Board of Education Reviews Foreign Language Program

January 11, 2005
The Board of Education met today [January 11] and, among other items, discussed a report on the foreign language program, reviewed an update on safety and security, and appointed three administrators. The Board also reviewed a report on the Supporting Services Professional Growth System and approved the observance of African American History Month in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

Foreign Language Report

The Board discussed a comprehensive review of the foreign language program in grades kindergarten through 12. The report addresses current status and monitoring of the program, how the program compares to foreign language programs in comparable districts, and recommendations based on the review.

Safety and Security Update

The Board reviewed an update on the school system's readiness for responding to an emergency or crisis situation, including continued crisis training and practice, planning, and collaboration with local government and other safety agencies using the Incident Command System. The MCPS Emergency Response Plan has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Education as a leader in emergency/crisis preparedness. In 2003, MCPS received a $626,713 emergency response and crisis management grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The America Prepared Campaign also has recognized MCPS, giving the school system the highest ranking for emergency preparedness, one of only three school systems nationally to achieve this recognition.


The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

· Joseph M. Sacco, currently principal, John Poole Middle School, as principal, Quince Orchard Middle School #2

· Brian K. Betts, currently interdisciplinary team leader, Neelsville Middle School, as coordinator, Colonel Joseph Belt Middle School Magnet Program

· Casey B. Crouse, currently instructional facilitator, Office of Career and Technology Education, and director, Academy of Finance and Academy of Information Technology, Howard County Public Schools, as coordinator, Argyle Middle School Magnet Program

Supporting Services Professional Growth System

The Board reviewed an update on the development of the Supporting Services Professional Growth System (SSPGS) and plans for implementation that will begin in September 2005. The SSPGS is the third phase in a reformation of the professional development and evaluation programs for all MCPS employees.

African American History Month

The Board declared February as African American History Month in MCPS to honor the contributions of African Americans in Montgomery County, the state, and the nation, and to enhance the awareness of the impact of attitudes and expectations on the achievement of African American students.

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