Board of Education Elects Officers; Receives a Presentation and Discusses the Superintendent’s Recommended Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget Framework; Discusses Grading and Reporting; and Approves the 2019–2020 Innovative School Calendar

December 6, 2018

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board elected Board officers; received a presentation and discussed the superintendent’s recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Operating Budget; discussed grading and reporting; and approved the 2019–2020 Innovative School Calendar; and elected Board officers.

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

Election of Board Officers, Appointments to Board Committees

The Board of Education elected Shebra Evans for her first term as Board president and elected Patricia O’Neill, as the Board’s vice president.

The following Board members now serve on the Fiscal Management Committee:  Jeanette Dixon (chairperson), Judith Docca, and Brenda Wolff.  Read the adopted resolution.

The following Board members now serve on the Policy Management Committee:  Judith Docca (chairperson), Patricia O’Neill, Rebecca Smondrowski, and Ananya Tadikonda.  Read the adopted resolution.

The following Board members now serve on the Committee on Special Populations:  Rebecca Smondrowski (chairperson), Karla Silvestre, and Brenda Wolff.  Read the adopted resolution.

The following Board members now serve on the Strategic Planning Committee:  Ananya Tadikonda (chairperson), Jeanette Dixon, Shebra Evans, and Karla Silvestre. Read the adopted resolution.

Presentation of the Superintendent’s Recommended Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget Framework

Superintendent Jack R. Smith presented the framework for his recommended FY 2020 operating budget.  He stressed the importance of the budget’s focus on student classrooms and schools, including the following key bodies of work:  improving programs; increasing access to strong academic and career opportunities; extending learning; providing language opportunities; focusing on physical, social, and psychological well-being; hiring and retaining an effective and diverse workforce; and strengthening operational excellence.

The chief financial officer presented additional details about how the budget is built around data and the needs of students, propelled by the compelling force of our core values of learning, relationships, respect, excellence, and equity.   A summary of the FY 2020 budget process and drivers; key components of the FY 2020 budget changes around expenditures and revenue and the budget timeline also was presented to Board members.  The proposed budget is organized around learning, accountability and results; human capital; operational excellence; community partnerships and engagement; and improving teaching and learning.

The timeline for the FY 2020 operating budget is as follows:

December 18, 2018:  the superintendent’s FY 2020 operating budget digital presentation, which will be televised;

Mid-December 2018 through early January 2019:  sign-up for operating budget hearings;

January 9 and January 14, 2019:  operating budget hearings;

January 16:  State releases budget;

January 17 and 24, 2019: Board operating budget work sessions; and

February 12, 2019:  Board takes action on the recommended operating budget

Read information about the operating budget process and public participation.

Read the FY 2020 Operating Budget Guide.

The December 18, 2018, presentation can be viewed live on Comcast Channel 34, Verizon FIOS Channel 36, and RCN Channel 88, as well as through the MCPS website:

Grading and Reporting

The Board received a presentation from Superintendent Smith and staff members, which included: an overview of the history of grading and reporting practices, curriculum and assessments, as well as the vast number of changes at the federal, state, and local level during the past 20 years.  Also discussed was the impact on MCPS student performance and outcomes evidenced by student data trends.  Staff highlighted the importance of reducing and eliminating disparities in student achievement and the impact of external factors.  Discussion among staff and Board members centered on the changes in grading and assessment practices, electronic gradebooks, measuring student success and progress, teachers’ involvement in curriculum development, and equal opportunity schools relative to the budget.

Read the memorandum.

Approval of the 2019–2020 Innovative School Calendar

Staff members provided an overview of the calendar timeline, including the Maryland State Board of Education’s approval of the waiver for the innovative school year calendar to start earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day for the 2019–2020 school year. Staff also reviewed the similarities of the innovative calendar to the traditional school year calendar, which was approved at the November 13, 2018, Board meeting. Efforts to engage the Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix elementary school communities and the resulting comments received about the innovative calendar also were reviewed. 

Next steps include finalizing the details for instructional programming centered around mindfulness and project based-learning.  Additional information will be provided to the Board in early 2020 regarding the implementation of the programmatic piece.

After the presentation and discussion, the Board voted to approve the innovative calendar. 

Read the memorandum.

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved an architectural appointment for the John F. Kennedy High School Addition Project; and awarded a contract for the renovation of a commercial office building for the Alternative Education Programs satellite location.

Calendar of Major Events for the Election of the 42nd Student Member of the Board

The Board approved the calendar of major events for the election of the 42nd student member of the Board. 

Read the memorandum.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.  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: Mrs. Shebra Evans, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Ms. Karla Silvestre, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, Ms. Brenda Wolff, 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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