Four Things You Need to Know From the December 2 and December 7 Board of Education Meetings

by Patrick Herron


Dear MCPS Community,

Here are four things you need to know from the Board of Education meetings on December 2 and December 7, including the election of Board officers; the appointment of Dr. Scott Joftus to fill the District 3 seat, modifications to the 2021-2022 school year calendar and a review of Interim Superintendent Monifa McKnight’s framework for the recommended Fiscal Year 2023 Operating Budget.

  1. Brenda Wolff was re-elected as president of the Board of Education. Karla Silvestre was re-elected as vice president. More information is here. The Board also unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Scott Joftus as Board Member for District 3, to fill the vacancy left by the late Patricia O’Neill.
  2. The Board approved modifications to the 2021-2022 Traditional and Innovative School Year Calendars. Specifically, three full instructional days—Wednesday, Jan. 12; Thursday, March 24; and Wednesday, May 18, 2022—will now be early release days. The district is also adding systemwide closures during winter break on Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 through Dec. 30, 2021, as well as during spring break on April 13 and April 14, 2022.  The federal Juneteenth holiday will be observed on June 20, 2022, as a systemwide closure.MCPS recognizes that given the complexity of supporting student learning at this time and  the importance of staff wellness, providing time for both coordinating student supports and staff renewal is a critical investment in our school system.  The estimated approximately $850,000 investment cost of these calendar adjustments is expected to yield a refreshed staff with additional time to coordinate learning in our schools.  The three early release days for students will provide invaluable time for teachers to plan and other staff to complete their responsibilities.  As a system, we recognize that teacher planning time is critical for the preparation of meaningful and engaging lessons for students each day.  We are also piloting a variety of out-of-school time opportunities this year with community partners to provide engaging activities for a number of students during the afternoons on these early release days.  We are very excited about these opportunities this year to engage students, and we look forward to expanding them in the coming years.
  1. MCPS will work with community, county and state officials to support the school district’s budget and share of available funding. Dr. McKnight presented her framework for the recommended operating budget and she will provide more details on Dec. 16, 2021, in a live presentation online on the MCPS website and on MCPS-TV. The Board will meet in February 2022 to tentatively adopt the FY 2023 Operating Budget. It will be sent to County Executive Marc Elrich and the Montgomery County Council on March 1, 2022.
  2. Maryland law requires local school boards to provide restorative approaches to discipline and state in policy that their primary purpose is rehabilitative, restorative and educational. The Policy Management Committee reviewed draft amendments to Policy JGA, Student Discipline, on Feb. 18, 2020, and Oct. 21, 2021. The Board approved the proposed draft Board Policy JGA, Student Discipline for Tentative Action, which will now be available for public comment. Read the policy here.

Montgomery County Public Schools


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