Board of Education Discusses Social Emotional Learning; Makes Administrative Appointments

March 31, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, March 30, 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 district’s work in the key competency area of Social Emotional Learning; authorized the interim superintendent of schools to submit to the County Council a list of reductions to bring the FY 2016 Operating Budget within the Council’s Spending Affordability Guidelines; and made three administrative appointments. 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.

Social Emotional Learning in MCPS
The Board of Education received a presentation from MCPS staff and held a discussion on MCPS’ systemic efforts to enhance its work in the key competency area of Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The MCPS Strategic Planning Framework—Building Our Future Together: Students, Staff, and Community—communicates the mission of MCPS as, “Every student will have the academic, creative problem solving, and social emotional skills to be successful in college and career.” SEL has been defined by MCPS as a process through which adults and children deepen their expertise in understanding and managing emotions and learning how they impact a person’s choices, relationships and outlook in life.

To facilitate the development of a systemic plan and identification of strong practices and practitioners of SEL in MCPS, the district launched the SEL Design Think Tank in October 2013. The team includes central office and school-based administrators, teachers, school psychologists, pupil personnel workers, instructional specialists, and an evaluation specialist in the Office of Shared Accountability. Throughout the year, the team met bimonthly to engage in research studies and conduct SEL rounds in schools across all three levels to develop a common definition and language for SEL. The SEL Design Think Tank continues to develop resources to support schools and offices in setting SEL goals and building deeper knowledge and skills to lead the adaptive work of SEL. The district has outlined several next steps to ensure that best practices related to SEL are an inherent part of the MCPS culture. MCPS is also developing an infrastructure to support systemwide implementation in 2015-2016. 

During the discussion, staff, including principals from four schools, shared SEL efforts that are occurring throughout the district.

Read the memo to the Board

Spending Affordability Guidelines
The Board of Education authorized Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers to submit a letter to the Montgomery County Council that outlines a list of reductions that would bring MCPS’ Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget within their Spending Affordability Guidelines (SAG). According to Montgomery County Code §20-63, any agency requesting more funding in an operating budget than the County Council’s SAG allocation for a given year must submit to the County Council a list of reductions that would bring the budget within the County Council’s SAG allocation. The Board’s FY 2016 requested tax-supported Operating Budget of $2,253.5 million exceeds the County Council’s SAG allocation of $2,130.7 million by $122.8 million.

The letter to the Council will summarize the reductions that the Board included in its adopted base budget based on the decrease in state aid reflected in Governor Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr.’s FY 2016 budget. MCPS withheld the allocation of more than 370 school-based positions and is reducing more than 40 central services positions. The district will also share with the Council other strategies it may use to reduce the budget to the SAG level should it become necessary.

Read the memo to the Board

Administrative Appointments
The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

William J. Collins, currently acting principal, Damascus Elementary School, as principal, Damascus Elementary School
Gregory C. Mullenholz, currently principal intern, Maryvale Elementary School, as principal, Ashburton Elementary School
Tivinia G. Nelson, currently acting principal, Strathmore Elementary School, as principal, Strathmore Elementary School

Facilities and School Construction
The Board approved the following item related to school construction projects and facilities:

-Appointed an architectural firm for the DuFief Elementary School Revitalization/Expansion Project Feasibility Study

Resolutions: The Board approved the following resolutions:

-A month declaring the month of April 2015 as the Month of the Young Child

-A resolution declaring the month of April 2015 as National Autism Awareness Month

-A resolution declaring the month of April 2015 as Arab American heritage Month

-A resolution declaring April 22, 2015 as Administrative Professionals Day and April 20 through April 24 as Administrative Professionals Week

Future Meetings
The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 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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