Board of Education Discusses the 2018–2019 School Year Calendar; Receives Update on Maryland’s Plan for Every Student Succeeds Act; Approves Preliminary Plans for Ashburton Elementary School Addition Project; and Discusses and Approves Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2018

October 11, 2017

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board discussed the 2018–2019 School Year Calendar; received an update on Maryland’s plan for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); approved the preliminary plans for the Ashburton Elementary School addition project; and discussed the strategic plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

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

Discussion of the 2018–2019 School Year Calendar

As a precursor to the Board’s discussion of the 2018–2019 School Year Calendar, the Board’s Policy Management Committee met in July and September of 2017 to discuss the options and constraints for constructing the 2018–2019 School Year Calendar. The Committee also discussed processes and strategies to solicit and gather feedback from employees and the community.  The full Board was presented with an overview of the implementation of these strategies; calendar parameters, resulting from Governor Larry Hogan’s Executive Order of August 31, 2016 (amended October 11, 2016); processes used to construct the calendar; input collected through focus groups, various meetings with stakeholders, ConnectEd and e-mail messages; and a web page dedicated to the development of the calendar. 

During the discussion, the Board approved a motion, on recommendation of the Policy Management Committee, to send a letter to Governor Hogan, the comptroller, and the Montgomery County delegation to request  an amendment to executive order that would allow schools to conclude by June 22 instead of June 15, which will allow Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) more flexibility in its development of the calendar.

Staff and stakeholder input is critically important in designing the school year calendar.

The superintendent and his leadership teams will continue to engage the school system community throughout the development of the calendar and will communicate the feedback collected in order to inform the Board’s deliberations on how to balance the educational and operational objectives of the 2018–2019 School Year Calendar.  The Board is expected to continue its review of the calendar options and consider feedback in preparation for the future adoption of the calendar.

Read the memorandum to the Board.


Update on Maryland’s Plan for Every Student Succeeds Act

The Board received an update regarding Maryland’s plan for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including a report of several significant events that recently transpired.  The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released Draft 2 of the Maryland ESSA Consolidated State Plan (State Plan) for public comment; MSDE shared with the State Board a summary of the public comments received, and as a result, key revisions to the State Plan were adopted at the State Board’s August 22, 2017, meeting.  The State Plan was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE); however, the submission did not have the endorsement of Governor Hogan. 

MCPS has convened a cross-functional work group to prepare for compliance with the requirements of ESSA.  Next steps for MCPS include drafting the Local Education Agency’s accountability plan that will be submitted to MSDE in 2018 upon receipt of federal approval and guidance from MSDE.  Completing this process will require greater clarity regarding a number of issues.  Further developments from MSDE are expected and will be communicated to the Board, along with their potential impact on MCPS and its ongoing efforts to ensure success for all students.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Preliminary Plans for Ashburton Elementary School Addition Project

The Board approved the preliminary plans for the addition project for Ashburton Elementary School.  The architect for the proposed Ashburton Elementary School addition project prepared a schematic design, and the Facility Advisory Committee for the addition project provided input for the proposed schematic design.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2018

The Board approved the superintendent’s recommended draft of the FY 2018 Strategic Plan, which emphasizes long-range planning of district goals for students and staff and the need for accountability of staff and programs focusing on individual student growth and progress.  The Strategic Plan and the work of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee are aligned to the vision and mission of the school district, with a focus on learning, accountability and results; human capital; community partnerships and engagement; and operational excellence, which are the four strategic priorities that operationalize the work required to achieve academic excellence for all MCPS students.

Read the memorandum to the Board.



The Board approved the following resolutions:

·       A resolution recognizing October 16 to 20, 2017, as National School Bus Safety Week

·       A resolution recognizing November 2017 as Native American Heritage Month and Day


Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, October 23, 2017. Please check the Board of Education website for further information about the Board’s meeting calendar, as well as the Board’s new online sign up process for Public Comments. 


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. Matthew Post, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.


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