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Board of Education Discusses Fall Return To School and Next Steps for the School Resource Officer Program; Makes Administrative Appointments; and Approves a Contract for an Executive Search Firm for the Next Superintendent of Schools.
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) conducted a business meeting on August 24, 2021. During the meeting, the Board discussed the opening of schools; received an update and discussed next steps for the School Resource Officer Program (SRO); took action on the selection of an executive search firm for the next superintendent of schools search; 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 August 24, 2021, meeting.
Fall Return to School
The Board received a presentation from staff on the preparations for the reopening of schools for the 2021–2022 school year. Staff provided updates on the proactive health and safety measures the district has taken including improved ventilation; mask/face coverings requirements; vaccine or weekly testing requirements for staff; vaccine promotion for students; enhanced sanitation; maximizing the use of outdoor spaces for lunch, instructional activities when feasible and other unmasked activities. Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will minimize learning disruption when students are in isolation or quarantine in accordance with the guidelines established by the Maryland Department of Health. At the elementary level, individual students in isolation or quarantine will receive live, virtual instruction from a teacher on a separate schedule from their peers; if an entire class is in quarantine, the teacher will provide virtual instruction for the class. At the secondary level, students in isolation or quarantine will have opportunities to connect with their teachers for live check-ins. As part of its efforts to address learning disruption, MCPS will begin assessing student learning in September. Data from these assessments will enable schools to develop plans to best meet student needs.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the county, MCPS will continue to work closely with state and local health officials to ensure student and staff safety while striving to keep buildings open for in-person teaching and learning. MCPS will not close school buildings and move to fully virtual instruction for all students unless state government officials order the school system to do so. If state government orders reduced capacity in school buildings, MCPS is developing a plan for hybrid instruction where students would receive in-person instruction on some days and virtual instruction on other days.
View the PowerPoint Presentation.
Read the Community Message.
Read the Board Memorandum.
School Resource Officer Program
The Board received an update and held a discussion on next steps for the School Resource Officer Program. In the Montgomery County operating budget for this fiscal year, County Executive Marc Elrich removed funding for SROs. The County Executive proposed a “community” model, in which police officers could respond to crises at schools from their beats in the surrounding community. In light of the executive’s decision and additional proposed legislation by the County Council, the Board asked the district to move forward with planning for an alternative program to provide adequate local law enforcement coverage as required by state law. For this school year, SROs will now be known as community engagement officers and will be:
MCPS is completing a comprehensive review of the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the school system and Montgomery County Police Department. The final MOU will be sent to the Board for its review and approval.
Contract Approval for RFP No. 4305.2, Executive Search Firm for Selection of a Superintendent of Schools
The Board approved a resolution to enter into a contractual agreement with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to provide professional consultant services for the superintendent of schools search and selection process based upon the proposal fee of $52,500, plus travel expenses, as appropriate, and other optional additional services as requested by the Board.
Read the Resolution.
Read the Press Release.
The Board approved the following administrative appointments:
The Board approved a resolution proclaiming Sept. 5–11, 2021, as National Suicide Prevention Week.
The Board of Education is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on September 9, 2021. The Board will meet in-person. 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 Board 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: Ms. Brenda Wolff, president; Ms. Karla Silvestre, vice president. Members: Dr. Judith Docca, Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, Ms. Lynne Harris, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ms. Hana O’Looney, student member. Dr. Monifa B. McKnight, interim superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.
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