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Board of Education Receives Update on High School Program Options; Discusses the Implications of More Learning, Less Testing Assessment Work Group; Approves Proposal for Use of a Communication Application, Recognizes Montgomery County Public Schools Counselor of the Year Award Winners; and Makes Administrative Appointments
The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. During the meeting, the Board received an update and discussed high school program options; discussed the implications of the More Learning, Less Testing Assessment work group; recognized Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Counselor of the Year Award winners; and made administrative appointments.
The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.
Choice Update: High School Program Options
Staff members provided an overview to Board members regarding the findings and recommendations of the 2016 Metis Report, Study of Choice and Special Academic Programs, and the resulting increase in the number of students accessing enriched and accelerated instruction at the elementary and middle school levels. As an extension of this work, efforts to improve equitable access into high school programs is under way. Concurrently, MCPS has redesigned components of high school career programs, in response to the external review conducted by Education Strategy Group (ESG) in 2017.
The 2018–2019 school year constituted a year of study at the high school level, with field testing of new high-demand career programs in regional models, such as Aviation and Aerospace, Cybersecurity, Pathways in Technology Network Operations, Fire Science and Rescue, Homeland Security, and Biomedical Sciences. In response to the ESG recommendations, the district also embarked on an effort to develop a new vision for career readiness, strengthen quality and rigor of programs, improve employer engagement, build awareness with stakeholders, and reimagine the Thomas Edison High School of Technology.
The presentation and discussion also included the strategic plan and vision for 2025 and beyond to ensure equitable access to programming for all MCPS students.
Read the memorandum to the Board.
Implications of More Learning, Less Testing Assessment Work Group
The Board received a presentation and held a discussion on the implications of the More Learning, Less Testing Assessment Work Group. In spring 2017, the Maryland General Assembly passed the More Learning, Less Testing Act of 2017, setting a limit on the amount of time that may be devoted to locally mandated assessments. The legislation compels school districts to ensure that all locally mandated assessments are clear in their purpose, time limited, worth taking, high quality, and tied to improved student learning. The new requirements of the legislation also will work to bring about the following:
· stronger collaboration between the Board, district and school staff, community members, and employee associations regarding assessments;
· clarity about the purpose of each mandated assessment;
· transparency about the time required for federal, state, and locally mandated assessments that students take each year; and
· limits to 2.2 percent (or 2.3 percent in Grade 8) the total time spent on standardized testing each school year.
The legislation also requires the formation of a District Committee on Assessments (Committee) to include administrators, parents/guardians, and teachers to advise and make recommendations in the following areas:
· time required to administer each assessment;
· duplicativeness of assessments;
· Purpose of assessments;
· value of feedback provided to educators; and
· timeliness of results.
The law requires that on or before June 1, 2019, the Committee submit recommendations to the county Board. Committee membership was approved by the Board on February 13, 2018, and the Committee commenced work in March 2018. The Committee was divided into three working groups at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Using a common template, the Committee reviewed each mandated assessment administered in MCPS from pre-K–12. Each level-alike subcommittee developed findings and recommendations in each of the key areas.
See the findings and recommendations
Previous New Business- Use of Communication Application
The Board revised and approved a previous proposal to request that the superintendent of schools work with the Board’s Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Committee to ensure that the new student information system rollout include a text messaging component to be implemented during the 2019–2010 school year.
Read the memorandum
Montgomery County Public Schools Counselor of the Year Award Winners
The Board recognized the recipients of the 2019 Montgomery County Public Schools Counselor of the Year Award. The Counselor of the Year Award highlights the important contributions of school counselors and the essential role they play in the social, emotional, and educational development of students. One counselor from each school level is selected for the award. The 2019 awardees are:
Read the resolution
The Board approved the following administrative appointments:
Scott M. Hughes, currently supervisor, Technology Modernization, Department of Technology Integration and Support, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, as supervisor, Technology Innovation, Modernization, and Management, Department of Technology Integration and Support, Office of the Chief Technology Officer
William McGrath, currently acting supervisor, Physical Disabilities Programs, Department of Special Education Services, as supervisor, Physical Disabilities Programs
Gary M. Rand II, currently assistant principal, Lake Seneca Elementary School, as principal, Sligo Creek Elementary School
Rosario P. Velasquez, currently principal intern, Poolesville Elementary School, as principal, Jackson Road Elementary School
The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting Tuesday, June 11, 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 L. 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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