Board of Education Tentatively Approves Comprehensive Master Plan, Discusses Professional Growth System, and Takes Action on Various Policies
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, July 14, and, among other items, gave tentative approval to the yearly Comprehensive Master Plan required by the state, discussed the professional growth systems, rescinded two policies and took tentative action on two other policies. The Board also approved five administrative appointments, appointed members to several Board committees, and passed a resolution honoring the life and accomplishments of Blair G. Ewing, who died June 29.
Comprehensive Master Plan Update
The Montgomery County Board of Education tentatively approved the updated Comprehensive Master Plan, which must be submitted by Oct. 15 each year to the Maryland State Department of Education as part of the Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act. The Comprehensive Master Plan is based on the school system’s strategic plan, Our Call to Action: Pursuit of Excellence, which the Board approved on June 22. The master plan describes the goals, objectives, and strategies that will be used to improve student achievement and meet Maryland’s performance goals. Final action on the Comprehensive Master Plan will take place prior to Oct. 15, 2009.
Goal 4: Professional Growth System—Building Workforce Capacity for High Quality Schools
Goal 4 of the MCPS strategic plan—Create a Positive Work Environment in a Self-renewing Organization—reflects the understanding that building workforce capacity is critical to student success. The Board discussed the professional growth systems (PGSs), which clarify the standards and competencies that all MCPS employees are expected to attain. PGSs support the school system’s efforts to attract, mentor, develop, evaluate, and recognize employees. MCPS is completing 10 years of work on the growth systems for all employees. Efforts for the next decade will concentrate on building the capacity of all staff members to work at a high level and generate results for students. The efforts include several new initiatives, including the Teacher Career Lattice, Career Pathways Program for support professionals, and initiatives within the nationally recognized MCPS Leadership Development Program. “We have long recognized that a key to student success is a highly effective staff. Our professional growth systems are a way to invest in all of our staff—teachers, principals, and support personnel—to ensure that they have the support and skills they need to be successful in meeting our high expectations for equity and excellence,” said Board President Shirley Brandman. “One of the strengths of our professional growth systems is that they were designed collaboratively with our employee partners and continue to adapt to meet the changing knowledge and skill requirements for workforce excellence.”
Rescission of Two Policies
The Board rescinded two policies. Policy GMB, Internship Program in School Administration, and Policy GFA, Establishment of Permanent and Conditional Positions, were rescinded because they have been subsumed by Policy GAA, Positive Work Environment in a Self-renewing Organization.
Tentative Action, Policy GIG, Funding Retirement/Pension System
Following discussion, the Board tentatively adopted the revised Policy GIG, Funding Retirement/Pension System. The policy will be sent out for public comment. The policy revision reflects the Board’s commitment to maintain a plan of retirement/pension benefits that is adequately funded and will provide income to employees during their retirement years.
Tentative Action, Policy GIH, Funding Other Postemployment Benefits
The Board also tentatively adopted the new Policy GIH, Funding Other Postemployment Benefits. The policy, which will be sent out for public comment, sets forth the Board’s commitment to providing postemployment health benefits for eligible employees and retirees that are adequately funded and that will ensure eligible employees access to medical coverage during their retirement years.
“As part of its governance responsibilities, the Board of Education rescinded two policies that had been subsumed by another policy and took tentative action on two additional policies,” said Patricia O'Neill, Board vice president and chair of the Board's Policy Committee. “We encourage the community to review Policy GIG and Policy GIH and provide comments.”
The Board approved the appointment of five MCPS administrators:
E. Lancellotti (Lance) Dempsey, currently principal, Shady Grove Middle School, as principal, Northwest High School
Todd M. Watkins, currently assistant director, Department of Transportation, as director, Department of Transportation
Billie J. Bradshaw, currently acting magnet coordinator, Poolesville High School, as magnet coordinator, Poolesville High School
Marjorie B. Geldon, acting coordinator, Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials, as coordinator, Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs
Yakoubou Ousmanou, instructional specialist, Technology Consulting and Communications Systems Team, Office of Organizational Development, as coordinator, Student Assessment, Office of Shared Accountability
Appointments to the Board of Education Committees
The Board appointed Michael Durso to serve as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Communications and Public Engagement Committee through Nov. 30, 2010. In addition, the Board appointed Judy Docca, to serve as chairperson of the Communications and Public Engagement Committee. These appointees will fill the vacancies left by Nancy Navarro, who resigned from the Board following her election to the Montgomery County Council.
Appointment of Student Member of the Board to the Policy Committee
The Board also appointed Timothy Hwang, student member, as a member of the Policy Committee until the expiration of his term of office on June 30, 2010.
In Appreciation of Blair G. Ewing
The Board passed a resolution honoring Blair G. Ewing, who died June 29, for his service to Montgomery County and his passion for ensuring the welfare of every child. Ewing served on the Montgomery County Board of Education for 22 years, from 1976–1998, including serving two terms as Board president. He also was a member of the Montgomery County Council from 1998–2002 and a member of the Maryland State Board of Education from 2007–2009.
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Montgomery County Board of Education: Ms. Shirley Brandman, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, and Mr. Timothy Hwang, 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 countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.