Board Adopts MCPS Strategic Plan, Appoints Six Administrators, and Discusses MSA scores

July 16, 2008
ROCKVILLE, MD--The Board of Education met on Tuesday, July 15, and, among other items, discussed the 2008–2009 MCPS Strategic Plan, Our Call To Action: Pursuit of Excellence. The Board of Education approved a supplemental request to the Montgomery County Council to cover an expected deficit due to rising costs of diesel fuel. The Board discussed the Baldrige initiative in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and also made six administrative appointments.

Newly released Maryland School Assessment scores
Superintendent Jerry D. Weast reported to the Board of Education information released by the Maryland State Department of Education that MCPS students in elementary and middle school posted significant gains on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) while achievement gaps between African American and Hispanic students and their white and Asian American peers continued to narrow.

Among elementary students, 89.9 percent scored at the proficient or advanced level for reading and 87.2 percent for mathematics. Among middle school students, 86.3 percent scored at the proficient or advanced level for reading and 76.9 percent for mathematics. All grade levels and all subgroups achieved positive growth in student performance.

Updates and Improvements to the MCPS Strategic Plan
The Board of Education, following a review and discussion, approved changes to the Montgomery County Public Schools Strategic Plan, Our Call To Action: Pursuit of Excellence. The plan has been revised and strengthened in order to guide the work of schools and offices for the next four years to achieve the strategic goals approved by the Board of Education. These changes also will enable the Board of Education to continue its work to create a school system where student success will no longer be predictable by race. There is stronger language in the plan covering items such as middle school reform, smaller learning communities, and higher-level mathematics, among others. There are changes to the strategic plan to strengthen the work done to support special education students and to focus on rigorous performance standards for accelerated and enriched instruction.

Appointment of Student Member of the Board of Education to the Policy Committee
Ms. Quratul-Ann Malik, the current student member of the Board of Education, has been appointed to the Board’s Policy Committee for the term of her office.

The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

Renee Foose, currently principal, Earle B. Wood Middle School, as director of school performance, Winston Churchill, Richard Montgomery, Rockville, and Thomas S. Wootton clusters, Office of School Performance

Steve Simon, currently director of communications, Montgomery College, as director of public information, Department of Communications

Elizabeth L. Thomas, currently assistant principal, Kingsview Middle School, as principal, Kingsview Middle School

Stacy E. Gray, currently assistant principal, Francis Scott Key Middle School, as supervisor, Middle School Programs, Department of Enriched and Innovative Programs, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs

Joanne C. Hoffman, currently assistant principal, Rosa Parks Middle School, as supervisor, Special Education, Office of Special Education and Student Services

Jennifer S. Lane, currently instructional specialist, Title I programs, as magnet coordinator for A. Mario Loiederman Middle School, Office of Curriculum and Instructional

ProgramsRecommended FY 2009 Supplemental Appropriation for Diesel Fuel
The Board approved a supplemental request that will be submitted to the Montgomery County Council for $5,682,000 to offset an expected deficit due to rising diesel fuel prices. When the FY 2009 budget was developed, fuel was $2.75 a gallon and now averages $ 4.50 a gallon. Efforts to conserve fuel, such as monitoring bus idling times and reviewing bus routes, have resulted in fuel savings of 68,474 gallons in FY 2007 and 44,672 gallons in FY 2008.

Baldrige in Montgomery County Public Schools
The Board of Education heard a report on the current status of Baldrige initiatives in MCPS. More specifically,
the Board received an update on the use of the Baldrige-guided School Improvement Planning (BGSIP) process. The BGSIP process has moved all schools to a more systematic process for addressing the needs of all students. The director of the Division of Materials Management briefed the Board of Education on efforts to ensure “gold plated” customer service by his staff.

Adoption of Professional Growth Tool
The Board of Education adopted a revised evaluation tool for 2008 for the position of Superintendent of Schools, including the timeline for its annual review and update.

The Board of Education: Mrs. Nancy Navarro, president. Ms. Shirley Brandman, vice president. Members: Mr. Steve Abrams, Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Sharon Cox, Dr. Judy Docca, Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, and Ms. Quratul-Ann Malik, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

The Montgomery County Board of Education 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.

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