The mission of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is to provide every student with the academic, creative problem solving and social-emotional skills to be successful in college and career and thrive in their futures. The 2021-2022 school year brought students back to our classrooms, with a full return to in-person learning, five days a week, with a teacher in every classroom.
The return to in-person instruction reunited students with their peers, with teachers and with the many other trusted adults in our school communities. Building on the lessons learned, schools worked diligently to rebuild strong school communities, with supports for students and families still dealing with ongoing public health concerns. We were also able to leverage the investment in technology and expertise to continue providing virtual instruction through the Virtual Academy for students and families choosing that option.
This transition was, however, not without its challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic subsided, only to surge again, as variants posed significant operational challenges. The disruption to public education limited the academic progress of many students. Additionally, the return to the classroom meant that students had to adjust to not only the in-person academic program, but also to the social-emotional demands of being in the school community.
These challenges were met with our commitment to the pillars of the Board’s strategic plan—academic excellence, family engagement and well-being, and professional and operational excellence. We were intentional in repairing and rebuilding an educational community predicated on mutual trust and respect. Together, the Board and the superintendent have worked to ensure that our students, families and staff feel supported and students are able to achieve. There were some significant milestones:
- 72.4% of all students that took AP exams scored a 3 or higher
- Virtual Academy launched and enrolled 3,200 students
- 6,106 students enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses
- 70 MCPS educators achieved National Board Certification in 2022
- Nine MCPS high schools placed in the Top 25 in Maryland, according to U.S. News & World Report
- Passed a $2.92 billion operating budget, marking the largest increase since the Great Recession.
- Negotiated and ratified a salary and benefits package through which employees received a 3.35% cost-of-living adjustment and step increase.
- Offered free summer school and expanded access to more students than before the pandemic, targeting those students who needed it most.
- Modified the school year calendar to appropriately balance student learning time, employee wellness and student enrichment time.
- Established a research-based, high-dosage tutoring program, available to students via virtual platforms and from staff members at school.
Thank you to the more than 24,000 dedicated teachers, visionary administrators and committed support staff who welcomed our students back into our school buildings. Our staff never wavered from providing the greatest public education possible to each and every student. Reaching for that goal requires steadfast support that we are fortunate to have from our families, partners and community stakeholders.
Our “All Together Now” spirit has buoyed our journey and, we look forward to building on the progress from the 2021-2022 school year as we look ahead.
Brenda Wolff, President
Montgomery County Board of Education
Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools