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Board of Education Approves the 2019–2020 School Year Calendar; Takes Tentative Action on Board of Education Policies, and Approves the 2019 Legislative Platform
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board approved the 2019–2020 School Year Calendar; took tentative action on Board Policy KEA, Political Campaigns and Political Materials, seeking additional public comment; took tentative action on Policy IGK, Career and Technology Education, Policy BFA, Policysetting, and Policy BBB, Ethics. The Board also approved revisions to the Board of Education Operations Handbook, approved the Board’s 2019–2020 Legislative Platform, and approved pilot courses.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Approval of the 2019–2020 School Year Calendar
Staff members presented the superintendent’s recommended traditional school year calendar for 2019–2020. Since the October 9, 2018, Board meeting, more than 3,260 comments from the community were received through the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) website. Those who submitted comments placed a high priority on spring break and favored the calendar referenced as Scenario 1.
After the presentation and discussion, the Board voted to approve the calendar. The school year will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, and the last day of school is scheduled for Monday, June 15, 2020. The calendar includes 182 days of instruction, a 10-day spring break, one full day of planning and professional development between semesters; and two operational closures in September and October.
In addition, staff members presented for the Board’s consideration the 2019–2020 innovative school year calendar, which consists of 210 instructional days. The Board reviewed the proposed calendar scenario, which will be circulated to the Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix elementary school communities for discussion and feedback. At its meeting on December 4, 2018, the Board will review the feedback and is expected to take action on the 2019?2020 Innovative School Year Calendar for these two schools.
Read the November 13, 2018, memorandum, the approved school year calendar, and the proposed innovative school year calendar.
Board of Education Policies
Tentative Action: Board Policy KEA, Political Campaigns and Political Materials
On September 11, 2018, the Board tentatively adopted revised Policy KEA, Political Campaigns and Political Materials, and the recommended name change of the policy to Civic Engagement, Political Campaigns, and Political Materials. The tentatively adopted policy and a one-page summary of the policy revisions were distributed for public comment (in English and Spanish) from September 12, through October 12, 2018.
During the Board’s review of the policy at its November 13 meeting, Board members proposed further revisions and voted to send the policy back out for additional public comment, and taking tentative action rather than the anticipated final action.
Read the memorandum to the Board and the revised policy.
Tentative Action: Policy IGK, Career and Technology Education
The Board’s Policy Management Committee reviewed Policy IGK, Career and Technology Education, at its September 13, 2018, meeting and recommended renaming the policy Career Readiness, and amending the policy to offer career readiness education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
Policy IGK, with the proposed revisions, sets forth a comprehensive career readiness strategy and provides opportunities for students to acquire the skills needed to be prepared for the range of roles available in the 21st century economy, which values short-term, meaningful career credentials in addition to four-year college degrees.
At its November 13 meeting, the Board took tentative action and voted to send the policy out for public comment before taking final action.
Read the memorandum and the proposed changes to the policy.
Tentative Action: Policy BFA, Policysetting
The Board’s Policy Management Committee reviewed Policy BFA, Policysetting, at its September 13, 2018, meeting and recommended amending the policy to clarify and update procedures for setting policies to guide MCPS, increasing stakeholder involvement in the policysetting process, and informing stakeholders that public comments submitted become part of the public record.
After the review of the changes proposed by the Policy Management Committee, including technical amendments and updated language, the Board took tentative action and voted to send the policy out for public comment.
Read the memorandum.
Tentative Action: Board Policy BBB, Ethics
At its September 13, 2018, meeting, the Board’s Policy Management Committee reviewed Policy BBB, Ethics, and proposed revisions to align with current Maryland law and the Maryland State Ethics Commission model provisions for local governments and school boards. The policy revisions also were reviewed by the Board of Education Ethics Panel on September 6, 2018. Changes to the policy include revisions to the financial disclosure procedures for the student member of the Board to align with current Maryland law.
At its November 13 meeting, Board members voted to send the revised policy out for public comment.
Read the memorandum from the Policy Management Committee chair, the revised policy, and the memorandum from the Ethics Panel.
Revisions to the Board of Education Operations Handbook
An ad hoc committee was formed and appointed by the Board of Education President Michael A. Durso to review and propose revisions to the Board of Education Operations Handbook (Handbook) to bring the Handbook up-to-date and in compliance with Maryland law, make changes given the full voting rights of the Student Member of the Board, and other necessary editorial changes. The ad hoc committee, comprising Mr. Durso and Board members Jeanette E. Dixon and Patricia O’Neill, submitted the proposed revisions to the Policy Management Committee, which reviewed the revisions and asked staff to make some additional changes.
At the November 13 meeting, the Board discussed the changes and voted to approve the revised Handbook.
Read the memorandum and recommended draft of the Board of Education Operations Handbook.
Approval of the Board’s 2019–2020 Legislative Platform
A final draft of the Legislative Platform (Platform) was presented to the Board. The Platform has been formatted according to the Board’s values and with a focus on individual topics, including: investing in early childhood; preparing all students to be college, career, and community ready; working together with families and communities; providing equitable opportunities to all students; supporting physical, social, and psychological well-being for all students; creating a safe and secure environment for all students; preserving local autonomy over education; and fully funding education. After the presentation and discussion, the Board added language about need to protect MCPS from any and all negative effects from state-wide funding reforms and approved the 2019–2020 Legislative Platform.
View the final draft of the legislative platform.
Approval of Pilot Courses
In accordance with Board Policy IFA, Curriculum, and the accompanying regulation, IFA-RA, Curriculum, the Board reviewed proposed pilot courses and the active and restricted pilot courses that successfully have completed the pilot process. These courses are developed by local schools, central services staff members, or external organizations, and have met all of the requirements of the established procedures. The courses also support and extend high school signature, academy, career and technology, and elective programs.
After a review and discussion about the pilot courses, the Board approved the proposed courses.
Read the memorandum, which includes the full list of the approved courses.
Facilities and School Construction
The Board approved architectural appointments for the Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School Addition/Facility Upgrade Project and for the A. Mario Loiederman Middle School Performing Arts Addition Project.
The Board approved a resolution in recognition of the National Inclusion of Schools Week for December 3–7, 2018.
The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. 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; Mrs. Shebra Evans, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ms. Ananya Tadikonda, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.
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