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Board Takes Tentative Action on Flyer Distribution Policy, Discusses 21st Century College and Career Readiness

May 1, 2012
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, April 30, 2012, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed 21st century college and career readiness; tentatively approved changes to the flyer distribution policy and made administrative appointments. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website

Board Policy CNA, Informational Material and Announcements
The Board of Education tentatively approved revisions to Board Policy CNA, Informational Material and Announcements, which guides the distribution of materials by government agencies and non-profits in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The revised policy will now be distributed for public comment. The proposed changes would allow qualified non-profit organizations to distribute flyers and informational materials to elementary schools at four different times during the year. However, such materials would no longer be distributed in middle and high schools. The revised policy would still allow MCPS, government agencies and Parent-Teacher Associations to distribute flyers and informational materials in the schools at any time during the school year. See the Board item and the revised policy

21st Century College and Career Readiness
The Board had a wide-ranging discussion on how MCPS is developing 21st century college and career readiness skills in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students. The Board heard a presentation from staff and discussed the need for today’s workers to not only have academic knowledge, literacy and mathematics reasoning, but also 21st century skills, such as the ability to apply learning, think critically, solve problems, collaborate and adapt to change. MCPS offers many Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at schools throughout the district, but there was discussion if those programs are robust enough and develop the necessary 21st century skills. Among the next steps for MCPS are improving data collection and program evaluation; improving marketing and recruiting for CTE programs; investigate effective college and career readiness models locally and nationally; and expand student opportunities for work-based or real-world experiences. Read the Board memo

Budget Update
The Board received an update on the status of the Fiscal Year 2013 budget for the state of Maryland. The General Assembly ended its session without coming to an agreement on a budget package, leading to a so-called “doomsday” budget that could result in a $41 million cut in state funding for MCPS. The Board was told that a final agreement has not been reached on a final date for a special session, or whether a special session would even be held. The Board voted to draft a letter urging the Montgomery County delegation to support a special session that would allow the General Assembly to finish its work on the budget and protect much-needed state funding for education.

Appointments
The Board made the following appointments:

- Rebecca A. Thessin, currently assistant professor of educational administration, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development,  as associate superintendent for professional development and school support, Office of School Support and Improvement
- Myra J. Smith, currently acting community superintendent, Office of School Support and Improvement, as community superintendent, Office of School Support and Improvement
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Deann M. Collins, currently principal, Montgomery Knolls Elementary School, as director, Division of Title I Programs
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Amy N. Gensemer, currently Pre-K–12 content specialist, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, as supervisor, Pre-K–12 Science, Technology, and Engineering, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
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Jane W. Harkaway, currently acting supervisor, Curriculum, Pre-K–12 Health and Physical Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, as supervisor, Pre-K–12 Health and Physical Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
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Ira K. Thomas, currently assistant principal, Thomas S. Wootton High School, as principal of alternative programs

Resolutions
The Board of Education approved the following resolutions:
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A resolution declaring May, 2012, as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- A resolution declaring May 7-11, 2012, Teacher Appreciation Week and May 8, 2012, as Teacher Appreciation Day

About the Board of Education
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.

Montgomery County Board of Education: Ms. Shirley Brandman, president; Mr. Christopher Barclay, vice president. Members: Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, Ms. Patricia O’Neill, and Mr. Alan Xie, student member. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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