Upcoming Meeting on the State of Education in Montgomery County-1/28/20
Montgomery County residents are invited to participate in two upcoming meetings on the state of education in Montgomery County. The forums, hosted by councilmember Craig Rice, will provide an opportunity for community members to learn about academic readiness, career pathways, and work-based learning opportunities that take our students from prekindergarten to jobs.
The meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 28 at the Montgomery College Germantown campus and Wednesday, March 4 at Northwood High School. Dr. Smith, Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne Pollard, and Dr. Stewart Edelstein, executive director of the Universities of Shady Grove, will participate in the conversation.
2020 Connect Business Challenge
Students participating in the CONNECT Business Challenge will engage in ann after- school program designed around the JA It’s My Business! Blended curriculum. The program will culminate in students competing against other MCPS students by pitching their ideas at the 2020 CONNECT Business Challenge. For details about this exciting program, please click here to see the complete flyer.
Choose Respect PSA Video Contest
In conjunction with the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and the countywide focus on the MCPS Be Well 365 Essential: Trauma-Informed Practices during the month of February, please consider submitting a video for the Choose Respect PSA Video Contest by February 28, 2020, for a chance at cash prizes!
The first-place winner will receive $1,000!
Additionally, please consider attending the RespectFest on March 29 from 1-4 p.m. at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center—this is a great opportunity to learn more information, participate in activities, win raffle prizes, and earn SSL hours!
Students please check out the following resources:
Choose Respect PSA Contest Rules
PSA Video Contest
Submit PSAs by Friday, February 28, 2020
Choose Respect RespectFest Conference flyer1 flyer 2
RSVP for RespectFest (March 29, 2020, 1-4 p.m., at Wheaton Community Recreation Center)
MCPS Choose Respect calendar and due dates
The Keeping It Safe Coalition (KIS Contest
The Keeping It Safe Coalition (KIS) is a multi-agency, public-private, countywide coalition established in 1992 with the goals of deterring underage alcohol use and reducing youth access to alcohol.
On behalf of KIS, Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS), a long-standing active participant of the coalition, invites middle and high school students to participate in the annual video contest by creating a 30 second public service message from one of these three topics about the risks of under 21 alcohol use:
How social media influences teens about underage drinking
Decision: To drink vs. not to drink. What are the effects of alcohol and what influences you?
Peer-to-peer: Talking to a friend about the effects of underage drinking.
The contest is open to teams of two or more students enrolled in Montgomery County public or private schools or in faith-based or service-based organizations. Entries are due on February 28, 2020 by 4:00 pm. Student teams compete for cash prizes for their affiliated organization (checks are payable to schools or organizations only). Prizes are as follows:
Middle school teams: 1st place: $500, 2nd place: $250, 3rd place $100
For contest application, guidelines and submission details please visit this site.
or click to view these flyers. KIS Contest Flyer KIS Video Content Guidelines
SERT Video Contest Open to Students and Staff
The School Energy and Recycling Team (SERT) is sponsoring a video contest to raise awareness about the importance of energy conservation and responsible recycling. Entries should focus on saving energy, recycling responsibly, and/or the school’s SERT team activities. The contest is open to all MCPS students and staff. Each school may submit three entries per category. Schools are encouraged to conduct their own judging and submit their best entries. Students and staff featured in the video must all represent the same school. Entries are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 28, 2020. More information is available here.
2020–2021 School Year Calendar
The Board of Education has adopted the school year calendar for the 2020–2021 school year. The traditional school year will begin on Monday, August 31, 2020, and the last day is scheduled for Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The calendar includes 182 days of instruction; a 10-day spring break; closures for planning and professional development; and an operational closure in September. Visit this link to see the calendar for all closures and early release days.
The calendar was developed to comply with closings required by state law, guidance from the state superintendent of schools regarding emergency make-up days, and early release days that are contractually required by the Montgomery County Education Association.The Board also adopted an Innovative School Year for Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix elementary schools. School will begin on Monday, July 6, 2020, for these schools.
12th Annual Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) College Fair
This fair will be on Friday, January 24, 2020. This free event will provide students in Grades 8–12 an opportunity to meet representatives from more than 60 HBCUs. Representatives will share information and answer questions from students and parents about admissions, financial aid, testing, majors and much more. Online registration is required to attend. This is a great opportunity to start your college search!
Please click here for the flyer. Please click here to access additional information from the MCPS website.
Maryland Report Card
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has released the results of the 2019 Accountability System, the Maryland Report Card for every school in the state of Maryland. The report card for Montgomery County Public Schools can be found here.
The Maryland Report Card is designed to evaluate school success in several ways, measuring state test results in English Language Arts and math; postsecondary readiness; progress of English learners in achieving English language proficiency; graduation rate; and students with access to and earning credit for a well-rounded curriculum. While the Maryland Report Card does provide important information about our schools, it provides a limited view of the progress of our more than 165,000 students.
To better understand how our schools are serving all of our students, MCPS has developed an Equity Accountability Model that provides a more detailed and focused report of school success. The Equity Accountability Model uses multiple and frequent measures of students’ progress to determine if a school is meeting the needs of all students, with a special emphasis on reducing and eliminating disparities in student achievement. Learn more click here.
Be Safe, Be Seen Campaign Emphasizes Pedestrian Safety
MCPS is joining safety and transportation officials throughout the region to encourage everyone to exercise caution as they go to and from schools, especially during the darker hours early in the morning and in the early evening. The district has launched a Be Safe, Be Seen campaign and created Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to raise awareness around pedestrian safety. Shorter daylight hours in the fall and winter typically lead to a spike in crashes involving pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2015, 74 percent of pedestrian fatalities nationwide occurred during the dark, dusk-till-dawn hours, with one in four occurring between the hours of 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Other pedestrian safety resources include: MCPS Safe Routes to Schools, a program that works to significantly improve safety for students who walk and bike to school, and BeStreetSmart.net, a public safety campaign of Metro, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The Be Safe, Be Seen PSAs can be seen here. The Spanish versions are available here.
Virtual Conversation on New Curriculum Available Online
If you missed the Thursday, November 14 virtual conversation and presentation on the new curriculum, the entire presentation is available on the Curriculum Implementation webpage here.
The presentation discussed curriculum implementation, key highlights, and available resources and supports for parents/guardians. It focused on both the new elementary and new secondary curricula.
The webpage includes other information, such as a list of Cohort One schools and video overviews of the StudySync, LearnZillion, Eureka Math, and Benchmark Advance curricula.
Districtwide Boundary Analysis Meetings
Several meetings will be held around the county in December and January for members of the community to participate in conversations about the Districtwide Boundary Analysis.
The MCPS Districtwide Boundary Analysis is an initiative designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of Montgomery County Public Schools’ boundaries by analyzing factors such as:
School facility utilization and capacity
This initiative will result in an analytical assessment and a summary of the community engagement process. It will not make recommendations on potential boundary revisions.
The meetings will follow the same program. The meeting will feature brief presentations that share basic information about the issues to be discussed during the boundary analysis and, after each presentation, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback during facilitated table discussions. Each participant will also be given an opportunity to share written comments and questions, which will be collected and tallied.
The remaining meeting dates are as follows:
Saturday, January 11, 2020, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Montgomery Blair High School, 51 University Boulevard East, Silver Spring, Maryland
Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Northwest High School, 13501 Richter Farm Road, Germantown, Maryland
To learn more and RSVP visit
The Facts About the Boundary Analysis
Board of Education President Shebra L. Evans and Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith have sent a letter to the community to clarify misconceptions related to the MCPS Districtwide Boundary Analysis currently under way. To read the letter, visit here.
Know an Outstanding Teacher, Supporting Staff Member, or Principal?
Awards season has arrived! Nominations are open for several competitions to honor exceptional teachers, support staff, and principals. Visit this site to see the full list of awards and deadlines.
Winter Weather: Stay Informed
Winter weather is coming soon. MCPS offers numerous ways for parents to learn about school closures, delayed openings, and early dismissals due to inclement weather.
AlertMCPS: Subscribe to AlertMCPS
Receive text messages or emails from MCPS during weather-related emergencies and other major events that impact school system operations. Parents can also sign up to receive alerts specific to their child’s school.
MCPS cable channels: Comcast 34, Verizon 36 or RCN 89
Recorded information: 301-279-3673
Ask MCPS: 240-740-3000
Staff takes calls from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, in English and Spanish.
Local radio and TV stations
Please make sure emergency contact information on file at your child’s school is up to date.
Visit this website for more information on how to receive MCPS emergency information.
Winter Coat Drive Under Way
The MCPS Prekindergarten/Head Start Programs are collecting new winter coats for students. They are seeking donations of boys’ and girls’ coats in sizes 5, 6, 6X, 7, and 8, along with other winter wear, such as hats and gloves. Donations can be sent to Rocking Horse Road Center, 4910 Macon Road, Room 141, Rockville, Maryland 20852. For more information, contact Ms. Lisa W. Conlon, social services specialist, at 240-740-4530.
MCPS Community Conversation: The New Curriculum
Please join MCPS curriculum leaders to learn more about the new curriculum, its implementation, key highlights, and available resources and supports for parents/guardians. During the live presentation and virtual conversation, online questions will be answered. Questions can be submitted online and via text message now and through the duration of the live TV program. The program will be live on MCPS TV (Comcast 34/998 HD, Verizon 36, and RCN 89) and online here.
Share Your Thoughts on the Superintendent’s Recommended Capital Improvements Program
The Board of Education will hold its final public hearing on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Capital Budget and the FY 2021–2026 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and boundary studies on Wednesday, November 13. The hearing will be held in the Carver Educational Services Center auditorium, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.
Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith released his $1.82 billion recommended FY 2021 Capital Budget and the FY 2021–2026 Capital Improvements Program on Friday, October 25. Visit this link to view the CIP.
The public hearing will be conducted according to the following schedule: (Please note: This schedule could change due to inclement weather. Please check the Board of Education website regularly for updates).
Wednesday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m., testimonies solely related to the Clarksburg, Northwest, and Seneca Valley Facilities and Boundary Study
Individuals who wish to provide input can sign up by contacting the Board of Education office at 240-740-3030 and can also visit the Board’s webpage here.
The Board of Education will hold its second work session on the CIP on Tuesday, November 19, at 2:00 p.m. The adoption of the proposed CIP is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, November 26.
MCPS Seeking Feedback on 2020–2021 School Year Calendar Scenarios
During the regular business meeting on Tuesday, October 8, the Board of Education reviewed calendar scenarios for the 2020–2021 school year. As a result of legislative action in last spring’s Maryland General Assembly, school districts in Maryland have the authority again to start school before Labor Day and end the school year after June 15th. As a result, MCPS has developed three calendar scenarios that reflect different start and end dates for School Year 2020–2021. To view the draft calendar scenarios, please visit this link.
All draft scenarios for the calendar include:
182 student instructional days; Full spring break; Full professional day for grading and planning at the end of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarters; and
Possible make-up days both during the school year and extending the school year.
The Board is seeking feedback on the calendar options in the comment box on the website. The Board is scheduled to adopt a final school calendar later this year.