Board of Education Makes Facilities and Boundaries Decisions; Discusses Items of Legislation; Makes Administrative Appointments; and Adopts New Business Items

March 28, 2019

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Monday, March 25, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board made facilities and boundaries decisions; received a legislative update; made several administrative appointments; and adopted new business items regarding climate change.   The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Facilities and Boundaries Decisions

The Board of Education considered recommendations from the superintendent of schools and made the following decisions:

Northwood High School Holding Center Facilities

The Board voted to approve the plan to use the Charles W. Woodward High School as a temporary holding facility during the Northwood High School classroom addition and facility upgrade capital project. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff conducted a comprehensive analysis of possible facility options that could serve as a holding center for Northwood High School during its construction. The primary objectives for this review were to determine whether there was an option that could be accomplished closer to Northwood High School than Charles W. Woodward High School (Woodward High School), and whether an option could be accomplished more quickly than the proposed time line using both school facilities. Staff engaged with an external consultant, a realtor, and an architect to identify properties that could meet the space and location requirements. From an initial identification of 13 total sites, the team focused on 5 sites, in addition to Woodward High School, to evaluate as potential holding center options. In addition to the consultants’ evaluation of the properties, buildings, and costs, MCPS staff analyzed the relative transportation operations and impacts for each site.

Following the thorough review of options, staff found that the Woodward High School option to be the most cost-effective approach and the best option for a holding center for Northwood High School. Woodward High School will be used as a holding center following initial construction of the new Woodward High School facility. The renovated and expanded Northwood High School and the reopened Woodward High School will provide excellent instructional spaces and much needed capacity for MCPS high school students.

Read the memorandum to the Board

Capital Improvements Program Funding Priorities

Board members received a brief update regarding the funding for the Capital Improvements Program and the system’s funding priorities.

Recommended Positions on Items of Legislation

The Board’s Staff Assistant for Governmental Affairs and Community Outreach Danielle Susskind provided an oral update on items of legislation that may come to the Board for discussion at a future date. 

Preliminary Plans Presentation for Silver Spring International Middle School Addition Project

The Board approved the preliminary plans for the project.  

New Business Items

Review of Requirements for Substitute Teaching

The Board of Education requested that the superintendent of schools review the requirements for substitute teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools, benchmark with neighboring jurisdictions, and consult with Montgomery College (and other post-secondary institutions) and community stakeholders. Subsequent to a robust exploration the Board requested that the superintendent of schools make recommendations, by July 1, 2019, to the Board about how to secure a more plentiful pool of substitute teachers.

Climate Change

The Board of Education adopted a resolution reiterating its commitment to pursue energy conservation efforts and preserve natural resources, while providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for all staff and students and ensuring that students will graduate from Montgomery County Public Schools as fully informed citizens cognizant of human impact on the environment.

Administrative Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

Niki T. Hazel, currently director, Department of Elementary Curriculum and Districtwide Programs, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP), as associate superintendent, OCIP

David T. Chia, currently principal, Wheaton Woods Elementary School, as consulting principal, Department of Professional Growth Systems, Office of Human Resources and Development

Tracy Foster, formerly executive director of community schools, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, as executive director, Office of the Chief Academic Officer

Inger H. Swimpson, currently instructional specialist, Equity Initiatives Unit, Office of the Chief Academic Officer, as executive director, Office of School Support and Improvement

Graham M. Lear, currently principal intern, Tilden Middle School, as principal, Rock Terrace School

Gregg Baron, currently acting principal, DuFief Elementary School, as principal, DuFief Elementary School

April D. Longest, currently principal intern, Oak View Elementary School, as principal, Farmland Elementary School

Robert A. Obstgarten, currently acting principal, Greencastle Elementary School, as principal, Greencastle Elementary School

Stephanie R. Schaufelberger, currently acting principal, Rock Terrace School, as principal, Goshen Elementary School


The Board approved the resolution declaring April 7-13, 2019, as National Volunteer Week.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.  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: Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Ms. Karla Silvestre, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, Ms. Brenda Wolff, and Ms. Ananya Tadikonda, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.




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