Board of Education Takes Final Action on Policy ACA; Receives Update on Next Generation Science Standards

June 28, 2017

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Monday, June 26, 2017, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board took final action on Policy ACA, Human Relations; set nonresident tuition rates for Fiscal Year 2018; received an update on Next Generation Science Standards; and made several administrative appointments.

The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Policy ACA, Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Cultural Proficiency

The Board of Education took final action and rescinded related policies that were incorporated into Policy ACA.  The Board approved changes to Policy ACA, in response to stakeholder feedback, as well as made a minor amendment at the table, replacing “tolerance” for “acceptance” in various places within the policy. This policy reaffirms the Board’s desire to create an educational community guided by its five core values—Learning, Relationships, Respect, Excellence and Equity—that is deeply committed to ensuring that all students are supported to succeed and all staff members are empowered to do their best work, and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

Policy ACA, Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Cultural Proficiency also included an all-encompassing definition of “Personal Characteristics.”  In order to ensure consistent application of the definition of Personal Characteristics throughout Board policies, the Board made technical amendments to seven policies.

On April 27, 2017, the Board tentatively approved changes to Policy ACA and sent the policy out for public comments. The policy, originally titled Human Relations has been renamed Policy ACA, Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Cultural Proficiency.

Read the committee recommended policy.  The adopted policy will be posted on the Board’s webpage as soon as it is available.

Technical Amendment:  Board Policy IGN, Preventing Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse in Montgomery County Public Schools

During the 2017 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed Maryland House Bill (HB) 1082, Heroin and Opioid Education and Community Action Act of 2017, also known as the “Start Talking Maryland Act.” This new law takes effect July 1, 2017, and requires each local board of education to establish a policy requiring each public school to store naloxone and authorize school personnel to administer it.  In order to be in timely compliance with Maryland law, the Board approved a Technical Amendment to Section C, Position, of Policy IGN, Preventing Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse in Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Comments on COMAR:  Length of School Year

The Board approved a resolution authorizing the president of the Board of Education to provide written comments to the Maryland State Board of Education on behalf of the Board of Education expressing support for the change to Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.02.01.04, Length of School Year. This proposed amendment would reduce from five to three the number of days by which school systems must extend their calendars in order to obtain a waiver of the 180-day school year requirement when necessary.

Read the resolution

Tuition for Nonresident Students

The Board approved tuition rates for nonresident students for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Rate calculation is based on the approved operating budget, cost of debt service, and current revenue funding for the capital budget. The rates for FY 2018 are as follows: $15,986 for elementary school (including kindergarten), an increase of $313 from FY 2017; and $16,203 for secondary students, which is an increase of $210.

Read the Board memorandum

Next Generation Science Standards

The Board received an update on the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In 2013, the Maryland State Board of Education adopted the NGSS, providing a vision and raising the bar for all students to achieve full scientific literacy in a technologically rich and scientifically complex world. The NGSS provide the foundation for a new standards-based curriculum and inquiry-based approach that develops students as critical and creative thinkers, to ultimately prepare them for college, careers, and life in the 21st century.

Montgomery County Public Schools engaged in a comprehensive review and revision to the K–12 Science Curriculum Framework, which was approved by the Board in 2015. The K–12 Science Curriculum Framework fully aligns with the NGSS and applies national and international research that is foundational to the changing standards. Since that time, MCPS has embarked on a process of ongoing curriculum and assessment development, professional learning, and support for teachers and schools to implement the instructional shifts that the new standards demand. The evolution and implementation of the NGSS provide a greater focus on teaching and learning in science, shape what all students need to know and be able to do to prepare them for the world ahead, and provide them with college and career options in a competitive, changing world. Working alongside teachers, leaders, national experts, business and community partners, and other stakeholders, MCPS developed the MCPS K–12 Science Curriculum Framework to serve as the roadmap for the curriculum revision. Given the instructional changes and professional learning needed to implement the new standards effectively, MCPS is phasing in implementation over several years.

Read the memorandum to the Board  

Facilities and School Construction

The Board awarded contracts for the Wheaton High School addition project; Seneca Valley High School revitalization/expansion project; and security improvements at various schools. View all consent items


The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

Kevin E. Lowndes, currently director of school support and improvement of high schools, Office of School Support and Improvement, as associate superintendent, Office of Special Education

Casey B. Crouse, currently principal, Eastern Middle School, as principal, Damascus High School

Shawn E. Krasa, currently assistant principal, Briggs Chaney Middle School, as principal, Thomas Edison High School of Technology

Norman L. Coleman, currently principal, Cannon Road Elementary School, as principal, Francis Scott Key Middle School

Alana D. Murray, currently principal intern, Robert Frost Middle School, as principal, Shady Grove Middle School

Karen M. Cox, currently principal intern, Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, as principal, Westbrook Elementary School

Craig O. Jackson, currently principal intern, Cannon Road Elementary School, as principal, Woodlin Elementary School

MaryBeth O. Mantzouranis, currently principal intern, Watkins Mill Elementary School, as principal, Weller Road Elementary School

Ethics Panel Appointment

The Board of Education also appointed Ms. Susan Beard to serve on the Board of Education’s Ethics Panel.


The Board approved the following resolution:

-A resolution recognizing Vietnamese scholars

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, July 11, 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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