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Board of Education Receives Update on Opening of Schools; Discusses Accountability of Allocations
The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. The Board received an update on the opening of schools and discussed how the enhanced funding allocation provided by the Montgomery County Council is being aligned with the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) strategic priorities. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You also can watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.
Opening of Schools: Central Supports for Successful Start of School Year 2016-2017
The Board of Education heard a report from MCPS staff on the opening of schools. MCPS welcomed more than 159,000 students on Monday, August 29, an increase of more than 2,500 students from 2015. As the district prepared for the new school year, one of central service’s most significant efforts was to support student learning. MCPS worked to bridge the summer learning gap with programming for many students to keep them connected to learning opportunities. Thousands of students participated in the ELO SAIL, ELO STEP and BELL summer enrichment programs.
MCPS hired more than 1,200 new teachers during the summer to support the district’s growing enrollment. The district opened 340,791 square feet of new construction, including the new Hallie Wells Middle School in Clarksburg. MCPS is continuing the implementation of the Chromebook initiative this school year and to date, an additional 860 Chromebook carts have been delivered to schools containing a total of 27,000 Chromebooks.
Read the memorandum to the Board
Accountability of Allocations
The Board received an update and held a discussion on the strategic plans for the enhanced allocation provided by the Montgomery County Council through the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Operating Budget process. On May 26, 2016, the Council approved the MCPS Operating Budget appropriation for FY 2017. The Council approved a total of $2,457,473,761 for MCPS. This is an increase of $139,084,825 (6.0 percent) from the current FY 2016 Operating Budget of $2,318,388,936.
The Council’s appropriation provides $37.9 million of additional funding that will allow MCPS to reduce average class sizes and strategically add staff to support closer monitoring of instruction and provide interventions for students, specifically in literacy and mathematics. In addition to adult/student ratio improvements, these additional resources will allow MCPS to provide targeted support based on the needs of our students to address achievement gaps. The allocations are focused on key leverage points so as to capitalize on promising practices and emerging innovations. With these commitments MCPS is able to invest in—
• reducing average class size and targeted staffing to provide closer monitoring and supports for students;
• leveraging resources to increase staff capacity to meet student needs in schools with the largest learning disparities;
• focusing efforts on increasing the academic success of Black or African American students, Hispanic/Latino students, and students impacted by poverty to mitigate disparities in learning opportunities;
• developing instructional supports and programmatic options to increase learning opportunities for students receiving special education services and our English language learners;
• providing enhanced curricular and instructional options; and
• increasing programmatic access by removing barriers and increasing opportunities for learning.
MCPS staff members are working collaboratively to design a strategic allocation plan that builds on current work and uses the enhanced funds to accelerate and enhance outcomes. MCPS is committed to transparent assessments of the effectiveness of the strategic funding and has built in metrics that will indicate the effectiveness of decisions about how to best deploy the funds.
Facilities and School Construction
The Board approved several items related to school construction projects and facilities, including an award of contract for the former English Manor Elementary School.
The Board approved the following resolution:
·A resolution recognizing September 15, 2016, through October 15, 2016, as Hispanic Heritage Month in MCPS
The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, September 26, 2016. Please check the Board of Education 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: Mr. Michael Durso, president; Dr. Judith Docca, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.
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