Board Approves Observance of Hispanic Heritage Month and Phased-in Elimination of Vans for Student Transportation

September 13, 2000
The Board of Education met yesterday [Tuesday, September 12] and, among other items, reviewed information on the opening of school, approved the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month and honored the work of science teacher Helene Granof. The Board approved a phased-in elimination of vans for student transportation and made an administrative appointment. In addition, the Board approved revised procedures for grant application and acceptance, and received an update on the activities and programs of Interages, Inc. The Board also approved a resolution encouraging the observance of "Walk Our Children to School Day."

Presentation on the Opening of School

The Board meeting was highlighted by a presentation from senior administrative staff summarizing the opening of school, including updates on curriculum and instruction, construction, and facilities. The administrators and members of the Board visited schools throughout the county during the first day of the school year on September 5.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month will be observed in Montgomery County Public Schools from September 15 to October 15, 2000. Members of the Hispanic community were present as the Board approved the resolution on the observance. Staff and community members highlighted some of the new programs and partnerships benefiting Hispanic students and their families.

Recognition of Helene Granof

Helene Granof, recent winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Elementary Science, was honored by the Board for her outstanding teaching in the area of science and her leadership in training and mentoring other teachers. She is a faculty member at Burning Tree Elementary School.

Use of Vans for Student Transportation

The Board voted to support anticipated state legislation to eliminate vans for transportation of students. The Board also voted to discontinue the use of vans for student transportation during a three-year phase-out period. Currently 31 vans are in use by the school system to transport students to and from school-related activities and for some special programs.

Personnel Appointment

The Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Gregg Chottiner, currently deputy chief information officer, District of Columbia Government, as director, Division of Systems Architecture and Operational Support, Office of Global Access Technology

Grant Applications and Acceptance

The Board voted to revise and streamline the procedures for submitting grant applications and authorizing grant acceptance.

Walk Our Children to School Day

The Board approved a resolution to encourage individual school communities to observe "Walk Our Children to School Day" on October 4. Children, parents, and community leaders are joining together nationwide to walk to school and evaluate pedestrian safety in their community.

Briefing on Interages

The Board was briefed on the recent activities and programs of Interages, Inc. This community organization disseminates information about intergenerational programs throughout the county and links senior citizens and youth through a variety of projects. In the past school year alone, Interages brought together 218 senior citizen volunteers with more that 1,200 young people in 23 schools.

Book Presentation

The Maryland Municipal League presented a copy of a book about the workings of municipal government to the Board. The publication, Maryland's 157, also will be given to libraries, including school libraries, throughout the state.

Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia B. O'Neill, president; Kermit V. Burnett, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Reginald M. Felton, Mrs. Beatrice Gordon, Ms. Nancy J. King, Ms. Mona M. Signer, and Mr. Christopher A. Lloyd, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617

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