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Board of Education Receives Update on Capital Improvements Program; Approves Preliminary Plans for Luxmanor Elementary School Rev/Ex Project; and Discusses the Opening of Schools

September 1, 2017

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Thursday, August 31, 2017, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board received an update on the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and adopted the superintendent’s recommendations for the elementary school site selection processes for the Downcounty Consortium and the Gaithersburg Cluster; approved the preliminary plans for the Luxmanor Elementary School Revitalization/Expansion (Rev/Ex) project; amended the superintendent’s contract, and discussed the opening of schools for the 2017–2018 school year.

The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website

Update on the Capital Improvement Program

The superintendent and his leadership teams have been fully engaged in developing the Superintendent’s Recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Capital Budget and the FY 2019–2024 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), which is scheduled to be presented to the Board on October 23, 2017.    The superintendent’s recommendation includes a considerable shift in approach to some major capital projects in order to respond proactively and with flexibility to the educational facility needs throughout the district.  The superintendent and his leadership teams will continue to engage both internal and external stakeholders as the CIP and capital budget priorities are programmed.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Recommendation for an Elementary School Site Selection Process in the Downcounty Consortium

In the 2014–2015 school year, a capacity study was conducted to address overutilization in several elementary schools in the lower portion of the Downcounty Consortium (DCC).  This study explored various ways to resolve the elementary school space deficits in the lower portion of the DCC, including additions to existing schools, a new school, or a combination of both.  On November 16, 2015, the Board approved five elementary school addition projects to address overutilization in the lower DCC and approved a feasibility study to explore the possibility of opening an elementary school in the DCC.

Staff conducted an internal review and evaluation of the program and classroom requirements of a new elementary school.  At its August 31, 2017, meeting, the Board approved the formation of a site selection committee and the commencement of the site selection process to begin in fall 2017.   After the site selection process is complete the superintendent is scheduled to make a recommendation to the Board by February 2018, with Board action in March 2018.

Read the superintendent’s recommendation.

Recommendation for an Elementary School Site Selection Process in the Gaithersburg Cluster

In response to the elementary school student enrollment growth in the Gaithersburg Cluster, a capacity study was conducted in the 2014–2015 school year to determine whether additions to cluster schools or a new elementary school could address projected space deficits.  On October 15, 2015, the findings to the capacity study were released and revealed that there were challenges to constructing a new school or additions.  As a result of these findings, the interim superintendent recommended a Tri-Cluster Roundtable Discussion Group for the Gaithersburg, Col. Zadok Magruder, and Thomas S. Wootton Clusters to review student enrollments, utilization levels, and facility options at the three adjacent clusters.  On April 19, 2016, the Board approved the interim superintendent’s recommendations for the elementary schools in the Gaithersburg Cluster that stemmed from the Tri-Cluster Roundtable Discussion Group, and a feasibility study was conducted.  At its August 31, 2017, meeting, the Board approved the formation of a site selection committee and for the site selection process to begin in fall 2017.  Once the selection process is complete, the superintendent is scheduled to provide a recommendation to the Board by February 2018.

Read the superintendent’s recommendation.

Preliminary Plans for Luxmanor Elementary School Rev/Ex Project

The Board approved the preliminary plans for the Rev/Ex project for Luxmanor Elementary School.  The Facility Advisory Committee for the Luxmanor Elementary School Rev/Ex project provided input for the proposed schematic design based upon input received through the five meetings held for the community.  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff will continue to seek feedback from the Luxmanor Elementary School community throughout the process and prior to the finalization of plans for the project.

Read the memorandum to the Board

Opening of Schools Presentation

The Board heard a presentation from MCPS staff about the opening of schools for the 2017–2018 school year.  Montgomery County Public Schools staff is committed to the ongoing processes that occur throughout the year, including school improvement; ongoing differentiated support from the directors of school support and improvement; staffing; examining current practices and setting goals; transitioning to myMCPS, the new data management platform; and streamlining compliance training.  The district will continue to improve opportunities for teaching and learning at MCPS, as well as coordinating resources to support a quality experience, including diversity in hiring, facilities management, materials management, transportation, technology modernization and enhancements, and securing our schools. 

View the PowerPoint.

Amendment to the Superintendent’s Employment Contract

On May 9, 2017, the Board adopted the First Amendment to the Employment Contract between Dr. Jack R. Smith and the Board of Education of Montgomery County, Maryland.  On August 31, 2017, the Board approved the Second Amendment to the amended employment contract between Superintendent Jack R. Smith and the Board, to:  reflect an increase in the superintendent’s salary, in order to remain competitive and in alignment with superintendent salaries of jurisdictions in this area; and to add language regarding the use of the superintendent’s disability insurance plan funds for other health, retirement, or disability purposes, which is a budget neutral measure.  The amendment is effective as of July 1, 2017.

Read the Second Amendment and the Comparison of Compensation and Benefits of Area Superintendents of Schools.

Recommendation to Appoint Citizen Member for Community Use of Public Facilities Board of Directors

The Board approved the superintendent’s recommendation to appoint Robin L. Confino to serve a second four-year term as the MCPS appointed citizen member on the Interagency Coordinating Board for Community Use of Public Facilities, a 12-member board charged with the responsibility of encouraging the community’s use of public facilities.

Read the superintendent’s recommendation.

Facilities and School Construction

The Board appointed an architectural firm for the former English Manor Elementary School Renovation Phase II Project

Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointment:
 

Susan H. McCarron, currently Kidney Smart Educator/Divisional Lead, DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., as director, Division of Food and Nutrition Services, Department of Materials Management.

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, September 12, 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. Matthew Post, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

 

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