County school board members got an overview last week of the school system’s annual report with highlights from the last academic year.

The report for the 2016-17 school year is online at and gives an overview of major events, important numbers and significant changes.  

Some interesting facts:

  • Montgomery County Public Schools, the largest school district in Maryland and the 17th largest in the nation, enrolled more than 159,000 students in the last academic year.
  • The Class of 2017 won more than $350 million in college scholarship money.
  • More than 13,880 citations went to drivers for illegally passing school buses in the county, compared to 2,967 the prior school year. The jump happened after the county outfitted school buses with cameras that could catch motorists in the act.
  • The graduation rate from 2015-16 was 89.8 percent. The school board will review rates from the 2016-17 academic year in February, according to the report.

“The mission of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is to provide every student with the academic, creative problem solving, and social emotional skills to be successful in college and career. …  The 2017 Annual Report to the Community serves as a snapshot of this critical work during the 2016-2017 school year,” school board president Michael Durso wrote in the report’s introduction.

Libraries program will give teens video production experience

Free video production classes are available to local high school students beginning this month.

Montgomery County Public Libraries and Gandhi Brigade Youth Media are partnering to provide the classes for teens. The program will cover the fundamentals of video production, and students will get to make their own film, according to a library system press release.

Gandhi Brigade Youth Media is an after-school program that gives young people access to multimedia tools.

The program will start the week of Jan. 22 and last through May 25. Participants will gather in weekly meetings that run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in various library locations around the county.

Information about locations and registration is available online.

Nomination period open for distinguished service awards

The school board wants to know who has made significant contributions to local education.

The nomination period for the annual Awards for Distinguished Service to Public Education is open until March 1. The board is accepting suggestions to recognize community individuals, community groups, businesses, MCPS staff, school service volunteers and individuals who have made past contributions.

More information and nomination forms for the 2017-18 awards are available here.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at