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Board of Education Discusses Fall Return to School; Receives an Update on Health Contingency Plans; Makes Administrative Appointments; Receives an Update on Facilities Management and Real Estate Strategic Plan; and Passes Unanimous Resolution Mandating MCPS Staff to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) held a business meeting on September 9, 2021. During the meeting, the Board discussed the fall return to school; health contingency plans; the facilities management and real estate strategic plan; the opening of Charles W. Woodward High School; Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School #9; recognized Hispanic Heritage Month; made administrative appointments; and passed a resolution requiring all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. Watch the meeting recording.
Fall Return to School
The Board received an update and held a discussion on the fall return to school and heard reflections on the first days of school from students and principals. Students and principals shared highlights and challenges from the first week of school. The 2021–2022 school year began on August 30, 2021, with all schools returning to in-person instruction at 100 percent capacity five days a week.
View the PowerPoint Presentation
Health Contingency Plan
The Board received an update and held a discussion on quarantine guidance, on-site symptomatic rapid testing, quarantine instructional plans and COVID-19 screening tests for students in grades Pre-K—6. They also discussed planning for hybrid instructional models should the Maryland State Department of Education direct a shift to hybrid learning.
View the PowerPoint Presentation.
Facilities Management and Real Estate Strategic Plan
The Board received an update and held a discussion on a facilities management and real estate strategic plan. They discussed real estate inventory, regional focus areas and initiatives, and market trends.
Charles W. Woodward High School Reopening Project
The Board received an update on Charles W. Woodward High School and approved an updated project design to ensure completion of Phase I of the project. Original plans allowed for a 2,700 student capacity; updated plans will reduce student capacity to 2,160. Plans were updated due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on construction materials, manufacturing, supply chains, and labor force. Adjusting the plan to set cost-saving measures will allow the project to remain on schedule.
Read the memorandum to the Board.
Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School #9 Project
The Board discussed plans for Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School #9 and voted to continue with the project as designed, on schedule.
The Board approved a resolution recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15, 2021.
The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:
Jennifer C. Norton, currently program manager, English Learner Supports, Office of the State Superintendent of Education, as director, Department of English Learner and Multilingual Education, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs, Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools
Diana K. Wyles, currently associate general counsel, Prince George’s County Public Schools, as supervisor, Resolution and Compliance Unit, Office of Special Education, Office of Teaching, Learning, and Schools
New Business Item
The Board unanimously passed a resolution mandating that all Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff be vaccinated. The resolution requires that all staff employed by MCPS provide verification that they have received at least the first COVID-19 vaccine by September 30, 2021, and verification of the second vaccine by October 29, 2021 (as applicable), unless staff request an exemption based on a medical reason documented by a medical doctor. If a medical exemption is granted, the employee must submit to regular COVID-19 testing as required by MCPS. The Board passed this resolution as an added layer of protection, particularly for younger students who are not eligible to be vaccinated. A series of vaccination clinics hosted by MCPS, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and other healthcare providers will be conducted across the county.
Read the adopted resolution.
The Board is scheduled to hold its next business meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 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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