MCPS Begins the Year “Nearly Fully Staffed, With Abundance of Bus Drivers, and Student Literacy Scores on the Rise”

Per Montgomery County Public Schools: It is with great excitement that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) welcomes students, families, and staff to the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year. As students and staff gather for another remarkable first day of school, MCPS is thrilled to introduce the BRAND NEW Cabin Branch Elementary School, the 211th school in MCPS, and to celebrate the opening of FOUR newly renovated school buildings across the county.

This year, our theme is “All Together Now: On the Pathway to A Bright Future.” We emphasize the remarkable unity that characterizes our county, enabling us to work collectively on behalf of students, families, and communities. Our community’s ability to come together has led to a significant increase in resources for our staff, students, and schools, thanks to the 8.4% operating budget increase for the school year. This investment has already had a substantial impact, with staff paychecks reflecting up to ten percent.

“As we begin the 2023-2024 school year, our focus is always on providing a nurturing and dynamic learning environment where every student’s potential is realized and celebrated,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Monifa B. McKnight “Our collective commitment is to grow each and every student academically and personally to set them on a path to be compassionate and resilient individuals. As we come together at this exciting time of year, I am thrilled to be in partnership with our entire community as we all work for a bright future, one lesson at a time.”

“Ensuring an excellent and equitable education system is not just a goal but a commitment we hold as the Board of Education. Our dedication to oversight and monitoring remains paramount, as we understand that only through vigilant supervision can we truly achieve the standards of excellence our students deserve.” said Board of Education Vice President Shebra Evans “Every child, regardless of their background or the language they speak, has the inherent right to quality education. As a board, we are resolute in our mission to provide inclusive and comprehensive teaching that embraces the rich diversity of our student body.”

Key investments that are shaping this school year:

  • Math and English Language Development Coaches: To support improvement in vital areas of learning.
  • Academic Opportunity Specialists: To connect middle school students with rigorous coursework, setting them on a path to success.
  • Sports Medicine Program: Our fully staffed sports medicine program now includes certified athletic trainers at every high school, ensuring the well-being of our student-athletes.
  • Blueprint for Maryland’s Future: We are expanding our efforts to implement the vital Blueprint, enhancing educational opportunities for all. These resources are being strategically and transparently invested in our students, focusing on their growth and achievements.
  • Pre-Kindergarten expansion: Preliminary pre-kindergarten numbers show that pre-kindergarten enrollment is up 486 students from this time last year, and created 240 additional full-day pre-kindergarten seats
  • Expanding access to meals: Free breakfast will be available to students in classrooms at 117 sites, reflecting an increase of 28 sites funded through the Maryland Meals for Achievement program.

Pathway to Student Success in College, Career and Community
The district has introduced and continues to share with students and families the “Pathway to Student Success in College, Career, and Community,” The pathway is a framework that guides the district’s mission and defines the essential milestones, competencies, and experiences that shape a students’ journey, ensuring they are well-prepared for their futures. This focus on individual success aligns with the district’s commitment to academic excellence, social and emotional development, and meaningful experiences for every student.

Significant gains are already occurring.

  • Kindergarten: A 24-point gain in early literacy from the start to the end of the school year.
  • First Grade: A 17-point gain in early literacy from the start to the end of the school year.
  • Second Grade: A 10-point gain in early literacy from the beginning to the end of the school year.
  • In mathematics, MCPS is making its mark:
    • MCPS ranks in the top third in the state in the recently-released elementary mathematics test results.
    • MCPS is THIRD in the state for Geometry and FIRST for Algebra II, according to  the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP).

Our commitment to excellence has translated into many other student achievements:

  • 12,000 graduates in the class of 2023 earned $262 million in scholarships.
  • 238 students graduated with an associate’s degree upon high school graduation.
  • 1,800 graduates earned the seal of biliteracy.
  • Our students completed 1.5 million hours in student service learning, fostering community readiness.

Opening of a New School / Cabin Branch Elementary
In the Seneca Valley Cluster, the newest addition, Cabin Branch Elementary School, joins a cluster of exceptional institutions. From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School’s tradition of excellence to Christa McAuliffe Elementary’s focus on building relationships and student support, and the various impactful initiatives at Lake Seneca Elementary and Waters Landing Elementary Schools—the Seneca Valley Cluster is a testament to the potential of MCPS schools. See a Fact Sheet about the new school [LINK]

As we begin this new school year, we look forward to working for greater student achievement for all students and celebrating the triumphs that lie ahead. ALL TOGETHER NOW, is working for a brighter future for all of our students.

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About Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS):
Montgomery County Public Schools is the largest school system in the state of Maryland, serving over 162,000 students across 211 schools. MCPS is committed to providing high-quality education and ensuring all students have the support they need to achieve academic success.

For more information about MCPS, please visit www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org

Featured photo courtesy of Google Maps

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A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

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This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

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https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

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