Board of Education Receives Update on Implementation of Mathematics Common Core State Standards; Discusses School Security Systems

January 9, 2013

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board received an update on the implementation of the Mathematics Common Core State Standards; discussed school security systems; and discussed the implementation of federal and Maryland laws and regulations in MCPS.

Implementation of the Mathematics Common Core State Standards
The Board of Education received an update and had a wide-ranging discussion about upgrades to the mathematics program in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The changes to the mathematics program have been made in response to the findings and recommendations in the K–12 Mathematics Work Group Report (2010), the required alignment of MCPS curriculum with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and to ensure that all students have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.

The CCSS call for a higher level of mathematics thinking for all students. MCPS’ mathematics instruction in Curriculum 2.0 will expand access to higher-level courses to ensure that the majority of students will reach Algebra 1 in Grade 8, with a few completing Algebra 1 by Grade 9 and a few completing the course prior to Grade 8.  Implications of CCSS adoption include the need to increase teacher’s content knowledge, change instructional practices, design and implement new formative assessments, provide acceleration and intervention, set appropriate targets, and provide comprehensive professional development for employees throughout the system including teachers, administrators, and professional support staff.

Upgrades in the MCPS mathematics program will result in changes from the previous 2001 program including: alignment to internationally driven standards, a targeted focus with a fewer topics per grade/course, an emphasis on proficiency and deep understanding, as well as acceleration and enrichment based on individual student needs.

Read the Board Memo

MCPS Mathematics Website

School Security Systems
The Board held a discussion on school security systems and passed a resolution approving a request to the Montgomery County Council to move $364,000 of funding from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2013 in the School Securities System Project in the Capital Improvements Program. The purpose of the request is to complete installation of Access Control Systems (ACS) in elementary schools by June 30, 2013.

The ACS helps regulate access into the school and is installed on two doors of each elementary school. It consists of exterior cameras located near the entrances, a computer monitor in the main office, an intercom system, and a remote strike release. All visitors must be buzzed in before entering the building. There are 47 elementary schools, including holding schools, which do not currently have ACS installed. Twenty-one of these schools were funded in FY 2013, and these systems will be installed within the next six weeks. Funds for ACSs in the remaining 26 schools are included in the FY 2014 funding.  If the request is approved by the County Council, all MCPS elementary schools will have ACS systems by the end of June 2013.

Read the Access Control Systems Memo

Implementation of Federal and Maryland Laws and Regulations
The Board held a discussion on the Teacher and Principal Evaluation (TPE) requirements and the new School Progress Index (SPI), as well as other federal and state requirements that may impact MCPS during the next 12 to 18 months. Superintendent Starr submitted TPE plans to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) that are in compliance with the requirements of the Education Reform Act of 2010 and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13.A.07.09. The parties collaborated to revise and align the Professional Growth Systems with the required statutory and regulatory elements.

MSDE is implementing a new accountability system based on the Maryland School Progress Index, which is a composite of multiple indicators and measures that reflect Maryland’s priorities and educational values. The SPI is the overall accountability measure and is composed of the following indicators: achievement, gap reduction, growth and college and career readiness. Information about SPI is available on the MSDE website.

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointment:

- Katherine (Diane) D. Smith, currently principal, Farmland Elementary School, as coordinator, Department of Recruitment and Staffing, Office of Human Resources and Development.

Other Action: The Board also took action on several items, including: 

Appointed an architectural firm to perform a feasibility study for the Downcounty Consortium Elementary Comprehensive Capacity Study Project

Approved contracts for the Bel Pre Elementary School Modernization

The Board unanimously approved the following:

A resolution declaring February 2013, as African American History Month
A resolution in appreciation of Mrs. Jo Ann “Jody” Leleck
A resolution in appreciation of Mr. James Robinson

About the Board of Education

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.

Montgomery County Board of Education: Mr. Christopher Barclay, president; Mr. Philip Kauffman, vice president. Members: Mrs. Shirley Brandman, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Michael Durso, Mr. Phil Kauffman, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. John Mannes, student member. Dr. Joshua P. Starr, superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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