Board of Education Discusses 2015–2016 Strategic Priorities; Awards Contracts for New B-CC Middle School

August 21, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Thursday, August 20, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed the strategic priorities for the 2015–2016 school year; awarded contracts for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2 project; and made an administrative appointment. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You also can watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.

2015–2016 Strategic Priorities
The Board of Education heard a presentation from MCPS staff and held a wide-ranging discussion on the district’s strategic priorities for the 2015–2016 school year. The district has identified five critical areas where it will intensely focus its efforts in order to increase student performance and accelerate progress toward closing the achievement gap:

  • Academic success in literacy and mathematics
  • Accountability and results
  • A culture of collaboration and respect
  • Human capital management
  • Partnerships and engagement

The district’s work will be guided by the Strategic Planning Framework, Building our Future Together: Students, Staff, and Community and the District Implementation Plan. The foundation for academic success will be strengthened in the 2015–2016 school year by focusing on instruction in literacy and mathematics. MCPS will develop literacy and mathematics plans that use an equity lens to address curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, resources, and professional learning.

An accountability framework will be developed that includes data that will be used to monitor progress at the system level as well as in schools and classrooms. Data will be used to determine strategies and interventions for addressing school performance. All of the components of the district’s Teacher Workforce Diversity Initiative will be fully implemented to ensure that the district’s workforce is highly skilled and more reflective of the student body.

A comprehensive professional learning plan will be aligned with the Strategic Priorities for 2015–2016 to support a systemwide vision of professional learning that includes high quality professional development based on the learning needs of students and staff.

Read the Board Memorandum

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2

The Board unanimously approved $48 million in contracts to begin construction of a new middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster. Construction on Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2 will begin in September 2015 and the school is expected to open in August 2017. The school will be built at the site of Rock Creek Hills Local Park, which was previously owned by the Board of Education and was the location of Kensington Junior High School, which closed in 1979. The Board transferred the land to the county with the provision that it could be reclaimed if the land was ever needed for a school. The property was subsequently transferred to the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission in 1990 for use as a park. The Rock Creek Hills site was the overwhelming recommendation of the Site Selection Advisory Committee that reviewed 38 possible locations for the new middle school.
Read the Board Memorandum

Board Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointment:

Cheryl L. Smith, currently director, Family and Community Engagement, Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships, as director of School Support and Improvement of Elementary Schools, Office of School Support and Improvement

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, September 8, 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 Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Mr. Larry A. Bowers, interim superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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