The Board of Education met on Tuesday, April 8, and among other items, appointed three principals and discussed the implementation of High School Plus. In addition, the Board discussed the use of grade 5 advanced mathematics as a key data point and a presentation on processes for evaluation of key programs and initiatives. The Board also approved preliminary plans for an addition to Poolesville High School. Resolutions were approved to observe the Month of the Young Child, Arab American Heritage Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Student Leadership Week, and Secretaries Week. The Board also discussed an update on legislation approved by the Maryland General Assembly and voted to send a letter to the Maryland State Board of Education stating concerns about tying the graduation of members of the Class of 2009 to passing the High School Assessments.
High School Plus Implementation
The Board discussed the implementation of High School Plus, a program designed as an alternative to Evening High School. High School Plus allows students to access classes they need to graduate at their respective home schools directly after the school day or during the school day. This year, elements of the program are being offered at all 25 high schools, following a pilot phase at Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Rockville and Wheaton high schools last year. The target population is students who failed courses required for graduation, including courses related to the High School Assessments.
The Board approved the following administrative appointments:
Karen L. Johnson, currently acting principal, Twinbrook Elementary School, as principal, Twinbrook Elementary School
Benjamin T. OuYang, currently acting principal, Parkland Middle School, as principal, Parkland Middle School
Katherine Diane Smith, currently principal intern, Farmland Elementary School, as principal, Farmland Elementary School
Preliminary Plans—Poolesville HS Addition Project
The Board of Education approved preliminary plans for an addition to Poolesville High School that will house science and technology classes.
Exploring a Key Data Point
The Board discussed grade 5 advanced mathematics as a key data point in the M-Stat process, a method of data analysis designed to monitor student progress using critical achievement data. Teachers from several elementary schools demonstrated their strategies for supporting student learning that were formulated based on in-depth analysis of data by members of the M-Stat team. M-Stat helps identify gaps in achievement among student subgroups so that intervention can be targeted. A Best Practices web site is being constructed to provide an easily accessible way to share effective teaching and learning strategies.
Update on Processes for Program/Initiative Evaluation
The Board discussed the development of a process for scheduling and prioritizing evaluation studies of the school system's key strategic initiatives and programs. The evaluations are generally requested by the MCPS Executive Leadership Team and conducted by the MCPS Office of Shared Accountability. The information provided by the evaluations is used to make decisions about delivery of effective academic programs and services.
Letter to State Board of Education Regarding High School Assessments
The Board voted to send a letter to the Maryland State Board of Education regarding the negative impacts on students in linking the current High School Assessments to graduation for the Class of 2009.
Resolution on the Month of the Young Child
The Board endorsed a joint proclamation among county agencies and approved the observance in April of the Month of the Young Child in support of Montgomery County's youngest citizens. The theme for the nationally recognized observance is "Helping All Our Young Children Live and Learn."
Resolution on Arab American Heritage Month
The Board approved the observance in April of Arab American Heritage Month in recognition of the many ways Arab Americans have contributed to the success of our nation and our community.
Resolution on National Autism Awareness Month
The Board approved the observance in April of National Autism Awareness Month to better educate the entire community about the unique gifts and challenges of individuals with autism and reaffirm its commitment to providing the education required by students with autism. MCPS is currently responsible for the education of approximately 1,060 students with autism.
National Student Leadership Week
The Board approved the observance of National Student Leadership Week from April 13 through 19, 2008, commending student leaders for their efforts and achievements.
The observances of Secretaries Week during the week of April 21, 2008, and Secretaries Day on Wednesday, April 23, were approved by the Board.
Board of Education: Mrs. Nancy Navarro, president. Ms. Shirley Brandman, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Sharon Cox, Dr. Judy Docca, Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, and Mr. Ben Moskowitz, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.
The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected county-wide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.