2021 | Schools

School board to discuss boundary changes, school calendar, fall assessment data

Meeting will be Tuesday in Rockville

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The Montgomery County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday to discuss possible school boundary changes, fall assessment data and calendar options for the 2022-23 school year.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and will be open to the public. It is scheduled to adjourn at about 8:30 p.m.

Meetings are held in person at the school district’s headquarters in Rockville. They also are shown online on the school district’s website.

According to the meeting agenda, board members will discuss cost-of-living wage adjustments, step and longevity increases, and recruitment and retention incentives for union members. They will also discuss “general wage adjustments for positions not on the salary scale.”

The board will then hold a work session to review recommended boundary changes for some Bethesda-area elementary schools and some Gaithersburg schools.

According to a recommendation from Interim Superintendent Monifa McKnight, about 225 students would be reassigned as part of a boundary study that included Bethesda, Somerset and Westbrook elementary schools. Westbrook is scheduled to soon undergo an addition project, and has space to accommodate more students. Bethesda and Somerset are both crowded.

About 125 students would move from Bethesda Elementary to Somerset Elementary, and about 100 students from Somerset Elementary to Westbrook, according to district officials.

Only pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students would be reassigned in the next school year.

Fifth-grade students would be added in the 2023-24 school year, according to the recommendation. This is to avoid moving fifth-grade students in their last year of elementary school.

The second boundary study included all of the elementary schools that feed into Gaithersburg High School, as well as two middle schools.

The study was to determine which students will fill a new elementary school scheduled to open next year.

Students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade and in sixth and seventh grade designated for reassignment would start at their new schools in the 2022-23 school year. Fifth grade and eighth grade would be reassigned for the 2023-24 school year.

Crowding problems would not be resolved for all schools included in the study, but will be addressed in a future boundary study for the Watkins Mill High School cluster, McKnight wrote.

The board will then review “programming that took place throughout Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in summer 2021.” More than 50,000 students participated in summer school programs this year, according to MCPS data. Board members are expected to review student performance data to determine the effectiveness of the programs.

Fall Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) performance data will also be presented.

The board will review three calendar options for the 2022-23 school year.

Two options begin the school year before Labor Day (as the district has for the past two years). One schedules the first day of classes after the holiday.

All of the options have full-length spring breaks, professional development days at the end of each quarter, and no classes on Election Day in November 2022.