Board of Education Approves Rock Terrace and Tilden Middle School Collocation; Discusses Science Curriculum Framework

May 13, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board approved the recommendation to collocate the Rock Terrace School with Tilden Middle School; discussed and approved the revised MCPS K–12 Science Curriculum Framework; and received an update on K–12 literacy in MCPS. 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.

MCPS Science Curriculum Framework

The Board of Education heard a presentation from MCPS staff and voted to approve the revised Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) K–12 Science Curriculum Framework. The revised framework establishes curriculum requirements for all grade levels. The Maryland State Board of Education has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and MCPS has thoroughly reviewed the science curriculum to ensure that it fully incorporates the NGSS. The K–12 Science Curriculum Framework— 

• applies research reflected in foundational studies such as Science for All Americans, Benchmarks for Science Literacy, and 2009 National Science Teachers Association Anchors Project;

• aligns with NGSS;

• builds upon the experiential knowledge of MCPS teachers and administrators over many years of implementing science education programs; and

• is consistent with MCPS’ core values, as outlined in the Strategic Planning Framework, and the three competencies of Academic Excellence, Creative Problem Solving, and Social Emotional Learning. 

Historically, MCPS K–12 science instruction has involved an inquiry-based approach, in addition to providing students the opportunity to explore scientific phenomena, develop investigative questions, and analyze data to construct scientific explanations. Staff members in the MCPS Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs will now collaborate with school-based staff members to develop resources that align with the framework, support student engagement, promote critical thinking, and make meaningful connections among disciplines. Through the implementation of the framework, students will develop an understanding of complex content and scientific literacy for incorporation in their daily lives.

Read the memo to the Board and see the revised Framework

Rock Terrace School/Tilden Middle School Collocation
The Board voted unanimously to approve the collocation of the Rock Terrace School and Tilden Middle School and authorized a feasibility study for the project. In March 2015, Interim superintendent Larry A. Bowers recommended that Rock Terrace and Tilden Middle School share a new facility to maximize opportunities for students with disabilities to receive instruction in a regular school setting when appropriate. The current six-year Capital Improvements Program for Fiscal Years 2015-2020 includes a revitalization/expansion project at what is now the Tilden Lane holding school. The revitalized school is slated to become the new location for Tilden Middle School. Rock Terrace School is housed in a 65-year-old, stand-alone building in Rockville, and is in need of significant improvement.

A Roundtable Discussion Group convened in winter 2014–2015 to review the possible collocation of Rock Terrace School and Tilden Middle School. The Board received an overview on the Roundtable and input received during the process. The Board held a work session on the recommendation on April 14 and also held a public hearing on April 27. Collocation of special education schools with general education schools allows the school system to meet the goal of providing students with disabilities opportunities to receive instruction in the general education setting to the maximum extent appropriate. Tilden and Rock Terrace will maintain separate staff, instructional spaces, and leadership in order to fulfill their unique missions.

Read the memo to the Board

Grade K–12 Literacy

The Board received an update and held a discussion on literacy in MCPS.  During the past five years, MCPS has refined teaching and learning practices to promote the use and development of literacy skills throughout the school day. In elementary school grades, teachers use resources from Curriculum 2.0 to implement instruction that integrates literacy and Thinking and Academic Success Skills (TASS)—critical and creative thinking skills and academic success skills—throughout all content areas. In secondary school grades, teachers incorporate Core Literacy Practices into instruction in all subject areas to help students deepen understanding of content and use language to communicate their thinking.

The following principles guide the district’s ongoing efforts to promote literacy in MCPS:

1. Literacy is a shared responsibility in all content areas and is a natural part of all instruction;

2. Curriculum and instruction must prepare all students to be college-and-career ready in the 21st century;

3. In order to close the achievement gap, every student needs effective literacy instruction; and

4. A shared ownership of literacy instruction results from purposeful collaboration, consistent messages, and professional learning communities. 

Read the memo to the Board

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

Mrs. Siobhan M. Alexander, currently supervisor, Elementary Integrated Curriculum Team, as director, Elementary Integrated Curriculum Team, Department of Curriculum and Instructional Programs

Dr. Eric L. Minus, currently administrative director of middle schools, Howard County Public School System, as director, School Support and Improvement for Middle Schools, Office of School Support and Improvement

Mr. Eric A. Wilson, currently principal, Sligo Middle School as director, School Support and Improvement for Elementary Schools, Office of School Support and Improvement

Ms. Dana E. Davison, currently principal, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, as executive director, Office of the Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Matthew E. Stanski, currently chief financial officer, The School District of Philadelphia, as supervisor, Management Budget Operations, Department of Management, Budget and Planning

Dr. Donna Redmond Jones, currently principal, Rosa M. Parks Middle School, as principal, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

Mr. Evan H. Bernstein, currently acting principal, Forest Knolls Elementary School, as principal, Forest Knolls Elementary School

Mr. Kevin M. Burns, currently principal intern, Meadow Hall Elementary School, as principal, Rock Creek Valley Elementary School

Ms. Cindy A. Chichester-Ollivierre, currently principal intern, Olney Elementary School as principal, JoAnn Leleck Elementary School at Broad Acres

Ms. Srelyne A. Harris, currently principal intern, Rachel Carson Elementary School, as principal, Waters Landing Elementary School

Mr. Antonio C. Scott, currently principal intern, Sequoyah Elementary School, as principal, Cashell 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 Blair G. Ewing Center Facility Improvements Feasibility Study and Alternative Education Program Relocation

-Appointed an architectural firm for the Fields Road Elementary School Addition Project Feasibility Study and Quince Orchard Cluster Comprehensive Study

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

Resolutions: The Board approved the following resolutions:

-A resolution recognizing recipients of the NAACP Scholarship Award
-A resolution in honor of former superintendent Dr. Paul L. Vance

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, May 26, 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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