Board Names Clarksburg School, Discusses Learning Centers Phase-Out

May 1, 2009
Board of Education Names Clarksburg School, Discusses
‘Seven Keys to College Readiness,’ Learning Centers Phase-Out

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, April 28, and, among other items, approved a name for Clarksburg Elementary School #8 and appointed six new administrators. The Board also discussed the new “Seven Keys to College Readiness” initiative and an update on the secondary learning centers phase-out. In addition, the Board recognized May 3–9 as Teacher Appreciation Week and May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Naming of Clarksburg Elementary School #8
The Board approved the name William B. Gibbs, Jr. Elementary School for the new elementary school that will open in Clarksburg for the upcoming school year. Known previously by its planning name of Clarksburg Elementary #8, the school will be named in honor of a former teacher and principal of the former Rockville Colored Elementary School, who made history in 1936 when he challenged the policy of unequal salary schedules for white and black educators.

“Seven Keys to College Readiness”
The Board discussed Montgomery County Public Schools’ new “Seven Keys to College Readiness” initiative, which identifies a research-based pathway with seven key academic milestones, from grades K-12, that will ensure students will be fully ready for college. To help inform all students and families about the importance of the Seven Keys, MCPS has launched a public awareness campaign with a comprehensive website ( It provides information in multiple languages to help all families understand the Seven Keys pathway. The website features an array of multimedia resources with background on each of the seven key academic benchmarks, beginning with the need for students to be reading at an advanced level in kindergarten.

Update on Secondary Learning Center Transition
The Board discussed an update on the phase-out of the MCPS Secondary Learning Centers. Based on evaluation of the initial implementation, modifications and revisions are being made to support the phase-out of the centers. Evaluation recommendations focused on ongoing support and training for school staff with an emphasis on co-teaching and differentiation, additional job-embedded professional development for teachers who have transitioned students, continuing opportunities for parents to share their concerns, and a reexamination of the relationship between course grades and state assessment scores.

Administrative Appointments
The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

• Brian J. Bartels, currently specialist, Psychological Services, Maryland State Department of Education, as director, School Psychological Services
• Maureen J. Ryan, currently instructional specialist, Division of School-based Special Education Services, as administrative assistant, Office of Special Education and Student Services
• Marlene R. Kenny, currently acting principal, Carl Sandburg Learning Center, as principal, Carl Sandburg Learning Center
• Eugenia S. Dawson, currently acting principal, Earle B. Wood Middle School, as principal, Earle B. Wood Middle School
• Joe L. Rubens, Jr., currently acting principal, Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School, as principal, Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School
• Panagiota (Penny) K. Tsonis, currently acting principal, Newport Mill Middle School, as principal, Newport Mill Middle School

Portable Communication Devices During Lunch Periods
The Board deferred action on a resolution requesting the superintendent to assign staff to review and revise Regulation COG-RA, Portable Communication Devices, to permit secondary students to use their portable communication devices during their designated lunch periods.

Teacher Appreciation Week
The Board approved a resolution observing the week of May 3–9, 2009, as Teacher Appreciation Week and designating the day of May 5, 2009, as Teacher Appreciation Day for Montgomery County Public Schools. The Board recognized the many ways that teachers work tirelessly to serve children and communities with care and professionalism, filling many roles as listeners, explorers, role models, motivators and mentors.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
The Board passed a resolution observing May 2009 as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in MCPS. The Board and school system honored the achievement of Asian Pacific American students, and recognized staff members, businesses and community leaders who, by their hard work, vision and achievements are supporting the success of MCPS students.


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

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.

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