Hundreds Attend 2014 MCPS State of the Schools Event

November 10, 2014
Superintendent Starr Emphasizes Importance of Partnerships in 3rd Annual Address

More than 850 people, including community and business leaders, parents and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff, attended the 3rd annual State of the Schools event on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at the Music Center at Strathmore.

The State of the Schools provided an opportunity for members of the community to come together to support MCPS and celebrate the accomplishments and talents of its students. 

At the event, Superintendent Joshua P. Starr outlined the five core strategies that MCPS is using to ensure that the achievement gap is eliminated and that every student is equipped with the skills and knowledge they need for success in the 21st century:

- Academic Rigor and Culturally Proficient Instruction: Great teaching and learning that is rigorous, relevant, and meets the needs of all students;

- Equitable Funding and Support: Providing the resources where they are needed most;

- Human Capital Management: Hiring, retaining, and developing the very best educators, school leaders, and support professionals;

- Community Engagement: Partnering with parents and the community to meet the needs of our students and their families; and

- Operational Excellence and Continuous Improvement: Providing world-class services to students and staff, and holding ourselves accountable for results.  

Dr. Starr highlighted some of the innovative work of school leaders, educators, and staff across the district as they work to ensure that student outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

“There has never been a greater sense of urgency to close gaps and enable our students to achieve new, higher standards,” he said. “I sense it every day in our schools and offices, in our community, and in every conversation I have with our teachers, staff, and families.”

He said the entire Montgomery County community must come together to ensure that all students are prepared to thrive in their futures.

“This is urgent—our kids will not wait. This is the right time and Montgomery County is the right place,” Dr. Starr said. “We are building our future together—one community, one school, one classroom, and one student at a time.”

Before Dr. Starr’s address, attendees had the opportunity to view student artwork and enjoy musical performance and dance presentations. More than 100 students from 50 MCPS schools participated in the event.

The 2014 State of the Schools—Building Our Future Together—was made possible by the support of Strathmore and Glenstone. Their support builds on the existing partnerships these organizations already have with MCPS. Since the Music Center opened in 2005, the Strathmore Student Concert Series has presented concerts to thousands of MCPS students each year. In October, MCPS and Strathmore collaborated with the preeminent jazz education organization JazzReach to offer a new Blues program to more than 11,000 Grade 5 students celebrating the diversity of cultures and traditions that shaped American music. Next week, nearly 12,000 Grade 2 students will visit Strathmore to hear a performance from the National Philharmonic.  

Glenstone began a partnership with the district in 2011 that allows hundreds of MCPS teachers and students to visit the museum and see one of the country’s most notable collections of modern art. This partnership will continue to expand in the coming years.

The 2014 State of the Schools was also made possible through donations from partners including the Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, the Hess Foundation, Comcast, Discovery Education, International Baccalaureate, and the Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education. 

Proceeds from the event will be used to support the mission of the Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation, particularly the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program. The ACES program is a collaborative effort among MCPS, Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove to improve college enrollment and completion for students underrepresented in higher education. Learn more on the ACES website:

Video and pictures of the event will be posted on the State of the Schools website:  

Read Dr. Starr's speech

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