Board of Education Discusses Recovery of Education; Receives Update on Student Arrest Data and the School Resource Officer Program; Discusses Recommended Positions on Legislation; and Approves Association Agreements

January 22, 2021

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a virtual business meeting on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.  During the meeting, the Board received an update on the Return to School Framework and voted to delay the return of small groups of students to in-person learning; received an update on student arrest data and the School Resource Officer Program; and approved association agreements for the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals and the Service Employees International Union Local 500.

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

Watch the recording of the January 12, 2021, meeting.

Return to School Framework

The Board received an update and voted to delay the start of returning small groups of students for in-person instruction from February 1, 2021, to March 15, 2021, on the condition that health metrics are met or health guidance is adjusted as a result of vaccine distribution. The COVID-19 new case rate and test positivity in the county remain significantly above the thresholds adopted by the county and state. During the meeting, MCPS staff shared several improvements that will be made in the coming weeks that will improve the learning experiences for all students, with a focus on the secondary level. These improvements include:

  • Focused outreach services for struggling students
  • Greater use of the Wednesday virtual check-in day for students who need academic and social-emotional support
  • At the secondary level, providing opportunities to request an abbreviated schedule to lighten course load and take a course over the summer or in future semesters instead
  • Relaxing restrictions to allow students to take up to two courses Credit/No Credit (also known as Pass/Fail) instead of a letter grade
  • Providing additional instructional times that may involve Saturdays, including for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses
  • Tutoring and homework help options
  • Providing additional professional development for staff to help strengthen the virtual learning experience

The Board will meet again on Feb. 23, 2021, to determine if metrics can be met by March 15 for a safe return to in-person learning.

View the PowerPoint Presentation

Read the Resolution on the Delay of Return to In-Person Learning

Read the Resolution on the Extension of the Academic Eligibility Suspension

Student Arrest Data and the Student Resource Officer Program

At its meeting on June 11, 2020, the Board of Education directed school district administration to “explore and benchmark alternative discipline programs and processes used to handle school-based incidents used by similarly situated school districts that have opted for ‘adequate local law enforcement’ coverage or other alternatives as opposed to implementing a School Resource Officer (SRO) program in school buildings.” A work group was convened with the charge to analyze and evaluate all aspects of the current SRO program. The SRO Work Group comprised stakeholders throughout Montgomery County. This included representation by students, parents/guardians, community organizations, the Montgomery County Police Department and other municipalities, the Montgomery County Juvenile Services Department, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, and state and local officials who are associated directly with the Montgomery County program and others across the state.

The current SRO program supports all 25 high schools and 1 alternative program in Montgomery County. Members of the SRO Work Group offered 17 tentative recommendations for the Board of Education to consider in order to meet the “adequate local law enforcement coverage” mandate of the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018. After receiving the update from MCPS staff and discussing the current findings, the Board voted to extend its review of the SRO program and asked MCPS staff to review key data and solicit additional feedback from MCPS students, staff, and families on the program. Final recommendations on the future of the SRO program are to be brought to the Board by May 2021.

Read the Memorandum to the Board

View the PowerPoint Presentation

Positions on Educational Legislation

The Board discussed legislation that will be considered by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2021 Maryland legislative session that could impact Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The bills have been analyzed to determine any impact on MCPS, as well as whether or not they are consistent with the legislative annual priorities that were adopted by the Board at its November 10, 2020, Board business meeting.

Read the Memorandum to the Board

Approval of Association Agreements

The Board approved the negotiated agreement for the period of September 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023, for the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals and the Service Employees International Union Local 500.

Facilities and Construction

The Board approved the preliminary plans report for the Woodlin Elementary School major capital project. The Board also awarded a contract for the John F. Kennedy High School addition project.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on Thursday, January 28, 2021.  The virtual format of this meeting will continue, given the current COVID-19 crisis.  The agenda is subject to change. Please check the Board of Education website and meeting calendar for further information. 

About the Board of Education
The 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. Brenda Wolff, president; Ms. Karla Silvestre, vice president.  Members: Dr. Judith Docca, Mrs. Shebra Evans, Mrs. Lynne Harris, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Nicholas Asante, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030. 







<<Back to browse