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Board of Education Approves Timeline for Student Return; Receives Update on Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget; Approves Board Handbook Revision; Discusses Recommended Positions on Items of Legislation; and Takes Action on Board Policy IGS
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a virtual business meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. During the meeting, the Board approved a timeline for the return of students to in-person learning; received an update on the recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Operating Budget; approved revisions to the Board handbook; discussed recommended positions on items of legislation; and took final action on Policy IGS.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Watch the recording of the February 9, 2021, meeting.
Opening Schools in Recovery of Education
The Board received an update and held a discussion on MCPS’ plan for the return of students to in-person learning. MCPS staff provided an update on current health conditions in the county, optimal dates for the phases for students return and an overview of the planned instructional experiences. The Board voted to begin the safe return to in-person learning on March 1, 2021, starting with students in specific special education and Career and Technical Education programs. Additionally, the Board approved the phased return of students to in-person instruction beginning March 15, 2021. Families who selected virtual learning on the Preference Survey will not return to school buildings and can remain fully virtual. The Board also voted to adjust the 2020–2021 school calendar to make March 8 a non-instructional day in order for staff to finish the preparation of buildings and participate in professional development before students return.
Read the adopted resolution
View the PowerPoint Presentation
View the 2021 MCPS Recovery of Education Guide
Board Handbook Revision
The Board voted to amend the section of the Board Handbook pertaining to public comments during regular business meetings. The first ten speakers who sign up to provide public comments on agenda topics and the first five speakers who sign up to provide comments on non-agendas topics during the designated sign-up process will now be granted two minutes each to speak. When the Board receives more requests than the allotted number of testimony slots available, registrations from individuals who have testified at a regular board business meeting within the last 30 calendar days may be declined, so that others may have an opportunity to testify. The Board also amended the section of the Board Handbook pertaining to public comments during regular board business meetings to reserve five testimony slots, per business meeting, for the employee associations that may wish to testify regarding an agenda item.
The other two slots reserved for organizations or associations will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Organizations also will receive two minutes each to speak. In the event that associations/organizations choose not to speak at a given board business meeting, then any additional speaking slots will be offered to those who have signed up to speak on an agenda topic on a first-come, first-served basis.
Read the adopted resolution
Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget
The Board received a brief update on the FY 2022 recommended operating budget and the ongoing impact of the pandemic on school system funding. MCPS expected to be more than $85 million in reduced funding for the FY 2022 budget. Over the course of the last month, that figure has shifted considerably given the release of the Governor’s proposed budget that seeks to hold school systems harmless in key areas and offsets losses in foundation funds. County governments are required to provide more in local funding in FY 2022 compared to FY 2021 in order to receive hold harmless grants from the State. With the Governor’s budget recommendation, MCPS would see a gain in funding. The district is recommending that the Board consider some additional accelerators in the school system’s budget to support four key focus areas: mitigating learning disruption across schools; focusing on most poverty impacted schools; enhancing well-being and support; and digital learning and support.
View the PowerPoint presentation
Final Action, Policy IGS
The Board took final action on Policy IGS, Educational Technology. Policy IGS set forth guiding principles for the effective, appropriate, and strategic integration of technology resources in support of teaching and learning, as well as the essential operational functions of MCPS. The policy reaffirms the commitment of the Board to equitable access and opportunity for all students and staff to use technology to communicate, collaborate, create, and innovate safely 28 and responsibly in support of teaching and learning. The Board’s Policy Management Committee (Committee) reviewed a framework for Board of Education Policy IGS, Educational Technology, on May 15, 2018, and reviewed draft Policy IGS on October 22, 2019. The draft policy was sent out for public comment from November 12, 2019, through February 12, 2020, and the Committee reviewed public comments on February 28, 2020. On December 10, 2020, the Committee further discussed the draft policy. The updated policy includes adjustments reflective of the system’s experience with virtual learning during the previous two semesters.
Read the Memorandum to the Board
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.
Facilities and Construction
The Board approved the preliminary plans for the South Lake Elementary School major capital project.
The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. The Board will meet in a hybrid format (in-person and virtually). 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 L. 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.
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