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Board of Education Approves the 2020–2021 School Year Calendars; Receives a Presentation and Discusses Secondary Grading and Reporting; and Elects Board of Education Officers and Appoints Committee Members
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board approved the 2020–2021 Traditional and Innovative School Year Calendars; discussed secondary grading and reporting; elected Board officers and appointed committee members; and approved two previous new business items about driver’s education programs offered at Montgomery County Public School locations and about respect for diverse religious observances.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Approval of the 2020–2021 Traditional and Innovative School Year Calendars
Staff members presented to the Board the superintendent’s recommendations for the 2020–2021 Traditional and Innovative School Year Calendars. Notable elements of the traditional calendar include: The first day of school will be August 31, 2020, and the last day of school will be June 16, 2021; and the Traditional School Year Calendar has 182 instructional days.
The recommended Innovative School Year Calendar for Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix elementary schools also was presented to the Board for its review and action. Notable elements of this calendar include: The first day of school will be July 6, 2020, and the last day of school will be June 14, 2021; and the Innovative School Year Calendar has 210 instructional days.
Board members adopted both proposed calendars and contingency plan for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) for the 2020–2021 Traditional and Innovative School Years.
Read the memorandum and review the adopted calendars.
Secondary Grading and Reporting
Superintendent Jack R. Smith and staff members provided an overview of the history of grading and reporting practices in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) since the year 2000. In addition to the historical context and supporting data, staff members reviewed the recently revised COMAR regulations mandating Maryland public school systems to update grade change procedures and file these changes with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). In accordance with the new requirements, MCPS made revisions to Regulation IKA-RA, Grading and Reporting, and Regulation JEA-RA, Student Attendance, effective for the 2019–2020 school year. Specific changes to MCPS regulations, including self-auditing practices, grade change procedures, grading scales and calculations, credit recovery and attendance, can be found in the memorandum to the Board below. The work and findings of the Grading and Reporting Work Group, formed in 2018–2019, and the long-term implications of this work were also part of the discussion among Board and staff members. The Secondary Grading and Reporting Workgroup will continue meeting in 2020 to finalize recommendations and implementation plans for 2020–2021 and future years.
MCPS will continue to implement revised grading and reporting regulations and procedures in the 2019–2020 school year, with emphasis on procedures for grade changes, provisions for retaking a course or a portion of a course, credit recovery, and administrative procedures that ensure consistency, checks and balances, and fidelity. MCPS also will continue to monitor actions at the state level and proposed regulations that impact grading or attendance, which may bring about the need for additional revisions to MCPS regulations.
Read the memorandum to the Board.
View the PowerPoint presentation.
Previous New Business Items
Increased Availability and Discounted Rates for Driver’s Education Programs Offered at Montgomery County Public School Locations
As a previous new business item at the November 12, 2019, Board meeting, Board members approved the following resolution at its December 3, 2019, meeting:
Resolved, The Board of Education direct the superintendent of schools to explore partnership options with local public and private driver education programs that would increase the availability and reduce the cost of state required driver’s education programs, specifically in communities impacted by poverty, and provide a report of findings to the Board of Education no later than March 2020.
Read the approved resolution.
Respect for Diverse Religious Observances
Resolved, That the Board of Education celebrate the diversity of faith within our community. The Board of Education supports religious holiday accommodations, excused absences for student observance of religious holidays, and flexibility in assignments, where reasonable and practicable, so that students are not inappropriately penalized for choosing to observe religious holidays. The Board of Education and the superintendent of schools will ensure that respect for and tolerance of diverse religious backgrounds is emphasized in all Montgomery County Public Schools and that students who observe religious holidays are duly supported and accommodated.
Election of Board Officers and Appointments to Board Committees
The Board of Education elected Shebra L. Evans for her second term as the Board president and elected Brenda Wolff, as the Board’s vice president.
The following Board members now serve on the Fiscal Management Committee: Jeanette E. Dixon (chairperson), Judith Docca, and Patricia O’Neill. Read the adopted resolution.
The following Board members now serve on the Policy Management Committee: Patricia O’Neill (chairperson), Judith Docca, Rebecca Smondrowski, and Nathaniel Tinbite. Read the adopted resolution.
The following Board members now serve on the Committee on Special Populations: Rebecca Smondrowski (chairperson), Judith Docca, and Karla Silvestre. Read the adopted resolution.
The following Board members now serve on the Strategic Planning Committee: Karla Silvestre (chairperson), Jeanette E. Dixon, Shebra L. Evans, and Nathaniel Tinbite. Read the adopted resolution.
The following Board members now serve on the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Committee: Brenda Wolff (chairperson), Karla Silvestre, and Rebecca Smondrowski. Read the adopted resolution.
New Business Item
The Board of Education offered a resolution requesting water bottle filling stations at secondary schools that do not currently have them installed. The resolution was moved and seconded and will lie on the table until the next Board business meeting scheduled for January 9, 2020.
Resolved, That the Board of Education requests a Fiscal Year 2021 supplemental appropriation and amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021–2026 Capital Improvements Program in the amount of $200,000 for Planned Life-Cycle Asset Replacement (PLAR) to allow Montgomery County Public Schools to purchase and install at least one water bottle filling stations in all secondary schools that do not currently have any filling stations installed.
Facilities and School Construction
The Board awarded a contract for the A. Mario Loiederman Middle School Performing Arts addition project and awarded a contract for the Walt Whitman High School addition project.
Calendar of Major Events for the Election of the 43rd Student Member of the Board
The Board approved the calendar of major events for the election of the 43rd student member of the Board.
Read the memorandum.
The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Thursday, January 9, 2020. 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; Ms. Brenda Wolff, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Ms. Karla Silvestre, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Nathaniel Tinbite, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.
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