Board of Education Hears Presentation on Annual Report; Discusses Organizational Effectiveness and Positions on Legislation

February 24, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, February 23, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board heard a presentation from MCPS staff on the Annual Report to the Community; received an update on how MCPS responds to severe weather; and discussed its position on legislative issues. 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.

Superintendent Search

Board President Patricia O’Neill highlighted the next steps in the search for a new superintendent.  Forums, as listed below, will be held in an ongoing effort to involve the community in the search process.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

  • Location: Eastern Middle School, 300 University Boulevard, East Silver Spring, MD 20901.  Interpretation services available in Amharic, French, and Spanish.
  • Location: Walter Johnson High School, 6400 Rock Spring Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814.  Interpretation services available in Korean and Spanish.

Thursday, March 5, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.

  • Location: Gaithersburg High School, 101 Education Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.  Interpretation services available in Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.
  • Location: Paint Branch High School, 14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, MD 20866.  Interpretation services available in French, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Child care (for children ages 4 and older) will be available during the forums. For sign language interpretation, please call 301-517-5539 by February 27, 2015.

For more information, visit the Board’s Superintendent Search website.

Annual Report to the Community for the 2013-2014 School Year
The Board of Education received a presentation from MCPS staff and held a discussion on the district’s new, interactive online Annual Report to the Community for the 2013-2014 school year. The Annual Report to the Community describes the forces driving change in the district and how MCPS is responding to them. The report discusses the strategies MCPS is using to close the achievement gap and prepare students for success in the 21st century. It also outlines the operational and student performance data that is used to monitor the district’s progress. The report features photos, charts, video and audio segments that help portray how MCPS is fulfilling its vision and mission.

See the Annual Report

Read the memo to the Board

Organizational Effectiveness—Responding to Inclement Weather
The Board received an update and held a discussion on organizational effectiveness in MCPS. Organizational effectiveness is the foundation of the district’s Strategic Planning Framework, Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff and Community. It represents how MCPS central services works collaboratively and strategically to support schools and students. The Board heard a presentation from MCPS staff on one specific process as an example of the district’s organizational effectiveness—how the school system prepares for and responds to inclement weather and weather-related emergencies. The presentation highlighted how various offices in central services work together to support schools during those challenging circumstances. When decisions are made about school closures, the safety of students and staff is the first priority. In general, decisions regarding school or office closures are made by 4:30 a.m. in order to notify families and employees before they begin their travel to school or work.

In the state of Maryland, schools are required to operate 180 days per year. The Board-adopted calendar includes four more days than are required so that days do not have to be made up when schools are closed due to weather conditions. The Board also adopts a contingency calendar in the event schools are closed for more than four days due to inclement weather.

Read the memo to the Board

Positions on Education Legislation
The Board discussed several pieces of legislation that are currently being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. The Board voted to support a bill that would place the burden of proof on the county in due process hearings related to special education; The Board also voted to support a bill that raises the possible penalty for a violation recorded by a school bus camera to a maximum of $500. The Board opposed other pieces of legislation, including one that would create a commission to review the use of local, state and national assessments in Maryland public schools.

Read the recommended Board positions (NOTE: Actual Board votes on these pieces of legislation may differ from staff recommendations.)  


Resolutions: The Board approved the following resolutions:
-A resolution declaring the month of March 2015 as Women’s History Month

-A resolution recognizing educators who earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2014

Future Meetings
The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. 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: Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, president; Mr. Michael Durso, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ms. Dahlia Huh, student member. Mr. Larry A. Bowers, interim superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.




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