Board of Education Discusses Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget Interests; Receives Update on Strategic Technology Plan

September 22, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Monday, September 21, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed its Fiscal Year 2017, Operating Budget Interests and received an update on the implementation of MCPS’ Strategic Technology Plan. 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.

Fiscal Year 2017 Board Operating Budget Interests

The Board concluded the discussions of its operating budget interests and adopted the following 10 interests for Fiscal Year 2017:

· Meet the needs of each individual child, including his/her health and social and emotional well-being, ensuring no child “falls through the cracks.”

· Support challenging opportunities that draw out and maximize the individual strengths of all students by promoting instructional strategies and curriculum that engage students through innovative teaching practices and 21st century physical spaces.

· Recruit, train, and retain highly skilled staff who are culturally proficient and are reflective of our student population, and support them to create the conditions that support schools and students.

· Provide multiple pathways enabling graduates to be globally competitive and college and career-ready.

· Provide a strong start for all students before kindergarten and provide support for students who enroll in Montgomery County Public Schools after kindergarten and are not performing on grade level to help them catch up.

· Continue to reduce variability of performance outcome data, and differentiate the allocation of resources based on school need so that outcomes are not predictable by race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

· Maintain and improve our programs and processes for special education students and English language learners.

· Focus attention to improve teaching and learning in secondary schools, in particular middle schools, with special emphasis on mathematics and to facilitate implementation of the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards.

· Expand and support community engagement with a high expectation of customer service in our schools, responsive to the unique needs of our students, families, and communities.

· Organize, optimize, and promote flexibility in the use of resources.

This is the fifth year that the Board has shared its budgetary interests as the interim superintendent begins the process of developing a budget recommendation for the next fiscal year. Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers will present his FY 2017 Operating Budget recommendation to the Board in December 2015.

Read the Board memo

Strategic Technology Plan—Creating 21st Century Learning Spaces

The Board received an update and held a discussion on the rollout of MCPS’ Strategic Technology Plan. The MCPS 2014–2016 Strategic Technology Plan outlines multiyear strategies and actions to transform learning environments through the innovative integration of technology. The plan envisions MCPS as a school system in which technology-enriched learning communities inspire intellectual curiosity and prepare students with the knowledge and skills to excel in college and chosen careers. Once fully implemented, the Strategic Technology Plan will provide greater access to the school system’s expanding digital curriculum and will enable instructional staff to create 21st century learning spaces in all of the district’s schools.

Last school year, Chromebooks were placed in all Grade 3, 5, and 6 classrooms, as well as high school social studies classrooms. The plan was for the rollout to continue in Grades 2, 4, 7 and one more high school subject this year; however, budget reductions forced the Board of Education to remove that item from the operating budget in June. During the summer, MCPS decided to put off replacing desktop computers in offices and school labs and redirect that money to partially expand the Chromebook initiative.  The devices will be placed in all Grade 4 classes and about 150 Grade 7 classes; however, the Grade 2 and high school expansions will be delayed at least one year.

Five key outcomes are expected as a result of implementing the 2014–2016 Strategic Technology Plan. These include the creation of complete wireless campuses across the district’s schools; the completion of the full-featured myMCPS virtual learning community to include staff members, students, parents/guardians, vendors, and online courses; the integration of self-service portals and automated paper processes; the beginning transition to digital text; and the establishment of partnerships to ensure that all families have access to the MCPS digital community. The actions outlined in the plan represent specific work that the Office of the Chief Technology Officer will facilitate in partnership with other offices, schools, and service partners to create detailed action plans and funding requirements.

Read the Board memo


The Board approved the following resolution:

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, October 13, 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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