Highlights of Board of Education Meeting on May 28

May 29, 2002
The Board of Education met yesterday [May 28] and, among other items, approved a special education staffing plan for 2003-2006, reviewed an update on the Downcounty Consortium, and appointed six principals. The Board also rescinded a policy on construction planning and recognized students who had participated in the Superintendent’s Leadership Program.

Update on the Downcounty Consortium

The Board reviewed an update on activities of the Downcounty Consortium during the 2001-2002 school year. The mission of the consortium is high school improvement marked by greater retention of students, increased levels of achievement among all subgroups of the population, and high school programs that connect students to higher education and the work force.

Each of the four participating high schools - Wheaton, Montgomery Blair, John F. Kennedy, and Albert Einstein - is working to create focused and challenging programs that will meet the unique academic needs of a highly diverse student body. Common features in all programs are accelerated, double-period literacy and mathematics courses, a one-semester freshman seminar to ease transition to high school, and new school structures that will include teacher teaming, reduced class size, and an emphasis on interdisciplinary curriculum.

Implementation and alignment of consortium activities, including the opening of Northwood High School as a fifth participating school, will proceed over a five-year period.

Special Education Staffing

The Board approved a multiyear Special Education Staffing Plan for Fiscal Years 2003-2006. The plan was developed by the Department of Special Education with the assistance of a Staffing Committee that included MCPS staff, parents, and community members. The plan is designed to ensure that each student with a disability has access to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The plan addresses training and professional development as well as assignment of teachers and other service providers.

Administrative Appointments

The Board appointed the following six principals:

§ Dr. Carol A. Dahlberg, currently interim principal of White Oak Middle School, as principal of White Oak Middle School.

§ Esperanza Dieckhans, currently an assistant principal at Damascus High School, as principal of Montgomery Village Middle School.

§ Jane Litchko, currently principal of Jackson Road Elementary School, as principal of New Hampshire Estates Elementary School.

§ Sylvia K. Morrison, currently principal of Shady Grove Middle School, as principal of Northwest High School.

§ Deena Trombly, currently upper school principal of Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland, as principal of Poolesville High School.

§ Darryl L. Williams, currently an assistant principal at Benjamin Banneker Middle School, as principal of William H. Farquhar Middle School.

Rescission of Policy on Planning for Construction Projects

The Board voted to rescind Policy FBB, Planning for Construction Projects. The policy has been superseded by a mandated process for county construction projects established by the County Council.

Superintendent’s Leadership Program

Eighteen students, selected for their academic and leadership talent, were recognized for their participation in the Superintendent’s Leadership Program. The year-long program included a summer training session, internships in businesses or agencies, and weekly seminars.

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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