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Board of Education Receives Update on Districtwide Boundary Analysis; Takes Action on Policy JEE; and Discusses Elementary and Secondary Curriculum
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Thursday, January 9, 2020, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board received an update and held a discussion on the districtwide boundary analysis; held a discussion on the rollout of new elementary and secondary curriculum; took action on Policy JEE, Student Transfers; and discussed items of legislation.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Districtwide Boundary Analysis
The Board received an update and held a discussion on the ongoing districtwide boundary analysis. The goal of the districtwide boundary analysis is to help MCPS better understand the impact existing boundaries have on school overcrowding, student diversity and proximity to school. During the presentation, the external consultants for the analysis, along with MCPS staff, reiterated the scope and purpose of the analysis; provided responses to frequently asked questions; and shared feedback from the community. The analysis will result in an interactive online tool and final report to the school system in June 2020.
You can learn more about the analysis at this webpage.
Read the joint letter from Board President Shebra L. Evans and Superintendent Jack R. Smith clarifying misconceptions about the analysis.
View the video of the presentation and discussion.
Elementary and Secondary Curriculum Update
The Board received an update and held a discussion on the implementation of new curricular and instructional materials in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics in Grades Pre-K-8. 83 elementary schools and 24 middle schools currently are implementing the new instructional materials as “Cohort 1” during the 2019–2020 school year. The remaining schools in MCPS are scheduled to begin implementation in the 2020–2021 school year. The implementation includes significant collaboration across central services to ensure smooth logistics, timely response to individual school needs, and strong communication and parent/guardian engagement. As challenges have surfaced, MCPS staff collaborated to develop both adaptive and technical solutions. Through continued engagement with schools, feedback on implementation is sought and ways to enhance supports to schools is continually identified and implemented. Additionally, reflection occurs continually on each element of curriculum implementation to continue to adapt, refine, and improve the progress as the system prepares for Cohort 2 schools in the 2020–2021 school year.
Read the memorandum to the Board.
Policy JEE, Student Transfers
The Board held a discussion and took action on Policy JEE, Student Transfers. Members of the Policy Management Committee (Committee) reviewed Board Policy JEE on November 19, 2018, June 12, 2019, September 12, 2019, and October 22, 2019. At its meeting on November 12, 2019, the Board tentatively adopted revised Policy JEE. The tentatively adopted policy and a one-page summary of the policy revisions were distributed for public comment from November 13 through December 18, 2019. A total of 535 comments were submitted from MCPS parents/guardians, students, MCPS staff, and Montgomery County community members. The comments reflected several common themes including siblings, immersion, children of staff, and change of school assignments (COSAs) related to boundaries. The Committee further discussed Board Policy JEE, on December 19, 2019. The Board voted to refer Policy JEE back to the Committee for further review at its January 27, 2020, meeting. In the event that the Committee determines that further substantive amendments to Policy JEE are necessary, it will present those recommended amendments to the full Board at its February 10, 2020, business meeting. If no further substantive amendments to Policy JEE are recommended, the Board directs that the policy be sent out for further public comment. Final approval and adoption of Policy JEE shall occur no later than June 11, 2020.
See the Policy
Positions on Educational Legislation
The Board discussed legislation that will be considered by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2020 Maryland legislative session.
Preliminary Plans Presentation for the DuFief Elementary School Addition/Facility Upgrade
The Board approved the preliminary plans for the DuFief Elementary School addition and facility upgrade project. The architect for the project prepared a schematic design and the school advisory committee for the project provided input for the proposed schematic design.
Read the resolution.
Fiscal Year 2021 Summer School Fees
The Board approved summer school fees for the coming summer, keeping the fees at the same level for Fiscal Year 2020. The Summer School Revenue-based Program fees remain at $300 for high school core courses, including online courses. Reduced fees will remain at $85 or $120, depending on family income.
Previous New Business Item
As a previous new business item at the December 3, 2019, Board meeting, Board members considered the following resolution at its January 3, 2020, meeting:
Resolved, That the Board of Education requests a Fiscal Year 2021 supplemental appropriation and amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021–2026 Capital Improvements Program in the amount of $200,000 for Planned Life-Cycle Asset Replacement (PLAR) to allow Montgomery County Public Schools to purchase and install at least one water bottle filling stations in all secondary schools that do not currently have any filling stations installed.
This resolution did not receive the five votes needed for passage.
The Board approved the following resolutions:
A resolution recognizing February 2020, as African American History Month;
A resolution recognizing February 3–7, 2020, as National School Counseling Week;
The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting Monday, February 10, 2020. Please check the Board of Education website and meeting calendar for further information.
About the Board of Education
The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.
Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, president; Ms. Brenda Wolff, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Ms. Karla Silvestre, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Nathaniel Tinbite, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.
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