaboration Committee, a work group was charged to address the issue related to the allocation of ESOL staffing.  Eight meetings were held with a broad range of key stakeholders to accomplish the deliverables on the project charter.  An interest-based problem-solving approach was employed to make a recommendation to the Associations/Deputy Superintendents/Chief Operating Officer Committee. 

Feedback from Work Group

The work group met eight times, from December 2012 through December 2013, and accomplished the following:

  • Reviewed ESOL instructional expectations at the elementary, middle, and high school levels,
  • Benchmarked the staffing ratios used in neighboring districts,
  • Reviewed and discussed the role of the ESOL teacher,
  • Developed, presented, and discussed various ESOL staffing models based on the proficiency levels of ESOL students, as opposed to the current ratio driven model, and
  • Met face-to-face and online simultaneously to facilitate the participation of all work group members

Recommendation of the Work Group:

Proficiency-based Staffing:  To maximize academic growth opportunities for ESOL students, the work group proposed a proficiency-based staffing model.  Using a proficiency-based staffing model, schools will be allocated ESOL teaching positions based on the English language proficiency (ELP) levels of students enrolled in the ESOL program.  For example, it is expected that students who are identified as needing Level 1 ESOL services will be provided more time and teacher assistance to acquire academic English in order to successfully access content subjects.  Therefore, more staffing would be allocated to support the students in the lower ESOL levels than in the higher levels.  Students are identified as ESOL levels 1–5 based on their ELP skills as determined by the state mandated ELP assessment, Accessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State for ELLs.

25. Confirm the implementation timeframe for state disciplinary regulations.

Expand/Collapse Answer

BUDGET PAGE REFERENCE:  N/A

ANSWER:

Currently, the recommendation for implementing the state disciplinary timeline states that: “In the context of school discipline, by the beginning of school year 2014-2015, each local education agency shall review and revise its student disciplinary policies and regulations with the goal of maintaining an environment of order, safety, and discipline necessary for effective learning.”  There is no explicit language designating a deadline for implementation.  Final confirmation of the timeline will be voted on by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) on January 28, 2014.  However, as part of the work being facilitated by the Suspension Work Group, current Montgomery County Public Schools’ disciplinary policies and regulations have been reviewed.  Final edits, modifications, and changes will be made following the MSDE vote.

Topic index

Questions and Answers Index

Table of Contents  Page 
A  
Academic Intervention Teachers - Realignment from Middle to Elementary Schools 16
Additional Funding for State Disciplinary Regulations 20
B  
Bilingual Capability - High School Front Offices 8
Blair High School Registrar Position 5
Board of Education Priorities Addressed in the Superintendent's FY 2015 Budget 13
C  
Cafeteria Food Waste 3
Career Information Coordinatiors Work Schedule 2
Closure of Charter School - Impact on Budget 19
Counselors - Budget and Allocations 4
Counselors - Staffing Formulas for Elementary  6
D  
E  
Eight (8) Period Day at Middle Schools - Achievement Data & Cost to Restore 10 Revised
Elementary Counselors - Staffing 6
Evaluation Specialist Position for Kennedy Cluster Initiative 15
Extracurricular Activity Stipends  7
F  
G  
H  
I  
J  
K  
Kennedy Cluster Inititative - .5 Evaluation Specialist Position 15
Korean Parents Association - Translations 1
L  
M  
Middle Schools - Additional Staffing Beyond Base Levels 14
Middle Schools with 8-Period Day - Achievement Data & Cost to Restore  10 Revised
N  
O  
Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships Positions 11
P  
   
Parent Community Coordinator Positions 9
Q  
R  
Reading Teacher Reductions from Prior Years 17
Registrar Position at Blair High School 5
S  
School Staffing - Flexibility 21
Special Education Growth and Positions Budgeted 18
Staffing Formula for Counselors 6
State Disciplinary Regulations - Need for Additional Funding 20
Stipends for Extracurricular Activities 7
T  
Technology Devices for Teaching and Learning, PARCC Assessments 12
Translation Services in Korean 1
U  
V  
W  
X  
Y  
Z  

Click here to log in