Board of Education Receives an Update and Discusses Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices; Discusses Substitute Teacher Qualifications and Staffing; Makes Administrative Appointments; and Appoints Student Member of the Board to Board Committees

July 12, 2019

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Thursday, July 11, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board received an update and discussed restorative justice and restorative practices; substitute teacher qualifications and staffing; made administrative appointments; and appointed the student member of the Board to Board committees.

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

Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices

Staff members provided Board members with an update on the work being done by the district on the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Restorative Justice Project, a multi-tiered plan that began in fall 2017 with the invitation to secondary schools to join the MCPS Restorative Justice Project Cohort (Cohort I).  Eleven schools participated and staff members received intensive training.  Upon completion of the training, school teams were assigned a central services coach trained in restorative justice to continue to assist the school with implementation.  

In spring 2017, additional schools were recruited for the second Cohort II, Restorative justice is being practiced in 110 schools in MCPS; 43 of those schools are grant schools, and 67 are non-grant schools.

The Restorative Justice Unit offered several trainings during the 2018–2019 school year, resulting in the positive impact on teachers and students in the classroom.  Next steps include the potential expansion of the work and scaling the work of restorative justice to 150 schools during the 2019–2020 school year.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Substitute Teacher Qualifications and Staffing

In response to the Board resolution adopted on March 25, 2019, in which the Board requested that Superintendent Jack R. Smith review the qualifications for substitute teachers, an update was provided to Board members at its July 11 meeting on the result of this examination.  Montgomery County Public Schools’ leadership identified the challenges concerning the existing requirements and the insufficient pool of substitute teachers.  A comparable analysis of substitute minimum qualifications for neighboring Maryland districts was conducted by MCPS staff.  The findings, which show MCPS as the only district requiring all substitutes to hold bachelor’s degrees, were shared with the Board.  

As a result of the examination and analysis, MCPS will, in the future, require an Associate of Arts degree or 60 credits for all teacher substitutes beginning in the 2019–2020 school year.  Regulation GEF-RA, Substitute Teachers, is being revised to reflect this change in qualifications.  Staff members also referenced the importance of feedback from stakeholders, who overwhelmingly support the changes to the regulation.  It is the hope of the Board and MCPS leadership that adjusting the qualifications required of substitute teachers may result in larger substitute teaching pools and enable MCPS to better meet the demand for substitute teachers in our schools.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Administrative Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointment:

Monifa B. McKnight, currently chief school management and instructional leadership officer, Howard County Public School System, as deputy superintendent of schools

Robyn N. Seabrook, currently associate system counsel, assistant attorney general, Virginia Community College System, Virginia Office of the Attorney General, as director, governance, policy, and community relations, Office of the Board of Education 

Mark A. Carothers, currently assistant principal, Rockville High School, as principal, Poolesville High School

Kevin D. Yates, currently acting principal, Damascus High School, as principal, Damascus High School

Spencer Delisle, currently Principal, Beverly Farms Elementary School, as Principal, Damascus Elementary School

Appointment of Student Member of the Board to Board Committees

The Board approved the resolution appointing Student Member of the Board Nathaniel Tinbite to serve as a member of the Board’s Policy Management and Strategic Planning committees until his term ends on June 30, 2020.

Read the resolution.

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, July 29, 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 Mr. Nathaniel Tinbite, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.








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