Board of Education Elects Officers; Approves 2017-2018 School Year Calendar; Hears Presentation on Proposed Budget and Takes Tentative Action on Policy JEE, Student Transfers

December 14, 2016

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, December 13, 2016, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board elected its officers and made committee appointments; approved the calendar for the 2017-2018 school year; heard a presentation from Superintendent Smith on his recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Operating Budget; and took tentative action on Policy JEE. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Election of Board Officers, Committee Appointments

The Board selected Mr. Michael Durso to serve as president of the Board for his second consecutive term. Dr. Judith Docca was selected as vice president, also for her second consecutive term. Mr. Durso was elected as a Board member to his first four-year term in 2010 after being appointed to the Board in June 2009 to finish an unexpired term. He was elected to his second four-year term in November 2014. For the past year, Mr. Durso has served as president of the Board and member of the Fiscal Management Committee. Dr. Docca is serving her third term on the Board. For the past year, she has served as vice president and as a member of the Board’s Committee on Special Populations and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Read the press release

The Board also appointed members to its committees. Membership of the committees is listed below:

Fiscal Management:  Michael Durso (chair), Jeanette E. Dixon, and Shebra L. Evans
Strategic Planning:  Jill Ortman-Fouse (chair), Jeanette E. Dixon, and Judith Docca
Policy Management: Patricia O’Neill (chair), Jill Ortman-Fouse, Rebecca Smondrowski, and Eric Guerci (student member)
Special Populations: Rebecca Smondrowski (chair), Judith Docca, and Shebra Evans

Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget

Superintendent Jack Smith presented his recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Operating Budget to the Board. Dr. Smith is proposing a $2.52 billion budget for FY 2018, which includes $62.37 million in additional spending, an increase over FY 2017 of about 2.5 percent. Dr. Smith’s recommended Operating Budget includes funding for strategic priority accelerators that are focused on improving student performance while narrowing achievement gaps. The strategic accelerators are grouped in the following five key areas: improve teaching and learning; focus on learning, accountability and results; focus on human capital; focus on community partnerships and engagement; and focus on operational excellence.  

The Board of Education will hold public hearings on the budget on Thursday, January 5 and Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Individuals may call the Board of Education office to sign up to testify at the public hearings. The Board will then hold work sessions on the budget on Tuesday, January 17, and Thursday, January 19, before approving the proposed operating budget on Tuesday, February 14. The budget will then be submitted to the Montgomery County Executive and County Council for consideration. For more information, visit the FY 2018 Budget Website.

Public Participation

Read the Press Release

Fast Facts

2017-2018 School Year Calendar

The Board of Education adopted the calendar for the 2017-2018 school year. The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, and the last day of school is scheduled for Thursday, June 14, 2018. The Board also adopted a contingency plan that includes a total of seven identified dates that could be used as instructional days, if necessary, to make up school due to emergency and weather-related closings. Two of these days are the first two days of the scheduled spring break, March 26 and 27, 2018. The remaining five days would require the district to extend the school year until June 21, 2018.

The calendar adopted by the Board for the 2017-2018 school year is consistent with Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order that established a timeframe for the school year to begin no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day and to end no later than June 15.  The calendar also is consistent with state regulations regarding inclement weather closings, and maximizes instructional time for all MCPS students while preserving a multi-day break in the spring for families and staff.  

See the calendar

Read the memo to the Board

Policy JEE, Student Transfers

The Board tentatively approved changes to Policy JEE, Student Transfers. This policy sets the standard under which Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students may be granted a transfer, referred to as Change of School Assignment (COSA), to attend a school other than their home school or the school assigned to them under their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Policy JEE will now be distributed for public comment and will be considered for final adoption at a future meeting.

Calendar for the Election of the Student Member of the Board

The Board of Education approved the calendar of major events for the election of the 40th Student Member of the Board of Education as proposed by the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils. See the calendar of major events for the election.


The Board approved the following appointment:

Traci L. Townsend, currently principal, Earle B. Wood Middle School, as principal, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2

Facilities and School Construction
The Board approved the following items related to school construction projects and facilities:

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold public hearings on Superintendent Smith’s operating budget recommendation on January 5 and 11. The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017. The Board will hold work sessions on the budget on January 17 and 19. Please check the Board of Education website and 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: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Mrs. Shebra Evans, 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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