Five Core Strategies

  • Core Strategy I

    Academic Rigor and Culturally Proficient Instruction– Designing and implementing a rigorous and culturally proficient curriculum and instructional program.
  • Core Strategy II

    Equitable Funding and Support– Investing greater resources and support to schools with greater need.
  • Core Strategy III

    Human Capital Management– Recruiting, developing, and retaining the best workforce in public education.
  • Core Strategy IV

    Community Engagement– Increasing the capacity of schools and community stakeholders to engage each other to support high student achievement and meet the needs of MCPS students and families.
  • Core Strategy V

    Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement– Providing world-class services to the MCPS community and using meaningful data to hold ourselves accountable and continuously improve.

Core Value — Learning

We believe that we must engage every student, every day; learning is achieved by cultivating curiosity and encouraging determination, focus, and hard work; and adult learning and engagement are key to student learning.

Therefore, we will encourage and support critical thinking, problem solving, active questioning, and risk taking to continuously improve; stimulate discovery by engaging students in relevant and rigorous academic, social, and emotional learning experiences; and challenge ourselves to analyze and reflect upon evidence to improve our practices.


Core Value — Relationships

We believe that meaningful collaboration is vital to our success; strong partnerships are built on trust and open and honest communication; and building relationships with our diverse community requires us to understand the perspectives and experiences of others.

Therefore, we will get to know student and staff members as individuals to better serve them; engage in interest-based decision making with our partners to achieve mutually agreed upon goals; and build strong relationships with students, family, staff, and community to support learning.


Core Value — Respect

We believe that each individual's contributions add value to our learning community; fair treatment, honesty, openness, and integrity are essential; and the diversity of our culture, interests, skills, and backgrounds is an asset that makes us stronger.

Therefore, we will model civility in all interactions and encourage candid conversations; deal fairly and honestly with each other; and listen to others' perspectives with openness and accept that there are various points of view.


Core Value — Excellence

We believe that raising the bar and setting high standards is necessary to ensure that all students graduate ready for college and career; we have to expect the best to get the best from everyone, every day; and creating intellectual excitement and supporting personal growth inspires us all toward excellence.

Therefore, we will push unceasingly for continuous improvement; hold our practice and our work to the highest possible standards; and nurture a culture of creativity and inquiry that supports innovation and progress.


Core Value — Equity

We believe that each and every student matters; outcomes should not be predictable by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status; equity demands the elimination of all gaps; and creating and maximizing future opportunities for students and staff is necessary.

Therefore, we will hold high expectations for all students and staff; distribute resources as necessary to provide extra supports and interventions so all students can achieve; identify and eliminate any institutional barriers to students' success; and ensure that equitable practices are used in all classrooms and workplaces.


Each day, the women and men of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) work to meet the needs of more than 156,000 students, ensuring that they receive the highest quality education, nutritious breakfasts and lunches, and safe transportation across our county. The MCPS staff is committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure every student is well prepared for success today, tomorrow, and in the years to come. A strong Montgomery County in the future depends on providing our students with a strong foundation today. That's why the mission of MCPS is to ensure that every student will have the academic, creative problem solving, and social emotional skills to be successful in college and career.

The 2015 Annual Report to the Community summarizes the last school year and the factors driving change in the district. The report illuminates the strategies we are using to prepare our students for the 21st century and address longstanding achievement gaps. It also includes operational and student performance data we use to monitor our progress. Finally, this report highlights some of our exceptional students and staff who make MCPS the outstanding district that it is.


The District Implementation Plan and Strategic Planning Framework Drive Our Work

The District Implementation Plan (DIP), with its five core strategies, guides the work of the district. The plan implements the vision and values laid out in the Strategic Planning Framework—Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff, and Community, which sets clear expectations for all schools about the skills our students need to have to be successful.

Read the District Implementation Plan
Read the Strategic Planning Framework

The Framework is built on the five core values, adopted by the Montgomery County Board of Education, that define what it means to be a strong public education system: learning, relationships, respect, excellence, and equity. The Framework identifies the three competencies students need for success in the 21st century—academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning—and provides specific expectations for what students will know and be able to do in these areas. It also lays out what MCPS staff will do to help students meet those expectations. The Framework also affirms the district's ongoing commitment to operational excellence.

Steven Katz

The District Implementation Plan

The Plan guides schools and offices in fulfilling the mission, values, and core purpose of the Framework.

School Data

School Data Reports

Each school's report can be viewed online.

Monitoring Our Progress

As an organization committed to the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence over the last 20 years, MCPS has increasingly focused on the use of data to improve instruction in the classroom and the operational efficiency of the district. Data monitoring is an essential part of our culture and our work to support students.

While schools and offices use a variety of data metrics to assess progress and make improvements, the Strategic Planning Framework and the DIP examine data at five important milestones in a student's educational journey—Grades 3, 5, 8, 9, and graduation—to assess the overall health of the system. The milestones data, and other important information, for each school is also included as part of each school's improvement plan. The School Support and Improvement Framework (SSIF), is used to provide customized support and services to schools to improve teaching, learning, and outcomes.

Data on the Milestone Operational Metrics  

Challenges and Change

The 2014–2015 school year was one of challenge and change

students take tests

New Assessments for Students

Like school districts across the state and nation, MCPS has been aligning its curricula to the Common Core State Standards—an internationally benchmarked set of expectations for what students need to know and be able to do in English language arts and mathematics. Read More

The standards focus on building a deep understanding of these core content areas to better prepare students for higher education and the workplace.

MCPS students were assessed on the new standards for the first time in 2015 through the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests. The assessments were given in math and English language arts/literacy in Grades 3 through 8 and to students taking Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and English 10. Across the nation and in Maryland, the results were lower than on previously administered standardized tests, which was expected. Any time a new test is administered, it is common to see lower success rates. Overall, MCPS students outperformed the state in most areas. However, significant achievement gaps can be seen in this data as in other student performance data.

Central office leaders and school staff are examining the data from the first administration of the PARCC tests as part of the district's continuous improvement efforts.

MCPS Curriculum 2.0

Larry A. Bowers

Leadership Transition

MCPS also had a leadership transition in February 2015 when Joshua P. Starr resigned as superintendent and Larry A. Bowers was appointed to serve as interim superintendent. The Board of Education asked Mr. Bowers to continue in the position for the 2015–2016 school year.
Read More

As interim superintendent, Mr. Bowers refocused the district's efforts on fundamental improvements to math and literacy instruction across MCPS and set a clear course for the school year with five strategic priorities to carry out the work of the District Implementation Plan.

Read the Strategic Priorities


Enrollment Growth

With more than 156,000 students enrolled in 2015, MCPS is the largest school system in Maryland and continues to grow. Since 2007, MCPS has grown by more than 18,000 students and projections suggest an additional 10,000 will enroll by 2021. Such growth makes additional investment of state and county funds necessary to maintain a high quality school system.

See How Enrollment has Grown


Growing Needs

As MCPS enrollment grows, so does the number of students needing additional services and support to ensure their success. More than 35% of our students now receive free and reduced-price meals and 15.2% participate in our English for Speakers of Other Languages program. MCPS is committed to working with the community to ensure that every student succeeds and achievement gaps are closed.

See How Student Needs are Increasing

Preparing MCPS Students for the Future

Opening Doors to Careers and College: Our Students Share Their Journeys



Rockville HS
International Baccalaureate Program



Albert Einstein HS
Student to Educator Pathway Program



Montgomery Blair HS

Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success Program



Damascus HS
Academy of Information and Technology



Paint Branch HS

Medical Careers Program



Montgomery Blair HS

Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success Program

College and Career Readiness


A high school diploma is no longer enough. By the year 2020, almost two-thirds of jobs, and nearly all high-paying jobs, will require postsecondary education or training.

While most school systems are working toward the goal of ensuring that students are "college- and career-ready", the definition of what that means is not always clear or consistent. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is very clear that the expectations for postsecondary education and career readiness are the same. What may be different is the avenue a student takes to fulfill his or her graduation requirements and the pathway taken after graduation.

The MCPS vision for 21st century college or career readiness is to increase the number of options a student has upon graduation. In alignment with our strategic plan, and Core Strategy I, Academic Rigor and Culturally Proficient Instruction, MCPS is developing a Career Readiness Improvement Plan to ensure that all students are identifying their interests, establishing personal goals, and exploring postsecondary opportunities including career options. Additionally, the plan is designed to support more students who are exploring Career and Technology Education (CTE) options to achieve completer status and earn certification or licensure qualifying them for immediate job opportunities.

Visit the Career Readiness website


Paul and Luis

Career Pathways

Meet Paul and Luis—two students who focused their future goals by participating in MCPS career pathway programs.

Edison HS

Photo Essay

Thomas Edison High School of Technology

Experience Thomas Edison High School through photos.

Visit the new Edison HS website


Hundreds of MCPS Students and Parents Attend Career Readiness Night Sponsored by MCPS

More than 600 MCPS students and parents gathered at Gaithersburg High School to learn about how MCPS' course pathways can prepare students for exciting and high-paying jobs in fields including IT, business, biosciences and construction. Attendees interacted with teachers, MCPS graduates and partners from businesses and higher education and attended breakout sessions to learn about opportunities in those fields.

Closing the Achievement Gap


In our country, there are structural and systemic barriers that have prevented some of our students from full participation in an instructional program that meets their needs and pushes them to excel. These barriers lead to disparities in educational outcomes for African American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students.

MCPS is committed to addressing these disparities and breaking down these barriers to enable every student to achieve.

Through the Strategic Priorities, taken from the District Implementation Plan, MCPS is placing a renewed focus on the foundational elements of literacy and math to make progress toward closing the achievement gap. This focus is incorporated into all facets of our work. Utilizing yearly improvement plans, schools are setting meaningful targets to increase student performance in these core areas and developing tailored strategies to meet them, including reevaluating curriculum, assessments, and instructional practices. MCPS is also investing in professional learning and cultural proficiency trainings for employees so that culture can serve as a bridge to success rather than a barrier.

Our focus on Literacy

Literacy is considered the gateway to knowledge and essential to becoming college or career ready. Our plan to remedy the disparities in literacy includes instruction for our English language learners and also addresses instructional programs and practices for and address the needs of special education students.

Our Focus on Mathematics

Every student deserves a rigorous mathematics program and to be taught by a teacher who understands mathematics, understands how to teach mathematics, and understands how to differentiate to meet each child's individual needs.

To close the gap, we have to change how we provide accelerated mathematics instruction and provide more opportunities for students to be accelerated.


Minority Scholars Program Works to Reduce the Achievement Gap

Students from several high schools across the district have been working together to find ways to reduce the achievement gap in MCPS. These students are a part of the Minority Scholars Leadership Program, a student-led group whose mission is to help increase the academic success of minority students and foster positive relationships.

Science Comes to Life—Parkland Scholars Program

A group of students from Parkland Middle School have been working in collaboration with the KID Museum to develop unique STEM-based inventions. The students are developing items in categories including robotics, digital music composition, and flying machines. They are a part of the Parkland Scholars program, which aims to close the achievement gap by sparking an interest in STEM learning among African American and Latino students.

District Implementation Plan
Core Strategies

Academic Rigor and Culturally Proficient Instruction

MCPS has high expectations for all of the 156,000+ students in our schools. In order to help them meet and exceed these expectations, we are engaged in a multipronged approach that provides students with access to both a rigorous curriculum and culturally proficient instruction. This approach prepares them to not only succeed in MCPS, but in college and their careers as well.

Core Strategy I - Academic Rigor and Culturally Proficient Instruction

MCPS has high expectations for all students, which means providing access to a rigorous curriculum and culturally proficient instruction that prepares them for college and careers.

Focus areas

  • FULLY IMPLEMENT MCPS Curriculum 2.0 in all areas, ensuring alignment with the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (Common Core State Standards) and the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES for project-based and problem-based learning throughout the district to build creative problem solving skills and social emotional competencies in all MCPS students.
  • IMPROVE the timeliness and quality of interventions, using data to identify students who are struggling and using programs and partnerships aimed at keeping students on track for graduation and postsecondary success.
  • PROVIDE DIVERSE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES based on the identified needs and unique interests of students, including services and programs for students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP); have been identified as highly gifted; have specific career interests; or may not have succeeded in traditional school environments.
  • INFUSE TECHNOLOGY in the classroom to enhance creativity and collaboration, individualize instruction, and provide students with 21st century skills and knowledge.


Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

Two districtwide "PARCC Nights" held during the 2014–2015 school year were attended by more than 900 parents. Cosponsored by MCPS, MCCPTA, and the NAACP Parents' Council, the events featured a resource fair, overview session, and breakout sessions on math and literacy across the elementary, middle, and high school curricula. At Montgomery Blair High School, breakout sessions in Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, and Vietnamese were attended by more than 150 parents.

Learn More About PARCC

See the Full PARCC Assessment Data



Final Exams Replaced

MCPS replaced end-of-semester two-hour final exams with marking period assessments in fall 2015.

New Assessment Strategy

This fall, MCPS revised its assessment strategy, replacing end-of-semester two-hour final exams with marking period assessments. This change will better serve our students by increasing instructional time, using formative assessment data throughout the school year to inform instruction, allowing students to receive timely supports and interventions, and providing students with more frequent and varied measures to demonstrate learning.

Our goal is to confront our persistent and disturbing achievement gaps, and to use our assessments to measure what our students are and are not learning so that teachers can adjust and improve instruction to make sure every student understands and masters the material.

Read more about our new assessment strategy


Leveraging Tech to Expand Learning

Technology is not only a vital tool to connect students with information; it is also one of the most sought-after career fields. To ensure our students have exposure to and experience with tech, we kicked off a multiyear effort to provide all students with access to mobile computers and a cloud-based learning platform that will enhance creativity and collaboration in the classroom.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, students in Grades 3, 5 and 6, as well as high school social studies classes began using the new technologies. The program will expand to other grades in later years.

Read more about the strategic technology plan


Creating a Culturally Proficient School System

As the most diverse school district in Maryland, MCPS is keenly aware that race and culture exert a powerful influence on teaching and learning. To ensure that our teachers have the training to best serve our diverse population, we developed the Equity Initiatives Unit to build capacity of MCPS staff to close the racial achievement gap and eliminate racial predictability in student achievement.

Equity Specialists tailor their work to the needs of the school, as they did at Rosa Parks Middle School, to ensure they meet the needs of that specific school community.

Read more about the Equity Initiatives Unit


Family Reading Experience

As our district continues to make additional investments to strengthen the foundation for academic success, particularly in mathematics and literacy, our schools are finding unique ways to engage with the entire family in an effort to boost literacy. At Strathmore Elementary School, fun-filled reading nights are helping to build students' literacy skills and foster a love of reading. Held in partnership with the PTA, the events focus on how families can support literacy by reading and playing interactive games at home.


Blair HS Student Wins First Place in Intel Science Talent Search

Michael H. Winer, a student at Montgomery Blair High School, has been named one of three first-place winners in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search. Mr. Winer won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation in the prestigious science competition, which culminated Tuesday night, and receives a $150,000 award.

Mr. Winer, one of 40 finalists in this year's Talent Search, was recognized for his research on how fundamental quasi-particles of sound, called phonons, interact with electrons. The Medal of Distinction for Innovation Award celebrates finalists who demonstrate the problem-solving aptitude of an engineer through innovative design and creativity. Mr. Winer's work could potentially be applied to more complex atomic structures such as superconductors.


Our commitment to educational equity is evident in how we fund our schools. At MCPS, we implement an intentional strategy that allows us to provide more resources to schools that serve greater numbers of students in need. Through this process we are working to level the playing field so that all of our students have the opportunity to succeed.

Core Strategy II: Equitable Funding and Support

Our commitment to educational equity is, and must continue to be, evident in how we fund our schools, including an intentional strategy of providing more resources to schools that serve greater numbers of students in need.

Focus areas

  • PROVIDE PREKINDERGARTEN for students whose families are living below, at, or near the poverty line in order to build a strong foundation of learning.
  • KEEP CLASS SIZES LOWER in kindergarten through Grade 2 in the elementary schools most impacted by poverty in order to improve student achievement in core areas, especially reading.
  • USE PERFORMANCE DATA to allocate resources to schools based on the needs of their student enrollment and areas of lower-than-expected student performance.
  • IN PARTNERSHIP with the community, use extracurricular programs to provide additional academic support to students and foster relationships that keep students engaged in school and on track for graduation.


Differentiating Funding Based on Student Needs

MCPS has long followed a school funding practice that invests additional resources in schools with greater needs. Over the years, these additional investments have provided for more professional development for staff in schools with higher levels of poverty, more teachers to lower class sizes in elementary schools and reduce the teacher-student ratio in secondary schools. In addition, MCPS has provided more Focus teachers in these schools to provide more support to students, particularly in math and literacy.

MCPS created an interactive tool—Budget 101—to explain in greater detail how the MCPS budget works and how it staffs all of its schools. This video explains the MCPS budget in greater detail and the Budget 101 provides more information on the system's approach to staffing schools.

Visit the Budget 101 Website

School Staffing Formulas Explained


Allison Wymer

Allison Wymer
Fifth Grade GT/LD Teacher, Barnsley Elementary School

This is my favorite job I've ever had. It's so nice to wake up and be excited about what we're doing.

Five questions with Allison Wymer

As a kid in school, Allison Wymer was oppositional. Defiant. She often found herself in trouble because she had a habit of correcting the teachers. She was also extremely bright and thirsty for knowledge.

Throughout middle and high school, she struggled. She was bored and unmotivated. She thought she was smarter than the teachers. Her parents knew something was wrong and fought for her, but it didn't seem to matter.

She later discovered she is GT/LD (Gifted & Talented/Learning Disabled). She is dyslexic. She has attention deficit disorder. GT/LD students are highly able with outstanding talents, but also have poor reading, writing or math skills.

Today, she teaches fifth grade GT/LD students at Barnsley Elementary School.

The way it started for me is I helped identify a student and he's in my class now. Marisa [Stemple, instructional specialist] asked me why I was pushing so hard for this kid. He was Hispanic; everyone in his life worked 4 or 5 jobs. His brother took care of him. He was a really bright kid and he deserved to be in the program.

I see myself a lot in these kids and I want to give them what I didn't have. [Marisa and I] started talking about it and she said, "I would love you to tell your story to a class of mine." She teaches GT/LD classes to teachers so they can recognize these kids. Not everyone needs a self-contained environment; some can be supported in their regular ed classrooms.

When I finished SAIC, I was 25 years old. I had been teaching horseback riding lessons. I actually had a horse, Rock Star, an off-track thoroughbred. I'd been riding since I was 10 years old. I taught lessons as a way to make some extra cash. I was working with kids and found that was really good at getting kids to understand things. It was natural to me.

After I graduated, I went on monster.com, and found a private school for severely emotionally disabled kids in Chicago. It was trial by fire but I had this draw to help kids with special needs. I was the TA; they couldn't keep teachers there. I wrote the curriculum. I took the kids off all processed foods and put them on organic food. We did yoga; we had animal therapy. I thought, 'I can do this. This is something I'm really good at.'

My mom told me about a program at Johns Hopkins [University] to get a master's degree [in education]. For the first time in my life, I got straight As. It gave me a lot of confidence.

I had never heard of GT/LD. I just thought I was weird. It was tough as a kid. In middle school, I was very oppositional and defiant. I had a tough time with teachers; we did not understand each other. I would think, 'I'm smarter than you so I'm just going to have fun with you.' I know I was talked about a lot in the staff room. When I got to high school, I started seeing goals and that helped me get some sort of perspective. Really, it was the love of learning that kept me going. If you don't have that, it's really easy to get discouraged and give up. I love information so much that I just kept going. I have high expectations for myself, so I always kept trying. I would never have ended up here if I hadn't had that perseverance.

My senior year of high school, I had a teacher tell me, 'When you do multiple choice, you do really well, but when you write an essay, you don't know what you're talking about.' Those teachers, especially my history teacher in high school, really started to make me see that there were possibilities for me to show what I knew.

When I was identified [as GT/LD], in college, that's when I started to advocate for myself. I didn't learn how to do that for a long time. I had always done lousy on paper and pencil tests. Everyone was telling me I was dumb and I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I wanted to prove everyone wrong. I would say, 'Give me a computer; I can show you what I can do.'

I have dyslexia. I often reverse numbers and letters. I got reading glasses when I was younger; my eyes were always tired. When I got to high school, it got really hard but I was smart enough that I knew how to find the information without reading the entire text. I was a good writer if I typed, so I could get decent grades. The reading was really hard for me, especially textbooks. In math, I would reverse numbers as well. When you have dyslexia, you don't see it until someone points it out to you. I would sometimes say the wrong word. I also have ADD with hyperactivity. In a lecture class, I had to make excuses to go to the bathroom because I just couldn't sit there. I had to get some energy out.

And I was impulsive. I was notorious for correcting teachers. I could never figure out why I was having such a difficult time socially. One of the benefits of having a class like this is we can teach social skills, and as teachers, we don't get insulted when kids correct us.

I get these kids, because I am these kids. I teach the way I would have loved to be taught. This is redemption. It's my way of giving back and making it right.

I was at the University of Maryland for two years. I took a semester off, then I applied to SAIC. I had to start over as a freshman and I was 21 years old. I didn't mind starting over because I finally found a school that was challenging and met my needs for information. I was learning about French poetry, different Eastern religions, Japanese art, African American film. I took a screenwriting class, fashion design, screen printing.

SAIC didn't have any grades; everything was pass/fail. For me, grades were my nemesis. I would work so hard and get Cs and I didn't feel like I deserved them. To not have the burden of grades, that was really the reason I went there.

I started to discover what I was good at. Finding my strengths was new for me. The more I learned about my own needs, the more I felt I could help other people. It was really interesting to find this out about myself. I was always so hard on myself: why am I saying this backward to people, or why I can't remember that thought that was in my head two seconds ago?

With GT/LD, it's almost like solving a puzzle. You have to get into their heads: do they think in pictures, in music, by talking to other people, by reading, by listening? There are so many modalities of learning for these kids. Once you solve it, it's smooth sailing.

They're incredibly intelligent. If they were dropped in a general education classroom, they might seem aloof or average or a behavior problem. But they come in here and it's like they found their people. Kids who were sad and resistant to doing anything now are talking about their interests; they're excited about coming to school. That's a huge deal.

These kids all have a need to be challenged. You need to have a personal relationship with them. If you don't show that you like them and want to get to know them, they will do nothing for you.

You have to prove to them that you are there to help and support them. They need to know that I know what they need.

These are the kids who are struggling with an aspect of school. They usually have good comprehension of ideas, but the output isn't there. There's a disconnect. But these are the kids who go home and want to learn more, who will do a project on their own that is beyond their years. Like learning the entire solar system or learning Latin when they're 7. Those are the ones who stand out as GT/LD.

I don't really watch TV or follow pop culture, but I do love documentaries. I'm watching a series right now on Alzheimer's, which is fascinating. I prefer reading. I was fortunate to marry someone with similar interests and a really smart guy. We enjoy learning together; we go to museums. We love national parks and hiking. We snowboard together.

My husband Adam is a firefighter and a paraeducator at [Roberto] Clemente Middle School.

For about four years, I've also been an adjunct professor at Towson University. I teach classroom management to undergrads at Towson. I also tutor kids who are struggling in school.

I have some goals in mind. There are a few things I've invented that I would like to patent. I'd like to write a couple books. Advocating for kids or advocating for teachers is the one thing I feel I'm really good at. I can't see myself wanting to do anything else for a career because that is what drives me.


Rock Terrace School Supports Student Success

Rock Terrace School provides special education services for students who range in age from 11-21 years, with a wide range of cognitive disabilities. The school provides collaborative and comprehensive educational services. The school helps each child thrive and promotes the advancement of each student's highest potential to access and interact with the surrounding community, access post-secondary academic options, and obtain and retain employment.

Rock Terrace School


Student Voices


Esmerelda in the SEPA Program

Students Engaged in Pathways to Achievement (SEPA) Program

When Esmeralda migrated to the United States to be with her father, she didn't have much confidence that she would succeed in school. But thanks to the SEPA program, she is engaged in school and defining her own future.

The Students Engaged in Pathways to Achievement program (SEPA) is a career-based instructional program for Spanish-speaking high school ESOL students who have experienced interrupted or limited formal education.


Marisela in the ACES Program

Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) Program

Montgomery Blair graduate Marisela is attending college to study Elementary Education thanks to her hard work in high school and the support of her ACES coach who mentored her and helped her find scholarship money to pay for all four years.

Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success, or ACES, is a collaborative program that seeks to create a seamless pathway from high school to college completion. A collaboration among MCPS, Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove, ACES will focus on identifying and supporting students who come from backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education and those who are the first in their family to attend college.

Human Capital Management

As a vibrant community of more than 22,000 employees, we recognize that nothing is more essential to a great education system than great educators. Our success today and in the future requires us to recruit, retain and develop the best employees in public education. Every day, a team of MCPS employees work tirelessly on behalf of our children and support our core purpose: preparing all students to thrive in their future.

Core Strategy III - Human Capital Management

At MCPS, we recognize that our success today and in the future requires us to recruit, retain, and develop the best employees in public education.

Focus areas

  • RECRUIT AND RETAIN a highly qualified teacher workforce that is reflective of the diversity of our student population.
  • IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATIONS, maintain and improve the MCPS Professional Growth Systems to foster continuous improvement in our employees and provide pathways for growth and advancement.


Increasing the Diversity of Our Teacher Workforce

MCPS is committed to building a workforce that reflects and enhances the diversity of our schools and holds the collective believe that all students can learn at high levels. That is why we launched a new initiative that aims to improve the recruitment, selection, development and retention of diverse teachers.

The Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative, which is the result of collaboration across the system including the three employee associations, is focused on making rapid and significant changes to increase the diversity of the workforce. Our district is actively recruiting high-quality teachers, including teachers of color and others with backgrounds, skills and experiences that are underrepresented in the current workforce, such as those who are multilingual.

We believe that our students need to experience the rich variety of perspectives that comes from having a diverse teaching force. A more diverse workforce will strengthen the outstanding work MCPS does every day to build supportive learning communities and prepare our 156,000 students to succeed and thrive in our increasingly global world.

Learn more about the Teacher Diversity Initiative:
Visit the TeachMCPS Website
Read the Strategic Plan



The TeachMCPS.org website aims to improve the recruitment, selection, development and retention of diverse teachers.



National Board Certification

MCPS leads the state for the number of National Board-certified teachers.

Did You Know?

MCPS has more than 700 educators that have achieved certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)! MCPS leads the state in the number of National Board-certified teachers and is ranked eighth in the top 30 districts for the total number of Board-certified educators.

National Board Certification, a voluntary program established by NBPTS, is achieved through a performance-based assessment that typically takes more than a year to complete. It is designed to measure what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The process requires teachers to demonstrate how their activities, both inside and outside the classroom, strengthen student performance and contribute to student achievement.

Educators earn National Board Certification after completing a series of assessments that include teaching portfolios, student work samples, videotapes, and rigorous analyses of their classroom teaching and student learning. Candidates also complete a series of written exercises that probe the depth of their subject-matter knowledge and their understanding of how to teach those subjects to their students.


Inspiring Students to Pursue Careers in Education

The Student to Educator Pathway (STEP) program is a new initiative designed to support the overarching vision of increasing the workforce diversity within MCPS by providing early training, mentorship and financial support to MCPS students who are interested in a career in education and desire to teach in MCPS upon college graduation. The STEP program provides support to a cohort of MCPS high school seniors through college, and equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to be experts in the field of education, as well as instructional leaders in MCPS.


Betty Collins, 2015 MCPS Dr. Edward Shirley Award Winner

Learn more about Betty Collins, recipient of the 2014-2015 Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision. Collins, an educator for 47 years, was honored for her commitment to student learning and strong support for the professional growth of school-based administration. Collins also was recognized for the instrumental role she has played in enhancing the capacity of leaders in central office.

Community Engagement

In Montgomery County Public Schools, we work in partnership with dozens of community organizations to provide resources, services and opportunities that help us fulfil our mission to prepare all students to thrive in their future. Through close collaboration with partners we are able to offer academic enrichment after school, greater health and social services, exposure to the arts and so much more. In 2015, we continued to expand and deepen our partnership work to meet the needs of our growing, diverse student population.

Core Strategy IV: Community Engagement

MCPS is committed to working with its community partners and engaging families in order to support the achievement of its students.

Focus areas

  • SUSTAIN AND EXPAND existing partnerships that meet the in-school and out-of-school needs of students and families, including Linkages to Learning, the Kennedy Cluster Project, and Excel Beyond the Bell.
  • BUILD COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TEAMS that develop community leadership capacity, enhance and expand partnerships, and help meet the needs of students and families in our schools.
  • FACILITATE TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION with parents, students, employees, and community members using a wide array of tools to engage and inform.
  • IN PARTNERSHIP WITH COMMUNITYWIDE ORGANIZATIONS, engage, support, and inform families and community members, providing opportunities for them to advocate and interact directly with their schools.


Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity

MCPS is committed to a culture of respect and equity that embraces the diversity of our community and ensures that every student has the opportunity to succeed and thrive. Part of that commitment is making sure our students have the right to express their religious beliefs and practices, free from discrimination, bullying, or harassment. That's why MCPS created a new resource for families—the Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity. MCPS worked closely with members of the Montgomery County Executive's Faith Community Working Group and other stakeholders to create this guide that puts information about Board of Education policies and MCPS regulations and procedures about this topic into one easy to use resource. The guidelines are available in eight languages.

Read the Guidelines for Respecting Diversity

Watch the interfaith community liaison for Montgomery County discuss respect for religious diversity.


MCPS Students Experience the Arts at Imagination Stage

More than 3,000 third grade students from 27 Title I schools recently attended a free performance of "101 Dalmatians" at Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Maryland. MCPS and Imagination Stage launched a partnership in 2014 to provide thousands of MCPS students with an opportunity to experience the arts. PNC Bank and GEICO are lead sponsors of the partnership.


Hundreds Attend Family Market Day at Greencastle ES

More than 250 people attended the MCPS Family Market Day on August 22 at Greencastle Elementary School. Families received free, healthy food items, and MCPS staff, county agencies and nonprofit agencies were on hand to answer questions and connect families to important services and programs. At least 30 other market days are expected to be held this year.


Gonzalo Quiroga

Gonzalo Quiroga
ESOL Parent Community Coordinator

I always thought at some point I would be working with young people.

Five Questions with Gonzalo Quiroga, ESOL Parent Community Coordinator

Gonzalo Quiroga was born in Bolivia and came to the U.S. when he was 2 years old. Raised in Wheaton and Kensington, he dreamed of becoming a police officer. He graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney.

"I wanted to be a police officer; I thought I would become a detective," he says. "I always thought at some point I would be working with young people."

Today, he is, though he left the dream of police work behind after marrying and starting a family. For the last decade, he has worked as an ESOL parent community coordinator, a position that calls on him to offer a variety of supports to ESOL students and their families.

I've been with MCPS since October 2002; I got hired right after the sniper incident. I got hired as a security assistant at Walter Johnson [High School.] My wife was with MCPS as a secretary at White Oak [Middle School]; she got hired right after 9-11. She's the one who said, 'I think you'd be good working security. I was working for a debt consolidation company at the time. We had a lot of lawsuits coming in; you could see the writing on the wall.

I worked for 10 years with Sears at Montgomery Mall, the last five years of those I had done security. I had gotten into the police academy and they had done a six-month background investigation. But I had gotten married and we were expecting our first child, so I left the academy. I never worked as a police officer. That was always a goal for me coming out of college—to work as a police officer or as a special agent for the government. When you're single, you think 'I can do anything I want.' But when you have a kid, you think, 'Is it going to be the lifestyle that you want for your family?'

I did security at WJ [Walter Johnson] for three years. I left in 2005 to become a parent community coordinator. That's another case of my spouse looking out for me. She saw it and said she thought I'd be good at it. I applied. The first time around, I was interviewed but I didn't get the job. After another employee left a few months later, it came open again and I reapplied. I interviewed and they hired me.

As a PCC, my director always says the ESOL families are the neediest. We work with some families that don't know how to navigate the school system. Some families are newly arrived and they may need outside resources. We find out what they need and refer them; we help them submit the forms they need to fill out. Sometimes, they need food or diapers. Sometimes, they need clothing or healthcare. Most of my work is with Spanish-speaking families.

I'm assigned to four schools—Sligo Middle, Gaithersburg High, Martin Luther King Middle and Richard Montgomery High School. At these schools, the Spanish population is high, but we have people from other parts of the world as well. I often have to get the interpretation people to help me out in Amharic, French and some Farsi.

There are 15 ESOL PCCs. We have 13 ESOL counselors based at Rocking Horse Road Center, and six ESOL counselors who are school-based.

The official process we have is by referral; a teacher or counselor will come to me with a student who's having problems, and I will work on it. But I tell teachers sometimes to just send me an email and give me the student's name. If it's something simple like an attendance issue, I will call the parent and find out what's happening. Kids sometimes share things with me, too.

At Sligo, I run a Latino boys' group. We meet twice a month; the big topic we've been discussing all year is bullying. It's to prevent them from bullying, but also to keep them from being bullied. The other part is if they see it, to report it, not to be a bystander.

I've seen a big change in the students from the beginning of the year to end of the year. Consistently, I have eight kids who come; sometimes there are more than 10. The school brought the idea of the group to me, and this is the second year we've done it. They've become like my foster sons now. If they're goofing off, I just need to look at them and they will stop.

The biggest part of the job is making sure the children come to school. Sometimes they don't because their parent has a job early in the morning and there's no one there to supervise them and get them to school. We also help them to get good grades; we let them know if they need to stay after school for tutoring or we'll suggest they visit a teacher at lunchtime. You have to show them how to do better.

We work to educate parents on what's available for their child to do better. Sometimes, it does take a meeting with parents or three or four calls before the student does what they're supposed to do, like if they're not coming to class or their grades are dropping. Sometimes, the student doesn't have the support at home. We'll do home visits or get the parent to come to school so the teacher can meet with us.

Mondays, I go to Sligo Middle School; Tuesdays to Gaithersburg High School; Wednesdays to Richard Montgomery, and Thursdays to Martin Luther King [Middle School.] I'm there most of the day, but it's flexible if I have a meeting I need to be in at a different school. In the 10 years I've been doing this, RM is the only school that's consistently been in my schedule. They know me pretty well.

Many of the families we work with are reunification families. The parents have been here already, but left the child at 2 or 3 years old with an aunt or grandparent. They've been working five or 10 years now and they want the child to come to the U.S. They make arrangements, the child comes here and the child hasn't seen them in years; they don't know who this person is. They don't always get together like you would think a parent and child would. They have to create a relationship, and that's hard.

There have been difficult cases and difficult times. There are two cases I can recall. We had a young lady whose dad was abusive to her. She was 18. One day, I get a call that she's left home and is here outside the school. The ESOL counselor and I worked to get her services at the Crisis Center and in court. She finished school, went to Montgomery College and now has a job. It's because of the supports we had here in place. She still calls me around the holidays. It breaks your heart. I have daughters and I cannot imagine. But sometimes you have to step back and say 'This is a job; I have to be the support she needs,' and do your job.

The toughest thing I had to deal with was burying a student. We had three young men going home after a practice. They were driving; it was raining. The driver lost control of the car and two of the three died. One died on impact; the other died at the hospital a couple days later. One family said they were OK, but the other parent was a single mom who didn't know what steps to take. You have to be the strong person. We went to the house and helped her with what she had to do. When I heard this young man had died, I just remembered him sitting with me in the library doing an assignment just a few days before.

Those things … they stick with you.

I always think about the police work I was never able to complete. But the one career that maybe I wish I was able to do is going into politics. I would have loved to go into that. Not necessarily being an elected official, but working for a senator or a congressman advising and being behind the scenes.

I have four kids—Jack, he's 16 years old, a sophomore at Seneca Valley High School; Sean, who's in 7th grade at Roberto Clemente; Caroline, who's in 5th grade at McAuliffe Elementary, and Grace, my baby, who's almost eight months.

My daughter has dance; one of my sons do lacrosse. Five or six years ago, a friend of mine and I started coaching a basketball team, a rec team. It got bigger and bigger. Now, it's an AAU team, the Germantown Heat. We have 6th and 7th grade teams. I'm the assistant coach.

We start a fall [basketball] league and go into the winter. The AAU tournament season starts in the spring and will end in mid-July. When we travel, the whole family goes.

Jack and I have a shared love of the movies. We go every weekend. We love TV too, like the Walking Dead. We have a passion for crime drama.

This job can be stressful. I'm an avid runner. I try to run three miles three times a week. I did the Marine Corps Marathon in 1999. After I did it, I said I will never do that again. I gave up running for three or four years; it took so much out of me. I still remember the pain. I've come back to it now and I enjoy it; I just don't do the 10 to 15 miles anymore.

Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement

World-class Services for a World-class System

Montgomery County Public Schools has been nationally recognized for its outstanding operations and services to students. We provide the highest quality business operations and support services that are essential to the educational success of all students. We engage collaboratively and respectfully with all partners, building a self-renewing learning community that reflects our values. As a district, we remain highly committed to continuous improvement and consistently use data from local, state, and national assessments and other sources to evaluate programs and services; guide school and office improvement efforts; and develop a values-based, needs-driven budget.

Our commitment to operational excellence allows us to safely transport up to 100,000 students to and from school each morning; serve 15 million school meals during the school year; clean and maintain 202 schools; and make sure our teachers have the materials and supplies they need. Over the past 10 years, MCPS has opened more than 100 construction projects , adding much-needed classroom space throughout the district. These projects have been delivered on time and on budget. Many of our paraprofessionals work directly with teachers and staff to deliver instruction and provide vital services to students with disabilities or those who need to learn English. Organizational Effectiveness is the foundation of excellence in MCPS!

See How we Measure Organizational Effectiveness  

Operational Excellence

Did You Know?

MCPS was named a Gold Medal school system for 14 consecutive years by Expansion Management magazine as a measure of the attractiveness of the school system to the business community.

Core Strategy V - Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement

As a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, MCPS has a long-standing commitment to operational excellence and continuous improvement.

Focus areas

  • USE A BALDRIGE-GUIDED PROCESS to build and maintain world-class services to schools, ensuring efficient and timely operations; secure and modern facilities; and nurturing, 21st century learning environments.
  • USE DATA from local, state, and national assessments and other sources to evaluate programs and services; guide school and office improvement efforts; and develop a values-based, needs-driven budget.
  • PROVIDE INCREASED OPPORTUNITIES for collaboration among educators and staff using the myMCPS portal and other tools.


Touring and Tasting at New Central Kitchen

Providing students with nutritious food options is an essential to component in our educational efforts at MCPS. Research indicates that students are more focused and perform better after a healthy meal. From gluten-free to vegetarian to kosher and halal options, our schools offer a wide array of foods to accommodate the needs of our diverse student body. More than 800 employees are dedicated to ensuring our students receive nutritious meals and snacks every day.

In 2015, MCPS opened a 77,000 square-foot state-of-the-art central production facility in Gaithersburg. This new facility, which boasts a 7,200 square-foot garden, provides the staff from the Division of Food and Nutrition Services with the space and resources necessary to prepare meals for the students across the county.


Northwest HS

Northwest HS Named a National Green Ribbon School

The Germantown school is among 58 winning schools from across the nation.

Environmental Stewardship in MCPS

MCPS has a comprehensive districtwide program to reduce the environmental footprint of its facilities, including recycling initiatives, energy conservation efforts and a commitment to green construction practices in all building projects. We teach our students the value of protecting our natural resources and being good stewards of the environment.

Northwest High School was selected as a recipient of the 2015 U.S. Green Ribbon Schools Award. The Green Ribbon Schools Award program, established in 2011, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.

Four other MCPS schools have received the national Green Ribbon Schools Award since its inception in 2012: Travilah Elementary School in 2014, Cedar Grove and Summit Hall elementary schools in 2013, and Francis Scott Key Middle School in 2012. MCPS also was selected as the recipient of the District Sustainability Award in 2013, which recognizes school systems that demonstrate a comprehensive approach to sustainability.



Argyle Paraeducator Named Supporting Services Employee of the Year

Lisa Bligen, a special education paraeducator at Argyle Middle School, was named the 2015 Supporting Services Employee of the Year. Bligen was instrumental in helping Argyle improve its school climate with students and staff. She analyzed data, led meetings with the instructional focus team, and worked tirelessly with the administration, SEIU members, teachers and staff to create plans to improve outcomes. As a result, the school has seen its Gallup Staff Engagement data improve markedly in the last three years.

Her commitment to students extends beyond her time in the classroom. For 10 years, she has been a lead instructor and trainer for other staff members at the George B. Thomas Learning Academy. She is a true ambassador for the program, even creating modifications so that all students can access the course. She completed a graduate certificate program in bilingual special education and has also been studying Spanish to be able to reach more of her students and their parents.

Read More


Employee Code of Conduct

An Exceptional MCPS Workforce

MCPS is strongly committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism.

Employee Code of Conduct

We have an exceptional workforce in MCPS that is strongly committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism. However, as a district committed to the Malcolm Baldrige principles of performance excellence and continuous improvement, we know that we can always improve our operational processes. The creation of the new Employee Code of Conduct was an effort to make clearer the expectations of employees in how we work together to ensure the safety and well-being of all MCPS students, employees, and the broader community.

The Employee Code of Conduct provides a general overview of the legitimate expectations and standards of conduct that MCPS and the broader community expect employees to follow in carrying out their important part of the district's mission. The Code of Conduct also summarizes the disciplinary procedures that MCPS uses to address situations where employees fall short of system expectations and standards of conduct.

Read the Employee Code of Conduct


Operating Budget

Public education is a priority in Montgomery County and our schools have always been a source of civic pride. This belief is reflected in the investment our citizens have made in our schools over the years—even in difficult economic times. MCPS has always worked to ensure its operations are as efficient as possible to ensure that every dollar entrusted to us is used wisely for the more than 156,000 students we serve.

More than 80 cents of every dollar in the MCPS budget is spent on classroom instruction and another 14 cents is spent on support services for our schools that ensure the needs of our students are met. Our employees are our strength and that is why more than 90 cents of every dollar in the MCPS budget is spent on our outstanding teachers, support staff, and administrators.

Challenging economic times since 2008 have made new investment in education difficult and, as a result, MCPS has cut more than 1,800 positions since 2009. At the same time, MCPS has continued to grow by more than 17,000 students since 2009. The budget has grown slightly each year simply to keep up with this growth and manage the ongoing cost of doing business.

To help the community better understand the MCPS budget and the factors that drive it, MCPS created a new tool called Budget 101 in 2015. This tool shows how schools are staffed and more fully explains how difficult economic times have impacted the budget.

Visit the Budget 101 Website

Learn more about the MCPS Operating Budget

Where the Money Comes From and Where It Goes

FY 2015 Revenue

Where the Money Comes From

FY 2015 Expenditures

Where the Money Goes

Capital Budget

Capital Improvements Program

Montgomery County Public Schools is not only the largest school district Maryland, it is also one of the fastest growing school districts in the state and across the nation. MCPS has grown by more than 18,900 students since 2007 and expects to add more than 10,000 new students by 2021. This record pace of growth is creating tremendous demand for additional classroom space even though MCPS has added more than 1,200 new classrooms over the last 10 years. MCPS has added more than 14,000 seats to accommodate enrollment increases but it has not been enough to keep pace with this growth.

The most rapid growth has been at the elementary level for the last several years and these students have started moving into middle school and high school. As a result, many middle and high schools will quickly become overutilized within the next six years. By the 2020–2021 school year, middle school enrollment is projected to increase by approximately 4,800 students and high school enrollment by approximately 5,900 students—enough to fill four middle and three high schools.

The current approved Fiscal Year 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program totals $1.544 billion and is primarily funded by Montgomery County, with critical support coming from the state as well. In recent years, budget challenges have required much needed projects to be delayed as available funding from the county and the state has not kept pace with demand for school construction.

In 2015, the Board of Education adopted a new six-year Capital Improvements Program totaling $1.728 billion in an effort to both catch up with the demands of a growing student enrollment and to keep with the many maintenance needs of the district. A final Capital Improvements Program will be decided in spring 2016.

Learn more about the Capital Improvements Program

Measuring Our Success

MCPS and individual schools monitor a variety of student performance data to assess progress and improve outcomes for all children. The five districtwide milestones measure selected data along a student's educational journey to measure the progress of the district. In addition, MCPS monitors a variety of operational data to measure the efficiencies of the district's support operations.

MCPS has used performance targets over the years to assess district performance. The targets were updated in 2015 for the 2015-16 school year.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)

Reading for Grades 3, 5, 8 and Math for Grade 5

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) uses the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to monitor system performance in reading and mathematics. Computer-based, adaptive tests, data from the MAP assessments has been used for several years to inform instruction and diagnostically determine areas of improvement for students. The 2013-14 school year served as baseline for the district because a new version of MAP aligned to the Common Core State Standards was administered. During the 2015-2016 school year, the district modified targets for MAP to be better aligned with PARCC. Data below represent the percent of students meeting the new target of the 60th national percentile in the content area.    Read More

Overall reading performance in 2014-2015 indicates 55.8 percent of Grade 3 students, 61.7 percent of Grade 5 students, and 62.5 percent of Grade 8 students met or exceeded the 60th national percentile. Similar to performance observed last year, differences within ethnic/racial categories as well as students receiving special services existed at each grade level. For Grade 3, the percent of students meeting at least the 60th national percentile spanned from 75.4 percent for Asian students to 32.2 percent for Hispanic/Latino students. Slight decreases were observed for students receiving services compared to last year - ranging from 0.2 point decrease to 5.3 point decrease. More specifically, 30.4 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services (FARMS), 19.4 percent of students who received special education services and 28.0 percent of students identified as limited English proficient met or exceeded the 60th national percentile.

In Grade 5, 61.7 percent of students met or exceeded the 60th national percentile an increase from 2014 (1.4 points). One-year increases were observed for all racial/ethnic groups and students receiving FARMS, special education services, and identified as LEP. A 0.7 point decrease was revealed for Grade 8 students meeting or exceeded the 60th national percentile (from 63.2 percent in 2014 to 62.5 percent in 2015). Increases were observed for Asian students and students identified as two or more races (2.5 point increase, and 0.4 point increase, respectively). Decreases for other groups ranged from a low of 0.4 points for white students to a high of 2.5 points for students identified as LEP.

MAP Mathematics is administered to grade 5 students. In 2014-15, 54.8 percent of all students met or exceeded the 60th national percentile (1.8 point increase compared to 2014). Increases were observed for most racial/ethnic groups, except those identified as two or more races who saw a 3.6 point decrease. Among Grade 5 students, 79.1 percent of Asian students, 35.2 percent of Black or African American students, 30.4 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 74.6 percent of White students, and 63.8 percent of students identified as Two or More Races successfully met or exceeded the 60th national percentile. Moreover, 28.9 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 16.2 percent of students who received special education services, and 26.6 percent of students identified as limited English proficient met or exceeded the 60th national percentile.

Algebra 1 by Grade 8

The Algebra 1 milestone is based on the successful completion of the course with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 8.

Improving participation in algebra during middle school has been a national focus for many years. Research shows that taking algebra in 8th grade opens opportunities to take higher level math in high school. The Algebra 1 milestone is based on the successful completion of the course with a grade of C or higher for all students enrolled in grade 8 by the end of the year. In the 2014-2015 school year, 51.5 percent of grade 8 students successfully completed Algebra 1 with a C or higher (a decrease of 4 percentage points compared to 2014).    Read More

From 2013 to 2015, the percent of successful completion of Algebra 1 by the end of Grade 8 at all middle schools decreased by 7.6 percentage points for all students (59.1% to 51.5%, respectively). Further examination of successful completion for the 2014-2015 school year by student reveal 76.0 percent of Asian students, 32.3 percent of Black or African American students, 28.4 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 69.6 percent of White students, and 63.9 percent of students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed Algebra 1 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 8. Additionally, 24.5 percent of students who received free and reduced priced meals, 11.2 percent of students who received special education services, and 14.0 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed Algebra 1 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 8.

Grade 9 English

The Grade 9 English milestone is based on the successful completion of an English course with a grade of C or higher.

MCPS graduation requirements include earning four credits of English. The courses in the English curriculum are rigorous in order to prepare students to become college and career ready. This milestone - successful completion of an English course in Grade 9 with a C or higher - is a strong indicator of how well a student will perform throughout high school.

In the 2014-2015 school year, 78.5 percent of Grade 9 students successfully completed a credit-bearing English course with a C or higher.    Read More

From 2014 to 2015, the rate for successful completion of an English course by students in Grade 9 increased by 2.3 percentage points for all students (76.2 percent to 78.5 percent). Increases of 4.9 and 4.5 points were seen for both Hispanic/Latino and Black or African American students compared to 2014, respectively. For the 2014-2015 school year, 92.0 percent of Asian students, 69.7 percent of Black or African American students, 90.9 percent of White students, 64.3 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, and 83.8 percent of Grade 9 students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed an English course with a grade of C or higher. Additionally, 61.9 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 57.5 percent of students who received special education services, and 61.3 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed an English course with a grade of C or higher in Grade 9.

Grade 9 Mathematics

The Grade 9 Mathematics milestone is based on the successful completion of a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher.

In order to be promoted to Grade 10, students in Grade 9 must earn a certain number of credits. Our strategic priorities have focused on the importance of mathematics for MCPS students. It is recognized that skills earned in mathematics prepare students for not only being competitive in a global economy, but also are related to postsecondary education. The Grade 9 Mathematics milestone is based on the successful completion of a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher.

In the 2014-2015 school year, 71.3 percent of Grade 9 students successfully completed a high school mathematics course with a C or higher (a 1.8 point increase compared to 2014). Read More

For the 2014-2015 school year, 88.5 percent of Asian students, 59.8 percent of Black or African American students, 86.5 percent of White students, 54.1 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, and 76.3 percent of Grade 9 students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher. Also, 52.0 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 45.9 percent of students who received special education services, and 50.9 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed a mathematics course with a grade of C or higher in Grade 9.

Grade 9 Ineligibility

The Grade 9 ineligibility milestone focuses on the percent of grade 9 students who were ineligible 3 or 4 marking periods during the school year.

Participation in certain extracurricular activities at the high school level require academic eligibility for participation. In order to be eligible for these activities, students must maintain a marking period average of 2.0 or higher and fail no more than one course per marking period. Students who do not meet these academic standards are ineligible to participate in some extracurricular activities during the subsequent marking period. The Grade 9 ineligibility milestone focuses on the percent of grade 9 students who were chronically ineligible — those students ineligible 3 or 4 marking periods — during the 2014-2015 school year.

In the 2014–2015 school year, 12.8 percent of all MCPS grade 9 students were chronically ineligible. Read More

Racial/ethnic group examination of this milestone reveals that less than 5 percent of Asian, 18.9 percent of Black or African American, 23.9 percent of Hispanic/Latino, less than 5 percent of White, and 7.8 percent of grade 9 students identified as two or more races were chronically ineligible during the 2014-2015 school year. For students receiving services, 25.1 percent of grade 9 students who received free and reduced priced meals, 30.1 percent of grade 9 students who received special education services, and 21.1 percent of grade 9 students identified as limited English proficient were chronically ineligible during the 2014-2015 school year.

Algebra 2 by Grade 11

The Algebra 2 milestone is based on the successful completion of the course with a C or higher by the end of Grade 11.

Students who successful completion of Algebra 2 during high school has been found in research, both nationally and within MCPS, to indicate less likelihood to need remediation upon entry to college and more likely to enroll in college, remain in college, and earn a bachelor's degree. Algebra 2 is one of the required high school courses for college admission in the University System of Maryland and many other colleges.

The Algebra 2 milestone is based on the successful completion of the course (C or higher) by the end of Grade 11. In the 2014-2015 school year, 65.7 percent of eligible students successfully achieved this milestone. Read More

From 2013 to 2015, the rate for successful completion of Algebra 2 by the end of Grade 11 increased by 1.9 percentage points for all students (63.8 percent to 65.7 percent). For the 2014-2015 school year, 83.6 percent of Asian students, 49.5 percent of Black or African American students, 44.8 percent of Hispanic/Latino students, 79.2 percent of White students, and 72.7 percent of students identified as Two or More Races successfully completed Algebra 2 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 11. Additionally, 43.9 percent of students who received Free and Reduced-price Meal System services, 27.8 percent of students who received special education services, and 39.6 percent of students identified as limited English proficient successfully completed Algebra 2 with a grade of C or higher by the end of Grade 11.

Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs

The district milestone focuses on the percentage of graduates who earn AP exam scores of 3 or higher or IB exam scores of 4 or higher.

The Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams are used as indicators to measure student readiness for college-level work and are used by colleges for possible course credit and advanced placement. Students who earn AP exam scores of 3 or higher or IB exam scores of 4 or higher may receive college credit or advanced placement upon entry to college. The district milestone focuses on the percent of MCPS graduates who met these benchmarks during the school year.

Of the 10,353 graduates in the MCPS Class of 2015, 52.6 percent earned a score of 3 or higher on at least one AP exam or 4 or higher on at least one IB exam, a slight decrease of 0.3 points from 2013.    Read More

Among racial/ethnic subgroups and service groups of graduates, an increase in the percentage of graduates who earned at least one AP exam score of 3 or higher or at least one IB exam score of 4 or higher was observed for African American students (3.5 point increase), Hispanic/Latino students (1.0 point increase), white students (1.2 point increase), and students identified as two or more races (0.9 point increase). Slight decreases were observed for Asian students (1.3 point decrease), students receiving free and reduced priced meals (1.8 point decrease), and students identified as limited English proficient (2.7 point decrease) in 2015 compared to rates for 2013.

SAT/ACT Performance

The district milestone focuses on the percentage of graduates who earned a combined score at or above 1650 on the SAT or a composite score at or above 24 on the ACT.

The SAT and ACT are measures of student readiness for college-level work. This milestone highlights the percent of graduate test takers who earned a combined score at or above 1650 out of a possible 2400 points on the three SAT subtests: critical reading, mathematics, and writing or a composite score at or above 24 out of a possible 36 points on the four ACT subtests: English, mathematics, social science, and biology. The SAT/ACT performance rate for MCPS graduate test takers decreased from 53.1 percent in 2013 to 52.7 percent in 2015.    Read More

All racial/ethnic groups improved their rates (0.2 to 2.6 percentage points) of meeting college readiness benchmarks from 2013 to 2015, with the rate being highest for Black or African American students. Rates for graduates who received FARMS remained relatively steady from 2013 to 2015 (17.5 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively). Rates of meeting college readiness benchmarks for students receiving special education services in the Class of 2015, decreased 1.9 points compared with their peers in the Class of 2013. From 2013 to 2015, the rate of meeting college readiness benchmark scores for LEP graduates increased 1.9 percentage points.

4 Year Graduation Rate

This district milestone focuses on the number of students who graduated from high school in four years.

The MCPS graduation rate for the 2014-2015 school year was 89.4 percent, a slight decrease from the previous year. During the past three years, the graduation rate has risen 3 percent. Students receiving Free and Reduced-price Meals demonstrated the largest three-year improvement with an increase of 5.4 percent. Black/African American students and Hispanic/Latino students had a 4.5 and 3.0 percent increase, respectively. MCPS has exceeded this year's four-year cohort graduation rate Annual Measurable Objective by 1.3 percentage points for all students.

Organizational Effectiveness

Measuring our Commitment to Operational Excellence

Organizational effectiveness in Montgomery County Public Schools is demonstrated in several different ways. It is shown through our direct service to schools and students; our adherence to sound financial practices; our commitment to environmental stewardship; and how we hire, retain, and develop the best staff in public education. Measuring our success in these key areas is an important part of our ongoing effort to support the success of our students and demonstrates our dedication to continuous improvement.