Board of Education Sets Calendar for 2009–10 School Year

November 12, 2008
Board of Education Approves Legislative Platform,
Sets Calendar for 2009–10 School Year

ROCKVILLE, MD— The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, Nov. 11, and, among other items, adopted a legislative platform for the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly and approved the official calendar for the 2009–10 school year. The Board also approved a series of secondary level pilot courses that would be offered beginning in fall 2009.

In addition, the Board took tentative action on Policy AEB, Strategic Planning for Continuous Improvement, and rescinded two other policies. Also, the Board approved the revised Board of Education Handbook and passed resolutions commemorating Veterans Day and American Education Week.

Legislative Platform
The Board approved a legislative platform for the 2009 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The major recommendations of the platform fall under the categories of funding/accountability, local board authority, and students. The legislative platform provides a vehicle for summarizing the Board’s positions on priority issues, without precluding the consideration of specific legislative and budget issues that arise during the legislative session. Among the key funding issues on the Board’s priority list for the 2009 General Assembly are protection of full funding of the teacher retirement program by the State of Maryland, ensuring adequate state capital funding for school construction projects, and preservation of full commitment to state support for the operating budget formula.

2009–10 School Calendar
The Board approved the calendar for the 2009–10 school year. School will begin on Monday, Aug. 31, 2009, before Labor Day. The 2010 spring break will begin on March 29, 2010. The school year will consist of 184 instructional days, including four contingency days for emergency closings. Teachers have 193 scheduled duty days, plus 16 hours of unscheduled professional time. The complete calendar and the school contingency calendar can be viewed on the Montgomery County Public Schools web site, via a link on the home page at

Board of Education Policies
The Board tentatively approved revised Policy AEB, Strategic Planning for Continuous Improvement, to reflect recommendations of a work group convened by the Board Policy Committee to review policies that relate to parental involvement and the school improvement process. The revised policy aligns with the Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence and Our Call to Action: Pursuit of Excellence, The Strategic Plan for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

The Board rescinded Policy ECL, Use of School Space by Montgomery College, because it is regulatory in nature and does not rise to the level of policy. The Board also rescinded Policy JFB, Return of Graded Work, K-12, because the issues it addresses are superseded by Policy IKA, Grading and Reporting.

The Board also approved a revision of the Board of Education Handbook.

Secondary Pilot Courses
The Board discussed and approved development of pilot courses in high schools and designated as active those courses that have completed the pilot process successfully. The Board voted that five courses become active countywide, starting in fall 2009, and 14 courses become restricted to specific high schools, upon recommendation by the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs. The Board also approved 10 new pilot courses—six career and technology education courses, three externally developed International Baccalaureate courses and one noncore high school course.

Preliminary Plan Presentations for School Projects
The Board approved the preliminary plans reports for the Redland Middle School improvements project and the Fox Chapel Elementary School addition project.

In Honor of Veterans
In honor of Veterans Day on November 11, the Board, along with students, parents, MCPS staff and members of the community, saluted the sacrifice of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Board passed a resolution commemorating Veteran’s Day and the Gaithersburg High School NJROTC presented the colors, prior to the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

American Education Week
The Board declared November 16–22 to be observed in Montgomery County Public Schools as American Education Week, a time to appreciate the importance of continuing support for schools.

Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Nancy Navarro, president. Ms. Shirley Brandman, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Sharon Cox, Dr. Judy Docca, Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, and Ms. Quratul-Ann Malik, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617. 

The 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.

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