School Notes: Board of Education to discuss plan for fall classes on Tuesday

School Notes: Board of Education to discuss plan for fall classes on Tuesday

Plus: Two teachers receive Lowrie awards

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School board to discuss plan for fall classes on Tuesday

The Montgomery County Board of Education will meet on Tuesday and conduct a comprehensive review of preliminary plans for fall classes in Montgomery County Public Schools.

The meeting will be held virtually and begin at noon.

MCPS staff members are expected to present early ideas about whether students will return to school buildings when classes resume on Aug. 31, and detail what safety measures would be in place if they do.

The discussion is scheduled to last two hours.

On Saturday, the school district released its draft plan for the fall semester, which shows students beginning the academic year fully online with a phased approach to bring them back to school buildings part-time by the end of November.

The plan does not say when the first group of students will re-enter school buildings, but outlines three phases that will be used to gradually bring students back. Each phase will last between two and four weeks, the plan says.

The first group of students to return will be those in special education programs and “transition grades,” meaning they’re moving to a new school level. That includes pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, sixth grade and high school freshmen.

The second phase will include first grade, second grade, seventh grade and high school sophomores.

The third phase includes third grade through fifth grade, eighth grade and high school juniors and seniors.

Two teachers receive Lowrie awards

Two Montgomery County teachers were recently named recipients of the Shirley J. Lowrie “Thank You for Teaching” awards.

The winners were Julie Miller, a third-grade teacher at Ashburton Elementary School, and Sheila Shea, a special education teacher at Diamond Elementary School.

Miller has been an MCPS teacher for 11 years and creates a “classroom environment where students feel comfortable taking risks,” according to a post on the school district’s website.

She creates differentiated assignments and engaging activities for third-graders and looks for new ways to teach that “will make the subject matter more appealing,” the post said.

Shea taught at Diamond Elementary for 19 years and has worked in education for 45 years. She retired at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

“She is a dedicated educator whose career has focused on engaging students in hands-on memorable lessons that impact and excite their learning,” the MCPS post says. “One of her greatest strengths is her ability to adapt instruction to help students with disabilities access the general education curriculum.”

Shea is described as warm, sympathetic and able to build strong bonds with students and staff members.

Both Shea and Miller received $2,500 as award recipients.

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