Board Discusses Technology, Construction Projects, Legislation

March 11, 2011

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, March 8, and discussed, among other items, innovations in the area of technology and an update on the search for a new superintendent. The Board tentatively approved an update of a policy focusing on English language learners, approved actions related to facilities, entered into a lease agreement with Montgomery County and shared its position on proposed items of state legislation.

Innovations in Technology
The Board of Education received and discussed an update on the innovative use of technology throughout Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and reviewed challenges in ensuring that all students and staff can benefit from technology innovations. Changes in digital content are creating shifts in the way teachers are teaching, students are learning, and the school system is providing business and other key services. Appropriate budgetary support will be needed to continue integrating technologies across all aspects of the school system and building the capacity of users. The presentation included a demonstration of current classroom technology. Read the Board Update

Update on Superintendent Search
The Board received an update on the search for the next superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools. Superintendent Jerry D. Weast is retiring on June 30, 2011. Board President Christopher Barclay urged residents to stay informed by visiting the Board’s Superintendent Search website.


Tentative Action, Policy IOD, Education of English Language Learners

The Board gave tentative approval to revised Policy IOD, Education of English Language Learners. The policy reaffirms the education of English language learners as a high priority for MCPS and ensures compliance with federal and state mandates regarding the education of English language learners. It identifies ESOL as the specific program to be provided to eligible English language learners and identifies specific skill areas to be developed. The policy will be sent out for public comment.


Lease Agreement—Brickyard Road Site

The Board agreed to enter into a lease agreement with Montgomery County concerning property the Board owns on Brickyard Road in Potomac. Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett has expressed interest in creating additional ball fields on the site for community use. The county will begin the process of getting the necessary permits and public input on the site.


Facilities Action

The Board took the following actions related to facilities:

- Extended contractual agreements to provide professional architectural and engineering services as requirements arise for relocatable classroom moves.

- Awarded contracts for the initial construction phase of the Gaithersburg High School modernization project, contingent on the County Council’s approval of the FY 2012 Capital Budget.

- Approved engineering appointments for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning replacement program.

- Authorized the execution of a conservation easement agreement for land at Herbert Hoover Middle School with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.


Preliminary Plans
The Board approved preliminary plans for the Darnestown Elementary School and Viers Mill Elementary School addition projects.


Items of Legislation

The Board of Education discussed several pieces of legislation currently being considered by the Maryland state legislature which would affect Montgomery County Public Schools. Bills discussed relate to charter schools; construction/maintenance; fiscal; human resources; reporting; student curriculum, enrollment, and health; transportation; and other areas. Read the superintendent’s recommendations

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