Board of Education Receives an Update on Targeted Support and Improvement Schools; Receives an Update on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future; and Takes final action on Policy BOA, Legal Services.

March 24, 2020

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board received an update on Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) Schools; received an update on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (Senate Bill (SB) 1030); and took final action on Board Policy BOA, Legal Services.

The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Targeted Improvement Schools Update

Every three years, TSI schools are identified by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has a total of 34 TSI schools based on MSDE’s 2017–2018 Maryland Accountability Indicators.  Staff in the Office of School Support and Improvement (OSSI) have collaborated with staff in the Division of Title I and Early Childhood Programs and Services, the Elementary Integrated Curriculum Team, and TSI school principals to develop and implement plans for reducing performance gaps among certain student groups. At the March 10 meeting, staff members briefed the Board on the progress at TSI schools on meeting annual targets, which include taking the following steps: 

  • create a needs assessment with root cause analysis, collaboration support, and other areas to support students;
  • based on the needs assessment and root cause analysis, develop an action plan that includes evidence-based interventions to address the needs that resulted in TSI identification;
  • demonstrate that the action plan was developed by a diverse stakeholder group; and
  • identify in the action plan community partnerships that will be established to promote student achievement and overall student well-being, which must be approved by the directors of learning, achievement, and administration (DLAAs) in OSSI or staff in the Division of Title I and Early Childhood Programs and Services.

Staff members reviewed the criteria for identifying and exiting MCPS TSI schools; the coordinated and collaborative efforts to support TSI schools; and the involvement of internal and external stakeholders.

MCPS will continue to rely on its data system that is aligned to the Maryland College and Career Readiness standards and incorporates multiple measures of data to ensure that student groups are making progress and there is continuing improvement in student achievement, outcomes, and experiences.

Read the memorandum to the Board.  

Update on the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (MBFF) is the key component of the work of the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, a multiyear initiative to research and develop major funding and policy reforms to improve the quality of Maryland’s public education system.  The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (SB 1030), legislation enacted in 2019 to launch three years of increased funding for prekindergarten, special education, teachers’ pay, and other programs, holds to several principles that are intended to transform Maryland’s early childhood, primary, and secondary education system to the levels of high-performing systems around the world.

Staff members provided an overview of the work being done by MCPS and reviewed the programs and expenditures of the FY 2020 SB 1030 funds, including the following grant opportunities: Concentration of Poverty School Grant Program; Transitional Supplemental Instruction for Struggling Learners Grant; Prekindergarten Supplemental Grant; Teacher Salary Incentive Grant; Students with Disabilities Grant; and the Mental Health Services Coordinator Grant. The presentation also included an update on future MBFF awards.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Board Policy

At its meeting on November 12, 2019, the Montgomery County Board of Education tentatively adopted revised Board Policy BOA, Legal Services.  The tentatively adopted policy and a one-page summary of the policy revisions were distributed for public comment in multiple languages and advertised through several publications and through social media.  During the public comment period, 462 comments were submitted from MCPS parents/guardians, students, MCPS staff, and Montgomery County community members. On February 18, 2020, the Board’s Policy Management Committee (Committee) further discussed Board Policy BOA and reviewed the comments that were received. Additional amendments to the draft policy were added to address public comments; specifically, new language was added to clarify that the MCPS General Counsel works under the direction of the Board of Education, and in consultation and collaboration with the superintendent of schools.

At the March 10 meeting, the Committee recommended the revisions to full Board, and the revised policy was adopted.

Read the Committee’s resolution to the Board.

Read the Committee-recommended draft.

Read public comments submitted between November 12, 2019, and January 12, 2020.

Recommended Positions on Items of Legislation

The Board’s  Coordinator of Legislative Affairs Danielle M. Susskind provided a brief summary on items of legislation and provided an overview of specific bills. Board members voted on recommended positions for each bill.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Administrative Appointment

The Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Natalia M. Ahn, currently legal director, Employment and Operations, Office of the General Counsel, as general counsel, Office of the General Counsel.

New Business

Board Vice President Brenda Wolff introduced a new business item charging the superintendent to review high school senior fees to ensure consistency and equity across the district.  Board members approved the resolution for immediate action with the superintendent’s response to be reported to the Board by April 30, 2020. 

Read the adopted resolution.


The Board recognized educators who earned certification from the National Board for Profession Teaching Standards in 2019.

Read the Board’s resolution.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, March 23, 2020, which will include facilities and boundaries decisions.  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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