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Interim Superintendent Releases Recommendations to Address Capacity Issues in Gaithersburg Cluster

March 15, 2016

Registration for public testimony on the recommendations begins March 22

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers has released his recommendations for the Tri-cluster Roundtable Discussion Group to address school capacity issues in the Gaithersburg cluster elementary schools. Mr. Bowers’ recommendations include constructing an addition to Gaithersburg Elementary School and dividing the new space into two schools (a Grades Pre-K–2 school and a Grades 3–5 school).

“My recommendations primarily address immediate and near-term enrollment concerns that fit within the six-year time frame of the Capital Improvements Program,” noted Bowers in his memorandum to the Board of Education. “However, in developing my recommendations, I have taken a long-term view and considered enrollment pressures we are likely to see over the next 20 years in this part of the county.”

The Board of Education authorized a Tri-cluster Roundtable Discussion Group process on November 16, 2015. The group focused on ways to address projected overutilization at four Gaithersburg cluster elementary schools—Gaithersburg, Rosemont, Strawberry Knoll and Summit Hall. The group took a broad look at school enrollments, utilization levels, and facility options in the Gaithersburg, Col. Zadok Magruder and Thomas S. Wootton clusters and explored approaches to distribute some of the enrollment growth in the three clusters.

The roundtable met from January to March and included representatives from each of the three clusters. Representatives included cluster coordinators, members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Parents’ Council, and members of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations (MCCPTA). The group issued a final report for review earlier this month. Mr. Bowers’ recommendations are similar to an approach developed by the group.

Mr.  Bowers will present his recommendations to the Board of Education on March 21. The Board will conduct a work session on the recommendation and provide any alternatives during the meeting. A public hearing on the recommendations will be held on Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville. Members of the community who would like to provide input on the recommendations during the hearing may call the Board office at 301-279-3617 to sign up beginning Tuesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. The Board anticipates making a final decision on the recommendations on April 19.

Read Interim Superintendent Bowers’ Tri-Cluster Recommendations

Read the Report of the Tri-Cluster Roundtable Discussion Group

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