Board of Education Discusses the Opening of Schools; Receives Update on Out-of-School Time Programming; and Makes Administrative Appointments

September 4, 2019

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Thursday, August 29, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board discussed the opening of schools; made administrative appointments; and received an update on out-of-school time programming.

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

Opening of Schools

The Board heard a report from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) staff on preparations for the first day of school. MCPS is welcoming more than 164,000 students this school year—the largest enrollment in the district’s history. To accommodate growing enrollment, MCPS opened more than 130,000 square feet of new space. This includes the brand new Snowden Farm Elementary School in Clarksburg and additions at Ashburton and S. Christa McAuliffe elementary schools. MCPS also hired more than 1,000 teachers and 160 supporting services professionals over the summer.

The district continues to make investments in key areas that will expand access and opportunities for all students. These critical investments include:

  • Extended-year programming at two elementary schools
  • Expanded prekindergarten programs
  • Reduced class size in elementary schools
  • Increased world language experience at elementary schools through volunteers, online resources, and after-school programs
  • Expanded dual-enrollment opportunities for students at all three Montgomery College campuses
  • Increased support for students’ physical, social, and psychological well-being
  • Strengthened and expanded college and career pathway programs
  • Updated curricular instructional materials aligned with state standards and best practices

Out-of-School Time Programming

The Board received a presentation and held a discussion on access to and participation in Out-of-School Time programs in Montgomery County. Several recent Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) reports have reviewed opportunities for the county’s youth to access and participate in Out-of-School Time programs. OLO reports published from 2016 to 2019 highlighted several key findings including inconsistencies in access to Out-of-School Time programming. Additionally, the reports collectively noted that of the 42,740 Out-of-School Time program slots in 2016, subsidized through county-agency funding, including MCPS, most (more than 39,000) were supporting secondary school-age students. The reports also offered several suggestions including expanding county programs supporting elementary school-age students, expansion of after-school transportation, reducing the facility fees for programs in Title I schools, availability of bilingual Out-of-School Time programs, and providing improved communication and processes for families to access programs.

Following the release of OLO report 2016-11, several changes have taken place. First, MCPS eliminated the extracurricular after-school fees for secondary school students. Second, county government expanded Out-of-School Time programs such as Excel Beyond the Bell (EBB), and MCPS increased its summer elementary school program slots primarily in Title I schools. Lastly, the Children’s Opportunity Fund was established; currently one of its priorities is determining how the county may support additional Out-of-School Time programs; specifically targeting underserved students.

MCPS is committed to working with the county government to determine options to expand Out-of-School opportunities for students; specifically underserved students. For the fourth consecutive year, the Board has supported funding to offer additional after-school and summer programs. Moving forward, MCPS will focus on the following key areas:

· continue to coordinate with the county to strategically locate and support programming opportunities for students;

· continue to develop and work through revised regulation with Community Use of Public Facilities (CUPF) and agency partners; and

· strengthen and enhance supervision and security, as well as other operational aspects of the Memorandum of Understanding with CUPF.

Read the Memorandum to the Board

Administrative Appointments

The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

James P. Koutsos, currently president, Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals, as area associate superintendent, Office of School Support and Improvement.

Ruschelle Reuben, currently director, Restorative Justice, School Counseling and Student Leadership Services, Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement, as associate superintendent, Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement.

Seth P. Adams, currently director, Division of Construction, Department of Facilities Management, as director, Department of Facilities Management.

Facilities and School Construction

The Board awarded a contract for a comprehensive districtwide boundary analysis to WXY architecture + urban design.

Future Meetings

The Board will hold its next regular business meeting Tuesday, September 10, 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 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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