Board Discusses Update on Middle School Reform

October 12, 2005
The Board of Education met on Tuesday (October 11) and, among other items, discussed an update on middle school reform. The Board rescheduled appointment of members of the Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development. The Board also discussed an update on enrollment and demographic trends and approved a resolution on the disposition of Peary High School. In addition, the Board discussed an update on technology that supports accountability, teaching, and learning. Preliminary plans for an addition to Sherwood High School were approved. The Board designated a participation period for the Employees' Charity Campaign and recognized the winner of the Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award. The Board also recognized the observance of American Indian Heritage Month and National School Bus Safety Week.

Update on Middle School Reform

The Board discussed an update on the work of the Middle School Reform Steering Committee that is overseeing the development of a comprehensive reform of middle school instruction. Project teams will use research and data analysis to formulate reform strategies and initiatives. There is a specific focus on addressing the achievement gap of African American and Hispanic students, English language learners, students with disabilities, and students impacted by poverty. The proposed plan will be presented to the superintendent of schools for recommendation to the Board during the fall of 2006.

Appointments to the Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development

The Board rescheduled appointment of members to the reconstituted Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development until the Board of Education business meeting on October 24. The Board rescheduled the appointments because~it has not yet received qualified nominees with two alternates from organizations with reserved membership on the committee--Citizens for Responsible Curriculum (CRC), Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), and the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils (MCR).

Update on CIP/Enrollment

The Board discussed a presentation on preliminary enrollment for the current school year and demographic trends affecting future enrollment. Topics included an overview of Spending Affordability Guidelines, the State CIP request, and the schedule for boundary and capital improvement recommendations.

Utilization of the Former Peary High School

The Board adopted a position opposing permanent sale of the Peary High School facility in the Rockville Cluster area because of the possibility that the facility may be needed for public educational purposes in the future, particularly at the elementary school level. A copy of the Board resolution will be transmitted to the County Council Management and Fiscal Policy Committee, which had asked for the Board of Education's position on disposition of the property.

Update on Technology in Supporting Accountability and Teaching and Learning

The Board reviewed the ways in which technology is being used to assess student performance to improve achievement, professional development, employee services, and other critical areas.

Preliminary Plans--Sherwood High School

The Board approved preliminary plans for a 16-room addition to Sherwood High School.

Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award

The Board recognized Sarah Pinkney-Murkey, principal of Rosa Parks Middle School, for her accomplishments and for receiving the Superintendent's Annual Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award.

Montgomery County Employees--Charity Campaign

The Board designated fall 2005 as the period for participation in the Montgomery County Public Schools Charity Campaign and urged employees to demonstrate their continuing charity by donating to this campaign.

American Indian Heritage Month

The Board declared the month of November to be observed in Montgomery County Public Schools as American Indian Heritage Month as a reflection of the many ways American Indians enrich the county, state, and nation.

National School Bus Safety Week

The Board proclaimed the week of October 16-22 as National School Bus Safety Week and formally indicated its support for the Ride by the Rules campaign.

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