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Board Discusses Leadership Development and Student Ineligibility

April 15, 2010
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Thursday, April 15, and, among other items, discussed academic ineligibility for extracurricular activities and discussed the school system’s leadership development process for administrators. The Board took final action on two policies related to tax-deferred annuities and operating fund investments, and rescinded another policy on employee assistance services already covered under another policy. The Board also approved resolutions recognizing Secretaries Week and National Volunteer Week in April.

Ineligibility
The Board of Education discussed academic ineligibility for extracurricular activities, reviewed factors that result in ineligibility for middle and high school students, and discussed school supports, services, and interventions to decrease the percentage of students who are chronically ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities.

To be eligible for extracurricular activities, students must maintain a grade-point average of 2.0 or higher and be failing no more than one course in any given marking period. For the past three years, the percentage of ineligible students has declined in every student group, although ineligibility remains a significant problem in higher poverty schools.

At all grade levels, African American and Hispanic students are disproportionately more likely to be chronically ineligible than Asian American and white students. M-Stat teams are studying issues that can impede student outcomes, have created targets to measure school and system performance in reducing the numbers of ineligible students, and are making recommendations that result in improved outcomes.

"I was pleased to hear about the many interventions at the middle and high school levels to address ineligibility. Due to the interconnectedness of the issues, I believe that these interventions will also have an impact on decreasing the achievement gap,” said Board of Education Vice President Christopher Barclay. “In addition, I believe that this further underscores the need for our school system to receive the requested budget amount. Without the proper funding we cannot continue with all of the staffing, programs, and initiatives that make real differences to the achievement of our students.”


Leadership Development Program
The Board discussed the school system’s leadership development process, which focuses on identifying, developing, and nurturing leaders at every level of the school system. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is committed to developing leaders and leadership teams that are dedicated and equipped to increasing achievement for all students and eliminating the achievement gap. The school system’s four-pronged approach to leadership development includes:

· The Leadership Development Program, which provides professional development for assistant principals and principal interns.

· The Administrative and Supervisory Professional Growth System, which coordinates leadership development programs.

· The Consulting Principal Program, which provides professional development for novice principals and underperforming administrators.

· The Professional Learning Communities Institute, which provides professional development for leadership teams.

Coordination among the four initiatives ensures that they work in concert to support school and office staff with resources and strategies to help them identify solutions to meet student, school, and office needs.

“The MCPS Leadership Development Program offers great opportunities for growing and supporting our own leaders from our teaching ranks,” said Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill.

Board Policies
The Board took final action on two policies and rescinded another policy.

· Policy EID, Tax-Deferred Annuity Program—The Board approved this updated policy, which provides defined contribution retirement savings programs for all employees. The draft policy was adopted tentatively last November and sent out for public comment.

· Policy GIJ, Operating Fund Investments—The Board approved this new policy, which establishes the investment scope, objectives, and guidelines for investment of school district operating funds. The policy, tentatively adopted last November, was sent out for public comment.

· Policy GBB, Department of Employee Assistance Services—The Board rescinded this policy because the overall human resources policy, Policy GAA, Positive Work Environment in a Self-renewing Organization, directs the school system to support employee well-being through provision of an employee assistance program.

Presentation Plan for Cold Spring ES Gymnasium Addition Project
The Board approved the preliminary architectural schematic design plans for the Cold Spring Elementary School gymnasium addition project.

Secretaries Week
The Board approved a resolution that Secretaries Week be observed by the school system during the week of April 19 and designating Wednesday, April 21, as Secretaries Day for MCPS. The week and day publicly recognize the competence and dedication of secretarial staff and clerical employees. The Board expressed appreciation for the efforts of secretarial and clerical staff in the effective, courteous, and efficient operation of MCPS.

National Volunteer Week
The Board approved a resolution that National Volunteer Week, “Celebrating People in Action,” be observed by the school system during the week of April 18–24. The Board expressed appreciation to the many volunteers—parents, community and business partners, and students helping other students—for their dedicated service to education and MCPS students. Three elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, and one special education center that accumulate the most hours of volunteer service will be presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Program Award at the MCPS Back-to-School Fair on August 28.

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Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, president; Mr. Christopher Barclay, vice president. Members: Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Ms. Shirley Brandman, 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.

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