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Public Review of System's Strategic Plan Continues

April 8, 2003
The public review of a multi-year strategic plan for the Montgomery County Public Schools is continuing, as the school system addresses the academic priorities of the Board of Education and prepares to meet federal and state requirements.

The plan is desigend to achieve standards-based reform in student performance and personnel quality, building on the planning and reform initiatives of the past three years.

Note: The plan is available on the web, and a unique electronic feedback form provides an opportunity for submitting comments (see links below).

The draft plan is being presented for public review and comment at meetings of PTA organizations, local community groups, business groups, and employee organizations. The goal is to gain feedback and improvements for the draft prior to the Board of Education’s consideration of the final document this June.

Pulling together a variety of planning efforts that resulted from the original Our Call to Action strategic plan adopted in 1999, the new plan provides numerous updates to the original. The primary focus is on a “pursuit of excellence,” and identifies all of the necessary systemwide activities associated with meeting the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and the Maryland Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act.

Significant feedback and involvement of parent, employee, and community representatives already is incorporated in the plan because of the strategic planning that has occurred over the past three years in the development and implementation of ongoing reform initiatives. This key feature of the draft plan includes the development of the new curriculum program, the new assessment program, the new professional development program, and the new technology program, as well as the operating and capital budgets.

Key stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, principals, employee organizations, and business and community leaders, continue to work closely with leadership personnel from the school system. The plans have been continually updated and improved also from stakeholder involvement through public hearings, community meetings, and other communication.

The plan emphasis on a systemwide view of school improvement and reform is emphasized through the identification of clear objectives, measures, responsible offices, and supporting offices. The draft strategic plan builds on the highly detailed planning, evaluation, and assessment under way in each school and office.

A major element of the plan is its alignment with the state’s Bridge to Excellence goal throughout each component of the plan, which is divided into four main chapters that frame the initiatives that emerged from the Call to Action in 1999 and continue today. These include the historical continuation of the “Milestones” from the Success for Every Student Plan of the early and mid 1990’s, as well as emerging new standards and expectations.

Moreover, the Board of Education’s recent action to update its “academic priorities” provides the continuing framework for the strategic plan. The Board of Education’s academic priorities are:

* Organize and optimize assets for improved academic results.

* Align rigorous curriculum, delivery of instruction, and assessment for continuous improvement of student achievement.

* Develop, expand, and deliver a literacy-based pre-kindergarten to Grade 2 initiative.

* Use student, staff, school and system performance data to monitor and improve student achievement.

* Foster and sustain systems that support and improve employee effectiveness, in partnership with MCPS employee organizations.

* Strengthen family-school relationships and continue to expand civic, business, and community partnerships that support improved student achievement.

Note:

The draft plan and a new public comment and feedback form are available at the following links.

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