Policies and Regulations → Summary of Changes
COA Student Well-being and School Safety
On June 24, 2019, the Board of Education approved new Board Policy COA, Student Well-being and School Safety. This new policy builds upon the ongoing work of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to promote student well-being and school safety. In spring 2017, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) launched a comprehensive review of MCPS protocols, practices, and infrastructure related to the critical imperative of maintaining safe, orderly learning environments for all students. Findings and recommendations were reported to the Montgomery County Board of Education in the summer of 2017, and spring 2018. Of particular note, the 2018 Report detailed that, while cameras, other technology, and security staff are critical for school safety, it is equally important to foster a culture and climate that incorporates safety into daily operations at every school. Research clearly shows that safe schools are built on a foundation-consistent with MCPS' core values of equity, relationships, and respect-that ensures:
The new policy also ties together the district's policy on Wellness: Physical and Nutritional Health, and its work on the Be Well 365: The Framework to Support the Physical, Social, and Psychological Well-being of All Students initiative. Specifically, draft Policy COA addresses safety from the perspective of:
Policy COA also incorporates key requirements set forth in the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 regarding behavioral threat assessment teams, and the identification of a mental health coordinator and a school safety coordinator to serve as a liaison between local law enforcement agencies and the Maryland Center for School Safety. Draft Policy COA as also adopts the tenets of the Maryland Center for School Safety's Maryland's Model Policy for Behavior Threat Assessment, including authorization for MCPS to establish procedures for the assessment of and intervention with students, staff, parents/guardians, contractors, and non-affiliated individuals on school property whose behavior poses a threat to the safety of school staff or students.
Finally, the policy incorporates language from the ten principles to protect all students' safety, privacy, and right to an equal education developed by 40 nationally-recognized education, privacy, disability rights, and civil rights organizations. The ten principles focus on keeping students safe while respecting their dignity and encouraging their individual growth.
The Montgomery County Board of Education recognizes that our system of representative government is dependent, in part, upon maintaining the highest trust in our public officials and employees. Furthermore, our community has a right to be assured that the impartiality and independent judgement of public officials and employees will be maintained. As such, the Board amended Policy BBB, Ethics, on April 9, 2019, to align with current Maryland law and the Maryland State Ethics Commission model provisions for local governments and school board.
The Montgomery County Board of Education amended Policy BFA, Policysetting, on April 9, 2019, to update stakeholder involvement procedures in alignment with current Board practice. In addition, the policy was amended to advise persons submitting public comments on Board policies that those comments become part of the public record and are publicized along with the Board Policy Management Committee's (Committee) recommendations to the Board for final action on Board policies. Policy BFA also was revised to provide rules of interpretation, and to permit the Board to take action at a full Board meeting to suspend all or part of a policy when a change in law or exigent circumstances with systematic implications necessitate the temporary suspension of all or part of an individual policy, then direct that the policy be reviewed by the Committee at its next scheduled meeting for recommendation for further action. Further revisions include updating procedures regarding technical amendments to bring Board policies into alignment with current Board practice or a more recently enacted Board policy, or to comply with federal, state, or local law; and to update directory information or delegate responsibility to an office that performs the relevant function if the office identified in the policy no longer exists. Additional revisions establish a process for documenting when the Committee reviews a policy and recommends no substantive changes.
BLB Rules of Procedure in Appeals and Hearings
On September 11, 2018, the Board of Education approved technical amendments to Board Policy BLB, Rules of Procedure in Appeals and Hearing, to ensure compliance with a new state law which became effective on October 1, 2018. During the 2018 Legislative Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 639 which modified the procedures for suspending or dismissing a teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, or other professional assistant by authorizing such an individual to request a hearing before an arbitrator instead of the local board of education. To facilitate the implementation of the new process, staff, in consultation with representatives of each of the three associations, the Montgomery County Education Associations (MCEA), Service Employees International Union, Local 500 (SEIU), and Montgomery County Association of Administrators & Principals and Montgomery County Business and Operations Administrators (MCAAP/MCBOA), recommended the following language:
In the event the individual requests a hearing before an arbitrator, the Board shall refer the matter to the superintendent of schools, who shall designate appropriate staff to engage in the process to select an arbitrator according to the provisions of Section 6-202(a). The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the individual and the Board, subject to judicial review governed by the Maryland Uniform Arbitration Act.
FAA Educational Facilities Planning
On September 24, 2018, the Board of Education amended and renamed Board Policy FAA, Educational Facilities Planning, (formerly Long-range Educational Facilities Planning). The amended policy reaffirms the Board of Education's commitment to continuing to provide high-quality facilities that support the educational programming needed to ensure that every Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) student is well-prepared for success. Policy FAA establishes an educational facilities planning process that effectively anticipates MCPS educational facility needs and establishes a framework for making equitable and fiscally responsible facility decisions in an uncertain future, while considering instructional program priorities, physical condition of the schools, and the impact of under- or overutilized facilities on the educational program.
IGK Career Readiness
On April 9, 2019, the Board of Education amended and renamed Board Policy IGK, Career Readiness, (formerly Career and Technology Education). The amended policy establishes a vision for prekindergarten through Grade 12 career readiness programming that is embedded in the instructional program and offer rigorous academic coursework with technical instruction and real-world work experiences for students. Policy IGK sets forth a comprehensive career readiness strategy that promotes: developing knowledge in core subjects along with cognitive strategies and learning skills and techniques such as goal setting, persistence, self-awareness, time management, collaborative learning, and self-efficacy; exposing students to a broad array of careers to inform the development of their career aspirations consistent with their interests; encouraging students to think strategically and creatively about what can and should be included in their school experiences; preparing all students for the postsecondary education and training they will need to achieve their aspirations; and providing students with transition skills to access postsecondary opportunities. Further revisions to the policy reflect the guiding principles and focus areas set forth in the Education Strategy Group's career readiness review, Preparing All Students for Economic and Career Success, and provide opportunities for students to acquire the skills needed to be prepared for the range of roles available in the 21st century economy, which values short-term, meaningful career credentials in addition to four-year college degrees. These revisions align career readiness programming with all state and federal requirements for career and technical education, and set the course to prepare students for success in high-skilled, living wage occupations in current or emerging in-demand industry sectors.
JEA Residency, Tuition, and Enrollment
On September 11, 2018, the Board of Education amended and reindexed Board Policy JEA, Residency, Tuition, and Enrollment , (formerly Policy JED). The amended policy affirms the Board's commitment to an effective, efficient, and equitable enrollment process for all qualified Montgomery County students and to set forth criteria for the enrollment of resident and nonresident students in accordance with Maryland law.
KBA Policy on Public Information
On May 14, 2019, the Board of Education amended Board Policy KBA, Policy on Public Information, to set forth a vision for effective communication with members of the Montgomery County community across a variety of existing and emerging media and communication channels appropriate to the purposes, needs, opportunities, and obligations of the school district and the community. With this policy, the Board seeks to encourage respect, trust, confidence, and a unified understanding of the educational program and operations of MCPS. Furthermore, the revisions will document the Board's expectations for communicating appropriate information to the public in a timely and complete manner, while striving to confirm the accuracy of such information and to provide clear, concise, and publicly accessible explanatory context, when possible.
Additional revisions to Policy KBA, Policy on Public Information, are to affirm the value students, staff, parents/guardians, and other members of the community place on student data privacy. Furthermore, the revisions affirm that the Board is committed to adhering to all legal obligations regarding the protection, and appropriate disclosure, of student and employee information, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations regarding data collection, privacy, and security, including but not limited to the requirements of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, the Maryland Student Privacy Act of 2015, and the Maryland Public Information Act. The revisions incorporate and expand concepts and policy-level guidance from Board Policy KBB, Release of Data, which was rescinded upon adoption of revised Policy KBA.
COB-RA Incident Reporting
On September 5, 2018, MCPS Regulation COB-RA, Reporting a Serious Incident, was renamed MCPS Regulation COB-RA, Incident Reporting, and substantially revised by the superintendent of schools to align with the recently developed "one-call" protocol established by the Office of School Support and Improvement (OSSI) that directs principals/director/designees to call OSSI for most incidents. Following the call, OSSI contacts other relevant offices, and begins a record in the Incident Management System (IMS) to be completed later by the principal/director. The regulation clarifies protocols set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Montgomery County Public Schools and law enforcement, and defines the categories of reportable incidents in alignment with federal and state reporting requirements, Board policies, and MCPS regulations and rules.
On December 17, 2018, MCPS Regulation COB-RA, Incident Reporting, was further revised to clarify procedures related to reported incidents of sexual harassment of students, as well as reported incidents of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, when sexual harassment is not a factor.
EEB-RA Operation and Care of MCPS Buses
On July 16, 2018, the superintendent of schools revised MCPS Regulation EEB-RA, Operation and Care of MCPS Buses. This regulation was updated to permit MCPS buses to travel at the posted speed limit, instead of the previously stated 55 miles per hour. This update was needed to address the operation of MCPS buses on the Inter-County Connector. Additional updates are as follows:
FAA-RA Educational Facilities Planning
On May 2, 2019, Regulation FAA-RA, Long-range Educational Facilities Planning, was revised and renamed MCPS Regulation FAA-RA, Educational Facilities Planning, by the superintendent of schools to align with Board Policy FAA, Educational Facilities Planning. The revised regulation develops procedures for implementing the three key components of Board Policy FAA: 1) ongoing analyses of student enrollment projections and the physical condition of educational facilities and building systems; 2) stakeholder engagement and input into facility decision making; and 3) a decision-making framework that generates responsive options and leads to equitable and fiscally responsible and educationally sound decisions, in compliance with all local, state, and federal requirements, taking into account the equity implications of Board Policy ACA, Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Cultural Proficiency.
Updates include the following:
IGP-RA Comprehensive Health Education Instructional Program
On July 5, 2018, the superintendent of schools revised MCPS Regulation IGP-RA, Comprehensive Health Education Instructional Program, to comply with Maryland House Bill 0251 (HB0251), Education- Family Life and Human Sexuality Curriculum-Boundaries and Consent, which requires, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, local boards of education to provide age-appropriate instruction on the meaning of "consent" and respect for personal boundaries as part of the Family Life and Human Sexuality curriculum in every grade in which the curriculum is taught in public schools. A footnote has been added to indicate that "consent" is defined as the unambiguous and voluntary agreement between all participants in each physical act within the course of interpersonal relationships, including respect for personal boundaries. Additionally, we have added Section 7-441 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article to the Related Sources section of the regulation. The bill takes effect July 1, 2018.
IOE-RA Guidelines for the Continuing Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students
On September 25, 2018, a technical amendment was made to MCPS Regulation IOE-RA, Guidelines for the Continuing Education of Pregnant and Parenting Students. Code of Maryland Regulations §13A.08.01.06 was removed from the Related Sources section of the regulation upon repeal by the Maryland State Department of Education.
IOI-RA Placement Procedures for Alternative Programs
On July 30, 2018, the superintendent of schools revised MCPS Regulation IOI-RA, Placement Procedures for Alternative Programs. This regulation has been updated to align procedures with the redesign of the Alternative Programs model. The revised regulation reflects the priorities of the redesigned program for all three levels of Alternative Programs, as well as updated priorities for the Alternative Programs Admissions Committee (APAC). Revisions include:
JEA-RB Enrollment of Students
On September 24, 2018, the superintendent of schools revised MCPS Regulation JEA-RB, Enrollment of Students, to align with recently revised Board Policy JED, Residency, Tuition, and Enrollment (reindexed as JEA), update directory information, and to provide clarification of current procedures. Following are highlights of edits made to Regulation JEA-RB:
On April 3, 2019, the superintendent of schools revised, reindexed, and renamed MCPS Regulation JED-RA, Residency and Tuition, to MCPS Regulation JEA-RE, Tuition-based Enrollment, to align with recent revisions to Board Policy JEA, Residency, Tuition, and Enrollment. The revisions also update directory information, align with related revisions of MCPS Regulation JEA-RB, Enrollment of Students, and provide clarification of current procedures as follows:
Requirements for residency formerly contained in MCPS Regulation JED-RA, Residency and Tuition, have been revised and consolidated into MCPS Regulation JEA-RB, Enrollment of Students. Updated language in MCPS Regulation JEA-RB clarifies the documentation required to satisfy residency requirements.
The limited circumstances under which a student may enroll in MCPS by paying tuition are subject to the following conditions:
MCPS Regulation JEA-RE clarifies the process whereby out-of-state social service agencies place students in a Montgomery County foster or group home.
JEE-RA Student Transfers and Administrative Placements
On January 7, 2019, the superintendent of schools revised MCPS Regulation JEE-RA, Student Transfers and Administrative Placements, to align with changes made to the 2019-2020 Change of School Assignment (COSA) booklet regarding students receiving special education services that are not offered in all schools.
Specifically, the change clarifies that COSA requests from a student whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) requires special education services that are not offered in all schools should follow the regular COSA process, although the parent/guardian should indicate on the COSA form that the student receives special education services in a specialized program in addition to submitting appropriate documentation indicating the reason for the COSA request. Decisions regarding requests for student receiving special education services that are not available in all schools will be made after July 1.
JFA-RA Student Rights and Responsibilities
On December 4, 2018, Regulation JFA-RA, Student Rights and Responsibilities, was revised by the superintendent of schools to align with a recently revised Board of Education Policy and several MCPS regulations, as well as the 2018-2019 A Student's Guide to Rights and Responsibilities in MCPS Handbook. Highlights of these revisions include:
JGA-RB Suspension and Expulsion
On September 3, 2018, MCPS Regulation JGA-RB, Suspension and Expulsion, was revised by the superintendent of schools to align with a new Maryland law regarding the restricted use of suspension for not more than 5school days of Prekindergarten (Pre-K)-Grade 2 students to include the language "per incident," to promptly notify the Pre-K-Grade 2 student's parent/guardian of the suspension or expulsion, and to add a definition of Restorative Practices.
JPA-RB Safety and Screening Programs: Lead, Hearing, and Vision
On October 17, 2018, MCPS Regulation JPA-RB, Screening Programs: Lead, Hearing, and Vision, was updated and renamed MCPS Regulation JPA-RB, Safety and Screening Programs: Lead, Hearing, and Vision by the superintendent of schools. The revised regulation aligns with Maryland House Bill 798 Visual Impairments - Requirements for Student Vision Screening and Information (Atticus Act) which alters notice requirements related to student hearing and vision screenings. Notice and specified educational materials must be given to parents or guardians for all students receiving hearing and vision screenings. For students who fail the vision screening, additional information must be provided, as specified. Vision and hearing screenings must be administered unless evidence is presented that a student has been tested by an optometrist or ophthalmologist within the past year. The bill took effect July 1, 2018. MCPS is working with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services to develop forms and educational materials to send home to parents/guardians which meet these new state mandated notification requirements. Additional edits were made to the regulation to include reference to state and federal guidelines regarding the safety of school and office drinking water, and for updates to lead poisoning screening by health care providers for certain children enrolling in MCPS and who have ever lived in an at-risk area designated by the Maryland Department of Health.
JPG-RA Wellness: Physical and Nutritional Health
MCPS Regulation JPG-RA, Wellness: Physical and Nutritional Health, was reviewed and revised by the superintendent of schools on August 20, 2018, to ensure consistency with the recently enacted Maryland law (House Bill 427) requiring public schools to permit students to possess and use topical sunscreen on school property or at a school-sponsored activity without written permission from a health care provider. The bill took effect July 1, 2018.
KLA-RA Responding to Inquiries and Complaints from the Public
On July 5, 2018, the superintendent of schools revised MCPS Regulation KLA-RA, Responding to Inquiries and Complaints from the Public, to describe the office collaboration process when a concern or complaint is not resolved through the informal process and involves a complaint of discrimination based on perceived personal characteristics as defined in Board Policy ACA, Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Cultural Proficiency. The regulation specifically requires involvement of the Office of School Support and Improvement and the Office of Employee Engagement and Labor Relations when MCPS staff members are involved in complaints of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. The revised regulation also clarifies the timeline for the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, as the superintendent of school's designee, to complete review of complaints in alignment with Board Policy BLB, Rules of Procedures in Appeals and Hearings.
FKB Sustaining and Modernizing Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Facilities
Tenets of Board Policy FKB, Sustaining and Modernizing MCPS Facilities, were incorporated into amendments to Policy FAA, Educational Facilities Planning, and Policy FKB was rescinded upon adoption of amended Board Policy FAA on September 24, 2018.
KBB Release of Data
Tenets of Board Policy KBB, Release of Data, were incorporated into amendments to Policy KBA, Policy on Public Information, and Policy KBB was rescinded upon adoption of amended Board Policy KBA on May 14, 2019.
JED-RA Residency and Tuition
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Regulation JED-RA, Residency and Tuition, was revised, reindexed, and renamed MCPS Regulation JEA-RE, Tuition Based Enrollment, on April 3, 2019, to align with recent revisions to Board Policy JEA, Residency, Tuition, and Enrollment.