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Board of Education Takes Action on Child Abuse Policy; Discusses Elementary and Middle School Milestones

June 30, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, June 29, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board approved changes to Policy JHC, Child Abuse and Neglect; received an update on elementary and middle school milestones; and set nonresident tuition rates for Fiscal Year 2016.  The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You can also watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.

Policy JHC, Child Abuse and Neglect
The Board of Education approved changes to Policy JHC, Child Abuse and Neglect. On April 27, 2015, the Board tentatively approved these changes and sent the revised policy out for public comment. The policy guides Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) procedures and protocols related to recognizing, reporting, and preventing suspected child abuse and neglect of students. The revised policy outlined strategies for ensuring that:

  • All employees understand and are held accountable for the highest ethical standards in their conduct, as well as adhering to legal mandates and the moral imperative to recognize report, and prevent suspected child abuse and neglect;
  • Children and vulnerable adults who are alleged victims of abuse and/or neglect are supported;
  • Human resource management systems and processes for screening new and existing employees are developed;
  • Professional learning for MCPS employees is developed and implemented; and
  • Opportunities are provided for parents, outside contractors, volunteers, and the broader community to develop awareness on recognizing, reporting, and preventing abuse and neglect of children and vulnerable adults.

Policy JHC was presented at the March 3, 2015, Policy Management Committee meeting and further discussed at the April 20, 2015, meeting. A work group was convened in the fall of 2014 to recommend ways for the school system to enhance awareness of child abuse and neglect among parents, staff, and students and improve how MCPS monitors and reports allegations of abuse or neglect. The Work Group included subject matter experts from county partner agencies, leadership from the three employee associations, parents, community members and representatives from the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations. The Work Group assisted MCPS staff in developing six strategic areas of focus for the district. The revised policy was developed in close collaboration with partner agencies, including the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Montgomery County Police Department, and Child Welfare Services in the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, commonly known as Child Protective Services. An outside consultant with expertise in these areas was hired to assist district staff in developing the policy.

During the meeting, the Board directed: its Policy Management Committee to schedule regular updates (at least quarterly) on the status of implementation of guidelines, protocols, and training to support Policy JHC; that midyear, the Board would receive an update on the status of training and protocols; and that the Board be provided a comprehensive update no later than the June 2016, evening Board meeting.

Read the Board Memo

See the revised policy – Please note:  The following change was made to language in lines 157-159 during the meeting that is not reflected in the linked document:  The appropriate MCPS offices and County partner agencies will ensure…

Elementary and Middle School Milestones

The Board of Education received an update from MCPS staff and held a discussion on elementary and middle school milestones that are a part of the district’s Strategic Planning Framework—Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff and Community. The Framework identifies Grades 3, 5 and 8 as milestone years. The milestones are—

• Grade 3: Reading at the proficient and advanced levels

• Grades 5 and 8: Reading and mathematics at the proficient and advanced levels

• Grades 5 and 8: Hope, engagement, and well-being

• Grade 8: Algebra 1 with a grade of C or higher

Performance targets were set for these milestones and their corresponding data indicators to guide schools and departments in developing action plans to improve student achievement and close the achievement gap. Early indicators suggest that the milestone trends remain consistent with last year’s data. The data collected has also shown some decline in student preparedness in certain areas including elementary reading. Instructional Core Teams (ICTs) were formed to focus on specific data points and develop and implement action plans for short-term and long-term strategies to increase student achievement and close the achievement gap. The teams reviewed the data, researched root causes for differential outcomes, and designed systemic action plans to support struggling schools and monitor the data. To accelerate student achievement, schools with lagging results are being identified for enhanced support in the coming school year. Next year, the ICT process will continue to provide the school system with systemic data analyses that will ground the district’s decision-making to maximize efforts and resources.

Read the memo

Tuition for Nonresident Students

The Board approved tuition rates for nonresident students for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. Rate calculation is based on the approved operating budget, cost of debt services, and current revenue funding for the capital budget. The rates for FY 2016 are as follows: $14, 258 for elementary students (including kindergarten), a decrease of $223 from FY 2015; and $14,299 for secondary students, which is an increase of $99 from FY 2015.

See the Board item

Reporting on Thomas Edison High School of Technology
The Board unanimously approved a resolution that requires MCPS staff to provide an annual report on efforts to raise awareness about the programs at Thomas Edison High School of Technology. The report will include information on recruitment, enrollment, and the demographics of students who attend Edison. The reports will be provided for three consecutive years, after which the Board will determine if the reports are still needed.

See the resolution

Board Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

Khanny Yang, currently assistant principal, Francis Scott Key Middle School, as principal, Parkland Middle School

Zoraida E. Brown, currently acting principal, New Hampshire Estates Elementary School, as principal, Sargent Shriver Elementary School

Elise M. Burgess, currently principal intern, Strawberry Knoll Elementary School, as principal, Dr. Sally K. Ride Elementary School

Kenneth L. Marcus, currently principal, Mill Creek Towne Elementary School, as principal, Rolling Terrace Elementary School

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved the following item related to school construction projects and facilities:

-Appointed an architectural firm for the Rock Terrace School Revitalization/Expansion Project Feasibility Study

Recognitions

The Board approved the following resolution:
-A resolution recognizing the Vietnamese Scholars

 

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Please check the Board of Education meeting calendar for further information

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: Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, president; Mr. Michael Durso, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ms. Dahlia Huh, student member. Mr. Larry A. Bowers, interim superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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