HIghlights of the March 12 Meeting of the Board of Education

March 13, 2002
The Board of Education met yesterday [March 12] and, among other items, voted to suspend administration of the MSPAP to Grade 8 students, approved a policy on student transfers, approved the name for Albert Einstein Middle School #2, and denied the application for the Jaime Escalante Charter School. In addition, the Board approved six administrative appointments, reviewed changes to summer school programs, and recognized teachers who earned national certification this year. The Board also set fees for summer school and other programs, reviewed the report of the Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development, voted a position on items of legislation, and approved the observation of the Month of the Young Child, Arab American Heritage Month, and Secretaries Week.

Eighth Grade MSPAP and Related Issues

The Board approved a resolution accepting the state superintendent’s option to suspend the administration of the MSPAP for Grade 8 this spring. State Superintendent Grasmick had urged school systems to delay taking final action pending ongoing activities between the state and federal government. The Board’s vote allows the school system the flexibility to act on the state’s final decision whenever it comes. The Board also voted to request that the state superintendent pursue a federal waiver of MSPAP administration for Grades 3 and 5 in the 2002-03 school year in favor of tests that provide individual student results.

Policy JEE, Student Transfers

The Board approved a revised policy JEE, “Student Transfers,” that establishes the process by which students may change their school assignments. The policy codifies the exemptions from the restrictions on transfers and establishes the principle of a documented unique hardship as the sole basis for a change in school assignment.

Naming of New Middle School

The Board approved the name of Newport Mill Middle School for the new Albert Einstein Middle School #2.

Charter School Application

The Board passed an amended resolution denying the Jaime Escalante Public Charter School application. The resolution expressed concern that the charter school would require commitment of funds at a time when the county’s ability to fund the operating budget is reduced.

Administrative Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

§ Dr. Theresa R. Alban, currently evaluation specialist, Office of Shared Accountability, as coordinator, Student Assessment, Testing Unit, Office of Shared Accountability.

§ Janice Faden, currently principal, Fallsmead Elementary School, as director, Elementary School Instruction, Office of Instruction and Program Development.

§ Sharon P. Hemphill, currently instructional specialist, Office of Staff Development, as coordinator, Staff Development Teacher Project, Office of Staff Development.

§ Susan F. Marks, currently acting community superintendent, Office of School Performance, as community superintendent.

§ Linda A. Natale, currently instructional specialist, Office of Instruction and Program Development, as coordinator, Curriculum Training and Development, Office of Staff Development.

§ Inger H. Swimpson, currently instructional specialist, Office of Staff Development, as supervisor, Staff Development Projects, Office of Staff Development.

Changes to the Summer School Programs

The Board reviewed changes in summer school programs that will provide extended learning opportunities. The focus for elementary school will be on students who need intense academic support, especially English language learners. The goals of the middle school program are to ensure that all students pass the Maryland Functional Tests as first-time test takers and to increase the number of students participating in more advanced mathematics classes. The redesigned high school program will serve students who demonstrate a need for additional academic support and will offer acceleration and academic rigor in courses, including college-level courses.

Summer School and Other Program Fees

The Board approved Fiscal Year 2003 fees for summer school, adult education, general education development (GED), and evening high school.

Committee on Family Life and Human Development

The Board reviewed the report of the Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development and tabled its recommendations for further discussion at a future Board meeting.

Items of Legislation

The Board voted positions on items of legislation pending before the Maryland General Assembly.

Nationally Certified Teachers

The Board recognized the accomplishments of the 24 teachers who earned certification this year from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Month of the Young Child

The Board approved the observance in April of the Month of the Young Child and noted the importance of the collaborative, community wide early childhood initiative that supports the needs of families and young children.

Arab American Heritage Month

The Board approved the observance in April of Arab American Heritage Month, recognizing the valued presence and contributions of the Arab community in Montgomery County.

Secretaries Week

The Board approved the observance of Secretaries Week from April 21-27, and designated April 24 as Secretaries Day for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

Board of Education: Mr. Reginald M. Felton, president; Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Kermit V. Burnett, Ms. Sharon W. Cox, Mrs. Nancy J. King, Mr. Walter N. Lange, and Mr. Dustin Jeter, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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