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Montgomery County Public Schools

The district prioritizes instruction that supports critical thinking, problem solving and risk-taking, and is implmenting a new, fully digital curriculum called Curriculum 2.0 to meet the needs of all students and teachers.

State: Maryland Number of Students: 158,935
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 34.90%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 15.9%

School Context

Funding: Montgomery County Public Schools received small Grants up to $1,000 available from the MCPS Educational Foundation for teachers.

High Engagement for All: MCPS believes that a high level of engagement for both students and teachers is critical to learning.They prioritize instruction that supports critical thinking, problem solving and risk-taking.

Collaborative Community: The district values collaboration and positive relationships between staff, students, families and thecommunity. The district aims to approach interactions with all members of the learning community with respect, openness andunderstanding.

Rising Rigor: MCPS believes high standards are critical to student success and preparation for college and career.

Equity and Fairness: The district believes that equity is of the utmost importance and that all students and staff should engage inequitable practices in all classrooms.


State of Technology

Plan for 100K Devices: A new technology initiative, launched in August 2014,puts 40,000 laptops and tablets into Montgomery County Public Schools. Theinitiative is part of a multi-year plan. In the initial phase, the county providedChromebook laptops to students in grades three, five and six, and to historyclasses in high school. The plan is to grow to 100,000 devices by 2017-18,which will include Android-based tablets for K-2 students. The first year of theinitiative is funded by $15 million that was included in the school budget. Thecounty plans to use funding from the federal E-Rate program. Devices willstay at school and will not be permitted to be taken home.

Curriculum 2.0: In an effort to modernize the school experience,Montgomery County Public Schools’ has a new, fully digital curriculumcalled Curriculum 2.0. It is focused on building knowledge through criticalthinking skills. Piloted in 2011 in Kindergarten and first grade classrooms, itis now being fully implemented across K-5 classrooms in the district. MCPS isreflecting on and upgrading Curriculum 2.0 to meet the needs of all studentsand teachers. A main goal has been to fuse core academic areas such asreading, writing and math with the arts, science, physical education and more,creating opportunities for building creative and critical thinking skills.

Going Mobile: In 2013-14, nine schools in MCPS piloted mobile technologyand cloud-based learning platforms. During the pilot, students were ableto view screencasts of lessons. Students also had the opportunity to createpresentations, communicate with teachers, collaborate with other studentsand engage in research using their mobile devices.

Online Options for HS Students: MCPS offers a few online learningopportunities for high school students looking for alternative pathwaysto either accelerate their learning or to gain the credits necessary to meetgraduation requirements. Online learning courses are blended. MCPS offerstwo online courses (Comprehensive Health Education and Foundations ofTechnology), in addition to 17 online AP courses. There is also an alternativeprogram called “The Online Pathway to Graduation” (OPTG), which is a year-long program for seniors needing three or fewer credits to get their diploma.

Power of PD: MCPS offers online PD for all staff members. The district’ssystem is called MCPS PDO (Professional Development Online), and itis powered by TrueNorthLogic. Staff members of varying positions getannouncements, information and suggestions for courses that are relevantspecifically to their role in the district. MCPS uses in-house coaches, mentorsand teachers to lead professional learning experiences so that all PDopportunities are relevant to the needs of the learners.


Initiatives

Technology Initiative: This new initiative brought 40,000 Chromebooks into MCPS and plans to increase to 100,000 devices(including Android-based tablets) by 2017-18.

Curriculum 2.0: MCPS is fully implementing Curriculum 2.0, the district’s new digital curriculum, across all K-5 classrooms.

*Content From 2015

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