Board of Education Discusses Professional Development, Annual Report

January 11, 2012
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed the district’s professional development programs; discussed the annual report on the district’s strategic plan; and selected a site for a future holding school in the upcounty area.

Professional Development

The Board of Education engaged in a broad discussion on the state of professional development for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff. Professional development is the cornerstone of improving teaching and learning for every student, every day, and MCPS has done a good job providing learning opportunities to staff. Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr has identified professional development as one of three strategic areas of focus for the district in the coming year. The Board received an overview of current professional development efforts, discussed what excellent professional development looks like and heard about future plans for improving professional development across the district. Read the Board memo.

Annual Report on the Strategic Plan

The Board received the 2011 Annual Report on the MCPS strategic plan, Our Call to Action: Pursuit of Excellence. The Annual Report provides details on the district’s progress in fulfilling its commitment to providing every student the opportunity to learn at the highest levels and graduate from high school prepared for college and the world of work. Our Call to Action is the catalyst for continuous improvement and focuses on developing and implementing strategies and initiatives in curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, family and community partnerships, high-quality business services, and greater operational effectiveness. The Annual Report provides a comprehensive accounting of the school system’s performance on the established milestones and data points set forth in the 2010–2015 strategic plan. The report is being posted on the MCPS website. A draft is available as part of the Board of Education item.

Site Selection for an Upcounty Holding School

The Board approved the selection of the Emory Grove Center, at 1800 Washington Grove Lane, Gaithersburg, as the location for a new upcounty holding facility. The new holding facility will be used to house students and staff from schools that are in the process of being modernized or renovated. Currently, all four holding facilities for elementary schools are located in midcounty and downcounty areas. After evaluating nine sites for size, location, access, topography, physical condition, utilities availability, and cost, it was determined that the Emory Grove site would be the best option. A feasibility study will now be conducted to determine the scope and cost of the project. View the Board item.

Site Selection for Northwest Elementary School

The Board approved a site for a new elementary school in the Northwest cluster. A Site Selection Advisory Committee (SSAC) reviewed possible locations and identified the best site as a private piece of property, known as Phillips Farm, on Schaeffer Road in Germantown. MCPS staff has attempted to negotiate with the land owner on an acceptable purchase price for the property, but those negotiations have not been successful. The Board approved beginning the process of condemning the land for public use, as allowed by Maryland state law.
Read the Board item.

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

- Kyle J. Heatwole, currently principal, Rock View Elementary School, as principal, Downcounty Consortium Elementary School #29, which will open on the McKenney Hills site in Silver Spring in August 2012.
- Ashley VanCleef, currently resource teacher, Special Education Compliance and Nonpublic Programs, Howard County Public School System, as assistant attorney, Legal Services, Office of Special Education and Student Services.

Other Action: The Board also took action on several items, including:
-  The acceptance of the modernization projects at
Cabin John Middle School and Farmland Elementary School
-  Appointment of an architect for the modernization project at
Wheaton High School/Thomas Edison High School of Technology
-  The awarding of contracts for additions to
Georgian Forest Elementary School and Wyngate Elementary School

Resolutions: The Board unanimously approved the following:

A resolution declaring February as African American History Month.
A resolution in appreciation of Roscoe R. Nix, a former Board of Education member and civil rights leader, who died on January 4.

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: Ms. Shirley Brandman, president; Mr. Christopher Barclay, vice president. Members: Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, Ms. Patricia O’Neill, and Mr. Alan Xie, student member. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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