Board of Education Sets Calendar for 2015-2016; Adopts Legislative Platform for 2015, and Discusses High School Milestones (Corrected)

November 13, 2014
Note: This press release is being resent with a date correction. 

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board set the school year calendar for 2015-2016, adopted its legislative platform for the 2015 Legislative session, and discussed high school milestones aligned to the Strategic Planning Framework. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You can also watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.

2015-2016 School Year Calendar
The Board of Education adopted the calendar for the 2015-2016 school year. The school year will begin on Monday, August 31, 2015, and is scheduled to end on Friday, June 17, 2016.  The Board also adopted a contingency plan that would extend the school year until June 24, 2016, depending on how many days would be needed to make up for lost instructional time due to emergency closings.  The calendar was developed in partnership with the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, the school district’s three employee associations, and the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils, as well as other community members and school system leadership.

The Board of Education also voted to remove references to religious holidays from the 2015-2016 MCPS school calendar. This decision was made to emphasize that the decision to close school on a particular day is based on operational matters—such as high staff and student absenteeism—and not for religious or cultural reasons.

View the memo to the Board of Education
Learn more about the Board’s decision

2015 Legislative Platform

The Board of Education approved a legislative platform for the 2015 Maryland legislative session. The platform represents the Board’s stance on overall legislative issues and specific legislative initiatives related to funding and accountability, local board authority and student programs. The Board will continue to discuss legislative issues leading up to and during the 2015 session, which begins in January.  

Read the Board’s draft legislative platform

High School Milestones

The Board received an update and held a discussion on high school milestones that are a part of the district’s Strategic Planning Framework—Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff and Community. The Framework incorporates three competencies that students need for success in the 21st century—academic excellence, creative problem solving, and social emotional learning—as well as a continued commitment to operational excellence. A critical component of the framework is the process by which the district will measure the health of the school system and its efforts to improve teaching and learning and close the achievement gap. Data is being monitored at important milestones in high school, including English and mathematics performance, Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate performance, eligibility for extracurricular activities, and on-time graduation.  For the first time, MCPS has set specific gap-closing targets, in addition to student performance targets. Data from the 2013-2014 school year show that MCPS has made progress in its effort to close the gap and prepare students for college and the workforce. However, significant gaps still persist in some areas. The district will continue to implement high-impact instructional leadership practices and examine school progress to improve outcomes for students.

Read the memo

Approval of Pilot Courses
The Board also approved the development of new pilot courses, which will be offered at select schools as part of a process outlined in Board Policy IFA—Curriculum and MCPS Regulation IFA-RA—Curriculum.  The Board approved the development of six new high school pilot courses. The Board also approved eight courses that have gone through the pilot process as restricted courses offered at specific high schools. Read the memo to the Board and the list of courses.

Resolutions: The Board approved the following resolutions:

A resolution in honor of veterans
-A resolution declaring Nov. 17-21 as American Education Week
-A resolution declaring Nov. 10-14 as School Psychology Awareness Week
-A resolution declaring the week of Dec. 1-5 as National Inclusive Schools Week

Future Meetings

The Board will hold a second public hearing November 13 on the Superintendent’s Recommended FY 2016 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program (CIP).  The Board will meet on Monday, November 17 to make decisions regarding the CIP. The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
Please check the Board of Education meeting calendar for further information

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


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