Board of Education Elects Officers; Hears Presentation on Proposed Budget, and Discusses Literacy

December 9, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. The Board elected its officers and made committee appointments; heard a presentation from Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers on his Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Operating Budget recommendation; and discussed literacy in MCPS. 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.

Election of Board Officers, Committee Appointments

The Board selected Mr. Michael Durso as president and Dr. Judith Docca as vice president. Mr. Durso was elected to his first four-year term in 2010 after being appointed to the Board in June 2009 to finish an unexpired term. He was elected to his second four-year term in November 2014. For the past year, Mr. Durso has served as vice president of the Board and chair of the Fiscal Management Committee. Dr. Docca is serving her third term on the Board of Education. For the past year, she has served on the Board’s Committee on Special Populations and the Strategic Planning Committee.

Read the press release

The Board also appointed members to its committees. Membership of the committees is listed below:

Fiscal Management: Philip Kauffman (chair), Christopher Barclay, Michael Durso
Strategic Planning: Christopher Barclay (chair), Jill Ortman-Fouse, Judith Docca
Policy Management: Patricia O’Neill (chair), Philip Kauffman, Rebecca Smondrowski, Eric Guerci (student member)
Special Populations: Rebecca Smondrowski (chair), Jill Ortman-Fouse, Judith Docca

Proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget

Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers presented his recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Operating Budget to the Board. Mr. Bowers is proposing a $2.4 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which includes $103 million in additional spending, an increase over FY 2016 of about 4.5 percent. Mr. Bowers’ Operating Budget recommendation includes investments to improve student literacy and math skills; build the cultural proficiency of staff; foster stronger partnerships with the community and our families to support students; and better organize the district to ensure every student is prepared for college and careers. Mr. Bowers’ recommendation reflects the Board of Education’s budget interests and significant input from a broad array of stakeholders.

The Board of Education will hold public hearings on the budget on Thursday, January 7 and Thursday, January 14, 2016.  (Starting December 14 at 9:00 a.m., individuals may call the Board of Education office to sign up to testify at the public hearings.)  The Board will then hold work sessions on the budget on Tuesday, January 19, and Thursday, January 21, before approving a final budget request on Tuesday, February 9. The budget will then be submitted to the Montgomery County Executive and County Council for consideration. For more information, visit the FY 2017 Budget Website.

Public Participation

Read the Press Release

Fast Facts

2016–2017 School Calendar

The Board decided to defer final approval of the 2016–2017 school year calendar until later this month in order to allow more time to discuss the calendar. A new meeting date to discuss the calendar will be announced.

Grade K–12 Literacy

The Board received an update and held a discussion on literacy in MCPS. MCPS has refined teaching and learning practices during the past five years 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. In secondary school grades, teachers incorporate Core Literacy Practices into instruction in all subject areas to help students to deepen their understanding of content.

The following principles continue to guide the district’s 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. 3. Effective literacy instruction is an essential element in closing the achievement gap.
4. A shared ownership of literacy instruction results from purposeful collaboration, consistent messages, and professional learning communities.

All MCPS schools now have a specific literacy goal embedded in their School Improvement Plan, with a professional learning plan that addresses core literacy practices, writing, academic language, and other instructional focus areas that elevate literacy. As part of ongoing school improvement monitoring, directors of school support and improvement are supporting principals with their literacy plans and monitoring implementation, to include a focus on collaborative planning, professional learning, use of the literacy observation tool, and a focus on high functioning professional learning communities.

Read the Memo to the Board

Calendar for the Election of the Student Member of the Board

The Board of Education approved the calendar of major events for the election of the 39th Student Member of the Board of Education as proposed by the Montgomery County Region of the Maryland Association of Student Councils. See the calendar of major events for the election.


The Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Barbara A. Woodward, currently assistant principal, Robert Frost Middle School, as principal, Clarksburg/Damascus Middle School

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved the following items related to school construction projects and facilities:


The Board approved the following resolutions:

Future Meetings

The Board will hold public hearings on the interim superintendent’s recommended operating budget on Thursday, January 7, 2016, and Thursday, January 14, 2016.The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. 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: Mr. Michael Durso, president; Dr. Judith Docca, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, 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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