Board of Education Discusses Pre-K Special Ed., Opening of Schools

September 16, 2010

ROCKVILLE, MD—The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Thursday, September 16, and, among other items, discussed the search for a new superintendent of schools, following Superintendent Jerry D. Weast’s announcement that he intends to retire next June. The Board also reviewed an update on prekindergarten special education, adopted the final report of a special education advisory committee focusing on Transition Services, and heard an oral update on the opening of schools. The Board approved the appointment of one administrator and declared September 15 to October 15 Hispanic Heritage Month in Montgomery County Public Schools.

Update on Prekindergarten Special Education
The Board of Education discussed an update on prekindergarten special education. MCPS continues to respond to the increasing needs and growing number of students ages birth through 5 who qualify for special education services. In FY 2010, 4,417 students with disabilities or developmental delays received individualized support with the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program or in a prekindergarten special education program. That number represents an increase of more than 27 percent over a five-year period. The update focused on information about the array of special education services available to better prepare young learners for success in school and featured two parents who spoke about their child’s positive experience.

Superintendent Search Process and Timeline

The Board of Education took the first step in the superintendent search process by approving a resolution to authorize a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) to hire a search firm to assist in the selection of a new superintendent of schools. The Board also discussed a draft timeline for the national search to replace Superintendent of Schools Jerry D. Weast. Dr. Weast announced on August 23 that he will retire at the end of his current contract, on June 30, 2011, after 12 years leading MCPS.  More information on the search is located at View the press release at

Report of the Special Education Continuous Improvement Team
The Board adopted the final report of its Special Education Continuous Improvement Team Advisory Committee, with recommendations regarding Transition Services. The committee was charged with identifying measurable indicators, outcomes, and performance benchmarks for special education programs; developing guidelines for disseminating these measures; and fostering the use of best practices throughout the Department of Special Education. The committee’s final phase of activities focused on Transition Services.

Oral Update on the Opening of Schools
The Board received an update on the August 30 opening of schools, which was a success. Enrollment of 144,000 students was higher than expected. Administrators, teachers and central office staff have made adjustments to balance out class sizes and bus assignments. Principals from three MCPS schools reported on smooth openings at their campuses and commended the work of their building services staff, teachers, school-based support staff, and central office administrators for contributing to such a successful opening.

Human Resources Appointments
The Board approved the appointment of the following administrator: Lily V. Lake-Parcan, currently the principal of Silver Spring International Middle School, to director of middle school instruction and achievement.

Hispanic Heritage Month
The Board passed a resolution declaring September 15 to October 15 to be observed as Hispanic Heritage Month in MCPS, as it is throughout the nation. Hispanic students make up 23.3 percent of the overall enrollment of the school system and are participating in increasing numbers in Advanced Placement and SAT exams. The Board recognized the contributions and accomplishments of Hispanic Americans throughout the nation in the fields of politics, medicine, education, business, technology, science, and the arts.

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