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Board of Education Takes Action on School Calendar; Holds Facilities and Boundaries Alternative Work Session; Hears Presentation on Annual Report
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Monday, February 27, 2017, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board approved a modified version of the 2017–2018 school year calendar; held a facilities and boundaries alternative work session; and heard a presentation from MCPS staff on the Annual Report to the Community. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Updated 2017–2018 School Year Calendar
The Board of Education adopted an updated calendar for the 2017–2018 school year. The school year will begin on September 5, 2017, and the last day of school is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12, 2018.
The Board originally adopted a calendar for the 2017–2018 school year at its December 13, 2016, meeting. However, MCPS received clarification from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) that school districts would need to conclude all possible instructional make-up days (for emergency and weather-related closings) by June 15. The calendar the Board adopted in December had make-up days after June 15 and therefore was not compliant with the new direction from the MSDE.
The updated calendar is based on 182 instructional days, which is two more than the minimum required by the state but two less than previous years. The calendar adopted by the Board for the 2017–2018 school year is now consistent with Governor Larry Hogan’s executive order that established a timeframe for the school year to begin no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day and to end no later than June 15.
The Board also adopted a contingency plan that identifies dates that could be used as instructional days, if necessary, to make up school days missed due to emergency and weather-related closings. Two of these days are the first two days of the scheduled spring break, March 26 and 27, 2018. One day, January 26, 2018, would replace a professional development day. Additional contingency dates would extend the school year until June 15, 2018.
See the calendar
Read the Memorandum to the Board
Facilities and Boundaries Alternative Work Session
During its work session, the Board of Education discussed the superintendent’s recommendations for the Unity Area boundary study and the Highland Elementary School service area boundary study, as well as amendments to the Board’s requested FY 2018 Capital Budget and amendments to the FY 2017-2022 Capital Improvements Program for an outdoor play space maintenance project and a funding expenditure shift for current revitalization/expansion projects.
The superintendent recommended to the Board that the area of Highland Elementary currently assigned to Sligo Middle School be reassigned to Newport Mill Middle School.
The superintendent recommended to the Board that the Unity community in northeast Montgomery County remain in the Gaithersburg Cluster and not be assigned to the Sherwood Cluster. Board members proposed the following two alternatives for consideration:
That the Unity area be reassigned to Greenwood Elementary School, Rosa M. Parks Middle School, and Sherwood High School;
That properties on the west side of Howard Chapel Road, all of Elton Farm Road, and on the north side of Damascus Road from Howard Chapel Road west to Griffith Road, be reassigned to Greenwood Elementary School, Rosa M. Parks Middle School, and Sherwood High School.
(Note: Board members are not obligated to adopt either of the alternatives presented; however, the alternatives are being forwarded to the community for consideration and comment during the March 9th hearing.)
The Board will hold a public hearing on the recommendations on March 9 at 7 p.m.
2016 Annual Report to the Community
The Board of Education received a presentation from MCPS staff and held a discussion on the district’s interactive online 2016 Annual Report to the Community. The Annual Report to the Community includes highlights from the 2015-2016 school year and the factors driving change in the district. The report also provides a look forward for MCPS under the leadership of Superintendent Jack R. Smith.
See the Annual Report
Positions on Education Legislation
The Board discussed legislation that will be considered by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2017 Maryland legislative session. The Board voted to support a bill that repeals the provisions of law requiring the approval of the State Superintendent of Schools before a county board of education may dispose of any land, school site, or building that is no longer needed for school purposes.
Read the Recommended Board Positions (NOTE: Actual Board votes on these legislative bills may differ from staff recommendations.)
The Board approved the following resolution:
A resolution recognizing March 2017 as Women’s History Month
A resolution recognizing MCPS educators who earned certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2016.
Facilities and School Construction
The Board appointed Appointed an architectural firm for the Thomas W. Pyle Middle School addition project and accepted the Wood Acres Elementary School Addition Project.
The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Please check the Board of Education website and 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: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.
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