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Board of Education Discusses Recovery of Education; Receives Update on Legislative Session; and Appoints Dr. Monifa B. McKnight as Acting/Interim Superintendent of Schools
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a hybrid (virtual and in-person) business meeting on Thursday, March 11, 2021. During the meeting, the Board received an update on Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) plan for the return of students to in-person learning; conditionally appointed Deputy Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D., as acting/interim superintendent of schools; and received an update on the legislative session.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Watch the recording of the March 11, 2021, meeting.
Recovery of Education
The Board received an update and held a discussion on MCPS’ recovery of education plan and what in-person experiences will look like. The Board is considering options that will allow MCPS to speed up the current timeline for the return of student groups. MCPS has proposed that groups 2.1 and 2.2 be combined and both groups start a phased-return by April 19, 2021. The Board will discuss and vote on this proposal at its March 23, 2021, meeting. Additionally, staff provided an update on plans for school-provided COVID-19 testing to identify cases where students and/or staff members may not be showing symptoms. Tests will be provided for all students and staff on a weekly basis. The test detects whether the virus that causes COVID-19 is present in that pooled sample. Schools will receive results within 2-3 days. MCPS is strongly encouraging families and staff not to travel outside of Maryland and neighboring states at this time. If students or employees travel, they are strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning and should consider self-quarantining while awaiting results. To help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools once people return from spring break, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, will be a virtual learning day for all students. Wednesday, April 7, 2021, will remain a virtual day as scheduled. Students scheduled to return on April 6 (Group 1.2) will return to buildings on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
View the PowerPoint Presentation.
Read the Community Update.
Conditional Appointment of Dr. Monifa B. McKnight as Acting/Interim Superintendent of Schools
The Board approved the conditional appointment of Deputy Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D., as the acting/interim superintendent of schools for Montgomery County Public Schools. Effective June 1, 2021, Dr. McKnight will serve as acting superintendent of schools and will fully assume the position of interim superintendent of schools beginning July 1, 2021. The appointment is conditional upon approval by the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools and following contract negotiations with the Board of Education. The appointment will be confirmed at a future Board meeting. The appointment of Dr. McKnight as interim superintendent of schools is through June 30, 2022, which will provide time for the Board to conduct a thorough national search for the next superintendent of schools. The Board expects to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the spring to identify an executive search firm by early summer 2021. Once the firm is identified, it will work with the Board to develop a timeline for the superintendent search process.
Read the resolution.
Read the press release.
Positions on Educational Legislation
The Board discussed legislation that will be considered by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2021 Maryland legislative session that could impact MCPS. The bills have been analyzed to determine any impact on MCPS, as well as whether or not they are consistent with the legislative annual priorities that were adopted by the Board at its November 10, 2020, Board business meeting.
Read the Memorandum to the Board.
Facilities and Construction
The Board approved the preliminary plans for the Parkland Middle School addition project.
The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:
Ivon Alfonso-Windsor, currently acting supervisor, Budget Unit, Office of Finance, as supervisor, Budget Unit, Office of Finance
Timothy D. Britton, currently acting principal, Sherwood High School, as principal, Sherwood High School
Jonathan L. Garrick, currently acting principal, Northwood High School, as principal, Northwood High School
Elissa M. Royall, currently acting principal, Oakland Terrace Elementary School, as principal, Oakland Terrace Elementary School
The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The Board will meet in a hybrid format (in-person and virtually). The agenda is subject to change. 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. Brenda Wolff, president; Ms. Karla Silvestre, vice president. Members: Dr. Judith Docca, Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, Mrs. Lynne Harris, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Nicholas Asante, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.
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