Board of Education Discusses Code of Conduct; Revises 2015-2016 School Calendar and Makes Administrative Appointments

May 29, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed the district’s new Code of Conduct; approved revisions to the 2015-2016 school calendar; and made several 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.

Revisions to the 2015-2016 School Calendar
The Board approved the following revisions to the calendar for the 2015-2016 school year, which reflect the change in the scheduled date for the Presidential Primary in Maryland:

  • Students will be off on Thursday, March 24, 2016 for a teacher workday;
  • All MCPS schools and offices will be closed on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 due to the Presidential Primary;
  • Students will attend school on Monday, April 4, 2016, and Tuesday, April 5, 2016, which were days off in the calendar originally approved by the Board. 

The Board of Education approved a calendar for the 2015-2016 school year in November and at that time, the Presidential Primary in Maryland was scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The initial Board-approved calendar scheduled a teacher workday for Monday, April 4, 2016—the day after spring break—and called for all schools and offices to be closed the following day due to the primary.  However, a bill to change the primary date in Maryland to Tuesday, April 26, 2016, was passed by the Maryland General Assembly earlier this year and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, Jr., on May 12, 2015. This required the Board to change the school calendar. The final Board-approved calendar moves the teacher workday to Thursday, March 24, 2016, which is the day before spring break begins. Since most MCPS facilities are used as polling places, all schools and offices will be closed on the day of the primary, Tuesday, April 26, 2016. There are no other changes to the calendar that was approved by the Board in November. The first day of the 2015-2016 school year will be Monday, August 31, 2015.

Read the memo to the Board

MCPS Code of Conduct

The Board of Education heard a presentation from MCPS staff and held a discussion on the MCPS Code of Conduct. The Board of Education is committed to maintaining a safe, secure environment in which students can learn and thrive. When students do make mistakes, it is important that consequences are appropriate and are administered in an equitable manner.

In 2014, MCPS introduced a new Code of Conduct which outlines expectations about student behavior and how schools should handle disciplinary incidents. The Code is part of a multiyear, multifaceted effort to reduce suspensions, increase student engagement, and narrow the achievement gap, consistent with revisions to the Board of Education’s Policy JGA, Student Discipline, and changes to state regulations and federal guidance. MCPS has done a significant amount of work over the past few years to actively engage students in their learning and reduce suspensions. The Code of Conduct sets forth the principle that removing students from the classroom, and suspensions and expulsions in particular, should only be used as a last resort.

Throughout the school year, there have been ongoing conversations with internal and external stakeholders. MCPS staff have been provided information on what the Code of Conduct says, how it is being implemented, and how it fits into the local and national conversation about keeping students connected to their instructional program. Additionally, MCPS staff have gathered feedback on how students, school-based and central office staff, principals and other groups are experiencing the implementation of the Code.

Based on the feedback that the district has received from stakeholders, MCPS will continue to move forward with implementation of the Code of Conduct with only a few minimal revisions to enhance its effectiveness. For the 2015–2016 school year, the revised Code will be distributed to schools in time for additional professional learning opportunities in schools for staff members prior to the start of the school year. Schools will have time to plan how they want to engage students with the revised Code of Conduct. Data will continue to be gathered and monitored throughout the school year to both ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct and inform systemic decision making. The Board emphasized the importance of training to help staff implement the Code of Conduct and ongoing communication among the school administration, staff, students, and community members.

Read the memo to the Board

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

Denise M. DeFiore, currently director, Staff Development Teacher Project Team, as director, Teacher Leadership Unit, Department of Instructional Leadership Support

Courtney D. Temple, previously director, Human Resources Operations and Talent Acquisition, University of Maryland Medical System, as supervisor, Human Capital Strategy, Office of Human Resources and Development

Latrice D. Rogers, currently coordinator, Special Initiatives, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, as assistant to the associate superintendent, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs

Carol L. Goddard, currently principal, Gaithersburg Middle School, as principal, Watkins Mill High School

James K. Allrich, currently acting principal, Benjamin Banneker Middle School, as principal, Argyle Middle School

Karen Y. Bryant, currently principal intern, Walt Whitman High School, as principal, Silver Spring International Middle School

Otis L. Lee, III, currently principal, Dr. Nathan A. Pitts-Ashburton Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore City Public Schools, as principal, Benjamin Banneker Middle School

Jeffrey L. Cline, currently principal, Eagle Academy Public Charter School, Washington, D.C., as principal, Oak View Elementary School

Robert S. Geiger, currently principal intern, JoAnn Leleck Elementary School at Broad Acres, as principal, New Hampshire Estates Elementary School

Bernard X. James, Sr., currently adjunct professor, Cabrini College, as principal, Kemp Mill Elementary School

James J. Virga, Jr., currently lead consulting principal, Office of Human Resources and Development, as principal, Seven Locks Elementary School

Erica W. Williams, currently principal intern, Bradley Hills Elementary School, as principal, Fields Road 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 Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School addition project feasibility study

-Appointed an architectural firm for the Takoma Park Middle School addition project feasibility study

-Appointed an architectural firm for the Walter Johnson High School addition project feasibility study

Resolutions: The Board approved the following resolutions:

-A resolution recognizing the League of Educators for Asian American Progress Scholarship Recipients
-A resolution recognizing Montgomery County Public Schools Higher Education Partnerships

-A resolution recognizing the retirement of MCPS personnel

-A resolution recognizing the 2015 Counselor of the Year Award winners

Future Meetings
The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 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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