|Montgomery County Public Schools|
|850 Hungerford Drive|
Montgomery, Maryland, 20850
|Grades||Pre-K-12 (including Head Start)|
|Superintendent||Dr. Jack R. Smith|
|Deputy Superintendent(s)||School Support and Improvement:|
Dr. Kimberly Statham
|Business administrator||Chief Operating Officer:|
Dr. Andrew Zuckerman
|School board||Montgomery County Board of Education|
|Chair of the board||President:|
Shebra L. Evans
|Governing agency||Maryland State Department of Education|
|Budget||US$2.6 billion fiscal year 2019|
|NCES District ID||2400480|
|Students and staff|
|Student-teacher ratio||12:1 (2017-2018)|
|Schedule||M-F except county holidays|
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is a public school district that serves Montgomery County, Maryland. With 206 schools, it is the largest school district in the state of Maryland, and the 16th largest in the United States. For the 2017-2018 school year, the district had 13,094 teachers, 86.4 percent of whom had a master's degree or equivalent, serving 161,936 students at its 205 schools. In 2010, MCPS was awarded a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The county spends approximately half of its annual budget on its public school system. The Board of Education includes a student member, elected by all secondary students, who has full voting rights, except for negative personnel action. The superintendent of schools is Dr. Jack R. Smith.
Until 1860, private schools existed in Montgomery County for those who could afford an education. Montgomery County Public Schools was established in 1860 for white children. The school system got off to a shaky start -- the Civil War caused local schools to be disabled, vandalized and closed. Depredations by both Union and Confederate armies caused schools to close in 1862 and they didn't reopen until 1864.
In 1892, Rockville High School opened; it was later named Richard Montgomery High School. The high school is the oldest in the county. The first class of 12 seniors graduated in 1897.Gaithersburg High School, the second high school to serve the county, was established in 1904.
In the 1900s, the school budget started to see the effects of suburbanization. In 1908, there were 6,483 students and a budget of US$76,000. The school system saw even more growth in 1912 after the United States Congress passed a "non-resident" law that excluded Montgomery County school children from enrolling in Washington, D.C., schools, which were known for their higher quality. By 1921, the school budget had grown to more than US$316,000.
The county's first Board of Education was named by legislative enactments in 1817; the first Board consisted of nine men. A woman was appointed to the board in 1920, Mrs. A. Dawson Trumble, who served a five-year term that led to a steady succession of female members.
Edwin W. Broome, who was superintendent 1916-1953, combined one-room schoolhouses into multi-room operations at the beginning of his tenure, reducing the number of schools from 108 to 66 by 1949. At that point, school enrollment was over 22,000. When Broome took the job, there were five high schools, all upcounty (the northern portion of the county). He built two secondary schools for Silver Spring and two for Bethesda, and also pushed high schools to add the 12th grade.
In the early 1950s, elementary students of color attended one of four elementary schools -- Linden, Ken-Gar, Takoma Park, and River Road -- all of which were considered substandard. Older students of color attended Lincoln Junior High School and George Washington Carver High School in Rockville. Montgomery County was the one of the first seven counties in Maryland to start to desegregate its public schools, which it began in September 1955, following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States that ordered the desegregation of all schools nationwide. Montgomery County completed the integration of its schools in 1960-1961.
In 1961, the school system had 85,000 students and a US$70 million budget, and had become the largest system in the Washington suburbs. Prior to 1961, separate schools were maintained for black children. At that time, students from Rockville's George Washington Carver High School were rezoned to the previously all-white schools across the county.
Enrollment topped out around 126,000 in the mid-1970s and dropped to below 100,000 in 1980, causing some schools to close. Enrollment continued to decline through the mid-1980s. However, with more than 96,000 students and 13,000 staff members in 155 schools in 1986, the school system was still one of the 20 largest in the nation. Enrollment was back over 100,000 by 1990.
Dr. Paul L. Vance became the county's first black superintendent in 1991, when there were 107,000 students and 174 schools. When he left in 1999, MCPS had 129,000 students in 185 schools. Over the next 10 years, enrollment grew to more than 150,000.
In 2014, the Board modified the school calendar to remove all references to the Christian and Jewish religious holidays of Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashanah. The amendment was in response to a campaign by the initiative "Equality for Eid" (E4E), which sought for Montgomery County Public School closures on the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The amendment received some media attention. Criticism of the amendment came from a variety of sources, including Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Congressman John Delaney.
For the 2018--2019 school year, the district has 206 schools and an enrollment of 162,680 students.
MCPS is governed by a Board of Education that provides leadership and oversight for MCPS by setting goals, establishing policies, and committing resources to benefit its student population. The board's work is guided by its vision, mission, core purpose, and core values.
The eight-member school board includes a student member who all middle- and high-school (secondary) students from across the system elect to a one-year term. The current Student Member of the Board of Education is Nick Asante. Tinbite, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School for the 2019-2020 school year, has been elected by 53,776 students (74% of the vote). David Naimon, the first student member of the board, served during the 1978-1979 school year. The student member has full voting rights, except for negative personnel. The student member of the board can vote on matters related to collective bargaining, capital and operating budgets, and school closings, re-openings and boundaries. The student member of the board cannot vote on negative personnel actions. The student member of the board is not paid, but receives a $5,000 college scholarship, student service learning hours, and one honors-level social studies credit.
MCPS funding comes mostly from Montgomery County (66%) and the State of Maryland (27%), with additional funds from federal government grants (3%), enterprise funds (3%), and other sources (1%).
MCPS operates under the jurisdiction of an elected Board of Education. Its current members are:
|Patricia O'Neill||District 3, Vice President||2022|
|Brenda Wolff||District 5||2022|
|Jeanette Dixon||At Large||2020|
|Karla Silvestre||At Large||2022|
|Judith Docca||District 1||2022|
|Rebecca Smondrowski||District 2||2020|
|Shebra Evans||District 4, President||2020|
|Nick Asante||At Large, Student Member||2021|
|Dr. Jack Smith||Superintendent||2020|
The MCPS student population has continued to grow over the years. The district saw a record enrollment of more than 161,000 students at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. MCPS serves a diverse student body, with 31% Hispanic, 28% White, 22% Black, 14% Asian, and 5% two or more races.
Graduates from the class of 2018 earned $364 million in college scholarships, an increase of more than $14 million over the previous year.
The class of 2017 outperformed their peers in the state of Maryland, and the nation as a whole, on Advanced Placement (AP) exams, based on AP Cohort Results released by the College Board. In 2017, more than 7,000 MCPS graduates (66.2%) took one or more AP exams. The percentage of students receiving a college-ready score of 3 or higher on at least one exam rose to 52.1%; this was higher than the 31.2% of the public school graduates in Maryland and 22.8% of the national graduates.
During the 2017-2018 school year, the district launched data dashboards to focus on learning, accountability and results. Continuous monitoring of students' progress ensures that students have timely support, focused interventions, acceleration, and enrichment. Readiness data helps the district to monitor students' progress and plan accordingly.
The district has placed an emphasis on preparing students for both college and career. In April 2018, the College Board and Project Lead the Way awarded more than 3,000 students in the U.S. for their accomplishments in the 2016-2017 academic year. Compared to other school districts, MCPS had the most students who'd earned the AP + PLTW Student Achievements, followed by districts in Illinois and Texas, and its neighboring Howard County Public School System in Maryland. Wheaton High School, which focuses on project-based learning, had the second-most students with the achievement, behind Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Illinois.
Every high school offers courses linked to a variety of careers. A program implemented at Magruder High School during the 2018--2019 school year allows students to get a head start on careers in aviation.
In May 2018, students from Northwest High School were the first in the district to graduate with a two-year degree in general engineering from Montgomery College as well as a high school diploma. In May 2018, five Northwood High School students were the first MCPS students to complete the Middle College Program at their school, which allowed them to earn an associate degree from Montgomery College as well as a high school diploma.
MCPS is one of the few school districts in the nation that offers comprehensive services at the elementary, middle, and high school level for twice exceptional students. Twice exceptional students have a unique profile of significant strengths and weaknesses -- they are gifted and talented and also meet the criteria for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan. Twice exceptional students access accelerated and enriched instruction with appropriate supports and services at their local school, within a magnet/choice program, or within a special education discrete service.
MCPS has 206 schools -- 134 elementary schools, 40 middle schools, 25 high schools, 5 special schools, 1 career and technology center, and 1 alternative education program.
MCPS publishes school data annually. Its "Schools at a Glance" document provides information about enrollment, staffing, facilities, programs, outcome measures, and personnel costs for each school.
The district has 39 National Blue Ribbon Schools, a designation that recognizes public and private schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
The school system is piloting extended school years at two elementary schools -- Arcola and Roscoe Nix elementary schools -- during the 2018-2019 school year. The plan aims to help economically disadvantaged students, who lose the most ground during long summer breaks.
The school system has several prominent graduates or former attendees, including: