Board of Education Meets Virtually and Adopts the FY 2021 Operating Budget; Discusses the Recovery of Education Plan; Approves an Employment Contract Amendment for the Superintendent of Schools; Approves a Resolution to Assess the SRO Program; and Makes Administrative Appointments.

June 16, 2020

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a virtual business meeting on Thursday, June 11, 2020.  All Board members participated remotely, given the current health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis.  The Board adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Operating Budget; discussed the Recovery of Education Plan; approved an employment contract amendment for the superintendent of schools (superintendent); approved a resolution directing the superintendent to assess and report on the Student Resource Officer (SRO) program; and made administrative appointments.

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

Watch the recording of the June 11, 2020, meeting.

Final Adoption of the FY 2021 Operating Budget

Superintendent Jack Smith presented details about the FY 2021 Operating Budget, which included information about Montgomery County Council’s decisions about funding relative to Maintenance of Effort (MOE); shifts within the operating budget and the focus of the FY 2021 budget on instructional salaries, professional development, and technology infrastructure.  He also relayed the various stages of the budget’s development from his recommended budget in December 2019, the Board’s tentatively adopted budget in February 2020 and the County Council’s appropriated budget last in May 2020. Highlights also included the variance of expenditures in FY 2020 versus the FY 2021 budget and details about revenue increases from FY 2020 and FY 2021.

After a brief discussion, the Board adopted the FY 2021 Operating Budget. 

Read the memorandum to the Board.

View the Power Point presentation.

Recovery of Education Plan

After an introduction by the superintendent and the deputy superintendent, the Board of Education heard from staff members regarding aspects of the Recovery of Education Plan in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis.  A distinction was made between aspects of the plan to be implemented during the summer and the fall. Presenters highlighted the roles of the design teams, which include the following committees: Summer School and Extended Year; Professional Learning; Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; SEL/Be Well 365; Health Operations (Logistics, Safety, and Budget); Communications and Feedback Policies and Regulations; and Technology committees. Results from surveys given to staff and parents helped to inform the plan and determine the programs offered to ensure that students, particularly those most impacted, will receive ample support and will be engaged throughout the recovery process. All schools or clusters are offering Math Boost; ELA Boost; Kindergarten Jumpstart and enrichment courses; and individual schools may offer additional programs and experiences.  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will implement a robust communication plan to reach families across the district and inform them of the available courses and programs.

Emphasis is being placed on social emotional learning and connecting with families and students to communicate that MCPS still cares, values and hears them.  The Be Well 365 Framework is a vital component in both remote and hybrid settings and promises persistent efforts to engage and support the physical, social and psychological health and well-being of students and the MCPS community by offering wraparound supports and by using a multi-tiered approach.  This framework is designed to increase availability and opportunities to teach and learn and establish safety protocols to keep students, staff members and the community healthy and well.

The goal of summer recovery of education will be to maximize student engagement during the summer months, address learning loss, and offer engaging opportunities that are of interest to students. Staff provided a brief overview of the courses that will be offered at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

The chief technology officer briefed the Board on the technology tools that MCPS will continue to offer to students and staff.  As MCPS looks to the 2020-2021 school year, there will be a shift to a single platform approach, based on the requests from students, parents, teachers and principals. MCPS staff and teachers will be equipped to best utilize the tools and increase their technical knowledge through professional development.

School leaders will continue to develop and implement ways of assessing learning loss through testing and the use of diagnostic assessments for literacy and math. Working families with young children and students who have been unable to engage will be given particular consideration and support.

View the Power Point presentation.

New Business Item:  Resolution to Assess SRO Program

In light of the recent death of George Floyd and ongoing national tensions over incidents of racism, the Board introduced a resolution regarding student arrest data and the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MCPS and local enforcement agencies that established for the School Resource Officer Program.. The resolution, in part, directs the superintendent to examine the current MOU, its effectiveness, implementation and impact; to collect data, particularly arrest data broken down by race and students with disabilities; and to explore alternative discipline processes.  The superintendent will provide the Board with an interim report in October 2020 and a final report in January 2021.

Read the resolution.

Read the Memorandum of Understanding.

Approval of Employment Contract Amendment for the Superintendent of Schools

The Board approved a resolution to amend the superintendent’s contract to reduce his salary, a voluntary step by the superintendent in light of the current MCPS funding and budget challenges.

Read the approved amendment.

Human Resources Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointments: 

Dr. Nicole P. Allain, currently assistant principal, Montgomery Blair High School, as executive director, Office of the Deputy Superintendent

Stacy E. H. Gray, currently principal, Van Bokkelen Elementary School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, as executive director, Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools

Dr. Arronza M. LaBatt, currently executive director, Office of School Support and Improvement, as executive director, Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools

Jamila W. Denney, currently principal intern, Forest Knolls Elementary School, as principal, Pine Crest Elementary School

Christine L. Troffkin, currently assistant principal, Arcola Elementary School, as principal, Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School

Carolynn Walsleben, currently acting principal, Carl Sandburg Learning Center, as principal, Candlewood Elementary School



The Board approved the resolution designating June 2020 as the annual observance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride in Montgomery County Public Schools.

The Board also approved the resolution recognizing the recipients of this year’s Montgomery County Alliance of Black School Educators’ 2020 Distinguished African American Scholar awards.

The Board also approved the resolution recognizing the recipients of the 2020 Distinguished Hispanic Scholars awards.

The Board approved the resolution recognizing the recipients of the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc., High Achievement Scholarship awards.

The Board approved the resolution recognizing the Montgomery County Public Schools Class of 2020 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Youth and Community Foundation Scholarship recipients.

The Board also approved the resolution recognizing Montgomery County Public Schools Higher Education Partnerships.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on Monday, June 29, 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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