Parental Involvement Support Reviewed

September 25, 2007
The Board of Education met on Monday (September 24) and, among other items, reviewed an update on the role of student services and parental involvement staff. The Board approved an administrative appointment and recognized the observance of Walk to School Day. The Board also approved a resolution regarding the Comprehensive Master Plan to be presented to the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and adopted recommendations in the annual report of the Special Education Continuous Improvement Team Advisory Committee.

Role of Student Services and Parental Involvement Staff

The Board discussed a presentation on the strategic use of student services and parental involvement staff to serve students, parents, and community members. Board of Education Policy ABC and Regulation ABC-RA, Parental Involvement, provide the framework for the school system’s efforts to fully engage parents as partners who can advocate strongly for their child’s education. Goal 3 of the school system’s strategic plan affirms the priority of strengthening productive partnerships for education.

The Department of Student Services provides support to students and families through counselors, school-based ESOL counselors, pupil personnel workers, field office-based school psychologists, and other staff, amounting to more than 550 positions. The work of this department complements the efforts of parent outreach staff to involve parents in all aspects of their child’s education. There are 72.6 central services and 13.9 school-based positions whose primary responsibility is supporting schools in their parental involvement efforts. A wide variety of programs, services, and feedback measures are in place to encourage and support two-way communication between home and school and encourage community collaboration.

Next steps involve building capacity to deliver services through 1) development of a central structure to provide coordinated leadership, support to schools, and accountability 2) ongoing training on parental involvement 3) strengthened two-way communication, and 4) expanded partnerships with community organizations to engage traditionally underrepresented parents.


The Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Laura Steinberg, currently director, Department of Reporting and Regulatory Accountability, as staff assistant, Legislative and Inter-Governmental Relations, Office of the Board of Education.

Walk to School Day

The Board proclaimed October 3, 2007, as “Walk to School Day,” in recognition of the need for safe walking routes for children and adults; for reducing the number of vehicles on the road, thus decreasing the intake of pollutants that can be especially harmful to children; and for encouraging physical activity to combat childhood obesity, which can lead to chronic illness. The Board encourages everyone to consider the safety of pedestrians, and in particular, student walkers, every day.

Resolution on the Comprehensive Master Plan

A resolution on the Comprehensive Master Plan developed by an ad hoc committee of the Board of Education for presentation to the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) encourages the Maryland State General Assembly to amend Section 5–401 of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland to provide an integrated strategic planning process that is not duplicative and burdensome to school systems. Further, the resolution seeks to have MABE pledge to work with the State Board of Education, superintendents, and local boards of education to advocate for changes outlined in the resolution.

Special Education Continuous Improvement Team Advisory Committee

The Board adopted the recommendations presented in the annual report of the Special Education Continuous Improvement Advisory Committee and voted to increase the membership of the advisory committee by adding two students. The Committee reviews special education programs, identifies desired outcomes and key performance benchmarks, and works to ensure that these benchmarks are incorporated into all school improvement plans and used effectively to monitor services.

Development of Regulations Concerning Audits

The Board voted to consider at its next meeting whether the superintendent should develop regulations regarding a review process in which the Board is informed about the alignment of outside audit projects with the pertinent requirements of the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Discussion of Proposal of County-Wide Strategic Plan

The Board voted to discuss at its next meeting the involvement that MCPS will have in advocating for, and participating in, a county-wide strategic planning process.

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