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Board of Education Takes Final Action on Policy JEE, Student Transfers; Approves Fine Arts Curriculum Framework; and Receives Update on Transportation Routing for Elementary Schools

March 21, 2017

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Friday, March 17, 2017, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board took final action on Policy JEE, Student Transfers; approved the revised 2017-2018 School Year Calendar; approved the framework for the fine arts curriculum; and received an update on transportation routing for elementary schools. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Policy JEE, Student Transfers

The Board of Education took final action and approved changes to Policy JEE, Student Transfers. This policy sets the standard under which Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students may be granted a transfer, referred to as Change of School Assignment (COSA), to attend a school other than their home school or the school assigned to them under their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Among the revisions to the policy is an update to the lottery system for enrollment in language immersion programs. The Board has established a weighted lottery for immersion programs that now include factors such as:

  • socioeconomic status and poverty;

  • students who have an older sibling currently enrolled in a language immersion program and will continue to be enrolled in the year the younger sibling seeks to enroll; and

  • other factors as identified by the superintendent of schools

The revised lottery would apply to students seeking to enroll in these programs for the 2018–2019 school year. This change would not impact families with students enrolled in the immersion program during the 2017–2018 school year. A grandfathering provision has been added, which indicates that if a family has a child enrolled in a language immersion program in the 2017–2018 school year, that child’s younger siblings will be able to directly enroll in the same immersion program as long as there is at least one older sibling enrolled the same year as the younger sibling.

Read the Revised Policy

Read Frequently Asked Questions

Fine Arts Framework

The Board of Education received an update and approved the revised MCPS Fine Arts Curriculum Framework, which establishes curriculum requirements for the courses that students study from pre-K–12, including 1.0 course credit that is a high school graduation requirement.  Curriculum frameworks are submitted to the Board as required by Policy IFA, Curriculum. The new Fine Arts Curriculum Framework includes: Dance; General Music; Harmonizing Instruments; Traditional and Emerging Ensembles: Chorus; Traditional and Emerging Ensembles: Instrumental Music; Media Arts; Theatre; and Visual Art.

MCPS has undertaken a thorough review of its fine arts curriculum during the past year. The proposed framework developed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) builds upon the experiential knowledge of MCPS teachers and administrators through many years of implementing arts education programs, and it is consistent with MCPS’ core values as outlined in the district’s strategic priorities.

Throughout the curriculum review process, MCPS solicited feedback from stakeholders including arts educators, MCPS students, community members, university and arts organization partners, and the Curriculum Advisory Assembly (CAA).  Given the Board’s tentative approval, the draft frameworks are available to the community for comment prior to the frameworks being presented to the Board for final approval in May 2017.

Read the Memorandum to the Board

Update on Transportation Routing for Elementary Schools

The Board of Education received an update from MCPS on options for making adjustments to the current transportation routing schedule for Tier 2 elementary schools. The current bell schedule for Tier 2 schools is 9:25 a.m.–3:50 p.m.  

Facilities and School Construction
The Board awarded a contract for the Summit Hall Elementary School modular classrooms project and accepted the Hallie Wells Middle School and Julius West Middle School addition projects.

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Please check the Board of Education website and 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: Mr. Michael Durso, president; Dr. Judith Docca, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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