Board Meetings in Brief


 July 27, 2021 - Board Meeting In Brief    

Board of Education Discusses Fall Preview: Back, Better Than Ever—Opening of Schools with Innovative Calendar; Takes Action on Charter School Applications; Makes Several Administrative Appointments; and Takes Action on Previous New Business Items.

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a hybrid (virtual and in-person) business meeting on July 27, 2021.  During the meeting, the Board received a fall preview; took action on charter school applications; made several administrative appointments; and took action on previous new business items.     

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

Watch the recording of the July 27, 2021, meeting.

 Appointments

 The Board approved four administrative appointments:    

  •  Ms. Natasha Bolden, executive director, Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools
  •  Mrs. Tracy D. Oliver-Gary, supervisor, Pre-K–12 Social Studies, Department of Pre-K–12 Curriculum
  •  Mr. Vincent R. Liburd, Jr., principal, Montgomery Village Middle School
  •  Ms. Nicholas A. Wallen, principal, Wyngate Elementary School  

 Fall Preview: Back, Better Than Ever—Opening of Schools with Innovative Calendar

 Two MCPS schools (Roscoe Nix Elementary School and Arcola Elementary School) participate in an innovative school calendar and opened for the 2021-2022 school year on July 12, 2021. A video of their opening and successes was shared with the Board.    

 The interim superintendent informed the Board that the fall 2021 return to school will include:   

  •   Return to a full five days per week, in-person schedule.
  •  Students, staff, and visitors across all levels (elementary, middle, and high) will be required to wear face coverings in school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
  •  Face coverings are not required outdoors, but strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals. This is aligned with the CDC guidance and American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations to date.
  •  The Board moved to support this decision.   

 Board Action: Charter School Applications  

 The Board considered two applications for charter schools in Montgomery County. The first application, for The Washington-McLaughlin Charter School for Boys, Inc. and The Washington-McLaughlin Charter School for Girls Inc. and M.E.C.C.A. Business Learning Institute Charter School.

 The interim superintendent did not recommend Board approval of the application for The Washington-McLaughlin Charter School for Boys, Inc. and The Washington-McLaughlin Charter School for Girls Inc., because the charter school application did not demonstrate the following:   

  •  clear understanding of the federal requirements to operate a single-sex school;
  •  justification of  for the proposed-single sex structure, including distinct learning strategies for male and female students;
  •  plan for the preparation of the school site;
  •  plan for maintenance and operations;
  •  viable financial plan; and
  •  viable plan for enrollment or demonstrated community interest.   

           The interim superintendent did not recommend Board approval of the M.E.C.C.A. charter school application, because it did not demonstrate the following:  

  •  evidence of necessary funding supports;
  •  a complete transportation plan;
  •  revenue stream (before- and after-school program) can generate the needed funds; and
  •  details of arrangements, including repayment structure, for addressing the shortfall in revenues. 

The Board voted unanimously to deny the application. 

  Previous New Business Items

  The Board approved new business item resolutions from the July 15, 2021, Board business meeting that were lying on the table pending further action by the full Board.  The resolutions adopted were as follows:  

  •  The Board adopted a  resolution amending its previous Examination of Student Achievement Data for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Latino Students resolution (Resolution 381-20) to remove the specified project completion date of March 31, 2021, and allow respondents to submit proposed project costs.    
  •  The Board adopted a  resolution directing the superintendent of schools to correct the name of Ronald McNair Elementary School by amending the school’s name to “Dr. Ronald E. McNair Elementary School” no later than December 2021.

  New Business Items  

  •  No new business items were introduced.  

  Meeting adjourned at 2:47 p.m.  

 Future Meetings 

  The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on August 24, 2021.  The agenda is subject to change. Please check the Board website and  meeting calendar for further information. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 


August 24, 2021 - Board Meeting In Brief   

Board of Education Discusses Fall Return To School and the School Resource Officer Program- Next Steps; Makes Two Administrative Appointments; and Approves a Contract for a Superintendent Search Firm.

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted an in-person business meeting on August 24, 2021.  During the meeting, the Board discussed a fall return to school; discussed next steps for the School Resource Officer Program (SRO); took action on the selection of an executive search firm for the next superintendent of schools search; and made administrative appointments.    

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

Watch the recording of the August 24, 2021, meeting.

Fall Return to School

The Board heard plans and preparations for ensuring that schools are operationally, instructionally, and logistically ready for students to return:  

  • Three initiatives (in particular)—the social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, Student Well-Being Teams (SWBTs), and restorative justice (RJ)—are focused on promoting social-emotional well-being
  • In spring 2021, the Board approved the purchase and implementation of a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum for the district. The SEL Curriculum, Leader in Me, aims to increase students’ self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, leadership and problem-solving.
  • During the 2020–2021 school year, the Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement (OSFSE) led the implementation of Student Well Being Teams in all schools.
  • MCPS is now implementing Restorative Justice (RJ) throughout all schools.
  • Planned support includes helping staff access the Employee Assistance Program services at no cost; communicating through the Well Being Matters video series; establishing support groups for caregivers and other groups significantly impacted by the pandemic; and continuing the Well Aware Employee Wellness Program, which gives employees wellness credits from MCPS medical plan partners to participate in virtual exercise and mindfulness classes, behavior change classes, and physical activities beginning in September.
  • MCPS will implement a multi-layer health and safety protocol that includes multiple strategies to protect school community members from COVID-19, including: improved ventilation; use and supplying of masks/face coverings; vaccine or weekly testing requirements for staff; vaccine promotion for students; enhanced sanitation; frequent handwashing; and quarantine and contact tracing in the event that a student or staff member tests positive.
  • Each elementary school will develop, in collaboration with the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools, lunch plans that utilize indoor and outdoor spaces. All elementary school lunch plans will include assigned seating by class to assist with contact tracing in the event that a student from a class tests positive for COVID-19.
  • MCPS has developed tiered guidance for determining whether individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 must quarantine:   
o  Fully vaccinated staff and students do not need to quarantine following a direct exposure to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, unless they develop COVID symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.  
o  Unvaccinated staff and students are required to quarantine for ten (10) days from the last date of direct exposure to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.   
  • MCPS has applied to the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to participate in a K-12 COVID-19 Screening Testing Program. Families must consent to testing for students to be tested
  • MCPS also will return to pre-pandemic grading policies and procedures as outlined in MCPS Regulation IKA-RA, Grading and Reporting
  • During September, the Measures of Academic Progress assessment will be administered to students in Grades K–10 in an effort to determine academic growth during the pandemic.  
o  Learning recovery opportunities strategically and intentionally will be infused into ongoing instruction  
  • Montgomery Virtual, MCPS’ virtual academy, is an MSDE approved, blended virtual learning program that will provide an alternative learning environment for students who find the virtual environment more appropriate for their learning needs or for students who need a virtual instructional program due to extenuating circumstances.
  • The MCPS interscholastic athletics program will fully resume in-person operations in the fall, in alignment with MCPS procedures and protocols for COVID-19 safety.
  • The MCPS extracurricular and fine arts programs will fully resume in-person operations in the fall within the guidelines of MCPS’ current procedures and protocols for COVID-19 safety
  • MCPS is creating a welcoming environment by collaborating with community partners to help provide newcomer families with health care, food supports, housing resources, childcare, recreation, medical/behavioral health care, family reunification programs, legal services, gang/trafficking prevention, and other essential services.
  • MCPS convened a Fall Design Team composed of students and school-and central-office based staff from all three employee associations and currently are circulating the contingency plan through stakeholder groups for feedback.
  • For individual students in quarantine, instruction will be provided. Student schedules may be adjusted and include a range of opportunities such as live instruction, check-ins, and independent work time. Each school will design and communicate those schedules to affected students and families as needed.
  • Individual students who are required to quarantine will have a schedule for a full-day of engagement, including 60 minutes of live instruction to open and close the day; 60 minutes of live math instruction; 75 minutes of live ELA instruction; and time to independently work on activities in health/wellness, science, social studies, and other areas.  
o  Each grade level team also will proactively prepare a schedule should all students need to receive virtual instruction while in quarantine as a group     
  • MCPS will not close school buildings and move to fully virtual instruction unless ordered to do so by state government officials    

School Resource Officer Program Next Steps  

Student resources officers are now community engagement officers

  • Assigned to specific schools
  • Based in the community (not stationed in schools or on school grounds)
  • Will not enforce MCPS policies, rules, regulations and/or procedures
  • Will not be contacted directly by school administrators or school security: All calls for police service will be directed to 911 or the police non-emergency number
  • Next Steps:  

  o   Phase 2: Comprehensive Review of Current MOU  

  • Inclusion of additional stakeholders 
  • Focus on supporting students
  • Incorporation of Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services  

Contract Approval for RFP No. 4305.2, Executive Search Firm for Selection of a Superintendent of Schools

The Board approved a resolution to enter into a contractual agreement with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to provide professional consultant services for the superintendent of schools search and selection process based upon the proposal fee of $52,500, plus travel expenses, as appropriate, and other optional additional services as requested by the Board.

Recommended Appointments  

  • Mrs. Shauna-Kay J. Jorandby, principal, Sligo Middle School, as director of student engagement, behavioral health, and academics, Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools    
  • Ms. Leslie E. Turner Percival, assistant general counsel, Office of the General Counsel (OGC) as legal director, OGC  

Future Meetings

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on September 9, 2021.  The Board will meet in in-person.  The agenda is subject to change. Please check the Board of Education website and meeting calendar for further information.  

About the Board of Education

The Board 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: Ms. Brenda Wolff, president; Ms. Karla Silvestre, vice president.  Members: Dr. Judith Docca, Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, Ms. Lynne Harris, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ms. Hana O’Looney, student member. Dr. Monifa B. McKnight, interim superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.