“Neighbor to Neighbor” Offers Opportunity to Discuss MCPS Operating Budget, Bell Times

November 7, 2013
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) invites the community to participate in Neighbor to Neighbor, an initiative launched last school year to engage people in a discussion on important issues in education. This year, there will be Neighbor to Neighbor discussions on two topics—the MCPS Operating Budget and recommended changes to school start and end times, also known as bell times.

The Neighbor to Neighbor website provides all the resources community members need to host or participate in one—or both—of these self-guided discussions. These resources include overview videos, resources that can be printed or viewed online, and questions to get the conversation started.

The discussions can happen at a time and place convenient to the host, such as during a PTA meeting, at lunchtime with coworkers, or at home with neighbors and friends. Groups are asked to take notes on their discussions and send them to MCPS.

“Neighbor-to-Neighbor is one of the ways we can really engage our community at a time and place that is convenient for them,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “The feedback from the Neighbor to Neighbor discussions is taken very seriously and will help inform the important decisions we have to make about the budget and bell times.”

Feedback from Operating Budget Neighbor to Neighbor discussions will be shared with Dr.  Starr and the Montgomery County Board of Education as they discuss a budget request for next fiscal year (FY 2015).

Feedback from the Bell Times Neighbor to Neighbor discussions will be included in the broad input that MCPS is gathering on Dr. Starr’s recommendation that high schools start 50 minutes later; middle schools start 10 minutes earlier; and that the elementary school day be extended by 30 minutes.

In addition to Neighbor to Neighbor, MCPS is gathering feedback on the bell times recommendation in a variety of ways, including community forums, meetings for staff and students, and conducting surveys and focus groups.

Neighbor to Neighbor website

Operating Budget Neighbor to Neighbor Toolkit

Bell Times Neighbor to Neighbor Toolkit

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