Board of Education Receives Update on Phase III of the Continuity of Learning Plan; Discusses the Recovery Education Plan; Approves a Time Extension on the Districtwide Boundary Analysis; and Discusses the FY 2021 Operating Budget

June 5, 2020

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a virtual business meeting on Thursday, May 28, 2020.  All Board members participated remotely, given the current health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.  The Board received an update on Phase III of the Continuity of Learning Plan; discussed the recovery education plan; approved a time extension on the districtwide boundary analysis; and discussed the FY 2021 Operating Budget.

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

Watch the recording of the May 28, 2020, meeting.

Update on Phase III of the Continuity of Learning Plan

After a brief introduction by Dr. Jack Smith, superintendent of schools, the Board was presented with a review from staff members of each of the phases implemented to date including: Phase I, in which technology was provided to students, student logins were tracked and teachers and schools contacted students; Phase II, during which outreach and case management action plans were implemented to address student needs; and Phase III, the current phase being implemented.  Phase III includes analyzing the quality and  quantity of student engagement. Staff members expounded on Phase III and shared information about:

  • Ways that students are being contacted beyond on-line connections;
  • Engagement for the first three weeks of Marking Period 4;
  • Engagement levels by race and ethnicity;
  • Engagement levels by service group, namely students with Individualized Educational Programs (IEP); Limited English Proficient (LEP) students and students who receive Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS);
  • Efforts made by student well-being teams to connect with students and families;
  • The student grade choice process for middle and high school students, the various options and possible outcomes;
  • Graduation validation and the collaboration of central office and school-based staff to support and monitor the progress of students toward graduation;
  • Details concerning the June 7, 2020 universal graduation ceremony; and
  • The end-of-year close-out process.

View the Power Point presentation.

Recovery of Education Plan

The Board received a review from Dr. Smith of the good work of MCPS staff members throughout the crisis and the districtwide commitment to continued improvement in the delivery of online instruction.. After this introduction, staff members outlined for the Board several components to the recovery plan, which include:

  • Lessons learned by staff, teachers and leadership through the crisis situation;
  • Building a long-term plan more closely aligned with a real school experience through an online platform;
  • Restoring lost learning, reconstructing and redesigning learning opportunities for the summer and the 2020-2021 school year;
  • Plans for robust learning that meets the needs of all students;
  • Wraparound services to support students;
  • Opportunities for students to collaborate and ensure social-emotional learning and well-being;
  • Professional development to equip and support teachers and staff;
  • How MCPS is engaging stakeholders through the development of the recovery plan;
  • Addressing student needs and the multiple modalities of teaching and learning;
  • Reaching students both in-person and remotely;
  • Community engagement project teams, their various roles and focus for: summer school/extended year; professional learning; curriculum, instruction and assessment; social-emotional learning/Be Well 365; health and operations; communications and feedback; policies and regulations and technology;
  • Remote summer courses being offered, many beginning the week of July 13; and
  • Possible innovative programs being offered through community partners.

View the Power Point presentation.

Districtwide Boundary Analysis Extension

Board and staff members discussed the current status of the districtwide boundary analysis and the impact of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order on community engagement and progress on the work.  In light of these circumstances, the superintendent recommended “that the Board extend the time frame for issuing the final report and for the continued work on this analysis.”  It was also noted that there are no additional funds allocated to this work beyond what the Board has already approved and it is anticipated that no additional funds will be required for the work ahead.

Discussion also included the expectations for the final report, its interpretation and analysis and the continued commitment to engage the community throughout this process; the importance of considering walkability and adjacency in future discussions, as well as all four factors listed in Policy FAA, Educational Facilities Planning.

The Board approved the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Board of Education authorizes the superintendent of schools to delay the production and release of the final report of the Districtwide Boundary Analysis, with an anticipated target release date of December 1, 2020; and be it further

Resolved, That the Board of Education expects the superintendent of schools to conduct the final phase of the Districtwide Boundary Analysis within the new operational and educational context resulting from the experience and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that this context be reflected in the final report; and be it further

Resolved, That this delay in the project timeline be communicated to stakeholders and the broader Montgomery County Public Schools community, with the understanding that community engagement will resume within the parameters of social distancing and other public health requirements that are in place throughout the remainder of the project time line.

Read the memorandum and full resolution.

Update on FY 2021 Operating Budget

Dr. Smith presented to the Board an overview of the FY 2021 Operating Budget process to date, the status, challenges and potential changes.  The presentation and discussion included, in part:

  • Information about local, state and federal funding of the FY 2021 Operating Budget for MCPS;
  • Maintenance of Effort (MOE) and Montgomery County Council’s approval to fund;
  • Priorities for the district in light of COVID-19;
  • Potential revisions in the allocation of funds based on the shift in priorities;
  • The 2020-2021 school year and the safety and wellbeing of students and staff;
  • Student enrollment and the impact of COVID-19 on growth;
  • Bringing together childcare and pre-k programs with proper safeguards;
  • Efforts to boost kindergarten registration; and
  • Plans to continue the conversation with the Board regarding any adjustments to the budget.

Human Resources Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointments: 

Jeanette Lee, currently assistant to the associate superintendent, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, as legal director, schools and operations, Office of the General Counsel

Mark A. Brown Jr., currently assistant principal, James Hubert Blake High School, as principal, Albert Einstein High School

Joshua S. Fine, currently principal intern, College Gardens Elementary School, as principal, Flower Hill Elementary School

Kimberly A. Henriquez, currently principal intern, Watkins Mill Elementary School, as principal, Rock Creek Valley Elementary School


The Board approved the resolution recognizing the Montgomery County Public Schools Counselor of the Year award winners.

The Board approved the resolution recognizing the Superintendent’s Annual Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award winner.

The Board also approved the resolution honoring the late Odessa Shannon.

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved the preliminary plans report for the new Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School #9 project developed by Grimm + Parker Architecture, Inc.

Read the Board’s resolution.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on Thursday, June 11, 2020.  The agenda and the format of this meeting will be determined at a later date, given the current COVID-19 crisis.  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 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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