Board of Education Appoints Community Superintendent

July 28, 2009
Board of Education Discusses MSAs, Appoints Community Superintendent for Downcounty Consortium

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, July 27, and, among other items, discussed the implications for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Differentiated Accountability Pilot. The Board also approved three administrative appointments.

MSAs—Implications of MSDE’s Differentiated Accountability Pilot
The Montgomery County Board of Education discussed the Differentiated Accountability Pilot, which is planned for full implementation by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) in the 2009–2010 school year. The pilot is an alternative way to identify schools for improvement when they do not achieve Adequate Yearly Progress on state assessments. The U.S. Department of Education invited state education departments to pilot alternative school improvement models and approved the three-year pilot proposed by MSDE in July 2008.

Under the pilot, there is now a distinction made based on the number of years a school has been in School Improvement (Developing Stage versus a more severe Priority Stage), as well as the group or number of subgroups that did not meet the annual targets in a given year (Focused Needs versus Comprehensive Needs). All schools identified for improvement on either pathway must submit a comprehensive School Improvement Plan that meets MSDE requirements within 90 days of identification. No MCPS school is in the Priority Stage.

Several years ago, MCPS began implementing a system of technical assistance and supports for schools on Alert or In Improvement that exceeds the Differentiated Accountability Pilot requirements. Enhanced School Improvement Teams and Achievement Steering Committees provide direct assistance to schools in the Improvement phase. A recent report shows that students continue to show steady progress on Maryland School Assessments.

Administrative Appointments
The Board of Education made the following administrative appointments:

Bronda L. Mills, currently director of school performance in the Office of School Performance, as community superintendent, Office of School Performance 
Shawn Joseph, currently principal of Roberto W. Clemente Middle School, as director of school performance, Office of School Performance 
Sundra E. Mann, currently assistant principal, Ridgeview Middle School, as magnet coordinator, Argyle Middle School

Paint Branch HS—Acquisition of Airy Hill Local Park and Memorandum of Understanding
The Board of Education authorized the Board president and secretary to accept a deed for the purchase of the Airy Hill Local Park in the amount of $1.1 million and to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with the Interagency Coordinating Board that assures adequate community uses of the recreation facilities on the school property. The undeveloped 11.32-acre property will allow Paint Branch High School students to remain at the existing facility during the school’s modernization and provide increased opportunities for future community recreation.

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Montgomery County Board of Education: Ms. Shirley Brandman, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Ms. Laura Berthiaume, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, and Mr. Timothy Hwang, 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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