School Notes: MCPS developing ‘culturally relevant’ ways to help students with low GPAs, suspensions

School Notes: MCPS developing ‘culturally relevant’ ways to help students with low GPAs, suspensions

Plus: School board fills 16 administrative vacancies

| Published:

MCPS developing ‘culturally relevant’ ways to help students with low GPAs, history of suspensions

The Montgomery County school board is directing district officials to identify students with low grade-point averages and who have been suspended, and provide them with “culturally relevant interventions” to help them with their academics.

A resolution the board unanimously approved last week said African American and Hispanic students who receive special education services or are impoverished are more likely to be suspended from school and ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities. Also, they are less likely to be enrolled in the most rigorous classes.

It also says there are “lifelong consequences” for students who struggle academically.

“So it is imperative that the school system identify culturally relevant interventions that effectively support the academic success of students struggling,” the resolution said, “… particularly students who are at risk of not graduating from high school, or graduating from high school without the necessary skills or opportunities to thrive in post-secondary life.”

The resolution calls on Superintendent Jack Smith to identify students with a grade-point average below 2.0 and who have a history of disciplinary consequences, including suspensions, then develop a plan to provide them with targeted programs to support their achievement.

A report about how MCPS will implement the plan is due to the school board by January.

School board makes 16 administrative appointments

The Montgomery County school board last week filled 16 administrative vacancies.

Most positions were in key central office roles. Four school principals were also appointed.

The appointments were:

  • Helen Nixon, associate superintendent in the Office of Human Resources and Development
  • Kecia Addison, director of the Office of Shared Accountability
  • Troy Boddy, director of the Equity Initiatives Unit
  • Christopher Cram, director of the Department of Communications
  • Pete Dejtisakdi, director of the business information systems in the Office of Technology and Innovation
  • Rotunda Floyd-Cooper, director of learning and achievement in the Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools
  • Nicole Sosik, director of special programs, innovation and outreach in the Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools
  • Jeffrey Sullivan, director of systemwide athletics in the Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools
  • Shelly Cherry, director of student achievement and extracurricular activities in the Office of Teaching, Learning and Schools
  • Karen Crews, director of student well-being and achievement in the Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement
  • Stephanie Sheron, executive director of the Office of the Deputy Superintendent
  • Jaclynn Lightsey, supervisor of English Language Arts and Secondary Literacy in the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs
  • Rose Alvarez, principal of Lakelands Park Middle School
  • Holly Hill, principal of Wayside Elementary School
  • Stacy Smith, principal of Bells Mill Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Lacoursiere, principal of the Carl Sandburg Learning Center.

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