Board of Education Receives Updates on Choice Programs for High Schools; Receives an Update on the Information Technology and Business Systems Upgrade; and Approves Administrative Appointments

September 12, 2019

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board received an update on Choice programs for high schools; received an update on the information technology and business systems upgrade; and approved administrative appointments.

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

Choice Programs for High Schools

As a follow up to the Choice Update discussion at the May 30, 2019, Board meeting, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has developed a long-term strategic plan for high school programs and options.  The district also sought additional stakeholder feedback about the framework of the high school plan and its implementation.

During the September 10, 2019, meeting MCPS staff members provided Board members with an overview of the implementation plan of Phase One for the 2020–2021 school year, with communication, outreach and applications commencing in fall 2019.

To expand students’ access to high-demand career readiness programs, regional models at the newly modernized Seneca Valley High School and a new Wheaton High School/Thomas Edison High School of Technology partnership will launch for the first cohort of Grade 9 students in 2020–2021.  The regional model will be a combination of local students assigned to each school, plus additional students who may apply from a defined catchment area.

Phase One also includes expanding access to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. In this expansion, three new regional models will be implemented in 2020–2021 at John F. Kennedy, Springbrook, and Watkins Mill High Schools.  Richard Montgomery High School will remain a countywide application program for the foreseeable future, as the Grades 9 and 10 programs are built at the three new regional programs.

MCPS is committed to engaging stakeholders through a communications plan that ensures student and family-friendly processes and delivers clear, timely communication about regional/countywide options available.  Efforts include: the distribution of letters and flyers to parents and guardians, both paper and electronic; live-streamed High School Regional/Countywide Preview Nights, in both English and Spanish; making available on the MCPS website presentations, interactive maps and tools to determine available programs, student videos, and other relevant materials in multiple languages.

After the presentation, the Board approved a resolution in support of the expansion of IB programs and review of the Middle Years Programme.

Read the Board’s resolution.

Read the memorandum.

Information Technology and Business Systems Update

The Board also received an update on the upgrade of MCPS’ financial management and human resources systems to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.  MCPS currently uses three core business systems:  Financial Management System (FMS), the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) and the Budget Management Application (BMA).  In 2017, MCPS learned that vendor support would no longer  be available for its existing core business systems and that critical tax tables would also be unavailable. Consequently, MCPS was required to upgrade these systems. 

To begin this multi-year endeavor, MCPS engaged the services of an independent consulting firm to conduct a comprehensive functional and technical assessment of its core business systems.  The assessment/recommendation project began in July 2017 and culminated in November 2017 with specific recommendations and a detailed strategic road map.  MCPS also has engaged the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) as a strategic partner to assist in the review of business processes and best practices; to develop business system requirements; and to assist with ERP technology procurement. 

The HRIS upgrade project began in November 2017 with the implementation of the Lawson Absence Management module.  The HRIS v.10 upgrade is scheduled to go live on November 15, 2019.

MCPS has also made strides in the Oracle ERP Cloud Implementation Project.  In April 2018, MCPS released RFP No. 4455.1, Enterprise Resources Planning & Implementation Services.  On October 9, 2018, the Board of Education approved spending authority to contract with Applications Software Technology, LLC (AST) for the Oracle Cloud implementation.  The project officially kicked off in January 2019 and passed the halfway mark in July 2019.

For information, news and resources related to the Oracle ERP Cloud Implementation visit MCPS’ Business Cloud Project web page.

Read the memorandum.


The Board approved the resolution recognizing September 8–14, 2019, as National Suicide Prevention Week, surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, 2019.

The Board approved the resolution recognizing September 15 to October 15, 2019, as Hispanic Heritage Month.

Facilities and School Construction

The Board approved the architectural appointment for Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School #9 Project.

Administrative Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

Dr. Donna R. Jones, currently principal, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, as director of learning, achievement, and administration, Office of School Support and Improvement

Sean P. McGee, currently principal, Wilson Wims Elementary School, as director of learning, achievement, and administration, Office of School Support and Improvement

Dr. Deann M. Collins, currently director, Division of Title I and Early Childhood Programs and Services, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs, as executive director, Office of the Deputy Superintendent

Daniel K. Marella, currently deputy chief financial officer, United States Office of Personnel Management, as director of fiscal and audit management, Office of the Board of Education

Future Meetings

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, September 23, 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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